@Alanna and I just successfully bought our first home! She's super organised, and had the internet connected the day after we moved in.
We're kinda camping, don't have a fridge (@dominic I was channeling your "eat living foods" rant while shopping yesterday) or a washing machine.
The cat is mostly settled (the little patch of black stealth nestled in the cat-nest I made her on the other couch).
Anyway, feeling blessed, and a little excited - I can run ethernet through ANY of the walls!!! I kinda want to start a mesh network for my neighbourhood... come live near me plz.
Congratulations! You can paint all your walls pink and orange and get shag carpetting and put solar panels on the roof. So awesome :)
Being able to drill holes for ethernet is so sweet, that was one the the first things I did in my first house. :)
"eat living foods"
I'm intrigued, what does this mean? does it mean unprocessed, or literally straight off the tree/bush/cow?
"Living foods" means still alive. As in a whole raw apple (or kiwi for you NZ people). There is less need for refrigeration with living food, because while your raw apple will eventually spoil,
When you cook the apple, now it spoils quickly without refrigeration (unless you dump in a lot of sugar as a preservative, aka jam/jelly). Worse, the spoilage can be invisible, and more toxic (e.g. botulism).
Preserving food can be a necessity to survive a winter, but you pay a cost in lost nutrition (hence the hunger for "spring greens" after a long winter). With living food, you eat what you need. It has "brakes" when you've had enough, unlike chips or other preserved food (where it is recommended to pre-measure a portion, as the lack of "brakes" can make you regret eating so much). In developed countries, we tend to cook more food than we need, stuff ourselves, then when we can't hold anymore, put the left over in the fridge (to snack on later, or get thrown out later after spoilage eventually becomes obvious - because people are afraid to eat it in the mean time). If you are going to cook your food, cook only what you need.
There are people that like to "cook ahead" and put it in the freezer to have convenient meals. This works because
Nevertheless, eating a raw apple/orange/kiwi is just as convenient. Dried grains can add more calories for the physically active and cook very quickly. Oatmeal/corn/wheat/buckwheat "groats" take only a minute.
In summary, I keep some fresh frozen food (fruits and veggies), dried grains and nuts, but very little in the fridge (chilled water is nice). Everything is eaten raw, or cooked to order. No leftovers.
If you do meat/fish, keep it frozen and cook to order (cooking is needed for meat/fish to kill parasites - no, I don't trust sushi or the "carefully inspected" raw pork they serve in Germany).
However, some living foods need be cooked before they're good to eat — either because the raw version is toxic (e.g., many legumes), or because it's indigestible or unpalatable (e.g., spuds).
Fermented foods are also considered "living", because the micro-organisms are alive. Gut bacteria are a survival necessity for humans, and every culture has a traditional fermented food to provide pro-biotics. From fermented milk (yogurt, kefir, buttermilk), to fermented raw fish (vikings), fermented cabbage (kimshi,sauerkraut), fermented beets (kava), etc.
Oxidation of oils is a big contributor to artery disease. Oils in raw nuts are locked in a (very slowly) living matrix that resists oxidation for decades - or in some cases millenia. Once the oil is extracted into a liquid - polyunsaturated oils oxidize very rapidly. Either avoid them bottled, or make sure they have vit E added to retard oxidation. Monounsaturated oils like sesame and olive last longer, and saturated oils last the longest. (Lard for the over-wintering win!)
Milk presents special problems. Homogenized milk increases the surface area ratio of the butterfat droplets - greatly increasing the rate of oxidation. Avoid homogenized milk. Furthermore, lactose is unstable, splitting into glucose + galactose over time (days). The galactose is unstable when not paired with glucose, and spontaneously decays into degalactose - which is actively toxic to your arteries. This has been duplicated in a mouse model - which is how the biochemistry was worked out, and is why drinking (grocery store) milk regularly doubles the risk of heart disease compared to those who don't.
On the other hand, lactic acid is quite stable. Hence fermented milk products where most of the lactose has been digested do not have this problem. The studies mentioned above also followed yogurt, buttermilk, and kefir - drinking those actually reduce risk of heart disease.
Back to "living foods" - drink your milk fresh from the goat (or cow) - or else get it fermented ("living" in another way). Avoid homogenization.
@CustomDesigned thanks! food being "live" is quite important if you live fridgelessly. If you put it in the ground, does it start growing again? potatoes are great at this - and will keep for months as long as they are dry. Their stategy is to wait hoard a stockpile of energy so they can survive the bad times, and when times are good again, go for it! start growing! beans are the same. A cabbage can also keep for months if you don't cut it - just break of the outside leaf one at a time. So put these things in the cuppboard and they'll just hold tight and wait... and then you eat them! (they didn't think of that!)
Apples have a very different strategy - provide a sweet bundle of energy to entice some animal to come and eat the fruit, then wonder off and poop it out - not only spreading the seed, but providing it with a neutrient rich fertilizer! Fruit doesn't really benefit from being stored however, because it wants to be planted at the best time for growing.
If you have a fruit tree or living plants, you also don't need to refrigerate if you are content to eat the food as it becomes available. The growing season here is all year and many plants produce fruit continuously or they have a randomly offset cycle like avocados (which produce 1/4 of the year). If you have enough confused seasonal plants with different offsets, you can obtain food year-round.
Marvellous, thanks for the answers on living foods folks; I'm pleased to realise I 80% follow these principles already. I did not know about the homogenisation of milk and the problems it causes. I'm in the process of switching to almond/soy milk so this may be moot, although those foods probably bring their own problems....
I make kefir from organic but store-bought homogenized milk. If you were me, would you switch to non-homogenized store-bought milk, or to raw milk, for making kefir?
I am a mass of conflicting concerns, perhaps not the best to ask for a decision. Ideally, you want pasteurized, but not homogenized, and not more than a day or two old milk. But that raises an interesting question: if you culture grocery milk with decayed lactose, are the microbes able to digest the degalactose and render it harmless to humans? "All" we need to test it is a cheap and rapid test for degalactose…
All things considered, I would go for non-homogenized store milk (hoping the kefir bugs do digest the degalactose), followed by homogenized low-fat store milk (reducing the oxidized buttermilk). I currently buy grocery kefir, which is typically made from pasteurized low-fat milk. I tell myself they get the milk fresher as a whole sale buyer.
@CustomDesigned Thanks for your thoughts! Making kefir at home is a daily fun family activity but now that you’ve pointed it out, I can see the potential advantages to buying it from a scaled-up production. Buying low-fat milk is a great idea to avoid the oxidized stuff—we get plenty of fat elsewhere so skipping it in the kefir shouldn’t be a problem. I would love to get started in the home chemistry world to explore the properties of the kefir and kimchi and whatnot that we make, so I’ll stay on the lookout for a degalactose assay kit.