Friday, November 23, 2012

America Trashes Food. Broccoli as One of Nature's Most Health-Promoting Foods. Life Magazine. Birdman of Alcatraz.


For “Foodie Friday”:   I hope y’all had plenty of food yesterday, and were thankful for it!!

New Report: America Trashes Forty Percent of Food Supply

“As Food Prices Rise, NRDC Offers Tips to Cut Food Waste from Farm to Table

food waste

Americans are throwing away 40 percent of food in the U.S., the equivalent of $165 billion in uneaten food each year, according to a new analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council. In a time of drought and skyrocketing food prices, NRDC outlines opportunities to reduce wasted food and money on the farm, in the grocery store and at home.

“As a country, we’re essentially tossing every other piece of food that crosses our path – that’s money and precious resources down the drain,” said Dana Gunders, NRDC project scientist with the food and agriculture program. “With the price of food continuing to grow, and drought jeopardizing farmers nationwide, now is the time to embrace all the tremendous untapped opportunities to get more out of our food system. We can do better.”

NRDC’s issue brief – Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm To Fork to Landfill – analyzes the latest case studies and government data on the causes and extent of food losses at every level of the U.S. food supply chain. It also provides examples and recommendations for reducing this waste. Key findings include:

  • Americans trash 40 percent of our food supply every year, valued at about $165 billion;
  • The average American family of four ends up throwing away an equivalent of up to $2,275 annually in food;
  • Food waste is the single largest component of solid waste in U.S. landfills;
  • Just a 15 percent reduction in losses in the U.S. food supply would save enough food to feed 25 million Americans annually;
  • There has been a 50 percent jump in U.S. food waste since the 1970s.

Read more at:


Mounting Evidence Pegs Broccoli as One of Nature's Most Health-Promoting Foods, Tackling Hypertension, Cancer, and More

Story at-a-glance

images[6] “Sulforaphane, an organic sulfur compound in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, has been found to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function, a new study shows.

Scientists believe sulforaphane’s benefits are related to improved DNA methylation, which is crucial for normal cellular function and proper gene expression.

Elevated blood pressure (hypertension), which is epidemic in Western society, can result in heart disease and stroke without warning; however, you can control it with basic diet and lifestyle modifications.

The real cause of hypertension is chronically elevated insulin levels, and excessive dietary sugar (especially fructose) is largely to blame. High dietary fructose is a metabolic poison that raises your blood pressure by raising your uric acid levels, depleting your magnesium, increasing water retention, and stressing your liver.”

Read more:


On This Day:

First issue of Life is published, Nov 23, 1936:

“On November 23, 1936, the first issue of the pictorial magazine Life is published, featuring a cover photo of the Fort Peck Dam by Margaret Bourke-White.

1st issue of Life MagazineLife actually had its start earlier in the 20th century as a different kind of magazine: a weekly humor publication, not unlike today's The New Yorker in its use of tart cartoons, humorous pieces and cultural reporting. When the original Life folded during the Great Depression, the influential American publisher Henry Luce bought the name and re-launched the magazine as a picture-based periodical on this day in 1936. By this time, Luce had already enjoyed great success as the publisher of Time, a weekly news magazine.

From his high school days, Luce was a newsman, serving with his friend Briton Hadden as managing editors of their school newspaper. This partnership continued through their college years at Yale University, where they acted as chairmen and managing editors of the Yale Daily News, as well as after college, when Luce joined Hadden at The Baltimore News in 1921. It was during this time that Luce and Hadden came up with the idea for Time. When it launched in 1923, it was with the intention of delivering the world's news through the eyes of the people who made it.

Whereas the original mission of Time was to tell the news, the mission of Life was to show it. In the words of Luce himself, the magazine was meant to provide a way for the American people "to see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events ... to see things thousands of miles away... to see and be amazed; to see and be instructed... to see, and to show..." Luce set the tone of the magazine with Margaret Bourke-White's stunning cover photograph of the Fort Peck Dam, which has since become an icon of the 1930s and the great public works completed under President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.

Life was an overwhelming success in its first year of publication. Almost overnight, it changed the way people looked at the world by changing the way people could look at the world. Its flourish of images painted vivid pictures in the public mind, capturing the personal and the public, and putting it on display for the world to take in. At its peak, Life had a circulation of over 8 million and it exerted considerable influence on American life in the beginning and middle of the 20th century.

With picture-heavy content as the driving force behind its popularity,the magazine suffered as television became society's predominant means of communication. Life ceased running as a weekly publication in 1972, when it began losing audience and advertising dollars to television. In 2004, however, it resumed weekly publication as a supplement to U.S. newspapers. At its re-launch, its combined circulation was once again in the millions.”


The Birdman of Alcatraz is allowed a small taste of freedom, Nov 23, 1959:

“Robert Stroud, the famous "Birdman of Alcatraz," is released from solitary confinement for the first time since 1916. Stroud gained widespread fame and attention when author Thomas Gaddis wrote a biography that trumpeted Stroud's ornithological expertise.

imagesCASNV0LM Stroud was first sent to prison in 1909 after he killed a bartender in a brawl. He had nearly completed his sentence at Leavenworth Federal Prison in Kansas when he stabbed a guard to death in 1916. Though he claimed to have acted in self-defense, he was convicted and sentenced to hang. A handwritten plea by Stroud's mother to President Woodrow Wilson earned Stroud a commuted sentence of life in permanent solitary confinement.

For the next 15 years, Stroud lived amongst the canaries that were brought to him by visitors, and became an expert in birds and ornithological diseases. But after being ordered to give up his birds in 1931, he redirected his energies to writing about them and published his first book on ornithology two years later. When the publisher failed to pay Stroud royalties because he was barred from filing suit, Stroud took out advertisements complaining about the situation. Prison officials retaliated by sending him to Alcatraz, the federal prison with the worst conditions.

In 1943, Stroud's Digest of the Diseases of Birds, a 500-page text that included his own illustrations, was published to general acclaim. In spite of his success, Stroud was depressed over the isolation he felt at Alcatraz, and he attempted suicide several times. The legendary "Birdman of Alcatraz" died in a Missouri prison in 1963 at the age of 73.”



Well, I had to go to ‘Plan B’.  The little boneless turkey breast that I bought had the directions that you have to take the netting off, then the plastic wrapper, and then put the netting back on.  The netting was secured by the strongest hog ring I have ever seen outside of making cages!    I tried prying it off with a screwdriver, stabbing myself in the process, then with pliers.  I asked Ray if he would come over and get it off, he tried with side cutters, to no avail.  I am sure they tell you to replace the netting so that it won’t fall apart in the oven and dry up.  If I had cut the netting, it would not have been big enough.  I called Kroger’s Hot Line, but they were off for the day, so I couldn’t get any advice from them.  I just emailed them, instead.

Plan B:  I showed Ray the smoked turkey that I had been given the night before by Jay’s neighbor. I wasn’t going to eat it for Thanksgiving as it seemed tough, and it was still a bit red near the bone, a sure sign that it wasn’t cooked to proper safe temperature.  I won’t serve poultry like that.   

Ray said we might as well eat it, so I got out my big carving knife, big cutting board, and dissected it.  I gave Ray the one drumstick, Jay had taken the other one for his dog.  All the skinned breast was sliced off and put in my crock-pot with some hot chicken bouillon.  Then I took off the rest of the skin, and I will put that outside for any hungry critter going by.  As I dug deeper I found that it had some apple and onion slices for flavoring inside the cavity, so that went into the crock-pot, too.

Then I got out my Chef’s Kettle and simmered the carcass, it will make some good broth or soup, once I strain all the bones out.    Most of the little bones were put down the disposal, as they are so dangerous to animals.  I saved some pieces of dark meat for my critters, as I don’t like dark meat. 

While he was here, Ray tried one of my cream cheese filled devilled eggs, and pronounced it good.  I had made two kinds, the other ones were filled with seafood salad, which he liked too.

Prime and Prissy, my foster cats, stayed on the screen porch, it was such a lovely day.

About 5.30PM Ray returned and we had a good meal.   The turkey was tender, tasty, and safe now, as I had put my food thermometer in the turkey in the crock-pot and it went up to 180°.  He liked the French-cut green beans done with the bouillon cube, slivered almonds and pine nuts.  We had baked sweet potatoes with organic butter, cranberry jelly, homemade turkey gravy, Ancient Grains bread, the devilled eggs, and coconut milk.  Then for desert Spotted Dick Pudding, .  Not the usual Thanksgiving fare, but I cooked what I had.

The only mishap was when I was washing the crock-pot, it slipped and I had soapy water all over me, the counter top and floor.  Not bad for my first attempt at making a dinner for Thanksgiving Day.


Gypsy said...

The first article in today's blog sure caught my eye. I absolutely hate to waste food, and living alone I usually buy in small amounts, preferring to shop several times a week and allways have fresh food to eat with little or no waste.
I can sympathize with your troubles with washing the crock-pot. Those are the kinds of things that seem to always happen to me. Glad you enjoyed Thanksgiving.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Hi Gypsy, Thank you for your comment.

I can only go into the next town once a week, and the produce seems to be fresher there than at our local Kroger.

So I soak the veggies in a little vinegar and water, drain and put it in big plastic storage containers lined with a couple of thick paper towels. That way, my produce will stay good for over a week.
It has to be fresh because I put it through my auger juicer raw.

Most of my meat, and I don't eat much, is frozen when I bring it home, not like Jay who leaves food in their fridge until it is old and has to be thrown away. And, can you believe this, he won't eat left overs! He throws them away.

I was raised during the British rationing in WWII, so I know not to waste food.

No food gets wasted here. Left-overs are frozen for another day, and anything else is taken outside for any hungry critter passing by.

I hope that you had a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving, too. Penny.

Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

If you use the cut off wheel on your dremel tool it will make quick work of those hog ring clamps they use on turkey nets...

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comment, Rod.

I could have done that, but they were so adamant that the netting was to be re-used, and I was scared I could cut the netting too, it was so close to the meat.

I didn't want metal shavings on the meat either. When you have something that has been de-boned, I was sure it would all fall apart, and dry up in the oven.

That wouldn't have been a very pretty presentation.

They need to come up with a different fastner.

Happy Tails to Biscuit, and Happy Trails to you and Loyce. Penny