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.
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