Thursday, September 21, 2017

Earthquake, Hurricanes,Library, Arsenic.

I don't know how, but I totally missed the news about the earthquake in Mexico on Tuesday. It seems like it was a pretty big one. At least 200 people killed. Exactly on the anniversary of the really bad 1985 earthquake I am told. Several schools collapsed which means that some of the children were also killed. The epicentre was some distance from Mexico City but a friend tells me it was still pretty bad there too. This year is going to be remembered for its disasters I think. Puerto Rico is suffering another hurricane at the moment - Maria - then there is another one on the way, Otis. Not sure what happened  to the N hurricane maybe it was a flash in the pan. Neither Jose nor Maria look set to hit the mainland but the devastation on the islands is terrible. I have said it before, but I am so sorry for the islanders because there is nowhere to run to.

I have discovered something recently. If I order a book from my library and there is a large print version, I order that one because they come through much more quickly.

A friend got me worrying this morning because she told me there is arsenic in rice. I googled, she is
right, but then I went further and it turns out that there is arsenic in a lot of the food we eat. For instance the dish I am making for supper includes several items with arsenic.  Water and rice being part of it. Then I thought, I am pushing 80 and Matt is over 80 if we are poisoning ourselves, we've been doing it for a very long time without any adverse effects so I figured I would carry on as usual and stop worrying about it. For you Brussels Sprouts haters, they are quite high in arsenic so you can make that your excuse for not eating them. I will continue to do so however. After all, think of the countries like China where rice is their staple diet and many folk are lucky if they get anything to add to it. By the way, brown rice (which is supposed to be so healthy) has more arsenic than white because the husks are removed. I learned is school that once upon a time rich Chinese were getting rickets because they were eating the white polished rice whereas the poor who couldn't afford anything but brown rice were safe from that illness.

Mongolian Beef

Forget the fast food--this take on Mongolian Beef delivers all the flavor without the insane sodium and fat levels. This vibrant, Asian-inspired dish brings just the right amount of spice to the plate. But to make it a bit more kid-friendly and eliminate the heat altogether, just leave out the chile paste. Serve this bold beef favorite over wide rice noodles to catch all the garlic- and ginger-laced sauce. To
add a little more green to the plate, add a side of steamed or roasted broccoli.

2 Tbs lower-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp dry sherry
2 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp peanut oil
1 Tbs minced peeled fresh ginger
1 Tbs minced fresh garlic
1 lb sirloin steak, thinly sliced across the grain
16 medium green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces

1. Combine first 8 ingredients, stirring until smooth.

2. Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced ginger, minced garlic, and beef; sauté for 2 minutes or until beef is browned. Add green onion pieces; sauté 30 seconds. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly.

Servings: 4


Have a great day


  1. Hi Jo - so many challenging natural things occurring - I feel for the hurricane and the earthquake residents. Food - we live that's the main thing .. cheers Hilary

    1. You are right Hilary. We are pretty lucky in this part of Canada although I have experienced tremors here. Mind you I didn't know the UK had earthquakes until I moved here. You should Google the arsenic story Hilary, it's interesting.

  2. Thanks for the recipe. I was going to make beef and snow peas this week, but now I might try your recipe. As for food, everything in moderation unless it's chocolate.

    1. You can always eat the snow peas on the side Denise, I often cook them in stock as a side dish. As for chocolate, from what I read, it wouldn't surprise me if that had arsenic in it.

  3. Terrible what the earthquake has done.
    Some things you don't worry about. Think you and Matt will be all right with rice.

    1. It surely is Alex.

      Not a lot of point worrying now, but being careful is probably a good idea.

  4. The world seems to be in s terrible state of upheaval, doesn't. So many people with shattered lives or worse. It's heart-breaking.

    1. Shattered lives so right Helen. Not much one can do about natural disasters.

  5. My dad was a chemist and he always reminded me that water is dangerous. Researchers dumped twenty gallon on a mouse and it died. So, it's not the arsenic that will have me avoiding those green buggers- it's their taste.

    I keep hearing the 1940's coming up when records are mentioned for hurricanes, etc. But I've not looked it up. If it's true that that decade had a lot of disasters, with the world war, it must have felt like life was on the brink.

    1. You can always drown in water and that ain't anything to do with arsenic Liz. You gotta come visit and I will convert you.

      I will have to check to see how that was too.

  6. I feel so bad for the people on the islands. They are devastated by the hurricanes and Mexico City being hit is just another disaster that saddens me. I really feel bad for the people. I don't care about the arsenic....with everything in food, I'm surprised we have not grown a 3rd eye and all be dead by 35.

    1. Me too Birgit. The islanders just don't have anywhere to run. And quakes are worse 'cos you don't know they are coming.

      I have a third eye, didn't you know?

  7. Well it is mostly organic arsenic so that is a plus. I know apples took a hit, but since apples also help with reducing chances of stroke, I think I will stick with them.

    I hate all the disasters we are having int he world, such a loss of life is always a horrible thing.

    1. True Brandon but I don't think that lessens the impact, from what I read. I don't eat apples anyway, so no problem there.

      I know and it's not just North America. Look at those poor people in India and Pakistan.