A New Read, New Baking Experiment, and New Vegetable

My coworker Bonnie forwarded me this suggested reading from the Polyface Farms Facebook site (see Food Inc).  I’m only on Chapter 3, but so far I have found The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O’Brien to be a new and insightful look at the food industry, environmental factors, and the rise of allergies, asthma, ADHD, and autism in kids.  It’s frightening and makes me think, even more than I already did, about every single item I put into my body, in addition to all the chemicals and pollutants I come into contact with daily.  I eat extremely healthily, I know, but yes, I do sometimes have Diet Coke or use Lysol–am I dooming my future children to a lifetime of autoimmune disorders?  Scary stuff.  My main takeaways, thus far, are from page 47 where Robyn notes 4 major factors behind the allergy epidemic:

1.  “Shift from a natural to an industrialized environment.”

2.  “Excessive exposure to antibiotices, both as prescribed…and as consumed through antibiotic-laden meat, milk, and poultry.”

3.  “The rise in pollutants and environmental toxins…”

4.  “Our tendence to eat more processed foods…”

So, with that thought in mind, on a happier note, let us turn to our most recent Joy of Vegan Baking experiment and first time using active yeast.  These cinnamon rolls were divine!  I used walnuts and had to omit the raisins since I didn’t have any.  I was concerned (see previous post) because my dough seemed a little, well, tough and flaky when I rolled it out, and the rolls are probably denser than meant to be, but they taste marvelous and that’s what matters.  Next time, I’ll use my mixer for the icing.  My confectioner’s sugar clumped up and left unpretty white lumps.

My experimental vegetable of the week was fiddlehead ferns.  At $10 a pound, they’re a special treat, but I loved them!  Sort of like a mild asparagus.  I baked them in a foil pouch with Brussels sprouts, garlic, onion, and rosemary for 30 minutes. 

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