Friday, November 30, 2007

Can one eat TOO healthy?

... YES... dying from Luau Leaf poisoning... help!

could have just had the spinach, but NOOOOOO had to go for some local fancy greens.
Just sitting here after eating a yummy but painful breakfast of eggs, bacon and a large side of something called Luau Leaves that looks like large lilly pads and is supposed to be Hawaii's closest version of spinach.
We bought spinach, we bought romaine and we bought luau... we went for the luau of course! All of you would have too.We were told at the store not to eat them raw... steamed or sauteed.
So I figured they were like swiss chard and have some sort of acid that can interfere with iron absorption if eaten raw... but I should have used my spidey senses, b/c why would this nice Waikiki grocery man care about my iron intake really. But he cares NOT TO POISON tourists... or at least do what he can do avoid us poisoning ourselves.
My throat has almost stopped burning, so I think I will live.
Before kalo can be eaten, all parts of the plant must be cooked, in order to break down the needle-like calcium oxalate crystals present in the leaves, stem and corm. These could be extremely irritating to the throat and mouth lining, causing an acrid burning and stinging sensation. Lu`au is the name of the edible taro leaf, from the word lau, leaf. The lu`au leaf is another kinolau of Lono. Lu`au supplies high amounts of vitamins A, B and C, as well as calcium, iron, phosphorus, thiamine and riboflavin. The cooked corm and poi have fewer vitamins, but are an excellent carbohydrate source and have the ability to balance the pH factor in the body, as they are an alkali producing food.
We did everything we were supposed to and told to (maybe we were being punished for cooking them in left over bacon fat?!). But further research reveals that the stem and vein must be removed.
I took off stems but not veins.So the burning is due to the highly acidic factor.Homeopathic uses are to induce vomitting... nice.
So lesson to you all:
1) Research your native grocery picks well before eating them unless you want to think you are dying.
2) When in doubt, go for the spinach.
3) YES, I guess it is possible to eat too healthy. ;-)
The good news is, it IS very good for me and I am not dying. Pain almost gone that was in my throat, inner cheeks and tonge.

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