Frances Moore Lappe, Diet for a Small Planet by Anjuli

Posted on 01-08-09 · Tags: ,

“A college professor at Purdue University recalled recently that during the 1940′s he received a state grant ‘to figure out someway to use up all that food in a nonfood manner.’ The professor claimed not to be too successful at creating ‘nonfood.’ But then, he did not need to be. The perfect solution had been found elsewhere: in the American steer.”
- Frances Moore Lappé, 1975 revised introduction in Diet for a Small Planet

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Peppers: Put ‘em in your mouth by Anjuli

Posted on 09-24-08 · Tags: , , , , ,

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The "nightshades" are out in abundance. Members of the Solanaceae family, among them peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and mushrooms are being harvested and brought to markets all over the east. Many nightshades are rich in alkaloids, chemical compounds that act as the plant’s defenses and can be toxic to us. The effects of their toxins can range from irritant (chilies) to stimulant (cocaine) to death (mushrooms such as the death cap). So lets just say the nightshade family has given us some of the best and worst of edibles.

On my recent trip to the market I couldn’t resist the brightly colored bell peppers (Capsicum Annuum), the only capsicum with a recessive gene for capsaicin, the heat-producing alkaloid that irritates the pain and heat receptors in the mouth and nose, and basically causes us to sweat and reach for the milk when we eat good salsa.

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