Article #1: Your Probing Mind By Virginia Vetrano, B.S., D.C.
How, and in what, should you steam vegetables?
If you must compromise and cat some cooked food, then you should steam most vegetables whole and uncut, not grated or sliced, etc. Most vegetables need no preparation for steaming except to be well cleaned. Very large carrots may be sliced in two; rutabaga may be cut into medium-sized pieces; and large beets or turnips may be cut in quarters. Save the outer leaves of the lettuce that are not sufficiently pretty or that are cracked a bit too much to be savory in a salad; wash them well and place approximately three layers of them in the bottom of your cookware. Place the whole, uncut, cleaned vegetables on top of the lettuce leaves. Cover and start the flame moderately high. After two minutes turn the flame down to medium. Add no water to the pan. The water clinging to the lettuce and inside the cells of the lettuce forms the moisture for steaming the vegetables. No extra water is needed except perhaps when steaming large potatoes or carrots, etc. Then you may choose to use a steam rack.
We do not use the steam marvel or a steam rack for all vegetables for several reasons. First, it tempts you to add more water to the casserole. The water becomes steam, condenses on the lid and flows down over the vegetables anyway. Because of a use of more water than necessary for steaming, the vegetable is tasteless when the vegetable is done, and you throw it away, thereby losing valuable nutrients.
Whereas, if the vegetable is steamed in only the water clinging to lettuce leaves and the vegetable itself, it will be concentrated at the end of the steaming process. This cooking juice will taste good because it is concentrated and contains many minerals and vitamins and may be eaten with the vegetable. Lettuce prevents scorching, if you fail to watch the cooking time carefully. The lettuce is used only as a base upon which to cook other foods, and it should not be eaten with the food which you steam.
Spinach, beet tops, and other leafy vegetables have a surplus amount of water on their leaves after washing, which must be poured off prior to cooking. As the cellulose breaks down in these foods from the heat, much fluid leaks out into the cooking vessel and prevents burning and serves as water for steaming the vegetable itself. Consequently, no lettuce leaves are necessary for this type of vegetable. All types of small summer squash require lettuce leaves at the bottom in order to steam them whole without scorching. Steaming vegetables whole without cutting them at all saves minerals and vitamins.
The less you cook the vegetables, the better for you, so steam them just enough to warm then, without changing their natural shape or color.
We do not advocate the use of aluminum, stainless steel, or teflon. Aluminum combines with the acids in the foods forming poisonous aluminum compounds. Stainless steel cookware contains nickel and chromium that bleed into the foods when used. Teflon is highly poisonous as it contains fluorine and gives off poisonous gases under certain conditions. If chipped, and pieces enter the food, it could be very toxic. The only utensils left to cook in which have no known strike against them are opaque glass ware and fine baked enamel ware. If the enamel is chipped, it is best to purchase new cookware.
Please explain why fried foods are not good for you.
Cooking food by any method destroys much of its vitamin and mineral content. Some minerals are lost in the vapor; some are converted into inorganic minerals, which are no longer usable and therefore toxic, and others are lost into the cooking water. Vitamins are destroyed in much the same fashion.
Frying is even worse on food because oil, requires a higher temperature to boil than water. The higher the temperature, the greater the destruction of food. When frying food, it is usually cooked to a “golden brown” or a little darker. This beautiful golden brown that people love so much is a cancer producing substance. The brown on any food that has been browned by cooking is carcinogenic.
In addition the oil itself becomes a carcinogen. It has long been known that heated hydrocarbons can cause cancer. The longer they are heated and reheated and heated again, and the higher the temperature the more carcinogenic they become. Oils are hydrocarbons. The next time you desire french fries just remember that fast food chains change their oil only once a week or less. Also remember that there is more cancer of the stomach and colon than any other area of the gastrointestinal tract. Foods, the decomposition products of foods, and poisonous chemicals from cooking foods are retained in the stomach and colon for a longer period of time than in any other part of the gastrointestinal tract. Their irritating effects probably play a major role in the development of cancer of these organs.
Are spices harmful to one’s health?
Yes, they are. It is much better to refrain from using spices. Some spices are extremely poisonous while others are only moderately so. A substance is a food if it is capable of being used by a particular living organism in any of its metabolic processes. If a spice contains poisons and other substances that cannot be used by the organism in making living cells or in any of its functions then it becomes a poison in relation to the living organism, even if it contains minerals, vitamins, proteins and other nutrients. Spices contain substances which cannot be used by the body and if a substance can’t be used, it wastes precious nerve energy in expelling it to prevent damage to the body’s vital organs. Spices are harmful in proportion to their toxin concentration. They waste nerve energy and cause enervation in proportion to the amount of energy expended in excreting the noxious substances.
Because of the toxic substances contained in spices, they cause irritation to the lining of the stomach and intestines. In fact some of them, such as mustard, cause bleeding of the stomach worse than aspirin, when taken in large quantities such as the amount some people put on their hot dogs.
Spices do not enhance digestion as we have been taught. On the contrary, because of the irritation they produce digestion is impaired. Besides the irritation to the gastrointestinal tract which may lead to inflammation and ulceration, spices irritate all the tissues inside the body with which they come in contact.
The latest theory in the production of arteriosclerosis is in line with Hygienic theory-that arteriosclerosis begins with an initial irritation, followed by inflammation of the arterial lining with the deposition of fatty material and finally calcium. Spices are definitely irritants and to continue using spices when you know how they are irritants to every tissue with which they come in contact is tantamount to saying “I don’t care if I get arteriosclerosis, or gastritis, ulcers or cancer.”
Lesson 29 will discuss the harmful effects of condiments in more detail.
- 1. Cooked Foods
- 2. Preparation Of Cooked Foods
- 3. Miscellaneous Recipes
- 4. Recipe Conversions
- 5. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Your Probing Mind By Virginia Vetrano, B.S., D.C.
- Article #2: Hygienic Considerations In The Selection of Foods By Ralph C. Cinque, D. C.
- Article #3: How To Get More Food Value for Your Money By Marti Fry