Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.
I have never experience gout attacks for years now. It is safe to assume that my prevention methods are quite efficient.
Here they are. It supersedes all other gout related article I published earlier.
I take everything in moderation with the exception of water, fruits and vegetables. My point is, avoiding gravy and sardines is futile if I eat a lot of chicken legs and bacon. Bread and rice are not purine sources but I also avoid taking too much. As a general rule, I am stopping when my stomach is half full. The lightest meal is at dinner. The body needs the least amount of energy during sleep. Excess will only be stored as fat.
I drink a lot of water everyday. The first thing I put in stomach after waking up is a glass of water or two. I drink soft beverages and coffee rarely. Water therapy is recommended for dissolving purine crystal deposits, thus, during gout. However, why let gout attacks before drinking water a lot. Prevention is better than cure. Plus, water has lots of benefits more than we can imagine.
Few minutes morning exercise. In my line of work, legs down to feet are the least use part of my body. So I take time to do 15 minutes jogging every morning to compensate. It does not only help prevents gout attacks but is also making my legs stronger.
Sometimes, over eating is hard to avoid, specially on special occasions like town fiestas and birthdays. In this case, I am mixing one teaspoon baking soda in 500ml drinking water and taking it three times a day.
I initially took baking soda solution as gout cure. The instant relief claim of other website is not true, in my very own experience. In previous severe attacks, comfort could be felt after three to five days continuous intake. Onset could be arrested though.
Blood flows slower in feet and even slower in cold weather and cold night. It gives time to excess purine to deposit on joints resulting to gout. So I keep them warm by wearing socks, pajamas and using thick blanket during sleep.
How large is the current demand for cacao products? I never know exact number nor estimate. What I know is, it is so huge and our current production is so low to cope with. The government included it in national budget few years ago.
The campaign became massive. Related government agencies began purchasing seedlings in huge volumes. Then cacao farmers expanded their nurseries to sell young plants. The fresh wet seed is so valuable that they opt to sell it as is or grow as seedlings.
We felt the lack of supply too. There was several price increase in short time span last year. We experienced two months no production. Our regular supplier warehouse was emptied because of too many customers needing the beans. The demand is really large. Numerous nurseries are also competing with manufacturers. The situation happened despite of our two months precaution.
What is this? A recent article dated April 22, 2017.
According to write up, Ivory Coast and Ghana, the two largest cacao producing countries have surplus of 300,000 tons cocoa between year 2016 and 2017.
We are all aware of what happens when there is surplus. The price goes down. Very true, cocoa price went down from $3,300 per metric to to about $2,000. That was huge!.
Further, this surplus, lower cacao prices and decline of chocolate consumption has greatly impacted the cocoa economic of Ecuador.
I couldn’t believe what I read. We are reviving our very own cacao industry to fill the local and international demands. We might not able to sell it when that time comes. I hope this is not the case.
Our love for banana lead us to a ridiculous innovation. Whenever we had, we check it very open until ripe. To be more specific, we often check it until 90% yellow. Its flesh was still hard and taste a bit astringent. What we do next was rolling it hardly in between hands until soft. Then, it was ready to eat but the astringent taste is still there. It was a contest, so taste doesn’t matter.
We never do that thing anymore. We never eat unless fully ripe and sweet. Sometimes it got overripe and never got eaten. A feast for plant roots.
Yellow bright colored bananas looks pleasant to eyes and seems very delectable. It is often the customers choice. Other that looks overripe and with brown freckles are left on stall. Merchants sometime need to lower selling price to avoid losses. The dilemma of perishable goods.
I remember my professor’s story. During rambutan season, she is choosing overripe looking rambutan, with the soft thorns getting wilted brown. The appearance looks bad but the flesh is perfectly fine.
The same is true with overripe bananas. The outside appearance may not look well but the internal flesh is perfectly fine. Numerous brown spots signal the presence of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), it fights cancerous tumors. Plus, it was found out to have high amount of antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients.
So what we did before was wrong. Bananas should reach overripe stage before consumption, but not to point of inedible.
Brown spots never always mean positive. If the brown spots are present on green stage. Then it is probably sign of disease. Anthracnose maybe present on young banana and causing premature ripening.
Another event that may cause brown spots is refrigeration. It only affects the peels usually.
Suddenly, I was intrigued with the sweet potato color. Kamote were not created equal. The common color I see is dirty white and others are orange and purple. The one we are currently eating has white and purple shade. Who knows, genetically modified blue and green might have been invented already and began circulating. It is not impossible, the GMO multi-colored corn was introduced several years ago.
We used to harvest white kamote but we like more the variety bought from public market. The orange and sometimes purple shades. Their taste sweeter and the appearance is more pleasing to the eye.
Sweet potato color differences is attributed to amount of antioxidant it contain. The more intense the color is the more antioxidant it has. If we base it on color differences alone, the white gets the lowest score.
We made the right choice but planting the wrong variety. Too bad, father never had access to those.
The yellow to orange color is attributed to high beta carotene content. Essential for maintaining good eye health. Eat more if you have incoming school examinations. You know what I mean! The bad thing you do when you never know the answer.
The purple sweet potato is the healthiest of them all. Anthocyanins are responsible for purple color. It is the priority whenever possible. Choose orange in case the first is not available. This is often the case as purple is not common. Opting for white is not a bad choice either. Kamote is one of the healthiest food after all.
More Trivia: Purple pigment can be extracted and use as food coloring. Color changes depending on pH. Pink to raspberry red in pH 3, grape in pH 4 and blue in pH 7.
As time goes by, sight of copper vessel is getting rare. When was the last time? I couldn’t remember. However, the use of copper ware I last saw is very clear. For preparation of old fashioned chocolate drink. The batirol (wooden whisk) and copper pitcher combo.
Known amount of water and old fashioned chocolate (tablea) are boiled. Perhaps the copper pitcher serves as the cooking vessel. Please, someone clarify this for me!. Then the batirol is used to homogenize the mixture. It is necessary. Due to cacao high butter content, the two never blend well. This problem is usually solve with addition of milk.
As of date…very few practice this. Many use electric blender and hot water to quickly prepare the drink. Others opt to instant powder completely eliminating the need of tedious preparation.
Now that it is no where to be found, I feel like owning a set of copper pitcher and drinking cups. Not because I want to bring back the old tradition to life. I want to use it because of the health benefits I can get.
Copper is essential nutrient and can be fulfilled by using copper containers. How? Of course we are not biting copper with every use. The metal is indeed soft, but not soft enough to chew and eaten. Crazy!
Remember the article “Sugar of Lead”. Lead pots leaks to whatever food it contain. Then rendering it dangerous to consume. Fatal in some cases.
The same is true for copper. It leaks to water and other food it carries. Too much copper intake is harmful too but there is nothing to worry about! The leached rate according to studies is about 1/20th of the permissible limit of 2mg Cu/L.
Copper kills some harmful microorganisms on contact. There are studies proving this claim. Let the water stand for awhile to allow copper leaching and elimination of unwanted flora.
Now there are two reasons to bring out your antique copper wares. A permanent source of copper nutrient and cheap sterilizer. I will do the same I a have. Maybe I should settle with the newly released copper pans.
I feel annoyed when apple has small sticker label. Often, after washing and began munching, a small piece of paper clings to my teeth. It is not biggie when I noticed beforehand. I simply scrape it off with knife. However, they are usually small and bear the same shade as the fruit skin. I guess, I just have to inspect carefully and stop being lazy.
The fruit label is there for number of reasons.
A small and simple is for brand identification and promotion. If the produce is good. Then you know which to look for the next time you step in the grocery store. If you’re not satisfied. Choose something else then and avoid the err brand.
Black and white labels with stripe or somewhat checkered pattern are bar code and QR code respectively. They are means used by POS machines (point of sale). Do you observe the cashier passing your chosen goods rapidly via dim red light. The product identifications and prices and read and sum up by computer. Otherwise, the cashier, need to look it one by one and manually compute the sum. A tedious task for the company and inconvenience to you and other customers. There are several POS machines and you still need to wait in line. Imagine if this mechanism has not been invented!
There is more. The PLU or Price Look Up code. It tells more about the commodity. Not only price, brand and origin but also the manner it was produced. It is sure very useful to health conscious individuals. If he knows the code meanings, then he can choose organically grown and avoid those label with pesticides.
PLU system is implemented by IFPS, International Federation for Produce Standards. It compose of 4 to 5 digits, but the prefix or the first digit number is all you want to know about.
PLU code starting numbers:
4: Conventionally grown. Sprayed with pesticides.
6: Precut, fruits and vegetables.
8: Genetically modified organisms.
I think there is only one thing to remember. The prefix 9. Safety of prefix 6 is not clear. Better forget it as well.