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Friday, April 30, 2010

A Mini Book Report about FAT

Of all the differences with my "real food lifestyle," fat is by far the most misunderstood. After a comment from a reader here; my sister asking, "Butter is only good in moderation, right?;" and conversations with friends about "fattening" food; I decided a post detailing fats was in order. I am going to do this in a book report. All of this information comes from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon in the Introduction section on Fats. 


Fats provide energy, are used for building cell walls and hormones, and slow nutrient absorption (so we can go longer between meals). They allow our body to use fat soluble vitamins and absorb some minerals. 
Saturated fats make up more than half of cell membranes. Saturated fats keep our bones healthy by allowing calcium to be incorporated. They lower Lp(a), defined as "a substance in the blood that indicates proneness to heart disease." They protect the liver from toxins. They build the immune system. We need them to use omega 3 fatty acids. The fat around our heart is highly saturated. Saturated fats protect us against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.

We have been taught that fat and cholesterol are harmful to our bodies. This theory, by Ancel Keyes, is called the Lipid Hypothesis. (Note that it is a hypothesis, but taught widely as fact.) There were many flaws in his research, but his theory received more publicity than opposing views, partly due to backing by the vegetable oil and food processing  industries. Fallon says, "Most people would be surprised to learn that there is, in fact, very little evidence to support the contention that a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat actually reduces death from heart disease or in any way increases one's life span."

She then sites the following studies:

*In 1920, heart disease was rare. In the mid 1950's, heart disease was the leading cause of death in the U.S. Today it causes at least 40% of all deaths in this country. If what we have been taught is true, and saturated fats cause heart disease, then "one would expect to find a corresponding increase in animal fat in the American diet." But that's not what happened: saturated fat consumption decreased from 83% in 1910, to 62% in 1970. Butter went from 18 pounds per person each year to only 4. In this same time frame, vegetable oils increased 400% and sugar and processed food went up 60%.

* The Framingham Heart Study, which took place in Framingham, Massachucetts, collected data from 6000 people every 5 years starting in 1948. There were two groups: one who consumed small amounts of fat and cholesterol, and another who ate large amounts. After 40 years of this experiment, the director said, "In Framingham, Mass., the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the lower the person's serum cholesterol... We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active."

*A British study of several thousand men divided the men into two groups. The men on the strict diet reduced their saturated fat and cholesterol, stopped smoking and increased consumption of unsaturated oils. The other half continued on as they had, with no reduction in saturated fat or cholesterol, and were even permitted to continue smoking. After a year, the men on the strict diet had 100% more deaths than those who did not change their behaviors.

*MRFIT (Multiple Risk Intervention Trial) was a study comparing the death rates and eating habits of more than 12,000 men. The men who reduced saturated fat, cholesterol and smoking had a marginal decrease in coronary heart disease, BUT their mortality rate was higher. There was an increase in deaths from cancer, brain hemorrhage, suicide and violent death. Other studies have had similar results.

* The LRC-CPPT (Lipid Research Clinics Coronary Primary Prevention Trial) gave all subjects a low fat, low cholesterol diet and cholesterol lowering drug or placebo. The subjects given the drug had a 24% decrease in heart disease related death, but other causes of death increased (cancer, stroke, violence and suicide). This study is often cited to give proof in favor of low fat diets, though low fat diets were not tested at all in this study (only the cholesterol lowering drug was).

*Michael DeBakey conducted a survey of 1700 patients and found no correlation between cholesterol in the blood and hardening of the arteries. A survey of South Carolina adults had similar results.

*Mothers milk is high in cholesterol and fat. Over 50% of calories in breast milk come from fat. 

*Traditionally, people used animal fats.
Yemenites in Yemen: eat fats of animal origin. Yemenites living in Israel used vegetable fats (and large amounts of sugar). There was little heart disease or diabetes with the Yemenites in Yemen, but large amounts of both with the Yemenites in Israel.
India: People in Northern India eat 17 times more animal fat but have a 7 times lower rate of heart disease than people in Southern India.
Masai in Africa: eat mainly blood, milk and beef and have no heart disease and low cholesterol levels.
Eskimos: Eat lots of animal fats and have little or no heart disease on their native diet.
China: A study found that those in areas where whole milk was consumed in large amounts had half the rate of heart disease as those where only small amounts of animal products were consumed.
Mediterranean: Fat (including saturated fat from lamb, sausage and goat cheese) equals up to 70% of their calories. They are known for their low rates of heart disease.
Puerto Rico: The Puerto Ricans
Soviet Georgia: Those who ate the most fatty meat lived the longest.
Okinawa: The average life span for women is 84 years. They eat pork, seafood, and cook their food in lard.

In Conclusion...

If you had come up to me 10 years ago and told me that I would be blogging in favor of fats today, I think I would have said "Yeah, right" (and also, "what's blogging?").  Everything I'd ever read in magazines, fitness publications (I used to teach aerobics), nutrition/ diet books, and saw on the news said that fat is BAD. But the more I read about the actual studies that have been done, the more I realize, there was little reason to ever think that. Fat is not only necessary for our bodies and health, it is essential. And yes, saturated fat, I mean you.

I'd love to hear about any studies that helped convinced you that fat was not an evil villain, and how you got over your fat phobias. Please share!

This post is part of Fight Back Fridays.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Real Food and Religion series: Lutheran meets Seventh-day Adventist

Our guest blogger for today is Meg Dickey. Her blog is about Godly living, health/ nutrition and children.
My name is Meg Dickey.  I am the wife and helpmeet to my husband, Brian.  We are the proud parents of three beautiful children, aged 4, 2, and 3 months.  I am happy to stay at home and minister to our family.   I blog at Cracking an Egg with One Hand. You are welcome to browse our family’s menu plans, and my Titus 2 Thursday posts, where I pass along articles that give encouragement to wives and mothers.
            When my husband and I first began dating, my parents expressed the belief that our married religious experience was going to end up like a bad joke – “A Lutheran marries a Seventh-day Adventist…” Exactly where do you go with that?  As the years of our marriage have passed, we’ve navigated our way through with much prayer, fasting, and sincere desire to worship our Lord.  We attend the children’s service on Saturday mornings at the Adventist church, and then attend the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran church for services on Sunday morning.  It’s convoluted, but it works, and gives us a completely different mindset for the entire weekend, rather than just “church time”.
            One of the biggest differences we first noticed in our respective religions is the Seventh-day Adventist approach to food & eating.  It is a predominantly vegetarian/vegan lifestyle (which I was raised on).  After our marriage, in attempt to conjoin the bacon-loving Lutheran and the soy-loving vegetarian, we began actively seeking God’s guidance for our eating habits/choices.  Through our study of the Scriptures, we felt that there was no real command, or even suggestion that vegetarianism was “best”.  We did find, however, that there are specific commands for what types of meat are “best” for God’s people – a way to set themselves apart from the world in all things, be it eating, drinking, or manner of dress.  We also began to delve deeper into how we wanted to approach health in light of a soy allergy (in our oldest son), a dairy allergy (in our second son and myself), and a genuine desire to eat, live, and feel better.
            We chose to eliminate all pork products, soy, and most pasteurized dairy products.  We were blessed enough to discover that raw dairy does not affect our son or myself, so we drink plenty of raw goat’s milk from our own goats. 
            I find it slightly amusing that the other two things we chose to eliminate from our diets (pork/soy) are hardest to avoid in the respective churches – when we attend potlucks at the Adventist church we are greatly limited by the soy products, while at the Lutheran church, we are usually hard pressed to find something that does not contain pork.  Food is such an integral part of fellowshipping with other believers – potlucks are the most definitive example of this, although there is also a “coffee break” after service at the Lutheran church, which usually contains several items of the “high sugar” variety… something else we strive to limit in our children.  My husband and I try to be vigilant with our family’s food goals, but we are careful to never allow it to become a stumbling block, in either our lives or those around us. 
            We have learned over the years to base our choices in life, whether it be regarding food, dress, raising children, or any other thing, to base our decisions on the Word of God, and not on what the “latest research” might say.  My husband is fond of quoting Isaiah 40:8 [“the word of the LORD endures forever”] to me when I’m showing him an article on a new fad, or new approach to something – a constant reminder that I should balance everything with the word of God before considering how to apply it to our family.  It keeps not only myself in check, but it inspires me to dig deeper into the Word.  And really, isn’t that what our greatest aspiration should be? :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No- Knead Artisan Bread

When I first heard about no-knead bread, I wasn't too impressed. I mean, kneading is not very hard (especially when you have a KitchenAid). The thing that really stood out to me about this recipe and finally convinced me to try it, was that it comes out like artisan bread from the bakery- crusty on the outside with a soft center. This bread is AMAZING!! Jim Lahey came up with the technique, which involves an overnight (or all day) rise. You will need some kind of ovenproof pot to cook it in. I have tried this bread with half wheat and half white flours, but it is equally as good with all wheat flour.

Whole Wheat No-Knead Artisan Bread

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/2- 1 3/4 cups cool water
Wheat bran, coarse cornmeal or more flour for dusting


1. Stir together flour, salt, yeast in a medium bowl. Add water and mix well using a wooden spoon. The dough should be wet and sticky. Add more water if needed. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.
2. On a floured surface, shape dough into a loose round.
3. Generously dust a clean cloth with flour. Place dough on cloth. Dust the top lightly with wheat bran, cornmeal or flour. Fold ends of the towel over on the bread.
4. Let rise until almost doubled in volume, 1 to 2 hours.
5. After dough has risen for at least 30 minutes, preheat oven to 475. Heat a covered 3 1/2 quart ovenproof pot (I use a Dutch oven) for 30 minutes or until dough is ready. REmove pot from oven. Uncover and add bread. (This is the hardest part. Be careful not to get burnt!) Slide your hand under the towel and flip the bread in. Cover with lid.
6. Bake for 30 minutes; uncover pot. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes more.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Real Food and Religion series: Latter Day Saint

Our post today comes from Kris Godak. She blogs at dietwithkris, all about eating whole foods. She includes lots of recipes and thoughts on food and diet.  

I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Most of you probably know us as the Mormons.  We prefer to be called "Latter Day Saints."  Saints in this phrase means that we are followers of Christ.  As such, we follow the teachings of the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament.  We also count as scripture, the Book of Mormon, which was written at about the same time as the New Testament, but its audience was the people on the American Continent.  It is referred to as "another testament of Jesus Christ."  It does not contradict the teachings of the Bible, but gives us another perspective.  In addition, we have a record of modern revelation received through our living prophets, beginning in the early 1800's.  This doctrine is where our code of health is found.  Joseph Smith, through revelation from God, presented to the Saints what we refer to as "The Word of Wisdom."

The Word of Wisdom, in its entirety can be found in Doctrine and Covenants 89.  If you would like to read it, here is the link:  I'll paraphrase it for you here.

First, there is a list of things we should not consume.  The Word of Wisdom tells us that drinking wine is not good, and isn't pleasing to God.  It tells us that it would only be appropriate when giving sacraments (communion).  And if we use it for that purpose, this wine should be homemade.  We are told that strong drinks are not to be taken internally but can be used for washing the body.   Tobacco is not to be used for the body nor taken internally, but can be used for bruises or sick cattle.    We are also told not to consume "hot drinks." 

The best part tells us what we should consume.  We are taught that all wholesome herbs are ordained by God for the use of man.  Every herb and fruit should be eaten in its season with prudence and thanksgiving.  Meat of both land animals and birds are also ordained by God to be used but we are to use them sparingly, and only in times of winter, cold, or famine.  All grain is to be used for man and animal and is to be the staff of life.  It is repeated that meat should be used sparingly, and repeated that wheat, particularly, is the grain for man.

In the last part of the Word of Wisdom, we are promised blessings for following this code of health.  We are told that we we'll receive health in our navels and marrow in our bones. We will find wisdom and treasures of knowledge.  We shall run and not be weary, and walk and not faint. 

You can tell this was written a long time ago.  As modern Latter-day Saints, we have to interpret what must have been meant by such doctrine.  For instance, we have adopted the idea that "wine" and "strong drink" refer to alcoholic beverages.  Devout Latter-day Saints do not partake of these at all.  Even our sacrament meetings (communion) no longer include wine or even grape juice.  We use water which has been blessed with a special prayer for this purpose.  As for tobacco, we take the Word of Wisdom to mean that we shouldn't chew or smoke it.  "Hot drinks" have been interpreted to mean coffee and tea.  Science has shown us that these items aren't healthy for various reasons, particularly the addictive stimulant caffeine.  Many Latter-day Saints do consume caffeine, though, in soda or chocolate.  Since the law doesn't use the word "caffeine,"  many choose not to interpret it to mean that.

Mormon culture embraces the Word of Wisdom, for the most part.  We certainly are a wheat-eating people.  Most LDS have a good supply of stored whole wheat berries.  We know that in the event of a disaster, we could live on this wheat for a long time.  We truly believe that it is the "staff of life" and it is the #1 item purchased for emergency preparedness.  Most LDS families are gardeners.  We even have a song in our Children's Songbook called, "The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden."  Here are the lyrics:

The prophet said to plant a garden, so that’s what we’ll do.
For God has given rich brown soil, the rain and sunshine too.
And if we plant the seeds just right and tend them carefully,
Before we know, good things will grow to feed our family.

We’ll plant the seeds to fill our needs, then plant a few to spare,
And show we love our neighbors with the harvest that we share.
Oh, won’t you plant a garden, too, and share the many joys
A garden brings in health and love to happy girls and boys!

From an early age, we teach our children the importance of growing our own produce.  We teach them this so they can be healthy and self-sufficient.  I think the Word of Wisdom and Mormon culture part company, however, when it comes to meat.  Most LDS women, when planning their meals, start with a list of what meat will be served for dinner each night, and then plan an entree around that meat.  I know many LDS women who would like to better follow the council to "eat meat sparingly" but have heard them complain that "my husband would never go for it."  I struggle with this in my own home, too.  American culture puts meat in every meal, and it is hard to break from this.  I serve one vegetarian dinner in my home each week, and try to make my meat go further in my other dinners by using less meat than a recipe calls for and supplementing with extra grain (like 1/2 lb of ground meat and 1/2 lb cooked barley in my tacos).  I think I'm the exception though.  Most Mormon dinners include a large portion of meat.

Though this does not break any rule in the Word of Wisdom per se, I must mention that there are some classic LDS recipes that are just not healthy.  If you stay in an LDS home long enough, you will most likely eat:

a potato casserole using frozen hashbrowns, cream of chicken soup, and velveeta cheese
tater tot casserole with cream of something soup, hamburger, canned corn, and tater tots on top
a salad containing jello, cool whip, and marshmallows
chocolate chip cookies made with butter flavor crisco (the secret ingredient) and white flour
homemade white bread with margarine and sugar sweetened homemade jam
home-canned peaches or pears in sugar syrup
some super-yummy cinnamon rolls with powdered sugar icing
Tang or Kool-aid

It is hard to be LDS and not partake of these things.  These foods mean comfort and love.  Sigh....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Real Food and Religion series: Christ Follower

Kris Mays is a Christ Follower, wife of 18 years to David and mother to five children ages 11-1, whom she home schools in rural Oregon.  Beyond that, her passions are writing, raising food, cooking, and nutrition.  You can find her on the web at

I don't care much for the word "religion."  It's always grated.  To me, the word religion implies living by a set of rules and regulations.  Now I know that is not necessarily the dictionary definition of the word "religion," but I think it's the idea most people get when they hear the word.  I also think it's one reason many don't seek a more "spiritual life."
For me, my faith isn't about following a set of rules, it's about pleasing God.  It's a relationship with my Maker.  Matthew 22:37-39 says, "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (KJV)  Those two commandments pretty much cover it all.  If I do these things, I am pleasing God.  If I do these things, I am automatically following the Ten Commandments.
The book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament is full of the many laws and dietary restrictions God set forth for his people.  I don't pretend to know all God's reasons for these.  But I do believe the dietary restrictions were to help set God's people apart from the world, and to help protect their health for future generations.  Today, I don't live under Old Testament law.  I live under God's grace and my freedom in Christ.  Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."  (KJV)  This means there is nothing I can do to save myself, only God can do that through His son, Jesus.  He did that.

According to Romans 14, I have full freedom in Christ to choose what to eat and what to drink.  However, if what I eat or drink offends others, then that is sin, as I would be breaking the Second Commandment to love others more than myself.  So obviously, if I should serve forbidden foods to my Jewish friend, this would cause offense.  If I serve sausage to my family in my home when no one who would be offended was present, to me that is okay.  However, if I am personally convicted to follow an Old Testament diet, then I should do that.
We have for several years tried to avoid pork and we seriously limit shellfish (which I personally don't eat at all).  This is because we feel that health is a big reason God gave these restrictions in the Old Testament.  We have also read about the parasites in swine, etc., that we'd really rather not have anything to do with.  That said, we do eat bacon on occasion (from responsibly raised swine), because it's not about rules.  Remember, we live in freedom.  It's about balance and health.  And sometimes we just really feel like eating some bacon!
In our church, I think most people eat just about anything.  I don't see many abstaining from items because they are "unclean" and I know there are folks in our church that drink alcohol (we personally don't because of the Second Commandment).  Food is definitely an important part of fellowship in many churches.   Church potlucks, in general, are famous for their good food.  Our church is quite large, so we meet in home groups during the week and those meetings generally include a shared meal.  We are home group leaders, so we can steer the direction of the meals ourselves or decide to forego it.
As a mother of five children, I take seriously my job of feeding them nutritious foods and guarding their health.  Just recently, I came to the realization that taking care of our bodies IS loving God.  We should respect and be good stewards of His creation, and our bodies are a part of that creation.  Although food and health has been an interest for years, this was a real light bulb moment for me.  In the past year, we have been making some real changes in our diet and the way we prepare our meals.  As I master one new concept, I move on to another.  Like most who are on this healthy eating journey, I read and learn everyday.  I pray and ask for wisdom.  I talk to my husband, and then we do what we feel God would have us do for our family.
Some web sites that have been very helpful to me in my nourishing food journey are:


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Real Food for Babies

Our six month old started "solids" recently. My husband thought I was crazy when I told him that instead of the mainstream, politically correct rice cereal as his first food... I wanted to feed him butter.
"Butter?" he asked, "Who eats butter?"
"Butter is good for you," I answered.
"Yeah, but we don't eat it by itself."
I perservered and fed our baby butter. Why butter? It's full of fat, which babies need a lot of for their developing brain. We then fed him avocado, full fat yogurt, and banana. He still hasn't had grains which are harder to digest, but he will probably start them soon.

I have a confession to make: sitting there spooning baby food into a baby's mouth is not on my top ten list of things to do. (In fact, I'd rather change diapers!) I could not wait for the day when my babies were old enough for finger foods! The good news is that letting your baby feed himself is actually a good thing. It develops hand mouth coordination and lets the baby choose how much to eat.

Because our baby is still working on the coordination, and because I want to get as much food as I can in his little tummy just in case it will help him sleep through the night(!), we have a two part approach to feeding right now. We let the baby sit with our family at dinner. On his high chair tray, we put small amounts of food (usually part of what we're eating) and let him work on getting it to his mouth. Then, before bedtime, we feed him with a spoon.

If you haven't made your own baby food, it is really easy. I did this with all my kids because it cost less and because you can choose exactly what goes in it.

All you need is a food processor or food mill or even a blender. Any fruit or vegetable will work, but it's best to use organics for your baby so you expose them to as little pesticide residue as possible.

Here's what I do:
Cook the vegetable.
Puree it.
Separate into ice cube trays. When frozen, store in an airtight container in the freezer. Then reheat and serve.

Ideas for baby foods:
Peas- heat in saucepan
Sweet potatoes- bake
Apples-peel, chop, then boil with a little water until soft
Bananas- mush with a fork, serve raw
Avocadoes- mush with a fork, serve raw
Carrots- steam until tender
Berries- no need to cook, puree raw fruit
Green beans- steam until tender

Other baby foods:
Plain yogurt
Eggs, scrambled
Beans (Kidney, black, pinto, etc.)

Check out this resource list by Nina Planck, author of Real Food for Mothers and Baby.
Kate at Modern Alternative Mama posted her thoughts about feeding babies here.
Please add any foods I've missed and any other tips you may have; I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Real Food and Religion series: The Levitical Diet

Today our guest blogger is Hallee who blogs at HalleetheHomemaker. She blogs about family, food, homemaking and her religious beliefs. We'll take a break from the Real Food and Religion series and I'll cover some of your questions over the weekend, and then we have some more great guest bloggers coming up next week. Enjoy!
I am a Christian. I am a devout, set-myself-apart, Bible believing Christian who strives to make everything I am and all that I can be for God, to God, or about God. My beliefs are not tied to any specific religion. As a family, we choose to worship God in and work for God through and with the My family and I chose to worship God in a the Church of God (formerly called the "First Church of God of Anderson Indiana") for a few reasons:

  • They are a holiness church, and choose to use the Bible as a guideline for what to believe rather than a written doctrine.
  • We have a strong family background within the Church of God that goes back several generations.
  • They have a strong focus on missions, and this is extremely important to our family.
  • The area in which we live and the surrounding areas have many different Church of God churches, providing opportunities for inter-church fellowship and meeting.
This specific article is supposed to talk about our religion and what it teaches about food and abstaining from certain foods. I did some research, because I couldn't find anything readily available to me about foods within the Church of God, and had never heard or seen anything specifically taught about it. It seems that without a written doctrine, and using the Bible as a guideline for belief, that there would be something taught about food or abstaining from foods, but there is not. They do believe in abstaining from all alcohol. Other than that, and since there is no written doctrine, the abstaining from alcohol is simply an understood and traditional practice, there is nothing else other than a regular observance of the Communion that is done with bread or crackers and grape juice.
Apart from having any specific rules about food or abstaining from food, our church body definitely has a food culture. In nearly every instance of fellowship with the church body, there is food. Be it a "Soup-er" Bowl party on Super Bowl Sunday night with different soups and chili's being enjoyed together after evening worship, Valentine Dinners, Corn Husking picnics in the early fall when the corn comes in, or just a potluck supper "Linger Longer" after morning worship. Food is a way to bring people together, a chance to sit at a different table and chat with a brother or sister in Christ and enjoy the company of fellow believers.
Our church does some sort of fellowship something at least once a month, if not more often. It is definitely one of the benefits of being part of our congregation.
Our family, however, apart from the organized religion that we choose as a worship and works platform, follows a Levitical diet. We believe that the restrictions God gave pertaining to food in Leviticus are there for health reasons.

What is the Levitical Diet?

There may be some confusion between what defines a Levitical Diet -- sometimes also called a Levitican Diet -- and how it is different from a Kosher diet. The principles of keeping Kosher go far beyond the principles of a Levitical Diet. Without writing a book to explain the differences, there are 3 principles to the Levitical Diet and they are:

  1. Eat only substances that God created for food.  Avoid what is not designed for food.
  2. As much as possible, eat foods as they were created - before they were changed or converted into something humans think might be better
  3. Avoid food addictions.  Don't let any food or drink become your god.
The reasons our family follows these principles are easy to explain.   The bottom line is that the Levitical Diet is healthier than alternative eating lifestyles (III John 1:2).  However, the diet we choose for our family does not reflect judgment of what others eat or how they prepare their food. When we are guests at another person's table, we eat whatever is offered in the spirit of hospitality and are blessed by their generosity (Romans 14:2-17).  While we realize that following this diet is NOT the key to our salvation, we follow the guidelines offered in God's word as an act of worship and faithfulness.

The Principles

1) In brief, the first principle allows for eating what the Bible calls  "Clean" foods and avoiding foods that the Bible deems "Unclean."
Clean foods include herbivorous animals that have divided hooves and chew cud, such as cattle, sheep, and goats (Leviticus 11:3); all fish that have fins and scales, either fresh or salt water fish, such as perch, trout, tuna, and salmon (Leviticus 11:9); birds that do not eat carrion such as chicken, pheasant, goose, duck, and turkey (Leviticus 11:13-19); a few insects (so we have something to complain about, I guess) like locusts and grasshoppers (Leviticus 11:21-22)-  dried locust is nearly 75% protein which could explain how John the Baptist remained in such good health; milk (Exodus 3:8); all seed-bearing fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables (Genesis 1:29); and honey - we purchase our honey from a local beekeeper and we try to get the comb as well. If you don't have a source of local honey, try your best to purchase "pure honey" (Exodus 3:8).
Unclean foods include pork, kangaroo, rabbit, anything without a divided hoof and chews the cud (Leviticus 11:4-8, 26-28); fat (Leviticus 7:23); blood (Leviticus 7:26); kidneys; (Leviticus 3:4 ) bottom feeders such as catfish, oyster, shrimp, crab, lobster, shark, octopus, squid, clams, coral, and any fish that doesn't have scales and fins; any plant that grows in water, whether salt or fresh water, such as spirulina (algae), sea weed, kelp, and food additives such as carrageenan (Leviticus 11:10-12); birds that eat carrion such as the eagle, osprey, hawk, kite, vulture, raven, ostrich (including eggs), goat sucker, seagull, buzzard, swan, pelican, owl, carrion eagle, stork, heron, crane, hoopoe; bats (Leviticus 11:13-20); any insects that crawl, as opposed to hopping like locust and grasshopper, which makes nearly every insect off limits (Leviticus 11:23-25); rodents such as the mole, mouse, rat, and shrew; any animal torn, mangled or worried (painful death such as roadkill);  any cattle dying of disease (Leviticus 11:29-43); all reptiles including turtles, lizards, alligators, and snakes (Leviticus 11:4, 10, 29, 42); and any food that has touched anything unclean, such as a mouse chewed on it (Leviticus 7:23).
The health reasons for the distinctions between clean and unclean are fairly apparent. Avoiding unclean foods means avoiding harmful toxins and possible disease. For example, unhealthy toxins are stored in the fat and removed by the kidneys of every animal. Bottom feeders were created to remove toxins from the seas and their flesh is full of unhealthy toxins and metals. There are many, many reasons to avoid pork. Pigs will literally eat anything, and pork can contain up to 30 times more toxins than beef or venison.
Conversely, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, milk, and scaled fish are healthy foods in so many, many ways. The benefits of each are so plentiful, I won't attempt to list them all, but they include: good proteins and amino acids, healthy omega-3's and 6's, healthy carbohydrates, and balanced measures of beneficial and soluble minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
2) As much as possible, eat foods as they were created - before they were changed or converted into something humans think might be better. There are some excellent examples of this and more and more research is showing that the further we remove ourselves from our food sources, the unhealthier we become as a result.
Consider margarine: Leviticus 7:23 prohibits eating any of the fat of even clean cattle.  God noted in Leviticus 3:17that this would be a "perpetual statute" prohibiting the eating of fat.  Back in the nineteenth century, a Frenchman learned how to turn vegetable oil into an artificial animal fat substitute we know as margarine in direct conflict with the Levitical dietary law.  In the last 200 years, we have changed our diets and our lifestyles so much that we have caused an epidemic of cancer, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Angina pectoris has only been described in the English medical literature for the last 200 years. Two hundred years before, NONE of these diseases or conditions existed at all or in any appreciable numbers.
Consider unfermented soy. In recent studies, even the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has listed unfermented soy as an Endocrine Disrupting Chemical (EDC) meaning it contains natural hormones that emulate human hormones, the consumption of which can lead to obesity, infertility, genital malformation, reduced male birth rates, precocious puberty, miscarriage, behavior problems, brain abnormalities, impaired immune function, various cancers, and cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) recently withdrew support for any definitive health claims related to soy protein and coronary conditions.
Consider genetically modified or engineered foods (GMOs or GEOs) many of which are sterile and thus are not "seed-producing" which has been linked to a variety of health concerns including many of the same problems with unfermented soy.
Consider high fructose corn syrup, added to literally everything from ketchup to cough syrup, which shuts down the human metabolism and has been linked to high blood pressure. Consider enriched bleached, white flour" which contains none of the healthy oils or nutrients of whole grains and is enriched with industrial grade chemicals.
Consider that it is highly unlikely that you will ever encounter any health problems as a result of preparing and eating unmodified "real" foods. You won't live forever, but you will certainly live longer and better as a result.
3) The final principle, that of not making any food or drink or any diet or eating lifestyle into an idol, is a bit subjective but also not difficult to integrate into our eating lifestyle.  Some things which can become too important include alcohol, caffeine, and sweets (Ecclesiastes 10:17).  Devoting too much energy or too much of your finances to purchase exclusively this or that kind of food is also a danger, especially if you place more financial importance on that practice than on, for instance, offering a tithe (1 Corinthians 10:31).  If rich delicacies or rarities rank high on your dietary priority list, this can also present a risk (Proverbs 23:1-3).
One way to break food addictions or binge cycles, a method which also has definite health benefits, is fasting. According to recent studies, Americans in particular rarely if ever experience real hunger anymore. Essentially, we have not yet digested our last meal before we have already eaten our next meal.  Therefore, we never feel hungry. A short fast, such as a "daylight" fast can offer time for prayer and meditation and alert you to certain unhealthy cravings or food attachments. If you take no food or drink, or else only allow for drinking pure water, during the hours of daylight, coupled with prayer, your body can send you signals of certain foods which have become too important. This is particularly true of caffeine and alcohol.
A prolonged fast, such as the Daniel's Fast, also offers time for prayer and meditation while weaning your body of possibly dangerous addictions to any but "clean" foods.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Real Food and Religion series: A Christian Perspective

Todays guest post is from Kate Tietje. She blogs at modernalternativemama. She blogs about real food and describes herself as "Living the non-mainstream life: Jesus-loving, debt-free living, home birthing, extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, non-vaccinating, organic gardening and real-food cooking mama!"

I am a Christian.  Currently I attend a non-denominational church that has Baptist roots.  I grew up Catholic and my husband grew up Church of God.  But now we basically focus on the fact that we follow Jesus.
            The biggest thing we take about food from our religion is that sacrifices and ceremony are not necessary.  We’ve studied this issue indepth in our Bible studies with friends, and Jesus teaches that the “Ways of Old,” like animal sacrifice or avoiding certain foods, are not necessary, because they are just for show and are not as important as loving people and celebrating with them.  This is what we follow – we don’t worry about celebrating with anything in particular, or avoiding anything in particular because we don’t believe that the rituals are as important as the spirit.
            However, we strive to eat what is natural and created by God.  We try to avoid food that isn’t the way God created it – which is anything that is processed, like store-bought prepared meals, canned foods, etc.  We try to be good stewards of the resources God has provided, by doing things like sourcing local foods, picking things wild, etc.  It is important to us to eat naturally.  Although not as important as not offending our hosts should we be fellowshipping with others who don’t share our passion!
            Our church highly encourages us to get together with a small group on a regular basis and share a meal.  There is no specific menu, it changes every time (we eat together about once a month).  The idea is to sit down and “break bread” together, as Jesus did with many people during His lifetime.  Our focus is on togetherness and sharing.
            We don’t have much of a problem between science and religion.  It’s funny, but I’ve done a lot of research on diet and have come to various conclusions based on my research and my religion, but the “mainstream scientists” don’t agree.  Then, within a few weeks or months, a new mainstream study will come out basically proving what I said all along!  I have a friend who frequently sends me articles she finds, saying, “There’s that thing you were talking about!”  So science vs. religion isn’t really a problem for me.
            We do take this seriously!  Following God’s design for food and the world (looking for food that is in season, prepared the way it was designed to be, eating things as minimally processed as possible) is very important to us.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Real Food and Religion series: Fundamental Christianity

The Real Food and Religion Series starts today with this post by Steve and Paula Runyan. They have two blogs, sustainablefirstfruits and steveandpaularunyan

We attend a home fellowship, which practices fundamental Christianity, as taught by Jesus Christ, recorded in the 4 Gospels and the epistles. We believe in a real Heaven and real Hell, that Satan is a real, living being who opposes God and attempts to win people away from following God. The only way to Heaven is through the shed blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and Salvation is a free gift given to any who is willing to repent of their sins and accept the gift.
Our “religion” teaches nothing about food. No foods are forbidden by our fellowship, nor are any required. The body of Christians we fellowship with also has no set standard for food. What we personally believe about food comes from the Bible. Romans 14 is both a literal and allegorical chapter about eating, which we do take literally. We do not observe Old Testament food laws, because of the New Covenant established in the New Testament. We believe the vision of Peter was a literal as well as allegorical event, and that God, as He told Peter, has given us every creeping, swimming, flying and crawling thing for our food. We also find no prohibition against alcohol in the Bible, in fact, the opposite, as when Paul tells Timothy to drink wine for his stomach. The Bible does command us not to drink in excess; “be not drunk with wine, but the Spirit.”
Personally, we have begun to take a very critical look at today’s food culture in the US. Tied to this is also modern medicine. When God created the earth, after each event He looked at it and declared, “This is good.” Now in many instances our government and food safety agencies are telling us that many of God’s created foods are not good, unless they are modified before use. One of the biggest of these cases is milk. Our government tells us milk is dangerous and unhealthy for us, unless it is altered through pasteurization. Yet, it comes from cows, which God created, with big udders that fit perfectly in a human hand. When he made cows, they were declared to be good. Throughout the Bible, the phrase “milk and honey” is used to denote good, desirable land, or good things. As in Canaan was a land “flowing with milk and honey.” Breast feeding is also frowned upon by many local governments and agencies, though that is God’s design for rearing an infant. We are told that man made formulas are better for our infant children. God didn’t cause milk to flow from a mother for any other reason. So we drink raw milk now, and have seen improvements in our health. We believe many if not all medical conditions in the US are deeply tied to what we eat.
We eat a vast amount of fish and wild game. We believe this is part of our good stewardship of the earth. We also raise chickens for eggs and meat, raise a garden, and pick wild berries. We attempt to feed the chickens an organic diet, as frugally as possible. God’s directive for good animal husbandry takes us away from the industrial meat mills and toward smaller, sustainable farms when we do need to purchase meat. God mandated a 7 year cycle to His people, in resting their fields every 7 years, which helps the land regenerate and should still be practiced today by rotating crops.
Food is a part of our fellowship. We have a large family meal (potluck) after each Sunday meeting, and often meet with families within the congregation for dinner. Food also is used in one of our most important traditions, Breaking of Bread. We use grape juice and crackers or bread, to celebrate communion each Sunday, and remember Christ’s ministry and sacrifice here on earth. We also hunt and fish together sometimes to put up food for the winter. Fish and game often makes up a part of the potluck dinner on Sunday, as well.
Steve and Paula Runyan

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Coming up...

Here are some things that are coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Real Food and Religion Series:
This week we start a series called Real Food and Religion. Many bloggers are helping out and have written great posts I'm excited for you to read. They will talk about how their religions influence their food choices.

I wanted to do this series because our religious beliefs are a driving force for many of us. I wanted to know why people do what they do and eat what they eat. I got back some very thought-provoking answers, and I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I have.

What we believe about where we come from and where we are going influences what we do in between. As a Latter-day Saint (Mormon), we have general health guidelines, but many of the specifics are left up to us. As I have pondered the specifics, I have been led to study our religious guidelines in more depth. A lot of the bloggers whose posts you will read in the next few weeks have done the same thing and learned some really interesting things in the process.

Answering your questions:
In between the Real food and religion series, I will be answering your questions. You had some great things to cover! I will be posting about snacks, desserts, the FDA, and saturated fat. If you have a question, but haven't posted it, just let me know.
Edited to add: I'll also be posting about baby food and some new recipes!

On TV:

Tomorrow night on PBS, Food, Inc. is showing at 9pm. If you haven't seen it, I recommend you watch it. This is a really informative show about what is happening with our food. My husband and I watched it together. Up until that point, he had kind of gone along with all the changes we had made to our eating habits. After that, he said, "Wow, how can we avoid eating like that?" I was happy to tell him, "We already are."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Canning Chicken Broth

In my post yesterday I explained how I make homemade chicken broth. I divide my chicken broth into 3 unequal parts: some to freeze, some to refrigerate, and some to can.

Freezing is a great option because it keeps the nutrients intact and preserves for a long period of time. For me though, it definitely has some down sides: it takes up freezer space (which can be at a premium if the freezer is well stocked) and you have to thaw it. I don't like to use my microwave because when you do, you lose nutrients. So that means freezer food is not convenience food for me. I have to plan to get it out of my freezer about a day in advance to let it thaw in the fridge. And sometimes that works great. But other times I may not have realized I need it and I forget to thaw it... that's when I'm glad not all of my chicken broth is in my freezer.

Refrigerated chicken broth lasts for 3 to 5 days if you leave the fat on top. After that, you could remove the fat, boil and put it back in the fridge for another 3 to 5 days... but that sounds like a lot of work to me when you could just use it at that point.

Canning does destroy some nutrients, but from what I can find the jury's out on how much is really lost. (I found different sources saying anywhere from 10-90% of some vitamins are lost!) That is the downside. The things I love about canning are:
Work one day, have food for many days.
Shelf storage: even if the power goes out or there is an emergency, you can use your canned food.
It doesn't take up freezer space.
It lasts a long time.
Cans of food on the pantry shelf gives me a sense of accomplishment and security. Really. I can go in my pantry and think two  things, "Wow, I provided this food for my family." and, "No matter what else may go wrong, at least we have food."

How to Pressure Can Chicken Broth:

Remove the fat from your chilled broth.
Heat lids and rings over low heat. Simmer.
Wipe lids and rims of your jars. Top with hot lids and rims.
In a separate pot, boil 3 quarts of water.
Pour boiling water into pressure canner. Add jars.
Close pressure canner and turn heat on high. Let steam flow for 10 minutes.
Add pressure regulator.
Process at 11 pounds pressure. 20 minutes for pints, 25 for quarts.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Chicken Broth

Chicken Broth is loaded with nutrition. My favorite part is that it's made from leftovers, so it's practically free. Homemade broth tastes so much better than anything you can buy in the store. It makes your gravies and soups taste great. There is a lot of room for variations on the recipe below. You can add salt (I leave it out and add it when I'm using it in recipes), reduce or increase any of the vegetables.

And don't feel like you don't have time to make this if you aren't going to be home all day. It can simmer without you there watching it as long as the heat is low enough.

I buy whole chickens and save all the bones in plastic baggies in the fridge. I separate the chicken into two baggies, cooked bones and raw bones. I also have a baggie for vegetables in the freezer. When I have a baggie or two filled up, it's time to make some broth. Cooking the bones and vegetables intensifies the flavor of the broth.


Chicken Bones

Preheat oven to 450. Roast raw chicken and vegetables for about a half hour. Place all ingredients in a stockpot or other large pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off any impurities that rise to the top. Let it simmer all day or overnight. Just make sure it has a lot of water in there and is at a low temperature to keep too much water from evaporating.

Strain out the solids. Cool. Divide into containers. (I use mason jars.) Chill in the refrigerator.  A layer of fat will form on top. You can use it as cooking fat.

Store in the freezer for longer term storage. I can some of the jars with a pressure canner. You lose some nutrients that way, but you have the convenience of being able to pop open a can and it's still much healthier than what you can find in the store.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Any questions??

My sister suggested that I open up the blog for questions.

Use this comment section to let me know what you would like to see in future posts. Request specific recipes, more information on diet and health, or whatever questions you have. I'm happy to research it if I don't know the answer!

Anytime you want more information on a specific post, please ask in the comment question. I read and respond to all comments!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Soaked Granola

Since posting my granola recipe, I have adapted it to make a soaked version. Soaking oats reduces phytic acid, which was my original reason for doing it, but it also changes the texture into yummy little clumps of granola.

I don't have a food dehydrator, so I use my oven turned down as low as it can go, which is 170. (Of course, if you're lucky enough to have one, use it!) It cooks for about 12 hours at 170. You need to be around to stir and break it up every so often. Below are a few different variations, depending on how healthy you want to make it.  I double the recipe when I make it, since I want to fill up my oven if I'm going to have it on that long!

Basic Soaked Granola Recipe

This makes a crunchy, sweet, clumpy granola.

The night before, measure out:

6 cups oats
6 cups water
3/4 cup whey

In a separate bowl, mix:

1-2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Enough water to cover

In the morning, drain the oats and nuts.

Meanwhile, melt in a small saucepan:

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. sea salt

Mix the coconut oil mixture and nuts with the oats.


1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Spread out on a baking sheet. It will not look anything like granola at this point- don't worry! It's supposed to look like someone dumped a bowl of oatmeal on your baking sheet. It will look like that for a while. It starts looking a little more granola-y about halfway through.

Bake at 170. Check about every 1-2 hours (you have some wiggle room here), stirring and breaking into clumps. It is done when you can break apart a cluster and it's not wet in the middle, anywhere from 8-12 hours.


Cut the sweeteners in half, 1/4 cup of each.

Omit the brown sugar.

Substitute honey for the brown sugar.

Omit the coconut.

Substitute up to half of the coconut oil with butter.  (This substitution is purely for cost. I like to leave at least half coconut oil because it's sweet and because it's not something we tend to get a lot of in our diet.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

White, Brown, and Raw Sugar

So, you know sugar is not good for you. You want to get it out of your diet, but you still want something sweet. What's a girl with a sugar craving to do? Here is a list of 3 common sugars, how they are made, and what the difference is.

Raw Sugar: Raw sugar is made by pressing the juice out of the sugar cane, mixing it with lime, evaporating the liquid, and spinning in a centrifuge. Umm, what happened to the raw part? When you talk about raw milk or raw honey, that means nothing was done to process them. Raw sugar, on the other hand, is actually processed! In one statistic I read, it is only 5% less processed than white sugar.

White sugar: White sugar is made basically the same way, but they add chemicals to take the color out. They can do this before or after crushing the sugar cane, but the end result is the same: they bleach out the color and filter out the vitamins and minerals found in whole sugar cane.

Brown Sugar: To make brown sugar, first they make white sugar, then they add in some of the molasses. That's where it gets its darker color. It has a very small amount of minerals from the molasses, but brown sugar is only about 5% molasses, so most of what you are getting is empty white sugar calories.

I used to buy Organic Evaporated Cane Juice from Trader Joe's. Sounds good, right? Well, from all I've read on sugar, there is really very little difference between the "raw" and the "white."

I try to reduce my sugar consumption and use honey or maple syrup as an alternative. For those few things I still make with sugar... I use regular old white or brown sugar, just because it costs less. I like to use my shopping dollars where they really count, and it doesn't make sense to me to spend more than twice as much on the "raw" sugar, for only a 5% variation in the final product.

More reading on sugar:
"Get the refined sugar out."
"Will the real raw sugar please stand up?"

Monday, April 12, 2010

Water, water everywhere

Do you know the saying, Water Water Everywhere, but not a drop to drink? That’s how I feel lately. 

Well, not about water so much, we have plenty to drink. It’s about milk. I live in a tract home in a fairly rural area.  If I drive 5 minutes in almost any direction from my house, I will see cows grazing, horses running, and goats chasing each other trying to escape their fences. But somehow, I can’t seem to find any local raw milk! Right now, I drive a half hour to pay an arm and a leg for raw milk that comes from several hours away. Unfortunately, my raw milk source raised their prices, so I have been trying even harder to find a local source of milk.

I ask people who live in the country or on farms. Most don’t know anyone, but I have had a couple leads for raw goats milk. I’ve never drunk goats’ milk before, but if it’s raw and less than $8.88 for a half gallon, I’ll take it!

The trouble is, no one will sell it!

They are afraid I will one day get sick and sue, or that some one will come find they are selling milk and come after them. I don’t want to cause any trouble; I just want some milk!

The last woman I talked to said that she drinks it, but her mom tells her not to sell it to anyone else. "If the goat was sick or something, you could get sick," she said. “But you would know, right?” I asked. “Well, yeah,” she said, “but I still don’t think I should sell it.”

So, here I am, living by all these cows and goats, but  I can’t get any milk. If only we could fit a cow in our backyard…

Need your help!


Hi everyone! I have a bunch of things planned to blog this week, but today I wanted to ask for your help. I am in the running for a contest to win a year supply of organic milk. I would so love that! But I need your help!

Would you please take a second and vote for me?  Chanelle Neilson

Thanks so much!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Weekday Breakfast Ideas

Busy mornings can make you want to reach for the packaged breakfast cereal. These are two breakfasts that we have on weekdays that take about 5 minutes to prepare and are packed with nutrition. If you chop the fruit for the parfaits or the veggies for the skillet ahead of time, it will be that much easier to get on the table.

Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits are a simple breakfast that my family gets really excited about. Even though it is really simple to make, it seems like a treat. It's all about the presentation! We serve these parfaits in our tall stemmed glasses, so the kids think they are really lucky and we are having something very fancy.

Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits

Chopped Fruit (I used blueberries, strawberries and bananas)

Layer yogurt and fruit in a glass. Top with granola.

Breakfast Veggie Skillet


Olive oil and butter for sauteing
2 Eggs
Chopped Veggies ( I like zucchini, onion, avocado and tomato)
Cheese (Gorgonzola is my favorite)
Sea Salt and pepper to taste.

Chop veggies. Heat butter and olive oil in skillet, saute veggies until tender (If using avocadoes and tomatoes, you can add these later) . Add eggs, cook until done. Add cheese and tomatoes. Top with avocado. Season with salt and pepper.

This post is part of Finer Things Friday.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pig's Head Torchon

I have a special recipe today for Pig's Head Torchon. It uses a real pig's head, shown above. The original recipe is from The Momofuku Cookbook.

I came across this pig's head from my local freecycle group. Freecycle is a group where people give away things they don't need any more- things like old furniture, kids clothes, books or... pig's heads. A woman posted a list of things she had to give away, and way down at the bottom, she listed:
"2 Pig heads -- yes, pig heads. Frozen, organic, happy (mostly), free-range pigs we had raised & butchered. We got the head and thought we'd make something exotic with it but we haven't. I thought maybe someone knew what to do with it and would be happy to get it ?"
Well, though I had no idea what to do with it, I am always up for trying new organic free range animals and was happy to get it!

I didn't tell my husband when I went to pick it up, but later that night, I couldn't keep it a secret any longer.
"Why is the garage freezer plugged in?" he asked.
"Oh, I got some pig parts today."
Something in my voice must have tipped him off, "Chanelle, what kind of pig parts are we talking about?"
"Oh, you know, just parts of a pig..."
"Chanelle!" (If you've ever heard Ricky Ricardo call out "Lucy!" you'll know the tone he was using here.)
"Well, the head part. And she gave me a heart too! And some fat to render into lard!"

Needless to say, he was not as excited as I was. The thought of eating the head of any animal just plain grossed him out. I have been giving a lot of thought to this pig, particularly this pig's head, as it has sat in my freezer for the past week or two. We are so disconnected from our food supply. In Food, Inc., they point out that there are no bones in our meat anymore. Most of the meat we buy is off the bone. It kind of separates us from the fact that this is a real animal we are eating. I think that, in a weird way, it shows respect to the animal to eat all of it. There's a philosophy out there about this, called head-to-toe eating, where you try to use ALL of the animals edible parts. It also shows respect for the earth as we try to waste less and use all that we can.

With all those thoughts in my head, it was time to deal with the head of the pig. First I boiled the head with some vegetables. Then came the hard part: separating the meat from the um, unusable parts. I expected to be grossed out by the eye; it really wasn't so bad. The tongue and the teeth were by far the "ickiest" part (to quote my mom).  Regardless, I got through the meat picking and on with the recipe. This is what it looked like when I got through picking the meat.

I separated the meat from the fat to make the torchon. I then added salt, pepper and roasted garlic to the meat. I layed a layer of fat on plastic wrap and lay the meat on top of that. There is a surprising amount of meat on a pig head, mostly around the jaw. But since this pig was skinned (a good thing since I didn't have to look at the snout), I didn't have a big layer of fat. You can see in the picture below that there is much more meat than fat.

The next step is to roll it all up and refrigerate for 2 hours.

After refrigerating, you are supposed to slice it into 1 inch slices. My little roll didn't stick together, I think because there just wasn't enough fat/ skin. So, I improvised. I got out the food processor and pulsed the fat and the meat together. I was then able to form the meat and fat into little patties.
I dipped each patty into 3 bowls: flour, egg and water mix, and bread crumbs.
Then I fried them for a couple minutes on each side in a mixture of butter and olive oil.

The final verdict? 
Pretty good! My 5 year old ate 3, my daughter liked it and ate one, I ate two, and my husband... well, he knew it was pig's head and he tried it, so I think he gets points for that.

This post is part of Pennywise platter Thursday.