Are those drugs in your food?

By Scott Anderson

By now, the food industry has us all used to probiotics, which is a better word than bacteria, because who wants to eat bacteria?  Fair enough, they have to sell us something novel now that fibre has fallen out of favour.  Bacteria has always been in yogurt, but call it probiotics and you can charge a premium. (Personally, I’m waiting  for  the day when fat really comes back into vogue – I can’t wait to see how they’ll sell us on lard or butter.) Heck, some yogurts even have two different kinds of probiotics (do bacteria fight?) and at least one yogurt-type product  for kids has something called prebiotics, whatever they are (baby bacteria, perhaps?).

But the kicker with this latest food fad is in the semantics. Now, we’re being advised to make sure we take our daily serving (dose?) of probiotics. This blurs the edges between food and drugs a little too much. We eat food, we take drugs. Let’s leave something sacred.

Here’s a quick sauce you can make next time you take a crab cake. It also works with lamb and even duck. Make it with thicker yogurt (real yogurt) and it’s a quick dip for vegetables:

Mix equal half a cup each of yogurt and sour cream with a tablespoon or so of hot lime pickle (you can make lime pickle, but it takes weeks and  the process looks a little dangerous, or, like me, you can buy a good quality one available at any store that sells Indian ingredients), salt and pepper to taste. You can mix in a bit of mayonnaise if you want to make it richer.

And, don’t forget to take your brocolli.

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