The Difference Between Red and White Wine

While most people are familiar with wine, they may not be so familiar with how it is made. In fact, it is a fairly simple process of fermenting grapes that produces wine, but the difference between red and white wine is due to the presence of the skins during the fermentation process of red wine. It is the skins of red or black grapes that give red wine its colour.

When the whole grapes are crushed the skin tends to rise to the surface.  They are pushed back down several times a day during the fermentation process so that they remain in contact with the liquid.

The sugar content

Grapes must be picked when ripe so that the sugar content is stable. Traditionally, grapes were picked by hand; these days many larger vineyards have their grapes picked by machine. In warmer climates they are often picked during the night. They then have to go through a process to remove the stems and any leaves or sticks. This too, is done by a machine that also lightly crushes the grapes.

Continue reading “The Difference Between Red and White Wine”

transfat

Fats and Trans Fats, and What Next

In November of 2006, the New York City Department of Health issued a citywide ban on the use of trans fats in restaurants. Another directive has been to post calorie counts on menus as well, but we’re not dealing with this subject today. It’s the fats issue that has me preoccupied.

First, let’s get our facts straight. Trans fats cannot be seen, nor bought at the market. They are technically known as trans fatty acids, and are part of some other fat or oil that can in fact be bought.

Fats are made of chains containing mostly carbon and hydrogen (there may be as many as 24 carbons in a chain). Each carbon has four bonds, and each hydrogen has one, so a single carbon atom can hook up with four hydrogen atoms. In a saturated fat chain, each carbon atom hooks up with two hydrogens and one other carbon (except the first and the last ones); in other words, saturated fats have only single bonds between carbons.

Continue reading “Fats and Trans Fats, and What Next”

judge-not-your-neighbors-by

Judge Not Your Neighbors By Their Diet

Pretty much all of us who get into “healthy eating” do it, at least for a while. It’s an inevitable part of the process. We do judge others by what they eat, and harshly most of the time. Like when we are in line at the supermarket with our paper goods and light bulbs, and look at what’s in the baskets of the other customers — “Aw, gawd, how can they EAT that junk! And their poor children . . . !”

Perhaps the reason we are so critical is because we judge ourselves unkindly. We have judged ourselves not good enough and in need of an overhaul, and the diet will set us right. I believe that if it were not so, we couldn’t stick to the effort it takes to change our diet, our lifestyle, to make a political statement through diet, or even to eat for “spiritual development.”

Nevertheless, our assessment may be correct, and the tool as well. Our blood sugar may be erratic, our cholesterol may be too high, or we know we need more fiber in our meals. A more appropriate way of eating may be extremely helpful. But believe me, from one who’s been there, there are sequelae to a dietary committment, a wake of consequences that may last for years.

Continue reading “Judge Not Your Neighbors By Their Diet”

New Concepts in Diet

New Concepts in Diet II: The Old Traditions

I have been teaching for more than thirty years that we should eat according to the tradition of our ancestors, in addition to other concepts.  Much of my work was based on a book I read in 1967 called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,by Weston Price, a dentist.  Dr. Price traveled the world over in the early ‘30’s, studying the diets of eleven different population groups and the condition of their teeth.  He found universally that those peoples who lived on their native diets had fine teeth, well-developed dental arches, and easy childbirth;  those who had adopted the refined food of Western civilization (sugar, white flour, canned vegetables, jams and pastries) found themselves with a steep rise in dental problems, difficulty with childbirth, and crowded teeth and malformed jaws in the children of mothers who ate this way.  The Price-Pottenger Foundation has kept this important work in print all these years.

Continue reading “New Concepts in Diet II: The Old Traditions”

Food-and-the-Mind

Food and the Mind

The hold on the mind is so tenuous. I’m always amazed to see how well people communicate, make decisions, implement plans, and generally do things, considering that it all depends on a fleeting neurotransmitter, a capillary that remains open, a couple of neurons that speak to each other. The tenuous hold can wobble with a simple fever, not even so high — 101′ or so — which disturbs the sleep and confuses the brain, giving rise to all manner of babblings and strange irrelevant thoughts. The mind wobbles with the lack of food, the absence of sufficient nutrients, proteins, carbohydrates; it shakes with stimulants and drugs, with familiar foods, with an overdose of sugar, an excess of caffeine, a chocolate pig-out. And what of the well-intentioned drugs of our medical system? So many strange substances go into our bodies, float in our bloodstream, come calling at the blood-brain barrier asking to be let in. When they are, does their presence disturb the finely calibrated pathways of neurons and neurotransmitters? Do the substances we inject into our children find a way into their brains, there to cause havoc and knock over relay stations or damage those pathways forever?

Mind and body are not two. Mind-troubles do relate to body matters. Let us be clear about that. How do they relate? For the longest time the relationship was only intuited, accepted by the “wholistic” thinker as obvious, but without the so-called “hard science” (visible particles that can be seen and classified by more than one person) to support it. Then in the 70’s and 80’s the particles that make sense to scientists — neurotransmitters — were discovered, and mind-brain studies took off like a rocket.

Continue reading “Food and the Mind”