Millet at the Health Food Store

My first visit to a health food store was in 1955. I was on a mission. I had read about the five sacred grains of China, wheat, rice, barley, soy beans and millet. I was after millet.

Being a 12 year old boy back then implies a lack of sophistication more common to a 7 year old today. I didn’t understand what the store was about.

Ann’s Health Foods seemed small and dark. There were lots of little items on wood shelves. There were wooden kegs holding items under tight lids. It had the appearance of a movie western general store, only shrunken to fit the proprietor.

She was a petite woman that I thought of as old. Considering how much longer she lived after I met her, she was not really an old woman. She did have the self-possession that we often find in elders. She knew she was different. She was ready to advocate, even defend that difference.

I asked her for the millet. What did I hope to gain from millet? As a boy raised on the icons of Popeye and Mighty Mouse, it was clear that certain foods could impart super powers. And I desperately needed a super power. (You can see why I’m drawn to superfoods!)

After a brief interaction with the intimidating shop keeper, I left the store with a small paper bag of ground millet and another small bag of raw sunflower seeds.

The sunflower seeds weren’t bad. They raised my hop0e for the millet.

My mom helped me prepare the millet by adding water and helping keep an eye on the pot while it came to a boil. Soon, it was ready, but my hopes were crushed.

It had a bland, different taste, not a good combination. I’m sure I underseasoned it. If I had thought of adding sugar and milk, as I did to cream of wheat, it may have passed muster.

Millet did not take a place in my diet. I did not return to a health food store for fifteen years.

I did continue getting sunflower seeds. There was a deli on the way home from school, when I walked or biked. It had roasted, salted sunflower seeds. They had a much better flavor. Sometimes I got roasted, salted pumpkin seeds, called pepitas, and targetted to Tampa’s Latino community.

When I did begin frequenting the health food store again, Ann had a new location. Her store was bigger and brighter. Oddly, she was about the same age.

I don’t go to health food stores as often these days. The supermarkets have brought in so many items that I used to get at the health food store. But, I haven’t seen any millet.

Maybe it’s time to go on down to the health food store and get a bag of ground millet. Maybe all it needs is maple syrup and a little hemp milk.

Quinoa the Super Grain of the Andes

The first time I cooked quinoa I was amazed at how the little rounds grain unfurled into a spiral. Then, the nut-like flavor way surpassed my expectations.

Still, I was a little impatient with the need to rinse the grains to avoid bitterness. You don’t have to do that with rice.

Now we have the updated info from a real expert, Carolyn Hemming.

Açai and the Dangers of the Monodiet

We all want the nutritional silver bullet. We want that one supplement that will solve all our nutritional concerns.

I believe that accounts for the emerging popularity of single foods to take care of a health problem. The most widespread [pun warning] concern is overweight. That one problem attracts more one food solutions than any other.

The most extreme form of this obsession is the monodiet. This means you eat only one food for a short period of time. And short is the governing principle here.

The grapefruit diet, the watermelon diet, the grape cure…any of these sound familiar?

No one expects to be on one food for a long period of time. It’s just a temporary expedient to achieve a short term goal.

That’s why I question the philosophy of one superfood to take care of everything. Or even to handle a particular problem on an ongoing basis.

I believe there is a saturation effect. Sure, you may get a boost in the short term. but, after a while, the inherent imbalance in your diet and metabolism will catch up with you.

The Açai Berry

This açai berry is one of the marvels discovered in the Amazon rainforest. Having a featured role on Oprah has launched it into orbit.

Marketed as a weight loss product, it has more to offer.

Some of the benefits associated with the  açai berry are:

  • increased energy
  • improved digestion
  • antioxident effect
  • improved skin appearance
  • reduced cholesterol
  • improved sexual experience
  • better sleep

It’s possible that the last benefit follows naturally from the next to last.

The ideal processing of the berries uses the same low temperature drying that other superfoods have in preparing them for market. Liquifying it means some form of pasturization. And that means goodby enzymes.

There are supplements like Nuriche that have açai in them along with other beneficial superfoods. That makes sense to me. A balanced supplement of an array of superfoods will not throw you off balance and set up a dangerous situation.

Common sense, for me, means adopting a program that you can live with.

Superfood Technology and Nuriche

Let’s say you are leaning towards the superfood concept. Now you want to get started easily. You want the biggest bang for your buck. What’s the answer.

The following video reveals the technological basis for the superfood revolution. Chris Hayes is the speaker. He makes a recommendation I support whole heartedly.

This is a convenient way to get more information: Elan’s Nuriche Connection.