Wednesday, October 26, 2016


It helps to realize how much the food and agricultural industry has dictated nutritional information in this country and around the world. I know, for I grew up in that dairy country, Holland, and while I was raised vegetarian, my parents were deeply convinced that dairy, including milk, eggs, cheese and yoghurt was actually healthy for you. Not until a few years ago did I discover that the complete vegan diet is simply the way to go, healthy, delicious and nutritious.

What also helps is to remember how skewed our information stream has really become, for the recent obsession with deaths from opioid addiction and heroin overdoses puts this in perspective:

  • 78 deaths a day from heroin overdoses is a national health crisis, and we send in the marines,
  • 1671 deaths a day from cardiovascular illness is business as usual, and the USDA blithely continues to recommend animal proteins and dairy, even in its latest version of "MyPlate." 
An objective reader might conclude that cardiovascular disease should be the bigger priority, and the government should stop promoting more of it, i.e. animal protein, fats and dairy. Sugar, white flour and whipped cream are a more dangerous addiction than opioids. Time to tune in to Dr. Neil Barnard, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, and others who are focused on the right priorities.

Meanwhile, John Oliver recently put the whole mess with opioid addictions in perspective beautifully: 

Meaning again that iatrogenic disease, disease caused by doctors and the side effects of medicine continue to be a serious issue. A recent piece on Nutrition Facts makes the same point all over again: Medical Care: The Third Leading Cause of Death.

Taking responsibility for your own health and nutrition is really up to you, and it pays to do your own research and to scrutinize the validity of the government's assertions. The USDA is in the business of supporting the food industry, and the health and well-being of consumers is an after thought. What PCRM is doing is of critical importance, and we all need to pay attention and come to our own conclusions.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Starling Avenue Food Shopping Triangle

There are areas in the Bronx where the selection of fruits and vegetables leaves something to be desired, but Starling Avenue is the exception that perhaps proves the rule. Indeed in our own district there is a dearth of good grocery shopping in many areas, especially also since the Key Foods at the Bruckner Plaza shut its doors last August, and we understand it won't be till next August before there's a new store coming in, I believe a Shoprite. Be that as it may, in the interim it may be worthwhile from people in nearby areas to shop on Starling avenue, we have such a selection of stores, it is almost unbelievable. It is a real shoppers paradise, especially if fresh produce is your thing.

The anchor stores of the Starling Avenue Food Shopping Triangle are:

  1. Chang-Li Supermarket on 2079 Benedict Avenue, corner Unionport Road.
  2. Key Foods on 1535 Unionport Road
  3. Pioneer Supermarket at 1345 Castle Hill Avenue

Chang-Li Supermarket
Key Foods on Unionport

Pioneer at 1345 Castle Hill

Two outliers are:

  • World of Spice, for West-Indian specialties, on Westchester Avenue, right by the Castle Hill Elevated subway station.
  • Lady Afrique International Market on Castle Hill, across from Pioneer, for West African (principally Ghanaian) staples and specialties.
World of Spice

Lady Afrique International Market

The main event, the Bangladeshi markets on Starling Avenue

Some are purely Bangladeshi, some have West-Indian as well as West-African specialties and a few have some more Indian and Pakistani ingredients as well, so if ethnic cuisine is your thing, here is where the action is.
  1. Bangla Town Supermarket, at 2161 Starling Avenue
  2. Halal Meat & Grocery at 2148 Starling Avenue
  3. Poshora at 2142-2144 Starling Avenue
  4. Al Aqsa Halal Meat & Supermarket at 2109 Starling Avenue
  5. Premium Halal Meat & Fish at 1500 Olmstead Avenue, corner Starling Avenue - 24 hours
  6. Friends Grocery & Halal Meat - 24 Hours
  7. Neerob Bazaar at 2085 Starling Avenue, developing an interesting selection...

Bangla Town

Halal Meat & Grocery

Poshora Market


Premium Halal Meat & Fish
Friends Grocery

Neerob Bazaar
So, there you have it, be my guest. You will find most all the ingredients I ever use in this neighborhood, and I seldom have to go far, and sometimes I turn the stove off in the middle of cooking if I find out I forgot something or ran out of something... it's just too easy to do!

Happy shopping!