Category Archives: KEFIR

Kefir Grains

What are these highly prized grains that can inspire intrigue the likes of which could be described in a chapter of the Arabian Nights? The grains are an actual living ecosystem that is composed of multiple strains (up to 400) of friendly bacteria and yeasts that are held together in a structure composed of proteins, lipids, and polysaccharides. Because the grains are alive and reproduce, with care and constant feeding the grains can be kept alive and continue producing kefir indefinitely. Kefir grains are often compared in looks to cauliflower heads, but have a gelatinous texture.

Different strains of kefir grains do not contain exactly the same mix of bacteria and yeasts, but certain probiotic microorganisms are almost always present. Many of the probiotics that are often found in kefir grains, and in varying degrees in the kefir, have been extensively studied by medical researchers with multiple positive health effects.

A sample of the bacteria in kefir and associated health benefits are as follows:

Lactobacillus acidophilus. Increase appetite, reduce stress, reduce acne, reduce rosacea, reduce irritable bowel syndrome, reduce asthma, reduce high cholesterol, assist in lactose digestion, prevent or treat diarrhea.
Lactobacillus casei. Increased appetite, produce collagen binding proteins, preventing antibiotic associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile infections, treating diarrhea, treating pancreatic necrosis, treating SIBO.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Increased appetite, treat or prevent diarrhea, reduce anxiety, prevent eczema, support weight loss, produces Hyaluronic Acid for skin health, preventing abdominal obesity, produce collagen binding proteins, reduce inflammation in Crohn’s disease, reduce risk for respiratory infections in children, preventing or treating atopic dermatitis, preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs), reducing intestinal permeability (“Leaky Gut”)
Streptococcus thermophiles. Reduce anxiety, produces Hyaluronic Acid for healthy skin, increases skin ceramides, encourage steady growth rate in children, improves diet induced obesity and insulin resistance, preventing chemotherapy induced mucositis, reduce instances of lung cancer, prevent antibiotic induced diarrhea
Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Reduce constipation, reduce acne, stimulate immune system, anti-tumor action

What Did People Eat In The 1800s?

The War of 1812 concluded in 1815, and in the decades to come, the United States developed a vast transportation system, a national bank, and interstate trade. The economy blossomed, and canals, roads, cities, and industrialization expanded.

England’s defeat in the War of 1812 also removed barriers to westward expansion and, tragically, accelerated Native American removal.

Two hundred years ago, the United States stood at the edge of a frontier — both literally and figuratively. So what was life like at that exciting time?

Population: By 1815, the United States had grown into a country of 8,419,000 people, including about 1.5 million slaves. (Official estimates are available for the entire population in 1815, but slave counts were conducted during the censuses of 1810 and 1820. In the 1810 census, there were 1,191,362 slaves; by the 1820 census, there were 1,538,022 slaves). While a population of less than 10 million seems small compared to today’s count of over 320 million people, the population in 1815 had more than doubled since the country’s first census, taken in 1790, when there were 3,929,214 people. The population would continue to increase by more than 30 percent each decade for much of the 19th century.

Almost all of this growth was due to high birth rates, as immigration was low in 1815, slowed by European wars that raged from 1790 to 1815. Only about 8,000 per year entered during this period. The 1820 census counted 8,385 immigrants, including one from China and one from Africa.

Food: Because these innovations in transportation were still in their infancy in 1815, however, most Americans ate what they grew or hunted locally. Corn (no GMO) and beans were common, along with pork. In the north, cows provided milk (raw), butter (raw), and beef, while in the south, where cattle were less common, venison and other game provided meat. Preserving food in 1815, before the era of refrigeration, required smoking, drying, or salting meat (no nitrates). Vegetables were kept in a root cellar or pickled.

For those who had to purchase their food, one record notes the following retail prices in 1818 in Washington, D.C.: beef cost 6 to 8 cents a pound, potatoes cost 56 cents a bushel, milk was 32 cents a gallon, tea 75 cents to $2.25 a pound. Shoes ran $2.50 a pair. Clothing expenses for a family of six cost $148 a year, though the record does not indicate the quality of the clothes.

Life Expectancy: The boom in native population in the early 19th century was even more remarkable considering the low life expectancies of the time. By one estimate, a white man who had reached his 20th birthday could expect to live just another 19 years. A white woman at 20 would live, on average, only a total of 38.8 years. If measuring from birth, which counted infant mortality, life expectancy would have been even lower. A white family in the early 19th century would typically have seven or eight children, but one would die by age one and another before age 21. And, of course, for slaves, childhood deaths were higher and life expectancy was even lower. About one in three African American children died, and only half lived to adulthood.

Disease was rampant during this time. During the War of 1812, which concluded in 1815, more soldiers died from disease than from fighting. The main causes of death for adults during this period were malaria and tuberculosis, while children most commonly died from measles, mumps, and whooping cough, all preventable today.

Housing: More than four out of every five Americans during the early 19th century still lived on farms. Many farmers during this time also made goods by hand that they’d use, barter, or sell, such as barrels, furniture, or horseshoes. Cities remained relatively small and were clustered around East Coast seaports: New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, and Charleston, South Carolina. In the 1810 census, New York, the largest, was home to 96,373 people. By 1820, the population would reach 123,706.

Employment: Industrialization would soon accelerate urbanization. In England, the Industrial Revolution had begun in the mid-18th century, and despite attempts made to restrict the export of technology, in 1789, a 21-year-old Englishman memorized the plan for a textile mill and then opened a cotton-spinning plant in Rhode Island. By 1810, more than 100 such mills, employing women and children at less than a dollar a week, were operating throughout New England. By the 1830s, textile production would become the country’s largest industry.

Wages for other industries during the time ranged from $10 to $17 a month for seamen. Farm laborers after the end of the War of 1812 earned $12 to $15 dollars a month. A male school teacher earned $10 to $12 a month; a female teacher earned $4 to $10. In Massachusetts, a tailor and printer could both expect to earn $6 a week, while a servant might earn only 50 cents a week.

Transportation: Industrialization affected the country in other ways, of course. In 1815, there were no steam railroads in America, so long-distance travel was by horseback or uncomfortable stagecoach over rutted roads. Cargo moved by horse-team was limited to 25-30 miles a day. But in 1811, Congress signed a contract for the construction of the National Road, the first highway built by the national government. By 1818, it had crossed the Appalachian Mountains, fostering westward expansion.

In 1815, Americans were also discovering steamboat travel. In 1807, Robert Fulton had opened the first steamboat ferry service, between Albany and New York City. By 1815, advances in technology allowed a rival to ferry arms and ammunition to General (later President) Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans, the last battle of the War of 1812, and then to steam back up the Mississippi and then the Ohio to Pittsburgh, proving the feasibility of steamboat navigation of the mighty river.

Entertainment: For recreation, horse racing became increasingly popular by the time of the War of 1812. Singing and sheet music became widely popular, particularly “broadside songs,” or lyrics printed on a sheet of paper and sold for a penny. The sheet had no music, but instructed the purchaser which popular, well-known tune the words could be sung to. The songs often had to do with current political or military events. At the other end of the artistic spectrum, the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, formed in 1815, performed Handel’s “Messiah” in its opening concert.

Finally, singing played a large part in one of the most significant social movements of the time — and in all of America’s history — the Second Great Awakening. From 1790 to 1830, wave after wave of Protestant evangelism swept across the country. Tens of thousands of people would attend a single camp meeting, marked by enthusiastic preaching and audience singing and participation. These more informal services, led by itinerant preachers, also helped tie settlers on the Western frontier to the cultural life of the rest of the country. The Second Great Awakening also fostered greater participation by women and African Americans, who continued developing their artistic traditional of spiritual music during this period.

OLIVER TWIST GOT SKIMMED

oliver-twist

Revealed: how thieves skimmed the workhouse orphans’ cream. Unearthed documents show how Foundling Hospital children were robbed of full milk ration.

Children who drink full-fat milk end up slimmer than those on skimmed 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/16/children-who-drink-full-fat-milk-end-up-slimmer-than-those-on-sk/

Children should drink full-fat milk until the age of at least six, research suggests – as they are likely to grow up slimmer.

In recent years, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has recommended that toddlers switch to semi-skimmed milk from the age of two, as part of efforts to prevent obesity.

But research on more than 2,700 children found those given full-fat versions ended up with a significantly lower body mass index than those given semi-skimmed varieties.

Those taking part in the Canadian study were also found to have higher levels of vitamin D, which protects the bones and immune system.

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For decades, children in Britain were encouraged to drink full-fat milk, as part of post-war efforts to build the nation’s health.

‘Children who drink lower fat milk don’t have less body fat’ Dr Jonathon Maguire

But in 2009, the FSA warned that children were now consuming so much fat that it was clogging their arteries. Parents are now advised to switch their children to semi-skimmed milk from the age of two.

The new research suggests such efforts could be counter-productive.

Children who drank full-fat milk were likely to end up less hungry, researchers suggested, making them less likely to snack on high calorie foods.

The Canadian research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that those children who drank whole milk had a Body Mass Index score that was 0.72 units lower than those who drank one or two per cent semi-skimmed milk.

What is BMI?

  • BMI (body mass index) is a measure that adults can use to see if they are a healthy weight for their size

What is a healthy BMI?

  • For most adults, an ideal BMI is in the 18.5-24.9 range
  • If your BMI is higher than 25, you weigh more than is ideal for your height
  • 25-29.9 is overweight
  • 30-39.9 is obese
  • 40 or more is very obese

To work out your BMI:

  • Divide your weight in kilograms (kg) by your height in meters (m), then divide your answer by your height again to get your BMI
  • For example, if you weigh 100kg and you are 1.85m tall, divide 100 by 1.85. The answer is 54. Then divide 54 by 1.85, which gives 29, which is your BMI

Lead researcher Dr Jonathon Maguire, a pediatrician at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, said the difference amounted to the difference between having a healthy weight and being overweight.

Children who drank one cup of whole milk each day had comparable vitamin D levels to those drinking nearly three times as much skimmed milk, the study found.

This could be because vitamin D is fat soluble, meaning it dissolves in fat rather than water.

Prof Maguire said: “Children who drink lower fat milk don’t have less body fat, and they also don’t benefit from the higher vitamin D levels in whole milk. It’s a double negative with low fat milk.”

 

 

DESPERATE LIVES ON LISTERIA LANE

listeria-blue_-bell_CDC estimates an annual average of fifteen hundred (1,591) people in the U.S. develop systemic infection caused by food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes; there have been no cases attributed to drinking raw milk in the last twelve years.

Blue Bell stopped production and distribution of ice cream to 25 states in April 2015 after the discovery of listeria. Ten reported cases of listeria were linked to Blue Bell frozen treats and three of those sickened later died.

fda-badge

In fact, Blue Bell knew it had a listeria problem two years earlier. The FDA released inspection reports showing that the company had found the bacteria in its Oklahoma plant, on surfaces such as floors and catwalks, on 17 occasions beginning in March 2013. Despite this, the FDA found, Blue Bell hadn’t followed up “to identify sanitation failures and possible food contamination,” taken proper steps to root out the problem, or informed the agency of its findings. FDA inspections of multiple plants, starting in March, found not only listeria but also condensation dripping from machinery into ice cream and ingredient tanks; poor storage and food-handling practices; and failures to clean equipment thoroughly.

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The most serious public health risk due to Listeria monocytogenes, comes from contaminated ready-to eat processed foods, particularly meats.

Make your own ice cream

guide-to-ice-cream-makers

3 egg yolks (pastured eggs from the farmers’ market)

1/2 cup Canadian maple  syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

3 cups of raw cow’s milk heavy cream (the secret ingredient, raw cream, requires a visit to the farm)

1/2 cup walnuts finely chopped

Beat egg yolks and blend remaining ingredients. Pour into ice cream maker per instructions.