D24: Daikon radishes, Dates and Dairy decisions

New discovery this week was the Jimbo’s whole foods store. Because of the rain on Sunday and my mood, I didn’t make it to the Farmer’s Market. But, I also knew I wanted to find organic, local milk in a glass bottle and I wanted to check out the organic bulk foods.

The most stunning bit of information is that Jimbo’s is just a couple miles from my home and I didn’t realize it. I couldn’t believe this whole shopping center existed virtually under my nose. If that doesn’t prove what a non-consumer I am, I don’t know what would. The architecture was the ubiquitous ugliness that is now the national norm. Overpriced everything is my experience everywhere, all the time. I am out of phase with the world around me.

But, the really great news is that I bought some kale and these bright orange beets grown at the Be Wise farm down the road. I used to belong to the CSA program with Be Wise. Finally I found milk in a glass bottle, though the cap is plastic. The dairy is 521 miles away, but I just couldn’t find one more locally. The dates and Daikon are organic, but 152 miles away. Not shown here are the small green onions I have growing in my raised garden bed. They came back from last year. I had the bed covered in black plastic and they still came up. Cool.

The Daikon and local beets will be roasted to add to my lentils. The idea to roast the vegetables came from both Melinda, proprietor of Elements in Time and Chile, who commented about roasting on Melinda’s recent comments on making vegetable stock. Melinda’s photos make roasting the vegetable more enticing. The photos here are from her step by step description of roasting vegetable. Her encouraging, sharing blog is a pleasure to visit.

My brand new, out of the comfort zone, food for this ‘D’ week is Daikon. I tried it raw, roasted and stewed. I may be one of the few who don’t know much about Daikon, but I will share some fun facts to know and tell anyway. What did I think?

Description - The word Daikon actually comes from two Japanese words: dai (meaning large) and kon (meaning root). Daikon is root vegetable said to have originated in the Mediterranean and brought to China for cultivation around 500 B.C. Roots are large, often 2 to 4 inches in diameter and 6 to 20 inches long. The Path to Freedom also has great Daikon visuals, information and recipes here.

Oh, have I mentioned that the dates were a totally impulsive buy? I adore dates. I can’t believe I lived all those years in Phoenix, in the land of dates, and very rarely ever ate them. Strange?! I have been wanting something sweet and my wishes are fulfilled. When I was a chef for a Jesuit community at Creighton University, I’d duck into the walk-in for a date treat during my shift. I also made some really mean recipes from Joy of Cooking using dates, my love.

Now let me dive into the dairy decision. I have vacillated with dairy versus no dairy. Last year I checked The China Study from the local library. It was a real eye opener for me to read about the casein in dairy being so negative for the human body. At least all of this study in China pointed to this according to Wikipedia.
The authors introduce and explain the conclusions of scientific studies, which have correlated animal-based diets with disease. The authors conclude that diets high in protein, particularly animal protein (such as casein in bovine milk) and diets high in animal fat are strongly linked to diseases such as heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

As with any single source study, these claims are under fire. And news of all of the antibiotics fed cows now is also disturbing for me. That doesn’t mean that the hormone laced milk doesn’t upset me on so many levels. I first heard of this while watching the Canadian documentary film several years ago, The Corporation. When journalist tried to put their findings about the dangerous practice of injecting hormones into cattle on Fox television they learned the power of the Corporation. They were fired and the story could not get aired. Now, years later this same story continues. Ethicurean has some of the best up to the minute coverage I have seen of this Dairy fight.

This year I have come to a sort of compromise within myself. I think I can endure passing up cheese – especially the cheese food I grew up on mid-century, midwest style. But, I feel a great gaping need for yogurt. There I have said it. When I met my ex-husband’s middle eastern family I thought the yogurt, plain yogurt mind you, was just disgusting. But that changed dramatically in my first years of marriage as I had my children. Maybe it was pregnancy. I don’t know. I remember my mother in law making it and I think it is time for me to do this. That will be a post for another day.