Herb & spice medicines
‘You have to think of a different kind of menu,’ says Alice [Waters, owner of Chez Panisse and organic Slow Food guru]. ‘You eat dried fruit and nuts. You make pasta sauces out of canned tomatoes … you’re eating different kinds of grains—farro with root vegetables … Turnips of every color and shape! Carrots that are white and red and orange and pink! … Cabbages!’
Basically, you can eat like a fucking Russian peasant, is what she’s saying. I don’t know if that’s what they want to hear in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or Buffalo. And what about the healthy, pure, wholesome, and organic foods that Alice says I should be buying—particularly if I have children? If I’m making an even average wage as, say, a sole-providing police officer or middle manager? Regular milk is about four bucks a gallon. Organic is about twice that. Supermarket grapes are about four bucks a bunch. Organic are six. More to the point, what if I’m one of the vast numbers of working poor, getting by in the service sector? What should I do? How can I afford that?
Asked this question very directly, Alice advises blithely that one should ‘Make a sacrifice on the cell phone or a third pair of Nike shoes.’ It’s an unfortunate choice of words. And a telling one, I think. You know, those poor people—always with their Nikes and their cell phones. If only they’d listen to Alice. She’d lead them to the promised land for sure.
What else should we be doing? Alice says we should immediately spend 27 billion dollars to ensure every schoolchild in America gets a healthy, organic lunch. More recently she added to this number the suggestion that fresh flowers on every lunchroom table might also be a worthwhile idea. This is, after all, ‘more important than crime in the streets. This is not like homeland security—this is actually the ultimate homeland security. This is more important than anything else.’
Which is where Alice really loses me—because, well, for me, as a New Yorker, however quaint the concept, homeland security is still about keeping suicidal mass murderers from flying planes into our fucking buildings. And organic school lunches might be more important to you than crime in the streets in Berkeley—but in the underfunded school systems of West Baltimore, I suspect they feel differently. A healthy lunch is all fine and good—but no use at all to Little Timmy if he gets shot to death on the way to school. In fact, 27 billion for organic food for Timmy seems a back-assward priority right now—as, so far, we’ve failed miserably to even teach him to read. What kind of dreams can a well-fed boy have if he doesn’t even have the tools to articulate them? How can he build a world for himself if he doesn’t know how to ask for—much less how to get—the things he wants and needs? I, for one, would be very satisfied if Timmy gets a relatively balanced slab of fresh but nonorganic meatloaf with a side of competently frozen broccoli—along with reading skills and a chance at a future. Once literate, well read, and equipped with the tools to actually make his way in the world, he’ll be far better prepared to afford Chez Panisse.
As of this writing, not too far from Berkeley, just across the bridge, in San Francisco’s Mission District, they line up every Tuesday for the $1.99 special at Popeye’s Fried Chicken. They don’t stand in the street waiting for forty-five minutes to an hour because it’s particularly healthy chicken, or organic chicken, or conscientiously raised chicken. They do it because it’s three fucking pieces for a dollar ninety-nine. Unless we respect that reality, Alice? We’re lost.
Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and People Who Cook
Bourdain devotes an entire chapter of his book to decimating Alice Waters, who has been lauded in a 60 Minutes puff piece as “the Mother of Slow Food” (which is a bullshit claim). He admits that he was perhaps overdoing it when he called her “Pol Pot in a muumuu” in an interview — but only barely (he also called saccharine blonde Semi-Homemade host Sandra Lee “the hellspawn of Betty Crocker and Charles Manson” and called her Kwanzaa Cake “a war crime on television”, so Waters is far from alone). Bourdain selects his targets for a reason, and Waters is a highly suitable stand-in for the growing ranks of white, privileged, socially ignorant eco-food ideological stick-wavers whose contempt for communities of color and for the poor ooze out through their self-righteous evangelism.
In a typical move, Waters wrote an open letter to the newly elected president Obama warning that “the purity and wholesomeness of the Obama movement must be accompanied by a parallel effort in food”. She appointed herself onto an advisory committee to help the Obamas select “a person with integrity and devotion” as White House Chef, adding “I cannot forget the vision I have had since 1993 of a beautiful vegetable garden on the White House lawn” — apparently oblivious that they already had a chef of “integrity and devotion” and a vegetable garden. This, from someone who has boasted that she hasn’t voted since 1966. Nevertheless, the Obamas were cool and invited her to the White House to throw a series of dinners and help expand the garden. As an example of her sustainable, locavorian ways, she flew in big-name chefs from all over the country for a five-hundred-dollar-a-plate gala, as though there are no qualified chefs in Washington fucking DC. This is why I appreciate what Tony Bourdain does. His targets usually deserve it. He’s a linguistic assassin, and sometimes that’s just what’s needed. And yeah, it feels good too. Plus, say what you want but I dig Popeye’s.
Bringing this back, because what a quality dude. And it’s a quality chapter in a quality book, too.
Wow. I’m really impressed. He *gets* it.
Bourdain is the most thoughtful, conscious, mindful ‘celebrity’ chef I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I’m pretty sure he’s also a dick (all chefs are dicks, especially on the line), but he’s awesome.
Just your average Sunday afternoon, now with Bourdain realness. This man, y’all.
This. Tldr: eating healthy/ethically is HARD to do on a ridiculous budget…we can only do our best.
I know I deserve more. Michelle K., I Know I Deserve More. (via sadlittlewords)
16 HERBAL TEAS with Health facts to put on your grocery list
1. Nettle Nettle is made with the leaves of stinging nettle, named for the tiny hairs on the fresh leaves which can sting the skin. Despite it’s rough exterior, nettle is one of nature’s best remedies for an assortment of ailments including anemia, high blood pressure, rheumatism, arthritis, coughs and colds, congestion, urinary tract infections, and kidney and bladder problems.
2. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is a popular herb that’s used in teas worldwide. Chamomile soothes the stomach and relieves bloating and indigestion. Chamomile also calms the mind and helps people relax and deal better with their stresses. Some people are allergic to chamomile and should avoid taking the tea. People who find it hard to go to sleep should drink a cup of chamomile tea before going to bed. Chamomile is known to fight insomnia by relaxing the body and the mind, enabling the person to fall asleep naturally.
3. Ginger Tea
Ginger is an energizer and a stimulator. Drinking ginger tea both stimulates and soothes the digestive system. Ginger has been known to aid people experiencing nausea. Arthritic people have found ginger tea helpful since it has anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint is a fragrant herb that makes for a soothing drink. Peppermint helps you digest foods better and also reduces flatulence and digestive issues. Peppermint is prescribed to people with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and gallstones in capsules. A cup of peppermint tea will ease nausea and vomiting, especially if you suffer motion sickness. If you have heartburn, don’t drink peppermint tea as this might aggravate your condition. Peppermint tea brings down the severity of herpes outbreaks. The natural mint flavor of the herb helps to freshen your breath. Other health benefits of this tea are control of muscle aches and chronic pain, clearing of congestion and mild coughs, mild asthma and reduction of stress.
5. Lavender Tea
Lavender tea is made out of the dried purple, pink and white colored flowers that grow on lavender shrubs. Used as a scented herb for many centuries, lavender’s medicinal uses have been appreciated and documented for centuries. A cup of lavender tea can soothe your mind and body, inducing sleep. If you are feeling down and depressed, a cup of lavender tea can help uplift your spirit.
Lavender tea helps sooth and treat flatulence, colic, bowel infections and an upset stomach. Lavender tea can be used as a wash on the chest to help reduce cough, bronchitis, asthma, cold and other respiratory issues. For both children and adults, lavender is used to reduce body temperature during fever. Lavender also has healing properties; use a wash of lavender tea to help heal wounds, cuts, ulcers and sores.
6. Lemon Balm Tea
Lemon balm tea is fragrant to drink and is a very effective tonic to calm nerves and anxiety. Cold lemon balm tea bags help relieve cold sores, or genital sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. Mix lemon balm leaves with valerian to treat anxiety, stress and insomnia. Lemon Balm contains several properties, which control herpes and also regulate the thyroid.
Lemon balm when mixed with peppermint can calm an upset stomach, sooth the digestive track and reduce flatulence. Drink lemon balm tea if you suffer from nerve pain. Drinking lemon balm tea also helps strengthen memory and brain functions and also uplifts one’s mood.
7. Rosemary Tea
Rosemary is not only good for cooking but makes a healthful and highly beneficial tea. Rosemary can help your muscles to relax. Additionally, rosemary is an effective digestive aid as well. If you have gall bladder and liver complaints, drinking rosemary tea regularly will greatly help relieve your symptoms. Rosemary tea also relieves cough and mild asthma symptoms.
8. Hibiscus Flower Tea (Sorrel)
Dried Hibiscus flowers are made into a tea that offers very high health benefits. Hibiscus tea is known to lower blood pressure, reduce high cholesterol and strengthen the immune system (it’s rich in Vitamin C). Hibiscus flower infusions have known to reduce hypertension as well, in people prone to this condition. A recent study reveals that hibiscus tea is rich in antioxidants, which protect the body against cell-damaging free radicals. Red zinger tea and sorrel tea contain hibiscus.
9. Green Tea
Green Tea comes with such a host of health benefits, that it’s called the ‘wonder herb’ by tea drinkers and medical practitioners alike.
Drinking green tea lowers cancer risk and also inhibits carcinogenic in cigarettes and other compounds when imbibed. Green Tea contains potent antioxidants called polyphenols, which help suppress free radicals. Green tea also stops certain tumors from forming. Green tea lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels and thereby promotes heart health. Green tea also lowers blood pressure, prevents and fights tooth decay and dental issues, and inhibits different viruses from causing illnesses.