Thursday, 16 July 2009

What Nordic diet ?

Recently, the traditional Nordic Diet was found to be as good or better than the Mediterranean Diet. As climate change may mean Southern Europe sees desert and sea encroaching, with viable homelands disappearing. Studies of traditional foods grown in extreme temperatures and weather may have life saving relevance to those of us remaining in Britain reliant on wind/solar power and local produce . Whilst warring millions fight to find a home, food and potable water in what is left of Europe.

So lets ponder the diversity and difference in just two of the Worlds healthiest diets, whilst considering that it will be Global Warming that will decide if Northern Europe will eat a Nordic, Mediterranean or Saharan diet - as Europe gets hotter, homelands become lost and the World sinks towards unimaginable anarchy and banditry on a massive scale.

A recent Telegraph article discussed research by Elling Bere from the University of Agder, Norway, who found that native berries from northern Europe such as blueberries, cowberries and cloudberries contain as much unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids as cold water fish. These berries are very rich in antioxidants, which reduce the levels of harmful molecules that build up and damage cells, leading to diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Scientists at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark, have now set up a 13.3 million Euro project aimed at identifying, testing and undertaking trails with more regional to help create a "New Nordic Diet".

Rapeseed oil is a good alternative to olive oil and contains more omega-3 fatty acids as well as being a good source of vitamin E. Whilst being safer for your health when used in frying. I myself highly recommend Hillfarm extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil from Sussex and Sainsburys!

Cabbage and other brassica species such a kale and Brussels sprouts which thrive in cold-weather conditions, were found by scientists at the University of Oslo to contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants of any vegetable and to be a good source of vitamin K, important in blood coagulation.

Traditional Nordic diets are high in fish with particular preference for salmon, trout, cod and herring - cold water fish that will begin to disappear as fisheries become warmer.

Prof Astrup also believes that game meat from animals such as elk and reindeer, and birds such as grouse, should also form a greater part of people's diets as these meats tends to be leaner than farm-reared livestock (rabbit too). So meat eaters may get one meal of meat a month when we outlaw the farming and slaughter of billions of animals a year - that now criminally contributes the majority of damaging gases to the Earth's atmosphere.

Trina Hahnemann, a Danish chef who recently published The Scandinavian Cookbook, adds that in Scandinavia and Britain, traditional diets had been abandoned in favour of processed foods and southern European cuisine.

She believes that people have lost their food culture and forgotten about how foods suited to northern climates can be healthy. She points out that in Britain we have a lot of nutritious kale and that almost no one realises that you can eat it raw like lettuce.

Today we continue to allow the sale of nutritionally impoverished processed foods that are made to taste acceptable with additives, flavours, simple sugars and salt. Paying for it in lives and a grossly expensive health service? Should we call these industrial products poisons and outlaw them to?