George Rucker's Exquisite Newsletter for July 11, 2017

Well met once again,

Is the American Heart Association Misleading the Public About Coconut Oil?

Their position statement on saturated fat has drawn the ire of people partial to coconut oil, but counter arguments accusing the AHA of cherry-picking data misrepresent the very science they claim to be defending.

On 15 June 2017, the American Heart Association released a “presidential position statement” published in the journal Circulation which, in part, said:

    This American Heart Association presidential advisory on dietary fats and [cardiovascular disease, CVD] reviews and discusses the scientific evidence, including the most recent studies, on the effects of dietary saturated fat intake and its replacement by other types of fats and carbohydrates on CVD.

    In summary, randomized controlled trials that lowered intake of dietary saturated fat and replaced it with polyunsaturated vegetable oil reduced CVD by ˜30%, similar to the reduction achieved by statin treatment.

Because coconut oil contains more saturated fat relative to other cooking oils, people personally or financially invested in those products seem to have taken this statement as a slight, going aggressively on the defensive. One response to the report that has frequently graced our inbox (and which has been reproduced on countless other websites) comes from a website named Sustainable Dish, which argued that the nonprofit American Heart Association cannot be trusted because of its ties to corporate America.

The American Heart Association Argument

The Sustainable Dish post presents the argument as a choice between a large body of independent research that does not demonstrate a connection between saturated fat and heart disease on one side, and four cherrypicked studies on the other. This false dichotomy deliberately omits, essentially, the meat of the scientific debate over saturated fat research in the first place. The debate is over what kind of study can be used to address that question.

Broadly speaking, meta-reviews like the one conducted by the AHA have demonstrated clinical trials in which saturated fat is replaced with another, unsaturated fat, show a reduced risk of heart disease, while studies that replace saturated fat with something else, like carbs, do not. The AHA argues that studies in which fats are replaced with non-fats or which were not rigorously controlled, are a poor experimental design to test the question of whether or not reducing saturated fat reduces risk of heart disease:

Want more? Read the article


Roughly 24 years ago Patty and I went on our Honeymoon.  We had no planning but our intention was to take at least one swim in all of our Great Lakes.  With no direction we decided to go where our whim took us.  One of our stops was on the island that happens to have the largest wooden structure hotel on the continent of North America, 393 rooms.  The name of this island is Mackinac.  The only vehicles allowed are police and fire, everyone travels by horse, bike or foot.  The hotel is called “Grand Hotel” and was featured in the movie we both like called “Somewhere in Time.”  If you have not seen it you should as it is a great movie.  I went into my library and found the 1980 movie on DVD, so just ask if you want to view it. The point I am trying to make is the rooms were expensive 24 years ago, as they were just under $190.00 per night. We did however go into the hotel bar for a drink.  The average cost today is around $800.00 with the highest cost is at $2415.00.  We could not afford the room then and certainly not now either.  The Grand Hotel they say will ignite your passion for life. This resort is romantic, magical, timeless and unforgettable; for that kind of money it must be better than Disneyland.  With multiple packages, it’s possible to create a dream vacation that will eternally linger in your thoughts. Grand Hotel was voted by Travel+Leisure Family magazine’s best resorts for families and kids. I must add they also make great use of adjectives.

The island does have other hotels and Bed and Breakfasts, ranging in costs from $99 to $1500.  However during the month of August the cheapest is around $250/night.  My guess is the $99 must be during the month of December.



This week’s invention is in the public health area and professionals consider pasteurization to be one of the most effective food safety inventions ever.


Wine and beer drinkers need to be thanked for making our milk supply safe!  If that sounds counterintuitive, then consider the story of Louis Pasteur and the development of pasteurization, or what the FDA defines as “a process that kills harmful bacteria by heating [the substance] to a specific temperature for a period of time.”

Louis Pasteur’s work in germ theory led to the invention of pasteurization.  Pasteur, a chemist and microbiologist in France, discovered that bacteria came from the environment.  While working to help the French wine industry in the 1850s, he proved that bacteria were responsible for souring wine and beer.  After several experiments, he realized that harmful bacteria could be removed by boiling and then cooling the liquids.  He later applied that concept to dairy products, and today milk is the main recipient of the process he named “pasteurization.”

Routine pasteurization of milk to reduce bacterial contamination and illness began in the United States in the 1920s.  The milk is heated just long enough to destroy germs but not the important nutrients.  Before pasteurization, untold numbers of people died from ingesting milk that was more than a few hours old.  Pasteurization and refrigeration greatly extended the products shelf life.  Some critics believe that Pasteur created an obsession with eliminating bacteria, even though 90 percent of the human body contains trillions of bacteria.  But especially on today’s large-scale dairy farms, pasteurization ensures food safety.

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized. While proponents have stated that there are benefits to its consumption, the medical community has warned of the dangers. Availability and regulation of raw milk vary from region to region.

In the United States, unpasteurized milk is illegal in many states.  In Massachusetts raw milk may only be sold from farms only and not in stores.  The milk from these farms must meet the following bacterial limits.   < 20K/ml, Coliform < 10/ml. 330 MA ADC 27.06. Containers must be conspicuously labeled as raw and carry required warning text. Containers must be sold within 5 days of filling. Sign must be posted conspicuously in raw milk sale area. 330 MA ADC 27.08


I could not disprove this next email... here it goes

 So Important!! Please read , heed and pass it on

      A friend of ours became very sick after drinking water left in a car overnight and she was ill for a couple of months.

      No matter how many times you get this E-mail, please send it on!

      Bottled water in your car is very dangerous!

       On the Ellen show, Sheryl Crow said that this is what caused her breast cancer. It has been identified as the most common cause of the high levels of dioxin in breast cancer tissue..

       Sheryl Crow's oncologist told her: women should not drink bottled water that has been left in a car. The heat reacts with the
chemicals in the plastic of the bottle which releases dioxin into the water. Dioxin is a toxin increasingly found in breast cancer tissue.

       So please be careful and do not drink bottled water that has been left in a car.

       Pass this on to all the women in your life. This information is the kind we need to know that just might save us!

       Use a stainless steel canteen or a glass bottle instead of plastic!


      This information is also being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center ...
      No plastic containers in microwaves.
      No plastic water bottles in freezers.
      No plastic wrap in microwaves.

      Dioxin chemical causes cancer, especially breast cancer.

      Dioxins are highly poisonous to cells in our bodies.

      Don't freeze plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic.

      Recently the Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard.

      He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating food in the microwave using plastic

      This especially applies to foods that contain fat.

      He said that the combination of fat, high heat and plastic releases dioxin into the food.

      Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food... You get the same result, but without
the dioxin..

      So, such things as TV dinners, instant soups, etc., should be removed from their containers and heated in something else.

      Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper. It's safer to use tempered glass, such as Pyrex, etc.

      He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the styrene foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons....

      Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Cling film, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave.
      As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food..

      Cover food with a paper towel instead.

      This is an article that should be sent to anyone important in your life.


There are times when you hear something that goes contrary to your own belief.  Yet has reasoning behind the subject that makes you want to at least check it out.

The basic statement is, “Broccoli starts to lose it’s value when picked and to get the most nutrition you must eat it right away as it has a quick downhill slide in food value.”

Growing up on a farm with a large garden, a smidgen over two acres of vegetables and about 40 or so acres of tobacco.  The remaining 16 acres was for the house, barn, and other animals like cows, horses, chickens, etc.  My grandmother usually picked anything she would cook for supper in the morning so I agree and believe much of the statement. Her broccoli would be picked 6 to 8 hours prior to cooking.

I go to the market pretty much every other day so I think most of what I eat is pretty fresh but I have no idea when it was picked.  I can usually tell by how fresh it looks however I would say it probably has been at least a week.  Both farmers and grocery markets know the best packaging and temperature to utilize during this process of shipment, until presentation.  You can usually tell if a store does not follow the current protocol as the food looks terrible.  I put some roadside stands in this category.

My grandmother, along with canning would also freeze things.  She would not can broccoli, however she would blanch and freeze it for use in the winter.

I will see what is written about Broccoli and its nutritional facts and or health benefits.

My source is

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, known scientifically as Brassica oleracea.

It is related to cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

These vegetables are known for their beneficial health effects, and are sometimes referred to as the “super veggies.”

Broccoli is high in many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and potassium. Broccoli also contains more protein than most other vegetables.

Broccoli can be enjoyed both raw and cooked, but recent research shows that gentle steaming provides the most health benefits.

That statement shows me that the steaming will breakdown some of the cell structure and make it a little more nutritional, probably due to easier digestibility.  It also says at least to me that when raw and fresh there will be less nutritional value then when at least steamed.  My grandmother did not cook it until soft but still had some crunch.   I giver her an A+.

Raw broccoli contains almost 90% water, 7% carbs and 3% protein, and almost no fat.

Broccoli is very low in calories, providing only 31 calories per cup.

The carbohydrates in broccoli mainly consist of fiber and sugars.  The sugars are fructose, glucose and sucrose, with small amounts of lactose and maltose.  .

However, the total carbohydrate content is very low, with only 3.5 grams of digestible carbohydrate per cup.

Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet.  It can promote gut health, help prevent various disease, and is linked to reduced body weigh.  1 cup of raw broccoli (91 g) provides 2.3 grams of fiber, which is about 5-10% of the recommended daily intake.

    Bottom line: Broccoli is low in digestible carbs, but provides a decent amount of fiber. Fiber promotes gut health and may reduce the risk of various diseases.

There is really a lot of information but I do not believe that all the goodness is lost just a short while after harvesting.

I will include one Broccoli recipe. . . I will not include any of the soups, of which there are many.  I will mention that my grandmother would use small match size pieces of the stalk in her omelets, she also did this with the center core of cabbages.

This looks like a recipe Patty and I would like.


 Lemon Poppyseed Broccoli Salad



    4 heads fresh broccoli ~4 & ½ - 5 cups
    3/4 cup dried cranberries
    ½ cup sliced almonds
    ½ cup toasted and salted sunflower seeds
    1 package (8 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese


    1 cup full-fat mayo
    1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    2-4 tablespoons sugar depending on sweetness preference
    1 large lemon
    ½ tablespoon poppyseeds


    Remove the stems from the broccoli and cut into very small pieces. IF you want to blanch the broccoli follow the next few steps. If you're short on time or don't mind raw broccoli you can skip blanching.

    Fill up a bowl with very cold water and a few cupfuls of ice. Bring a pot of water to boiling point. Add in a heaping tablespoon of salt.
    Pour the broccoli into the boiling water and count to 30. As soon as you get to 30 drain the broccoli and pour the broccoli into your prepared ice/water bath.
    Allow the broccoli to sit in the cold water until completely cooled. Then remove with a slotted spoon to a salad spinner or bowl.

    Make sure the broccoli is 100% dried before tossing it with anything else (especially the dressing). I like to use a salad spinner and then let it sit out for a while. If it's any bit wet, it becomes too watery.

    Add the cranberries, almonds (toast if desired), sunflower seeds, and sharp cheddar cheese (that has been cut into very small cubes) to the bowl with the broccoli.

    In a bowl, whisk together the mayo, red wine vinegar, sugar, zest of one lemon, and about 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

    Add some salt and pepper, taste, and add more sugar (1-2 more tablespoons) or lemon to personal preference (not too much lemon or the dressing becomes too watery)

    Whisk in the poppyseeds.

    Toss the dressing with the salad and place in the fridge to marinate for 15-30 minutes.

    Toss again and enjoy!


From The Outrageous Funny Story Files...
Funny Story About Women ~ Modern Barbie Dolls

Princess Barbie
This princess Barbie is sold only at Saks. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade Handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign dog named Honey and a cookie-cutter house. Available with or without tummy tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with the augmented version. Princess Barbie is easily exchanged, and occasionally mistaken for Yuppie Barbie.

Girls Who Lunch Barbie
The modern day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar minivan and matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation. Traffic jamming cell phone sold separately.

Yuppi Barbie
This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won't be able to afford any of them.

Redneck Barbie
This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR t-shirt and tweety bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has a six-pack of Bud light and a Hank Williams Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's butt when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.

Green Earth Barbie
This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, arch-less feet, hairy armpits, no makeup and Birkenstocks , or combat boots with white socks. She prefers that you call her Willow. She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Green Earth Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow flag bumper sticker for free.

Dropout Barbie
This Barbie now comes with a stroller and infant doll. Optional accessories include a GED and bus pass. Gangsta Ken and his 1979 Caddy were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the infant.

Trailer Trash Barbie
This tobacco-chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased beer-gut Ken out of Trailer Trash Barbie's house. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, and a skimpy halter-top. Also available with a mobile home.


It has been a while since I looked in on Mr. Money Mustache . . .   (For the complete article visit his site.)

Latest post: Great News:  There’s Another Recession Coming

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the US economy in recent years, you might notice that things are looking pretty darned rosy. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 40 years, wages are rising, and house prices have not only recovered from their fiery crash of 2009 – they have had several years of record…

In short, today’s situation is very similar to what Mr. Money Mustache, despite no magical forecasting skill, forecast back in 2013, in an article called “How to Prosper in an Economic Boom“. In that post, I suggested that we were in for some very good years, which made it a good time for getting ahead – make hay while the sun shines!

It’s a lot easier to fix your problems right now, with a stiff economic tailwind at your back, than it will be in just a couple of short years (or less?) when the high seas and lighting bolts and whirlpools are ripping at your pockets. Fair weather preparations include:

*   Rake in your big paycheck while it lasts and don’t blow it on temporary luxuries
*   Keep your living footprint efficient – in expensive cities this is a great time to rent, and not a great time to spring for the sprawling home of your dreams on a big mortgage.
*   Eliminate any last shreds of consumer and student loan debt
*   With the stock market at higher price-to-earnings ratio than usual, there is less harm in paying off your mortgage earlier, keeping six months of living expenses in cash or money market funds, and other non-stock investments like rental properties in low-cost cities (where reliable rent is over 1% of total property price per month).
*   Design your career and your self-employment side gigs so that they are resilient: multiple streams of income from different sources, and an easy answer for “What would I do if my job or industry ceased to exist?”


George             See some of you at exercise later this morning.  Enjoy the day.

For a copy in your in box, put letter in the subject line and email

Older copies are at the bottom of with the usual witty additions of Walter, my Korean War Veteran friend.