WHAT’S GOOD FOR POPEYE (IT AIN’T FRIED CHICKEN)

WHAT’S GOOD FOR POPEYE (IT AIN’T FRIED CHICKEN)

I watched cartoons a lot when I was young, in fact every one that was available on TV. There wasn’t the variety then that there is now, and we certainly didn’t enjoy internet on demand. But what we lacked in choice, I think, was made up for with wholesome, meaningful programming. Back then, one could still pick up some positive values from cartoon shows, like the good guys always win, bad guys never get away with lying, cheating and bullying, and so on. I’ve tried watching modern cartoon shows, and usually come away wondering what I’d just allowed my eyeballs to be abused by.   One cartoon I remember loving was Popeye The Sailorman. He was a pretty affable fellow, short in stature but with oversized forearms like canons. He spoke with a funny accent, had an infectious chuckle, smoked a pipe, and would do anything for his girlfriend, Olive. The baddy in the show, Brutus, also had a thing for Olive, and would thus be at loggerheads with Popeye. But Brutus wasn’t likeable like Popeye was, and each time that big bully pushed our hero too far, he’d empty a can of spinach into his mouth, which made his muscles bulge, and from there it was exciting to see what kind of whooping he’d give Brutus. Popeye taught me the importance of eating spinach, and that’s a good value, right?   Here at SoFresh, we get huge orders for spinach from our cruise ship clients. That’s not surprising, because spinach is a comparatively cheap vegetable, it’s abundantly available, extremely versatile in usage, and a superpower when it comes...
A BETTER TOMATO – RED OR YELLOW?

A BETTER TOMATO – RED OR YELLOW?

There are some things in life that are Black-Or-White; things proven beyond a shadow of doubt to either be or not be, no maybe. Such things are regarded as universal truths: facts that hold firm regardless of who you are, whom you may think yourself to be, which country you’re in, or whether you’re intoxicated or not. The point is you don’t matter in this. One just doesn’t mess around, such as trying to put gravity to the test by jumping out of a plane at 15,000 feet without a parachute. If you don’t have a chute that works, gravity will certainly do its job!   But I’m very glad that most other things in life are not black-or-white. I’m not talking about grey areas, like arguing the technicalities that get criminals off the hook as we see on TV lawyer shows, or discussing the meaning of life. I’m simply appreciating all the colours that surround us daily in the world, in such abundant splendour that helps us enjoy our lives that much better and more.   For this week’s blog, I’m focusing on the colours red and yellow, and with particular reference to a very common – and nutritiously yummy – thing: tomatoes.   This week’s article bagan a couple of months ago as a tiny seed of a question in my mind: red and yellow tomatoes look lovely, and both are especially beautiful when presented on the vine. But is there a difference between them, and if so, what? And also which is better? Finally earlier this week, my research began.   Where red and yellow tomatoes...
STARFRUIT – PRINTABLE ART AND VITAMIN C ALL-STAR

STARFRUIT – PRINTABLE ART AND VITAMIN C ALL-STAR

I remember as a kid in primary school, we had art lessons using cut vegetables and fruits dipped in paint to make colourful prints. Art lessons in schools these days may be more high-tech, but back in the day we worked more with our hands and with common everyday things we had at home that we were told to bring to class. And it was lots of fun. In particular, I remember using cross-sections of starfruit to make star-shaped prints. I also remember thinking what a shame it was that after art class the teacher wouldn’t allow us to eat those nice colourful pieces of starfruit.   Such a shame really, because ripe starfruit is sweet, juicy, refreshing, and would have been a perfect treat on those hot school days when the classroom fans sometimes didn’t work. This versatile fruit can be easily sliced and eaten, juiced, or cut into small pieces and tossed with salads. Unripe tart-tasting starfruit can be cooked with meat, poultry and seafood dishes. Apart from an added zing in taste, visually such dishes are notched up a level of delight and appeal when served: dinner guests literally see stars!   More than being just delicious, starfruit is loaded with vitamin C – a single fruit can provide 76%DV (ie. daily value) of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps our bodies fight off cancer-causing free radicals, as well as boost our immune system against flu, colds, and infections. Studies have shown that diets rich in vitamin C reduce the chances of falling ill to these common maladies by as much as...
THE FRUIT OF THE ANGELS

THE FRUIT OF THE ANGELS

It’s said that Christopher Columbus called papaya the “fruit of the angels”. Well that’s not too hard to believe. The massive amount of vitamin C in a single papaya fruit could imaginably lead to one having an acute case of longevity. And everyone knows that angels are immortal (or at least they last a darn long time!). So it looks like clever old Chris put two and two together, easey-peasey lemon-squeezie!   Here’s the simple math: each gramme of papaya provides roughly 1%DV (ie. daily value, the amount of that nutrient we need each day) of vitamin C, so if you were to eat a medium sized papaya weighing 300-grammes, you would have also imbibed about 300%DV of vitamin C. No worries about over-dosing, because our bodies don’t store vitamin C. What is not used that day is passed out of our system, and each new day we need to consume enough of it through the food we eat, mainly vegetables and fruits.   What’s vitamin C good for? Short of immortality, nearly everything else! Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects us against cancer-causing free radicals, boosts our immune system, and is a great infection-fighter to ward off the flu, cold and other common maladies. Our bodies also need vitamin C for the natural production of collagen which is important for healthy joints and skin (you can’t ingest collagen supplements to boost collagen levels because our bodies won’t absorb it and it’ll just be passed out as expensive waste).   Besides vitamin C, papaya is an excellent source of vitamin A, folic acid, potassium and dietary fibre....
THE KING GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

THE KING GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

This is one that I’ve resisted writing for a while, and with good reason. There is no middle ground on this – either you love it or hate it. And it’s not something that can be genetically imparted; parents who love it do not guarantee their offspring will too. In fact nowadays, often the children won’t go near it, let alone touch it. But very recently, the king made it’s way, via celebrity hand-delivery no less, to Hollywood!   Actress Jessica Chastain, who plays Sara the Warrior on The Huntsman: Winter’s War, brought a whole durian with her on The Jimmy Kimmel Live! show. She also brought a huge knife, a shorter serrated one, and rubber gloves. Ok, I felt the rubber gloves were over the top, but what’s Hollywood without a touch too much drama, right?   You can watch the by now widely circulated video clip on YouTube. But in short, when Chastain pulls the durian out of the bag, Jimmy Kimmel stares at it like he’s looking at a maliciously spiky weapon, and exclaims “Oh wow, what is that?” Well, he is meeting the king for the first time, afterall. Chastain tells Kimmel it’s durian, the “king of fruit in Asia”, and later she calls it the “blue cheese of fruit”.   She tells Kimmel that she fell in love with durian while in Singapore, and tried to describe the taste to him as “onions and garlic, and avocado and pineapple in a custard”. She shoves a piece of durian in Kimmel’s mouth and to his credit, he doesn’t immediately spit it back out. He actually...