Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Junk Food binge

My greenhouse is full of junk food, sugar ladened and delicious. Pretty hot on fructose too. These are gustatory recreation, not food. Going to live dangerously for a few weeks!

The weeds below are growing in an untended border outside my son's nursery. The unripe fruits are as big as they are going to get, though they too will go red and delicous in a week or so. They appear to be food, certainly better than starvation if hunting is bad. How long would it take to gather enough to keep yourself out of ketosis for a day?

I don't think many hunter gatherers had greenhouses or ate strawberries!



Anna said...

Your strawberries look lovely! I'll bet they are great in tandem with a nice coating of heavy cream, one of my son's favorite DIY desserts/snacks combos.

LeenaS said...

I would not be so sure, peter, if one only thinks in terms of the berry size and quantity :)

My mother and her sisters told about their wild stawberry picking trips as kids. They could pick pick buckets of those yearly (to be stored for winter), from the hills and meadows in central Finland - in thirties or so.

I have not seen so fruitful strawberry fields (my day record lies in a litre or so, as a kid). But even I am able to pick other wild tiny norhtern berries (blueberries, cloudberries and such) more than 10..20 litres a day. And I am a lousy and unused picker.

However, in order to survive on berries, one needs about 13 litres (around 3 gallons?) a day. And the season is very short. So, there were absolutely no way for hunter-gatherer to collect enough berries for sole winter food. Yet even harder problem would have been in storing them. There's now way to store tons of berries reliably, i.e. bear- and bacteria-safe.

But bears gain a bit of their hibernation fat with the help of berries. Lax and game are better for the spring pick-up and the summer conditioning. Yet berries enable efficiently fat accumulation in the fall - which is needed before the big sleep. Nature's pretty fantastic at times.

Peter said...

Hi Leenas,

Hmmm, so the logic is to store short season carbs as adipose tissue... I can see the sense to that. And the problems from a 12 month per year pre picked ad lib supply!


Anna, need the cream!

Anonymous said...

Strawberries are very low in sugar, compared to most fruits. When fiber is subtracted, they're only like 5% sugars by weight. You would have to eat about 8kg to get 2000 Calories. Watermelon has more carbs by weight than strawberries (almost 7%). They really aren't a high sugar fruit. A banana has over 4x more sugars than strawberries by weight.

LeenaS said...

5% is close to what our national nutritional database gives for wild berries (and yes, they are included, since quite a large amount of wild berries are indeed utilised still).

Wild blueberry (and cloudberry) 6.5% carbs
wild rasberry 4.1% carbs
wild cranberry 3.5% carbs
wild arctic bramble 7.8% carbs
And yes, they all (including the strawberry for which even I do not have wild values) taste quie a bit different from their cultivated stuff :)

And, when picked, 1 litre equals to 700g.
So, our calculations come out pretty much the same.