Saturday, August 4, 2007

Did you know?

Many years ago my mum and I went to Albany, USA for a Macrobiotic Summer camp. It was over a period of 10 days. We sampled organic cooked foods, learnt the basics of Macrobiotic cooking by many Macrobiotic "Guru's", was exposed to the organic planting etc, etc.

There, we were taught to cook Miso soup. Firstly, you're not supposed to add the Miso paste into the hot (below boiling point) Dashi stock. Only then, the supposedly biologically active Miso paste won't 'die' and thus ending the health benefits of it.

You're supposed to scoop the hot Dashi into another container and then add the Miso paste to dissolve them together.

Once dissolved, switch off the fire for the Dashi stock and add the dissolved Miso mixture, stir and then serve. When re-heating, do not bring to a boil because then the taste will change and you loose the "friendly bacteria" supposedly good for the flora of your intestines. Check out the last line of the extract below on Miso nutrition from Wikipedea (Lactobacillus acidophilus [3]).

Miso nutrition (from Wikipedia)

The nutritional benefits of miso have been widely touted by commercial enterprises and home cooks alike. However, claims that miso is high in vitamin B12 have been contradicted in some studies [1]. Part of the confusion may stem from the fact that some soy products are high in B vitamins (though not necessarily B12), and some, such as soy milk, may be fortified with vitamin B12. Some, especially proponents of healthy eating, suggest that miso can help treat radiation sickness, citing cases in Japan and Russia where people have been fed miso after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Notably, Japanese doctor Shinichiro Akizuki, director of Saint Francis Hospital in Nagasaki during the World War II, theorized that miso helps protect against radiation sickness [2]. Also some experts suggest that miso is a source of Lactobacillus acidophilus [3].

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