or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › What is truly good, clean food?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What is truly good, clean food?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I talked with a chef a couple months back and he taught me that some of the "healthy, clean" food I've been eating isn't so.  For example, he told me that

 

1.  the chicken breasts from foster farms are filled with water, preservatives, and hormones.  

2.  It is important to buy organic for certain fruits and vegetables because of the harmful pesticides that cause cancer long term.  

3.  breads from reputable companies like Sara Lee are full of harmful chemicals

4.  tilapia, while low in fat is a really dirty fish.  Stay away from all farmed fish since they swim and consume feces.  Buy wild.

 

I've been googling and confirmed some of this info with reputable sources.  Is there something really wrong with the food mainstream groceries like Safeway are providing us?  Is it true that these mainstream, seemingly innocuous food items are a big cause in cancer amongst americans?  Thanks.

post #2 of 13

Don't believe everything you read or hear, though most is well intentioned, most is also colored by the biases of the author/speaker.

 

Many poultry companies, as well as many professional cooks and home cooks, brine poultry because it cooks and tastes better. Yes, chicken feed contains antibiotics and hormones, they are there because it makes it easier and faster to raise chickens for market. If you don't like the idea, buy from a local farmer that doesn't use them.

 

Remember, not all chemicals cause cancer and not all "organic" products are safe to eat. Even common table salt can cause problems if it is misused.

 

Companies do not intentionally use harmful ingredients or chemicals, think, what good does it do to kill off your customers?

 

Farmed fish can be perfectly safe just as wild fish can be very "dirty", careful producers raise food that is safe and nutritious, careless producers may not. KNOW WHERE YOUR FOOD COMES FROM!

 

Remember, ANYONE can post ANYTHING on the internet without any peer review or scientific basis. Not that many years ago margarine was considered  better than butter and eggs caused chloresterol problems, the reverse is now generally accepted.

 

Read and research until YOU are satisfied utilizing critical thinking along the way.

 

Be VERY suspicious when words like ALWAYS, NEVER, EVERY, and so on are used because rarely is that truly the case.

 

A good watchword is everything in moderation

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodcook View Post

 

4.  tilapia, while low in fat is a really dirty fish.  Stay away from all farmed fish since they swim and consume feces.

 

Mother Nature was into recycling long before humans caught on.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #4 of 13

The misconceptions about where our food comes from and how it is processed could fill volumes of pages.

 

As an example...you ask someone what farmed fish is and they don't really know.

To say that the fish swim in their feces is so out of the park.

They feed naturally and are harvested when they reach the size needed.

 

Dirty fish........? 

If you only knew. 

Let's talk lobsters....NOW THERE'S a dirty animal.

We hold them in high regard but they feed on other animals feces and literally are bottom feeders.

Now.......don't eat lobsters okay.....

 

Be careful what you read and believe.

post #5 of 13

You can go mad trying to find a way to justify all that you wrote.  Go by taste alone, and follow your gut. 

 

I buy wild fish - why?  Because it tastes better, looks better too.  I'm not willing to go on a podium and fight anyone for why it's the right thing to do, it's just what I do.  I can afford the extra $2/lb so what's it to anyone why I do it?

 

There are foods that I will buy non-organic, some foods that I will ONLY buy organic, and some foods that I try to buy organic if my wallet has some extra cushion on that day.  When it comes to milk/egg/butter I only buy organic and sometimes local, my perrogative.  I like the flavor much much better.

 

I too believe there are a lot of toxins in our food, cleaning products, even furniture, plastics etc.  But I've learned that if you go around telling people that what they're eating/buying/sitting on is going to give them cancer they don't take to it kindly.  So eat better for yourself and your family and your environment and try not to tell people that they're going to get cancer, it really upsets them.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post
 

You can go mad trying to find a way to justify all that you wrote.  Go by taste alone, and follow your gut. 

 

I buy wild fish - why?  Because it tastes better, looks better too.  I'm not willing to go on a podium and fight anyone for why it's the right thing to do, it's just what I do.  I can afford the extra $2/lb so what's it to anyone why I do it?

 

There are foods that I will buy non-organic, some foods that I will ONLY buy organic, and some foods that I try to buy organic if my wallet has some extra cushion on that day.  When it comes to milk/egg/butter I only buy organic and sometimes local, my perrogative.  I like the flavor much much better.

 

I too believe there are a lot of toxins in our food, cleaning products, even furniture, plastics etc.  But I've learned that if you go around telling people that what they're eating/buying/sitting on is going to give them cancer they don't take to it kindly.  So eat better for yourself and your family and your environment and try not to tell people that they're going to get cancer, it really upsets them.

1.  I didn't tell others not to buy it because it causes cancer.  i was warned about certain foods that contribute to cancer from a chef and wanted to hear what other people involved in cooking had to say about it after googling the info myself.

2.  The wild costs A LOT more than the additional $2/lb here in San Francisco.

3.  Here are some tips for you by going with taste alone:

     1.  Eat ribeye steaks wrapped in bacon

     2.  Drink lots of beer

     3.  Stay away from most vegetables.

     4.  Take Ben and Jerrys with every meal.

post #7 of 13

goodcook -
the reaction you see is simply because "we" - the collective 'active' cooking&eating community - see this kind of stuff on a regular basis.


with regard to "the chef's information" - some of it good, some misleading, some outright incorrect.


if you go to usda.gov and do some research you'll find:
- meats of any sort that have been 'injected' with water, with or without 'seasonings' - must be labeled as such.


- there are regulations about how much 'free residual water' (i.e. they wash the chicken, they cannot 'package' excess water past that limit to 'increase the weight'


- hormones are not permitted in chicken feed or chickens.  antibiotics yes - within established limits.  do not buy chicken produced in China; the rules don't apply there.


- breads . . . most every and any bakery producing bread products includes a long long list of 'preservatives, stabilizers' - etc etc


- even 'artisan' breads delivered to stores par-baked for 'bake & sell' have similar issues.  if you want bread products without those, the choices are (a) bake it yourself or (b) find a local bakery that bakes & sells out their inventory daily.


I bake my own on a frequent basis - and there's no question that bread products without all the "progress & better living chemistry" goes stale way faster - 2-3 days, than the 10 day shelf life of commercial products.


- "organic".... I buy organic fruits and vegetables that we normally eat raw out-of-hand.  broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, grapes, apples, pears, etc etc.  as you mention, it's not that what is on/in organic stuff that is 'better' for you, it's what is _not_ on organic stuff that is potentially less harmful / better for you.  if you get into discussions with organic purists, you will find them very unhappy with the list of 'approved' things/chemicals permitted by law, but still labeled 'organic.'  I garden, organically.  I talk with my earthworms right regular.  I know what goes into the dirt and what  does not go on the plants.  and my beans, carrots, leeks, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, peas, on-and-on,,,, taste way better; but that's likely just because I had to work that hard for the harvest....and, they've not be "in transit/distribution" for two weeks after being picked.


- fish:  there is no such thing as organic fish; undefined by current label regulations.  I avoid farmed fish/seafood from Asia - period.  again - reading the compliance actions from usda.gov about imported fish products you find repeated, time and time again, violations of prohibited antibiotics / chemicals, so federal inspectors seize/destroy the lot.  they inspect less than 10%.  for Asian suppliers, getting "caught" is simply a cost of doing business.  any 'farmed' fish is less likely to even taste as good as wild caught - note that even domestic suppliers use antibiotics / etc to 'ensure' the health of farm raised product, the difference from USA suppliers is the additives are "legal."   note the term "legal" - "legal" is different from "good for you / not good for you" - whether the assertion be 'proven' or 'suspected' or 'extremist opinion'


- fish, lobster, crabs, oysters, clams, mussels, and likely a few more . . .  some are classified as "bottom feeders" - scavangers if you will - some as "filter feeders."  they eat what falls down from above.  various religions/faiths have historical bans on consumption; with good reason - example "Red Tide" - when things go wonkers in nature, can make one really really sick....  it is quite a stretch to think that, for example, free range / grass fed-pastured beef, chicken, lamb, mutton, pork, etc do not 'ingest' some of the stuff the chefs is so rallied against.  actually, it's worse - they're ingesting their own poop.....


- 'extremist opinion' aahhh, you'll find web sites that basically say unless you're buying their cure / preventative measures, you'll need to stop eating because it is all bad for you....
 

post #8 of 13

The simple answer... eat healthy, exercise, drink lots of water.  Re "clean food," use your best judgment. Go to Farmers' markets & fish markets.  Cooking/baking from scratch gives you more control as to what ingredients you add - opposed to food preservative-laden prepackaged products.  I lied in the sun for years, & had a cast-iron stomach.  Bacon in overrated.  Throw caution to the wind.  Eat what you like, in moderation.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodcook View Post

1.  I didn't tell others not to buy it because it causes cancer.  i was warned about certain foods that contribute to cancer from a chef and wanted to hear what other people involved in cooking had to say about it after googling the info myself.
2.  The wild costs A LOT more than the additional $2/lb here in San Francisco.
3.  Here are some tips for you by going with taste alone:
     1.  Eat ribeye steaks wrapped in bacon
     2.  Drink lots of beer
     3.  Stay away from most vegetables.
     4.  Take Ben and Jerrys with every meal.

That's quite an abrasive response to someone who was agreeing with you. I was simply statin that people don't like to be told that what they're eating is going to harm them, it might be just my opinion but you'd be surprised how many people don't like to be told that what they are doing is wrong. Here's what I think of your list:

1. There are no foods that are proven to cause cancer as far as I know since a direct corollation has never been found. I have my reasons for not ingesting artificial sweeteners and avoiding fast food and overly processed food and cancer is just part of it

2. Sorry to hear about the price of seafood where you live, that's not quite the case here. Maybe learn how to fish.

3. When I said go by flavor I meant comparatively. I like the taste if organic milk better than non-organic therefore I buy organic. This has nothing to do with bacon and steak though the combination is not appealing to me. Beer makes me feel bloated and awful, I prefer most vegetables over any meat and I do not like ice cream much. But if I do eat bacon or ice cream it's the good stuff and only in moderation. I don't get your point.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #10 of 13

Harold McGee's 2004 _On Food and Cooking_ contains a well-informed, thoughtful discussion of nutrition and food safety.  You might start there.  I would no more ask a chef for medical advice than I would ask an oncologist how to roast a chicken.

 

A lot is still unknown in terms of the basic science of human diets, but that doesn't hold back the flood of flapdoodle, hokum, and panic.  This has always been around, but the web has made it much easier to spread nonsense and make it look plausible.

 

Also, not to rise to the bait too easily, but I dissent from the idea that "most vegetables" are not tasty.  Start with fresh veg and cook 'em right, and they're amazing.  You learn how to cook well so that you aren't limited to ice cream, bacon, and beer.  

post #11 of 13

What kind of advice is this, Goodcook...

 

1.  Eat ribeye steaks wrapped in bacon

     2.  Drink lots of beer

     3.  Stay away from most vegetables.

     4.  Take Ben and Jerrys with every meal.

 

You want to live forever?

 

Mike :p

travelling gourmand
Reply
travelling gourmand
Reply
post #12 of 13

Personally I would not eat ANY pacific fish right now and for the foreseeable generations. Fukushima radiation is being found in more and more fish.

post #13 of 13

Good thing my father raises his own fish... including tilapia XD. 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

Reply

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › What is truly good, clean food?