Food Has the Power to Nourish…

Food has the power to nourish us as well as kill us. Ask anyone with food allergies – particularly anaphylactic (life-threatening) ones – and they can tell you they really understand the phrase “That which nourishes me, destroys me” (loose translation from the latin, “Quod me nutrit, me destruit”). We understand this very well as we both have food allergies, as do other family & friends. There are also food-affected conditions such as Type I and Type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and others that can be life-threatening.

In some cases, there are elements or enzymes in the food that can also cause harm over time. Gluten is fast-becoming one of those items people are no longer able to eat and we try to create our items so they have no or low gluten. We do not have anything in the trailer that may have any kind of nut content or possible contamination. This includes our personal snacks we may have.

For those that have lactose or calcium-related food issues, we do use butter in the gravy or sauces. Many lactose-intolerant folks, will just avoid dairy altogether or consume sparingly and infrequently. The same goes with folks susceptible to calcium-based conditions such as the development of kidney stones. But… did you know there is another element that can create kidney stones? It’s called oxalate.

“Oxalates are naturally-occurring substances found in a wide variety of foods and they play a supportive role in the metabolism of many plants and animals and in our human metabolism as well.” -via World’s Healthiest Foods You know what rates high in oxalate? Potatoes. Among other foods. But wait! There’s more.

Background: Over 25 years ago and for a period of about 10 years, I (the missus at T’s) was passing kidney stones about every nine to 10 months. I was tested and discovered the culprit was oxalate. The urologist said to stay away from cranberries & its’ juice. There was no mention of other foods to avoid. Within a year, no more kidney stones!

As life carries on and years go by, our routines are ingrained with our lives and usually don’t pay much attention until we’re given a reason to. We moved here to revitalize T’s Chips …and more and here’s where life (and irony) pop up. Remember I mentioned potatoes are high in oxalate? You also know what our main product is. Yup. Fries. Go ahead and laugh about this. I have.

In October 2016, I went through about two weeks of passing kidney stones. Of course I went to see my doctor, had some tests done was handed yet another diagnosis – lupus. Unknowingly, I’ve lived with lupus for the past 30 years of my life and it can be hard on the kidneys making a person more susceptible to kidney stones.

You know what I’m supposed to eat as part of a balanced diet to help manage the lupus symptoms? Potatoes and spinach are high on the list of nutrient-rich foods  to help keep me healthy and any lupus-related symptoms at bay. Spinach actually tops the list of oxalate-rich foods at 656 mg per 1 cup raw (or 755 mg per 1/2 cup cooked) serving. One medium potato with the skin has about 97 mg. I happen to like both very much.

As a rule I tend to live by “everything in moderation” as well as “eat well, live well”. For the most part, it’s worked out for me. I went off the higher oxalate-based foods for several months and am slowly and sparingly, re-introducing them back into my diet because I need them. I’m just going to be paying much closer attention to what – or more accurately – how much of those foods I’m “nourishing” myself with.

The long and short of all of this is, we can (and often do) take for granted that what we eat is good for us, when it actually might do harm. It is yet another reason why we craft our menu items so carefully.

Eat well. Live well.

Oxalate resource & information can be found here.