A Cup of Green

Decoding Food

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FOOD; material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy.
Source: Encyclopedia Britannica

Ever wonder what all the terminology and verbiage behind food really means.  Below you can find common words often used in association with food.
  • A method of food preservation that is accomplished by removing water from the food, this inhibits the growth of microorganisms and prevents quality decay. Bacteria, yeasts, and moulds need water in the food to grow. Drying effectively prevents them from surviving in the food
  • Water is usually removed by evaporation (air drying, sun drying, smoking or wind drying) offreeze-drying is also possible the food is first frozen and then the water is removed by sublimation.


  • Enriched foods have nutrients added that were originally lost during processing.


  • Fermentation is the controlled decay of material using special bacteria.
  • Technically, fermentation is the biochemical conversion of sugars, starches, or carbohydrates, into alcohol, and organic acids, by bacteria and enzymes.
  • We have symbiotic relations with some forms of bacteria, they take the (carbohydrates), we in return get (preserving acids). The bacteria change foods into more digestible and nutritional material.


  • Fortified foods have nutrients added that are beyond what the foods originally contained.

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)

  • An organism whose genetic material has been manipulated using genetic engineering techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology.
  • Genetic modification involves the deletion or insertion of genes, using a radical new technology that forces genetic information across the protective species barrier in an unnatural way.
  • DNA molecules from different sources, are often combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes.
  • The new set of  DNA is then transferred into another organism, modifying or creating novel genes.
  • Transgenic organisms, are organisms which have inserted DNA that originated in a different species.


  • Meaning the cattle forage at least the great majority of their diet from a grass fed diet.
  • Cattle foraging on grass ensures a healthier animal grass-fed cattle tend to be leaner than feed lot beef, lacking marbling, which lowers the fat content and caloric level of the meat. Meat from grass-fed cattle tends to have higher levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and the Omega-3 fatty acids ALA, EPA, and DHA.
  • If the beef is not grass fed the cattle was most likely fed a concentrated diet of grain, soy and/or other supplements.
  • Don’t be mistaken only beef/dairy termed grass-fed (beef) or pasture raised (dairy) are from cattle fed a primarily forage diet.
  • Be careful with the terms Free Range and Natural which do not insure the cattle has been grass fed, it usually means the feed (soy, grain, or other) is natural and the animal was free roaming when they ate it.
  • “Grass-Finished” is another term to be aware of usually meaning the cattle was fed grain up until finishing – at which time they’re switched to grass.


  • A cultured, enzyme-rich food full of friendly micro-organisms that helps restore the balance of your inner ecosystem.
  • More nutritious and therapeutic than yogurt, it supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins.
  • Kefir contains strains of beneficial yeast and beneficial bacteria, in a perfect symbiotic relationship.
  • Kefir is made from gelatinous white and yellow particles called grains. These grains contain bacteria and yeast mixtures that clump together with casein (milk proteins) with polysaccharides (complex sugars).
  • Kefir is known for its quality to coat the digestive lining enabling beneficial bacteria to form, stay, and grow.


  • A type of tea that has been fermented and is usually consumed for beneficial health reasons, but often also has a taste that many enjoy. The two primary ways of obtaining Kombucha is by making it yourself at home or by purchasing it at the store. You can often purchase a commercial kombucha product and utilize the existing culture in the bottle to make a new “mother” mushroom by which to brew your own tea.


  • Foods that are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation, or food additives.  Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones. For labeling information click here.  For a more in depth dive into organics click here.


  • Pastured hens are raised on pasture, they are not kept in confinement or fed primarily grains.
  • Eggs from pastured hens contain up to 20 times more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than factory hens.
  • Pastured hens’ diets are naturally complemented with bugs, earthworms, and other like critters that give their eggs a huge nutritious boost.
  • It is ecologically sustainable, humane, and produces the tastiest, most nutritious eggs.
  • Pastured eggs also have 10 percent less fat, 40 percent more vitamin A, and 34 percent less cholesterol than eggs obtained from factory farms.


  • A process of heating a food, usually liquid.
  • Pasteurization of milk is usually done with temperatures below boiling, high temperatures cause  casein micelles to aggregate (curdle).
  • Today two main types of pasteurization are used;
    • High Temperature/Short Time (HTST) also known as “Extended Shelf Life (ESL)” treatment. During the HTST process, milk is forced between metal plates or through pipes heated on the outside by hot water, and is heated to 71.7 °C (161 °F) for 15–20 seconds.
    • Ultra-high temperature (UHT or ultra-heat treated) is also used for milk treatment.  During UHT processing the milk is held at a temperature of 135 °C (275 °F) for a minimum of one second.
  • Pasteurization alters the milk’s amino acids lysine and tyrosine, making its proteins less available.
  • Pasteurization of milk promotes rancidity of unsaturated fatty acids.
  • Vitamin destruction is also common:
    • Vitamin C loss exceeds 50%
    • Other water soluble vitamins can be as high as 80%
    • Vitamin B12 is completely destroyed
    • Mineral components are also reduced such as:
      • Calcium
      • Chloride
      • Magnesium
      • Phosphorus
      • Potassium
      • Sodium
      • Sulphur
      • Other Trace Minerals
  • Destruction of all enzymes, which without we can not assimilate calcium.
  • Juices can also be pasteurized and also suffer similar denaturing as the milk.
  • Food for thought when buying expensive organic juices/milks that have been pasteurized.


  • Raw milk is the natural unaltered milk usually from cows, goats or sheep sometimes from camel or buffalo. It is not heated above the animal’s highest body temperature which is usually 101-105 degrees F. (38 degrees C.) Raw milk is not pasteurized, homogenized or frozen, nor has it been altered with additives, chemicals, light or homogenization.


Coming soon


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