Tag Archives: plants

potted herbs > packaged herbs

mintI’ve come to a revelation– I hope to never buy herbs again in the grocery store!  This reality goes far beyond any sort of farm-to-table philosophy and straight into my pocket.  Take note:


Each of these plants cost no more than 3 bucks.  In the grocery store where the herbs will probably die in like 3 days anyways?  One buck less.  And they don’t keep having little herb babies.

Buy your own herb pots!  Even if you have no garden (I surely do not have enough moolaw to afford a garden in this urban landscape) simply keep a few pots of choice in your kitchen next to the window.  These lovelies reproduce more quickly than rabbits.  …which is why I don’t feel bad using the baby leaves to top my tartines with my teff bread.

plated tartine herb


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lupin – what are you? YOU’RE BAD LIKE A PEANUT!

Lupin flourLiving here in France and shopping for gluten-free products, I have noticed something that I had never seen in the states: a warning for products containing lupin.  Given that if there is an allergenic warning for an ingredient I am probably allergic to it, I have avoided the mysterious ingredient haunting the various packaged gluten-free baguette flecking my organic neighborhood stores.

I decided to give it some research to see what exactly this coy “allergen” is, and here’s what I found:

Lupin allergies are strongly correlated with peanut allergies!

Good thing I haven’t tried it.


Lupin is a flowering plant in the legume family.  Its beans have been used for centuries, starting with the Romans.  Currently, they are common culinary ingredients in the cuisine of Portugal, Egypt, Greece, and Italy, and Brazil.  They are eaten as salted snacks, as well as in meal and pastry preparations.  Lupin is high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants, and low in starch and completely gluten-free.

salted lupin beans

Then why is there a warning label that products may contain lupin?

Evidently, if you have a peanut allergy, the risk of you having a lupin allergy is very common.  That’s why in 2006 the European Commission mandated that any food products containing lupin be labeled with a warning.

What’s more, the “Lupin Challenge” is using the reactivity of the legume to further research on allergies.

“Gaining knowledge on lupin’s specific molecular allergy will contribute to strategies to improve clinical trials, allergy diagnosis, and breeding allergenic-reduce lupin lines,” says Dr Jiménez-López. “And beyond this three-year project, the longer-term development and commercialisation of patented diagnosis kits and allergy vaccines, based on the results from this project, could also have important economic and social benefits.”

See project details here: Lupin Challenge

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