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Everything posted by DiggingDogFarm

  1. re: GMOs and Irradiation resistance not logical. Someone could also make the argument that eating Oscar Meyer Lunchables on a regular basis is a logical thing to do! Sorry, it's not for me!! I think that the food sovereignty and freedom of choice are defensible positions. ~Martin
  2. A gross oversimplification of the issue. GMO are generally designed to have superior disease resistance, better tolerance to weather conditions, or provide higher yield. Nothing unhealthy about it - the only problem people have with it is getting over their discomfort with ideas they don't fully comprehend imo. All a microwave does is heat water in your food. Once again, nothing unnatural about that - although admittedly the microwave isn't the best tool for preparing most foods. Once again people need be better educated on what irradiated food is. It is not radioactive food. It is simply a mechanism for killing most spoilage mechanisms in food, and unlike standard mechanisms of pasteurization, it does not appreciably heat the food. It has been postulated that following the widespread adoption of these techniques fresh global food products (produce) will be vastly more available. It will also dramatically decrease food waste, which is an obvious major contribution to sustaining the exploding human population. The industry is already changing the name of the technique to "electronic pasteurization so that the paranoia of the word "irradiated" by the uneducated masses can be averted. Just because you see benefits in it doesn't mean that other people will appreciate the same benefits. We all have different goals and standards when it comes to food. If it's something that benefits you, more power to you, but don't insist that others are ignorant just because they don't embrace it and agree. Even if it is a good thing, it's not something that should be forced on anyone, IMHO, I'm a firm believer in food sovereignty. We don't need to go as far as GMOs or irradiation to see how a supposedly "good idea" isn't good for everyone. Take ultra-pastuerized cream as an example. Many people see it as a wonderful thing, it has a very long shelf life. More power to them!!! I'm happy that they're happy!!! Is ultra-pasteurization necessary? No! Is ultra-pasteurization good for everyone? A big NO!!! In my opinion, it's a horrible product compared to raw cream or even the old-style vat pasteurized cream because the high heat alters many of the flavor components, destroying the flavor. The high heat also alters proteins and fat that contribute to the thick creaminess and mouthfeel of real cream. In order to counteract the loss in quality, thickening agents like guar gum and carrageenan are added to duplicate the original thickness. On top of all that, it's not usable in the making of many cheeses!!!. It's nothing like real cream! Unfortunately, the stuff is being forced on multitudes of folks because some think it's a "good idea". Ultra-pasteurized cream? No thank you! It's not for me!!! Do I think that other people are "dumb" because they do not agree with me? Of course not! What they put in their mouth is their business!!!! Am I dumb because I don't agree with them? I think it's unfortunate that some people seem to think so. Again, I'm a firm believer in food sovereignty, I'll make the decisions about what I put in my mouth, not someone else, just because they think it's a "good idea"!!!! ~Martin
  3. No GMOs or irradiation for me, only real un-nuked food. I've survived this long on mostly home-grown food without it and can't think of a good reason why I should embrace it. ~Martin
  4. Where to start? LOL Okay, in a nutshell..... First let me say that the illustrations in the book are excellent, the butchering information is pretty good and what few new Salumi recipes are in the book appear to be okay for the most part. Unfortuantely, overall, I expected more depth to the book, more meat and less cheap filler, part of it is a rehash of Charcuterie (I understand that some rehashing is to be expected), part of it is some Salumi recipes and the rest of it amounts to a fairly general Italian cookbook. Does the world really need another general Italian cookbook? Does someone with enough of an advanced interest to be pursuing information on salumi making really need recipes for roasted garlic, crostini, pesto, tapenade, basic pizza dough and pizza, chicken stock, aioli etc. or even the other recipes utilizing salumi? There are a gazillion and one Italian cookbooks with recipes such as those, but there are very few that contain salumi making recipes and info. I felt cheated. The lack of photos is a major disappointment. There could have been much better information on establishing, maintaining and troubleshooting a fermentation and/or curing chamber, which is where most home meat curers face the greatest challenge to successful home curing. I find it odd that they promote Trapani Sea Salt from Sicily (which is great), yet they're very lax when it comes to other ingredients..as an example..paprika from Spain in the Nduja di Calabria instead of Calabrian peppers!? GASP!!! They promote the use of northern European starter cultures ratheer than the much more appropriate southern European cultures. GASP! Salt levels in some of the recipes are unpalatable. The recommended dry curing humidity levels are, IMHO, way too low and will, in many cases, lead to case hardening and it's associated problems. The book contains some down right scary information. "0.25% sodium nitrate relative to the weight of the meat to be ideal for dry curing." Yikes!!!!! That's potentially very dangerous information!!!!! Do they not know that may be taken literally by some folks? Especially in parts of the world other than the US. Of course, what they really mean is Cure#2, not sodium nitrate. That's not made clear in every instance. Another thing that bothered me is the bad-mouthing of manual grinders. They demonize manual grinders for no good reason at all claiming that they "heat-up" the meat too much...that's absolute hogwash!!! Well, maybe if you're the Bionic Man and you run your manual grinder at some crazy RPMs it's a problem, but as far as the rest of us are concerned it's a total myth that manual grinders heat the meat too much. I've checked the temperature of the meat before and after grinding several times while using a manual grinder, sometimes there's not much of a change in temperature at all and no more than 2-3 degrees difference any time that I have checked. Maybe it's that they feel manual grinders are beneath them, I don't know, I can't think of any other reason to condemn them. A heck of a lot of meat has been put through manual grinders over the years!!! It seems especially ironic considering the fact that some of my first generation Italian immigrant friends use manual grinders to make some of the finest Salumi that I know of!!!!! They're also critical of the way that some packers label their "naturally cured" products, insisting that they are trying to deceive they're customers. That's incorrect...they are simply following labeling laws. He attempts to make the same point on his blog..... http://ruhlman.com/2...-safety-issues/ http://ruhlman.com/2...tes-added-hoax/ re: No Nitrates Added Hoax..... From the blog post above........ "It’s my belief that companies advertising their products as “nitrite-free,” are either uninformed themselves or are pandering to America’s ignorance about what is healthy and what is harmful in our foods. In other words, the term “no nitrites added” is a marketing device, not an actual health benefit." They're not uninformed, pandering or using the terms as a sneaky marketing device, they're doing what the 'rulers' at the almighty USDA tell them to do as far as labeling goes. From USDA materials..... "The USDA currently does not recognize naturally occurring nitrates as effective curing agents in meats, so if using Celery Juice Powder for products being sold to the public, the end-products must be labeled "Uncured" "Bacon can be manufactured without the use of nitrite, but must be labeled "Uncured Bacon, No Nitrates or Nitrites added" and bear the statement "Not Preserved, Keep Refrigerated Below 40 °F At All Times" — unless the final product has been dried according to USDA regulations, or if the product contains an amount of salt sufficient to achieve an internal brine concentration of 10% or more, the label does not have to carry the handle statement of "Not Preserved, Keep Refrigerated below ___" etc. Recent research studies have shown for products labeled as uncured, certain ingredients added during formulation can naturally produce small amounts of nitrates in bacon and, therefore, have to be labeled with the explanatory statement "no nitrates or nitrites added except for those naturally occurring in ingredients such as celery juice powder, parsley, cherry powder, beet powder, spinach, sea salt etc." And there you have it....part of it! LOL Full review to come sometime in the not too distant future. I wish the book could have been as good as Ruhlman's Twenty, I think that's a pretty good book that will benefit many a home cook. ~Martin
  5. I think that's part of the reason why I had such great expectations. ~Martin
  6. Unfortunately, I found Salumi quite disappointing. I waited a long time for the book with big hopes and expected to like it.....maybe my expectations were too great. ~Martin
  7. Googling the "taste of irradiated food" doesn't turn up any authoritative reports. There's lots of posturing by groups on either side of the issue, but not one actual study that I could find. Do you know of any? Here are some references to a few.... A Host of Problems "Numerous studies have been carried out to ascertain whether cytotoxic effects occur when unirradiated biological test systems are cultured or fed with irradiated media or food. In such studies, adverse physiological growth retardation and inhibition, cytological cell division inhibition and chromosome aberrations and genetical effects have been observed in a wide range of test systems, ranging from bacteriophages to human cells... The available data suggest that a variety of free radicals may act as the toxic and mutagenic agents." Cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of irradiated substrates and food material. Radiation Botany, 11:253-281, 1971. A Cancer Warning "An increase in concentration of a mutagen in food by irradiation will increase the incidence of cancer. It will take four to six decades to demonstrate a statistically significant increase in cancer due to mutagens introduced into food by irradiation. When food irradiation is finally prohibited, several decades worth of people with increased cancer incidence will be in the pipeline." Food Irradiation. Nutrition, 16:698-701, 2000. Mutations in Fruit Flies An increase in the rate of mutation has been found in fruit flies reared on a basic medium that was irradiated with a sterilizing dose (150,000 rads) of cobalt-60 gamma rays... Visible changes were two to six times more frequent in the irradiated series than in the controls, such as half-thorax, vestigial wings and incurved wings." [Note: Fruit flies have long been a dependable bellwether for determining the potential mutagenicity of substances.] Mutations: Incidence in Drosophila melanogaster reared on irradiated medium. Science, 141:637-638, 1963. Fatal Vitamin E Deficiency in Rats "A considerable number of the second litter of the experimental group of rats that ate irradiated beef died. Symptoms observed were marked fluid buildup of the face, ruffled hair coat, general incoordination, spastic hopping gait, and sometimes complete loss of movement with dragging of the hind quarters. Those pups most severely affected often became completely prostrated a short time before death. In no case were these symptoms noted in the control group. The probability is that the pups were suffering from the characteristic muscular dystrophy syndrome commonly referred to as nutritional muscular dystrophy known to result from a marginal vitamin E intake." Growth, reproduction, survival and histopathology of rats fed beef irradiated with electrons. Food Research, 20:193-214, 1955. Chromosomal Damage to Human Cells (I) "Irradiated sucrose solutions were extremely toxic to human white blood cells. Cell divisions were inhibited. Degenerated cell divisions were observed and the chromosomes were grossly damaged. The DNA was clumped or the chromosomes appeared shattered or pulverized. In contrast, treatment with unirradiated sucrose at the same concentration had no apparent effect on the mitotic rate and the chromosomes were not visibly damaged." Effects of irradiated sucrose on the chromosomes of human lymphocytes in vitro. Nature, 211:1254-1255, 1966. Chromosomal Damage to Human Cells (II) "White blood cell cultures from four different healthy human males underwent a considerable inhibition of mitosis and chromosome fragmentation." Cytotoxic and radiomimetic activity of irradiated culture medium on human leukocytes. Current Science, 16:403-404, 1966. Toxic Chemical Formed in Food Containing Fat (I) "When food containing fat is treated by ionizing radiation, a group of 2-alkylcyclobutanones [toxic chemicals] is formed. To date, there is no evidence that the cyclobutanones occur in unirradiated food. In vitro experiments using rat and human colon cells indicate that 2-dodecylcyclobutanone (2-DCB)... is clearly cytotoxic and genotoxic." Genotoxic properties of 2-dodecylcyclobutanone, a compound formed on irradiation of food containing fat. Radiation Physics and Chemistry, 52:39-42, 1998. (Cosponsored by the International Consultative Group on Food Irradiation) Reproductive Problems, Cancer in Mammals "A careful analysis by FDA of all Army data present (including 31 loose-leaf notebooks of animal feeding test results) showedsignificant adverse effects produced in animals fed irradiated food... What were these adverse effects? A decrease of 20.7 percent in surviving weaned rats. A 32.3 percent decrease in surviving progeny of dogs. Dogs weighing 11.3 percent less than animals on the control diets... Carcinomas of the pituitary gland, a particularly disturbing finding since this is an extremely rare type of malignant tumor." Food irradiation: An FDA report. FDA Papers, Oct. 1968. Fatal Internal Bleeding in Rats (I) "A significant number of rats consuming irradiated beef died from internal hemorrhage within 46 days, the first death of a male rat coming on the 11th day of feeding. This rat became sluggish on the 8th day of the regimen and started refusing food. He continued to be morbid during the next two days, did not eat any food, lost weight and appeared anemic. He was found dead on the 11th day. Vitamin K deficiency in rats induced by feeding of irradiated beef. Journal of Nutrition, 69:18-21, 1959. (Cosponsored by the Surgeon General of the US Army) Fatal Internal Bleeding in Rats (II) "Hemorrhagic death had occurred in all males fed irradiated diets by day 34... There is evidence to suggest that inefficient absorption of vitamins, i.e. vitamin K, from the intestinal tract may contribute to a deficiency state." [Note: Vitamin K plays a major role in blood clotting.] Influence of age, sex, strain of rat and fat soluble vitamins on hemorrhagic syndromes in rats fed irradiated beef. Federation Proceedings, 19:1045-1048, 1960. (Cosponsored by the Surgeon General of the US Army) Fetal Deaths in Mice "Freshly irradiated diets produced elevated levels of early deaths in [mice fetuses]... The increase in early deaths would suggest that the diet when irradiated has some mutagenic potential." Irradiated laboratory animal diets: Dominant lethal studies in the mouse. Mutation Research, 80:333-345, 1981. Embryo Deaths in Mice "Feeding of mice for two months before mating with 50 percent of the standard complete diet irradiated with gamma rays provokes a significant increase of embryonal deaths, probably to be interpreted as a dominant lethal mutation associated with gross chromosomal aberrations, such as breaks repeatedly found to be induced by irradiated materials." Pre-implantation death of mouse eggs caused by irradiated food. International Journal of Radiation Biology, 18:201-216, 1970. Radioactive Organs and Excrement in Rats "Considerable amounts of radioactivity were present in the liver, kidney, stomach, gastrointestinal tract, and blood serum of rats fed irradiated sucrose solutions. Radioactivity was present in urine and feces samples. Biochemical effects of irradiated sucrose solutions in the rat. Radiation Research, 37:202-215, 1969. A Thalidomide Warning (I) "The thalidomide disaster might have been prevented if an easily performed investigation of possible cytotoxic effects in plant cells had been made. It must be acknowledged that any compound causing [cellular] damage must be considered a potential hazard to any living cell or cell system -- including man." Toxic effects of irradiated foods. Nature, 211:302, 1966. A Thalidomide Warning (II) "Irradiating can bring about chemical transformations in food and food components resulting in the formation of potential mutagens, particularly hydrogen peroxide and various organic peroxides. It is now realized, especially since the thalidomide episode, that older testing protocols do not detect the more subtle population hazards such as mutagens and teratogens. In view of the serious consequences to the human population which could arise from a high level of induced mutations, it is desirable that protocols for irradiated food should include in vivo tests on mammals for possible mutagenicity." Mutagenicity and cytotoxicity of irradiated foods and food components. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 41:873-904, 1969. (Cosponsored by the US Atomic Energy Commission and Food and Drug Administration) http://www.mercola.com/article/irradiated/irradiated_research.htm ~Martin
  8. The proliferation of GMOs is, in my opinion, the most disturbing trend in food. ~Martin
  9. I'll add canola oil to my list, it's absolutely horrible stuff because of its tendency to have a "fishy" flavor. ~Martin
  10. Personally, I've never used pasteurized eggs and can't think of a reason why I would. Even the best quality real whole eggs are a relatively inexpensive food as it is, I think that you'll find that most folks with an appreciation of good food look more for quality than they do price, unless the product improves quality, I don't think there'll be much interest from those with high quality standards. So, is what you're proposing to sell a process or piece of equipment rather than a ready to use product? That's a totally different animal. I think that you're going to have to be much more specific about what your proposing in order to get input that's truly useful along with targeting folks who already use pasteurized eggs. Just my 2 cents. ~Martin
  11. Thank you! It's looking more and more like the SousVideMagic is the only way to go in my case. ~Martin
  12. Since I don't have a lot of money to work with (lowly peasant farmer here), I was considering going with the $99 Dorkfood DSV, but it appears that the SousVideMagic 1500D HD is a better option and only $60 more when you factor in shipping costs. ~Martin
  13. I love everything, with the exception of one fairly common flavor combination. While I love the flavors of black pepper and lemon and use them all the time, there's something about the combination of the two, showcased in something like lemon pepper chicken, for example, that sends me running!!!!! ~Martin
  14. Wow! Excellent thread! I've decided to take the sous vide plunge and happened to stumble upon this thread tonight. The timing couldn't have been more appropriate. Can someone recommend a good affordable reference thermometer? Thanks! ~Martin
  15. For a beginner, I recommend the Marianski books, Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages, The Art of Fermented Sausages and Meat Smoking and Smokehouse design. ~Martin
  16. Your bacon should be just fine, you're at about the correct cure level. It's not uncommon for good well-fatted pork bellies to cure out with little or no residual liquid. About the smoke, I'm a strong advocate of cold smoking bacon (hot smoking bacon is a relatively new and inferior method, IMHO), the finished product is far superior to hot smoked.
  17. I can tell you with great confidence that's definitely not the case....not everybody cares! I think it's obvious that the employee in question is one of those people.
  18. I think it's safe to say Jim Gerritsen doesn't need a paradigm shift, and has some idea of what he's doing and talking about. What sort of farming do you do? I don't doubt that he knows what he's talking about. Commodity farming sucks...been there, done that! It wasn't until after I underwent a paradigm shift that I started getting fair prices for my products and farming in a truly sustainable way. Too each his own! I'm an organic grower of vegetables, meats and eggs (and a few other products) who markets directly.
  19. You can't cure someone of irresponsibilty. Even if you condition that person to apologize and appear to take responsibility that certainly doesn't mean that they truly care. Three written warnings and then a firing.
  20. I love making tomato conserva, sausage and stock.
  21. When you grow commodity crops, you've got to expect commodity prices. IMHO, Mr. Gerritsen needs a paradigm shift. Instead of playing the commodity game and investing in things that rust, rot and depreciate (the $200,000 tractor.) Mr. Gerritsen should seek to, as much as possible, only invest in things that reproduce and turn the suns energy into dollars while also developing markets selling directly where he sets a fair price for his products, but most of all, stop whining and blaming others!!! YOU must be the change you wish to see in this world!
  22. Who knew? This is totally new news to me, I had no idea that some pizza shops make fresh mozz from Polly-O curds. The Polly-O plant is basically right here in my neighborhood, much of the milk from local dairies goes to Polly-O and Leprino. I've always made fresh mozz from good raw Jersey milk.
  23. I add celery rib near the end of cooking to avoid the mushiness. I'm a big fan of celery flavor. Celery leaf flavor is fleeting, IMHO Have you considered lovage? It has a bold flavor, to me it tastes like celery and walnuts...I can't help thinking of Waldorf salad when I sample it straight up. LOL It's extremely easy to grow. I use it a lot.
  24. I'm a big fan of halving a turkey, because I love to have turkey quite often. LOL. For Thanksgiving I typically traditionally roast one half and cure and smoke the other. I think it's clever to split them while still froze, I had to laugh though, somehow it brought back memories of years ago when our neighbor got drunk and sawed a frozen deer in half with a chainsaw!!! LOL BTW, Mr. dcarch I've taken your tomato trellis method and ran with it, I love it!!!!
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