Superfoods Going Mainstream

An article in the print edition of USA Weekend caught my attention. Key to Your Shopping List: Superfoods.

As I said in the comment for the short article most people would question lentils or dates as qualifying for superfood status. Compare to spirulina or bee pollen, for example. Or quinoa.

Maybe it’s in what is the comparison. Eat a Twinkie or a few dates and walnuts. Hmmm?
Okay. Dates and walnuts are superfoods by comparison.

Another way to enhance your nutrition from your veggies is to grow them yourself.
Or, know someone who does and can share them.

A growing phenomenon of “market gardening” is bringing higher quality food to market.
You just have to find it. Try looking for gardening coops and food coops in your area.

In my area it’s Dunedin Harvest and New Port Richey who are active in this.

My First Yogurt–Bleagh!

To get into the mood for writing about yogurt, I spent several days scarfing down at least one Stonyfield Farm Organic Whole Milk Yogurt every day. I like to add bee pollen–two superfoods in one delicious serving!

The bee pollen this time is locally produced at Thomas Honey in Lake City, Florida. I got it at the Florida Folk Festival last May when I appeared there as an unfeatured fiddler.

Some people might challenge the assertion that yogurt is a superfood. But, I have anecdotal evidence that you can get super results from eating it!

First, my bleagh! story.

I was in my early twenties when I first tried eating a yogurt. At that time, I wasn’t into health food, so I don’t know what I read or heard about yogurt that prompted me to give it a try.

What I recall vividly is the experience of spooning slowly through a Borden’s strawberry yogurt. As I took in the contents of the now familiar 6 oz cup, I thought, “Hmmm, a little sour like buttermilk, a pudding-like consistency…” The jury was out.

Then I got to the bottom of the container. There was a pinkish, gelatinous layer on the bottom. Yuck! The jury came in with a unanimous verdict of Disgusting.

And that was it for several years.

Moving ahead to 1969 and my arrival at the Sunshine Company commune in Detroit, this is what happened.

While taking a shower, I found out that my hair was electing to leave my head in great numbers. Panic! How could I be a hippie if my hair was falling out?

Somehow, my synchronistic discovery was that Bulgarians enjoyed a full head of luxuriant hair because they ate yogurt. In fact, lactobacillus bulgaricus was named after them.

This time I was fortunate to get Columbo whole milk yogurt. Much more pleasant to eat, it was a rich, comforting experience. Immediately my hair decided to hold on to the scalp.

Ever since that time, I’ve been a grateful eater of yogurt. And, even though it is a different color now, I still have hair on my head.

Bee Pollen as a Superfood

At this time of year in Palm Harbor, the oak trees are in full battle cry. People speak of pollen and sinus, signified by sigh-ness.

I saw a micro photo of oak pollen. The working end of the medieval weapon called the morning star had nothing on the dangerous look of this little beast.

You can well imagine how this spiky marvel of the oak tree can irritate sensitive membranes. And yet, many people are oblivious to this pollen. And, yes, I am among their number.

Two people told me recently of the sinus challenge presented by this oak pollen. I told them the story of my student Jeannie Horrell. She is Gary Horrell’s mom.

Gary did the video for The Money Tunes, and some other productions. Included is his cut of the Orange Blossom Special on YouTube that I did with the Green Grass Boys. There are links to these on his web site where he documents Florida Folk on video.

When Jeannie talked about her sinus problems from oak pollen, I simply recounted what I’ve heard. “Taking bee pollen acts as an inoculation against tree pollen.”

Bee pollen is one of my favorite superfoods. It’s easy to take. I like the taste of it.

Not all health food nuts like bee pollen. We who do are a minority of a minority.

I was drawn to it because of all the superfoods that I knew of at the time, it was tasty and easy to find. I was informed when I started that bee pollen is a good source of minerals, including trace minerals.

Bee pollen also has analogs of hormones that help balance the endocrine system, or so I have read.

It’s been a regular part of my diet for decades. Nowadays, several times a week, not every day.

And, finally, it’s inexpensive. This would not be so if bee pollen was popular. If the 4% of the population who shop at health food stores all got bee pollen, the price would take off like a rocket.

Recommending bee pollen to Jeannie was natural for me. She took the effort to get some at a health food store.

At the next fiddle lesson she told me that it really made a difference with her sinuses. It was a big improvement.

Now I’m waiting for my new people to say how it went for them.