Yeah For POMI Tomatoes - Now Organic!!!

by Christine Selig

I was so excited when I went into my local coop grocery store, Rainbow Grocery  recently and was able to purchase Organic Chopped POMI Tomatoes.

I was so excited about this product that I personally thanked the POMI reps at the San Francisco Fancy Food Festival for creating boxed chopped organic tomatoes with no added salt or oil or added anything. POMI is a cooperative company based in Italy, and according to their US representative, Umberto, the coop was proven to be a resilient model during the 2008 economic crisis, which hit Italy hard. 

Why are POMI chopped tomatoes so great?

They taste great.

No BPA Lined Cans. Go here for more on why to avoid BPA. 

They are now organic.

They have no added salt or oil.

They are delicious (did I mention that already).

Whole chopped tomatoes are delicious and filled with healthy micronutrients. To learn more about the health benefits of tomatoes go here

What about the boxes or cartons the tomatoes come in????  Pomi tomatoes are packed in Sig cartons – go here for info about sustainability and Sig cartons.  Go here to learn about the program for recycling or composting Sig containers where you live.


*** All material provided on the Healthy Eating San Francisco is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Consult a physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to you and any of your symptoms or medical conditions. I am an employee of Whole Foods Market. 


Chocolate - Climate Change - And Chocolate as a Health Food

by Christine Selig

Climate Change and the Chocolate Deficit - If you don't already have enough reasons to care for the environment, work to end industrial practices that are destroying the planet and be part of creating the solutions for a sustainable healthy world - chocolate can give you another reason. It turns out that climate change and a fungal disease is resulting in a decline in chocolate production, and there is currently a global chocolate deficit, that according to the Washington Post's coverage, could reach 2 metric tons by 2030. 

Chocolate as a Health Food - Chocolate can be a healthy part of a diet. Chocolate contains antioxidant nutrients called flavonoids (also found in berries and other foods) that are very good for people (for instance, flavonoids reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke). The healthy way to eat chocolate is to eat cocoa powder with other healthy foods.

The Do's for Chocolate - Buy organic farm trade coca powder. The processing of coca powder is one of the processing processes that actually makes a food healthier. Dr. Fuhrman makes a good one that is tested for all kinds of things. 

The Don'ts for Chocolate - Don't get dutch processed cocoa - this process removes much of the flavonoids that are so good for you. (Although if that is the only kind you like - go ahead. It maintains some of the flavonoids). Also, don't have it with milk - dairy blocks the healthy effects of flavanoids. Obviously, you want to avoid all the fat and sugar that can come with chocolate and chocolate products, the sugar and fat in chocolate isn't good for you. For some people who struggle with food addictions, chocolate in any form can be an addiction, and any amount of cocoa in food can easily lead to over eating. If you are one of those people - cocoa powder may not be a good addition to your diet.

For delicious chocolate recipes like Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream and Chocolate Dip go here

For more information about the health benefits of cocoa go here. 

For more information on what chocolate is the healthiest go here and here.

For the Washington Posts' coverage of the world chocolate deficit go here.  







Arsenic in Rice and What to Do... and What Not to Do

by Christine Selig

Arsenic in Rice - There is inorganic arsenic in rice. Consumer reports has been tracking this issue for a few years. Consumer Reports supported the efforts of Dr Oz to get arsenic out of apple juice and other juices, and are now working on rice. Arsenic gets into rice from pesticides and fertilizers that are made from chickens. Chickens are fed arsenic (2 million pounds a year in the US) to gain weight and to improve pigmentation (pinkish tinge). Arsenic causes cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more. 

What to do -  It will take some time for policies to change to get arsenic out of rice. In the meantime, replace rice with other intact grains, such as steel cut oats, barley, quinoa or wheat berries. You can also add more squash and organic corn to your meals for carbohydrates. Remember to eat beans - the best carbohydrates, every day. Beans have lots of good stuff in them.  

What not to do - Even though white rice has lower levels of arsenic then brown rice, don't swop whole grain brown rice for white rice. Yes white rice has lower levels of arsenic then brown rice, but white rice creates other problems. It has a high glycemic load and turns to sugar when eaten - not good for the body. Plus white rice still has arsenic - just less. Also - don't replace rice with white potatoes or white bread in your diet - these are also high glycemic load index foods.

If you are going to eat rice - rinsing it before you cook it and cooking it in plenty of water (like pasta) and then draining the rice after cooking reduces arsenic levels. Also - try black, red or wild rice - they have significantly more nutrients then white rice or even brown. 

For the Consumer Reports report on rice and arsenic go here.  

For more information about Consumer Reports' work on food and safety go here

If you want to watch the Dr Oz segment on arsenic and rice go here

If you want to read more about how arsenic gets into food go here.

And to learn more about arsenic in chicken go here. 


The New Eat To Live Cookbook

by Christine Selig

I just bought the new Eat to Live Cookbook By Dr Joel Fuhrman, HarperOne publisher, and spent yesterday going through it, picking out recipes and cooking.  

The cookbook is a companion to Eat to Live, Dr Fuhrman's first book outlining his nutritional theory, nutritarian - eating micronutrient dense foods. Dr Fuhrman translates peer reviewed nutritional science into nutritional practice.  His medical practice, in Flemington, New Jersey, specializes in nutritional medicine. Because of his evidence-based approach, particularly relying on meta-studies, he continues to take new research into account in his applied practice in nutritional medicine, and into his cooking tips and recipes. 

Dr Fuhrman loves food and loves to cook. This has led to his hands on approach to developing recipes that match his nutritional guidelines. 

Eat to Live Cookbook is great. This cookbook contains a selection of some of the best of Dr Fuhrman's recipes, ranging from how to make basics like healthy pita or tortilla chips to more complicated several step dishes like Vegetable Stir-Fry with an apricot garlic peanut sauce, that will impress, whether someone is nutritarian or not.  If you are a long time nutritarian or even just starting out, this cookbook is likely to have staples that will be in your regular weekly menu plan, including, California Creamed Kale, Cauliflower Spinach Mashed Potatoes and Portabella Veggie Fajitas. 

The Introduction chapter of the Eat to Live Cookbook is an excellent summary of Dr Fuhrman's approach - nutrition as the important building block to health. 

The key to good health and achieving your ideal body weight is to eat predominately those foods that have a high proportion of nutrients (non-caloric food factors) to calories (carbohydrates, fats and proteins).

His daily guidelines include: a large salad, at least a 1/2 cup legumes, at least three fruits, one ounce of nuts/seeds and at least one large serving of cooked vegetables.  

Dr Fuhrman's chapter on basic cooking, Cook to Live, provides helpful tools and techniques, information about herbs and spices, and tips for shopping and menu planning. There is also a guide to making decisions about buying organic produce.

Recipes in the Eat to Live Cookbook range from smoothies and juices to soups and stews to main dishes and deserts. The Fast Food chapter rehabs fast food recipes into nutrient packed healthy meals - like burgers, burritos and pizza. 

The Eat to Live Cookbook was clearly a group effort pulling together a range of tasty healthy choices. Talia Fuhrman, Joel's daughter, nutrition and cooking enthusiast, contributed several dishes including Goji Berry Walnut Squares with Chocolate Drizzle and Chef James Rohrbacher, the person responsible recently for making sure plenty of tasty food is available during the in-person events, contribution includes Herbed "Goat Cheese" (a vegan recipe). Other guest chefs include - Martin Oswald, Jack Hunt, Paul Bogardus and Christine Waltermyer. 

Will you (or your non-nutritarian friends and family) like this food, if you are not currently eating nutritarian?  You will enjoy many of the recipes. Nutritarian food does take some taste bud adjusting. Most people's taste buds have been desensitized to salt, oil, and refined carbohydrates (including sugar). Within a short time of removing most of those items from your food, your taste buds will readjust and you will be able to more fully taste the naturally occurring flavors of food. In the meantime, many of the recipes will taste delicious no matter what you usually eat.