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Lettuce

I find this history of lettuce quite interesting:

Lettuce originated in the Mediterranean area and was first grown as a weed. The first documentation of cultivation begins in Ancient Egypt over 6,000 years ago, but it may have been cultivated elsewhere before this. Ancient Egyptian artwork, especially tomb paintings, depicts different varieties of lettuce. Ancient Greeks and Romans also developed lettuce. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, would praise lettuce to his fellow Grecians.

Source: pdf

Above picture: Ancient Egyptian agriculture. (2022, November 7). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_agriculture

The ancient Egyptian tombs reveal paintings of lettuce with elongated and pointed leaves. Cleopatra the Queen must have used it as a diet staple to maintain her worshipped figure. She shared her secret with General Mark Anthony who brought it to great popularity in Rome. His nephew, Augustus Caesar, who later ruled the Roman Empire was said to have constructed a statue of Romaine Lettuce to honour its healing abilities after being cured of a severe illness. But it took another 1900 years for the “Caesar salad” to evolve.The standard “Caesar salad” legend credits the creation of the recipe to an Italian immigrant, Caesar Cardini, who operated a restaurant in Tijuana. According to the canonical version, told by Caesar’s daughter Rosa, he tossed the first caesars salad on the evening of July 4, 1924. On this busy weekend, Cardini was running low on food and he put together a salad for his guests from what was left over in the kitchen.

Source:  Hail Caesar! 

 

But in Ancient Egypt around 2,000 B.C., lettuce was not a popular appetizer, it was an aphrodisiac, a phallic symbol that represented the celebrated food of the Egyptian god of fertility, Min. (It is unclear whether the lettuce’s development in Egypt predates its appearance on the island of Kos.) The god, often pictured with an erect penis in wall paintings and reliefs was also known as the “great of love” as he is called in a text from Edfu Temple. The plant was believed to help the god “perform sexual acts untiringly ”

Ancient Egyptians used the lettuce differently than those who would come later. The leaves that had a greenish-blue performance were often removed from the plant due to their bitter taste. Instead of being part of a meal, the seeds from the bud of the flowers were harvested and pressed for their natural oils which were used for cooking, medication—even mummification. Lettuce oil/ hydrosol was standard Egyptian medicine and even today eating lettuce should assist hair growth.

Source:  when lettuce was a sacred sex symbol

Fertility God Min

Min (god). (2022, October 25). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Min_(god)

different varieties of lettuce

There are many varieties of lettuce which come in many shapes and many different shades of green or red.

So why organic? Lettuce is one of the most likely vegetables to absorb and hold onto pesticide contamination. So even though you are washing them, you can’t wash the inside. Also by the time typical lettuce reaches the shops, it has been sprayed with an average of 12 pesticide applications of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides.

On the other hand, organic farms came up with new ways of working with nature instead of poisoning it and us in the meantime! It is the agricultural practice of using naturally occurring matter (instead of synthetic chemicals) to give plants nutrients and to produce crops. Organic farming systems mirror the methods of Mother Nature to solve common crop problems. Natural fertilizers like compost (which is broken down by organic matter), animal manure, and green manure (old crops left on the fields to decompose) help reinvigorate the soil with nutrients.

So overall organic farming has several advantages and benefits such as no harmful pesticides, sustainably healthy soil and biodiversity.

Benefits:

  • Vitamin K – Helps strengthen bones
  • Hydration – Water makes up 95% of raw lettuce. Eating lettuce hydrates the body
  • Vitamin A – This improves vision and can reduce the Irish of cataracts
  • Improves sleep
  • Phosphorous – which helps support bone, teeth and cell membrane health
  • Revitalizes skin
  • Protects skin from pollution and UV rays (vitamin C and E)
  • Leaves skin looking glowy
  • Removes toxins
  • Stimulates hair growth
  • Provide vital micro-minerals
  • Helps weight loss
  • Increases metabolism
  • Helps insomnia
  • Iron
  • Detoxification

side effects of non-organic lettuce/food:

  • Eating too many pesticides can affect your immune system and break it down
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Could be consuming higher levels of pesticides, antibiotics or hormones
  • GMO seeds are being used more than natural seeds and treated with chemical solutions and artificial boosters.
  • Carry toxic preservatives
  • More likely to come in touch with microorganisms that cause hazardous illnesses
  • Can damage cell function
  • Herbicides and insecticides destroy the nitrogen content within the soil
  • Those chemicals can cause long-term damage to the land, eventually rendering it non-fertile
  • The chemicals can also contribute to autoimmune and other health issues

But always remember to balance your food. Having too much of anything is bad for you. Lettuce should be eaten once a day based on our research. Eating too much (excluding icebergs) or eating wild lettuce could course:

  • Mydriasis (dilation in the pupil)
  • Photophobia (inability to look at bright lights)
  • Dizziness
  • Heart and breathing difficulty
  • Excessive sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Increasing the amount of vitamin K in your diet can decrease the effectiveness of warfarin.

If you eat a lot of lettuce and nothing else (including iceberg lettuce), you might find yourself running low on energy because lettuce does not contain many calories.

Lettuce contains less than 1 gram of fibre per cup (49 grams), the majority of which is insoluble. The amount of insoluble fibre you can tolerate varies from one person to another.

That said, this small amount of fibre is unlikely to trigger symptoms in most people with IBS. In fact, due to its low fibre content, lettuce may be a good option for people with this condition who have trouble tolerating fibre-rich vegetables.

 

Uses: salads, soups, sandwiches and wraps, or even satay or Romaine lettuce can be grilled, adding a pleasantly sweet, bitter and smoky flavour.

THANK YOU!

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