Monday, March 28, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
In other news, I just let out a very happy sigh a few days ago. The pork fiasco has officially ended. Sigh of relief. No more pigs, just a freezer full of chops, hams, and pork steaks. Oh, and plenty of lard because those pigs were HUGE by the time I happily said goodbye to them.
So now we're having roasts from our own cow, bacon from our own pigs, and life is pretty good. I still have a few meat share lose ends to tie up, but overall for the first year I think it turned out alright. Meat share members - any feedback would be helpful, good or bad. I'm still debating on doing it again this year. Eh, we'll see.
Anyway, I've been having a terrible personal struggle as of late. Fact is, I love sweet things. I am quite ashamed at my affection for soda so I've been trying to kick the habit.
I started by just avoiding things with corn syrup. Notably because despite those "sugar is sugar" ads touting "corn sugar" as being the same as regular sugar, it is not. It's high fructose corn syrup where fructose is processed differently than real sugar and interferes with copper metabolism, causing our connective tissues and collagens to not form correctly. This leads to flabby, soft bellies, weak arteries, fragile bones, high cholesterol, fatty liver disease, and heart attacks. Mmm, want a coke?
So Pepsi now makes a product with "real sugar" now. Great, right? Actually, their "real sugar" doesn't actually have to come from a sugar cane, but rather a sugar beet... and more probable than not, a GMO sugar beet.
Sugar is sugar though, right? So I probably shouldn't have looked into what GMOs really are and what they do inside our systems. It's about 80% of the soybeans produced and put in our food supply (not labeled, of course) and all that delicious high fructose corn syrup, yup, that's most likely genetically modified. And here in America, we don't have GMO labeling.... yet.
Here is a good article on GMOs.
So I'm starting to feel a bit paranoid. I have a sweet tooth. Sugar is out. Corn syrup is definitely out. And I'm not about ready to start putting aspartame in everything to trick my brain into thinking something is sweet. AGH!
It's about this time that I'm hanging my head low, sick of reading the packages on the foods I used to eat because they are "generally recognized as safe" (can a company put out a product and be innocent until proven guilty if it doesn't even test to see if it's safe?) and I'm starting to feel like there's nothing good. So I go to work with my mind just reeling about what to do when my boss pulls me aside to show me his maple syrup boiling system.
It's awesome. Right about now, the sap is running and he's got milk jugs on a stand of maple trees next to his field. He collects twice a day when the sap is running and puts it into kegs where he then boils it outside, evaporating the water away to leave only the most delicious, sweet syrup. Not genetically modified! Yes!
I thought it was odd that he put maple syrup in his coffee, but that's what I'm drinking right now and I love it! I've been having maple syrup teas like crazy and I feel a million times better. Who knew a tree could be so sweet and I'm not supporting any corporation, except maybe the small company that made his sap boiler.
I'm happy now. I don't miss soda except for once and awhile at a gas station when the bright colored cans promise happier times, but that thought is fleeting and I'm quite happy with my maple tea because I know exactly what's in it.
I want to take a jar of syrup everywhere with me now. I'm looking forward to maple syrup lemonade in the heat of summer and watermelon maple smoothies (or daiquiris) and maybe some maple ginger rootbeer. Maybe I'll make some maple butter cookies. Mmm, I smell an entire cookbook coming soon. Recipes welcome. :)