Mixed Salad of Thoughts

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cool things I've been reading

From a cool article on the renovation of an old farmhouse using as much 19th century technology and know-how as possible:

Architect Marina Huissoon tells the Star that people used to only heat the rooms they were occupying rather than the modern wasteful habit of heating the whole house. "We looked at the way the original settlers lived and tried to bring those concepts forward. "

Huissoon notes that earlier generations had little choice about practicing conservation ethics. "It's a very old-fashioned notion, taking care of what we have – we've gotten out of that practice in the last few decades. It's time to get back to that approach to living."
The Star.com

From Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food"

"*Glucose is a sugar molecule that is the body's main source of energy; most carbohydrates are broken down to glucose during digestion. Fructose is a different form of sugar, commonly found in fruit. Sucrose, or table sugar, is a disaccharide consisting of a molecule of glucose joined to a molecule of fructose....

*Fructose is metabolized differently from glucose; the body doesn't respond to it by producing insulin to convey it into cells to be used as energy. Rather, it is metabolized in the liver, which turns it first into glucose and then, if there is no call for glucose, into triglycerides--fat..."

When technological advances allowed for the mass production of white flour (removing the bran as well as the germ) white rice, and corn flour, which were far more popular, more long lasting, and less nutrient rich than their brown counterparts, devastating epidemics of pellagra and beriberi soon followed (caused by a vitamin B deficiency) Nowadays we try to add back in some of the things taken out that have proven necessary--fiber, bran, folic acid, vitamin #, phytic acid, iron, zinc, mangnesium, manganese...but with thousands of micronutrients in every natural food source how can we possibly believe we can add back in all the "needed" things?

Why try to remake a carrot? Why try to process foods until they are unrecognizable and then try to add back in the chemicals and ingredients you've destroyed? It is impossible. But no one got rich selling carrots, they got rich selling Vitamin Fortified Fruit flavored water.

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