Nutrition Nazism and pig appreciation

I feel like I have stepped straight out  of the dreamtime into the I.T age, said Susan  as I googled  a plant  identification of some  wild purslane I had scrumped from  the sand dunes behind Curl Curl lagoon  and which I was preparing to serve  to her as  the crunchy  cucucumber subsitute in a raita topping for a pumpkin, backyard harvested dandelion leaves, red onion onion and  free range ham porridge style lunch. She picked out the  chunks of ham eagerly, puckkering her lips  distatefully at the red onions  whose anti inflamtory quercertins I was loving, but whose earthy overtones shouted  hospital food, and memories of illness after a  tropical ulcer inducing bang on the leg in Africa,  15 years ago.

It’s a nice  as far as vegetables go , but flexitarian your arm and reach back into the fridge  and pass me that chunk of free range ham please, she said. I need a piece of just   bread and meat to feel like I have had a meal .

But one more chunk of ham and we are back to being rigid meatarians I said, dismayed that all my chopping and simmering of vegetables had been in vain. I was determined to impose my newly aquired knowledge from “The China Study”  – that meat  and dairy  lurk corrolatively behind  modern western dieases ( heart attacks, cancers, depression,  man-boobs) – and Micael Pollan’s whole foods manifesto ” In Defence of food” that  tempers  a mostly leafy vege diet with   what he calls a flexitarian approach, meaning a little bit of pastured   or wild harvested meat to flavour the vegetables  is equally OK.

“Give me time to go through the franger stage please , said Susan ( a contraction of  free ranger).  This is the first ham I have had since Christmas, and now you suddenly want to take it out from under my nose. I thought I was being really good only eating animals  that have had a decent life, and now suddenly its red onions, and  you stirring weeds from the garden  like the witches in  Macbeth ( wild foods according to pollan are particular potent in antioxidants , vitamins, minerals etc).

The moment was tense.

You impose this food guilt which I live with, and then jet out of here to Hong Kong for a  dim sum feast,   slabs of cha xiu roast pork whole lemon chickens.

I realised this was true , as we both began chewing on  the  gluten free bread I’d baked with large chunks of   free range offcut ham ( a bargain $18 doillars a kilo in the DJ’s as opposed to the $70 a kilo slices).

I backed down , and Susan forgave me my  nutrition nazism.

Lunch was a lesson. As  The China study also explains, not even the   heart foundation dares to really tell people how to eat  because  it will turn people right off. Its too immediately confrontaional , and sends people into  immediate comfort food therapy.   And the guilt distracted us from really enjoying the ham for which instead we could have been more present and  more grateful.


pumpkin  chopped small and simmered in  in minimal water.

red onions and garlic left for ten minutes then added to simmer

soaked and chopped dandelion leaves, tomato, and free range ham chunks also


cook to desired porridge- soupiness

Top with  crumbled white cheese ( feta , bulgarin  white sheep cheese)

and  a dollop of  blanced purslane  mainated in yoghurt ( both processes draw of oxalic acid)

Serve with  bread and a bowl of extra ham giving thanks  and loving apprecaition to the pigs- a loving attitude probably being  more effective on our health than  all the omega threes and antioxidennt in the purslane , beta carotenes in the pumpkin, and liver cleansing  elemnts in the dandelions.


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