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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Cooking Close To The Earth

I like split pea soup, but I do not like split pea soup that has been manufactured in a factory. I like my own vegetarian split pea soup which I cook using only a bay leaf, salt, and pepper to season to taste. Commercial soups add unusual spices and preservatives that are off putting. But more significantly I avoid processed foods in general because I have worked in a food factory, as a senior technical writer/photo illustrator documenting food processes so I was free to move about the plant and see what might be seen; and what I saw would put many off processed foods entirely: unsanitary conditions, unsanitary technicians, and lack of concern about those unsanitary circumstances by profit-driven management and owners. Disgusting. However, due to time constraints, physical limitations, and mass marketing indoctrination, I really have to focus and try hard to avoid processed foods.

Overnight, I soaked three medium Idaho white potatoes in cold water . This makes the starch of the potatoes become sweeter with a nicer texture. Today I slow-boiled the potatoes until fluffy tender. Tonight I will have a dinner omelet with hash browns, tomorrow I will have my nice homemade potato salad, and the following day I will have a BBQ-sauced beef patty with twice-baked potato, sour cream, and an organic carrot. My good diet, and probably good luck genetically, have given me good HDL cholesterol* that is phenomenally good, and on-the-border LDL-C cholesterol that is steady year after year.

I used to say that I cooked "close to the earth", but no one understood that. What I meant was that I cook with foods that are just recently harvested like potatoes, carrots, and split peas.

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"Cholesterol travels throughout the body in little packages called lipoproteins which are made up of blood fats called lipids and proteins. Two main types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) is known as the “bad” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol to tissues, including the arteries. You might think of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) as being the bad “dump truck.” LDL cholesterol is the amount of cholesterol fat circulating in your blood, which can be used to estimate the number of LDL dump trucks getting into the artery wall—the cause of plaque build-up and driving force behind atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke. High-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) is known as the “good” cholesterol because it helps take “bad” cholesterol out of the body. Think about HDL-C as a “tow truck” that removes LDL-C from your blood. The higher your HDL-C level, the more “bad” cholesterol your body can remove. Research has shown that for every one mg/dL increase in HDL-C, your risk of a heart attack drops 3 to 4 percent. Because studies have shown that low HDL-C may be a greater risk factor for heart disease in women, guidelines for healthy HDL-C levels differ for men and women." Source:

Caption: I Like Split Pea Soup

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019

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