Broths of Babylon

A few months ago when my friends and were planning another themed dinner party, I submitted the idea for Mesopotamia on a whim and it was picked. So I delved a bit into cooking from the Fertile Crescent, where many foods we eat every day originate. There are "recipes" that exist from this time and place, in the form of tablets from Babylon in the Yale collection written in cuneiform. The problem is that these terse "recipes" have certain ingredients that have not been conclusively translated. Perhaps archeology will fill in the gaps.

Are liquid carbohydrates evolutionarily novel?

 In the debate surrounding the NYC ban on large soft drinks earlier this year, the argument came up that we had to regulate them because liquid calories are evolutionarily novel and inappropriate for our species to consume because we cannot consume them moderately and their metabolism is harmful to our bodies.

The Human Colon in Evolution: Part 4, The Secrets of Butyrate

 Another hypothesis is that lack of SCFAs is behind such diseases of civilization. A SCFA called butyrate provides some insight into this. Butyrate is the preferred fuel of the colonic epithelial cells and also plays a major role in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation (Wong, de Souza, Kendall, Emam, & D. J. a Jenkins, 2006). Lower than normal levels have been found in patients with several diseases, notably types of colitis and inflammatory bowel disorder. Studies show such diseases can be treated through application of butyrate in the colon.

Unwise Traditions? Idli and Puto.

Living in Queens, one of the most diverse counties in the nation, I have been able to experience many interesting traditional cuisines. But I'd also been able to observe people losing their traditions without even really noticing. There are two examples that come to mind, both involving fermented rice. One is the Indian Idli, which Stephan has blogged about.

Sacred Cows: Can fermented foods make you sick?

Kombucha. It's a magical fermented health drink that cures everything because it was developed by wise ancient Chinese monks or something. It's fairly tasty once you get used to it, perhaps even delicious and refreshing. It doesn't have much sugar either.

Wild Fermentation

Last weekend the fridge at work was left ajar, which was overall a complete disaster. But I did notice that a jug of apple cider was bulging. Aha! A sign of fermentation. I poured it into a glass. It was fizzy and smelled kind of alcoholic. I took a swig. It was fairly tasty, though later I realized I didn't need the alcohol at 11 AM. 

CocoBiotic: Make fermented coconut water yourself

 Last year I read a certain book that extolled the virtues of fermented coconut water, but gave no instructions for making it. Instead, the author's website sold the drink and it wasn't cheap. I wanted to try it myself, so I went on Ebay and bought water kefir grains for about $6. 

Wild Fermentation

Sandor Ellix Katz
Learn how to use fermentation to get the most out of your food. And Sandor ferments pretty much everything in this book. A huge variety of valuable information for anyone.
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GERD and fructooligosaccharides

Another consideration for GERD via Whole Health Sourcefermentable carbs, specifically fructooligosaccharides (FOS) might make it worse. It makes sense- colonic fermentation seems to play a huge role in digestive disorders. A low fermentative diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, has long been used for inflammatory bowl disease.