“Ancient grains” have been officially mainstream since January of this year, when they got their own Cheerios version. The likes of quinoa, spelt, and teff are turning up more and more, always with a hint that they’re healthier than boring old wheat or corn.
I’m cool with diversity, but are people who dislike wheat because it’s industrially cultivated and intensively bred really pushing for ancient grains to become mainstream, thus being industrially cultivated and intensively bred?
There may well be environmental reasons to prefer these other grains, especially since some are more tolerant of drought or cold or whatever. But that’s definitely not why they’re in Cheerios, y’know?
An ongoing investigation at the University of Naples in Italy is looking into allegations that some studies of genetically modified crops included data that was manipulated to make it appear that the consumption of GMOs is harmful to mammals. Frederico Infascelli, the researcher who led these studies, claims that the allegations are false, but evidence has surfaced of widespread image manipulation in his work.
I have no problem with GMO crops… they’re probably necessary if we want to keep food prices reasonable in the face of global population growth. We can increase the number of non-GMO farms, but we’d likely be doing so at the cost of the environment. Sure, we need to be careful about what we feed people, but the amount of attention paid to GMOs needs to be reasonable and proportional to that paid to new pesticides, fertilizers and other potentially toxic farming tools. Turning an issue of food and agriculture into a political debate that brings in the public is recipe for waste and nonsense.
But my pressure cooker is being used to make meth…. I mean bottle jam… jam that’s it. Jam.
There’s nothing that beats the simple, sweet pleasure of corn on the cob, but a good corn soup comes in a close second. As an added benefit, it also eliminates the need to pick at your teeth to remove stray corn skins after you’re done with it, an act that is as annoying for the picker as it is unsexy for the one who must observe the picker in the act of picking. In other words, corn soup is the corn preparation of choice for date nights.
Contrary to what you may think (and what your food labels may suggest) corn is not the most grown crop in America. The most grown crop is something no one is eating, no one is asking for, and no one is quite sure what to do with. It’s your lawn.
My neighbours must hate me. They have lawn they have to meticulously maintain, but my property is largely rock so there’s not much if any opportunity to plant things. I grew up on a large property, loathed cutting the lawn.
Has this ever happened to you? You stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers market, only to find that a few days later your produce is mottled with bruises, brown spots, and wrinkly skin. The odds are good that this premature rotting has nothing to do with the quality of your produce — it is most likely the result of improper storage
Even in my adulthood, I continued the shuck-and-discard routine, only keeping the husks on if I grill. But recently I realized how wasteful I’ve been, and — as if I trashed a pair of jeans after one wear — I’ve been tossing out a valuable culinary ingredient every time I undressed my corn.
If you’ve ever eaten a traditional tamale, then you’ve experienced the cooking power of corn husks. But what about other dishes? You can add washed corn husks to your stock pot for extra-woody flavor, which could be nice in a mushroom soup or corn chowder. Or like a tamale, use those husks as a wrapper for sticky rice in place of lotus leaves. But let’s take it one step further and use them for both their flavor and wrapping abilities by placing some seasoned fish inside, like en papillote, and throw the whole thing on the grill.
…One ear of corn will yield about six to eight usable husks, give or take, so plan accordingly for how you will use the husks and how much fish you will be cooking.
We’ve all been there: we’re enjoying a nice cob of corn, happily covering our face in butter and salt, when suddenly we realize that there’s a thread of corn silk stuck in our teeth. We try to dislodge it with our tongue; no luck. We pick around with our fingers; still no luck. That silk is staying there until you return home to your toothbrush and dental floss. And if you think that corn silk is bad for most people, try having braces!
Everyone from Chipotle to the Food Babe rails against genetically modified ingredients, and laws to label GMO foods are making progress in some states. But the laser focus on GMOs is misguided, because most of the concerns people raise about them aren’t really about GMOs.
Some people are using the term “GMO” as a proxy for a bunch of (sometimes) correlated agriculture practices that had nothing to do with whether the seeds were genetically modified with the modern methods or with older methods.
The corn was inedible. It tasted like corn, but the kernels refused to break down as you chewed. So we stripped the cobs and soaked them in cream to make a corn stock. The cobs looked like chicken bones or chicken necks floating in the pot. But they infused the liquid with a beautiful corn flavor: a perfect match for blackberries.
A nice soak in some heavy cream will give you a deliciously corn-infused cream that you can use as liquid, or whip up for a naturally savory-sweet whipped cream in coffee, dessert, or in a stew/chowder.
…Sherman has studied the diets of Native Americans before European influence and assimilation, experimented with pre-colonized flavors and ingredients and served as the executive chef at a popular restaurant in the Twin Cities. Now the 40-year-old plans to do what few have done: open a purely indigenous restaurant that focuses solely on pre-colonization Sioux and Ojibwe cuisine.
…“I’m not pushing healthy food but traditional food,” he said. “It’s traditional food in a modern context, and it just happens to be healthy.”