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What Should We Eat?

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Hello everybody. We are now in a very special place, we are at a farm today. What makes this farm so special is that its owner is a surgeon. One always wonders if the doctors themselves follow the healthy life clues they keep giving us. Soon we will all see that the answer is yes. We are at the house of MD doctor, an authority in cardiovascular surgery. In this farm, he raises sheep, goats and makes yoghurt and cheese he consumes. In short, he literally lives an organic lifestyle here. First, look who he is.

He is graduated from Istanbul University‘s Faculty of Medicine in 1987. After 1991, he worked in the Siyami Ersek Cardiology Hospital, 5 years as medical assistant and 3 years as chief intern. He helped establish a Cardiovascular Department in a private hospital. Meanwhile, he attended Cleveland Clinic, and Texas Heart Institute as an observer doctor.

Participating in more than 10,000 heart surgeries, he is one of the celebrated names in country in the fields of coronary bypass, beating heart, and heart valve surgeries. Among his fields of interest are cardiac rhythm disorders, coronary artery disease aortic surgery, varicose vein surgery peripheral vascular surgery, and human psychology and behavioral sciences. That’s all.

All right. As editor of Dystopian Political, let’s have a look at it together. There is a huge increase in cardiovascular diseases, so huge that even young people can be victims. This is why all questions about the problem are addressed to cardiologists. We’ll discuss the subject in detail. But first let us thank Doctor Metin Yıldız for being with us and welcoming us in his farm.

Hello.

-Hi. Welcome to my farm.

Thank you. It is a terrific place. You live a perfectly natural life here. How did you come up with the idea?

-I first thought about it when I was a student. Our neighbor next door has also been a friend of my family. We used to come to this village when I was a kid. This is how I have developed a love for Riva village. Because I am originally from the Black Sea Region, I love nature, sea and greenery.

You mean, you’ve had a tendency for natural foods since then? Or, it began with this farm?

-Actually, my interest in natural foods, began a lot later. The education in the Faculty of Medicine was based on diseases and treatments. I mean, the system was based on learning the enemy and fighting with it but I’ve been a cardiovascular surgeon for 20 years. For 20 years, I’ve been sewing the veins. While I was looking for answers to the questions, like: how can I prevent this from happening? Is it possible to stop it before it happens?, all of a sudden I’ve found myself in the garden.

Is organic lifestyle, or leading a natural life, really important for human health and life?

-Sure. Absolutely. When we look at how the diseases in the past 100 years have emerged, we can see it clearly. With developing technology, there emerged a new generation of diseases. Yes, life span is much longer than before. But, in the past, people mostly died from accidents or infections, whereas today, the diseases have totally changed.

How did they change?

-They changed with developing technology, with humans turning their back on nature and soil with chemicals and food additives humans used, and so on. Today, not only old people but also young people, even kids, suffer from new generation diseases.

What are those diseases?

-One of them is coronary heart disease, as we told earlier. 50% of deaths in the world are from cardiac-related diseases. And there are sudden deaths. Cancer also causes death among young people all over the world. Diabetes is a very common disease. Hypertension, metabolic syndrome. When we examine all these diseases, we see that nutrition plays a key role. Nutrition and the environment where our food comes from are very important.

Young ones love fast food, and we know that it is very bad to our body. What is your opinion?

-Yes, fast food. United States is the most developed country in the world. But it also suffers the highest rate of cardiac-related deaths in the world. They have the best doctors and best technology. They are very good in healthcare field. But despite all these facts, they are the first in cardiac-related and metabolic diseases. Why is that? Because of fast food. The meat used in fast food comes from animals raised in small barns on concrete ground and fed with cheap food and antibiotics.

They can’t see sunlight, nor can they stroll in open air. They can’t eat root vegetables or grains they would otherwise normally do. An ordinary cow can live 25 years, but those cows only live 3-4 years. And being under stress, they produce toxins mixing their blood. Fast food industry uses the meat of these animals. The oils and margarine used in kitchens boil whole day. Potatoes are cooked in this boiling oil which, in fact, should be consumed raw since it is vegetable oil and it is not resistant to heat. Butter is the most resistant of all cooking oils.

If you will cook at moderate heat, then, you can use olive oil, arachis oil, and almond oil. Soya bean oil, corn oil, and sunflower seed oil are all heat sensitive. When they are heated, they turn into free oxygen radicals and become carcinogenic. Think about how they boil from morning till night. And think about the sugar in these food and carbonated drinks.

Yes. And there is this carbonated drinks issue.

-Actually, they are all very delicious and mouth-pleasing food. When your kids make a bad habit, you usually warn them right away. Let’s say, when they begin smoking. But we can easily go to a fast food restaurant, and enjoy watching our kids eat and drink unhealthy food because they love it. I always explain my children what a healthy diet is, what hormones are, and so forth although they are very young. I talk and talk until I create awareness.

You mean, awareness should be built at a young age.

-Absolutely. It should be built at a very young age. Parents should be aware of the danger. I never let carbonated drinks in my house.

Your kids have never tasted them?

-Never.

Don’t they wonder how it tastes?

-Of course, they do. The other day, everybody at the table was drinking carbonated drinks. Later, my son asked me why I hadn’t warned them. I told him, they rarely drank it. And yet, it’s not healthy. I told him it’s for his own sake, and that he should prefer organic foods only.

So, from what I can gather, eggs, milks and meats at the market are different. The way how animals live is a decisive factor.

-Sure. Let me tell you this way. A high quality milk depends on whether the animal milked was healthy or not. The health of the animal depends on whether the animal feed was healthy or not. And the health of the feed depends on whether the soil was healthy or not. The soil is the beginning.

What do you use in planting?

-I never use synthetic fertilizer, only one hundred percent natural manure.

From sheep and goats?

-Yes. We began with cow manure, and then we used sheep manure. But then, we’ve learned that goat manure is better, and bird manure is the best.

You mean, you haven’t used any chemicals in these peppers.

-No way. There’s no way I let one gram of chemicals in this garden. All fertilizers we use are the natural ones that we obtain from our animals. If we can’t get enough manure from our animals, then we buy if from other guys who collect natural manure, but we don’t use the artificial ones.

You said the goat manure is the best. It’s said that goat’s milk is the best, too. Is that true?

-Yes. Now, let’s think about it. Goat’s milk comes from goat. And the goat eats the best part of nature. If you cut a branch and throw it down the ground, the goat never touches the leaves. He only eats them when you hang the branch somewhere. And it eats the most nutritious parts of nature.

So, in my opinion, the best food is honey and then comes the goat’s milk. When we first came here, we used to buy it down in the village. We would buy cow’s milk, yoghurt, butter, and cheese from our neighbors. Later on, we preferred sheep’s milk. After we made a research, we found out that goat’s milk is the best. So, now, we just consume goat’s milk, butter, cheese and yoghurt. We raise goats totally naturally and use their milk.

Then, show us. We want to see how you make yoghurt and cheese out of goat’s milk. Well, let’s go.

Now here, we are at his farm.

The chicken still sits on the eggs.

-Yes, it does. The eggs are still warm.

I can’t take it.

-Let me help you.

Fine, cause I can’t touch it.

-Leave it to me. Let’s find them. We are looking for the eggs. The hen is sitting on them.

Oh, they are hot, very hot indeed. I can’t believe, it’s terrific. Well, the ingredients are ready. Now, it’s time to make yoghurt. We had a good time in the garden.

-Yes. Now, we are in the factory.

Yes, we’ll produce yoghurt.

-We brought the milk and we are ready.

Most people think that it should be very hard to make yoghurt and cheese at home. Is that true?

-No. Indeed, it is very simple. In Anatolia, most families make their yoghurt and cheese at home. It is really very simple.

Well, then. Show us how simple it is.

-Now, we have milk here. First, we filter the milk through a fine filter. After we filter the milk, we let it boil on the stove. It will look like this when it’s boiled. Then we let it cool. When it gets cooler, we use yoghurt cultures to turn it into yoghurt. As you can see, we take 4 spoonfuls of yoghurt.

The method is always the same, right? We mean both cheese and yoghurt are made the same way.

-Cheese making is a little different. After we add the cultures, we stir it. This is called fermentation.

We think we have 2 kilos of milk here.

-We will add 4 spoonfuls of yoghurt culture into 2 kilos of milk. And we stir the milk. Then, we close the lid. We wrap it with a piece of cloth in order to keep it warm and leave it.

We should wait for it to be fermented till the morning, right?

-Yes, exactly. We usually heat the milk to about 50-60 degrees Celsius and let it cool. When it’s cooler, we add the yoghurt cultures in it.

And we see that you’ve already prepared a pot of yoghurt for us. Let me taste it and check the body and texture.

-Please, do.

Well the consistency is fine.

-Because it is organic. It is natural goat’s yoghurt. I hope you like it.

I’ll take a spoonful of it and taste.

-Does it smell goat?

Yes. And its taste.

-Let me taste it.

It is not like the yoghurt we are familiar of. Why is that?

-The goat’s milk is full-fat milk. And we didn’t drain or skim any matters in it, like clotted cream. I mean, we made it as it was originally made.

So, what we consume at our homes is not really yoghurt.

-It’s different from this one. This yogurt will spoil or go bad in one week, but the one you consume remain the same for 6 months. Flavorings and food additives are used to extend its shelf life. But this yoghurt is the original yoghurt.

It doesn’t last very long, right?

-No, 1 week at most. So does the milk.

Okay. Do we use the same method in cheese making?

-It’s a little bit different, but the logic is the same. We add rennet when the milk gets cold.

And I think these will be used as rennet.

-Yes. We add it into the milk and heat it, while stirring. We separate the milk into the solids and liquid whey. After they are separated, different kinds of cheese form. For instance, this one. This is skim-milk cheese and this is goat cheese.

Let me taste it.

-Please, do. I will not, because I taste it every day. The point is that it’s pure, unadulterated cheese. It is one hundred percent natural. It comes from the plants outside directly into your kitchen. It may be a little bit fat.

This is absolutely goat.

-Yes, it smells goat. This is what we call, in Anatolia, “tulum cheese” (cheese in goatskin). We wrap the curds in goatskin and let them age.

When I taste it, I can smell the garden outside.

-You are right. I can’t smell it anymore, because I am used to it.

And this one, I think, is the cheese you consume every morning.

-Yes, it is the main part of our breakfast. And it’s perfect in salads.

This is wonderful. More edible.

-But you know what, once you get used to it, you’ll not like other cheese.

This, too, has a shorter shelf life, right?

-Yes. Because they are completely natural. They’re not meant to last long. If we want it to last long, we change the amount of salt. For instance, this one is a little saltier. Because it will be consumed in winter. We preserve it in salty water. When we’ll eat it, we’ll take it out of the salty water and wash before we consume. If it’s meant to last longer, we adjust the amount of salt accordingly. As to the yoghurt, we consume it daily.

As far as I know, the goat milk is full-fat milk.

-Yes.

Does it mean that it is high in calories? What about cholesterol? It’s nice to eat healthy, but what effects do the dairy products high in fat have on cholesterol?

-First, what is cholesterol? It is a substance you get from animal-derived foods, like oil, meat, and diary products. And as we all know, high cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. So, what matters is its amount. It’s a structural component of cell membranes.

You mean, it’s essential?

-Yes, within limits. Just like sugar. What are the normal sugar ranges for humans? 80 to 120. If your level is more than that, it means there is something wrong with your health. Our aim should be to fix what’s wrong, not to lower the sugar levels. Actually, cholesterol is kind of a defense system of your body. If it is high, it means something is very wrong with your life. You really need to think cholesterol as your body’s defense system.

Does butter increase cholesterol levels? We know that it is good for heath, especially in children.

-Yes, it does increase, but human body needs saturated fat. It should be about 7%. So you can take that amount from natural and organic butter. If you have high cholesterol, that means either you smoke, or drink alcohol, or have an unhealthy diet, or suffer from stress, or most importantly, you don’t exercise. That’s why it is very important for children to develop a habit of exercising.

Yes, exercise is a must.

-Absolutely. The scientific evidence proves that exercise reduces preventable deaths considerably. In fact, cholesterol is mainly synthesized by human body. 15-20% of cholesterol we need comes from the foods, whereas 80% of it is synthesized by liver. I mean, the body takes the initiative.

It itself adjust everything.

-Absolutely.

Earlier we’ve told that you are a specialist in cardiovascular surgery. Which surgeries do you perform the most?

-I’ve focused especially on coronary bypass and heart valve surgeries. In the last few years, I’ve been performing beating heart surgeries meaning I perform the coronary bypass surgery without stopping the heart and without using a heart-lung bypass machine. It means I don’t stop lungs either. I can perform vein surgeries, and as a second field, I treat heart valve diseases but my main occupation is coronary bypass. I’ve been doing it for 20 years.

So, we’ll be coming here to buy milk, cheese and eggs. Thank you very much.

-It’s nice to meet you.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

-And thank you for visiting us. It’s always nice to have visitors. More visitors, more joy. Thank you.

Finally, today, we visited Doctor Metin Yıldız a specialist in cardiovascular surgery. And thank you for reading to us, cause we know you do. We’ve learned a lot and had a great time. We hope you did too.

Please just take care of yourself!

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