Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rancid Onion and Garlic Powder!

One of my faithful readers submitted a question in response to my awesome ranch dressing recipe post and I thought it such a good question/comment that I would write a whole post in reply. Here is both her question and my answer.

I know you have said in the past that the number one thing you try to avoid is
rancid oils. Dehydrated &/or powdered onion and garlic are full of rancid
oils. It is what makes the garlic so extra offensive once eaten, as compared to
eating the fresh. In fact we can tell by smell if a recipe has used fresh garlic
or the powdered, the powdered garlic has a 'brass doorknob' smell and taste.
Have you made this with fresh ingredients and if so, how was the flavor, and
what adjustments might be needed??Blessings,Mrs. Evelyn Mae R

Excellent question Evelyn Mae. I have not used fresh garlic or onions in this recipe yet but it might be a good idea to try them and see how it works. Perhaps I'll try it in my next batch and let you know.

However, if your onion and garlic powders are raw (naturally dehydrated properly under 115 degrees) and not cooked (irradiated) and are fresh, (grown, dehydrated and packaged recently) they should not be rancid.

I'll bet that most grocery store brands of herbs and spices are not fresh at all, perhaps months or years old, nor truly raw (as in not heated over 115 Degrees) Once the product is cooked or as in most cases irradiated, they are susceptible to turning rancid.

On the other hand, while I do avoid most heated oils, if at all possible, the amount that you use in most dressings is so small compared to the amount that many consume everyday in deep fried foods at home and in restaurants. The biggest culprits need to be addressed first and then work on down to the smaller problem foods. (unless you are already there, of course! Then keep working on the little things)

If you have been able to hone that skill of determining the "brass doorknob" smell or what I call the "sharp oil smell" then you are far better off by being able to discern dangerous foods before you eat them. Many cannot or do not even suspect rancid oils as one of the most damaging disease causes in our modern world.

I get my herbs and spices mostly from Azure Standard where not only the turn over is high but they carry mostly organic, non irradiated, and sealed for freshness herbs and spices from reputable companies.

I might add that the bulk food section of my grocery store is one section that I will NOT buy almost anything as I suspect that new product is poured into half empty bins and who knows how long the old stuff ends up being there? Not to mention that all the foods are constantly being exposed to the air oxidizing most seeds like sesame and sunflower. I do not buy these foods at all from anywhere that does not refrigerate their whole bulk section. I think that bulk foods offered in open bins might be the biggest ridiculous invention that has hit the stores in the last 20- 30 years. I would far rather buy something in sealed in plastic than open in a bin. Besides, who knows who has sneezed in it anyway? (No, I'm not generally paranoid of germs but that is just plain gross!)

Does anyone else have any concerns over the bulk food system of purchasing food stuffs? OR about the rancidity of spices in particular?

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily


Milehimama said...

I have a question about raw food.

We have a hurricane headed our way, and I kept that in mind yesterday when I was shopping. I thought about how I would not be able to cook, if the power/gas were to go out, and then thought, "I really should get a raw cookbook."

For a raw food newbie, what does raw food emergency storage/preparedness look like? I'm talking about in an average suburban home (no springhouse to keep things cool, no root cellar for the veggies, etc.)

What are two or three basic, raw recipes that might come in handy, in the event of an emergency?

I plan on posting on hurricane prep on my blog, and would be happy to link!

Anonymous said...

One concern I have had in purchasing from the bulk bins is the 'reach in and grab' I see some people doing. Instead of using the scoop, they use their hands, ugh! As one who has personally seen many, many people leave the restroom without washing their hands, I would not want to touch ANYTHING they have had their hands on... There has also been the times I have had to let 'them' know someone had contaminated a particular bin with something from a different bin. But everything is exposed to the air.

I do know at WinCo Foods they do not pour the new in on top of the old, they change it all out when it is empty. And they do have a high turnover on their bulk food items.
~Evelyn Mae