a 99 cent sausage is not a sausage
It is quite interesting these days, folks, food is not food. I continue to be amazed at how easily we are allowing ourselves to have the proverbial wool pulled over our eyes multiple times a day...almost everywhere we look. Today we drove by a 7 Eleven, which boasted "sausage biscuit 99 cents" on a very large sign. Oy. Looks like a great deal, a sausage biscuit for less than a dollar. What do you think is in that sausage? Hmmmmmm. And what do you think is in that biscuit? Used to be that a sausage biscuit could be a health-full breakfast option. 7 Eleven is banking on your remembering it fondly. I can almost smell the sage sausage cooking and see the flaky biscuit it sits on. (You can bet this bargain biscuit was not made with good for you lard, like your grandma used to make!)
"Sausage healthy?!" you ask. "She surely is mistaken." But alas, I am not. A sausage is not a sausage, and a 99 cent sausage from 7 Eleven is surely not healthy. First of all, as cheap as it is, I would bet the sausage is made of pork parts you would rather not be eating, if you knew which part of the pig from which they came. Next, this 99 cent sausage has to be from a pig that was raised in a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation)--otherwise known as CAGES where pigs are concerned. (I know I cannot feel good about eating any animal that has been raised in a cage, a crate, on concrete, or in any other way that is contrary to their specific "animal-ness". For more information about an animal expressing their animal-ness, see Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm who talks about it all the time.) Don't want to even guess what was in that pig's fed. And hmmm, I would also bet that a good bit of that thing they are calling "sausage" is made up of soy protein...GMO soy protein, to boot. How about the preservatives and nitrates and nitrites? So there are quite a few problems with that "sausage". I would venture to say it is not a sausage at all. A FAR CRY from sausage that is a) all pork, and b) raised on on pasture (or woods, really. Pigs like that best.) A 99 cent sausage is not sausage. Neither is al lot of other sausage out there. Know your sources, folks. You get my point.
And let's talk a bit about that FAT issue that is going through your mind--I can see it now. Fat from pigs raised sustainably is good fat. It is health-full fat, and it is good for you. The "diet dictocrats" as Sally Fallon Morell would call them want you to think that saturated fat and eggs are bad for your health. It couldn't be further from the truth! Your brain and your heart are saturated fat dependent organs, (according to Tom Cowan, M.D. at the Fourfold Path to Healing Conference, 2011) and every cell in your body is made up of saturated fat. It is necessary for all sorts of functions in the body, from cell membranes to lung surfectant, to kidneys and your brain. Saturated fat makes up the largest percentage of breast milk, our first food. "Human physiology does not change as our bodies grow", according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. And our nutrient needs do not change as we grow older. So eat that nitrate-free, sustainably raised sausage. And bacon, too. Liberally. And with relish, so to speak. :)
Let's look into a few more foods which are not what they seem to be.
An egg is not an egg. Whether teaching my Cooking for Well-Being cooking classes or giving a talk at a school PTA meeting on foods for healthy children, I find myself needing to illuminate again the understanding that "an egg is not an egg". Eggs have been demonized throughout American culture for decades now, and I must say that I am disappointed that we continue to lump all eggs into one basket, so to speak. They are just not the same. One cannot compare the nutrient value of an egg produced by a hen expressing her "chicken-ness" as Joel Salatin would say, to those in an egg from a chicken who is prohibited to do so. Eggs from chickens living in battery cages stacked on top of one another and eating fortified grain (and grain filled with GMO soy and a host of other unsavory, not good for you things, I might add) , and prohibited from eating bugs, produce a very different nutrient profile. What goes IN determines what comes OUT . The nutrient profile and nutrient density of eggs produced in these two dramatically different environs simply cannot be the same. An egg IS NOT an egg. But those who tell you not to eat eggs do not mention this and don't want you to think about it. They would prefer that you not see, not look, not compare...so you may continue to be "hoodwinked" and believe that "all eggs are not good for you". Couldn't be farther from the truth, folks.
Let's look together at milk. All milk IS NOT created equal. This comes up a lot when people come to me to talk about children with food allergies and seasonal allergies, and lots of colds and sinus infections. They have had their children tested and their children are "allergic to dairy". And for years I have been asking them-"which dairy"? Cow dairy? Goat dairy? or sheep dairy? and most cannot tell me, because their doctor or allergist did not tell them. They don't even know which dairy their children were tested for. But then "the kicker"--they are lumping pasteurized milk in with raw milk. Milk is not milk, folks. What is currently being sold as milk is not milk at all. Different nutrient profile. Different nutrient density. No lactase to digest the lactose. Denatured protein. From cows fed GRAIN (unless you check for grass-fed) and let's not even talk about the hormones! So simply said, organic or not, grass-fed or not, pasteurized milk is not the same as raw milk. It is not the same as milk the way nature intended it to be. It is not the same as it was designed to be as it is produced by cows. But the dairy industry and the FDA want you to believe it is. Because if you knew, if you REALLY knew what is in that pasteurized milk, and what has happened to the proteins in the milk as a result of pasteurization, you would not drink that milk. And you certainly would not serve it to your children.
Certified raw milk is full of live enzymes, lactase to break down lactose (which is why "lactose-intolerant" folks can often drink raw milk with ease of digestion) and healthy bacteria, which is REQUIRED for good health. Heck, raw milk will even heal wounds. When raw milk goes sour, you can continue to use it, continue to drink it, as it has healthfully soured. (Contrast with soured pasteurized milk which can make you very sick. Pasteurization not only kills enzymes and denatures proteins in milk, it also kills both good and bad bacteria. And the "bad bacteria" is left in the milk for you to drink. Dead bad bacteria in every gulp. Yuck.)
While we are at it, let's take a look at salt. Yep, you guessed it. Salt is not salt. All salt is not created equal. Everyone tells you, cut down on salt. Especially those with high blood pressure. Well...yes. Cut down on sodium chloride, good ole NaCl. The salt with the girl with the umbrella on the container. Kosher salt. Heck, any salt that is not full of trace minerals IS suspect. We NEED THOSE TRACE MINERALS. So be sure to use a sea salt, ancient sea bed salt, or celtic salt that is chock full of minerals. Every cell needs them. Every day. So don't be fooled again...use that celtic salt. AND be sure to use it when cooking for your children. They need minerals too!
Let's not forget BUTTER. Mmmm mmm yum. Everyone I remind about the health benefits of pastured butter thanks me profusely. People LOVE butter. And for good reason: grass-fed butter is just plain good for you. And I am not talking about L___ O' Lakes. I am not even talking organic butter. Because one more time with feeling... all butter IS NOT alike. Butter from pastured cows has a perfect fatty acid profile. That means if you eat enough of it, you may be able to stop popping those fish oil capsules. Can you believe it? And good butter, grass-fed butter, is a wonderful fat to cook with, add to those SOAKED grains you serve, and slather on sourdough bread. It even helps to neutralize the phytates left in the bread after a good soak or ferment. So serve that butter! and enjoy!
I am asking you folks to pull the wool off your eyes and start using that discriminating brain you've got when it comes to food. Don't be hoodwinked! Don't be fooled! Use that brain to discriminate between "REAL Food" and the "food products" out there that are masquerading as food. I've unmasked some of the key impostors here for you, and hopefully given you more than "food for thought". The rest is up to you. Be well. Eat well. Eat REAL food. :)