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10. Good Food Processing

How to store, prepare and cook food is almost as important as the foods themselves. The benefits of food may be destroyed or transformed into pathogens worse by the effects of improper storage or cooking.

Here are some basic rules:

Freshness:

The vitality of products is never measured or displayed. In general, we have just some information about the use-by date or the date of production.

However, the vitality of food is a major factor in the effect produced by food on our bodies, especially with regard to energy. The vitality of the body is degraded by foods that are themselves lacking in vitality. It is stimulated by “live” food.

Industrial products with production and storage methods seeking to extend self life by refining, sterilization, use of preservatives, packaging, are much less vital than fresh products.

Fresh produce, plant or animal, should be the basis of our diet.

Nothing beats food picked and eaten immediately. But in today’s context, essentially urban, the gathering is necessarily well remote from consumption. Still we can shorten the time by observing a few simple rules:

  • Buy as and when required. It takes more time but if well organized not as much as all that.
  • For all plant foods respect the seasons. Not only the body will be in phase with the products of the season but transport times are shorter.
  • Buy organic and local. This avoids the food conservatives and the gathering / sale cycle is shortened.
  • Do not use the fridge as a dump. The green leafy vegetables kept in the dark lose all their vitality after 24 hours, the same for leftovers that quickly become dead food.

For first cold pressed oils:

  • Keep cold away from air, light (except olive oil). The fridge is ideal.
  • Consume quickly once opened. It is better to buy small quantities

Cooking

Heat is an accelerator of chemical transformations. More heat more transformation.

Besides the advent of agriculture, the control of fire is certainly one of the most important factors in human evolution. The application of heat to food makes them easier to digest. But, heating destroys nutrients. Beyond a certain point, depending on each food, the process may render the food not only devoid of any nutritional value, but also extremely harmful.

Fresh or raw foods are always more nutritious than cooked foods. We all gain from privileging raw foods. However, we do not all have the same ability to digest certain foods and some are impossible to digest raw, like potatoes. Our assimilative capacity depends on many variable factors, our genetic makeup, our constitution, our life context, our health especially that of our digestive system.

For each individual there is a specific balance between the proportion of raw and cooked food.

Also, it should be added that applying heat, while being the main technique of food processing is not the only one. Other methods such as drying, pickling, fermentation, lacto-fermentation and pressing are common. These preserve nutrients and in some cases are enriched as in the case of the lactic fermentation, which increases the content of vitamin C and vitamin B12.

Effects of cooking temperature on food:

  • Maillard molecules (golden crust of bread or roast beef, caramelized pastries and sugars) highly indigestible.
  • 35 to 50C°, flavors are released and modified (essential oils, vegetable or animal oils)
  • Between 60 and 75C°, vitamin C is destroyed
  • 40 to 75C° all diastase (enzyme) are destroyed.
  • 90 to 95C° destruction of certain B vitamins and most of the vitamin E
  • Around 110C° oxidation of fat-soluble vitamins A and D
  • 120C° final destruction of remaining vitamins (B, E, PP), lipids affected and formation of tar, carcinogenic acrolein and benzopyrene (the point where oil starts to smoke)

For cooking to be less destructive here are some rules to apply:

  • Prefer cooking on low heat. Steam is suitable, the temperature does not rise beyond 100 ° and the food retains its nutrients. It is preferable to boiling as this tends to dilute nutrients.
  • Focus on cooking:
    • fish in foil with greaseproof paper (avoid aluminum foil for cooking)
    • egg in the shell ensuring that the yolk remains liquid
    • vegetables "al dante"
  • The possible use of high heat must be short, such as with the use of a Wok.
  • Avoid:
    • barbecues. The application of a heat source directly on the meat transforms fats into harmful substances.
    • the pressure cooker. It raises the temperature and pressure beyond reasonable levels
    • the microwave oven. It completely distorts the very essence of food while destroying its vitality.
  • Do not heat oils other than those that can withstand the heat: olive, peanut, grapeseed oil, coconut.
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