The Billings Outpost

Where candidates stand on 2 business issues

Brad Molnar

Recently Billings was treated to a debate between the two men running for the lone Montana U.S. House of Representatives seat. Ryan Zinke (R) and John Lewis (D) spent the evening making sure a 30-second commercial could not be the focus of anything they might say. Too late, ad men from D.C. had the ads in the can before the debate was even announced. Accuracy and clarity are not their hallmarks.

To make matters worse the people asking the questions did not know enough to ask good follow up questions. For example, both candidates support the building of the XL pipeline to obtain American energy independence.

A great follow-up question would have been, “Sirs, North American oil from Canada and the Bakken will be delivered to refineries in Port Arthur, Texas, owned by the Royal Saudi and Royal Dutch families. They will turn the crude oil into diesel fuel to be delivered to South and Central American countries. How does that reduce our dependence on the world energy market?”

But alas, the response from both, “I will put America first,” went unchallenged.      

All six candidates for the two federal open seats were invited to address a germane question each week. On week one, four of the candidates determined not to answer because  A) The question was too difficult  B) It was their bowling night C) It is none of your business what or if they think D) Their handlers will not let them answer questions embarrassing to their donors E) All of the above.

All answers that were received are printed here with  minor edits for clarity.

Question one

Canada has implemented cost containment of prescription drugs while guaranteeing reasonable profits to the pharmaceuticals through a process much like what our Public Service Commission does for energy costs. Canadian citizens have safe pharmaceuticals and enjoy triple digit savings compared to what American citizens have to pay. It would appear that implementing the Canadian system would save taxpayers massive amounts in the Medicaid and Medicare systems as well as personal/family health care costs. Would you favor implementing a cost containment system for prescription drugs in the United States or would you not favor such a system. Please explain.

SENATE CANDIDATES

Amanda Curtis (D): “As Senator, I will fight directing the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers to reduce the costs seniors pay for prescriptions. Pharmaceutical corporations should not be making billions off of our seniors. That’s why I support the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act.”

HOUSE CANDIDATES

Mike Fellows (L): “We will continue to have high cost drugs in the United States, because we are in a sense subsidizing the rest of the world. Having a Public Service-type Commission determining how much drug will cost won’t work.

“With the FDA process, getting a new drug on the market can take anywhere from 10 to 12 years, at a cost of over 800 million dollars.  Drug patients only last for 18 years, before we see those generic drugs on the market produced by the competition.  Streamlining the process will help. We could also legalize obtaining drugs across the border in Canada.”

Question two

American citizens and institutions seem to be under constant cyber attack. The attacks of last Christmas season on Target stores claimed billions of dollars and volumes of personal information sold on the black market. It was reported that the attacks came from criminal organizations in the Ukraine and Russia.

The recent attacks against JP Morgan are also thought to come from Russian criminals and, according to Reuters and the New York Daily News, in collaboration with the Russian government (in retaliation for U.S. sanctions imposed for Russian involvement in the Ukrainian civil war).   

If proof is found implicating foreign government involvement in cyber attacks on U.S. citizens and financial institutions, or proof is found implicating foreign criminal elements but extradition is not forth coming, what should the response of the U.S. government be?

SENATE CANDIDATES

Roger Roots (L): “Call me skeptical of claims that the federal government needs more power to protect Americans from ‘cyber attacks.’ The CIA and the defense establishment have been pushing this line for years. Newt Gingrich and Richard Clark (among many others) have even falsely claimed that the power grid can be shut down or that nuclear plants can be hacked by cyber terrorists. Of course such systems are off-line and not connected to the internet. It is propaganda aimed at controlling and censoring the internet.”

Steve Daines (R): Montanans have seen firsthand how many federal websites, such as the Obamacare website Healthcare.gov, often make it too easy for hackers to obtain Personal Identifiable Information. That’s why I’ve fought to secure increased accountability on all federal websites and introduced legislation to address the serious security risks that exist specifically with Healthcare.gov.

“As a member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and as someone with more than a decade of high-tech experience, I know the risks of foreign cyber-attacks firsthand. Cyber breaches pose serious threats, and those responsible must be held accountable. I’m committed to finding solutions that protect Montanans’ civil liberties and privacy.”

HOUSE CANDIDATES

Mike Fellows (L): “Companies need better security to stop these attacks on our information. U.S. sanctions on Russia don’t work and diplomatic solutions aren’t working either. Better investment in the educational development of computer security systems will help to stop these attacks. If our U.S. foreign policies are being used to foster these attacks, then we should be looking at policy as well.”

Ryan Zinke (R): “We live in an era of modern warfare, the likes of which has never been seen before. There are few aspects of our lives that are untouched by technology. We depend on the internet to conduct businesses, power our electrical grid, and even maintain our economy. Should our energy grid or other technological infrastructure components be attacked, it poses a major threat to the security of the United States.

“Should evidence of cyber attacks be uncovered, the response of the U.S. government should be to take a firm approach with the perpetrators of cyber attacks, while also focusing on developing cyber counterattack measures and aggressively pursuing offensive techniques to address cyber security threats. However, while pursuing these methods, there needs to be oversight and accountability that protect and promote information security for individuals.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 October 2014 12:54

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NILE gets under way Tuesday at MetraPark

A cattle drive and parade kick off the Northern International Livestock Exposition at 2 p.m. Saturday. The cattle drive, which goes from downtown to MetraPark, encompasses 75 head of cattle, a trail boss, outriders, chuckwagon and bunk wagon followed by a motor-less parade.

NILE itself begins on Tuesday, Oct. 14. Among the highlights:

Lou Taubert Cattle Drive

A part of the NILE’s mission is to respect our western traditions and heritage. The idea of a western parade and cattle drive was born from the desire to share with our modern culture our agricultural roots. The event will encompass a cattle drive assembled by the Yellowstone County Museum, which will also serve as the grand marshal.

The proposed route will go west down First Avenue North and back on Second Avenue North, then continue out to MetraPark.

Ranch rodeo

Elite ranch rodeos from across the region sanction with the NILE. All rodeos are guaranteed a spot for one team to compete in the NILE Ranch Rodeo Finals (with the exception of the Wyoming State Fair Ranch Rodeo Finals that will fill two teams slots).

Again this year, the NILE has sanctioned with the WRCA, which will allow the first place team to compete in the Ranch Rodeo World Finals in Amarillo, Texas.

This year’s NILE Ranch Rodeo Finals will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Rimrock Auto Arena.

Cat-Griz Shoot Out

Date: Oct 16

Time: 07:30 p.m.

Location: Rimrock Auto Arena

The biggest sports rivalry in the state of Montana will take on the toughest bulls and broncs at this year’s NILE ProRodeo Cat/Griz Rodeo Shoot Out.  In a unique competitive style, the rodeo teams from each school will draft Pro-Rodeo Contestants to compete for their school earning points throughout the night. 

Up for grabs will be prize money offered by the NILE garnered from $1 of every paid ticket.  After the dust settles the winning school will receives 60 percent of the prize money while the other school will receive 40 percent.

The money will be awarded to each college in the form of Scholarships to be given to collegiate rodeo athletes. 

Western Expo

Date: Oct 14-18

Time: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

These vendors showcase authentic western art or jewelry, saddles, tack, and western wear as well as livestock equipment, feed and supplements, and cattle genetic based companies.

Don’t forget that it’s the only place to get NILE merchandise. It all unfolds at MetraPark in Billings.

In 2013, The NILE Stock Show and Rodeo saw:

• Over 1,000 head of livestock on the grounds.

• Total five-day attendance: 40,000 people.

• Visitors were from 38 states, and 85 percent were from Montana.

• Visitors came from several  Canadian Provinces and other countries.

Horse Extravaganza

Date: Oct 17-18

Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Ford Super Duty Arena (Montana Pavilion)

The 2014 Horse Extravaganza is a two-day horse showcase Spectators will have the opportunity to view a wide range of equine demonstrations, Stallion Row and peruse the equine based trade show booths and exhibits.

Those include:

• NILE Raffle Filly

• Stallion Row- a breed showcase of horses

•The Newest in Equine Equipment and Tack

• Horse-shoeing Demonstrations 

If it’s related to horses, the Horse Haven trade show should have it.

For information, contact Traci at 651-0440 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 October 2014 10:57

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Big game hunting prospects strong

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here are hunting outlook reports for antelope, elk and deer in this section of Montana. The reports are from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Antelope

Things are looking up for Montana antelope with populations continuing to recover from previous years’ winter mortality and reduced recruitment in central and Eastern Montana.

This year, there are even a few more special licenses available reflecting that reduced but improving status. 

Successful antelope license applicants may recognize increased fawn production in many areas as populations respond to generally favorable weather and habitat conditions in 2014.

Montana’s antelope archery season will close Oct. 10 and the general rifle season for antelope will run Oct. 11-Nov. 9.

For more information on antelope hunting in Montana, visit FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov, click “Hunting” then click Hunting Guide.

Antelope numbers throughout south central Montana are stable to increasing from the past couple of years.  Fawn production increased dramatically in the spring of 2014 and should result in hunters seeing more antelope than last year. In areas impacted by bluetongue in 2008, population numbers remain below average, but are increasing. 

Elk

With elk populations continuing to be strong across most of Montana these are good times for elk hunters.

In some areas of Western Montana, where populations have declined, wildlife biologists have recently observed increased recruitment of calves.

In many hunting districts, however, because access to private lands can be difficult, which can affect hunting success given landownership patterns and distribution of elk.    

Montana’s general, five-week long, elk hunting season opens Oct. 25.

Even if you didn’t draw a special permit this year, remember Montana offers numerous opportunities to hunt for elk with just a general hunting license.

Elk numbers along the Beartooth Face and in the Crazy Mountains, Big Snowy Mountains, Bull Mountains and southeastern Belt Mountains are at all-time highs, though most are restricted to private land where access is difficult. Harvest will likely be slightly higher than last year.

Deer

Mule deer numbers have experienced recent declines in many areas of Montana but should be improving with favorable weather and habitat conditions in 2014. 

Recent seasonal insect-related disease outbreaks have reduced white-tailed deer populations in parts of eastern, central and west-central Montana.  Other areas have stable populations with favorable weather and habitat conditions in 2014 enhancing recruitment levels across the state. 

Bottom line, deer hunters in Montana will find improving populations but a mix of hunting opportunities when the general season opens Oct. 25.

Mule deer numbers throughout south central Montana are stable or up slightly from last year, though they remain 30 to 40 percent below the long-term average. Harvest likely will be similar to last year.

White-tailed deer numbers are quite low at lower elevations and north of the Yellowstone River, at least partially because of last summer’s outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, commonly known as EHD. Numbers closer to the mountains, where the bugs that spread the disease are not present, remain reasonably strong.

 Whitetail buck harvest opportunities likely will be similar to last year, while antlerless harvest will decline due to significant reductions in B-tag numbers.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 September 2014 10:51

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Observe safety rules

The 1,200 volunteers who teach Hunter Education remind all hunters there are four basic rules of gun safety.

1. Always point the muzzle of your gun in a safe direction.

2. Always treat every gun as if it were loaded.

3. Always be sure of your target and beyond.

4. Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.

      Hunting is a safe activity. It is up to each hunter to make responsible decisions to keep it that way.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 September 2014 10:50

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Be aware of wild bears

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee recommends the use of bear spray and urges hunters to learn other bear-aware safety measures.

Hunters in bear country need to:

• Carry bear spray and know how to use it.

• Hunt with a partner, leave detailed plans with someone and check-in periodically.

• Pay attention to fresh bear sign. Look for bear tracks, scat, and concentrations of natural foods.

• Use caution when hunting areas that have evidence of bear activity or areas with scavenging birds such as magpies, ravens, or crows.

      Most grizzly bears will leave an area if they sense human presence. Hunters who observe a grizzly bear or suspect a bear is nearby should leave the area. If you do encounter a grizzly, stay calm, don’t run, and assess the situation by trying to determine if the bear is actually aware of you. Is it, for instance, threatening or fleeing? Always keep the bear in sight as you back away, and leave the area.

  Here are some guidelines for using bear spray:

When to use bear spray

• Bear spray should be used as a deterrent only in an aggressive or attacking confrontation with a bear.

How to use bear spray

• Each person should carry a can of bear spray.

• If a bear is moving toward you from a distance of 30-60 feet direct the spray downward toward the front of the bear with a slight side to side motion so that the bear spray billows up and creates a wide cloud that acts as a barrier between you and the bear.

• If the bear is within 30 feet spray continuously at the front of the bear until it breaks off its charge.

• Spray additional bursts if the bear continues toward you. Sometimes just the noise of the spray and the appearance of the spray cloud is enough to deter a bear from continuing its charge.

• Spray additional bursts if the bear makes additional charges.

• A full canister of bear spray is essential for bear encounters.

• The expiration date on the spray should be checked annually.

Selecting a bear spray

Purchase products that are clearly labeled “for deterring attacks by bears,” and that are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency.

      No deterrent is 100 percent effective, but compared to all others, including firearms, bear spray has demonstrated success in a variety of situations in fending off threatening and attacking bears and preventing injury to the person and animal involved.

      For more on living with bears and being bear aware, see the FWP home page at fwp.mt.gov; then click Be Bear Aware.

      For information, go to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee website.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 September 2014 10:49

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Outdoors in brief

Block management enrollees

For the 2014 hunting season, about 1,230 landowners have enrolled about 7.4 million acres in Montana’s Block Management Program.

      The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks program provides hunters with public hunting access to private land, and isolated public land, free of charge, while assisting landowners in managing hunting activities.

      Information about specific Block Management Area opportunities is available at all FWP offices and on the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov.

       Hunting Guides and most BMA maps also will be available on the FWP website. Click “Block Management.”

      Again this year, FWP will publish one statewide Block Management Hunting Access Guide that will list information for all seven FWP administrative regions.

      While many BMAs do not require reservations, some do. Hunters can use the Hunting Access Guides to determine how permission is obtained for individual BMAs. While some BMA reservations may be made this season beginning Aug. 22, others won’t open reservation lists until later in this fall.

Ask before you hunt

Montana’s millions of acres of private land offer some good hunting opportunities—the only catch is gaining the landowner’s permission to hunt.

It is Montana law that hunters obtain landowner permission to hunt on all private land.

Here are a few things to keep in mind that will greatly improve results when attempting to secure hunting access to private land.

• Show courtesy to the landowner and make hunting arrangements by calling or visiting at times convenient to the landowner.

• Plan ahead and secure permission well in advance of the actual hunting date.

• Provide complete information about yourself and your hunting companions, including vehicle descriptions and license numbers.

• Explain what type of hunting you wish to do, and be sure to ask any questions which can help clarify the conditions of access.

• Follow the landowner’s instructions, and bring with you only the companions for whom you obtained landowner permission.

• Be sure to thank the landowner after your hunt.

Hunters and landowners can learn more by investing some time on Montana’s Hunter-Landowner Stewardship Project, an information program for anyone interested in promoting responsible hunter behavior and good hunter and landowner relationships in Montana.

 Visit FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov, then click the “For Hunters” tab.

      For more information on hunting access in Montana, check out the “Hunter Access” pages on FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov.

Game bird forecast

 Here’s a rundown on the current status of Montana’s top upland game birds.

Gray (Hungarian) Partridge: While no formal surveys are conducted for huns in Montana, various observations along with weather and habitat conditions suggest huns will be average to below average again this season. Observations in Regions 4, 6, and 7 suggest average numbers. Observations from Region 5 suggest numbers will be below average and lower than last year.

Mountain Grouse: Observations in western Montana suggest average to slightly above average numbers of all species.  Preliminary information from Region 5 suggests overall blue grouse and ruffed grouse numbers will likely remain below the long term average.

Pheasants: Montana is experiencing a large decline in CRP acreage along the northern tier of the state, which may have an impact on hunting experiences in Regions 4 and 6. In this area, spring “crow counts”— where wildlife biologists travel specific routes to count and record the “crowing calls” of cock pheasants to determine population trends—were 42 percent above the long term average. Region 7 reported that populations will vary between fair to near the long-term average in good habitat.  In northwestern Montana, weather in Region 1 resulted in below average numbers on the Ninepipe Wildlife Management Area. Region 3 reported average numbers for southwestern Montana. In Region 5, pheasant crow counts varied but were below the long-term average. Overall, Region 5 expects the 2014 season will be similar to last year’s season. 

Sharp-tailed grouse: Region 6 reported fair to average numbers in good habitat. Lek surveys and other observations in Region 6 indicate sharp-tail numbers will be near the long term average across the region. General observations from Region 5 suggest below average numbers. Region 7 reported that sharp-tail populations will be near the long-term average where habitat conditions are good.

Chukar: Region 5 reports that chukar numbers remain below average but may have some potential for improvement this year.

Special youth season

Montana’s young hunters are the focus of a special weekend youth waterfowl and pheasant hunting season Sept. 27–28. Legally licensed hunters age 12 through 15 will be able to hunt ducks, mergansers, geese, coots and ring-necked pheasants statewide on these two days.

In addition, youngsters 11 years of age who will reach age 12 by Jan. 16, 2015 may participate in this hunt with the proper licenses. A non-hunting adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the young hunters in the field.

 The bag limit, shooting hours, hunter safety requirements and all other regulations of the regular pheasant and waterfowl seasons apply.

      There is an exception to the youth waterfowl season at the Canyon Ferry WMA near Helena—shooting hours will extend from one-half hour before sunrise to noon Sept. 27 and 28.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 September 2014 10:47

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Local veteran wins award for service to disabled vets

COLD SPRING, Ky. –  Ernest L. Flynn of Billings and Frederica Haymaker of Los Angeles, were selected by Disabled American Veterans to receive the 2014 George H. Seal Memorial Trophy for extraordinary volunteerism.

The awards were presented by DAV National Commander Joseph Johnston at the organization’s 93rd National Convention Aug. 10-13 in Las Vegas.

“This year’s Seal award recipients are dedicated volunteers,” said Commander Johnston. “They represent the finest DAV has to offer in serving veterans.

“Volunteerism is one of the most important components of our mission and serves injured and ill veterans and their families,” said Johnston. “And DAV has more volunteers than any other veterans service organization.  From our hospital volunteers to our Transportation Network drivers, to our Local Veterans Assistance Program; we reach out to deliver assistance to the veterans who need us.”

The prestigious awards honor the best of thousands of remarkable volunteers who serve in the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service Program. The awards are conferred in memory of George H. Seal, who was DAV’s Director of Membership and Voluntary Services and the leading organizer and administrator of DAV volunteer programs.

“Our 2014 Seal Trophy winners show what volunteers can mean to our veterans,” said Johnston. They are there to honor the promises made to the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our freedom.”

DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity.  It is dedicated to a single purpose; fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served.

 DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life.  DAV, a non-profit organization with 1.2 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932.  Learn more at www.dav.org

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2014 15:15

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St. V pastoral education receives accreditation

St. Vincent Healthcare has announced that its Clinical Pastoral Education Program has received accreditation by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education Inc. of Decatur, Ga., as a Satellite Program Center.

SV CPE is a satellite of Tri-Cities Chaplaincy in Richland, Wash. The program supervisor of SV CPE is the Rev. Wes McIntyre of Tri-Cities Chaplaincy. The Rev. Terry Hollister is coordinator of ministry formation and CPE at St. Vincent Healthcare.  

SV CPE was granted provisional accreditation in December 2013 and offered its first unit of CPE from February through June 2014. In late April, 2014 the Rev. Beverly Hartz, Accreditation Committee chairwoman, made a site visit to evaluate the program’s compliance with ACPE Accreditation Standards. Based on her findings and upon her recommendation, the ACPE Accreditation Commission took action to approve SV CPE as an accredited Satellite Program Center at its May meeting.  

SV CPE plans to continue offering CPE units in future. An extended unit will be held from October 2014 through May 2015. Eight students will be participating in that unit.

Two of those students will make use of videoconferencing technology as they participate remotely from the two other SCL Heath affiliate hospitals in Montana; Holy Rosary Healthcare, Miles City and St. James Healthcare, Butte. Plans are in progress for a 12-week summer intensive unit, to begin in late May or early June, 2015.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2014 15:14

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Clinic opens ExpressCare

Billings Clinic’s second ExpressCare retail clinic opened for business in March. Located near the pharmacy in the Billings Heights Albertsons store at 607 Main St., the clinic offers patients quick access to primary care in convenient locations for minor medical issues provided by Billings Clinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2014 15:12

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For healthier eating, embrace bitter flavors

FLASH IN THE PAN

By ARI LEVAUX

The people who shaped modern food have consistently selected against nutritional value, writes Jo Robinson in her fascinating book, “Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health.” We all know we’re supposed to add vegetables to our diet, she argues, but given the state of modern vegetables, that’s not usually enough. The vegetables you consume should be as nutrient-dense as possible, and as a general rule, the most nutrient dense foods are usually the strongest flavored and least domesticated.

“Early farmers favored plants that were relatively low in fiber and high in sugar, starch and oil,” she writes. These seed savers chose the least bitter specimens to replant, at the expense of their and our health. “It is now known that many of the most beneficial phytonutrients have a bitter, sour or astringent taste,” Robinson writes.

Phytonutrients are biologically active, plant-derived compounds associated with positive health effects, even if they don’t taste too like doughnuts.

If bitter is indeed better, perhaps it’s time we rethink our relationship to this difficult flavor. It’s a shift that might not be as hard as one might think. The first time I tried beer, for example, I thought it was horrible, largely thanks to the bitterness. But as my body began to associate the flavor of beer with getting hammered and hanging out with similarly inebriated coeds, those same bitter beer flavors began to invoke feelings of expectation, comfort and delight.

Something analogous can happen with dietary bitter greens, thanks to a whole-body understanding of how good they will make your body feel. For some, this flavor becomes like the burn from a set of pushups, a la “no pain, no gain.” For others, like my sweetheart, who I’ll call Shorty, bitter is truly sweet. She eats radicchio like some people eat potato chips, dipping the leaves into an oily dressing as she goes. It’s half olive oil, with the other half equal parts soy sauce, balsamic and cider vinegars.

Shorty is the exception. Americans consume more servings of iceberg lettuce per week than all other fresh vegetables combined (not including potatoes), Robinson notes. Iceberg is the poster child for modern agriculture’s nutrient drain. It’s about as bland and non-bitter as water, and nearly as pale as the ice formation it’s named after.

“The most intensely colored salad greens have the most phytonutrients,” Robinson writes. “The most nutritious greens in the supermarket are not green at all but red, purple, or reddish brown. These particular hues come from phytonutrients called anthocyanins ... . Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that show great promise in fighting cancer, lowering blood pressure, slowing age-related memory loss, and even reducing the negative effects of eating high-sugar and high-fat foods.”

Taking Robinson’s telltale signs to their logical conclusion, one might expect radicchio, with its dark purple leaves, to be among the most nutritious greens of all. And indeed they are, just a few steps behind radicchio’s wild cousin, the dandelion, which contains an even richer supply of nutrients - just make sure any gathered specimens haven’t been fortified by neighborhood dogs, or with added fertilizers or pesticides. Endive and escarole are also in the same family, as is chicory, their wild progenitor.

If you’re not a bittervore like Shorty, or aren’t the type to make peace with the bitter side of your sustenance, there are some easy ways to soften, obscure, and even put the bitter flavors to work.

Adding chopped dandelion greens or radicchio to a salad of paler, milder leaves like lettuce can add depth to the salad’s flavor, as the mellow leaves dilute the pain. If such a salad is still too bitter for your taste, consider a sweet or creamy dressing, like honey mustard, or even ranch. “Fat is one of the best antidotes to bitterness,” Robinson writes.

Indeed, what isn’t fat the best antidote for?

At the same time, cover-ups like fat and sweet, while making bitter greens palatable, are crutches. They turn eating your greens into a constant uphill battle in which some form of assistance is always required. Embracing the bitter side makes a lot more sense. As you get used to these flavors you’ll be able to distinguish one plant’s subtle flavors from another’s, along with differences in texture, acidity and juiciness. You’ll find variety among the shades of bitter.

Another worthy approach to consuming bitter greens is to combine them with other bitter foods, which can create a bouquet of bitter flavors. This works best with bitter foods that also have redeeming characteristics to counter their inherent bitterness. Walnuts, for example, are astringent, but have a compensating oiliness. Grapefruit’s bitter flavors are balanced with tartness and sweet.

Here’s a salad recipe that blends bitter red and green leaves with grapefruit and walnuts. It’s a bright, unexpected gathering of components, with each one’s bitter side adding to a smooth, bitter bouquet.

Ingredients for four servings:

2 heads radicchio

About the same amount of other greens, such as dandelion, endive, escarole, lettuce or

lambs quarter.

Two or three pink grapefruits

½ cup chopped onion (red, of course)

1 cup walnuts

½ cup olive oil

coarse salt and pepper

optional: smoked or baked salmon, fried scallops, bacon or other protein; perhaps a soft goat

cheese

Directions

On low heat, dry roast the walnuts in a heavy pan, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until they brown. When the nuts cool, crush them.

Peel the grapefruits and separate the fruit from the membrane. Do this over a plate that catches all the juice that drips. Give the fruit a little squeeze so more juice comes out. You want about half a cup for the dressing.

Wash, dry, and chop the radicchio and other leaves, about as finely as coleslaw. Mix with the onions, grapefruit pieces, walnuts and optional animal proteins. Whisk together the olive oil and grapefruit juice, and dress the salad.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2014 15:11

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