Thursday, January 26, 2012

Would you use more spices if you knew how healthy they were?

In 2007, The New York Times magazine section featured an article by Michael Pollan, entitled Unhappy Meals.  It was a game changer for me. 

I was particularly blown away by this list of the antioxidants that are found in garden-variety thyme -- 4-Terpineol, alanine, anethole, apigenin, ascorbic acid, beta carotene, caffeic acid, camphene, carvacrol, chlorogenic acid, chrysoeriol, eriodictyol, eugenol, ferulic acid, gallic acid, gamma-terpinene isochlorogenic acid, isoeugenol, isothymonin, kaempferol, labiatic acid, lauric acid, linalyl acetate, luteolin, methionine, myrcene, myristic acid, naringenin, oleanolic acid, p-coumoric acid, p-hydroxy-benzoic acid, palmitic acid, rosmarinic acid, selenium, tannin, thymol, tryptophan, ursolic acid, vanillic acid.  One can only imagine that there is a similar list for every herb and spice nature produces. (Pollan, 2007)

I decided to go all in and eliminate processed foods from my diet and began cooking from scratch, often using fresh herbs and spices in my vegetable sauces.  But even if you don’t want to go to that extreme, you can still sprinkle some oregano and garlic on a slice of pizza and be healthier.

McCormick the spice and seasonings category leader thinks you should do just that.  And after 123 years of focusing on the ability of spices to add flavor (yes, they do that too) they are now pointing out a myriad of ways you can use spices to up the health factor of whatever foods you currently eat.  (Schultz, 2012)

That sure sounds like a successful strategy to me.  What do you think?  Will you add some pepper to your scrambled eggs?

Pollan, M. (2007, January 28).  Unhappy Meals.  New York Times.  Section 6, Column 1, Magazine, Page 38
Schultz, E.J. (2012, January 22).  Spice Maker McCormick Sprinkles Health Messages Into Marketing.  Retrieved January 25, 2012, from

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