Take that, Audrae Erickson!!!

OK -- the Corn Refiners Association decided to take on a little old lady in Iowa that makes her own salsa without high fructose corn syrup. Boy -- Audrae Erickson didn't have clue who she wrote to!

So without further adieu -- let's look at this article. We Americans are eating too much sugar.

Hmmm? What shocking, startling news!!! There is added sugar in the foods we eat!! (Stop the sarcasm, Clink! You are talkin' to the choir)

But seriously, there are 6 added teaspoons of sugar in yogurt. I don't know about your yogurt but my yogurt is milk + culture. Period. End of story. And if I want some flavor in it -- I stir in some home-canned fruit or frozen fruit or sprinkle some homemade granola over the top.

Why are we adding sugar to products that don't need it if prepared properly? Yes -- I can my own salsa ..... but if a ripe tomato was used instead of the hard, green, perfectly round thing that attempts to pass for a tomato........ sugar is not needed in any commercial salsa. Even in Erickson's own words, it improves flavor by reducing tartness (spaghetti sauce, ketchup, canned tomatoes).

Ya know........ I think canned tomatoes should be canned tomatoes. Tomatoes, water, maybe a little salt. That's all! I don't want to see hfcs and sodium benzoinate in my tomatoes. I want tomatoes.

You know how I feel about health care. But health care does not start with insurance policies and hospitals. Health care starts at home with people that care about what they eat, how they live and how they care about the world around them.

So .... I'm continuing to rant and rave about learning to feed yourself. Preserve some of your own food. Yes -- we are a tad over the top here on the east coast of Iowa but you can do it. Dehydrate some apples, freeze some tomatoes, make your own yogurt. Make your own baby food.

And since I do want you to do it .... here is my favorite recipe for salsa. I will be teaching this one at the Freight House Farmers Market this Sat (Aug 29) at 10 am. I'd love you to be there. I promise a good time will be had by all. And you just might learn something. I know I will.

Zesty Salsa

Makes about 6 (16 oz) pints or 12 (8 oz) half pints

You will need:
� 10 cups chopped cored peeled tomatoes (about 25 medium)
� 5 cups chopped seeded green bell peppers (about 4 large)
� 5 cups chopped onions (about 6 to 8 medium)
� 2-1/2 cups chopped seeded chili peppers, such as hot banana, Hungarian wax, serrano or jalapeƱo (about 13 medium)
� 1-1/4 cups cider vinegar
� 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
� 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
� 1 Tbsp salt
� 1 tsp hot pepper sauce, optional
� 6 (16 oz) pint or 12 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

1.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.)COMBINE tomatoes, green peppers, onions, chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, cilantro, salt and hot pepper sauce, if using, in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
3.) LADLE hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot salsa. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
4.) PROCESS both pint and half pint jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

You know .... I looked and looked and looked. And not one tablespoon of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, natural or unnatural sweeteners are in the recipe. Double check it for me. My bi-focals must have missed it because Audrea Erickson says its necessary for flavor and to prevent tartness!!!

Take that one, Corn Refiners!!!!


melanie said…
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am off to gather the tomatoes...
BlueGate said…
Hee hee, you get'em Cathy! Audrae Erickson has no clue what she has started : )
And thanks for the recipe, I've been looking for a new one.
Ban HFCS said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ban HFCS said…
Great post! you inspired me to do some research....

Recently I *e*-ffectively poked holes in in one of Audrae Erickson's Pravda-like defenses of the HFCS poisoners here: http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/08/twizzler-manufacturer-campaigning-for-american-nutrition/comment-page-1/#comment-58093

But I take exception to any perception that all sugar is bad. Health knowledge has come a long way since I was a foolish lad chewing "Bazooka Joe" bubble gum, chasing Good Humor ice-cream trucks, and only you Angelenos can dream of those days when Helms Bakery trucks roamed every street in-or-near Los Angeles County. Oh! For a Helms cream-puff! Yeah! We ate WAY too much sugar and our Moms didn't monitor our intake. Today's mothers have so much more information and if they're responsible at all, they should be watching like a hawk, what, when, and how often their children consume sugar-laden foods. Having said that, nothing replaces a spoonful of natural  brown sugar and a drizzle of pure maple-syrup on hot cereal. To those who say "plain cereal tastes fine", let them continue cranking the handles for the windows of their vintage Volvos. We only go around once and life expectancy has gone up 50%! People enjoy sweets and that's not wrong; Mary Poppins was wrong! There's no place for her "spoonful of sugar" in medicine. But that doesn't mean there's no place for sugar. Read my rant against HFCS at the link I pasted above. Unfortunately I'm a "boomer" and I'm about to expend $45k just so I can live out my life with the kind of teeth I'd probably still have had my mother had access to more facts. At least she was intuitive enough to opt me out of "free" Ritalin. Free? Whoo! Boy! Some of those kids are STILL paying for that "freebie"! I grew up running through my family's peach and pear orchards so given a choice I'll always choose ripe fresh fruit over confections (Mea Culpa: ALMOST always!). I'm a man who bakes and I can say with authority that my best tasting pies have some sugar in them, along with some nutmeg and of course, ripe fruit for fruit pies. I also ran my own produce purveying business for years and I can say with CERTAINTY that sugar-cane IS produce! Surprise! "Everything in moderation", so goes the quote. To any "sugar haters" out there: "Don't be hatin'!; thas' jus' wrong!" We Out...
WindyD said…
Thanks for the salsa recipe, Miss Effie. I've asked Audrae Erickson many times how much of that HFCS sweetened red drink (from the commercials) that she drinks or gives to her children. Unfortunately, no answer. I would be willing to bet that she does not consume any HFCS. After all, she knows how it's processed.
I'm a health teacher, and it's unbelievable how much of that stuff the children of this country consume.
suz59330 said…
Just a bit a sugar - even a teaspoon or two - will help balance the acidity of tomatoes.

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