Welcome to CHEESESLAVE Q and A!
Every Sunday, I answer your questions. I’ll answer as many questions as I can each week. If I didn’t answer your question this week, please check back next week.
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1. Question: Recommendations For Grandma On A Diet?
Hello Ann Marie,
My grandmother is sixty-three years old. She has been dieting for many, many years, and now it’s taking its toll on her health. There are quite a few issues that I’m trying to work out with her right now, but there’s one that I believe should be fixed now. She is CONVINCED that fat is BAD, BAD, BAD for her and that she’s a horrible person for eating it. She puts canola oil in her bread, eats packaged pizza, coffee flavoring with artificial sweetener, and binges on ice cream after work if she can’t lose weight.
She has started putting veggies in her lunches, and has been drinking my homemade kombucha, which is good, I am also worried about the AMOUNT of food she is eating. She has an EXTREMELY physical job and comes home talking about how she doesn’t know why she’s so hungry. She eats about a 1/4-1/2 cup of food at each of her meals! She ended up collapsing at her job and spending the night at the hospital, because she was THIS close to having a heart attack, the doctor said. She has a weakened heart, has headaches all the time, and is constantly fatigued. Of course, the first thing her doctor did was pump her up with more medications, not look at what her everyday habits are!
Basically I need some links on why fat is ESSENTIAL for the body’s everyday functions, and that eating more food will help her lose more weight. It HAS to be something coming from a ‘smart’, ‘educated’, “professional”, and not some lowly fifteen year old like me, who does know what she is talking about. It also can’t be something coming from a religious point-of-view, because my family is Jewish and she would TOTALLY take that the wrong way! Then that would be the end of that.
I really, REALLY, appreciate it, Ann Marie! Thank you. Have a good weekend, and don’t work too hard.
I think it’s tough to change someone’s mind unless they want to change it. I tend to wait until someone asks me for advice. I think it’s best to eat well, be a good example, and then if they want to more about your diet, they can ask.
2. Question: Thoughts On Baby Formula And Arsenic?
Hi Ann Marie -
I have asked you questions regarding my son in the past, and thank you for all you do on Cheeseslave. It has been life changing for me. Unfortunately, I discovered you and in so doing, WAPF, a little late. I fed my son Nature’s One formula from 4 months to just over a year old. It wasn’t ideal and certainly not my plan, but it’s over now.
However I recently heard a story on the nightly news
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Diet/arsenic-organics-rice/t/story?id=15642428 I’m concerned he is chock full of arsenic. Do you recommend anything here?
Hope the question isn’t too vague, thanks!
I personally would not worry about it unless he has digestive issues which would prevent him from detoxing the arsenic. Everyone these days is full of heavy metals but we do detoxify them if we have good digestion.
3. Question: Help With Making Whey And Cream Cheese?
Hi, don’t know who to turn to so I found your blog and hope you can help. I buy raw milk from a local farm and I tried to make whey and cream cheese according to Sally Fallon’s cookbook (Nourishing Traditions).
I let 2 quarts sit in a mason jar covered by cheese cloth/rubber band for 4 days until it separated into a plug and liquid. Then I poured it out into a cloth covered strainer and bowl (as instructed). BUT the smell was really fishy and I wondered if that was normal. Sally doesn’t mention to expect that in her cookbook.
Can you tell me if that is normal, or is that the result of it getting contaminated somehow?
If I use it and get sick, I promise not to come back at you about it, I just am new to all this and I have NO IDEA what I’m doing. It’s all an experiment and I’m enjoying it.
I eat mostly cheese, protein (lots of eggs and some meat) and green veggies (keeps my weight off). So I’d like to get more into cheese-making.
Your site is a blessing.
I personally have never made whey and cream cheese with raw milk. Raw milk is expensive here in LA, and I have to drive a ways to get it cheaper, so the only thing we use it for is drinking. I use yogurt to make whey and cream cheese.
I’m sure someone can help in the comments.
4. Question: Thoughts On Olive Oil Potato Chips?
[Regarding the olive oil potato chips you recommend]
I see that the chips are not organic. I went to their site and it doesn’t say anything about no pesticdes used. I believe potatoes are some of the dirtiest (in terms of pesticide residue). Any thoughts?
Yes, the olive oil potato chips I recommend are not organic. I am just happy to have chips that we can eat that are not fried in bad oils.
Remember: good, better, best. You can’t always be perfect so just do the best you can.
5. Question: Your Take On Phytic Acid?
I know that you will have a few things to say about this! I read this article today, and while I don’t agree with everything she says about sprouting and soaking, I think she makes a few good points. Would you tell me what you think? I trust your judgement sometimes more than my own!
I have read this article and completely disagree with it. I’ve always wanted to write a rebuttal, but have never had the time. So thank you for asking the question.
To address some of the points she makes in the article:
The subject is phytic acid and the sprouting or soaking of grains. Phytic acid is considered by some as an anti-nutrient component found in the bran portion of all grains and beans. It is being taught that “untreated” phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. It is being said that a diet high in unfermented whole grains supposedly can lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. It is also suggested that long term consumption of these untreated phytates may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and other serious adverse affects.
This is a fact and you can find it everywhere online and in scholarly journals. She said she searched for 4-5 years and couldn’t find any evidence that it’s true. Not sure where she was searching because I find evidence everywhere. I’m guessing she wrote that article a while ago and maybe there wasn’t as much on the internet back when she was searching?
Statements are also being made that imply that grains have always been eaten in their sprouted form and that “our ancestors and virtually all pre-industrialized people only ate grains that were soaked or fermented”. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon pg.452
It is ridiculous that she is going to try to dispute this. The well-documented very old traditions of sourdough bread making, the nixtamalization of corn in Central and South America, and soaking rice in Asia are all proof that people have been soaking and fermenting grains for a very long time.
Please see my article: Soaking Grains: A Traditional Practice
She does not address this, or even attempt to discount it. She just starts talking about the Bible:
My first thought is, that I see no reference of sprouting grains in the scripture. Many people refer to Ezekiel 4:9 as the first mention of sprouted bread. Careful examination of the verse however, gives no indication that the grains are sprouted.
Just because something is not covered in the Bible (which is a Holy book, not a cookbook or a book about food) does not mean that it did not exist.
The she goes on to try to disprove the traditional methods for allowing grains to sprout in the field:
The teachings of Dr. Edward Howell are quoted and embraced as truth by both Sally Fallon and Jordon Rubin. “Dr. Howell noticed that the old harvesting techniques helped preserve and enhance the nutrition value of the grain. After cutting the mature grains in the field, farmers would gather the stalks and loosely bind them upright in sheaves and let them stand overnight in the field before threshing them (or removing the grain from the grass stalks) the next day. This allowed the grains to germinate or sprout“. The Maker’s Diet by Jordon Rubin pg. 139 (emphasis mine). The premise is that this “germination” or sprouting of the seed in the field broke down the “harmful” phytic acid naturally so that no further soaking of the grain was necessary.
Dr. Howell’s statement is so simplistically wrong I truly thought I was missing something! No seed can begin to germinate or sprout and then be stored. The sprouting process can not be put on hold. It is like being pregnant – you are or you aren’t. If you are, you can not put it on hold and save the baby until you are ready for it. That baby will continue to grow until it is full term. It is the same with seeds. Once the sprout is formed, a full grown plant is going to develop. If seeds were allowed to sprout, they could not be stored, resulting in no seeds for next year’s crop and no food for the winter.
I checked with the owner of one of our grain elevators on grain harvesting procedures. The owner had just returned from Ethiopia. It was harvest season there. He assured me that the primitive methods used for harvesting grain in Ethiopia today were the same primitive methods for harvesting grain used for thousands of years. The cut wheat was tied up in bundles, because it is easier to pick up a bundle than an individual stalk. The seeds must be fully dry at harvest time or they will not store! It is not desirable for the grain to get damp; therefore, it is harvested as quickly as possible. The only difference in modern methods of harvesting is that machinery is used to perform the tasks. The last thing any farmer wants is for the grain to get damp!
I looked this up a while ago and found out that yes, in fact, the traditional way of harvesting wheat involved storing the grain outside. You can Google this yourself and within seconds, you will find lots of examples.
Like this one: http://www.fao.org/docrep/T1838E/T1838E12.htm
And this one: http://www.payvand.com/news/10/jul/1065.html
If grain is exposed to moisture, it will sprout within a matter of 12-36 hours (depending on how warm it is). Anyone can do it with a mason jar or a bowl in their kitchen. If you don’t believe me, try it yourself with some wheat berries.
So, yeah, if they were traditionally storing grains outdoors, they would have probably sprouted. Now, I don’t know if the grain would have ALWAYS sprouted. If the weather was dry, it wouldn’t have.
All that said, I do not believe that Sally is not making the claim in Nourishing Traditions that people sprouted wheat in the fields. I’d have to look it up but I don’t think she mentions that.
Whether the wheat sprouted in the field or not or not doesn’t really matter. It’s still a smart thing to do, as sprouting reduces phytic acid and other anti-nutrients. Why not use sprouted flour if you can?
Sprouted flour is especially good for recipes in which soaking is not practical. Such as cookies and pie crust. See my resources page for where to find sprouted flour.
6. Question: Opinion On Low-temperature Pasteurization?
I was wondering how you feel about low-temperature pasteurization. We drink raw milk from a local farm, and I am not planning to change that. But I have recently come across some information about low-heat pasteurization, and there are claims that it keeps the proteins whole and most of the enzymes intact. Have you heard about this? And what do you think about it? Just curious.
I haven’t seen the data.
We drink raw milk when we can get it (which is 99% of the time, since we’re in California and can buy it in stores). If for some reason we can’t get raw milk (like the times the CDFA shuts Organic Pastures down for extended periods of time) we drink grass-fed pasteurized milk.
We also don’t worry when we’re traveling or eating out in restaurants or at friends’ homes — we drink whatever kind of milk they have (although only dairy milk — we never drink soy milk).
7. Question: Help With Soaking And Sprouting?
Hello, Ann Marie!
I have a few questions that I hope you don’t mind answering. I think I’m getting a hang on this whole soaking/sprouting thing, but I’m still a little confused.
Do I absolutely need an acidic medium to soak grains and eliminate the phytic acid (specifically rice and oatmeal), or can I just soak them in water, and then dehydrate them and eat them?
Is there a way to eliminate the anti-nutrients (specifically phytic acid) in rolled/oat groats that aren’t raw, or do I need to mix them with some raw grains?
What do you mean when you say to use the old soaking water for soaking rice?
How do I soak legumes/nuts/seeds? I’ve read that you need very salty water to break down the anti-nutrients. Is that true?
Are there any other foods that I should soak?
Thank you so much for your time,
Yes, you need an acidic medium. You need warmth, an acidic medium, and time.
The phytic acid will not break down in oats if it is heat-treated (which almost all oats are). So it’s best to add some whole wheat flour or brown rice flour for the phytase.
For rice, you can reuse the same water over and over again. It creates a sort of sourdough starter. I keep mine in the fridge.
I cover all of this in my online cooking class and include all the recipes and how-to videos, Healthy Whole Grains.
All the recipes for soaking legumes/nuts/seeds are in Sally Fallon Morell’s book, Nourishing Traditions.
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