Developing methods to preserve foods is as old as civilization itself, so in itself that’s not a bad thing. For example, canning food, dehydrating and pickling vegetables during the summer to be used in the winter months is, of course, acceptable. My grandmother in Syria used to chop up lamb meat and cook it in ghee( clarified butter) and salt, and store it in a cool room for the winter. When she made stew, she would ladle a large of the meat into the boiling vegetable, and viola, her meal is done.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the job of monitoring the safety of these food additives we see on the ingredient list. They have a list called GRAS, which means”generally regarded as safe”. The FDA is supposed to monitor food companies to see that they do not over use additives, or put too much of it in any particular food.
There are some ingredients that slip into our normal diet without anyone thinking about it. Two of those are growth hormones and antibiotics that greatly concern scientists.
Industrial farms inject cows with growth hormones in order to produce more milk. They are also using antibiotics to prevent disease that might occur from the overcrowding in the so called farm. The problem is that an excess of these hormones seeps into the milk that is on the market. Some scientists believe that there is a link between the consumption of such milk by children results in the early maturity of young boys and girls. The over use of antibiotics is one of the reason that some bacteria are developing resistance to antibiotics.
Growth hormones and antibiotic are no where to be seen on the ingredient label. Now, supermarkets are offering organic meat and milk from farms that feed organic feed and refuse to inject either growth hormones or antibiotics into their cattle.
Now, what a person to do?. Read label and try to cook from scratch whenever you can. The bottom line is that you can not change your genetic, you can not control the environment but you can and you should pay attention to what you eat.
Mango and Black Bean Dip
2 cups boiled black beans
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, finelyu chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 large ripe mango, peeled, chop the flesh
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste
-In a heavy skillet, heat olive oil and saute the onion until translucent.
-Add the red bell pepper and the cilantro, stir and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
-Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
-Remove from the heat, adjust the seasoning and puree. Serve warm with corn chips.