I love onions, and can hardly wait to plant them this month---enough to last through most of the Winter. Last year our garden onions were sweet, delicious and stored well. Did you know........

"The onion species is a subset of the lily family? They may have first been cultivated in Asia or India, but wild onions are native in may localities including North America. The Great Lakes Indians called them She-khe-ony, and it is from this Indian word that the city of Chicago derives its name. Onions are valued for their distinct flavor, which enhances the flavors of other ingredients in any dish; and are a particularly good marriage with bland, starchy foods, such as legumes or potatoes.

Onions contain carotenoids, B complex vitamins---including all-important B6---and vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium and sulphur compounds. They are universally valued for their medicinal properties, which include improvement of kidney function and antibacterial qualities. According to some researchers, half of a cup of raw onions per day is an excellent means of protecting the blood from a tendency to coagulate and clot. Onions also have been shown to lower elevated blood sugar levels in test animals. Pasteur was the first to recognize that onions have strong antibacterial powers; onions are also helpful in breaking up mucus in the throat, lungs, and nasal passages. Finally, recent research indicates that onions, with their concentrated sulphur compounds, can be useful in treating cancer in some people. Onions also concentrate germanium when it is found in the soil. Germanium acts as an oxygen transporter and has been useful in cancer therapy.

On the other hand, certain yogic diets prohibit the onion because it is said to 'increase body heat and appetites.' This may be because the onion acts as a stimulant to the adrenal glands. Those with weak adrenal grands should eat sparingly of the onion family as should individuals sensitive to sulphur-containing foods.

To peel small onions, remove ends and plunge briefly into boiling water. Skins will then come off easily.

Baked Onions with Pecans
Serves 8

4 large onions, peeled
1 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon paprika
sea salt
1/2 cup crispy pecans

Cut onions in half along the equator and place cut side up in a buttered glass baking dish. Mix stock, butter, honey, lemon rind, and paprika and heat gently until well blended. Season to taste. Pour over onions. Bake, covered, for about 50 minutes at 350 degrees, basting occasionally, until onions are just tender. Remove cover, sprinkle with pecans and bake another 10-15 minutes until lightly browned."

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon
Click here to purchase this book from Amazon.com

A Perspective for the Future

by John Jeavons
in the book How to Grow More Vegetables than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine.

"We 'farm' as we eat. For example, if we consume food that has been grown using methods that inadvertently deplete the soil in the growing process, then we are responsible for depleting the soil. If, instead, we raise or request food grown in ways that heal the Earth, then we are healing the Earth and its soils. Our daily food choices will make the difference. We can choose to sustain ourselves while increasing the planet's vitality. In the bargain we preserve resources, breath cleaner air, enjoy good exercise, and eat pure food.

"It has been estimated that about 1/3 of the health care costs in the United States could be eliminated through an increase in exercise and by eating a nutritious diet. Gardening and mini-farming provide both of these, resulting in a win-win proposition. By doing something that is wondrous and fun--growing food--each individual becomes important again in the face of an otherwise overwhelming global environmental challenge. The Earth, the soils, and each individual will be better as a result of these efforts."


"Propaganda: The American Diabetic Association recommends the use of aspartame to lower blood sugar. Consuming aspartame, as opposed to sugar, can reduce body weight.

Reality: Aspartame is linked to many nervous system disorders, as well as to brain cancer, and can exacerbate some symptoms of diabetes. The American Cancer Society has noted that those who use artificial sweeteners gain more weight than those who don't and there is evidence that aspartame is addictive.

Tips: If you suffer from migraines or fibromyalgia symptoms, try eliminating all aspartame and MSG from your diet.

Since nearly all 'diet' or 'sugar free' products contain a harmful sugar substitute, opt for raw honey, maple syrup, molasses, or stevia."

- Politically Incorrect Nutrition: Finding Reality In the Mire of Food Industry Propaganda by Michael Barbee. Available through KC Library system or purchase on-line through Amazon.

Click here to order this book from Amazon.com.

Sweet Potatoes

"There's probably no vegetable with a higher betacarotene content than the sweet potato. This is the betacarotene that protects us against cancer, colds, infections and other diseases. The carotene content of sweet potatoes actually increases as the vegetable is stored throughout the winter. But remember that our bodies can only convert carotene to vitamin A in the presence of bile salts. That's why it's so important to eat sweet potatoes with butter, egg yolks or cream. These fats stimulate the secretion of bile and help the body to convert carotenes to all-important vitamin A. These wonderful fats also make sweet potatoes taste delicious.

The sweet potato is a good source of iron, potassium, niacin and vitamin C. It contains fiber and is very rich in vitamin B6, a vitamin that is highly protective against heart disease. Last but not least, the sweet potato is rich in magnesium, another nutrient that protects against heart disease.

Sweet Potato Pancakes
serves 4-6

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
1 parge potato, unpeeled, washed and grated
2 tablespons whey or lemon juice
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 medium oniln, minced
1 small carrot, grated
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons spelt or whole grain flour
pinch of nutmeg
sea salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3tablespoons extra virgin oil oil

Soak grated potato in water plus whey or lemon juice and salt for sever hours or overnight.
Drain and squeeze dry in a tea towel. Mix eggs with flour and nutmeg and season to taste. Stir in grated vegetables. Use a 1/3 cup measure to scoop out batter. Saute until golden on both sides in butter and olive oil.

Variation: Add 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro to batter. Omit nutmeg."

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon.
Click here to purchase this book from Amazon.com

Food, Inc.--The Movie

I just watched Food, Inc. for the second time. I think it should be required viewing for everyone who eats food. It discusses several topics you have seen on this blog: meat processing, GMO foods, the real cost of food, and much more.

The first time I saw this film, I was appalled at the mess that is our food system. This time, though, I felt more empowered to do something about it. The movie ends with a silent series of sentences. Maybe you too will find some ideas of what you can do to effect change.

"You can vote to change this system...Three times a day."

"Buy from companies that treat workers, animals, and the environment with respect."

"When you go to the supermarket, choose foods that are in season. Buy foods that are organic. Know what's in your food. Read labels."

"Know what you buy. The average meal travels 1500 miles from the farm to the supermarket. Buy foods that are grown locally. Shop at farmers' markets. Plant a garden. (Even a small one.)"

"Cook a meal with your family and eat together."

"Everyone has a right to healthy food. Make sure your farmers' market takes food stamps. Ask your school board to provide healthy school lunches."

"The FDA and USDA are supposed to protect you and your family. Tell Congress to enforce food safety standards and re-introduce Kevin's Law."

"If you say grace, ask for food that will keep us and the planet healthy."

"You can change the world with every bite. Hungry for change? Go to takepart.com/foodinc."