Before you buy worms off the internet... (click here)
A sale ending TOMORROW includes my Skintervention Guide!
Email Mondays are always pitch-free, so for details (along with
a FREE look at 7 pages of the Skintervention Guide),click here!
Don't get MARGARINED!
Questions to ask at restaurants...
again and again and again.
Most of us know how to avoid that pesky neolithic agent of doom: modern wheat.
We know to ask for a gluten-free menu, and to inquire as to the ingredients in sauces, marinades and dressings.
We believe the earth AND our bodies are better off without that indiscriminate, ubiquitous, hybridized gluten hit. (At least, until a cheat day comes along. Amiright?)
We know that even the most Caveman-friendly indulgence - SWEET POTATO FRIES - are often dusted in flour to make 'em crispy. (And if you didn't know, now ya do. Sorry.)
But what about the kissing cousin to modern wheat? What about...
Most of our kitchens are stocked with coconut oil, lard, tallow, butter or ghee. These stable, healthy, damage-resistant fats are fabulous home-cooking staples.
But when we're in the average restaurant, there's just no avoiding those...
See, the gluten-free movement is in full force. It's easier to avoid wheat than ever. But vegetable oils are STILL considered a-OK in mainstream culture. Healthy, even. Not dangerous.
Vegetable oils are highly processed and incredibly unstable. They're NOT made from vegetables, either. They just call 'em that because it sounds good. Vegetable oils are generally derived from corn (a grain), soy (a legume), or Canola (a...umm...what is a Canola again?)
These are mass-produced crops, and their oils are mass-produced by-products.
Click here for a delightful little video on how Canola oil is made - er, processed - into oblivion. (Would you want to eat something that had been through that?)
And they're all like that.
Vegetable oils are dangerous in large part because they're so highly processed, and because they're a source of "oxidized PUFA."
(If you're interested in what that means, start here.)
Luckily, it's easy to sleuth out vegetable oils at restaurants. You don't have to feel like you're being aggressive or obnoxious. This is your HEALTH. Just let 'em know it's important to you, and maybe tack a few extra sheckles onto the tip for good measure.
Here's what to ask at restaurants:
>> "Do you use soybean, canola, or corn oil to cook with?"
(If the answer is yes, order something baked. Better yet, bring your own mini bottle of a favorite HEALTHY fat for flavor.)
There's a good chance that your server won't know, however...
So here's the follow-up question:
>> "is your cooking oil in a big, plastic, see-through jug?"
If it is, there's a 99% chance it's an unsafe, damaged "vegetable oil." Even if they think it's olive oil. Order something baked.
Now, on to the reason we're all here.
I said aaaallll that so I could EMPHASIZE why this next Real Food Faker is so gnarly. Why it's so dangerous. And why you NEVER want to become its victim.
I'm talking about MARGARINE.
Don't get MARGARINE-D!
Here's the unfortunate truth: many restaurants these days - heck, many people these days - don't know the difference between butter and margarine. Businesses order boxes of Land O' Lakes, and they don't know whether it's from a cow or from a factory.
You may ask for butter. But they might bring you margarine. They might cook with margarine. They might bring you a lovely little ramekin of it, or they might bring you a non-descript little foil package of unlabeled who-knows-what.
Why is this so horrifying?
Because not only is margarine MADE from vegetable oils - often several kinds of vegetable oils - but it's also filled with emulsifiers, stabilizers, colorants and additives.
Some margarines are even made with partially hydrogenated oils. This means TRANS FAT. And trans fat is extremely dangerous!
Compare this to butter, which comes from one source (a cow), which has a long history in the human diet, and which is - contrary to popular belief - quite good for you...
And while butter from pasture-raised, grass-fed cows is leaps and bounds better than any other, even the lowest-quality butter is far superior to the best-quality margarine.
So here's what to ask...again and again until you're SURE you've got an accurate answer:
>> "Do you all use butter or margarine?"
No matter what their answer, follow up with:
>> "Sometimes it's hard to tell. Would you mind double-checking?"
If you're able to see the package and verify the ONE ingredient is CREAM, you're good to go.
If you CAN'T see the packaging, ask...
>> "Does the package say 'Butter...' or 'Butter Substitute?'"
(as if there's a substitute for butter!)
Sometimes this'll turn on a light bulb. They'll wonder: did I see the word "Butter?" Or did it actually say "Butter Substitute?"
And if things are still murky after the double-double check...
...order something baked and add some flavorful fat that you brought from home.