Drink it RAW

I don’t like milk.  Sure, it occasionally tastes good – a cold glass cutting across the remains of lemon meringue pie, or used for dunking Oreos – but for the most part, I find it gross.  It causes your body to produce more mucus, it slimes the inside of your throat, and generally does not appeal to me.  I mean, its so full of stuff you can’t even see through it.  Would you drink particle-ridden water?  Plus there are all kinds of questions regarding whether or not growth hormone, pasteurization, and other modern processes are really adding to or detracting from the health benefits of milk.

Enter raw milk.  It’s only sellable in about half the states, you can’t transport it across state lines, and there are cases of suspected salmonella and E. coli poisoning from its consumption.  The FDA doesn’t like it.  The FDA doesn’t want you to drink it.  And certain families who’ve had bad experiences are suing raw milk producers for harming their children.  The producers do test the milk for harmful bacteria before selling it, however pasteurization is probably a better guarantee of killing everything.  And there are advocates who swear for the natural benefits of raw milk straight from the cow.

Personally the idea of raw milk is faintly nauseating to me, but that’s probably more because it’s milk than because it’s raw.  But there are other beverages that cannot be sold raw in Massachusetts that I love, namely, apple cider.  I want my own apple press where I can smoosh juice and gritty pulp out with weight and brute force.  I want cider that has real apple bits in it, still crunchy and fresh, instead of that mushy applesauce floating around in pasteurized ‘cider’.  I want fresh pressings, not boiled juice.

Honestly I’m not sure I could even drink real cider anymore.  I’m allergic to apples due to the pollen still contained within the fruit, which cooking (or pasteurization) denatures.  So perhaps it’s best that I don’t have direct access to that lovely tang of fresh-pressed cider, as it’s probably a temptation I could not resist.  And honestly, bacteria could grow just as easily in my murky pressings of choice as the murkiness of milk.  But I have no natural health benefits to tout for raw cider as opposed to the pasteurized kind.  It just tastes better.

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Short-term memory loss.

 I have always been a ‘naturally’ forgetful person.  In fact, I always really sympathized with Forgetful Jones on Sesame Street and felt like other characters were unduly mean to him.  It wasn’t his fault he was forgetful!  He was just a poor, little, lost muppet puppet, and he had been made that way.  In my own case, the forgetfulness was probably not so innocent.  I do still have trouble keeping track of things I do not find important – why clutter up your mind with random, pointless knowledge like where your car is parked or your best friend’s birthday?  Until today,  I always attributed as an unwillingness to focus on my part, rather than a really medical condition.  However, this article proved me wrong.  The real cause of my forgetfulness?  Lack of blueberries.

Now, some of you may be saying “I don’t eat a lot of blueberries, and my memory is fine”.  Some of you may be speaking in a language I don’t understand, saying , “I’ve never even seen a blueberry.”  Well, for those I can’t understand, you probably get your short-term memory drugs from some other arcane source such as the go-go fruit.  But the rest of you will understand me when I say that there’s a difference between ‘a lot’ of blueberries and ‘none’.

I hate blueberries.  I personally feel they are the most disgusting fruit on the planet, with the questionable exception of unripe persimmons or quince.  I’ve never had unripe quince myself, but I understand they’re gross.  I don’t know – something about their texture or substance gives them the taste of grainy mud.  It’s like rotting in my mouth.  I apologize to all of you out there who are blueberry lovers, and assure you that  i am not disparaging your love.  I merely seek to accurately represent my own personal loathing for the fruit.

With this loathing, comes extreme avoidance.  Just thinking about a blueberry makes my mouth pucker.   So I haven’t been eating them.  And since I can’t get the go-go fruit at my local market or mystic items purveyor, I’ve been neglecting the full nutrition of my short-term memory for years.  I am determined now to find a substitute and to get my mind back up to par.  I will find the elusive go-go, and make use, if it’s the last thing I do.  Unfortunately, as Wonka says, “They all turn into blueberries.”

Ahh. Millet.

Eating my sandwich today, I was reflecting on how much I love millet. I actually don’t know how the thought jumped into my head, but it’s true. I love millet. Not only because it’s one of the few high-protein grains that’s gluten-free, but also because it is the Supergrain for both nutritional and agricultural reasons. Need a crop that you can store easily in times of famine? You got millet. Arid climate or rocky soil? You got millet. Need more amino acids in your body when meat is not available? You still got millet.

I did some checking on the specific nutritional value once my curiosity was aroused.  I mean, maybe all this attraction I had for millet was all just hype – maybe it was one of those funky artisan grains that just makes bread heavy and coarse and difficult to chew.  But my sources seemed to be in conflict.   Some said it was a good source of certain B vitamins, others that it had a high iron and zinc content.  Still other sources bragged about it’s ‘balanced’ amino acids and high lutein concentrations, which I didn’t really understand.  What makes amino acids balanced?  What is lutein, and why do I want more of it?  I went to this site to find the real info (thank you Sarah) and discovered that it was mostly all true – high in lutein, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, thiamin, niacin, B6, protein, and folate.  So that’s good, I guess.  I also discovered this website which made me curious about cooking with it, as well as giving more detail on the history of the grain.  I was only aware of the Ethiopian highlands use of the grain, where it could be harvested three times in a season due to its ability to grow in arid conditions.  But evidently China owes it a debt of thanks as well.

I guess that makes it even more strange that millet was not chosen as on of the plants that changed mankind in the book, Seeds of Change.  But then, when I looked at the book a bit closer, I noticed most of those seed had a negative impact on history, and were the result of cataclysmic change rather than longer-term development.  Millet must only have historical positives.