Living Preservative Free
Developments in food technology have come a long way, significantly contributing to the food supply…and consequently changing our world.
Food technology can extend the shelf life of any food, allowing today’s food chain to get longer and longer.
We can all agree, the longer the shelf life, the more convenient life becomes. Obviously, if items have a long shelf life, there is no need to go to the grocery store every few days. Wow! Who wouldn’t appreciate that? Food technology knows how valuable our time is; it’s continuously working on ways to extend shelf life.
This morning I grabbed a yogurt from my refrigerator. The expiration date on the container got me thinking: Four weeks? Really? Unless this is heavily loaded with preservatives that my body doesn’t like, this yogurt died a long time ago. A few hours later, I needed a lemon. As I pulled one from the refrigerator, it hit me again. Where did this lemon come from? It’s the end of October. I doubt it was picked recently. It was probably back in the summer when it started its journey to my kitchen. I wonder how long it has been stored under refrigeration? I guess the chemicals did their job keeping it shiny and fresh looking. Am I going to put this hazard in my mouth? I don’t think so.
It appears to me that even fresh food is no longer fresh, would you agree? Otherwise, how come preservative free, fresh coconut milk will last a few weeks? If it was truly fresh, it would expire after 48-72 hours, but this isn’t enough time to deliver the product from the manufacturing site to the store. The food chain needs time, and time can be bought only with a long shelf life. If I were to buy fresh coconut milk, it would probably need to be delivered to the store via same-day air. With the cost involved, I probably wouldn’t be able to afford it.
So here’s what I do—in thirty minutes’ time, I make fresh coconut milk at home. I place 1 cup of shredded coconut in a blender and add ¾ cup of boiled water, and then let it run on high speed for two and half minutes. I then set a strainer in a bowl and line the strainer with cheesecloth. I pour the coconut mixture into the lined strainer and let it cool down for about 10 minutes.
Now comes the messy part. I twist the cheesecloth and squeeze it, almost as if I’m milking it, allowing the coconut milk to drain into the bowl.
I carefully open the cheesecloth and put the coconut back in the blender. I add another ¾ cup boiled water and repeat the steps above. Only then do I throw away the cheesecloth and coconut. What’s left in the bowl is my preservative-free and fresh coconut milk that will last in the refrigerator for 48 hours.
What do I use this coconut milk for? Everything. Shakes, Thai food recipes, coffee, etc.
I believe that a society that strives for lean greens, healthy, whole, and clean food, and of course a holistic future; it’s society’s responsibility to ask whether food technology brings us quality or just convenience.
It’s time to live longer and healthier lives!