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November 25, 2009

The real superfoods

STW%20Beets.jpgOnce again our Shallow Thought guru John Lindner comes through with a superb guest post. Here's John. EL

Food scare stories don’t scare me. I’ve seen, as it were, where the sausage is made. And such stories always come to nothing. Always. Neither am I duped by reports of miracle foods, the likes of which I stumbled across recently in this New York Times fluffer on beetroot juice. (You too can die on your exercycle!) 

Full disclosure, I detest beets. Fortunately, my journalistic training allows me to report the following with haughty objectivity. ...

The “real story” lies at the end of the beet piece. Some drone added a brief list of “superfoods.” As you may have guessed, butter was not among the winners.

Alleged Superfoods

Them: Pomegranate. Revered in ancient times as a source of regeneration, a study in 2005 found it reduced harmful cholesterol in mice.

Me: Like I want healthy mice.

Them: Garlic. A study in 1999 found that eating half a raw clove a day may help to prevent cancer.

: Or … it may not. (I eat it anyway ... I'm just saying.)
: Apple. Research in the late 1990s discovered the fruit to be a useful food for preventing osteoporosis.

Me: In mice?
Alternative superfoods
The Bacon Cheese Rare Roast Beef Rollup (great for parties, especially if nobody shows up): Lay out a thickish slice of rare roast beef. At one end, lay in a piece of bacon and a slice of cheese. Roll up. Dip in Heinz 57 sauce (or Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce or any of a number of great sauces) and nosh.

Variations abound, let your heart be your guide. Contraindications: While you may not live longer (than what, we’re not sure), at least you will have lived. Low carb and covers about 30-50 percent of the food color scale depending on the sauce you choose.
Anything French: When it comes to living a miserable life well, no culture surpasses that of the French (possible exceptions within certain narrow definitions: Tahitians, Swedish polygamists, bikers). Whether it’s cheese, wine, or amphibians, the French know how to make the most of a shortened lifespan. Added benefits: They ignore no-smoking signs and have jobs for life.

(Photo by Tracy Olson, courtesy Stock Exchng

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 11:27 AM | | Comments (16)


I have a wonderful book called "The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods" by Michael Murray, N.D. It is a wonderful, informative guide which lists foods by category, explains what they are helpful for and offers food prescriptions for common diseases and ailments. Love this book.

Not to quibble, jl, but those alleged superfoods made their case long before mouse experiments.

Pomegranate. See Persephone. She ate six seeds and caused winter to happen every year. What other food is powerful enough to combat global warming?

Garlic. Repels vampires. Thus, responsible for all the great and not-so-great Dracula movies ever made. To say nothing of the 746 comments on the Read Street blog under the post "Stephen King: Stephanie Meyer Can't Write".

Apple. The Fall of Mankind. Now, what superfood has the power of atonement?

Pomegranate. See Persephone. She ate six seeds and caused winter to happen every year. What other food is powerful enough to combat global warming?


Apples weren't about atonement, though. If you go with that story, they were about disobeying G_d, which led to Very Bad Things, such as Original Sin and diet ketchup.

Thanks, Lissa. Sorry I was unclear about the apple; didn't mean to imply it brought about atonement, rather that another food would be needed for that purpose. And it
surely wouldn't be ketchup.

Where I come from, it was cubed white bread and Welch's grape juice.

I'm certainly no expert on atonement, having only relative pitch, but that sounds more like a nursery snack, Laura Lee.

Laura Lee, on the contrary, you substantiated my point.

You mean transubstantiated? btw, did you notice in that beetroot juice study they used blackcurrent cordial as the placebo? Boy, if I were swigging creme de cassis while cycling, my endurance would diminish too.

You mean transubstantiated?

It seems like a Tom Lehrer quote is needed here.

Captcha: mintier SUE

Absolutely, Hal. I starting singing, "2, 4, 6, 8 Time to transubstantiate!" the second I saw that word.

You all are getting ecstatic and sort of dramatic.

Doin' the Vatican Rag!

You can do anything you want if
You can clear it with the pontiff...

Ave Maria,
Gee, it's good to see ya'...

(Hey, it isn't T.S. Elliot. Y'all should be happy.)

Anirban seems to have missed the point of "Shallow Thought Wednesday". Either that or he/she is a shill.

Yes, he has to go away now. EL

Getting back to the original topic, we recently read a study that links dairy consumption with increased risk of age-related macular degeneration. The part that grabbed me was that the lower the fat content, the greater the risk. I'm swearing off skim milk right now!

I always knew skim milk was evil! It can be difficult to find full fat yogurt.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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