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Forum Home - Go Back > General > Native Life > Recipes USDA recognizes native foods on nutritional database USDA recognizes native foods on nutritional database

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Old 01-13-2014, 05:30 PM   #1
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USDA recognizes native foods on nutritional database

Wow, there's a whole category for Native foods on the USDA nutritional database...mostly Native Alaskan, some Navajo, other SW, a couple ShoBan, some Apache, Hopi and even Klamath.

Foods List
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:12 PM   #2
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Wow, chokecherries are way more energy dense that most berries or other member of genus prunus. Like a factor of two more calories, than the nearest common fruit or berry. (Almonds don't count; you're eating the seed, which is always high energy.)

I wonder if they processed their sample in a food mill and got some pits in the pulp....
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:49 PM   #3
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Well, it says they're pitted, and I can't image the USDA grinding them.

I think I'll stick to huckleberries or raspberries while I'm dieting. Or SALMONBERRIES if anybody could send me some!!! *on knees begging*
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:37 PM   #4
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Raw Owl
35059 Owl, horned, flesh, raw (Alaska Native)
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyo_rose View Post
Well, it says they're pitted, and I can't image the USDA grinding them.
Sorry, I was thinking about how this types of tests are done. IIRC, the measurement of the energy content of food is done by bomb calorimetry.

To do this, a known mass of sample is dried and placed with a known mass of fuse wire in a sealed steel vessel - a bomb. The bomb is pressurized with oxygen and then immersed in a bath with a known mass of water. The fuse wire is used to set the sample burning and the temperature change in the water is observed. The amount of heat evolved by the burning of the food and fuse wire can be determined from the temperature change of the known mass of water. With a little correction for the mass of the fuse wire burned, you can determine the calories in the food.


I've never prepped a food sample fro this type of calorimetry. And I am sure there are volumes written on exactly how you do this. But, if I were guessing, I'd imagine there was a food mill involved in some stage of the prep. (Pitting those little beasties is a pain, my grandma used a food mill on elderberries, which being a prunus species have the same toxic pit issues. It took most of the seeds out unbroken, but a few got crushed into the mix.)


This is making me think of something funny -- in a nerdy way. When I was teaching, we had a calorimetry lab. We put a 100g of water in clean soda can, stuck in a thermometer, and burned peanuts underneath. That semester I had 4 lab sections of freshman chem. I was really sick of burning peanuts by the third time. So, I decided to let them try some other foods, with the caveat that it had to be dry and fairly greasy, since we used no oxidizer.

A couple of my thursday lab students ran out and raided the snack machine. One girl got corn chips. About twenty minutes into the lab an amazingly foul stench starts drifting across the room, from where this girl is working. I look over.

She was supposed weigh out a mass equal to the three peanuts that everyone else was using, about 1 chip. Instead, she has put about a third of a bag on the wire gauze and lit it. There is a roaring blaze under her can of water. Flaming oil is dripping out of the chips on to the bench. There is a small but growing puddle of burning oil under the ring stand. And her lab partner is positively green.

I run over with some baking soda to extinguish the oil. The lab partner looks a me and mumbles, "I ate the rest of the bag." Then she ran out of the room. I didn't see her until lab was over.
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Last edited by OLChemist; 01-14-2014 at 05:57 PM.. Reason: Yeah, that was good English speeching here.
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:39 PM   #6
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That IS funny! Yep, some people shouldn't be in a chemistry lab! Including my whole 8th grade class! We did something stupid with chemicals we knew nothing about...except that they always caused a reaction. Cleared the whole jr high!

Anyway, I can't imagine them pitting the chokecherries and ending up with much besides the skin. It seems the bulk of the fruit clings to the chokecherry. I wonder if the skins are more calorie dense than the pulp.

I'm not convinced about the whole calorie thing anyway, except when things are actually burned. The digestive process still needs some study, as far I'm concerned. They say 3500 extra calories consumed would equal a pound of body fat. I don't buy it. I think it very much depends on whether it's carbohydrate, fat or protein..but I will refrain from getting on my low carb soapbox, until I can actually put my money where my mouth is.

I wonder about all the nutrient testing in general. I'm a label reader and can't believe the variation in labels from the same type of foods. And the leeway that the gov't gives food producers regarding labeling is ridiculous. So the labels should be taken with a grain of salt. No calories or zero carbs is not always accurate.

I'm rambling!! What was the topic??? Raw OWL?? INTERESTING!! But something I would NEVER try...along with 50 % of the list of Alaskan Native foods.
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Last edited by wyo_rose; 01-14-2014 at 03:51 PM.. Reason: Changed the %...after reading the list :tongue: A lot of that sounds yummy!
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:19 PM   #7
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Anyway, I can't imagine them pitting the chokecherries and ending up with much besides the skin. It seems the bulk of the fruit clings to the chokecherry. I wonder if the skins are more calorie dense than the pulp.
This is precisely why I wonder about pit kernels getting in. The meaty part inside seeds is concentrated energy to support the seedling before it gets above ground to synthesize its own sugars.

I wouldn't expect the skins to add much. Fruit skins are layers of thick walled cells. Plant cell walls are usually cellulose and hemicellulose. Humans lack significant levels of cellulases. Which -- to be blunt -- means, they are largely indigestible and go through us.

Moisture content could be another factor. One hundred grams of plum vs 100g of chokecherry could have vastly different water levels. Juicy isn't a word I'd use to describe chokecherries.


Have you ever noticed we seem to get around to discussing chokecherries on a regular basis? Maybe I just need to get some....
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:17 AM   #8
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Well, it says they're pitted, and I can't image the USDA grinding them.

I think I'll stick to huckleberries or raspberries while I'm dieting. Or SALMONBERRIES if anybody could send me some!!! *on knees begging*
Message me with your contact info and let's chat about this. I live on the Kitsap Peninsula and have salmonberries growing on this land. I can probably pick some and send them, but am not aware of how to send fresh ones without them squishing. To keep them from going bad, it would almost certainly need to be overnight shipping, and I can't cover it. But if you want dried ones, I will see if I can dry some for you the next time they're in season. That would be much easier to ship and have them arrive in good condition. I might still need to ask you to cover shipping.

That is, if they come in at all. It has been around 50 degrees here recently and even the invader blackberries are already in bud. I am more than a little concerned for the native plants, which I love. I need to check my salal bushes today.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:30 AM   #9
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I didn't want to know how many carbs are in frybread, so why did I look? :-(

Well, it's not like I fix it that often, just once in a while when we need a treat or Indian Tacos.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:27 AM   #10
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That is a lot of list. thanks anyway

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Old 02-25-2014, 11:50 AM   #11
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Message me with your contact info and let's chat about this. I live on the Kitsap Peninsula and have salmonberries growing on this land. I can probably pick some and send them, but am not aware of how to send fresh ones without them squishing. To keep them from going bad, it would almost certainly need to be overnight shipping, and I can't cover it. But if you want dried ones, I will see if I can dry some for you the next time they're in season. That would be much easier to ship and have them arrive in good condition. I might still need to ask you to cover shipping.

That is, if they come in at all. It has been around 50 degrees here recently and even the invader blackberries are already in bud. I am more than a little concerned for the native plants, which I love. I need to check my salal bushes today.
Oh mi gosh!! I didn't even know salmon berries grew in Washington! And what a kind offer. And I didn't know they were good dried.

So...I hope they do come in! Berries do need the right conditions - sometimes our chokecherries don't even come in.

I could definite send you a insulated container and maybe a cold pack and cover the overnight shipping! It would be so cool to show my grandchildren real salmonberries. Folks around here think I'm weird cuz I have a poster of salmonberries.
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