Last night I mowed down some seriously tasty Korean fried chicken.
I love spicy food and I can almost never say no to that super hot gochujang chili. I crushed plate after plate of sweet and sour hot wings, but it wasn’t until my bowels were heaving this morning that I stopped to think about what I actually put into my body.
Yes. It’s true. I’m ashamed to admit that I did indeed do the dirty with my arch nemeses: Soy and Sesame Seed Oils.
Then again, almost nothing fried is prepared in anything else.
By some measures, it has been estimated that refined vegetable oils extracted with hexane (a chemical solvent similar to benzene) contain approximately 0.8 milligrams of residual hexane per kilogram of oil (0.8 ppm).
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather that number be 0.
When I was living in Central Europe, I rarely cooked for myself at home. A meal out most nights was very affordable: a bowl of goulash and pilsner cost less than a bottle of water. A side of fried cheese for an extra 20 koruna? Fill me up!
Supermarket food was definitely cheaper over there, but it wasn’t anywhere close in terms of the quality of local meat and fresh produce that I was used to growing up in the temperate Gary Oak meadow valleys of British Columbia, Canada.
While hormone-laden meats and hexane-soaked seed oils are commonplace in North America, the continent is not a monolith, and there are still perks to living on an island in an untamed wilderness on the edge of the world.
I suppose nowadays, however, few places are truly spared the tyranny of mass agricultural policy.
Even a city like Prague, the heart of traditional Bohemian culture, is slowly but surely becoming engulfed by the unimpeded dominance of the global food cabal.
All that being said, there are still pockets of purity dotting the world where the food is whole, fresh and unprocessed.
And small little villages by the sea that produce them.
It’s times like these—when my stomach is churning—that I’m thankful for my Croatian culture, of which healthy food plays a very big part, and that I am reminded there are better things to put in my body.
Next time I’m tempted, I’ll cook myself a ribeye steak instead, or a skinless slow roasted chicken breast drenched in the rich, savory flavor of my family’s finest extra virgin olive oil.