Two quick food stories of interest

Full work day and I’m off to the garden tonight — we’re well under way there for our forthcoming move to a new location — but these two stories caught my idea today:

  • It’s one thing to get yourself a slew of fresh vegetables, it’s another to know what to do with them. This NY Times story is merely the overview that it is, but still provides a couple of useful pointers and reminders — I’m not here to get into a raw food vs. cooked food debate, mind you, so don’t take this as me getting involved much on that front! An interesting bit:

    What accompanies the vegetables can also be important. Studies at Ohio State measured blood levels of subjects who ate servings of salsa and salads. When the salsa or salad was served with fat-rich avocados or full-fat salad dressing, the diners absorbed as much as 4 times more lycopene, 7 times more lutein and 18 times the beta carotene than those who had their vegetables plain or with low-fat dressing.

    Fat can also improve the taste of vegetables, meaning that people will eat more of them. This month, The American Journal of Preventive Medicine reported on 1,500 teenagers interviewed in high school and about four years later on their eating habits. In the teenage years, many factors influenced the intake of fruits and vegetables. By the time the study subjects were 20, the sole factor that influenced fruit and vegetable consumption was taste. Young adults were not eating vegetables simply because they didn’t like the taste.

    “Putting on things that make it taste better — spices, a little salt — can enhance your eating experience and make the food taste better, so you’re more likely to eat vegetables more often,” Dr. Clinton said.

  • Meanwhile, who knew that kiwi fruit, aka the renamed Chinese gooseberry, would have taken root and thrived in…Italy?:

    Italian kiwi took root here in Latina, and Renato Campoli was its pioneer. Thirty years ago, as a young man, Campoli was one of the first Italians to plant the fruit, almost on a lark.

    “I was looking for something new to do in agriculture,” said Campoli, suntanned and with thick white hair.

    The tomatoes, beets and cows raised on his little family farm didn’t yield much of a living.

    A friend in Sweden had come across a mysterious fruit called a kiwi, and he challenged Campoli: Plant that!

    Mangia, as they say.

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