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Politilog | Christian Bentzen
With many root vegetables, we first think of Autumn soups, comforting au gratins, or creamy mashes for the fall kitchen. However, just about all of them have leaves above ground that are not only fully edible, but quite nutritious and very tasty when added to any vegan meal. The radish is certainly no exception to this rule so why stop with the root?
The leaves of the radish plant actually contain more Vitamin C, protein and calcium than their roots and are rich in folic acid, Vitamin C and anthocyanins. These enzymes and nutrients make radish greens an powerful anti-cancer food. The greens also contain healthy amounts of Vitamin C, zinc, B-complex vitamins and phosphorus, which are quite effective in treating skin disorders such as rashes and dry skin. They have even historically been used to treat kidney and skin disorders, fight cancer and even soothe insect bites.
Radish tops don’t stay fresh for very long, and it’s best separate them from the roots soon after harvesting or bringing them home from the market. Wash and store the leaves like other salad greens and eat them within a day or two.
One interesting way to remember how to best cook root vegetable’s top halves is to keep in mind that many, if not most, slightly mimic the root in their flavor profiles – i.e., beet greens tend to be sweeter, radish greens are slightly peppery and crisp.
For this quick recipe, I choose Thai seasonings but you can cook it any way you like as veggie stir fries are quite versatile depending on taste or what other dishes they’re meant to complement.
- 1 bunch of organic radish greens, chopped / cleaned thoroughly - 1 handful of chopped green onions, leeks, or other onion-family member – 1 tablespoon Coconut oil (I recommend this highly though you can sub avocado or olive) - 3 cloves of fresh garlic – 1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari sauce [or soy sauce if you eat gluten] - 1 teaspoon sesame oil - 1 Tablespoon lemon juice - 1 tablespoon of Thai seasoning mixture (available in most groceries)OR; - sub 1 teaspoon chopped lemongrass 1 teaspoon Thai chili paste (to taste) 1 teaspoon chopped Ginger
1.) Cut off stem and leaves of the radish greens from their red roots and rinse/clean thouroughly. Root vegetables are much closer to the ground and therefore should be washed quite rigorously to avoid dirt or contagions.
2.) Heat up coconut oil over medium heat until melt. Add in chopped garlic and Green Onions and begin to sweat.
3.) Toss in Radish greens and stir to coat evenly with the now-infused oil for about one minute (these greens cook quick, they’re certainly not collards!)
4.) Add in Tamari (or soy) sauce, the Thai seasoning mix, and stir thoroughly to coat every leaf evenly.
5.) Test leaves (and especially stems) for tenderness. The stems shouldn’t be crunchy and the leaves should have shrunk significantly with the heat.
6.) Remove from heat and add sesame oil last, stirring one last time to coat.
7.) Enjoy with rice, as a side dish, or toss with chilled soba noodles (my favorite way)
Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News, along with its paid funny-guy Jesse Watters, have a long history of promoting ‘light-hearted’ segments within an otherwise serious-toned news program (or at least what’s meant to appear as one to the casual observer) but to most of us who regularly abstain from nightly O’Reilly viewing first met Jesse Waters last week after he got into trouble for referring to “Beyoncé voters” who “depend on government much more than married women.”
Naturally, making a comment that many people would find offensive while stereotyping a particular minority made Waters an instant conservative staronline even though he’s been on the channel for quite some time.
Last night, Watters’ segment turned its focus toward the annual San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade, where he live-trolled the parade route in downtown San Francisco in order to (it would appear) find all the most outlandishly-dressed and flamboyant of all the attendants available for filming and sudden questioning.
While sporting a light pink polo shirt with an upturned collar, Watters trolls for five minutes of what was intended to be comedy for, I would venture to guess, 60-something conservative men.
Some of his greatest hits:
- “Does it make you a bigot if you believe in traditional marriage?”
- “Can I have a straight pride parade if I wanted to?”
- “Is the gay pride parade shoving something down people’s throats?”
- “Are you sure you guys don’t like girls?” “Are you sure?”
- “I have to be honest with you, the pants look a little tight”
That last line was literally spoken to California state Senator Mark Leno directly in his face. Just moments later, cameras cut to an unidentified person in the crowd clad only in tight briefs to whom Waters inquires: “You look a little promiscuous.”
Clearly, Fox has its standards in line with regard to respecting pubic officials and offices. After all, isn’t it conservatives who always preach the patriotism and respect line?
Later, while talking about what Watters deemed “traditional marriage,” one parade goer shouted that those who would deny gay people equal rights should “keep it in your heart, keep it private, but don’t shove it down someone’s throat.” Watters replied, “Isn’t the gay pride parade shoving something down other people’s throat?”
Then, after E! talk show host / fashion reporter Ross Mathews joked with Watters that he was ‘taking a fashion risk’ with his popped-collar polo shirt, Watters responded, “I’m taking a big risk here just talking to you, though.”
Now as we all know, even though Watters undoubtedly received some intelligent answers from, I don’t know, maybe the majority of parade goers who arrive in simple shorts and tee-shirts? I doubt that’s get a rise out of anyone in the Fox News demographic.
In fact, as a gay man I find the entire segment not just lacking in any comedic value, I find this piece quite insulting, stereotype-enforcing, and frankly bigoted in it’s undertone of what was reminiscent of local news coverage of gay events back in the late 1950’s.
I’m not just trying to unfairly poke at it or try and stretch out just anything and call it bigotry. I mean actually compare the mocking tone, choice of interviewees, questions, emphasis on stereotypes, etc. and you will see the undercurrent of homophobia that we once saw from news reports of the 50’s, 60’s, and on into the late 1980’s in some cases.
After all, imagine if this whole segment happened to be taking place at a Native-American cultural event, or a disabled person’s rights seminar, or a meeting of the NAACP?
Imagine if the same tone were simulated outside of gay people:
- “Do you wear feathers to school?” “Hey, hi-how-are-ya hi-how-are-ya?”
- “Would you support abortion just if she saw her baby was going to unable to walk?” “Do you guys really need all those parking spots up front?”
- “I heard you guys like fried foods and sweet drinks, are you partially responsible for the diabetes epidemic?” “All you guys like that, right?”
This, to me, is really yet another example of why I’m less up for a fight and more confused upon being told by a millennial or young adult that they choose to be conservative or are a republican. I strain to not begin a detailed debate on the matter unless they push it (say climate change is false or something) but I truly feel a deep sense of confusion.
How did they not grow up with television shows, books, movies, trends, fashions, events, and the like which form the building blocks of what I would call a more modern view of the world? How could they choose a social movement that contradicts all that they witnessed in their lives and all that science and experience tell us of this world?
The answers are even more clear to someone who’s argued with the young-conservative set than a vegetarian being asked where they get their protein – they’ll always, always end with “well I’m a fiscal conservative” or “I just don’t like welfare” or “I don’t like hand outs” or or or.
The truth is that even young republicans are fed up with the far-right’s view of gay marriage and more broadly gay people in general. In fact, social conservatism as a whole may be in trouble with this generation.
Notice even the subtleties of his segment – the show wove in old cuts of Mel Brook’s first directorial effort “The Producers” film from over fifty years ago with a young and panicked Gene Wilder saying to the late Zero Mostel “Max, he wearing a dress.” when he saw actor Christopher Hewlett playing an over-the-top cross dresser preparing to go to a costume party garbed as Marie Antoinette.
Who would that even resonate with? I imagine many more people would better associate the show Friends and its characters’ reactions. Hell, even Seinfeld would be more recognizable to most at this point and that’s one of the central problems with the social conservative movement: it’s aged, dying, and not self-replacing.
The segment may have lasted only about five minutes but was somehow able to disrespect a public official in a childish manner, insult the LGBT community, perpetuate long, long extinguished stereotypes, and show yet again, that Fox News is not a News channel, it’s aSenior Center blood pressure elevator.
Beets are one of those vegetables that, upon first mentioning their name to someone, incite an immediate strong reaction in one direction or another. There is little middle ground in people’s minds with regard to this veggie and most people are seemingly set in their love for or hatred of, this historically valuable and very nutritious plant.
Like many root vegetables, beets are a favorite of the cold-weather cultures because most citrus, Mediterranean, or temperate produce simply does not grow in climates with little sun and long winters. Think Russian cuisine or of Polish borscht. Beets don’t (usually) find themselves in, say, Latin cuisine. Though who knows?
From a historical perspective, the beet greens were the portion of the plant primarily used in cooking and the sweet root that most people think of as a “beet” in today’s age wasn’t cultivated until the rise of Ancient Rome.
In fact, the natural sweetness of beets came to be used as a primary source of sugar during the late 19th century with Napoleon himself issuing a decree that beets, in place of sugar cane, be used as France’s primary source of sweetener after the British cut of his supplies to sugar cane in the Caribbean.
Regardless of how you currently feel about beets and beet greens more specifically, I always suggest that people include them in their diets, even if they must be snuck in through the back door via stir-fries, smoothies, or other avenues because their nutrient density is impressive enough to take the flavor dive in this [bitter] green.
Why include Beet Greens in your diet?
1.) Improves Vision.
Beet greens are a naturally high source of vitamin A. The human body uses fat to process and store vitamin A, which remains in your system longer than water soluble vitamins and it is necessary for maintaining good vision, playing a role in light absorption in the rods and cones of your retina. On top of this, the vitamin A content in beet greens helps strengthen the immune system by stimulating production of antibodies and white blood cells.
2.) Improve mental health and well-being.
Beet greens contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression as well as trytophan, a nutrient capable of relaxing the mind and instilling the body with an overall sense of well-being [same nutrient as Chocolate].
3.) Facilitate clotting of the blood.
Beet greens are a wonderful source of vitamin K, a nutrient that helps control the healthy clotting of the body’s blood supply and may also play a role in fighting Alzheimer’s disease. On average, adult males require 120 micrograms of vitamin K and adult females 90 micrograms. Amazingly, One cup of raw beet greens will provide 152 micrograms of this nutrient without a single supplement necessary.
4.) Anti-cancer and pro-immunity qualities.
Yet another important benefit of beet greens’ vitamin A content is that it strengthens the body’s immune system by stimulating antibodies and white blood cells, thus making the body better prepared to fight against infections. Studies have also shown that vitamin A can play a role in cancer prevention. In fact, if you regularly consume vitamin A-rich plants like beet greens, you are at less risk of developing cancer than if you get your vitamin A from animal products. A vitamin A compound, beta-carotene, is also a known antioxidant that can fight the effects of free radicals in the body. Beet greens are also high in Chlorophyll and damaged genetic code caused by carcinogenic substances can be prevented by chlorophyllin, a derivative of chlorophyll, which reduces the binding of carcinogens from foods like cooked meat products that damage the DNA and other organs of the body particularly the liver.
5.) Aids in digestion, high in trace minerals.
Beet greens are high in plant-based fiber. Fiber is absolutely essential in all healthy diets and is the greatest defense against colon cancer. Additionally, beet greens are high in other trace minerals such as phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese.
The array of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and hormone-elevating qualities of beet greens are reason enough to include these often-wasted tops to the classic ‘beet’ we see in typical American grocery stores and should never been thrown out. I recommend treating this deep leafy green as you would kale, spinach, or chard – sauté it up in your oil of choice and add in any herbs/spices you like depending on what type of meal you have in mind. Just remember, nature gives us entire plants, not bits and pieces.
It can only be physically found behind one counter at one Burger King in the heart of San Francisco’s gay neighborhood (Garhorhood) but customers at this location may be surprised upon walking in to see a rainbow-themed menu board on the wall advertising a product that the fast-food giant has never sold before – “The Proud Whopper”.
Anyone who walked into this Burger King during the annual San Francisco pride parade was able to see this colorful menu along with the mystery “new” burger but, as the newly-released promo video shows, most thought it was the same Whopper they had eaten any other day. In fact, one woman is shown even loudly exclaiming, “This is the same shit!”
However, the ‘mystery’ was revealed to anyone eating it just as soon as they unwrapped the colorful paper wrapper and saw a message written in all caps: “We Are All the Same Inside.”
While Burger King-affiliated film crews record reactions on the spot for the promo video, not all the responses were positive (yes, even in the progressive stronghold that is ‘Frisco), one man states confidently, “Well, if that’s what they’re gonna do, they won’t be having my business anymore.” Most other customers smile, some cry, but the vast majority express support for solidarity with the LGBT event.
Burger King also partly sponsored the LGBT pride parade in New York City this past weekend, and the company handed out approximately 70,000 rainbow-colored paper crowns, the kids meal staple of the company for years, as a sign of solidarity.
In the big world of fast food, a mainstay of the Standard American Diet, the ‘Proud Whopper’ campaign puts Burger King in great contrast to conservative Chick-fil-A, which is still trying to recover from anti-equality comments made by CEO Dan Cathy as well as large sums of money that Chick-fil-A moved through their charitable foundation towards supporting [straight-only] marriage.
The Proud Whoppers, which went on sale June 28, will be available at the San Francisco location throughout San Francisco Pride week.
Now, let’s grab about popcorn (and maybe proud whopper) as we sit back and watch theconservative backlash begin…..
Update: Check out some of the vile Comments made at Conservative blog Free Republic…..whoa.
The grand irony in cases such as that of Christian Conservative radio host John Balyo is that that those people who shout the loudest are oftentimes the very people participating in the activities that they themselves spend years railing against. This fact has been repeatedly reported on in countless stories over the years and was actually the primarily subject of the 2009 documentary ‘Outrage’.
Let’s now turn our attention to Mr. John Balyo, the [now-former] host of a “family-friendly” Christian radio station who was arrested on first-degree criminal sex charges involving children, having admitted to raping a 12-year-old boy. Balyo was arrested Friday at the Big Ticket Festival, one of the largest Christian festivals in the U.S and when federal authorities raided his private residence earlier this month, he was allegedly found with a 12-year old boy and child porn on his hard drive.
Balyo was ordered Monday to be held without bond after prosecutor David Gilbert said Balyo made incriminating statements to investigators. “The defendant did make admissions to count one of the complaint,” Gilbert told Calhoun County District Court Magistrate David Heiss during Balyo’s arraignment.
Mr. Balyo’s online biography has since been removed from the radio station’s website, but a cache of it remains online. A cursory glance at his biography reveals that he graduated from the Christian Conservative Cornerstone University in 2003 and soon began work in social commentary from a “family-centered perspective”:
“The most important part of my story is how CHRIST found me when I was about 8-years-old as my mom led me down the Romans Road one night….I’ll never forget how excited I was while trying to evangelize all the neighbor kids! My walk with Him has been – and continues to be – a great journey.”
Mr. Balyo allegedly paid a defendant, who is the subject of a separate child-exploitation investigation, to arrange sexual encounters with minor victims. Further details about the investigation are being withheld pending the defendant’s appearance in court to answer to the charges,” a release from the Department of Homeland Security explained on Friday.
Ironically (though not surprisingly), Cornerstone University requires students to sign a “Lifestyle Statement” in a promise to abstain from “every form of immorality, including immoral sexual behavior, homosexuality, lying, stealing and cheating.”
Which all leads one to wonder, why is it often the case that those who spend their lives and careers in the Religious Right movement are the most likely to be caught taking a ‘wide stance’ [credit if you know the reference] when truths about their personal lives finally come to the surface? And for that matter, if he had been asked about his political leanings toward the LGBT rights movement just weeks before finally being caught with his pants down, what do you think he’d have said?