Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pay Attention!

I've been trying to avoid high fructose corn syrup for some time now. The way I figure, I like food to be as close to natural as possible so even if it has no negative side effects, anything highly processed like HFCS is undesirable. Add to that the fact that it absorbs quickly into the bloodstream, like a shot, and cause spikes in blood level, which can lead to fatigue and irritability. Sweeteners like honey, are twice as sweet as sugar but are absorbed slowly, so you can use less and can avoid the up and down sugar buzz.

Anyway, I was really peeved to see a commercial recently (PAID by the Corn Refiners of America no less) that depicted a buffoon of a boy ridiculing his brother for eating cereal with HFCS, only to be schooled right back by his smart-ass brother that HFCS is made from CORN, dummy and other nonsensical arguments as to why HFCS isn't really bad for us. Ummm, seriously? Heroin is made from POPPIES, dummy, it's natural, sheesh, there's nothing wrong with it! Is it just me or does argument not really hold water? And, Mr. Smart-Ass, the body needs GLUCOSE, not FRUCTOSE, which serves no discernible purpose. I've been kinda revved up on the topic for a few weeks because it pisses me off that people see those commercials and think it's gospel truth. I realize that one must evaluate sources so I encourage you to do your own research, starting with this article a friend sent to me this morning about HFCS containing mercury. The good ole boys at Corn Refinery central have a link rebutting this evidence on their website and who knows what the real truth is, I'm no scientist. But I ask you this, do we really need sugar in our ketchup? Think about it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nothing But a Cheese Thang, Baby...

I love cheese and often want to have an impromptu cheese-tasting at home, but buying several wedges of the expensive stuff for one person is kind of silly. Anyway, struck with brilliance mid-morning yesterday, I thought cheese would be a great theme for Tasty Tuesday with the ladies. Quick email to my girls, good response rate, off to the Co-op at lunchtime to make my purchases, where I incidentally, or accidentally even, paid $4.59 for a dozen eggs but that's another story. If you've never had Humboldt Fog, I highly recommend it. It's a goat cheese with a layer of ash running through the middle and as it warms to room temperature, three distinct areas emerge; the dense, creamy mid-section, the rich, oozy outer section and the pleasantly chewy rind. I also got a Bier Meck, which is a Dutch-style cow's milk cheese from the Finger Lakes region.

Keeping my fingers crossed that no one would roll up to the cheese party with a block of Cracker Barrel medium yellow, I was happy to arrive and see Meg setting out two kinds of Brie; one with a warm pecan-cranberry topping that made the insides of the cheese delightfully melty, and a garlic-herb variety that I ate way too much of. Maria showed up with a Valmont blue cheese from France, that was the funkiest-looking thing I ever did see. It smelled dank and aged and while it was incredibly intense, the blue wasn't overwhelming and in fact had a very delicate flavor that expanded as it warmed in your mouth. I should have written down what we were saying while tasting because now I'm having a hard time conjuring it back up! Maria also brought Torta Ambrose, a cave-aged Italian cheese that I would liken to an upscale Muenster. Add slices of red pear and a onion and garlic-studded crusty loaf of bread, we feasted!!!!