5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
When Andrew Zimmern tells us we ought to try a particular food, we screw up our courage and do it. His travels as host of "Bizarre Foods" take him to some far-out places and sometimes challenging cuisine, which he always tackles with an open mind, and a wide-open mouth.
Zimmern has seen it all, eaten most of it, and believes that with slight adaptation of the American palate, we can change the world. As he says, "You can change the world one plate at a time. If we can take better advantage of the global pantry and eat from a wider variety of choices we would do more to combat food poverty, our damaged food production system, obesity and other systemic health and wellness issues than any one single act I can imagine. Here are some suggestions, but be creative. It works."
Five Foods That Can Change the World: Andrew Zimmern
Really, any alternative hoofed protein source would be beneficial for the economy and our physical health. Venison, kudu, elk, buffalo - it's all out there waiting to get us off our addiction to feedlot beef and commodity-raised pig. Heck, I will throw rabbit in there as well, even though they have paws and not hooves."
2. Little fish
Little fish with heads on are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Sardines and mackerel are some of the healthiest foods we can eat and contain almost 2000 milligrams of omega-3 per three-ounce portion. They don’t have lots of toxins like bigger fish. They are sustainable and quick to reproduce. This is one single act that anyone on a coast, lake, river system or pond can put into play today."
3. Your own vegetables
If everyone grew what they could, supported urban farms and community gardens in cities and local CSAs, the pressure relief on our overtaxed system would be immense. The resulting dollar shift would be staggering and deliver a positive shot in the arm to local economies. Our food would also be safer. Small action here can yield tremendous impact, immediately."
4. Game birds
The best way to fight flavor fatigue in your home and spread out our dining dollars is also the best way to force a return to a more healthy manner of poultry raising: just eat less of it. Adding a few meals a month from well-sourced poultry protein like duck, squab, goose, turkey, pheasant or guinea hen will not only thrill your taste buds, but ultimately create a more wallet-friendly food world as well. More sources equals more competition and supporting local poultry farms that do it the right way is better for our national system as well."
Look, I don’t expect everyone to go crazy for pig ears, but with all the news that the processed foods that contain all the ignored parts (commercial bologna, hot dogs, sausage) limit our life expectancy and cause increases in cancer and heart disease in direct proportion to consumption, I think it's time for us to wake up and smell the coffee.
The hearts of lambs and cows cook up better than commercial choice grade sirloin, and I challenge anyone to tell me differently. Tongue tastes better and has better mouth feel and cooks more consistently than any other muscle in the ‘pot roast’ comfort food category. Offal seems to be the sole province of ethnic eateries and swank gastropubs and I think it's high time we returned those ingredients to the dinner table of the American family."
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.
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