Tag Archives: nutrition
The Tamarillo Show

The Tamarillo Show

Posted 12 May 2010 | By | Categories: Food, Plants, Seagarden | Comments

Tamarillos now taller than me The tamarillo plants in the garden are now taller than me. These fine specimens of the Teds Red and Tango varieties haven’t fruited yet, but tamarillo fruits have started arriving in the stores, and I tasted my first of the season yesterday. When I cut it in half, I realized why they attract me so visually: the seed pattern looks like the stylized Chinese shou () motif (pronounced like “show”), a symbol for longevity.
Shou slices of Tamarillos from tamarillo.com

Here are some examples of the shou motif on cufflinks from Shanghai Tang:
Shanghai Tang shou cufflinksShanghai Tang sterling silver shou cufflinks


Is tamarillo a nutritional powerhouse that can deliver the longevity it symbolizes? A full report from Crop and Food Research on the nutritional composition and benefits of New Zealand tamarillos shows they’re definitely nutritious and worth adding to your diet. Here’s an executive summary:

  • Tamarillos are low in carbohydrate and the carbohydrate present is mainly in the form of fibre,
  • are high in potassium but extremely low in sodium, which is a desirable balance for a healthy diet,
  • contain other trace elements important for health, in particular copper and manganese, and
  • are a very good source of vitamin C, and make a significant contribution to the daily intake of vitamins A (equivalents from selected carotenoids), B6 and E.
  • Red tamarillos had higher antioxidant activity than gold but both had higher antioxidant activity than many common foods.

Tamarillo Teds Red Aside from being delicious fresh raw and scooped out with a spoon (or squirted into your mouth), tamarillos are also incorporated into some wonderful recipes and can go either savory or sweet. My favorite so far is a chocolate tamarillo tart from Floriditas, also makers of the tamarillo and vanilla tea cake.

However, I’ve not yet seen a dish that shows off tamarillo’s shou. Maybe just sliced into a salad? I bet it would be popular at the New Zealand Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo. Or am I just seeing things?

Pollan’s Rules and Oliver’s Schools

Pollan’s Rules and Oliver’s Schools

Posted 12 February 2010 | By | Categories: Food, Health | Comments Off on Pollan’s Rules and Oliver’s Schools

What do we learn about food in school? Not much!

But I always learn something useful from Michael Pollan, here on Democracy Now, discussing the link between healthcare and diet, the dangers of processed foods, the power of the meat industry lobby, the “nutritional-industrial complex,” the impact industrial agriculture has on global warming, and his sixty-four rules for eating from “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual”:

Watching the Jamie Oliver hold up a tomato in front of a classroom of kids who were not able to identify hits in a visceral emotional way. As winner of the 2010 TED Prize his wish is to teach every child about food and empower them against obesity:

(See also Mark Bittman’s talk on What’s wrong with what we eat from 2009 EG conference.)

    Here are some things I’ve learned from the garden this week:

  • Celery: I harvested some celery by completely removing the plant and cut other stalks off at the soil level so I’d know where to put in some new plants. Those that were cut are shooting up new stalks.
  • Of all the plants I expected to be devoured as they are growing up, the broccoli and brussels sprouts would have been last on my list. I imagined the sulfur-containing compounds that make them so healthy for us would be naturally repellent to most insects. Oh how wrong I was — they are being eaten alive by caterpillars (cleverly colored exactly the same green as the leaves) and now attracting what looks like black scale insects at the base. I’ve been using an organic garlic spray along with manually picking off the offenders when I see them.