Friday, August 20, 2010

It's a sandwich kind of day

I'd been under the weather the past few days with a 3-day headache. Over the past few days I've had plenty of water to drink and eaten as many fresh fruits and vegetables as I could, and it seems to have passed. I think I finally decided that it was from making the switch to a vegan diet. If I recall correctly, I was hit with a killer headache about a week into the vegan diet last year when I made the switch. I can't imagine what else it could have been: it did not feel like one of my migraines, nor was it similar to those awful caffeine-withdrawal headaches. I wonder if this is a common malady for people who cut out all animal products?

Anyway, the pain has passed, and today I really wanted a sandwich. I had an intense craving for bread, so I hunted around my kitchen for a bit and then made a sandwich from a whole wheat flatbread, some of my favorite hummus,* sliced tomato, grated carrot and sprouts.


Today I finally got around to watching Food, Inc. Finally.

I never did get to go see it when it was playing in Ithaca, and I totally missed it when PBS aired it earlier this spring. I'd read the companion book of essays, "Food, Inc: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer-And What You Can Do About It" last year even before the movie came out.

I got a kick out of seeing Joel Salatin, of Polyface Farm, because I remember reading about him in Michale Pollan's book "The Omnivore's Dilemma." Joel Salatin is a man who obviously feels quite passionately about farming, real farming on a recognizable farm with a red barn, open pastures of wild grasses and a family working together to tend the livestock, versus the type of farming exemplified by modern agriculture's Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO**), or feedlots.

The segment on Monsanto is worth seeing. The documentary, "The Future of Food," snagged from Snagfilms in my right sidebar, first brought to light some of Monsanto's practices, and "Food, Inc." continues that as it follows a few soybean farmers' battles with the chemical giant over patent infringement lawsuits. Sobering, and it affects all of us, eventually. Left unchecked, Monsanto could eventually own the patents to all soybeans grown and processed in the United States.

I highly recommend the movie if you eat food or know someone who does. Not just meat, but FOOD.


  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (15-oz) cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed very well
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup of tahini (sesame paste)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t cayenne

  1. In a food processor, combine the garlic, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Taste to adjust, adding more tahini or lemon if you like.
  2. Add cumin, cayenne and salt to taste.
  3. Serve as a sandwich spread, or with crackers, pita triangles or as a dip with vegetables like carrots or celery.

  • You can go crazy with the add-ins. Roasted garlic is one of my favorite, as is a mixture of sundried tomato and fresh basil. Chopped kalamata olives and parsley make another nice variety. Hummus is pretty forgiving, actually.

** For more on CAFOs, read CAFOs Uncovered: The Untold Costs of Confined Animal Feeding Operations


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