Monday, February 28, 2011

Apples to Oranges

                                                            Gerson Therapy

       Max Gerson was a German physician who began practice in the early 1920's. His name is best known for his methods and regimen for treatment of various diseases and sickness with diet and nutrition. As a resident physician Gerson had suffered from migraine headaches that he decided to try to resolve by means of dietary change, eliminating certain foods and adding other healthy, nutrient rich foods. This approach of treatment eliminated his headaches all together whereas the pharmaceuticals he had previously taken and prescribed to his patients daily only addressed the symptoms and in most cases temporarily. Gerson began prescribing his migraine treatment to his patients with much acknowledged success. One of Gerson's earliest patients reported that their skin lesions caused by tuberculosis had cleared up while on Gerson's diet, something that no other "modern treatment" had helped to cure or even suppress. Pulmonary surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch heard of his success and  invited Gerson to conduct a clinical trial of his therapy at Sauerbruch's tuberculosis ward in Munich, Germany. Gerson conducted treatment on 450 Tuberculosis patients with 446 patients that fully recovered, a percentage so unheard of that it was immediately disputed as lie and discredited by skeptical peers and further denied by the large pharmaceutical companies that ran all of the major hospitals. 
      This was just the beginning of Gersons battle, skeptical public, "Big-pharma-paid doctors", and money motivated pharmaceutical manufacturers became the enemy of Gersons ideas and the "alternative medicine" label soon became synonymous with his name. Some side with the big pharmaceutical companies, including most hospital doctors who are forbidden by law to prescribe any dietary or nutritional treatment to their patients in the U.S., and on the other hand are offered "bonuses" as encouragement for prescribing the manufacturers new products. Political physicians condemned Gerson publicly. Some patients have researched Gerson treatment and found record of overwhelming successes with no risks such as that of chemotherapy, abrasive surgeries, or dangerous chemical medications and realized there is no threat of worsening their condition and everything to gain. Though Max Gerson passed away in 1959 the battle still remains. Gerson therapy is still treated as "Quack-medicine" and the big drug companies are still amongst the most powerful in the world, "treating every ill with a pill".

      In observation while using fresh fruit and vegetable juices Gerson had proposed that artificial fertilizers and pesticides were fueling what he called an epidemic of degenerative diseases, and began to advise his regional government on agricultural practices.Third party scientific research made it apparent that fruits and vegetables that were commercially treated were significantly lower in nutrients and came with their own brand of poison in the applied pesticides and growth steroids. Some people dont mind the extra chemical applications in their fruits and vegetables, then again some people aren't bothered by second hand smoke from tobacco but are well aware of and wouldn't deny the hazardous effects that it can have on the body. Gerson's treatment revolves around fresh fruit and vegetable juices administered hourly to patients to help more immediately address the bodies toxicity and deficiencies, focused on the liver and kidneys, the bodies filtering organs. The idea is to help the body rejuvenate to a point that its natural, instinctual healing functions are restored with the help of vitamins, minerals and liver detox.

      Then there is the ever controversial coffee enemas. The vast majority of anti-Gerson articles and slander campaigns focus their assault on Gerson's less than traditional coffee enema regimen, such a taboo makes an easy target. The coffee enema is a treatment used to help the liver filter by the caffeine absorbed by the colon's hemorrhoidal vein to the portal system then to the liver. The caffeine stimulates the livers bile ducts to open, releasing toxins into the intestinal track for excretion. As strange as this sounds, is one to choose to have poisonous radiation pumped through their body as in chemotherapy, killing both good and bad cells with unpredictable results or coffee enemas, just sort of weird and hard to understand? In the case of a patient with an inoperable, incurable disease with terminal diagnosis the choice is almost not an option, they do whatever the doctor has prescribed. Why would we be so quick to write off the research and success of one of histories greatest medical visionaries but except the notion that a disease is "just incurable". Many people with disease live and die in a hospital and are never once made aware of the importance of nutrition and detox, instead they are fed jello, white bread, ginger-ale and pills . If the intake of vitamins and minerals can undoubtedly prevent disease then why is it so hard to think that the same factors cant help restore the bodies natural healing functions? - K.C.C.

Letter from the editor -

Whats up,
    I am interested in this stuff mostly because it is focused on the "healing power" of good food. This therapy is based mostly on raw food diets and juicing ingredients in their purist form, just straight up food. With all the seasoning and techniques in the world there would be nothing for a chef to prepare without the blessings of our farmers. Many people are becoming aware of the Gerson treatment lately due to the documentary "The Beautiful Truth" by director Steve Kroschel featuring commentary from Charlotte Gerson in 2008. The film was both informative and touching and inspired me to do my own research on the topic. With further investigation into Gerson therapy I only found a couple things that I personally would have a lot of trouble with; the "coffee enemas" and the rule that there is to be no consumption of SALT while in treatment!  One of my favorite quotes I've heard "Salt is the engine of flavor" - Geoffrey Zakarian on Chopped. So true! Salt is essential but I guess in the case of fighting a serious disease I could go without. To learn more check out the sites below or fish around in the library or online there's plenty of info out there. Glad to share, sharing is caring. Thanks for reading, go eat a carrot! - K.C.C.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011


                           Don't wash Cast Iron with soap?

       The seasoning layer on the surface of the pan is formed when the pan is heated while in contact with some fat or oil. Flax seed oil is most commonly used to deliberately achieve this effect before using the equipment to cook with. The result is a chemical reaction with the fat molecules called "polymerization" in which small fat molecules gather together to form larger ones that then bind to the cast iron surface.This "fat polymer" is what we call the seasoning layer, and guess what... it isn't dissolved by soap. However, I would strongly suggest against this. While using soap might not actually ruin your cast iron the seasoning will definitely taste like it. Well yeah, I guess that would be what you call ruined! I admit I am guilty of having washed some of mine every "wrong way" imaginable before learning the proper way to care for my cast iron. I have pieces that I can remember having cooked with after having washed with soap and don't remember ever tasting it at the time. I've seasoned them since and still use them today, they are unstoppable. It really is all about the seasoning of the pan. It gives proteins a one of a kind flavor in searing that I personally am a huge fan of.

Do not wash your cast iron with soap and definitely don't use harsh detergents, abrasive scrubs, dishwashers, or soaking to clean them. The best way to clean them is with Salt. With a moist towel, the salt acts as a natural abrasive and dissolves any attached food without harming the seasoning.- K.C.C.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In Vitro

Look at that marbling!
                                                                   "IN GLASS"

      "In vitro" is a phrase used to describe a procedure that takes place "in glass" which is the latin translation of the phrase. This term is used by the science community to describe a method of containing cellular biology within controlled circumstances. Instead of working on the molecular level within a living organism or cell "in vitro" or "In glass" refers to the glass test tubes and petri dishes used for in vitro molecular science. You might ask, "What could this possibly have to do with food?"

       In vitro meats were proposed as early as the first stem cell research. Discussion of the possibility of making an abundance of oranges out of just one orange cell, a fish fillet from one molecule or a butcher shop with no need for a butcher soon became the focus of a large part of the stem cell research community. In vitro meat, or "cultured meat" is in essence animal meat product that is grown in a laboratory having never at any point been part of an actual living animal. This is where this starts to get very unsettling very quickly. "Instead of genetically creating a whole animal "clone" why not just grow a tenderloin alone?" No fat, no butcher, no immediately discernible difference from a real beef tenderloin. Picture if you will, a huge cut of "meat" completely resembling a cows muscle growing rapidly beneath a plastic dome with many tubes and wires fed into it. To me this sounds disgusting and way too futuristic to really be the focus of some of the worlds smartest molecular biologist. Unfortunately, it is.

     Lucky for us, in vitro meats are not yet deemed to be safe for public consumption and at this point production of cultured meats is far more expensive than that of commercially raised, umm ..."real animals". In 2008 PETA offered a $1 Million prize to anyone who could develop an "in vitro-chicken-meat-product" composed of only chicken starter cells from initial development stages. Funding for in vitro meat is still plentiful, with the costs of conventional farming techniques constantly rising and the rising world population many scientist predict that in vitro foods will play a major part in our worlds food supply by the year 2050. Gross! - K.C.C.

   Any questions or contributions for The Bleu Ribbon please email - - Thanks!

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Saturday, February 19, 2011


                            "Were you grazed in a barn?"

                                     Organic and Naturally raised Livestock 
                                             Organic fruits and vegetables 

      The term "naturally raised" means that the meat comes from an animal that was raised organically from weaning without antibiotics, growth hormones, synthetic pesticides and herbicides and was raised on a natural grass and hay fed diet. No herbicides or any other unnatural toxic substances are ever applied onto organic crops and pastures. Organic cattle are not force fattened on high grain feed concentrates like the commercially raised variety. They are never given any steroids, antibiotics or hormone implants. Naturally raised cattle are treated humanely and allowed to roam freely. Several studies by independent organizations have shown differences in vitamin concentration in organic versus commercially grown and raised animals. Naturally raised, grass fed cattle have a naturally alkaline rumen, necessary in proper natural intestinal functions. The animals healthy intestinal and digestive functions minimizes the possibility of E-coli contamination. Naturally raised, grass fed beef is leaner, higher in beta-carotene, higher in vitamins A & E, higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is an anti-carcinogenic and the meat is also higher in omega 3 fatty acids.

      Because organic fruits and vegetables are produced naturally, they are best eaten in season. Buying organics when they are in season will greatly reduce your costs as well as buying in bulk from a local farm. Most farmers will be willing to sell in bulk in order to insure maximum profit from each harvest and reduce waste. In many cases organic produce and meats will cost more than commercial. Organic farms tend to be smaller than conventional farms and make less produce and raise less livestock therefore making them more expensive. Organic farms are more labor-intensive and receive fewer subsidies than conventional farms since there is less demand for organic foods.With time organic prices should continue to decrease as the demand for organic food increases and more organic food suppliers enter the market and that's good for you. Many factors may influence your decision, including taste, price, and availability. When choosing between organic and conventional produce consider your options, consider the methods and care taken to grow or raise each type of food. Try them, make your own comparison and then make an informed decision. - K.C.C.

Friday, February 18, 2011

What's in season? January - March

                            Seasonal Guide to Fruit & Vegetables

January - Midsummer - Fruits
apricot, banana, berries - blackberry - blueberry - boysenberry - gooseberry - loganberry - mulberry - raspberry - strawberry, cherry - morello (sour), currants - red currant - black currant, lemons, lychee, mango, mangosteen, melons - honeydew - rockmelon - watermelon, nectarine, passionfruit, peach, pineapple - smooth leaf, plum, prickly pear, rambutan, starfruit, tamarillo.

January - Midsummer - Vegetables
asparagus, avocado - reed, beans - butter - green - snake, capsicum, celery, choko, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, okra, onions - salad - spring, peas - green - snow - sugar snap, radish, squash, sweetcorn, tomato, zucchini, zucchini flowers.

February - Late summer - Fruit
apple - aba, banana, berries - blackberry - blueberry - boysenberry - loganberry - raspberry - strawberry, fig, grapes - cardinal - muscat - sultana - waltham cross, guava, kiwifruit, lemon, lychee, mango, mangosteen, melons - honeydew - rockmelon - watermelon, nectarine, orange - valencia, passionfruit, peach, pears - howell - red sensation - williams, plums, prickly pear, rambutan, rhubarb, starfruit, tamarillo. 

February - Late summer - Vegetables
avocado - reed, beans - borlotti - butter - green - snake, capsicum, celery, chilli, choko, cucumber, daikon, eggplant, leek, lettuce, okra, onions - brown - salad - spring, peas - green - snow - sugar snap, radish, squash, sweetcorn, tomato, zucchini, zucchini flowers.

March - Early Autumn - Fruit
apples - aba, cox's orange pippins - gala - jonagold - jonathan - mutso, banana, berries - raspberry - strawberry, breadfruit, feijoa, figs, grapes - cardinal - currant - muscat - purple cornichon - sultana - waltham cross, guava, kiwifruit, lemon, limes, mango, mangosteen, melons - honeydew - rockmelon, nashi, nectarine, nuts - almond - chestnut - hazelnut - pistachio - walnut, orange - valencia, papaya, passionfruit, peach, pears - beurre bosc - howell - josephine - packham - red sensation - williams, persimmon, plums, pomegranate, rambutan, rhubarb, tamarillo.

March - Early Autumn - Vegetables
asian greens - bok choy - choy sum - gai laan - wonga bok, avocados - fuerte - shepard, beans - borlotti - butter - green - snake, capsicum, celery, chilli, cucumber, daikon, eggplant, leek, lettuce, okra, olive, onions - brown - red - spring, peas, potato, pumpkin, shallot, silverbeet, spinach, squash, sweetcorn, sweet potato, tomato, zucchini.

Hope this list helps you to become more familiar with most of the fruits and vegetables of the season! The majority of information herein was found and can be seen at This is a great website for information on ordering and purchasing seasonal organic foods. They service hospice care, private chefs, special dietary needs customers that sort of thing. Check it out, see what else there is to eat! - K.C.C.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Featured Ingredient

                                                            JAGGERY A.K.A GUR

       Whats so sweet about jaggery? Jaggery is a vitamin rich unrefined non-centrifugal whole cane sugar. A product of raw sugar cane juice concentrate with out separation of the molasses and crystals. Jaggery is traditionally consumed in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Jaggery is not just made from sugar cane alone, it is also produced from palm tree sap in different varieties; date palms, coconut palms and sago palms.

      Jaggery has been said to have health benefits and healing potential due to its high content of mineral salts, plus its the purist form of sweetener available, completely free of chemical process or enrichment. Gandhi was a big jaggery advocate and he used it in his own diet regularly supposedly to prevent throat and lung infections. This stuff can prevent infections?

      In this age of gastronomical awareness we are living in, there are literally dozens of  "natural sweeteners". In my opinion there is one true original that will always be king, SUGAR. What is more natural than raw sugar, JAGGERY. Gandhi loved it, palms produce it, high mineral salts, no chemicals, this stuff is awesome.

Still not sweet on jaggery? Heres a bunch of other crazy uses and interesting facts about jaggery I dug up.


  • Sugar cane jaggery is often used as a lining for inner walls of earthen ovens and is used for seasoning them. Even just a few decades ago, jaggery was used as a building material, particularly in those places where cement was not available. It was mixed with lime, sand and clay and used as cement for joining bricks. Jaggery, which is predominantly sucrose, upon reacting with calcium carbonate in lime and silica in clay, formed a very strong bond and becomes very hard with drying. Some examples of such buildings can still be seen in West Bengal and in other parts of India.


  •  Low quality jaggery, mixed with dust of tobacco, is used as tooth paste in many parts of India. It is so widely used that government earns some handsome revenue out of that. It is very popular and very addictive at the same time (I need not mention here that it is very harmful for the teeth and for overall health). Some people can be seen rubbing this crazy stuff on their teeth all day and night, very lazily. It is said to be a common sight in villages of India still. 


  • Among Hindus, it is customary to take a bite of jaggery after attending funeral, along with Margo leaves, crushed black pepper and to touch fire and iron, as it is said to purify. In certain religious ceremonies and rituals, small idols of jaggery, rice paste and turmeric are prepared and offered to their regional Gods and Goddesses.


  • There are recorded instances where jaggery had been used as bait for hunting wild animals. It was dumped in the open so that wild animals would come attracted by its smell and fall prey to the hunters. Since jaggery contains salt in it, besides being sweet and having a strong aroma, animals like to lick it. Mixed with a number of ingredients such as ant eggs, ghee, edible oils, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, mace, poppy seeds and a few other more expensive items, jaggery forms excellent fishing bait.                                                                                                                                     
          Anyone who wants to contribute to The Bleu Ribbon contact me at:   

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Bleu Ribbon Newsletter & Blogspot

                                                              The Bleu Ribbon Blog
      "The Bleu Ribbon" is a new independently organized, monthly news letter designed with the intention of giving the L.C.B. Boston students a new voice and way to share. The entire Le Cordon Bleu Boston community can benefit from our news letter by using it as an outlet to express themselves in various ways. Our plan for "The Bleu Ribbon" is to act as a mediator between students and staff, freshmen and upperclassmen, and everyone in between. A common ground! Email any question you may have about our academic and culinary community and we will go to the appropriate sources and get you answers. Submit an article, interview, short story, recipe, comic, puzzle or commentary to be featured in our own, student organized, independent news letter. We plan to feature interviews with our own Le Cordon Bleu chef instructors, academic faculty, enrollment representatives, financial aid counselors and even the schools president. No issue is too small or too large to try to shed some light on with this new, student driven, monthly news letter. Anyone can be a part of "The Blue Ribbon" with the common mission of bettering our culinary and academic community with communication and information. Don't deny yourself this opportunity to be heard, get involved, use your voice!

     We are working on a " month in review " approach so March's post is about February, April's issue is about March and so on. Any event dates, class or seminar scheduling will need to be submitted within a week before the first of the month which it takes place in, to be promoted. Teachers are also strongly encouraged to make submissions or suggestions to "The Bleu Ribbon" while our main focus is student voice and representation. All submissions will be anonymous unless otherwise indicated so don't be hesitant to email us about serious or sensitive issues, we will address them as tactfully and diligently as possible. We are relying on student submissions and volunteering to make this work to it's best potential, don't slack, this is for all of us!

  • Do you have a question about what to look forward to in your L.C.B. experience?
  • Do you have a special recipe or piece of art that you would like to share with your fellow students and teachers?
  • Would you like to share your story, culinary experience or personal opinions with the L.C.B. Boston community?
  • Do you love to cook? Do you like to entertain? Got something to say?
                                                                                         Please send all submissions to :
                                                                                         -  -

       THE BLEU RIBBON BLOG                              COMING SOON TO PAPER AT L.C.B. BOSTON

Letter from the editor-
     This is a student organized news letter and is not formally affiliated with Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts but I hope anyone writing about a serious beef with the school, teacher or peer, using really obscene or vulgar language, racist, sexist, generally negative stuff please grow up, don't be a jerk, we wont print it. Have fun, be funny, be honest with your opinions but please keep it mostly professional, say "business casual". This isnt a complaint box or means to share your "dirty laundry" show respect for our school, our art and your passion for cooking. At the end of the day, the food is the focus. We're all in this together to have the best learning experience possible.
                                                                                                                                                   - K.C.C.