Healthier Food Preparation
Our ancient ancestors caught or gathered their food as needed, and ate it very fresh. That is what our internal metabolic processes still assume. Fresh organic foods that are close to their natural, unadulterated state is the way our bodies would be their healthiest today. Our ancestors did not lug around energy guzzling refrigerators or range / ovens, in an RV. They learned to EAT FRESH!
Our ancient ancestors did not have to deal with unhealthy feedlot animals, or chickens crammed into small spaces - recycling EVERYTHING on the ground many times. (ewww) Deadly trans fats and sugar substitutes had not been invented in uncaring chemical laboratories yet.
Our ancestors did not have to deal with moldy fruits and vegetables, grown in depleted soils with harmful chemical fertilizers, using pesticides like DDT that are banned in the U.S. but not in places that we import foods from. Our misleadingly named “fresh produce” was actually picked days before (often outside our country), and is already starting to decay by the time it reaches our local supermarket. Our organic-food natural-diet ancestors did not have to deal with wrapped produce, full of questionable preservatives that our modern bodies do not know how to deal with. But WE do. In America, the average food item is transported 1,500 miles before it gets to our plate – nowhere near “fresh.”
Americans now erroneously think that they have to cook their food to death to kill all of the bad stuff in it. But, even lengthy overcooking does NOT remove the cancer-causing pesticides, chemicals, drugs, amphetamines or growth hormones used today to bring domestic and imported animals to market faster.
Cooking ALWAYS destroys the valuable enzymes and antioxidants found in natural foods. Natural enzymes and antioxidants are essential to proper metabolism, fighting diseases like cancer, slowing the aging process, etc. Our genetic DNA uses enzymes to control every aspect of how we grow, what we are, and the daily repair of cells throughout our entire body. The process of how our bodies exploit natural enzymes is so complex, that you could say it is a “mystic miracle.” Destroying enzymes in the foods we eat is bad, in ways that are difficult for the best scientists to fully understand. Cooking oxidizes (burns up) our natural food and uses up its beneficial antioxidants.
High temperature cooking in neurotoxic aluminum cookware is directly linked to Alzheimer’s disease (ask any Pathologist – Aluminum in the brain is how Alzheimer’s is accurately diagnosed by post-mortem brain tissue analysis). Mother Nature created our natural food sources. Americans frequently do themselves a great unhealthy disservice by over processing and overheating our food to death.
Commonplace overcooking alters any food chemically into complex inorganic substances that are at least useless, and at worst can do great harm to our bodies (like “acrylamides” and “heterocyclic amines”), if consumed for long periods of time. Overcooked food is loaded with empty calories that contribute to weight gain (the great American obesity epidemic), while leaving us undernourished and much less healthy.
Eating one overcooked meal (prepared in unhealthy metal cookware) is probably not going to kill you, but the cumulative effect of eating overcooked food for decades will add up, and increase your risk of many deadly diseases, especially cancer of the intestinal tract and brain damage. There can be little doubt that poor nutrition and poor food preparation are the direct cause of tens (hundreds) of thousands of untimely, easily avoidable American deaths every year.
Raising the temperature of some foods to 165 degrees Fahrenheit does kill the deadly molds and bacteria that are very common in our adulterated food supply, but most Americans want to badly damage their food by cooking it at temperatures well over 250 degrees for way too long. Modern nutritional science has clearly shown that traditional range / oven overcooking (that grandma taught your mother) is often a VERY UNHEALTHY thing to do. It can be the direct cause of colon cancer, debilitating dementia, and a variety of other painful ways to die an unnecessary early death.
http://www.joyfulaging.com/HighTemperatureCancer.htm has detailed scientific explanations of why. (Please click on your Web Brower BACK button to return to here.)
ZED Healthy Cooking Conclusion: (1) Eat more fresh, unprocessed, uncooked foods. Begin with organic fresh foods. Wash them thoroughly and eat them soon after they are purchased. The American Heart Association says that broccoli, cauliflower and squash are excellent heart healthy foods. They taste great when eaten fresh. If you cook broccoli very much, you change the chemical state of its natural enzymes, antioxidants, beneficial sulfur, etc. It ceases to be “bioactive.” 2% of every human cell is sulfur. You need bioactive sulfur for healthy elastic cells. Cooked broccoli is much less beneficial than fresh, but you have to wash it very well to remove nearly invisible mold, fungus, etc.
Vegetables with beneficial water-soluble complex vitamins are also air soluble. Nutritional value begins to decline rapidly the instant they are harvested. Wrapping them in airtight, vacuum-packed plastic can reduce the rate of vitamin decay, but bagged vegetables often contain harmful preservatives – they look great, but are less healthy to eat. Check the ingredients of bagged vegetables in the produce department for preservatives, and avoid them. If you see nice white sliced apples in a bag, you KNOW they have been badly adulterated with strong preservatives. Apple slices naturally turn brown very quickly. Fruit skins (like oranges and tart apples) were designed by nature to preserve nutritive value. Man’s laboratory chemical preservatives are usually unhealthy unnatural things that our bodies don’t know what to do with.
(2) When you do cook foods, use a microwave oven, or a small special purpose low-current electrical appliance (e.g. low-temp crock pot slow cooker). A microwave oven uses one forth of the electricity of a conventional range / oven. Microwave ovens heat the food, NOT the kitchen in the summer.
Microwave ovens heat food very safely and efficiently by “molecular agitation.” The water molecules in your food oscillate at a high radio frequency (around 2,450,000,000 cps). Heat is generated by simple intermolecular friction (like rubbing your hands together). Modern microwave ovens are very safe for naive consumer usage. You have nothing to fear from a microwave oven, if you follow basic directions (like do not cook in metal containers). Do NOT override the safety switch and put your head inside! - smile
Only safe-and-inert glass and ceramic cookware should be used (Corningware and Pyrex – I like the 9” round pie plate). Never cook or warm in plastic of any kind (it outgases when heated, and strange solvents enter your food).
All types of food in any state of preservation (fresh, refrigerated, or frozen) can be used in a microwave oven, as long as they are properly prepared and heated. Microwave thawing requires a low heat setting and frequent turning to raise the temperature evenly.
Microwave ovens have been around since the Ratheon Radarange in 1947. They were introduced safely in airplanes by Litton in 1965 and fully approved by the FAA as totally safe in all ways.
Microwave ovens are quite different than the way great grandma used to cook, but they do not perform magic. The product turned out of a microwave oven is only as good as the ingredients put in, and the skill of the modern microwave cook. However, because of the speed with which microwaves heat food, fewer detrimental cooking effects occur, and the microwave prepared food will probably have better appearance, quality, taste, moisture, AND nutritional value, since conventional higher temperatures and longer cooking times badly damage all food, and microwaves do not.
If you overcook anything in ANY type of range, oven, toaster, skillet, etc. THROW IT OUT. The dark stuff is loaded with carcinogens. Learn from your mistake and do NOT do the same thing again.
Microwave ovens are especially nice for quick cooking of flash frozen vegetables, which are frequently more nutritious than the moldy declining (preservative-laced) things you’ll find in the produce section. Mixed frozen vegetable packages are quick-and-easy starters for a healthy, tasty, nutritious meal, but stay away from unhealthy starchy potatoes, corn, sugar, flour, rice, etc.
By minimizing cook time and temperature in a microwave, deadly cancer-causing “acrylamides” (from starchy foods) and “heterocyclic amines” (from meat) will be avoided or significantly reduced. Use only the minimum cooking time necessary to raise food temperature no higher than 170 degrees (well below the boiling point of water) for maximum nutritional value and safety. If you touch it and it instantly burns you, you left it in way too long.
A microwave oven uses about one forth of the energy of a conventional range / oven, to do a superior job. It takes time to learn how to use a microwave oven properly as your primary (or only) method of cooking. My ZED kitchen has two microwave ovens for maximum food preparation speed and appropriate sizing – one large one, and one medium/small unit. Don’t use a big one, when a small one will do. The small ones are now very inexpensive (< $40). You can afford to buy several for different eating places in your home (solarium, etc.).
Microwaves cook from the thinner outer edges inward. Suppose you want an egg omelet. Prepare the ingredients the way you like them (I throw away most of the egg yokes and add high-antioxidant RED bell pepper, uncolored soy cheese, etc.) I lightly put Canola oil (high omega 3 essential fatty acid) and a few chopped walnuts in my 9” round Pyrex pie plate. I zap it for a couple of minutes in my smaller rotating microwave. The edges of my omelet begin to get solid, but the center is runny, so I mix it all together with a fork and zap it again. My yummy omelet is then cooked homogeneously – no burned spots and nothing raw.
You have to do something similar with meat to make sure it is cooked evenly, not a mix of overdone and underdone. Make sure the internal temperature of your food reaches 165 degrees, but never above 185 degrees (to avoid cancer-causing heterocyclic amines). Thicker cuts of meat should be cut thinner (strips or same-size chunks) to ensure more-even cooking throughout. Don’t try to cook thin and thick pieces of meat at the same time.
Low fat meats come out of a microwave oven much moister than any other cooking technique (except boiling, which depletes much of the nutritive value). Drain off any fat that cooks out ad enjoy.
I NEVER turn on my stove or oven any more. I just don’t like the taste of what comes out of conventional cooking.
If I cook outdoors, I slow-smoke meats (for 14 hours) at very low temperature. Smoke from an offset firebox does the tasty cooking, NOT flames directly under the meat that produce huge amounts of cancer-causing black heterocyclic amine char. (Double Yuck! Colon Cancer On An Ugly Black Plate!) Those grill marks that everyone loves from char broiling, are where the most carcinogenic (cancer-causing) heterocyclic amines are found. (Sorry if that messes up your day.)
ZED cooking is the healthiest, lowest-cost way to prepare delicious world-class food. It takes time to learn how to do it correctly, and why. It IS unconventional. Why waste money and floor space on an old-fashioned range and oven ever again? I now feel the same way about fireplaces, but You can have anything you want in YOUR Zero Energy Home.