How To Cook Like Michael Pollan

Credit: Karsten Moran/The New York Times
"The author reveals how to cut calories and carbon emissions—and you won’t even have to make a trip to the farmer’s market. 
BY RENE EBERSOLE
Published: 11/06/2014
Between one-fifth and one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions result from our food system. In a recent interview with Audubon MagazineMichael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and more recently Cooked, A Natural History of Transformation, spoke with Rene Ebersole about how the fork can be a powerful weapon against climate change. A widespread shift toward smarter consumer choices can reduce air, water, and soil pollution, which in turn can produce healthier food and a cleaner planet, the author says. While shopping at farmers' markets, growing vegetables, and carrying cloth grocery bags are great ways to help thwart climate change, he offers some other very simple, often-overlooked practices that can provide some similar benefits. 
1. Buy frozen. There's a notion that because it's expensive to buy groceries at the farmers' market, eating sustainably is unaffordable for people who don't have a Prius or a house covered with solar panels. Not true, Pollan says--just look in the freezer aisle:
"Processed foods are not necessarily so cheap. If you're willing to cook from raw ingredients you can often cook more cheaply. So I'm not always sure it's a financial question as much as a time question. I would also say that the cult of fresh gets a little bit overdone in that there's nothing wrong with frozen vegetables, and they're really cheap. Even if you can't afford farmer's market organic spinach, you can afford a box of frozen spinach, which is a great product. And it's washed, by the way, so it's really convenient and much faster to cook. I think that there's this tendency to assume that it's a choice between eating fast food crap and farmer's market food--and that's not the first choice. The first choice is between eating real food and processed food. Real food is cheaper than processed food. It doesn't have to be organic; it doesn't have to come from the farmer's market. You can eat well and improve your diet dramatically simply by making that change." 
2. Don't try to cook like you're on a cooking show. Making fresh, healthy meals at home and buying fewer processed items is the way to go, but many people have trouble making that leap Pollan says, offering some insight:
"Either they don't know how to cook because their parents didn't cook; or they're intimidated by cooking because they see experts do it on television and it looks really hard (I mean they make it look like brain surgery on cooking shows); or they just don't have time; or they don't think they have time because the kind of cooking they see on television takes a really long time. But every night home cooking is not making a gourmet meal, and it need not take more than a half hour. Look how much time you can spend microwaving frozen food. You could easily spend a half hour just doing that for a family of four because you can't do it all at once. We have to look at where we spend our time. What do we value? Some people value watching cooking shows more than they value cooking. Or they value being online more than cooking for their family. So that's why I wrote my book Cooked, to hopefully inspire people to get into the kitchen and show them that it's really a very interesting and pleasurable way to spend a little bit of your leisure time." 
3. Raid the refrigerator. Instead of trying to replicate those meals on cooking shows, with umpteen ingredients and hours of prep time, mix up quick and easy dishes from what's already stocked in the kitchen. Pollan's go-to meal:
"I always have frozen spinach in the fridge, and I always have canned wild salmon and pasta in the pantry. With those three ingredients and a little bit of olive oil and maybe some garlic, maybe some basil (if it's in the garden at the time), I can make a really great meal--one of my favorite meals, in like 20 minutes. I defrost the spinach, cook the pasta, saute the spinach over the pasta, open the can of salmon and I put that on top of the spinach, then I put a little basil on that and maybe pour a little extra olive oil on it. It's delicious. If you're in the habit of cooking, you'll have the right things in your pantry, and if you're just strategic about it, and it becomes a habit, it doesn't have to consume your life." 
4. Divide and conquer. Spread the work around. Pollan says: 
"One of the problems with cooking was it was assumed to be the woman's responsibility, and her exclusive responsibility. That makes it really hard, especially if the woman is also working. So I think we have to get men and children involved in the kitchen. You know, if you share the work, it's not that much work. There's also a social dimension. The problem with cooking was we isolated it; it was one person in the nuclear household doing it. But if you do it with your kids it's often very pleasurable time. Kids really love to cook." "

Panquecas

Numa tijela bata, com uma batedeira eléctrica, dois ovos inteiros com duas colheres de sopa de açúcar mascavado.
Quando a mistura tiver duplicado de volume, adicione duas colheres de sopa de azeite, com a batedeira sempre ligada; e uma colher de chá de fermento em pó.
Adicione, alternando, duas chávenas de farinha integral e uma chávena de leite de soja, até obter uma mistura homogénea.
Aqueça uma frigideira anti-aderente, coloque alguns pingos de azeite, adicione uma concha de massa e deixe cozinhar até a panqueca começar a fazer bolhas de ar à superfície. Nessa altura, vire-a com o auxílio de uma espátula em madeira.
Pode incorporar vários elementos na massa, ou colocar sobre a panqueca, como banana, maçã, canela, etc. Na fotografia, uma versão com fatias finas de maça e canela.

“Se comermos alimentos de origem animal, aumentamos o risco de doenças”

Colin Campbell é professor de Bioquímica Nutricional na Universidade
de Cornell, onde se doutorou em nutrição, bioquímica e
microbiologia 
DANIEL ROCHA
in Jornal Público
"O bioquímico Colin Campbell, que esteve nesta quarta-feira pela primeira vez em Portugal, admite que devia haver mais estudos para comprovar que uma alimentação “correcta” pode prevenir e tratar doenças, incluindo o cancro, e que só não há devido a “fortes” interesses económicos. Para o investigador, leite, carne e ovos são para banir.

Cresceu numa quinta que produzia leite, mas não o bebe. Tem 80 anos e há cerca de 30 começou a abandonar os lacticínios, a carne, os ovos, os fritos e os doces. Peixe, no máximo uma vez por mês e cozido. Prefere vegetais, frutas, cereais integrais. Faz exercício e corre “facilmente” sete ou oito quilómetros. Não fuma e só de vez quando bebe vinho ou cerveja. O norte-americano Colin Campbell, professor de Bioquímica Nutricional na Universidade de Cornell, onde se doutorou em nutrição, bioquímica e microbiologia, coordenou o Estudo da China sobre a relação entre alimentação, estilo de vida e doenças degenerativas modernas, realizado pelas Universidades de Cornell, Oxford, com o apoio da Academia Chinesa de Medicina Preventiva. Esteve em Lisboa para participar num seminário promovido pela Direcção-Geral de Saúde, Administração Central do Sistema de Saúde, Instituto Macrobiótico de Portugal e Ministério da Saúde.

Quais foram as principais conclusões do Estudo da China?
O Estudo da China é o nome do livro, publicado em 2005, que é um resumo do meu trabalho nos últimos 45 anos. E um projecto que fizemos na China, em 130 aldeias. Estávamos interessados em ver por que é que o cancro era muito mais comum nuns sítios do que noutros. O Estudo da China em si não foi responsável pelas minhas conclusões. Houve todo um trabalho feito antes, em laboratório, durante cerca 30 anos. O Estudo da China foi uma oportunidade de confirmar se o que estávamos a ver no laboratório era o mesmo que nos humanos.

Depois dessas décadas de pesquisas o que defende é que se comermos mais alimentos de origem animal, como lacticínios e carne, temos mais probabilidade de ter doenças cardiovasculares, cancro, diabetes? 
Há evidências científicas que nos dizem que, se comermos alimentos de origem animal, aumentamos o risco de ter essas doenças. As pessoas são mais saudáveis e vivem mais tempo se optarem por dietas com menos proteínas de origem animal e mais antioxidantes. Comer produtos de origem animal, como leite e carne, está relacionado com cancro, osteoporose, doenças cardiovasculares, diabetes. A maior parte das pessoas no Ocidente sabe que comer vegetais é bom e que comer carne não é tão bom. Mas o que não se apercebem é que este tipo de dieta é importante não só para prevenir essas doenças, como para tratá-las. O mesmo tipo de dieta que previne as doenças também as reverte.

Não estamos a falar de cancro?
De acordo com as minhas pesquisas, com mais proteínas de origem animal podemos activar o cancro e, com proteínas de origem vegetal, desactivá-lo. Mas temos de fazer mais investigação para o demonstrar mais claramente.

Está a dizer que comer mais alimentos de origem animal como a carne, o leite e os ovos contribuem para o cancro e, pelo contrário, vegetais, por exemplo, o revertem?
Sim. Refiro-me não só a comida de origem animal, mas também processada. Bolos de pastelaria com muito açúcar são um problema. Numa dieta baseada em plantas, os alimentos de origem vegetal têm propriedades notáveis para tratar alguns problemas. Pode haver grandes mudanças em semanas na recuperação da saúde. Mas muitos médicos não têm formação suficiente em nutrição e, por outro lado, estamos num sistema em que há muito dinheiro a ser feito à custa da venda de alimentos de origem animal, de comida processada, e de suplementos vitamínicos. E há muito dinheiro em jogo para tratar estas doenças. Estas indústrias não gostam desta mensagem.

Por que é que acha que não há investigação suficiente, mais estudos a comprovar essa tese? Por causa desses interesses?
Sim. As pesquisas que fiz foram com financiamento público, o que é importante porque não somos influenciados pelas indústrias. Mas o dinheiro público é muito limitado, comparado, por exemplo, com o que existe para fazer medicamentos. Em 70% do dinheiro disponibilizado pelo Instituto Nacional de Saúde nos Estados Unidos para pesquisas, só 3 a 4% é para nutrição. A combinação de não haver suficiente formação nem pesquisas em nutrição é fatal.

Se o Estudo da China fosse feito hoje, as conclusões seriam as mesmas?
Hoje não seria possível fazer o mesmo tipo de estudo na China, porque, entre outros aspectos, quando o fizemos, em 1983 e 1984, as pessoas consumiam os produtos produzidos localmente. Isso está a mudar. Está a aumentar o consumo de produtos de origem animal, de comida processada, há mais cancro, mais doenças do coração.

Como vai ser a nossa alimentação no futuro?
Não sei o que vai acontecer, mas é muito importante informar o público, criar programas, em que as pessoas possam participar, aprender a cozinhar certos alimentos, a produzir, falar nas escolas, nas faculdades de medicina. O problema é que, pelo menos nos Estados Unidos, os esforços são no sentido de suprimir a informação. Porque os interesses económicos são fortes.

Três exemplos de alimentos que devemos definitivamente comer e três a evitar.
Não comer carne, ovos nem beber leite. Comer cereais integrais, legumes, ervilhas, feijão e comer muitos vegetais coloridos, como cenouras, por exemplo. Têm propriedades antioxidantes que tendem a prevenir o envelhecimento, o cancro, as doenças do coração. São muito importantes.

Por que razão diz que o leite não é bom? Não há quem defenda que sim, até para prevenir osteoporose? Entende que não é bom por ser um produto de origem animal?
Em parte por isso. E não tem antioxidantes nem outros nutrientes que vamos buscar, por exemplo, aos vegetais. Os lacticínios não têm as coisas boas, só as más. O que fazemos é realmente estranho, é continuar a beber leite muito para além da fase da amamentação e ir buscá-lo a outras espécies. Por que não vamos buscá-lo a cães ou ratos?

Na Europa, e em Portugal em particular, a obesidade infantil é preocupante. A crise pode levar as pessoas a optar por comida barata e calórica?
Temos o mesmo problema nos Estados Unidos. As pessoas compram as piores comidas porque, de certa forma, são mais baratas e têm muitas calorias, fornecem energia rápida. Nos Estados Unidos, estas comidas, que incluem alimentos de origem animal, são subsidiadas pelo governo, que está a ajudar os produtores a produzirem o que não deviam. Lá, os hambúrgueres são comprados por um preço muito inferior ao custo real. Uma percentagem está a ser paga pelos impostos. Os governos deviam apoiar a comida que é saudável."

New study finds significant differences between organic and non-organic food

por Carlo Leifert
13 July 2014

"In the largest study of its kind, an international team of experts led by Newcastle University, UK, has shown that organic crops and crop-based foods are up to 69% higher in a number of key antioxidants than conventionally-grown crops.
Analysing 343 studies into the compositional differences between organic and conventional crops, the team found that a switch to eating organic fruit, vegetable and cereals – and food made from them – would provide additional antioxidants equivalent to eating between 1-2 extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
The study, published today in the prestigious British Journal of Nutrition, also shows significantly lower levels of toxic heavy metals in organic crops. Cadmium, which is one of only three metal contaminants along with lead and mercury for which the European Commission has set maximum permitted contamination levels in food, was found to be almost 50% lower in organic crops than conventionally-grown ones.
Newcastle University’s Professor Carlo Leifert, who led the study, says: “This study demonstrates that choosing food produced according to organic standards can lead to increased intake of nutritionally desirable antioxidants and reduced exposure to toxic heavy metals.
“This constitutes an important addition to the information currently available to consumers which until now has been confusing and in many cases is conflicting.”

New methods used to analyse the data
This is the most extensive analysis of the nutrient content in organic vs conventionally-produced foods ever undertaken and is the result of a groundbreaking new systematic literature review and meta-analysis by the international team.
The findings contradict those of a 2009 UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) commissioned study which found there were no substantial differences or significant nutritional benefits from organic food.
The FSA commissioned study based its conclusions on only 46 publications covering crops, meat and dairy, while Newcastle led meta-analysis is based on data from 343 peer-reviewed publications on composition difference between organic and conventional crops now available.
“The main difference between the two studies is time,” explains Professor Leifert, who is Professor of Ecological Agriculture at Newcastle University
“Research in this area has been slow to take off the ground and we have far more data available to us now than five years ago”.
Dr Gavin Stewart, a Lecturer in Evidence Synthesis and the meta-analysis expert in the Newcastle team, added: “The much larger evidence base available in this synthesis allowed us to use more appropriate statistical methods to draw more definitive conclusions regarding the differences between organic and conventional crops”

What the findings mean 
The study, funded jointly by the European Framework 6 programme and the Sheepdrove Trust, found that concentrations of antioxidants such as polyphenolics were between 18-69% higher in organically-grown crops. Numerous studies have linked antioxidants to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers.
Substantially lower concentrations of a range of the toxic heavy metal cadmium were also detected in organic crops (on average 48% lower).
Nitrogen concentrations were found to be significantly lower in organic crops. Concentrations of total nitrogen were 10%, nitrate 30% and nitrite 87% lower in organic compared to conventional crops. The study also found that pesticide residues were four times more likely to be found in conventional crops than organic ones.
Professor Charles Benbrook, one of the authors of the study and a leading scientist based at Washington State University, explains: “Our results are highly relevant and significant and will help both scientists and consumers sort through the often conflicting information currently available on the nutrient density of organic and conventional plant-based foods.”
Professor Leifert added: “The organic vs non-organic debate has rumbled on for decades now but the evidence from this study is overwhelming – that organic food is high in antioxidants and lower in toxic metals and pesticides.
“But this study should just be a starting point. We have shown without doubt there are composition differences between organic and conventional crops, now there is an urgent need to carry out well-controlled human dietary intervention and cohort studies specifically designed to identify and quantify the health impacts of switching to organic food.”
The authors of this study welcome the continued public and scientific debate on this important subject. The entire database generated and used for this analysis is freely available on the Newcastle University website  for the benefit of other experts and interested members of the public.

This post appears courtesy of Newcastle University

"



The World’s Most Versatile Veggie Burger Recipe

"Written by Matt Frazier


Ingredients:

  • 1  pound can of beans, drained and rinsed, or 1.5 cups cooked beans (suggestions: your favorite bean!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups diced veggies (suggestions: carrots, celery, mushrooms, chopped spinach, chopped kale, corn, chopped artichokes, zucchini, squash, sweet potato)
  • 2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons oil for frying (suggestions: olive, coconut, grapeseed)
  • 3 tablespoons liquid flavor (mix and match suggestions: mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, vegan worcestershire, buffalo sauce, balsamic vinegar, salsa, pasta sauce, marsala, water)
  • 4 teaspoons spice (we recommend combining at least two: smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, italian seasoning, poultry seasoning, montreal steak seasoning, black pepper, cayenne pepper, fennel, oregano, curry powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (omit or reduce if your liquid or spices contain salt)
  • 1 cup dry base ingredient (suggestions: buckwheat, unsweetened protein powder, bread crumbs, cornmeal, oatmeal)
  • 1/2 cup texture ingredient (suggestions: chopped walnuts, olives, avocado, sundried tomatoes, leftover cooked rice/quinoa/bulgur, parsley, cilantro, basil)
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry the onion, veggies, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to a food processor and pulse with beans, liquid flavor, spice, salt until combined but still chunky. Pulse in the dry base and texture ingredient.
Form into golf ball size balls and flatten into patties.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Fry patties 2-3 minutes per side until browned and heated through.
Makes about 18 small patties.

Our favorite variations

Mexican Sliders
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups of veggies: 1 cup canned yellow corn, 2/3 cup sweet red pepper, 1/3 cup packed spinach
  • 3 tablespoons liquid: 1 tablespoon lime juice (1/2 a lime), 2 tablespoons red prepared salsa
  • 4 teaspoons spice: 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dry ingredient: cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup texture ingredients: 1/4 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup white rice
Classic Sliders
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups of veggies: 1 cup mushrooms, 1/2 cup celery, 1/2 cup green pepper
  • 3 tablespoons liquid: 1 tablespoon ketchup, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, 2 teaspoons soy sauce or vegan worcershire
  • 4 teaspoons spice: 3 teaspoons Montreal steak seasoning, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp salt (omit salt)
  • 1 cup dry ingredient: panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup texture ingredients: 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Indian Patties
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups of veggies: 1 cup sweet potato, chopped fine, 1/2 cup sweet red pepper, 1/2 cup yellow corn
  • 3 tablespoons liquid: 1 tablespoon lime juice (1/2 a lime), 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 4 teaspoons spice: 3 tsp curry, 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dry ingredient: oats
  • 1/2 cup texture ingredient: 1/4 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped cashews
- See more at: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/veggie-burger-recipe/#sthash.sbkdcci6.dpuf"

Fonte e imagem: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/veggie-burger-recipe/

Hummus de feijão preto

"Ingredientes

8 pessoas











  1. Mince garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Add black beans, 2 tablespoons reserved liquid, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, tahini, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper; process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add additional seasoning and liquid to taste. Garnish with paprika and Greek olives."

Fonte e imagem: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Black-Bean-Hummus/Detail.aspx