A Beacon Food Forest in the City | are we ready for this one?

A city park filled with hundreds of edible plants such as fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, etc… Free to anyone and everyone. A seven acre area with the following:

– canopy, large fruit and nut trees
– low tree layer, dwarf fruit trees
– shrub layer, currants and berries
– herbaceous, comfreys, beets, herbs
– rhizosphere, root vegetables
– soil surface, ground cover such as strawberries
– vertical layer, climbers, vines

seattle beacon food forest jefferson parkLocation: Area adjacent to the west side of Jefferson Park at Seattle.

the 7 layer food forestIt is a community based project, funded by the community and maintained by community. Anyone may go there to help develop the place, relax or just wonder around. The best things, entrance is free and all edibles are free.

The project is not good, it is excellent. Imagine entering a forested area full of free edibles. Get what you want and eat all you want. However, if it is going to be built in our place, are we responsible enough to take care of it. Can we promise ourselves:

– not to cut trees and sell it as log
– not to do slash and burn
– not to harvest fruit for sale
– not to shoot inhabiting birds
– not to leave non-biodegradable garbage in the area
– not to live inside the area
– to voluntarily help in area development and maintenance

I hate to admit, this project is excellent but might go to waste if built in our very own place instead.

Healthy Eating with Structured Foods

What if half the amount of your regular diet is enough to make you feel full? Two cups of rice before, down to only one cup. Two donut breads before, and now you are satisfied with only one.

What I am saying can be realized with discipline. Know the amount of food that is enough for your needs and follow it accordingly. Replace half or your regular meal with vegetables and fruits. There are also methods like, drink a diet tea and eat all you want and the expensive surgical operation that reduces stomach volume.

What if half the amount of food can satisfy you without the hard to implement discipline, without diet chemical, without the replacement technique and without the expensive surgical operation. A food can be restructured to give more satiety. Thus a restructured food can make you feel fuller faster than original version.

However, I never know yet how the restructuring technique work.  It might be a patent pending discovery.

A result of study published at nizo.com suggest that a wide range of foodstuffs can be restructured in  such a way that an early formation of viscous sediments of the energy rich-part is promoted, initial stomach emptying is slowed down , satiation is enhanced and food intake can be better controlled.

 If a food in the stomach separates into an energy-poor upper layer and a viscous energy-dense sediment, the energy-dense part is delivered to the small intestine first, keeping the energy-poor liquid layer stacked on top. The volume of the stomach then stays larger for a longer time while at the same time the small intestine signals an influx of high-energy food. In a publication in Food Hydrocolloids, NIZO scientist George van Aken anticipated that this situation, which resembles the situation of the stomach being filled homogeneously with a large volume of energy-dense food, would stimulate satiation.


Stealth Mode, Food Manufacturers Won't Reveal This To You!

Food manufacturers may practice one or more of the following in stealth mode.

1) Replacement of ingredients with non-noticeable alternatives. Using carabeef instead of beef for making corned beef is easy without the customer noticing. In fact, I never knew this technique until a person from a meat factory told me personally. Another example, the lack of pineapple in fruit mix can be masked by increasing the quantity of other fruits.

2) Decrease package contents slowly and gradually. This was what the cacao dealer suggested when we complained about the non-stop price increase. Gradually trim down the chocolate tablet size so we could still have income without increasing the retail price.  Customers will notice it in due time but will never brought them in state of shock.

I have been observing many companies playing with this trick for  a long time. Hotdogs are getting thinner and shorter. Chips and crackers in the same size packaging are getting fewer and lighter. Softdrinks head spaces are getting more spacier until such time that they switched to smaller bottles.

3) Adding fake.. or simply call it adulteration. Adding chicory to coffee,  mixing melamine to powdered milk, or the totally fake egg. Some are perfectly safe while some bring dangers to life.

4) Method replacement. Ever heard of same two products produced via two entirely different method? That is soy sauce. It can be manufactured via natural fermentation and acid hydrolysis. The latter having lower cost and preferred my makers. Do you love cheese? Read the label carefully. The cheaper brand you might be getting is a substitute cheese or an imitation cheese. The two cheese alternatives have the same flavor as cheese but offers less nutritive value.

Expiration of Non Food Items

Any food item is considered expired when it is not fit for human consumption or its original appearance has undergone a significant change. Example of the first, bacterial growth, rancidity and unexpected modification of chemical makeup. Example of the latter, pineapple slices in can became shredded, a hardened milk powder and a liquified instant coffee powder.

How about the non food items? When can we say that they are expired and how they got expired? Wayback, I asked my boss, a veterinarian, why the sterile syringe had an expiry date printed on label. He immediately answered. The expiry date was an indication that the syringe may not be as sterile as it was packed in the factory. Microbes and unwanted chemicals might had penetrated the paper plastic packaging.

Non food items like, disposable gloves, syringes, single use petri dishes and disposable pipettes, will not get spoiled but may become unsuitable for its intended purpose via two ways. First, accidental package break or opening but not using it immediately. It allows the rapid entry of unwanted microbes, chemicals and other debris. Second, natural product degradation. Disposable gloves, plastic petri dishes become brittle on storage. Hot and moist conditions shorten the expected usable life.

Which Food Has The Most Number of Ingredients?

I felt a sudden curiosity about which commercially available foods has the most number of ingredients. I immediately checked the canned vienna sausage on my hand. Then grabbed other food items inside the house such as tomato sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, energen cereal drink, gatorade and several milk formulas. The last set of items got my attention the most. Alaska powder has about 28 ingredients, Alactamil as over 35, Lactum has a little lower value, while Enfapro A+  got a whopping number of 47.

Outside our home, Enfapro might not be on top but it won’t surprise me if the real top is another milk brand. Milk manufacturers are trying their best to make their formula a good replacement for breastmilk in case breastfeeding is not enough or the mother simply can’t breastfeed.

enfapro a+ logo

The Enfapro A+ ingredient list .

1) Whey protein concentrate (cow’s milk)
2) lactose

Blend of Vegetable Oils
3) Coconut oil
4) High oleic vegetable palm olein
5) soybean oil

6) corn syrup solids (plants)
7) Non fat milk powder (cow’s milk)
8) Galactooligosaccharide
9) Whole milk powder (cow’s milk)

Single cell oils (Mortierella alpina oil and Crypthecodinium cohnji oi) as sources of:
10) Arachidonic Acid (ARA)
11) Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

12) Calcium carbonate
13) Calcium chloride
14) Calcium hyroxide
15) Cupric sulfate
16) Ferrous sulfate
17) Magnesium chloride
18) Manganese sulfate
19) Potassium bicarbonate
20) Potassium chloride
21) Potassium citrate
22) Sodium iodide
23) Sodium selenite
24) Trisodium citrate
25) Zinc sulfate

26) Emulsifier (lecithin)

27) Alpha tocophery acetate
28) Biotin
29) Calcium pantothenate
30) Cholecalciferol
31) Choline chloride
32) Cyanocobalamin
33) Folic acid
34) Niacinamide
35) Phytonadione
36) Pyridroxine hydrochloride
37) Vitamin A palmitate

38) Inositol
39) Taurine

40) Adinosine monophosphate
41) Cytidine monophosphate
42) Disodium guanosine monophosphate
43) Disodium uridine monophosphate

44) Ascorbic acid
45) Ascorbyl palmitate

46) L-Carnitine
47) Acidity regulator

I will update the post once I found a commercial product with higher number of raw materials used.

How Color Coding Works in Food Processing?

Where do we often see color coding scheme?

During travels. The traffic lights are color coded. Green for go, orange for ready, and red for stop.

Vehicle plates. Green for private vehicles, yellow for commuters, red for government owned and blue for consuls.

Schools. Not really  a color coding scheme but every school tend to establish their color identity using student uniforms.

Color coding can also be use effectively in food processing. Here are some examples.

1) Different uniform colors. Brown for receiving, green for preparation, yellow for cooking, red for packing, blue for warehouse and maroon for office workers. As a rule of thumb any personnel from receiving area should not go to preparation. So there should be no brown color in group of greens. It will be very easy to pinpoint whenever someone tries to violate the rule.

2) Color coded knives, ladles, spoons and other utensils. Each can be prominently labeled so carrying from area to another area could be prevented. However, someone can easily tamper, remove or cover it and do the untoward. Color coded utensils is easier to monitor.

3) Color coded floor tiles. If items one and two are color coded, then it not surprising if the floor tiles of each processing sections are color coded too.

Its main purpose is to prevent cross-contamination.

4) Ingredient containers. Green for safe chemicals, orange for toxic and red for extremely poisonous. Or, it can be green for natural ingredients and orange for artificial.

5) Product labeling. Red for pork and beef,  yellow for pineapple and mango, orange for papaya and oranges and brown for chico.

different color coded for and knife logo