Thursday, 1 June 2017

Better Quality Food

In the previous post I wrote about the debate, as to which foods were truly nutrient dense. Perhaps we should also think about a second food group, foods that are anti-inflammatory. I think in meat and fish we can have both.

For a couple of years now we've been buying a lot of bacon in our household. We're slow learners. We tried to buy the cheapest bacon we could find. Streaky bacon is cheaper than middle bacon. And since we're not lipo-phobic (We don't fear saturated fats.) we're happy about buying that. From the Supermarket here in New Zealand we were paying $16.00 a kg.

About eight months ago I went to Euro Gourmet Meats, and purchased some aged middle bacon, $29.00 a kg. Seems expensive. (New Christchurch shop: Address: 2/303 Colombo St, Sydenham, Christchurch 8023) That was enlightening. Cooking supermarket bacon takes a long time, and white foam develops on top of the meat as it cooks. That's caused by the water and additives they pump into the bacon, coming out as the bacon cooks. The bacon pieces shrivel up to half their size. In contrast the Euro Gourmet Meats bacon produces no white foam, and cooks in half the time, and shrinks hardly at all.

Book Cover
Excellent descriptions of meat cuts and more than 77 recipes.
Beautiful photographs.

On their web site, Euro Gourmet Meats say; "We have top quality meat cut by experienced butchers. While our specialty is Cressy Farm pork we also have aged beef, prime lamb and hogget and some approved wild game. All our meat is free-range and we try our best to source direct from the farm."

I need to know more. So in the last few months we've been talking more to our local butcher. We've been buying kidneys and liver there, rather than from the supermarket. Once again there is a marked improvement in the quality of the product. (Peter Timbs Meats Ltd, in Bishopdale this time.)

So I went to Traiteur of Merivale (European butchery on the corner of Aikmans and Papanui Roads, Christchurch.) I couldn't find any prepacked bacon. But they sliced some for me. $26.00 a kg, but once again well worth the price. Beautiful bacon. We will shop there again.

The local butcher (Peter Timbs Meats Ltd) doesn't carry chicken on the counter. But he will order it for you. So Carolyn placed an order. She got two packs of chicken breasts, $10.00 each, enough for six meals for the two of us. Another success, that just required us to talk to the butcher.

Following up on that, I determined to learn more about quality meats. I purchased "Lidgate's The Meat Cookbook; Buy and cook meat for every occasion" from the Book Depository. I think I paid $21.00 for the hardback edition (Including delivery.). I see Amazon have even cheaper options, plus delivery.

Muscles for lunch - Three days.

I've mentioned previously in this blog my ignorance about buying whole fish. Yes I need to learn more about fish too. But that's another exercise.

In the meantime; whenever muscles are on special at the supermarket I buy a little more than 2 kg. I steam them for 6-7 minutes half a kg at a time. (About 12 muscles) I use a liquid 50% the salted water from the steam pot, and 50% cider vinegar to cover them. Any extra salty water makes a delicious drink hot or cold. Or add it to a soup or gravy.

A quick easy lunch is two or three muscles and a lump of cheese. You can eat it on the run. You can drink the water the muscles were kept in too. With saturated coffee; 17g carbs, 74g protein and 114g fat.

Another tiny lunch, of a similar type is to eat canned sardines. Zoe Harcombe gives sardines a special place as a "superfood" if such a thing exists. Sardines (half a can) and cheese make an excellent quick lunch. With saturated coffee; 7g carbs, 73g protein and 124g fat.

Once a week at least we buy filleted fish. Usually from the supermarket. I note though that Theo's in Riccarton, appears to be an excellent fishmonger. Given what we've been learning about meat, maybe we should go there more often.

Ten Years of Nutritional Guidance

Dr Marion Nestle has been writing a blog on food for 10 years. Over 3000 posts. A remarkable effort. Dr Nestle, is a professor of nutrition. She believes that a calorie is a calorie, and that eating less is good, and that minimising sugar and eating more plants is always the right choice. She's against carbohydrate restricting.

On the other hand, she says that eating a Paleo Diet could be healthy, but she sees no need to restrict dairy foods. Her comments on low-carbohydrate high-fat diets are dismissive. "Why would anyone want to give up those delicious carbohydrate foods," she asks?

While she would not agree with Dr Tim Noakes, or Dr Eric Westman, about the best way to control obesity, the position she does take is always moderate and sensible. Here she writes about why she's kept writing for 10 years.

Please feel free to talk about your own buying experience in the comments below.

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