Pasta & Grains

Are you big on carbs? It's the bottom of the food pyramid; there's plenty to be had. Find and rate your preferred types of pasta, breads, rice, and more. Pop quiz: name the difference between fusilli, stelle, and manicotti (look under pasta varities for answer).

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329 days ago

Review Icon Robert57 reviewed rice in Grains:
American rice has a high level of arsenic. go91912.pdf 319827.htm

Unbelievably, there are no government standards for arsenic in food. There are for water, but not food.

Arsenic comes from two sources:

1. Cotton. Arsenic was used to kill boll weevils until the 1980s. Rice grown in former cotton fields gets arsenic from the soil. Most American rice comes from such fields in AR, MS, LA, and TX. Rice from CA is low in arsenic.

2. Chickens and pigs are fed arsenic to make them gain weight faster. It shows up in their meat and fertilizer made from their manure. Rice is sometimes fertilized with chicken poop, especially in AR, the leading producer of both rice and chickens. Thus, vegetarians are at risk from the evils of meat producers.

The solution is to use basmati rice from India or jasmine rice from Thailand, which do not have a lot of arsenic. Besides, they taste better. I eat basmati rice four times a week. Tilda brand is overpriced because Americans are unfamiliar with other brands. Dozens of brands are as good, including Royal and Indian Star. I recommend the $15 Rival rice cooker sold at Wal-Mart. Japanese cookers with fuzzy logic selling for over $100 are a waste of money.

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329 days ago

Review Icon Robert57 reviewed corn in Grains:
Grains are grass seed. Corn, wheat, rice, barley, sorghum, millet, oats, triticale, and rye are in the grass family, whose scientific name is Poaceae. The only exceptions are pseudocereals buckwheat and quinoa.

Corn is produced in the greatest quantity, followed by rice and wheat. A good explanation of why is in Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, this decade's most important book about food production. The basic reason is corn is the raw material used to produce beef, chicken, pork, and even fish.

The corn you eat as a table vegetable, on or off the cob, is called "sweet corn." It is not included in agricultural statistics on corn. It is a specialty crop that makes up well under 1 percent of corn grown. Corn grown across the Midwest is called "field corn" or simply "corn." Humans cannot digest field corn (unless it is processed with lye, turning it into hominy). It was historically grown to be cattle food. We now use 40 percent of it to make fuel, primarily ethanol.

Corn is linked to petroleum in two ways. On the front end, petroleum provides irrigation water, fertilizer, and herbicides. On the back end, the price of petroleum determines the value of fuel. Ethanol becomes worth more when the price of gasoline goes up, causing farmers to plant more corn and less food crops. Thus, the price of petroleum indirectly affects the price of all meat and vegetables.

Americans spend only 9 percent of their income on food. That's less than citizens of any other country, and less than half what we spent 50 years ago. We spend the savings on cell phones and cable TV. In order to make that possible, the US government subsidizes the price of petroleum, thus food, through military operations paid for with debt. You can afford a cell phone now because your grandchildren will pay for your food some time in the future.

Our agriculture is becoming monocultural. Not only is corn the raw material for meat and fuel, we also use it to make sugar (high-fructose corn syrup), cooking oil, plastics, fabrics, and half those food additives with chemical names. A 2012 Midwestern drought caused the price of corn to go from its normal $4 a bushel to $8. The effect will be higher prices on half the things in your supermarket and fast food outlets. Prices will not go back down when corn returns to $4, thanks to the ratchet effect. Surplus money will go to the top 1 percent.

Contributing to the increase in corn price is the expiration of federal subsidies on 9/30/2012. Corn farmers had been getting $6 billion per year. They want it back. Perhaps they hope to get it by shocking consumers with higher prices.

Nearly all above-ground crops produce the same 2,000 pound yield per acre. Apples and zucchini, cotton, kumquats, lettuce, and wheat all yield 2,000 pounds per acre. Corn is the exception. It yields 160 56-pound bushels for 8.400 pounds per acre. Some Iowa farms get 300 bushels. When the price of corn is high, as it is now, a farmer can gross $1200-1500 per acre growing corn versus $500 for most crops. When the price of corn is normal, the farmer gets a normal $500. When the price is low, he needs welfare from Washington.

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332 days ago

Review Icon abichara reviewed wheat in Grains:
Foods, including grains like wheat have been completely altered by agribusiness interests over the past 50 years.

"This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there’s a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It’s not gluten. I’m not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I’m talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year."


They're not talking about genetically engineered foods, which are (rightfully) drawing criticism in their own right. The modern type of wheat being discussed were created by crude methods which predate genetic engineering. The roots of most modern chronic disorders (heart disease, diabetes, cancers, etc.) can be traced back to our diets, which are based on complex sugars and processed carbohydrates.

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443 days ago

Penne is long and thick , takes more time to cook. My kids don't like them because taste bulky. I don't mind though. I love all pasta.

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443 days ago

I like angel hair, very thin and smooth to eat. Easy and faster to cook too.

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486 days ago

Review Icon MooMooCathy reviewed rice in Grains:
I love rice. White rice, not brown rice. I was raised eating rice with everything rice goes with and it's great. Rice is a wonderful and healthy grainy starch. It's actually very simply and easy and quick to make but so many people don't know how to cook it nice and fluffy. I can eat it alone or in so many other ways: eggs, chicken, beef, veggies, in a burrito, with beans, chinese style, cuban style, with seafood, rice pudding (naw, I don't like this). So these are a few ways, oh and rice cake.

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490 days ago

Review Icon MooMooCathy reviewed gnocchi in Pastas:
I think I tried them one time and I did like them but I'm not to sure cause I don't remember well.

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659 days ago

This brand makes incredibly good pasta. I don't know why it tastes different but it's even better than DeCecco which was my old favorite. In particular this Bucatini is the only pasta I use (and I buy it in bullk) for Bucatini All'Matriciana which is a dish that I have just started to study. Put it this way, I have never been able to make my boyfriend moan like this while eating my food. And it's not just him. I once had 8 people at my little table, moaning. Silence, swallows of wine, and moaning. They were all chowing down. I was a star. And it's because of the pasta itself. It has a great texture and taste.

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714 days ago

This is my favorite brand for pasta. Before I thought that all brands are just the same but when I've tried Barilla Plus Pasta it makes all the difference.

Joan @ Fast Income Plan

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825 days ago

This is a very healthy Food

All my Family members like it very much

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