Food Myths

Any time any "expert" condemns an entire category of genuine food as being "bad", when there is evidence of long term health benefits from that food, you may know they are a quack.

Any time an "expert" blames the ills of the world on a single food item, you may know they are a quack.

Beyond that, there are many food myths that have caught on, simply because a particular industry engaged in effective marketing, by claiming that food to be "healthier" than another, by their skewed reckoning.

Food "research" is unfortunately badly tainted by marketing dollars, and many people will believe tainted research over common sense.

In general, if the food news coming out is marketing a food as a "superfood", then the research is tainted. If the news elevates a single food in such a way that it radically benefits the sellers of that food, it is most likely tainted.

Real research generally yields logical results and evidence of moderation where food is concerned.

ENOUGH With the Cauliflower Already!

NEWSFLASH!!!

  • There is no such thing as "Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes". If there were, it would have POTATOES in it... and then nobody would eat it, because it had CAULIFLOWER in it!
  • "Cauliflower Rice" is NOT rice! It is chopped cauliflower.
  • Cauliflower is NOT "Bread", nor "Pizza Crust", nor anything else bread-like. It's a VERY hard sell!

Honestly folks, this isn't the kind of thing you can slip past your kids without them KNOWING something is up!

It seems that the "rule" lately is that anything white that is out of favor with trendy foodies and food-paranoid types, may be replaced with cauliflower.

One problem. Cauliflower has a DISTINCTIVE flavor! It fairly SCREAMS "I AM CAULIFLOWER!!!".

It does NOT taste IN THE LEAST like Bread, Potatoes, or Rice.

It is my opinion that all the recipes shared on social media for replacing various foods with cauliflower spring from three conditions:

1. Caulifllower is just unpopular enough that not enough people KNOW it tastes like it does, and the Cauliflower Promotion Association figured they could put one over on the entire world simply because people DON'T eat it a lot. It's white! What's to know?

2. We have ample evidence that social media users SHARE but rarely TRY the things they share. This is why people believe that you can grow a plant in an icecream cone. And the same phenomenon explains why people think they can substitute cauliflower for pizza crust and still enjoy the pizza as though it had bread under it!

3. If you say it often enough, people will believe it, even if they know it is untrue. Social media, again, proves this point undeniably.

But let's say, just for the sake of variety, that it does make sense in some weird world, to substitute cauliflower for other foods, just because they happen to be the same color. We have a whole new realm of food possibilities, and the variants are endless.

Try some of these delicacies - we PROMISE you will NEVER KNOW that cauliflower was inserted in place of the original.

  • Cauliflower Tortillas - Just cook it, mash it, roll it out and pretend you have tortillas.
  • Cauliflower Oatmeal - Chop fine, cook, and serve with your usual additions.
  • Cauliflower Pasta - Puree with egg, shape, and boil until firm. Hey! It could work!
  • Cauliflower Ice Cream - If you add enough sugar and vanilla, it will be so overpowering that you'll forget it is the cauliflower making it taste bad!
  • Cauliflower Oreo Filling - Trust me, they won't EVER GUESS!!
  • Cauliflower Cake Frosting - Just do that mashie whip thing, and spread it on. Add a few sprinkles if you don't think they'll buy it!
  • Cauliflower Cookies - Substitute cauliflower for wheat flower, and go to town on it. All sorts of possibilities! Mama's Chocolate Chip Cookies will never be the same!
  • Cauliflower Tofu - Is ANYBODY going to care? Really?
  • Cauliflower Milk - If you can milk almonds, surely you can milk cauliflower!
  • Cauliflower Popcorn - You don't even have to cook it!
  • Cauliflower Cereal - Chop fine, soak in milk. Sugar is not needed. Really!
  • Cauliflower Crackers - Surely Oprah has a recipe for this somewhere!
  • Cauliflower French Fries - Ok, so it is a little difficult to cut fries from cauliflower... But WORK with me here!
  • Cauliflower Chicken Nuggets - They can form them from minced chicken, SOOOO... Whose to know?
  • Cauliflower Fishsticks - White mushy stuff, formed and breaded. Clearly the same!
  • Cauliflower Cheese - Shred and substitute for shredded cheese. Raw cauliflower substitutes for hard cheeses. Cooked for soft. What could be easier?
  • Cauliflower Filled Donuts - You can even dye it for fruit fillings.
  • Cauliflower Cream Chocolates - Cook, mash, roll into balls. Dip in chocolate. More in keeping with Halloween than Christmas.
  • Cauliflower Banana Pudding - Slice, cook, and use in place of bananas. Unforgettable!
  • Cauliflower Salad Sandwiches - Use raw or cooked, cut up, and use to replace chicken, tuna, turkey, or ham. Very versatile.
  • Lemon Pie with Cauliflower Meringue - That whip thing again... Browns beautifully.
  • Cauliflower Macaroons - You can actually make these LOOK like real macaroons!
  • Wedding Mints - Cook, form into balls, and dry just enough so they don't stick together. No need to add mint extract, they look convincing enough without it!

 

So try your hand at some new delicacies! No one will EVER notice you used Cauliflower!

 

DISCLAIMER: Don't misunderstand me. I LOVE Cauliflower. Cooked. Never raw. Smothered in cheese sauce. Or seasoned and roasted - tender, not hard. THAT is Cauliflower.

I NEVER try to pretend that Cauliflower is something that tastes nothing like Cauliflower!

Sweet Potato Myths

Sometime during the last decade, Sweet Potato growers did a bang up job of marketing, and managed to persuade promoters of several popular diets that Sweet Potatoes were somehow a better food than ordinary Potatoes.

Slick marketing aside, there is little truth to what you are being told.

Using slight of hand, values on the two are often given by Standard Serving, rather than by weight or volume.

Russet, Red, Gold, etc., potatoes are valued on an 8 oz potato.

Sweet Potatoes are valued on 1 cup of cubes (about 4 oz). So of course, Sweet Potatoes measure lower in calories and carbs than other Potatoes.

When compared BY WEIGHT (rather than by "standard servings), the comparisons are illuminating.

  1. Sweet Potatoes are NOT "lower in calories" by any meaningful amount. A Sweet Potato has 26 calories per ounce, and a Russet has 27 calories per ounce. That is NOT a significant difference.
  2. Sweet Potatoes are NOT "lower in carbohydrates" either. In fact, they are HIGHER in carbs than Russet Potatoes. 100 grams of Sweet Potato has 20 grams of carbs, and 100 grams of Russet Potato has only 18 grams of carbohydrate.
  3. "Glycemic Index" has been pretty well debunked, so claims that Sweet Potatoes are magically lower in carbohydrates when they are not actually, are false. Glycemic indexing was another slick marketing ploy to persuade people who are afraid of sugar, that certain sugar alcohols are healthier than granulated sugar (the claim was that since some carbohydrates are broken down and absorbed more slowly than others, that a certain amount of the slower ones did not need to be counted). Not so - not only is the conclusion wrong, but the difference in absorption times is almost negligible. I used insulin at one time, and when you do, you notice which foods impact, and which do not. I promise you that foods sweetened with xylitol (which is generally ignored as a source of "impact" carbs even though it is very high carb) have EXACTLY the same impact, carb for carb, as those sweetened with granulated sugar, and the time it takes for them to impact is not different enough to even notice when doing blood testing every 5 minutes after consumption. So higher carbs in a sweet potato are just that - higher carbs. The ONLY "non impact" carbs are fiber that goes through unprocessed, and there is very little of that in Sweet Potatoes (about 3 grams total fiber per 100 grams, and less than half of that is undigestible, compared to 2.2 for regular Potatoes). BOTH kinds of potatoes create alcohol when fermented - an indication of sufficient simple carbs to impact blood sugar, and they can both create enough to cause intoxication.
  4. SOME, but not all, Sweet Potatoes are higher in Beta Carotene (a Vitamin A precursor which is counted as Vitamin A by many nutritional sources, even though it is incomplete), and in several other vitamins and minerals than ordinary Potatoes. But they are not a "powerhouse of nutrition", compared to a weak and pathetic Potato. To the contrary, Russets and their kind are very nutritious food, and even more so with skins on. Sweet Potatoes with darker orange flesh are higher in beta carotene than potatoes, but the paler colored sweet potatoes are equivalent to Yukon Gold potatoes.
  5. Russets are often tested without skins. Approximately 20% of the nutritional value in Potatoes lies on the underside of the skin, and in the top layer of the potato. Eating potatoes with their jackets increases the nutritional content considerably, and gives them additional fiber. ANY nutritional info regarding potatoes is suspect unless it is specified in the information, whether the values were gathered on peeled, or unpeeled potatoes (and often a single listing of nutrients may have some with the skin, and some without, and not specify that this is so). They are especially good sources of Vitamin C, Potassium, and B-6, even without the skins.
  6. Both are starchy vegetables. Both are classed as vegetables, and count as a vegetable on the plate. Both are nutritious, both are served with similar condiments.

So there is NO NEED to apologize for eating Potatoes. And there is NO NEED for Real Food proponents to be running around trying to elevate the Sweet Potato to some kind of status of superfood, while recoiling in horror at the thought of eating baked Potatoes or Mashies for dinner!

Get over it! The actual facts don't support the myths!

Notice

The information on this site is presented for informational purposes only, and consists of the opinions and experiences of the site authors. It is not to be construed as medical advice or to be used to diagnose or treat any illness. Seek the assistance of a medical professional in implementing any nutritional changes with the goal of treating any medical condition. The historical and nutritional information presented here can be verified by a simple web search.