The Weekly Watch

To Our Good Health

We are likely to get COVID-19 (I've heard estimates of 70 to 80% of us). Fortunately, most people have mild to no symptoms. The severity of the disease is primarily dependent on the strength of our immune system and the initial viral load at infection. About 70% of the severe cases are in people with some level of obesity. We can influence these factors folks. Wearing a mask, even a homemade one, will reduce the initial infection load. Obesity is a result of poor (misinformed) dietary choices and is really pretty easy to correct. The truth is that we blame people for being overweight and sick, but it’s not their fault. Our taste buds, hormones, and brain chemistry have been hijacked by the food industry. Stress is also a complicating factor, as is poor sleep and lack of rest. The concurrent economic collapse coupled with worry about family and friends add to our susceptibility. Perhaps some of us will manage to avoid infection until there is a vaccine. That appears to be a year to 18 months away. That's a long time to be isolated using good antiseptic measures. So this week I thought we should focus on maximizing our own healthy immune system and reviewing protective techniques to minimize infection. Let's try to do more than just survive, but to thrive... and come out of this seismic event better, more thoughtful, and kinder people.


7 minutes

P.rip provided some good information on making your own masks
https://www.ripphysics.com/OLLI/MultiSessionClasses/COVID19/maskN95.pdf
I thought this approach in the link easy and effective
https://www.consumer.org.hk/ws_en/news/specials/2020/mask-diy-tips.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY-29VBkGmw (5 min)

I'm using a modified mask. I've got a weedeating bandana mask that can be tucked into your shirt, great for people with beards. I'm paperclipping a paper towel and tissue to the inside (tissue next to my mouth). Upon return home the paper can be burnt or thrown away and the bandana washed ready for next week's trip out.

Diet and COVID-19

I've heard some puzzlement about why young Southerners are having severe cases of COVID. Guess which states are the most obese? It was about three years ago that our departed friend OPOL wrote an essay about fasting and ketogenic diets. That started me on my journey toward health. There are many paths or diets that can lead to metabolic health...most people (50-70%) in the US and around the world are not metabolically healthy and many are diabetic or pre-diabetic.

At that time I was eating what I thought was a healthy diet...SAD (Standard American Diet). Oatmeal most mornings, typically a sandwich on wholewheat with chips for lunch, meat, taters (or some type of starch), and a vegetable for supper. I also was drinking several beers a day. At 6 ft+ and 230 pounds I thought I was little (20-30 lb) overweight.

Jason Fung was my first big influence. I began my journey by fasting. Now in retrospect that may not have been smart, but it worked for me. The reason an initial fast might be ill advised is if you have stored toxins in your fats, like mercury or glyphosate, you will have a sudden release into your body with perhaps bad results. However, the advantage of a fast is it forces your body into fat metabolism after three days.

The second trick for me after the fast was getting off carbohydrates....the so called ketogenic diet. Ends up you can't burn fats if you eat carbs. They cause your body to produce insulin which blocks fat metabolism (and stimulates hunger). That is why you're starving an hour after you eat pancakes with syrup on top (that's all carbs). Some folks use MCT oils to aid in the transition to fat metabolism. These fats are easily absorbed and quickly utilized as fuel to help your body learn to burn fat as fuel instead of sugar.

The next trick I learned was limiting my eating window, called intermittent fasting. In order to do that comfortably, I think required the longer fasts first to become metabolically flexible (at least for me). These days I eat one or two meals a day. I use a 4-6 hour eating window...typically breakfast at 10 or 11 am and lupper between 2 and 4 pm. I sometimes have a snack like nuts in between meals. If you are hyperinsulinemic , this is very difficult. I was hyperinsulinemic when I started my journey, and would have found limiting my eating window very difficult had I begun there. Other folks have done well with that as an initial strategy.

This clip does a good job explaining the role of insulin in obesity and diabetes and how carbohydrate reduction and fasting have cured both conditions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlfZvnV4v50 (16 min)

So how do you know if you've gotten over your hyperinsulinemia? Here's some good ways to tell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nABhyA0V8AQ (16 min)

It may take some folks a month or two, but most people can transition to fat metabolism in a week or two. To learn more and reinforce those lessons, I watched/listened to almost all of these Low Carb conference presentations...
https://www.youtube.com/user/lowcarbdownunder/videos
as well as these presentations at the UK Public Health Collaborative
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZO0WD6hn02_6b0_MNTKPgQ/videos
Notice the body shape of all these low carb people? It works.

After a year of fasting every month for 3-5 days, severely limiting carbohydrates when I was eating, and shortening my eating window, I had lost over 60 pounds, not the 20-30 I thought I needed to lose. I've easily maintained my college weight of 170 pounds (about 80 kg) over the last two years with very little effort...primarily because of my eating strategies. These days I tend to do a 3 day fast every quarter, and a one or two day fast almost every month. I continue with a low carb lifestyle using a limited eating window, and feel better and healthier than I have since my misspent youth.

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Now I'm not saying you should follow my path, just that these were my strategies and outcomes. The meals we eat are mainly vegetables (usually homegrown) with a meat. Some doctors like Ken Berry and Georgia Ede use a total carnivore diet. They discuss their rationale in this clip...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgL1vlasrxU (58 min)

Mindy Pelz and Ken Berry discuss the importance of your diet and immunity...

“If you start today, your immune system will be stronger TOMORROW”
“Our world is never going to be the same again. There will be opportunities available to you that were never there before”
“This is not a stumbling block. This is the biggest stepping stone you’ve ever had”
In this new world, health has to be at the top of our priority list.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvE5M02gzEs (51 min)

More from Ken Berry

There are very popular diets that will cripple your Immune Systems ability to fight off bacterial and Viral infections. In this video I will tell you exactly how these popular diets worsen your immune response, and what you can do to correct this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVKyy8GOjSk (12 min)
Research to support his talk...
http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/diabetes-mellitus-and-infectious-diseas...
The Effect of Short-Term Hyperglycemia on the Innate Immune System.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26897277
Immune dysfunction in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM)
https://academic.oup.com/femspd/article/26/3-4/259/638202
The Effect of Short-Term Hyperglycemia on the Innate Immune System
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/295254669_The_Effect_of_Short-T...

What about fasting during the pandemic. Is that a good idea? Mindy thinks it has a place in boosting our immunity using intermittent fasting, 17+ hour fast, and 24 hour fasts.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwaOH6s1os4 (15 min)
more from Yale:
https://news.yale.edu/2016/09/08/listening-body-study-examines-effects-f...
and more on intermittent fasting from the New England Journal of Medicine
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1905136
It appears that the immune boost happens when you eat (refuel) after fasting. So it is probably best to stay at home during a fast and go out for errands after eating.

Mark Hyman and his functional doctor colleagues discuss diet and COVID-19 in a webinar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dyoraDWPAs (1.4 hours)
The first 30 minutes or so provides (probably) the most useful information.

https://drhyman.com/blog/2020/04/01/a-functional-medicine-approach-to-co...

There are five things that will help us minimize suffering, loss, and death, by slowing and stopping the pandemic:

1. Each of us optimizing our own health, especially metabolic health.
2. Social distancing. This is a sad and massively disruptive reality that will likely continue in some form for 12-18 months.
3. Herd immunity, a medical term that means when the majority of a population gets infected and develops immunity, the virus can’t spread as easily.
4.The development of a vaccine that optimistically will be in 18 months.
5. The development of treatments, both conventional and unconventional (see below).

I wish I never had to write this, that none of us had to face this in our lives. But I do and we do. These suggestions will hopefully guide you in navigating how to take care of yourselves and your families in the midst of this pandemic. For some of these guidelines, there is strong evidence of benefit, others are common sense and yet others are more experimental and time will reveal their utility.

In every infection, there are two factors at play. The microbe and the host. We can’t control the microbe but we have extraordinary control over us, the host. Functional Medicine is the science of creating health, of creating resilience, and making your system an inhospitable place for disease.

Here’s what we will cover:

How Can I Protect Myself, My Family, and My Community
How to Eat to Boost Your Metabolism
Immune Boosting Lifestyle Interventions
What Supplements Should I Take
What is the Status of Treatments and Vaccines?
How to Do a Sugar Detox
Options for Telemedicine and Functional Medicine Care

Gundry food pyramid.jpg

So what is the bottom line dietary advice...from Mark Hyman. Obviously this differs from Ken Berry's and Georgia Ede's approach. As I suggested, there are many paths. Marks diet is closer to mine than Ken's.

1. Stay away from sugar.

That means a diet low in anything that causes a spike in our insulin production—sugar, flour, and refined carbohydrates. Think of sugar in all its various forms as an occasional treat, that is, something we eat occasionally and sparingly. I tell people to think of it as a recreational drug. You use it for fun occasionally, but it is not a dietary staple.

2. Eat mostly plants.

As we learned earlier, more than half your plate should be covered with veggies. The deeper the color, the better. The more variety, the healthier. Stick with mostly nonstarchy veggies. Winter squashes and sweet potatoes are fine in moderation (½ cup a day). Not a ton of potatoes! French fries don’t count even though they are the No. 1 vegetable in America.

3. Easy on fruits.

This is where there could be a little bit of confusion. Some paleo champions recommend eating mostly low-sugar fruits like berries, while some vegan advocates recommend all fruit equally. I find that most of my patients feel better when they stick to low-glycemic fruits and enjoy the others as a treat. Stick with berries, and watch the grapes, melons, and so on. Think of dried fruit as candy, and keep it to a minimum.

4. Stay away from pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and GMO foods.

Also, no chemicals, additives, preservatives, dyes, artificial sweeteners, or other junk ingredients. If you don’t have that ingredient in your kitchen for cooking, you shouldn’t eat it. Polysorbate 60, red dye 40, and sodium stearoyl lactylate (also known as Twinkie ingredients), anyone?

5. Eat foods containing healthy fats.

I’m talking about omega-3 fatty acids and other good fats like those we find in nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocados. And yes, we can even eat saturated fat from fish, whole eggs, and grass-fed or sustainably raised meat, grass-fed butter or ghee, and organic virgin coconut oil or coconut butter.

6. Stay away from most vegetable, nut, and seed oils.

This includes canola, sunflower, corn, grapeseed, and especially soybean oil, which now accounts for about 10 percent of our calories. Small amounts of expeller or cold-pressed nut and seed oils like sesame, macadamia, and walnut oils are fine to use as condiments or for flavoring. Avocado oil is great for higher-temperature cooking.

7. Avoid or limit dairy.

As we learned in earlier chapters, dairy doesn’t work for most people, so I recommend avoiding it, except for the occasional yogurt, kefir, grass-fed butter, ghee, and even cheese if it doesn’t cause any problems for you. Try goat or sheep products instead of cow dairy. And always go organic and grass-fed.

8. Think of meat and animal products as condiments or, as I like to call them, "condi-meat"—not a main course.

Vegetables should take center stage, and meat should be the side dish. Servings should be 4 to 6 ounces, tops, per meal. I often make three or four vegetable side dishes.

9. Eat sustainably raised or harvested low-mercury fish.

If you are eating fish, you should choose low-mercury and low-toxin varieties such as sardines, herring, anchovies, and wild-caught salmon (all of which have high omega-3 and low mercury levels). And they should be sustainably harvested or farmed. Check out www.cleanfish.com and www.foodthebook.com to learn more about your fish options.

10. Avoid gluten.

Most gluten comes from Frankenwheat, so look for heirloom varieties of wheat like einkorn. Eat wheat only if you are not gluten-sensitive, and even then, only occasionally. Dr. Alessio Fasano of Harvard, the world’s top gluten expert, has done research showing that gluten damages the gut—even in non-gluten-sensitive people who show no symptoms.

11. Eat gluten-free whole grains sparingly.

They still raise blood sugar and can trigger autoimmunity. All grains can increase your blood sugar. Stick with small portions (½ cup per meal) of low-glycemic grains like black rice, quinoa, teff, buckwheat, or amaranth. For type 2 diabetics and those with autoimmune disease or digestive disorders, a grain- and bean-free diet may be key to treating and even reversing your illness.

12. Eat beans only once in a while.

Lentils are best. Stay away from big starchy beans. Beans can be a great source of fiber, protein, and minerals. But they cause digestive problems for some, and the lectins and phytates they contain may impair mineral absorption. If you are diabetic, a high-bean diet can trigger spikes in your blood sugar. Again, moderate amounts (up to 1 cup a day) are OK.

13. Get tested to personalize your approach.

What works for one person may not work for another. This is called bio-individuality, and it is why I recommend that everyone eventually work with a functionally trained nutritionist to personalize their diet even further with the right tests. If you’re interested in getting tested and coached by one of my nutritionists, visit www.foodthebook.com/diet for more information.

Based on excerpts from Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? by Mark Hyman, with the permission of Little, Brown and Company. Copyright © 2018.

Two of my favorite functional doctors, Mark Hyman and David Perlmutter discuss diet, food production, and COVID-19.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlAYDzQLLu4 (40 min)

Our most powerful tool to reverse the global epidemic of chronic disease, heal the environment, reform politics, address social injustice, and revive economies is food. What we eat has tremendous implications not just for our waistlines, but also for the planet, society, and the global economy. What we do to our bodies, we do to the planet; and what we do to the planet, we do to our bodies.

Beyond these important considerations, it turns out that our choice in foods may well have an important bearing on our risk for the current pandemic of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

In his book 'Food Fix', #1 bestselling author Mark Hyman explains how our food and agriculture policies are corrupted by money and lobbies that drive our biggest global crises: the spread of obesity and food-related chronic disease, climate change, poverty, violence, educational achievement gaps, and more.

Pairing the latest developments in nutritional and environmental science with an unflinching look at the dark realities of the global food system and the policies that make it possible, Food Fix is a hard-hitting manifesto that will change the way you think about – and eat – food, forever. Further, the book offers solutions for citizens, businesses, and policymakers to create a healthier world, society, and planet.

Food Production for Healthy Food during the Pandemic

Here's our approach - we have access to horse manure which is applied at least annually.

IMG_3739.jpg

Then we use wheat straw to suppress weeds, maintain moisture, and enhance fertility.

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We plant thickly in the beds using a variety of crops.

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So we need to eat healthy foods for heightened immunity. The best quality vegetables you can eat come fresh from your garden. Now just as with diet, there are many garden paths. Our 33 year old garden is now well established. I like using three foot wide beds at ground level (not raised). This lets me drive over the beds with my pick up truck or tractor to dole out manure, compost, and/or mulch. I did plow the beds initially, but not again in over thirty years. Southern soils tend to be acidic, so I limed very heavy before beginning the beds. Then I rototilled each of our ten 25' x 3' beds to incorporate the lime and to aerate the compact soil. I borrowed a single shank (16") subsoil plow and pulled a single deep trench in the center of each bed. All that is NOT necessary, but it was my approach. It can be much easier. Look how this family creates new beds...(23 min)

FASTEST way to start GROWING FOOD NOW | From GRASS to GARDEN in ONE HOUR

More on easy to establish no dig gardening from Charles Dowding in the UK (4 min)

We are mulch gardeners. After we established our beds they have been manured and mulched (with wheat STRAW - not seedy hay) annually (see sequence above from fall of 2018). As in nature our soil is never bare. Of course to plant seed we do pull back the mulch until after the plants are big enough to pull the mulch back around the vegetables. Some crops don't like to be mulched. Squash family plants are an example. Just pull back the mulch and leave it pulled back. Viney cucurbits can run over the mulch but we leave the plant base on bare ground. I learned to mulch garden from Ruth Stout. Here she is in the seventies demonstrating her easy gardening method. (23 well spent minutes)

Another major influence on my gardening system was Masanobu Fukuoka (24 min)
https://onestrawrevolution.net/ (be sure to click the menu option for more info)

These mentors taught me garden with nature instead of fighting against it like most commercial, industrial agricultural approaches. It is easier to flow downhill than to pump uphill. Some of you may not have access to a plot outside, but you can always use containers. In last week's column I featured a fellow growing lots of lettuce in plastic grocery bags.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNZBV3kDfrg (5 min)
Here's the same fellow using plastic bottles (a few minutes will give you the notion)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5fCmouV8WE
There's several options for those without a garden plot
https://caucus99percent.com/content/weekly-watch-109

So as you get your garden or containers ready, you need to order seeds. In an earlier essay I discussed seed in more detail but here are the companies I recommended for heirloom organic seeds.

I like to use worker owned companies like...
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange out of VA http://www.southernexposure.com/

Johnny's seeds https://www.johnnyseeds.com/
and Fedco seeds https://www.fedcoseeds.com/
both in Maine

There are small grower owned outfits dedicated to heirloom seed too.

Baker Creek in Missouri offers lots of heritage seed https://www.rareseeds.com/

Clear Creek seeds in OK has lots of heirlooms https://www.clearcreekseeds.com/

Those of you on the left coast might like https://www.reneesgarden.com/ in CA
or
http://www.territorialseed.com/ in OR

I used to use worker owned Seeds of Change (which still produce good seed from interesting varieties), but they were bought out by the Mars Company. They have many dry-land varieties for the SW https://www.seedsofchange.com/

Gardening is a great way to reduce stress. Somehow the soil soaks up anxiety and the growth of plant creates some sort of positive feedback loop...as if the plants are controlling us. It is never too late, nor too early to garden, you just have to pick the right task for the right time. If you've never gardened, you will be surprised by the pleasure of growing what you eat. Everything you produce for yourself, your family, and your neighbors is a blow against the food empire who wants you addicted to their processed GMO poison. They begin at birth to get you addicted starting with a sugar coated pacifier, then sugar heavy formula, and very sugary baby food. Dr Lustig goes so far as to say sugar is a poison. Mark Hyman has a free 10-day sugar detox plan.

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We've been taking inventory. This weekend we defrosted and organized our freezer. We were delighted to discover a good bit more tomato sauce and blueberries as we thinned out the almost decade old squash and other veggies in there (now added to the compost). We got out our seed box and found we had more in stock than we realized, probably enough for the fall garden. We grow mostly heirloom varieties whose seed can be saved.

Thinking ahead in an uncertain world is like trying to peer through a fog. We've decided to focus on what we can do now...in this moment, in this place, with these materials and tools. We are trying to act in the present and prepare to survive as we think ahead toward creating a better future......dreaming of what that future might look like.

We can't control our age, but we are in charge of our metabolic health. Getting off sugar and reducing carbohydrate intake will start improving your immunity defense within a day. What is there to lose other than those excess pounds? It will happen quicker than you think. Remember Anja's journey this fall? Plus, there is so much to gain...improved immunity, metabolic health, and easier (fewer) meals to shop for and prepare. Growing at least some of your own food is rewarding on many levels from improved health to having a fun outdoor activity. Another easy factor we can control is wearing a mask when you go out. Be a trend setter with your homemade mask and gloves. Use this time to learn and do those crafts and skills you've always said you wanted to develop. On the other side of this pandemic you will be happier and healthier than ever. Be well, my friends.

Please feel free to ask gardening or diet questions below. (Or chime in with anything that's on your radar). Can't promise I'll have answers but I'll give it my best shot.

PS You will have noticed I covered no news this week. Last weeks column delved into the horrors of the recent financial package. I continue to reel at the total corporate capture and chose to de-stress this week with a proactive column. Let's see yell into the howling wind or garden? Kinda a no brainer. Away hope you enjoyed today's WW.

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is restrictive, avoid this, don't eat that....the list from Mark Hyman is kind of an example of that. I lost a bunch of weight eating pretty much grapefruit and salads, which is what I see being left over from the list. Truth, after a year and a half of this the idea of a eating salad or grapefruit makes me want to vomit.

Add to that watching people not gain a pound eating what would make me gain weight makes me crazy. That plus a love/hate relationship with food doesn't make me want to spend hours trying to prep/cook strange recipes usually having some ingredients I just can't find.

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Lookout's picture

@Snode

because there are so many thing you CAN eat. My list is simple...
no sugar, no grains, no seed or vegetable oil.

Everything else is good to go. What has been so misleading is for most of my life they have recommended low fat. That is clearly incorrect. Fats suppress appetite and are good for you. I eat bacon, butter, eggs, and many items I was told to avoid. The real culprits are wheat breads (especially at every meal as I once did), potatoes which we ate almost daily, and oils like canola (all GMO and chemically extracted). Carbs combined with fats equal you get fat. Keep the healthy fats and ditch the carbs.

Although I like salads, and in this season we do eat them once a day or so, a constant diet of any one thing probably isn't healthy. So try out a keto approach and see if you don't lose weight and find it easy to maintain.

Best of good eating to you and yours!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout For me this rollercoaster started when I quit smoking, a battle in itself, almost 40 years ago. So call it 35 years of one sort of diet or another. And they work, for a while. Then they stop working. It's as if my body says it's done playing games and calls stalemate. The things that were "ok" to eat become tiresome, eating becomes just marching in place, the weight creeps up and it ends in failure.

Thing is I have early stage macular degeneration and there are 4 things, genetics, age, smoking and obesity that are bigger factors in it. The first three I can't do anything about and the last I despair of succeeding at. I appreciate what you're doing, I just don't know how to actually live it.

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Lookout's picture

@Snode

I had to quit several times. What finally did it was in 2000 my buddy was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He lasted about a year with chemo. When he told me his diagnosis he said he quit smoking immediately after years of trying with no success. Made me realize I didn't want to get cancer before I quit. So now I'm a happily reformed smoker for 20 years. The strength of will I used to quit smoking is the same as the will power needed to fast. It is a head game of sorts.

All the best of good health to you!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Snode @Snode @Snode There is a whole lot about weight loss that medical science is completely ignorant of. Aside from that? It seems to be mostly related to metabolism and while doctors can Frankenstein up their patients? Perhaps what is needed here is a bit of tolerance, along with the realization that fat discrimination and shaming and blaming is every bit as inappropriate as race or gender discrimination and demonizing. Oh, there's a villain here, all right, many of them. But they sure as anything aren't the people who are busy dying.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Snode @Snode
related concepts, diet - what you eat, and weight loss, a goal of some people who, more often than not, constrain their diet in some fashion perhaps along with exercise in an attempt to achieve that goal. As a result diets and diet plans have become an actual industry in this country, whereas the true purpose of a diet is nutrition. In theory, a diet oriented solely toward proper nutrition can and perhaps even should, but only as a lesser concern, result in weight loss.

I restructured my diet with a nutritional focus for certain health related reasons, but pretty much have no "don't eat" list except for things I simply don't like or one true food allergy. Basically, everything in moderation. While I was designing and getting used to implementing it I instituted some portion control simply to maintain nutritional balance and very quickly lost 50 pounds. I still eat carbs, cheeses, beans, potatoes, rice, desserts and all that, I had simply, without being aware of it, slowly grown to eat "American" portions, meaning too much of everything, and when I cut back to enough of everything I lost weight even though that was not my principal goal.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lookout's picture

@enhydra lutris

However one thing to be aware of is individuals known as TOFI - thin outside fat inside.

Ivor Cummins Irish Heart Assn. calcium heart scanned and CAT scanned for body fat many Gaelic footballers. A surprising number of them were TOFI and showed heart issues...young fit folk. Health ain't just body size.

The worst model about diet we have IMO is the concept of calories. A 100 calories of oreo cookies is metabolized in an entirely different way than 100 calories of salmon. It is physiology more than simple physics.

I sure agree with you about concept of variety. That's why I'm not a carnivore, nor vegetarian, nor vegan. I also like the idea of many colors on the plate.

We all need to follow our own path in life and health. I appreciate your support down thread in understanding my intent and the nature of my story.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout
mesomorph tendencies. At 6'4.5" (then) I weighed anything from 165 to 185 normally, but with exercise and work I got to a very robust 200 to 210 for a while, then slid back to 185 as my exercise and physical labor changed. Decades of being desk bound got me up to 260, but that is another story. In down to 210, but not at all robust. As to TOFI, I'm more TMSTE (Too Much Scar Tissue Everywhere). So yeah, I'm technically still overweight, but I suffer from sporadic auto-immune attacks which can have me dropping 20-40 pounds very, very rapidly, so a little cushion is just fine with me.

I spent years bicycle commuting, shopping and riding for fun. A couple of times I experimented with chopping carbs and promptly bonked on the road each time, cyclists live on glycogen, so I stick with moderation in all things. Who knows, some day I might riding again.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Thank you. I expect to be returning to this post often.

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Lookout's picture

@tle

I just caught a scary piece suggesting seed sales are being curtailed. I hope that is incorrect or misinterpreted.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout I have been an utter failure at growing any vegetables, but to not even be able to get seeds is really bad.

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8 users have voted.

Why don't you just flat out and admit that fat people are one of your pet peeves? This garbage is just like Trump calling it the Chinese Virus!

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Lookout's picture

@Paul ADK

I'm trying to talk health not appearance. When I quit smoking tobacco I felt better. When I lost weight I felt better. In both cases these decisions improved my health. I don't shame smokers nor the obese (or I certainly don't intend to cause I've been both), but neither have to be permanent conditions.

And for that matter I don't shame non gardeners, no guilt intended to those not inclined to growing things either.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout I'm talking about health! Do you not realize that doctors are trained to an ideal that does not exist? The better doctors are those who are able to innovate and practice beyond their limited training, while the worst just pass it along and blame the patient.

NO two people are alike! What applies to some does not apply to everyone.

Painting everyone with the same broad brush is bigotry and intolerable.

Please... before you criticize anyone else? Take a good long look inside, and see what in there could use a good airing, hmmmm?

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@Paul ADK Lookout has written a lot on this, and it's based on things I've read/heard before. Believe me, I would know fat shaming, The few times I was thin I even pointed a finger myself.

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Lookout's picture

@Snode

Also to point out this from the intro...

The truth is that we blame people for being overweight and sick, but it’s not their fault. Our taste buds, hormones, and brain chemistry have been hijacked by the food industry.

and toward the end...
They begin at birth to get you addicted starting with a sugar coated pacifier, then sugar heavy formula, and very sugary baby food. Dr Lustig goes so far as to say sugar is a poison.
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/24/robert-lustig-sugar...

Based on all my research our chronic diseases revolve around hyperinsulinemia. Limiting carbs is key to solving that problem...and we've known that for a long time. The doctors pointing this out are being vilified cause curing these conditions with diet don't make the industry any money.

Thanks again for reading this in the spirit of health with which it was offered.

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9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout Sugar is a drug. Historically, it was treated this way. If you don't believe me, give it up. And I mean give ALL of it up. Do that for a period of time. Then just try and eat it, even a little bit. You will feel poisoned, and artificially pumped up with temporary energy.

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@Snode I'll be the judge of what I see right in front of me, thanks. I'm not a Trump voter. I have a brain and an education and I am not about to be convinced that something is what it isn't.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Paul ADK
cast aspersions or impugn the motives of others without proof or very strong evidence. In this case, the author tried a specific diet regimen (that I, to some extent, disagree with and don't follow) and found that he felt better and healthier as a result. He, accordingly, recommends it.

We are all free to adopt of ignore such portions of his advice as we see fit, and there is certainly nothing to be gained by ascribing some animus toward some group of people to him even if it were true, which, as I said, I'm pretty certain that it isn't.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Vermont is trying to limit the number of people in stores, so they are prohibiting selling anything that is not immediately essential. Seeds are available online. I would recommend Jung's.

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@Paul ADK
Coca-cola is non-essential. Beer and Whiskey are non-essential (sorry!)
Underwear is non-essential as are socks below the Mason-Dixon line and even above it in Summer.
Razor blades, deodorant, gasoline, automobiles. Pretty much everything but food and outer clothing in Northern Winter. Clothing unnecessary in the South if you have gallons of sunscreen.
Newspapers, magazines, books. Pretty much all of civilization is non-essential.

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2 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

CB's picture

All my life I was naturally fasting and didn't know it. I rarely ate breakfast or lunch, even as a child. Simply wasn't hungry plus my mom was a terrible cook. She boiled, stewed everything using salt and pepper for spices - just like my dad liked it. He ate meat (w/o fat) and potatoes - NO vegetables. He got his 'vitamins' from a bottle of beer. He was always lean but died at 61 from a massive stroke. Just keeled over and died at work. My mother was hefty, she liked her sweets - candies, cakes and pies. She was a fairly good cook for these items.

I learned to cook for myself before the age of ten. I was cooking family meals (Easter, Xmas) by age 12. My mom used to brag about me - embarrassing. I hated her cooking and was made to clean my plate. It was a good thing I had a dog. He got quite fat sitting by my knee under the table. He even ate mushy vegetables if I mixed in a little gravy.

I spent a lifetime mainly eating one meal a day. One coffee, sugar and cream, for breakfast. The rest of the day nothing except water. Just not hungry. I could sit with fellow workers during lunch without thinking about food. Supper I'd have a substantial meal, very large portion of meat with lots of vegetables I liked - turned out they were mostly the keto friendly ones. I did have some vices - french bread - when I'd buy a loaf I'd eat half of it on the way home. Tear off a chunk and munch on it. Still do that today if I lose control from the smells in the bakery dept.

Then I retired and within 4 to 5 years I gained about 60 pounds. I had started eating all day and had developed a craving for sweets - doughnuts, cakes, pies, puddings. It came to the point I could no longer trim my toenails or lace my shoes without extreme difficulty. I was huffing and puffing cutting the lawn or shoveling snow.

So two years ago I started searching on the 'nets for a diet. The traditional ones turned me completely off - low fat, low meat and lettuce - lots of lettuce. Yech! I like to eat rabbits NOT eat like rabbits.

The I found the keto diet. For me it was fantastic. I could eat most of my favorite foods. I just had to wean myself off the cakes and pies then return to my daily fasting routine - supper only. BTW, there were significant carb withdrawal symptoms after a few days. For me it was extreme vertigo in the mornings but this only lasted for a few days.

Looking back, my original food preferences came from my grandparents on my mothers side. I was raised by them until I was 7. We ate garden vegetables and fruits, home raised chickens and beef. They both lived fairly healthy lives to 96/98 and died in an old folks home within 2 months of each other after 75 years of marriage.

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10 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@CB

It was looking at a famine in Scandinavia and the health of survivors and descendants. Famine survivors were long lived and their offspring seem to enjoy longevity benefits too. Seems like it was in the 1800's sometime.

Well glad to hear of your success. TPTB won't approve clinical studies to provide gold standard evidence. None the less, more and more clinical work is showing benefits.

There are a ton of anecdotal stories like ours, including several other folks on the site.

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9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@CB @CB
Besides gravy they will eat almost anything with spaghetti sauce on it. Except lettuce. Mine would lick the sauce off the lettuce. But would wolf down corn or green beans covered with spaghetti sauce. I used to say she was a an Italian dog, but really it's the meat flavor. She also ate cheese including the funky blue bits. Maybe she was a French dog!

EDIT:
Try some specialty lettuces from France or Italy. Combined with a flavorful dressing. Maybe make your own with olive oil, cider vinegar (or wine vinegar) and spices. Add some Greek olives.

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3 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

CB's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness
I make a Greek salad almost everyday. Feta cheese, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumber, red peppers with homemade avocado oil dressing. I grow my own tomatoes and cukes from seed. I also give away extra bedding plants to my neighbors. They'll be ready for planting out on the first of May. Maybe I'll add another garden bed and try growing red peppers and exotic lettuces this year.

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4 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@CB

You seem to have really good judgement and instincts. I've noticed many of your comments lately defusing the China hate going around. Let's see they are sending aid and advice around the world to help with the pandemic. The US on the other hand is promoting war and sanctions adding additional death and misery around the world. It is easy to see whose empire is in decline.

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2 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

CB's picture

@Lookout

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@CB
Greek salad is the Best. Gyros is to die for. And, although the Turks also claim it and it's full of sugars - Baklava. Mmmm. First had it at a food fair on the Capitol Mall. That homemade was the best. Old greek woman gave my Mom the recipe. Ambrosia, but probably very bad for us.

Dolmades - honorable mention. Sometimes the filling is good, sometimes not. Grape leaves are another green?

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1 user has voted.

We are so screwed.

I appreciate you offering alternatives to our current SAD, and hope it helps those that are fighting obesity or any other health conditions.
This current pandemic has kept me homebound for a couple of weeks. I am still undecided upon how to operate my business for the next 3 weeks, other than I do not intend to allow anyone from the general public inside my office. They can call, or email.
My paralegal can work from her home, so the compromise is that I have her come in one, maybe 2 days a week.
When I am working, no two days are the same. I have different schedules, work in multiple places, and the hours I work are determined by someone or something over which I have absolutely no control. It is not possible for me to eat within any set time. I eat when I can. Since I work every day, gardening is out of the question. I sent out my last business email last night at 10:30, have sent out 2 this morning.
When I win the lotto, I will experiment with some changes.
I am in good health, my weight is near the ideal, I eat almost no sugar or sweets, and tend to eat few carbs anyway.
I do almost all of my own cooking, and cook everything from scratch, and that is all I can do.
We can discuss my love of cold beer and cigarettes another day!

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10 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@on the cusp

and I remember you recovered from a snake bite and sickness last year so it sounds like your immune system is in good shape too.

Sounds like a great office plan. I wonder if you qualify as a small business and could get salaries for your staff. Like most gov't programs, may be more trouble than it is worth.

Anyway glad you're doing well and getting back up and running. Take care as you help the least among us!

PS In all your spare time (yeah right) have you ever thought of writing up some of your travel stories?

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9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout I cannot explain to you how little I know about anything "computer".
My abilities are limited. For a laugh, a pal taught me once and for all, how to copy and paste a couple of weeks ago.
I kept telling him I desperately needed to address the disorganization of my sock drawer, but he forced the issue. I think he was ready to spank me or something! lol!
It is not uncommon for me to be preparing a legal document, throw up both hands, tell my paralegal that I am going to walk away before I throw the bastard computer against a wall, and she takes my seat, solves the problem, says something like, "What the fuck did you do this time?"
Like, if I knew, I wouldn't have done it.
She has job security.
One day, I will show you what Vlad's Castle was like.
That was such a fun trip! The tour director had lived in Houston for a couple years, so we showed everybody how to line dance.

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8 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@on the cusp

And your computer skills sound like my partners. No wonder your paralegal has job security! Everyone has their skill set.

Hey knowing how to copy and paste is an excellent start to posting pictures!

Let me know if you get serious and I'll help. It ain't too difficult for a smart person like you.

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6 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout I resist the learning process.
This is tough to explain, but law school and the Socratic Method ruined me for learning new skills. It was a total brainwash, did a lot to keep me permanently away from learning new processes.
The tendency to walk away and let someone who gives a damn go through the processes is easy for me to do, except under threat of spanking! Lol!
That copy and paste session lasted quite a while! I took several beer breaks, used a wide variety of curse words.

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5 users have voted.

@on the cusp
Office software is easy.

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0 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

@on the cusp
except for emergencies. (???) Emergencies do NOT include criminal trials.
So are the DMV facilities. Which is a tax problem because Illinois requires a driver's license or state ID to file.

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2 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness Children allegedly in imminent danger.
I got the court's permission to phone in my appearance. I sought that permission Friday afternoon. Got it this afternoon.
Things are so weird.

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Lookout's picture

@on the cusp

Wonder if they will start video conference trials in the future? Heard some negative stories about the Zoom software. People in the know are suggesting jitsi open sourced conferencing software https://jitsi.org/ It could be set up on the court's server (by someone more technical than me).

well all the best.

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1 user has voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Lookout's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

Well not really broken just rigged for the rich and powerful and screw all the pawns like us. Send 'em a peanut while we steal the farm.

Better be scared. Don't touch your face. What a great distraction.

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1 user has voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

magiamma's picture

Boy Howdy. Got lost in the early links. Thanks for all the info.

My take away is stay away from sugar. Which I mostly do. A gynecologist told me years ago to stay away from white foods. Too much sugar available. And to wear my seat belt. She was from South Africa and came to work at the Stanford Hospital. Quit after a very short time and started her own practice. That was then, over the hill. I am sure she has long since retired.

I will be looking more into the MTC oils for sure. I do find that oil really helps my food last longer especially if I am exercising. It is important to eat protein within 30 minutes after doing heavy exercise to maximize muscle development.

So much information and the needs are so different for each of us. Guess we all have to get phds in this as well.

Take good care and have a good rest of the day.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

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Lookout's picture

@magiamma

...but nutrition is confusing as hell, driven (surprise) by corporate greed.

You can go to school for sure with the low carb and public health collaborative links/collection...so many doctors describe their personal as well as patient success.

Each to their own. Be happy. Be well.

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3 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

this?

We are likely to get Covid-19 (I've heard estimates of 70 to 80% of us).

and by US, do you mean USians or global citizens? that's a huge number given 330 million live in this nation!

a side note: you'd said on edg's post that 'a million people will die' (or close to that) 'like the spanish flu'...when estimates are that 500 million were affected, 20 to 50 million died, and that's not just wikipedia, lol.

males in china also die over twice as often as females, so there's tons of speculation as to why that is.

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Lookout's picture

@wendy davis

And I think they are global. I think he estimates 40% (that's half the infected have no or very mild symptoms). He's mentioned that a few times, and always laments the lack of data and the need for antibody testing to see who has had this and is immune.

He's a flatten the curve type trying to delay the numbers with isolation and distancing which will slow the progress until enough people have immunity or we develop a vaccine.

And yes I vastly understated the deaths in 1918...50 million. I had in my mind that this virus will take at least a million.

Smoking may be a factor in male death's in China, but yes men seem more susceptible.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

UK doctor john campbell, retired nurse, all on youtube videos.

oddly, smoking wasn't mentioned as a possible contributing factor male v. female stats, but i hadn't spent a lotta time looking into it. there are just sooooo many competing stats out and about. dr. fauci (former bill gates' board member), john hopkins, on and on. i can't admire what's going on about it all...one bit.

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2 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@wendy davis

smoking among Chinese men help multiply their numbers. He's a PhD that taught nurses.

As to total expected infections, seems like it takes 70% or so to reach herd immunity which is where he got those figures.

Chris at Peak Prosperity is the fellow that's usually ahead of the curve. I think he's a PhD pathologist. https://www.peakprosperity.com/ if you want to play follow the progression. Doesn't change the outcome which is https://staythefuckhome.com/

You take care and be well!

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1 user has voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

travelerxxx's picture

Thanks for the Weekly Watch, Lookout. Always love reading it.

Your vegetable gardening information and pictures gets to me every time. For many decades, I ran gardens. While all were suburban or small town, some were so large that I'd bring in a tractor once or twice a year to turn the soil. Most of these gardens were planted by me while I was working away from home every seven days and unable to attend it. There was some help from my ex-wife, but there's more than one reason she's "ex." Heh.

Anyway, I learned some tricks for absentee gardening. The primary lesson was "point irrigation" systems. While I couldn't count on the ex to get out in the dirt, I could persuade her to at least turn on an outdoor water faucet, connected to said irrigation system. I guess I must admit that she'd also go pick ripe fruits and vegetables when needed – except okra, gooseberries, and currants. Okra, too "sticky;" the berries, too thorny.

Another benefit for me was my mother. Well, I guess I should credit both my parents, as they had run gardens as long as I can remember (and, in their 90s, still do!). The reason I first credit my mother is that for over 40 years, she worked at the agricultural extension office of a major midwestern university. She was the person who filled the orders for information, books, pamphlets, etc., sent from the university to the state ag extension agents in the counties of the state. This was in Kansas. She read everything she sent out. I mean everything. Sometimes she'd bring a copy or two home for either her and my dad, or me. I learned a lot from all that literature and from what she learned.

For the last few years, my living situation has been anything but conducive to gardening. No room, anti-gardening subdivision covenants, poor soil. Along with my present wife, we've considered pot gardening, of course. Probably this pandemic is going to push us to finally do it. Tomatoes, at the very least. I really miss it. In more ways than one.

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Lookout's picture

@travelerxxx

Best of luck with the containers. I just got back from my weekly grocery store and recycling run. Blew my mind how empty the shelves were. I suspect it is a combination of hoarding and extra stocking up by folks. Hopefully we'll see better stocked shelves in the near future. I would estimate about half to two-thirds of the stock was depleted.

Take care on this wild ride. Where we end up nobody knows.

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1 user has voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

for putting in the effort to compose this.

Haven't had time to dip into many of the links and references, will try to contemplate the wonderment of it all when I'm out planting corn ("Indian" or Mexican heirloom) and beans (Tennessee Half Runner) tomorrow. Actually, some of the corn may be a cross with another old corn variety "Hickory Canes" - got that and the beans from my aunt in SE Kentucky some years back.

I'm fortunate to live in an area where there is still some small-scale farming (Central Japan) that's also only a twenty minute bike ride to the nearest Starbucks (finally down to near zero in giving them $$). I'm on the north side of 65 and most of the farmers are older than me - younger people mostly not interested in it so more and more fields are being abandoned. Not the smartest trend when 70% or so of food is imported. I've tried to absorb what I can knowledge wise from the old timers over the last ten years or so.

In addition to not wanting the pandemic to take me out, I hope to not lose many of the old folks and their valuable knowledge - which even their own families often don't appreciate.

Both of my parents grew up on farms/ranches during the (last) Depression - dad in KY and mom in SD - so absorbed some of the values, if not much of the knowledge, from them. Mom had studied for three years to be a dietician but was forced to drop out in the 30's due to the hard times. As kids we'd sometimes complain about not getting stuff the other kids did, food-wise but I remember going on a school trip in the 3rd or fourth grade to the local Wonder Bread plant and loudly proclaiming in the midst of it, "my mom says this stuff has no nutritional value!".

One question - what are the problems/issues with grapeseed oil? I'd never used it until a year or two ago when I happened to pick some up that was on sale. I still usually use olive oil, but checking about grapeseed oil, most sites were fairly positive - it's relatively tasteless and has a higher smoke point than olive oil, so more appropriate for some cooking...

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2 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@Blue Republic

I just planted some muscadines (native grapes) and found out their primary commercial use is for the seed as a cancer drug.

We use olive oil for salads and other low heat use, and usually coconut oil or bacon grease for high heat.

here's Hyman's advice...
https://drhyman.com/blog/2016/01/29/why-oil-is-bad-for-you/

Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka https://onestrawrevolution.net/ was one of my absolute gardening gurus. I think his old farm is still in operation.

I grow McCasland beans. Now a Southern favorite, it is an old family heirloom from the McCasland family of Georgia who had raised it for many years. Upon the death of Mr. McCasland, a small stock of seed was sent in to the now defunct, H. G. Hastings Seed Company of Atlanta, Georgia, who subsequently introduced it to the public in 1912. This is what they had to say in their spring seed catalog that year:

"The McCasland bean came to us in a peculiar way. A Mr. McCasland, one of our Georgia customers, had been a great admirer of our house and a planter of Hastings' Seeds for years. On his death a few years ago Mrs. McCasland sent us a pint of this bean with a statement that it had been in the family for years and that her husband before his death had expressed the wish that this splendid bean should be placed in our hands. She also asked that we name it after her husband, which we gladly do, although we would have been greatly pleased to have given our own name to it."

An interesting note is that although Hastings' introduced the bean in 1912 as "McCasland," in 1916, still using the exact account noted above, they unceremoniously and without explanation, changed the bean's name to 'McCaslan'.

David Pendergrass, our seed grower in Tennessee adds, "This old Southern favorite has a very delicious flavor that our family has loved for generations and is one of my favorites for canning."

These are large long beans good fresh, shelled, or dried. I used to grow them on corn stalks usually a sweet corn rather than a field corn like hickory cane. But now just trellis them.

Best of luck with your garden. I would imagine the volcanic Japanese soils are pretty fertile. Take care!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”