It’s Okay to Cook Acidic Dishes in Cast Iron (and Other Cast Iron Myths, Debunked)

Despite the fact that humans have been cooking with cast iron for about 2000 years—cooks in the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.) used kettles and pans cast of iron—there still exists a ton of mystery around cookware made of the stuff. “Is my cast-iron skillet ruined if it’s rusty?” or “I heard you can’t use soap to clean a cast-iron skillet—is that true?” Don’t worry: We’re here to demystify cooking with cast-iron skillets, and to debunk any myths that surround caring for them.

Source: Six Stubborn Cast Iron Myths Debunked

Thirty minutes isn’t a long time to simmer tomato sauce though – depends on the tomato sauce. Some sauces — all’amatriciana, for instance — should not even be simmered that long. Well seasoned or not, you’ll still get some iron leaching into your food too, but that’s a good thing and the trade off makes it worth it. I choose not to cook acidic foods in my cast iron because I find I have to re-season it more often.

The Surprising Health Benefits of Hot Springs and Mineral Baths

In Japan, soaking in natural hot springs is a treasured pastime that’s steeped in thousands of years of tradition, and during my stay there, I visited a few. The experience opened my eyes (and pores) to a world of good-feeling benefits, many of which (but not all) are backed by a plethora of research.

Source: The Surprising Health Benefits of Hot Springs and Mineral Baths

I think heat is part of the stress relief.  It doesn’t have to be a hot spring – a warm blanket/etc can do wonders.  Wrapping up in one, insulating ourselves from what’s around – it’s a physical barrier.

Iron Is Better Than Fluoride At Preventing Cavities, But There’s A Catch

Materials scientists studying beavers have discovered why the crafty rodents never get cavities: the enamel in their teeth is rich in iron. Iron, they found, resists acid more effectively than fluoride.

Source: Iron Is Better Than Fluoride At Preventing Cavities, But There’s A Catch

…which means beaver teeth will have a reddish tinge to it.  From the blood of their enemies! 😉

Scientists Discover That Proteins in Your Body Can Make Plutonium Glow

There’s bad news and there’s good news in this post. The bad news is proteins from your own body accidentally smuggle radioactive metals into you. The good news is that those proteins can make those materials glow.

Source: Scientists Discover That Proteins in Your Body Can Make Plutonium Glow

Kids, don’t try this at home…

Switch to Coconut Oil for Its Fat-Burning Properties

What really takes the (coconut) cake is that [coconut oil is] super affordable—a 14-ounce jar can cost as little as $7, making it the most wallet-friendly all-in-one product yet. Seriously, it’s a beauty product, household cleaner, and more. Check out these 76 ways to use coconut oil in your day-to-day life.

Source: 76 Genius Coconut Oil Uses

I had to look – there is vitamin K in coconut oil, but very little:

  • 1 cup/218 grams of coconut oil contains 1.1 mcg of vitamin K, 1% of the Daily Value (DV)

Looking at the other nutritional “value” the article claims – 0.1 mcg of iron for 1 cup of coconut oil is 0% DV.  And 2% DV of vitamin E.  Coconut oil has a lot of calories, from fat.

Why Lead Is Bad For Humans

Given that humans have been using lead in various product for over 8,000 years (with the first known mining of it in Anatolia around 6500 BCE), you might be surprised to learn that we have known that lead is dangerous and shouldn’t be trifled with since at least 150 BC, when its effects on the human body were noted by famed Greek physician Nicander of Colophon. Nicander even went so far as to describe the metal as “deadly”, writing extensively on the crippling effects it has on the human body in his work, Alexipharmaca.

Source: Why is Lead Bad For Humans?

Part of the reason for so many jokes about slack jawed yokels, pre-meth era, was that cider presses and stills tended to be made of lead.

Can Noodles Ever Be Healthy? Here’s The Lowdown On 10 Types

Traditional pasta has gotten a bad rap (high in carbs, full of white flour). But there are lots of other noodles on the market that can actually be — dare we say it — good for you.

“They may look and taste similar, but noodles can be made from many different raw ingredients — from wheat to buckwheat to seaweed — and their nutritional benefits vary,” nutritionist Jessica Marcus, MS, RD, tells Yahoo Health. But no matter which you choose, watch your portion sizes. “Between half a cup to a cup of cooked noodles should satisfy you without overloading your blood sugar,” Marcus says.

Here’s the 411 on which of these squirmy, squiggly edibles you should put on the dinner table, and which ones you should leave behind.

Source: Can Noodles Ever Be Healthy? Here’s The Lowdown On 10 Types

Brief rundown of each type, but rare informational.  I don’t make much pasta to know how available some of the types are, but that’s likely to be different between various chains and such.

The aspect of calories and carbs can be dealt with via portioning.  There’s lots of articles online suggesting that most cook too much pasta when portioning for meals like spaghetti.

How To Use A Condiment To Get Away With Murder

So the honeymoon is over…

We’ve all seen an intrepid investigator spray down a crime scene with luminol and turn off the light, and a seemingly innocent room glows blue, illuminated by the leftover traces of gore. This is usually a sign someone was horribly murdered in that room. But in reality it’s also possible that they got into a food fight.

Source: How To Use A Condiment To Get Away With Murder

Don’t go all Gone Girl just yet…

I mustard-mit, it has its possibilities.  You could try to use a condiment, but eventually they’d ketchup to you.  Then you would be in a pickle.  Hopefully you can deal with being peppered with questions by the cops – consider a plea dillMayo get the punishment you deserve, too.  But we can still relish the idea of that perfect crime.  Lettuce hope, or I’m toast.

BBQ Sauce: How Much Vitamin K?

Unlike ketchup, BBQ sauce could really be anywhere on the map.  Lots I know who do BBQ tend to make their own BBQ sauce.  So – take the following with a grain of salt? 😉

BBQ sauce supposedly contains the following amount of vitamin K:

  • 1 cup/240 mg: 4.5 mcg, or 6% Daily Value (DV)
  • 100 grams: 1.8 mcg, 2% DV
  • 2 tablespoons/35 grams: 0.6 mcg, 1% DV

Like ketchup, you can see that the dose can ramp up quickly if you aren’t careful about the volume you eat.  Be aware that BBQ sauce does have vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, riboflavin, naicin, folate…  However it is high in sodium and sugar.

…but it takes so good.

Blood Thinners and Iron Deficiency

Being on blood thinners does not directly impact iron levels in the blood.  Unless you’re bleeding – then you have bigger problems.

If you believe that you are iron deficient:

Call your doctor and make an appointment immediately.  It could be an indication of [internal] blood loss, which is a possibility if your INR level is above 3.  But the level is not a strong indication – I’ve had no issue when in the 4s, yet I bled into my lungs while open water swimming when my INR was in the low 2s.  Doctors can perform a physical exam in addition to blood tests (and more blood tests depending on initial results).

Be aware that if bleeding is confirmed to be the source of the iron deficiency, the benefit to being on warfarin/coumadin is the medication can be flushed from your system.  It’s not available to those on other blood thinner medications, and in my experience it’s not something doctors will use unless they have to.  As in, they were fine with me sitting in hospital for days until my INR was under 1.4 (allowable level for surgery).

Dietary Sources for Iron Deficiency Prevention

Anyone can develop iron-deficiency anemia, but us “bleeders” are more likely than most to develop it because some of the best sources of iron also have a lot of vitamin K.  The goto sources are beef (stop making faces) and spinach.

Here’s the top 5 sources of iron for those of us on blood thinners:

  1. Lentils are the first on the list which do no contain vitamin K, and at 37% of your Daily Value (DV)… if you eat 1 cup of them.
  2. Sesame seeds: 29% DV of iron for 0.25 cup
  3. Garbanzo beans (AKA chickpeas): 26% DV of iron for 1 cup
  4. Lima beans: 25% DV of iron for 1 cup
  5. Olives: 25% DV of iron for 1 cup
  6. Navy beans: 24% DV of iron for 1 cup

What?  There was a tie, and I’d eat navy beans before olives or lima beans. 😛

The alternative is iron supplements.

FYI: Vegans (or depending on your vegetarianism) should be aware that there’s also pernicious anemia, the result of a vitamin B12 deficiency.