Juicing

Juicing has been something that I have wanted to do for quite some time now. Thanks to the generosity of my best friend I now have a Bella juicer. It was given to me as a graduation gift (I finished law school this year) and have been trying out new recipes every week. My favorite thus far has been a smooth and delectable combination of beets, carrots and a few other goodies from Bonappetite.com . I modified the recipe a bit for what I had on hand and it is included below. The number of combinations and flavors is incredible and I love experimenting  with a variety of vegetables and fruits that I had not tried until now.

Green and Pink Juices

Here  you can see two juices that I put together. The lean mean green machine consists of kale, broccoli, cilantro and cucumbers. And the pink drink was one that I played around with throwing in fresh pomegranate, a small grapefruit, a few apples, and some kiwis. I certainly learned my lesson with the pink drink, because although it tasted scrumptiously, the grapefruit made the drink a bit too tart.

The drinks are very filling and, as you would guess, nutrient rich. I get the produce used in my juices from my fabulous local coop, The George Street Coop, and there will be more on that in a later post. The Coop provides locally grown organic produce, so I know what I’m getting.

This piece would not be complete if in addition to all of the benefits of juicing I didn’t mention some of the downfalls as well. Despite all of its benefits juicing has brought a new list of challenges that I am meeting head on one by one. First among them is the waste created by the juicer. This particular model of juicer is a juicer and separates the juice of the produce from the fibrous parts of the plants. I am thus left with a great deal of material once I have finished juicing. Some of that material I incorporate back into the juice bottle to get the benefits of the fiber, however, there is still a lot left over.

Tumbling Composter

Now juicing is not cheap, especially not when going with organic produce, and it takes a lot of raw material to get a little bit of juice. So I have recently built a tumbling composter (see photo, I still have to drill holes in the barrel) and have begun planning my garden for the next growing season. If I become ambitious I may even construct a small green house to get a head start, but I think I am getting ahead of myself.

In the long run, I think that juicing has inspired a host of other habits that I am going to be grateful for and enjoy. I look forward to gardening and continuing to try and reduce my harmful impact this earth. I’m a noob at both gardening and composting so we’ll see what happens.

I want to pose a question to you all. Now that I have some experience with juicing, I wanted to get the feed back from those of you who have tried blending. Do you recommend one over the other? A combination of the two methods? And if you use a blender that you like, which do you recommend? Thank you for taking the time to read and for you feedback.

BEET, KALE, CARROT AND APPLE JUICE RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1 large beet
  • 1 lb of carrots
  • 1 gala or empire apple
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 of a peeled lemon

Food for Thought

It seems only fitting that the first post (after my welcome post that is) be a comment on an article that I came across in the Op-Ed section of the New York Times today (click here for article). Titled “The World is Fat (Especially America)”, it  discusses a recent study published in journal BMC Public Health that sheds light on the global impact of the growing problem of obesity.

Deciding to get healthy can be a wonderful personal decision with numerous personal benefits. However, I am very much of the philosophy that we each have a responsibility to each other, towards other individuals on day to day basis and to the world as a whole. Obesity not only affects the economy via the health care system, but it also places an undue burden and weight (no pun intended) on other areas. As noted by the study, food demand in countries with higher levels of obesity is greater than those without. Strikingly enough, were the entire world to eat like Americans it would be equivalent to adding 473 million adults (of average BMI) to the world’s population. In terms of sustainability that number is staggering. It certainly turns on its head the issue of “population control”. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so worried about the number of mouths to feed on the planet, but rather the amount of food going into each mouth. This is capitalism. We can’t all have it all. But what one person should?

 

The health care debate is a prime example of the traditional model that America follows for solving its problems. Do what you like, however you like, and we’ll throw something else at it later to counteract the consequences. In the health context that means, eat what you like, remain as inactive as you like, and when symptoms of (insert leading cause of death here) start to happen we’ll shove expensive medications down your throat or use a highly invasive expensive surgery to “correct” the problem for however long that lasts. That model is clearly unsuccessful and unsustainable. Just some food for thought. Less depressing and cynical posts to follow, I promise.