Thursday, November 16, 2006

Just Say No to Dead Cattle

When did you last eat a hamburger? Or bit of red meat for that matter? I'm proud to say I was 18 years old, though I'm not so proud to divulge the name of the restaurant I consumed it in.

Proud, because recently published scientific research indicates that young women shouldn't be eating red meat regularly. In fact the researchers found that, "Greater red meat intake was strongly related to elevated risk of breast cancers that were estrogen and progesterone receptor positive. . ."

According to Rob Stein, of the Washington Post:

“The study of more than 90,000 women found that the more red meat the women consumed in their 20s, 30s and 40s, the greater their risk for developing breast cancer fueled by hormones in the next 12 years. Those who consumed the most red meat had nearly twice the risk of those who ate red meat infrequently.”

. . .

“Why red meat might increase the risk for breast cancer remains unknown, but previous research has suggested several possible reasons: Substances produced by cooking meat may be carcinogenic, naturally occurring substances in meat may mimic the action of hormones, or growth hormones that farmers feed cows could fuel breast cancer in women who consume meat from the animals.”

Here is the original study information, in case the link changes, which seems to happen with some of those pesky on-line medical journals, for whatever reason:

Red Meat Intake and Risk of Breast Cancer Among Premenopausal Women

Eunyoung Cho, ScD; Wendy Y. Chen, MD, MPH; David J. Hunter, MB, BS, ScD; Meir J. Stampfer, MD, DrPH; Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH; Susan E. Hankinson, ScD; Walter C. Willett, MD, DrPH

Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:2253-2259.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Benefits of a Busy Lifestyle

It took me a week to get to processing my final jalapeño harvest of the season. Meanwhile, quite a few decided to continue the ripening process on the counter. These are the same ones in the second photo of my last post.

There is something distinctly mind-numbing about washing, drying, slicing, and de-seeding several dozen small hot peppers. That is, until you swoon over their disected shells and catch an enlivening whiff of capsaicin.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Keeping Warm in Winter

Above was my early October ripe jalapeño harvest. Below are the green and half-ripened jalapeños that I harvested just before our first frost of the season. All of these peppers came from just seven plants, each about a foot tall. This was definitely a banner year for jalapeños. My tomato plants did not enjoy such a prolific year.

My favorite use for these peppers is jalapeño cornbread. But some will be macerated into chutney, and I may just break down and make some chicken vindaloo.