Patch to Table Weekly – Edition 2

What I'm up to and interested in

Lab grown meat

A reality we will have to get used to - it looks like lab grown meat will be on the menu sooner than we thought

You are what you eat, eats - how to produce healthier eggs 

Eggs might all look the same, but they are definitely not created equal. Conventional eggs from the supermarket are fed a diet high in omega-6 fats, such as soy, corn and sunflower. As I explain in my article on chicken feed, Soy meal is the most common source of protein used in chicken feed because it's cheap.

So why does this matter? A study from several years ago compared conventional eggs to eggs produced from hens fed a special diet low in omega-6 (wheat, barley, and sorghum, with an antioxidant blend to replicate the broad spectrum of compounds they’d get foraging in nature). The study found that eating conventional eggs high in omega-6 increases Oxidised LDL (by 40%), which forms dangerous plaque in our arteries (cardiovascular disease).

The takeaway for me is that it’s important to look at what you’re feeding your chickens. The amount of forage they have access to and the type of feed you give them are all super important in producing healthy eggs that are high in omega-3 and low in omega-6.

How to become gluten intolerant

Gluten free is a real buzz word these days. Is it just a fad? If you’re feeling left out and want to learn how to become gluten intolerant check out this video.

The real facts on grains

But if you want to get the real low down on gluten and grains, this article has to be the best I have read. It lays out clearly why grains are unhealthy and gluten is one part of this.

And this article explains what is wrong with modern wheat compared to ancient wheat. The wheat we eat today is lower in nutrients, much higher in gluten and is prepared differently.

And I think the other part to this is that we eat so many grains because it is cheap and convenient. If you had to grow your own wheat, harvest it by hand and grind your own wheat berries, then you would be eating way less wheat.

The more I read about nutrition, the more I am convinced that it comes down to one simple rule - eat whole foods, grown naturally. As I talk about in my food manifesto, I think we over complicate things. Nature has provided perfect packages of food that should be eaten as a whole. If you juice fruit, you lose the fiber which changes the way it is digested. Don’t muck with the system!

From the Vegetable Patch

Bananas

I planted a banana tree last year (lady fingers) and finally my first bunch of bananas have appeared. I've been keeping an eye on them and when they start to ripen I will have to cover them with a bag to (hopefully) keep the bats and possums from eating them.

Here is a decent guide to growing bananas, although I'm still testing out what works best.

3 meter long snake in my backyard

I was picking some beans over the weekend and out of the corner of my eye noticed a massive snake curled up in the bottom of the garden bed. I had been leaning right over it and it scared the sh*t out of me.

It was a carpet python, which is not poisonous. But carpet pythons still bite. And it would have been about 3 meters long.

I hate snakes, so I called up my brother in law to give me a hand. We caught it, put it in a bag and relocated it to some local bushland. If you don't relocate them far enough, sometimes they can come back. So I'm keeping an extra eye out for snakes at the moment.

To the Kitchen Table

Salad Spinner / tosser

I've discovered salad spinners and decided they are the best invention ever. I know - I'm a wierdo that gets excited about salad spinners.

So why do you need them? A salad spinner will make your greens taste better, save you time, get you eating more greens and reduce waste. Big claims, here's the detail to back it up:

  • The alternative to a salad spinner is to wash salad under a tap and pat it dry with a towel. But this only gets the leaves ‘sort of’ dry, which can make your food soggy. And dressings don’t cling to wet leaves, which means all the salad dressing ends up on the bottom of the bowl. 
  • The other benefit is convenience and less waste. Washing salad leaves is an annoying job. And if they aren't fully dry, they go bad very quick. Which means every time you want greens you have to wash them. Instead, with a salad spinner you can wash a whole lettuce or a bunch of greens from your garden and store them pre-washed in a container in your fridge. This will keep your greens fresher for longer. I also find myself eating more greens when they're washed because it's easy to grab from the fridge - no washing required.
  • Salad spinners are not just for lettuce leaves. Here is a good post with 10 alternative uses for a salad spinner (I'm not so sure about the idea of washing clothes in one).

Again - best invention ever! Do yourself a favour and get a salad spinner.

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