Thursday, December 17, 2015

Quest for the Golden Root

At one of the Buddhist joints I regularly meditate with a group at, someone had left a recipe for a master cleanse tonic that alleged to even fight or cure the plague (!) in addition to "gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria," inflammation, viruses, and other maladies.

As you can see, it's a pretty intense recipe using household/supermarket hot items, vinegar, and two weeks' worth of fermentation, or -- more accurately, perhaps -- marination before use. I kinda screwed up the ratios and the recipe (I've never been one for recipes or following instructions in general) -- I used both ginger root and rehydrated (with the vinegar) dry ginger, so the recipe's a little ginger-heavy. I ripped up the habanero peppers (2) with my bare hands for some odd reason and later on found I had gotten habanero on my schmeckel. (Ouch.) AND I couldn't find horseradish root to save my life, which began the Quest for the Golden (Horseradish) Root. 

Above is a picture of the mash mixture, with a distinctive yellow color from turmeric (I used powder rather than root). The instructions are to siphon off the liquid and drink, then cook something spicy with the dry ingredients left over (I'm thinking an Indian dish or a Filipino adobo). I left some room for the horseradish.

Since I work in San Francisco, I set off for Chinatown, reasoning that a Chinese grocer would probably carry horseradish root. However, all I found was souvenir shops, restaurants, and traditional medicine herb shops, but no grocery. I thought about asking at a herb store, and even translated the English to Chinese, but I try not to support Chinese traditional medicine, as I think it's largely based in pseudoscience and superstition, and is having a devastating impact on many endangered species (such as rhinos). Plus, I was beginning to get depressed in Chinatown -- the sad-looking, overpriced food that'd been sitting out all day, the cheap touristy crap, the fact that China was once a great Buddhism-embracing country but is now an environmentally-ravaged (and human rights-ravaged) second world country that has sadly gone capitalist (or what Zizek calls "Asian capitalism"). I got out of there and headed to the Italian-American part of SF (North Beach) with its bright, gaudy strip clubs and cool stores like City Lights Books, the Beat Museum, and the Zoetrope Cafe.

My gf suggested I go to Whole (ugh) Foods for the root, and she was right -- fount it there. Horseradish is interesting -- before you cut it, it smells almost like jicama or nothing at all, but gets that distinctive horseradish bite and heat when the root is injured, which is a defense mechanism it has in the wild.

I've been sick on and off for going on two months with every single virus that goes around (and I take public transit and work with homeless people), so I'm hoping this tincture will live up to its almost snake oil-esque hype and claims. I like that it's all-natural and root-based for the most part. I don't like raw onion, but hopefully it'll be tempered by the marination process. All the ingredients have known and scientifically-verified health benefits to the body, so maybe the thinking is that putting it all together with vinegar creates a supertonic. Here's hoping! Plague be gone! Stay tuned for results.....

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

photo in Adbusters

I have a full-page photo in the latest Adbusters magazine (issue #123, Manifesto for World Revolution Part 6). I took it in the 2nd crappiest part of San Francisco, and I'd love to know who did the collage I photographed, and give them credit. See if you can find the photo in the magazine; it's toward the back.