Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Concentrated Food or Don't Forget To Take Your Vitamins

1) Vitamin B complex deficiency is the cause of most minor depression in our agricultural society. Symptoms of vitamin B deficiency include any ONE of the following: mental problems, heart palpitations, heart arrythmias,f ibrillation, indigestion, chronic fatigue,chronic exhaustion, paranoia, vague fears, fear that something dreadful is about to happen, nervousness,ADD (attention deficiency), inability to concentrate, irritability, feeling of uneasiness, thoughts of dying, easy agitation, frustration, inability to sleep (insomnia),restlessness, tingling in hands, tingling fingers and toes, rashes, crying spells, inability to cope, or soreness all over.

2) Yet ask a doctor if they recommend patients reporting any of these symptoms are told to find a natural source supplement? Or try to convince someone suffering from fatigue or vague fears to go and buy a B vitamin complex. They will deny deny deny.

3)Some people believe all our vitamins should be from what we eat...forgetting that most of what we eat has been stripped of its nutriients then has synthetic vitamins added. Some people are afraid to take vitamins, like its an act of superstition. Natural vitamins are concentrated foods.

4) Humans have always concentrated food for various purposes including travel, preparing for food shortages and very importantly, for eating enough nutrients. For thousands of years before agriculture we prepared and ritualized food that provides us with vitamin supplement as well as satifying our hunger and flavour needs. Foods like peanut butter, marmite, gravy, soup, HP sauce, tamari, licorice, coffee, tea and mustard represent our tradition of incorporating vitamin rich supplements into our diets. Usually these are very tasty additions to our meals.

5) When in their most organic and non-synthetic modern forms, condiments are often dietary supplements. HP Suace was originated from chutney, which would have been an iron supplement made with dates and soybean sauce (soy sauce). Ketchup also is a derivitive of chutney. Unfortunately these modern products likely grown with unlabeled pesticide treated vegetables and too much sugar. An organic product or homemade ketchup and HP Sauce would be a reliable nutritious addition.

6) Licorice and flax seed oil is anti-inflamatory, so they both relieve arthritis. Licorice is good for the lungs, is a stimulant and relieves some tummy ailments. Flax seed oil flushes excess estrogen out of the body. It is antiviral and aids with brain function.
7)Preserving a concentrated product of berries is an ancient nutritional practice. On the Canadian west coast berries were smashed in cedar boxes. Then the berries were boiled over hot stones and became a paste which was dried out on skunk cabbage( the city Chicago is named after such a plant or onions) till the semi-dry paste was hung rolled into tubes. Later the berry tubes would be cut or flattened and stored in cedar boxes. A kind of fruit leather. Europeans make jam out of berries for the same purpose as preserving concentrated vitamins for the winter seasons and in case of food shortages.

8)Maple syrup is a major source of manganese which supports the immune system, aids with production of cellular energy and has anti-oxidant cofactor. Maple syrup also is a fair source of iron, folic acid, niacin and calcium.

9)Oolichan grease is a rich buttery oil. I loved it, and had it at a friends house growing up, mixed with blueberries. It was thick, soft and exotic. Like the oceans whipped cream.

The Native American's recipe to render oolichan grease differs slightly from one tribe to another. The Haisla people of the Kitamaat Village of British Columbia, have been oolichan fishing for thousands and thousands of years.

Their general recipe is to allow the fish to ripen for approximately two weeks under evergreen branches, cook the fish in fresh water, and then skim the oil from the surface of the water. Specific recipes differ in the dumping and stirring of the fish, straining the carcasses, placing rocks in the water to reheat the mixture, and filtration methods. Whatever method used that is unique to the individual tribe, those involved in making the oolichan grease were, and still are, proud of the end product. The grease was, and still is, shared and sometimes given away as a gift. The valuable and nutritious end product is used on many foods; salmon, halibut, herring roe, and berries, similar to the way butter is used. The grease was used for trade with other First Nations that did not harvest oolichan.

Photos of making Oolichan Grease. Near where I went to high school, in Kitimat, of special interest to Red and *, I suspect.

10) Assiniboine Story of Making Grease.
11) Poetic Places, an essay.
12) Nutrition Glossary
13) Organic Farmer blog Even though this organic farmer hasn't made a post in ages, his blog is worth reading.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


Wendy Ann Edwina D'Cunha e Pereira said...

there's a whole lot of very useful information Candy... HP sauce is a favurite with my husband...

I am a home ec grad and this type of stuff really interests me... good list there

* (asterisk) said...

Thanks for this, Candy. Your food posts are always top-notch. The oolichan-grease farm is bizarre!

Darla said...

Thanks, Candy! This one is perfect for me. :)

Tink said...

That's a very interesting list you have here! I'm always ready to learn more about food and stuff.
Thanks for visiting my Sinterklaas-TT!

Nathalie said...

A few months back I bought a very good book on vitamines - I try to integrate it into my normal eating pattern.
I think it's a great TT!

Chaotic Mom said...

Very cool list! And now I'm feeling the urge to juice a few veggies. I agree with our stripped-nutrient farming. This even changes the way our food/veggies/fruit taste. ;)

I've posted my Thursday Thirteen, too. Enjoy!

Christine said...

This is an excellent list. I used to take lots of vitamins, but now I seem to only give them to my children. I need to restock.

Goofy Girl said...

Interesting stuff! I think one of the most important things people miss is Calcium!

Janet said...

holy moly...I totally have Vitamin B complex deficiency!!! What's the best vitamin to take?

The good news is, I LOVE peanut butter, HP sauce, tamari, licorice, coffee, tea and mustard! Eating a PB sandwich right now, actually, for breakfast!

Candy Minx said...

Wendy, thanks for stopping by! I think thats really interesting about your husband loving HPSuace, because it originally is an Indian chutney. So that he likes the distilled British version is a true compliment to the product. I love home ec, I'm terrible at it, I'm a failure as a domestic goddess, but I try. I love anything to do with food.

*, Thanks I'm glad you got a chance to check out the oolichan process. I am sure it looks a little bizarre compared to modern factories, but it's really fascinating. "Grease" is an aquired taste for those who have not grown up with it. I happened to latch right onto it, nd would dearly ove to find some these days. Now it's expensive and rare. Lot less fisn available in the oceans.

Darla, thanks!

Tink, I thought you might find some of this interesting. I don't know a lot about Wicca, but the ceremonies I've been invited to always revolved around food, tinctures and herbs. I think that Wicca is a fascinating way to look at food Plus, I am really interessted in all the ways we ritualize food and eating.

Natalie, a good nutritional source book for vitamins is indespensible. Really helps us focus on our food choices.

Chaotic mom, I'll be right over to your blog!

Christine, you are a typical loving mom, giving to the kids long before yourself. Remember they need you energetic and fast thinking. Organic vitamins are super important for children. Get yourself some flax seed oil!

Goofy Girl, did you know a cup of coffee has 30 units, or 10% of our daily calcium? I am like a grizzly bear, I even eat the bones in salmon! Lots of calcium. It is scary how little calcium some folks get. You're right. The other thing is, some foods agrivate the absorbtion of vitamins and minerals. So we may get nutrient rich food, but it's being destroyed by some other fod we eat. Or substance.

Janet, do you have a Whole Foods near you? We get their natural source Whole Foods brand Vitamin B Complex. It is alike a shot in the arm for energy!

Amy Ruttan said...

Being the daughter-in-law of a farmer has taught me alot about nutrients. I am a big fan of natural stuff. Especially, (because of a first nations heritage in my family), love aborginal holistic choices. Pemmican was used by the voyageurs when trapping in the Pays den haut (doing research for a YA novel). My children are lactose intolerant because Milk is so processed. When have to use lactose free, but I find giving my daughter cod liver oil (in capsule form) helps with her bowel problems. Very interesting list!

cherryl said...

candy! i'm good, thanks so much to you and stagg for stopping by and asking! i am going thru some restructuring of my blog/work schedule/life at the moment so...glad u guys like the music. i'm making a mixtape now for folks to dl...on the l8tr. ps - love the art work. can i post some of your art pics on my blog from time to time?

Racy Li said...

Great List!

cherryl said...

btw...i think this called "flaming" but not sure. anyway this guy tries to take down both of us! wtf?!

it's about the pitbull/cuba thing...

Domestic Goddess said...

very interesting about the Vitamin B.

Blonde Chick said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, and thanks for the comment! Interesting TT you've got this week!

Candy Minx said...

Domestic Goddess and Blonde Chick, thanks for stopping by! I hope you try the natural source vitamins added to your meals.

Barbara H. said...

When I was diagnosed with a neurological illness several years ago, one of the things they tested me for was Vitamin B12 deficiency. The test showed all was ok, but I still wonder about taking it sometimes.

Red said...

Mmm... good to know about maple syrup being so good for you! Now I can smother my pancakes in it without feeling like a pig! And licorice too (or liquorice, as we call it here). I love it, yet I never have it. Why?!? Though we do have a bottle of a delish liquorice liqueur made in Italy. Our friend Ivan (who came to visit us a few months ago) always says liquorice "stimulates her and delays him"... guess we all win, then!

Gorgeous pictures of the oolichan grease-making process. And you find this product on supermarket shelves in Canada or is it a delicacy that you can only get directly at source? Fascinating stuff!

Candy Minx said...

Barbara H, that is thoughtprovoking that you were checked for Vitamin B deficiency first in your health diagnosis. Sounds like you had a good doctor.

Did you know that diabetes has many similar symtoms of depression? People with diabetes not only have protein deficiency but benefit from Vitamin B complex too.

Red, Um, the oolichan grease is very special. Native Canadians who made the grease used it for trade with other societies who did not have the fish and practice. Oolichan is sometimes called smelt. The fish population has dwindled and so has production. The practice was huge in last century, eventually the people who gathered to catch the fish and make the grease would meet in huge bands. Now it is a smaller group, less fish. More expensive...if one can use that word for a trade item. More valuable. No, not on grocery shelves. It is also often repulsive to first time tasters, outside the culture who produced it for centuries. Maybe millenia?

Nancy Drew said...

Thanks for this post, CM!! I feel so good when I eat fish (hate the look of fish tho)....and I take so many vitamins you'd laugh to see them all.

Ruzanna said...

Healthy lifestyle is very important for all of us, so we need to get healthy food, exercise, lose weight, and take multivitamin supplements. I've read at HULIQ's issue about how vitamins affect teenagers’ health.