Why a Pinch of Arsenic?

Looking up food additives on Wikipedia it reveals a huge list – 66 entries for the letter “A” alone, only nine of which I recognize as edible. Arsenic was not among them. No reasonably loving homemaker would consider a pinch of arsenic an ingredient in any recipe.

And yet we live in a time when most of our food has been enriched, fortified, preserved, enhanced, colored, flavored and stored in ways we can hardly imagine. We use pesticides, insecticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones. We add fillers, water, color, stabilizers, emulsifiers, anti-caking agents, propellants, nitrates. Our produce is picked green, flown thousands of miles and gassed to ripen, waxed to extend shelf life and dyed for appeal.

Adele Davis, a nutrition pioneer, wrote in her book “Eat to Live” one sentence that has been my guide for good health ever since. Miss Davis said: “If man makes it don’t eat it” – sound advice but it does require that one learn to cook.

And so, “A Pinch of Arsenic”, is a site about good food and cooking. Included are a sequential menu-based course in cooking, along with a glossary of terms and an equipment and shopping guide because eating well also requires knowing and shopping for quality ingredients, and using the appropriate equipment. Mastering the techniques and the language of cooking will make you maestro in your kitchen. The collection of recipes is by no means complete but include recipes my family has enjoyed. There are loads of recipe sites; the techniques you learn here can be applied to them all.

As the seasons change I will use my blog to suggest seasonal and festive menus as well as menu and shopping tips for singles and “ars-e-nic” recipes for weight loss.

I know of no better diet than good fresh, preferably organic vegetables, free range meat, wild caught fish, organic free-range poultry and whole grains. If you eat three small, nutritious meals a day, you will never be hungry and tempted to splurge. If you eat a wide variety of foods, you will never have cravings and be tempted to binge. If you remove all the packages (exceptions are pantry staples – see Pantry List) and cook from the refrigerator you will probably lose weight because eating well will raise your metabolism and burn up calories. Your eyes, skin and teeth will glow with good health. It is a winning strategy. When you decide to chuck the diet and splurge, do it on home-baked goodies made with the freshest eggs, butter and cream and enjoy it with good friends.