When the Oxford English Dictionary released a list of contenders for its prestigious 2013 Word of the Year award, among the runners-up was the word "schmeat." Defined as, "a form of meat produced synthetically from biological tissue" schmeat ultimately lost out to the far more ubiquitous "selfie."
For thousands of years, indigenous peoples in tropical regions have recognized the vast nutritional and medicinal value of the coconut palm. Referred to as the "tree of life" among tropical cultures, virtually all parts of the coconut palm have found use in traditional foods and medicines.
There are many reasons to love avocados: they're tasty and satisfying; they're packed with healthy fats, B vitamins, potassium. lutein and zeaxanthin; and they fit nicely into a wide range of culinary styles.
But did you know that inclusion of half an avocado in one's lunch can markedly increase satiety and reduce the desire to eat over the next 5 hours? Or that consumption of avocados can mitigate post-prandial insulin spikes, providing plenty of calories without substantially raising blood glucose levels? Or that they can increase the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins from other foods? Or that they're the only fruit source of monounsaturated fats?
Or how about the fact that addition of fresh avocado to a hamburger lunch will substantially reduce post-meal inflammatory cascades, improve peripheral vascular blood flow, and attenuate the triglyceride surge that usually follows consumption of guac-less burgers.
You can discover these and dozens of other reasons to eat more avocados on the brand new Avocado Central website, sponsored by the Hass Avocado Board (and note that it's "Hass" not "Haas"....named after a postman named Rudolph Hass, who began planting the small, black & bumpy variety in the 1930s).
Under the banner "Fresh Avocados: Love One Today," the Avocado Central site amasses just about everything known to mankind about the versatile and delicious "alligator pear." There's a host of in-depth nutritional analysis, summaries of scientific studies aimed at healthcare professionals, avo-centric meal plans and culinary lessons, how-to videos, and of course bushels of recipes--many from renowned chefs--that go way beyond guacamole (who knew avocados could be combined with chocolate to make gluten-free fudgy bread?).
You can be sure that Avocado Central will have some impact here at the Upshots test kitchens, and we're looking forward to expanding our culinary "avocacy."
A recent photo exhibit at the Sydney International Food Festival tells an interesting tale about culture, cuisine and by extension, health.
All this "Listeria Hysteria" that followed the reports of contaminated cantaloupe reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode. We're destroying a relatively healthy food by the ton, and scaring an already scared public, without taking stock of what's really going on. Blaming cantaloupe is an example of shooting the messenger, if ever I saw one.