Actually Eleven of the Top Good, Bad, and So-What Legacies of 2011
As 2011 speeds to its end, it’s time to reflect on the top events, organizations, trends, and people that will have a lasting impact on American food choices. The Perfect Formula Diet (PFD) 2011 awards point the way to making 2012 a better year for you and the planet.
THE BEST FOOD OF THE YEAR:
Kale – Kale was all over the media in 2011. This vegetable is universally recognized as dense with minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals (beneficial nutrients found only in plants), and fiber – all with barely any calories. WebMD calls kale “the queen of greens” and notes it is growing in popularity.
A recent Huffington Post blogger calls kale “the new beef.” This is way too kind to the beef industry. However, the point is that you can get all the nutrients in animal foods by eating kale, in a way that is infinitely healthier for you and the planet. Kale comes in many varieties and colors, with flat or curly leaves. You can enjoy kale raw or include it in just about anything you cook. Find this easy-to-grow powerhouse in farmers markets and supermarkets all over the country.
MOST FUN WAY TO CONSUME THE BEST FOOD OF THE YEAR:
Green smoothies – In recent years, green smoothies are leading the trend to have lots of fun with healthy foods. While green smoothies gained popularity several years ago, this drink shows every sign of attaining mainstream acceptance in 2011.
Green smoothies incorporate green leafy veggies (such as kale, spinach, or collard greens) in a blend with sweeter fruits that provides much of the flavor. However, the veggie leaves provide the color, making the drink green.
You can find endless recipes to experiment with until you find the smoothies you most enjoy. A recent google search of “green smoothie kale” yielded 343,000 results. If this is overwhelming, start with the site fatfreevegan.com for some great ideas. Expand from there with other plant-based recipe sites and cook books.
THE MOST DANGEROUS “HEALTH” FOOD OF THE YEAR:
“Wild-caught” salmon – Unless you were living in a tree with no media access in 2011, you could not escape the advice to eat more fish. “Wild caught” salmon is the most highly recommended. When you hear something a million times it must be true, right? Not!
In fact, industry and government are putting out severely skewed and dangerously incomplete “information,” then the popular media parrots the advice that people want to hear. Physicians are too busy to sort through all the thousands of published studies on fish, and fall victim to the fishy hype along with their patients.
Salmon, along with just about all fish, are full of saturated fat, cholesterol, persistent organic pollutants and many other health-killing contaminants, mercury, nasty bacteria, and worm larvae, to name some of the threats to your health from this misrepresented food. For more information, check out this post on ten reasons that seafood is neither safe nor appetizing. Omega-3 fatty acids are important, but the best food to get them from is ground flax seeds.
MEDICAL HYPE OF THE YEAR:
Click here to read the rest of the top 11 list and see the Perfect Formula Diet awards