Need Communal Kitchen Tips

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.
artis
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Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by artis » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:27 pm

Hey there! Went to burning man for the first time this last year and fell in love. I am with an awesome camp (our first time as a camp was this last year too) and I took on the challenge of setting up the communal kitchen for our camp. It was... good. Could have been a lot better; could have been alot worse! I am looking for advice, what to do/not to do, etc.

Biggest questions

I'm trying to figure out how to have less water waste with cooking / eating.
> I'm thinking about suggesting that people bring paper plates and cups / minimal resuables to minimize water use. Have burn barrel. Good? Bad?
> What is the best way to wash and sanitize reusable plates/cups?

Helping suggest foods / how to best cook on playa
> We had an issue last year in which someone made ravioli in a pot... and left some of it in the pot for about 3 days. We never found out who did it. The only reason it got cleaned was because an awesome camp member did it for us. I like to think this person was just too embarrassed and didn't know how to clean it and left... Not an excuse but, I like to think people aren't that disrespectful on purpose. SO, what can I suggest to avoid this issue / help people plan meals better? I thought camp meals were awesome! Anything else??

Washing station
> Gotta say that I would love to have one of these... Not sure where to begin though without creating a big and unneeded mess :?

Oven / cooking
> I'm looking into the best way to do ovens or cooking stations that aren't stove top. Ideas?

I apologize for anything that seems obvious. Only been one year and I'm looking for advice from the experienced to help me out before diving into an idea too fast that may turn into a disaster :)

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Sunbeam56
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by Sunbeam56 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:53 pm

the topic is interesting... I cook!
I have not been to BM, but have camped a lot, with a variety of people, and in a variety of places.
1) Never give up control of the kitchen entirely. Drinkers need a designated driver, and cooks need a bus-boy.
2) Mist, don't wash. You will be surprised how little water you need. YEah, rinsing. But washing - no.
3) I expect to dry a lot of otherwise wet refuse on the Playa. From reading this board, a collection of onion bags, or other mesh bags, will be key to this strategy. Most wet stuff will dry without creating MOOP. Sauces are probably an exemption. But you have to have a bucket for glop.
Example; Your fermenting ravioli - put the solids in an onion bag, hang for a day. Toss the pasta sauce into the greywater system.
4) Use the max disposables. Wash only what you cannot reasonably use a disposable replacement for - knives, pots, pans. Plates, bowls and glasses, get something burnable. It is BURNING Man. :)

I do not claim expertise, only observation. I welcome any correction to this list. And peace be with you!
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FossaFerox
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by FossaFerox » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:54 pm

How big is your camp? I think scale changes things quite a bit.

For a small camp (<20 people) we had a fantastic solution courtesy of our camp leader and his girlfriend. They pre-cooked, vacuum sealed, and froze seven different types of meal and kept everything on dry ice. When it came time to cook dinner all we had to do was boil the sealed containers. Every meal only used one big pot which wasn't even dirty after the meal was cooked. It also made prep super easy as the first person back to camp each night just put a pot of boiling water on and people could decide what we were eating on a particular night once more people showed up.

Each night's dinner was in 2-3 separate bags so we could cook less if people didn't show up (or in case we were gifted food) and we were giving out left overs the last two days.

For breakfast we just fried up shit tons of bacon in the same cast iron pan. I don't think we ever cleaned it. I don't think you're even supposed to clean cast iron... We poured the excess grease into grey water when it built up too much and kept it out of the dust when not in use.

For washing, we used spray bottles. One was "light grey" water (a mix of water reclaimed from hand washing and the potable water from step 3). One was slightly diluted soap. One was potable water. You'd go down the line spraying and wiping your plate/bowl/cup/utensils using a single paper towel each time to wipe it clean. 6 paper towels a person a meal.

All in all I was blown away by our setup. It worked really well, but we only had 13 people.
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:36 pm

Pre prep and freeze as much as you can.

You can do this with almost anything that you would normally cook at home.

Play time is priceless, so the more you can do at home, the more mess and time you save. 8)
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:35 pm

There are ovens that are connected to propane stoves. I don't know much beyond that, but AntiM praises hers.
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by AntiM » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:34 pm

Ours is a Camp Chef brand, the oven itself is rather small. We use foil pans, or pans lined with foil for fresh sweet rolls, cookies and buns. Foil is your friend. Pigs in a blanket, chicken and dumplings are easier baked. We even baked the bacon. Stovetop portion doesn't get used for much more than boiling water. No cooking in pots or pans allowed because of the mess. We don't even bring the skillet anymore. Some pre-cooked frozen meals in vac bags, a lot of canned food (yay sodium), precooked meats, and chilled dough, chilled hummus, chilled fruit cups, pickles, single serving cheeses. Then our bin of dry foods (dried fruits, chips, cereal bars, jerky, nuts, snacks). Small camp, seven people plus the random guests. Varying dietary needs, varying schedules, so no pre-planned meal times. We bring a lot of extra food, and each campmate brings their special foods. Food cooler/frozen cooler/dry storage cooler/drinks coolers, water dispensing cooler. I refuse to do elaborate prep and clean up on the playa.

Dishes... one set each, labeled, plus a few extra cups, knives and spoons. Disposables on hand for guests. We boil water, put a tiny bit in a wash pan, scrub everything with a cloth with a dab of soap, then use a splash of boiling water to rinse. You can use a clorox wipe in a pinch, but then you MUST rinse or make everyone very ill.

We have a trash bag stuck in the back of the kitchen, and paper burnable bags. We don't run our own burn barrel as it chains someone to camp while it is going. If the community barrels are full at the end of the week, we pack out our burnable trash. We have a trailer, no big deal. Liquid glop goes into a big water bottle with a resealable top, we bring a kitchen funnel for that. People who leave half-consumed cans of beer or soda around camp endure severe mocking.

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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by BBadger » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:57 am

artis wrote:Biggest questions

I'm trying to figure out how to have less water waste with cooking / eating.
> I'm thinking about suggesting that people bring paper plates and cups / minimal resuables to minimize water use. Have burn barrel. Good? Bad?
> What is the best way to wash and sanitize reusable plates/cups?
First of all, what a nicely formatted first post of yours!

Stuff that helps:
  • Use a pressurized pumping water sprayer so that people can spray their dishes rather than dribble it from the 2-gallon containers which waste water. These were a big hit when we brought them.
  • Provide sponges on a stick/wand so people don't feel grossed out by touching the sponges. This helps people be more efficient too.
  • Use a tub of soapy water to clean all the dishes at once even if people are cleaning individually. If everyone is using it at the same time, you can even boil up some water so that the water is at least heated. This saves water because the soapy water is recycled; only spraying is necessary afterwards (get a two-basin-sink). This goes with the above too: you use the sponges on the stick to wipe the diningware/cookware and you rinse off dishes with the sprayer.
  • Not necessarily about water, but you must use detergent (soap) to clean dishes. Wipes, sprays, disinfectants don't clean dishes. Don't get sick!
I personally like to have people responsible for their own eating ware. Nobody likes cleaning other peoples' dishes, and people are apt to do a poor job if they're forced to.
Helping suggest foods / how to best cook on playa
> We had an issue last year in which someone made ravioli in a pot... and left some of it in the pot for about 3 days. We never found out who did it. The only reason it got cleaned was because an awesome camp member did it for us. I like to think this person was just too embarrassed and didn't know how to clean it and left... Not an excuse but, I like to think people aren't that disrespectful on purpose. SO, what can I suggest to avoid this issue / help people plan meals better? I thought camp meals were awesome! Anything else??
Ah, the classic failure of communal kitchens. The secret to solving this problem is that you break up the camp into smaller sub-groups of individuals who know each other well. Then they bring their own cooking gear and are responsible (or not responsible) for it. If they end up with some pot of raviolis that starts rotting, it's their own gear that is ruined, not the camp's.

In fact, other than stoves and washing basins, I would have no cookware be communal. Sure, it kind of defeats the purpose of "communal" kitchens, but that's really the point.

You can break up the camp cooking duties the same way. The smaller sub-groups do all the dinner cooking one night during the week and clean up their own stuff when they're done. They do not clean the dishes of the other members though.

I'd like to try some of those vacuum sealers for next time. It would beat using zip-lock bags.
Washing station
> Gotta say that I would love to have one of these... Not sure where to begin though without creating a big and unneeded mess :?
Provide a wastebasket for people to scrape shit off; this prevents solids from going into the evap pond. Then provide a partitioned sink (basin) -- one for washing, the other for rinsing -- with the drains hooked to pipe that drains into the evap pond. Put a screen in a bucket to prevent remaining solids from mixing into the evap pond.

It will be gross, but the washing station is gross by nature.
Oven / cooking
> I'm looking into the best way to do ovens or cooking stations that aren't stove top. Ideas?
Propane camping ovens might work. Never used one myself.

Finally, if it becomes a pain to bring all this stuff and manage things the way you need it, raise the camp dues. At least then you're being compensated for the extra effort. Don't believe this isn't part of the "Burning Man ethos" either. The alternative would be to just evict the people who don't play well with others.
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theCryptofishist
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:19 am

How big is the camp?
For everyone else--What's the size for a permit? I can't decide if it's 50 or 200...
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by trilobyte » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:11 am

I believe it's 125. If the kitchen is being used to prepare food for 125 or more people (through any combination of members within the camp, prepping for others, or public food service), a permit is needed. If things do cross into permit land, it's worth pointing out that pre-cooking and prepping is a no, unless it's done in a commercial kitchen. There are other considerations, but that one really stuck out in my head. The Nevada Health Dept. web site has a lot more details and specifics.

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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by BoyScoutGirl » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:38 am

BBadger wrote:
[*]Provide sponges on a stick/wand so people don't feel grossed out by touching the sponges. This helps people be more efficient too.
It's juvenile, but this makes such a difference to me: I do a much better job cleaning dishes when I don't have to directly touch a yucky sponge.

Washing station
Our camp serves 120-160 people dinner every night and has been used by the NV health department to host playa food safety workshops in the past. I'm not part of the kitchen crew but I can speak to dishwashing for individual camp members. Washing station is a series of wide plastics tubs:
1) water to rinse of big food gunk
2) soapy water for scrubbing off grease, etc.
3) lightly bleached water to sterilize
4) clean water to rinse off bleach water - there should be no gunk in this water because it was all removed by bucket 2)

I think each bucket is changed maybe once per night, depending on how scummy they look. Considering how many plates, cups, and pots each tub of 3" of water serves, this system seems to generate not much wastewater. Everybody is on their own to dry dishes (not much of a problem in a desert, apart from the dust!).

I joined our camp after we switched from nightly kitchen volunteers to having a dedicated kitchen crew of the same folks every night. Kitchen crew are the only ones in the kitchen during dinner prep. We're a work camp, so everybody is expected to work daily anyhow, so I think most people feel this is fair and it means there's a much increased sense of personal responsibility for keeping the kitchen in good shape.
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by danibel » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:09 pm

So I camp with 40 people. It was originally 25 but we keep growing. Not sure if that is a good thing yet.

We have a community set-up. A couple of camping stoves, and 4-5 tables. One of our members brings a 5 stage washing "center." 3-4 people sign up to make a dinner Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Saturday is potluck, and by Sunday camp is so small that we all just fend for ourselves. I personally set up my own small kitchen (one card table with a stove). I bring everything I need for myself. I don't sign up for a dinner because my partner and I make ice cream every afternoon, and that is a pretty big contribution, as far as I am concerned (cooler maintenance for the cream and all the fixins). One of dinners is always pre-made BBQ pork, and since I don't eat meat, I make sure I have a veggie option for my main dish that night. I bring enough food to feed myself for the entire burn regardless. Radical Self Reliance and all that.

I bring a compost bucket with a very tight lid that sits in the community kitchen until Burn night and then I move it back to my camping area. It's just a 5 gallon bucket and it's purpose is to keep the trash bags (yes, unfortunately we do community trash in the main kitchen, something I am against, but I am out numbered) cleaner and therefore people don't have to take trash bags that have rotting food off the playa in their cars.

Though I bring a "kitchen" bin with plates, cups and all that jazz, I am considering going all paper for plates and bowls this year. I just think it would be easier and reduce the grey water I have to deal with after the main kitchen is broken down Saturday.

I have to caution you on having your own burn barrel. It's a deal. The ashes alone are a pain the in the butt.
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by Capt. RON » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:44 am

2014 Captain's LOG - Kitchen
Captain’s Log
KITCHEN
A community kitchen is one of the big benefits of being in a theme camp.

Instead of (60) burners, bringing (60) stoves, we just have a couple of nice multi burner stoves that everybody can use. Same goes for pots and pans. All you have to bring is a “personal” plate, bowl, cup, and utensils.

Your mother is not here to clean up after you.

When you use the community kitchen and it's resources, YOU, yes YOU are expected to help keep it CLEAN.

Fry some bacon for breakfast? Drain the grease into the grease can, and wipe down the grill with a paper towel.
Heat up some "Spaghetti O's" and it boiled over onto the burner? Well wipe that shit up and scrape off the burned mess.

Last year, thoughtless campers failed to do these simple things, and basically trashed a brand new Coleman stove.

NEVER leave a stove unattended! Burning down the kitchen tent is not considered art and will earn you a severe beating from your fellow campmates, who don’t like crunchy cold top ramen.

NEVER leave “leftover” food in the kitchen! If you’ve got extra’s, feed your fellow orphans. If you still have leftovers, you’ve done a shit job of meal planning and should feel guilty about kids starving in Africa.

WASHING DISHES

Water is a precious resource on the PLAYA, and we strive to conserve it.
Doing the dishes like you do in the DEFAULT world is NOT going to work. It generates way to much GRAY water and poses a health hazard.

In BRC, the tried and true system for washing dishes goes like this.

STEP 1
Scrape your leftover food scraps into mesh bags to dry out. USE THE SPATULA (we dump this into the trash bags later)

STEP 2
Use the spray bottle marked "soap" (it's bio degradable) lightly spray your plates, pans, and utensils, let the soap do it’s thing for a minute. Wipe with a paper towel. Put the paper towel into the box marked "BURNABLE TRASH"

STEP 3
Use the spray bottle marked "STARSAN" and lightly spray your plates, pans, and utensils. Do NOT wipe them dry! Just place them in the dish rack to AIR dry. That’s it, you’re DONE.
VOILA! clean dishes with NO gray water.
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:45 pm

Last year we had a problem with campers who couldn't grasp the concept of filtering the solids out of grey water before adding it to the system, even with the filtration system sitting right out in plain sight. Being able to clearly communicate with all campers the rights and responsibilities of campers in the kitchen is imperative.

This year our new camp will be making use of an online forum dedicated to communication between campmates as many of our campers are in different locations, with this forum we will hopefully be able to communicate these things clearly so all of our campers are on the same page regarding waste water, community meals, paper plates etc etc...


Paper plates + Burn Barrel = Awesome. However, drawbacks of having a burn barrel include dealing with ashes and having to fend asshats off all day on Sunday and Monday who think it's OK to show up with wheelbarrows full of cardboard and paper and start shoving it in without so much as asking permission.

This year we will have a large sign to post at the barrel once Sunday rolls around informing people that our burn barrel is not communal paper disposal.

The ashes weren't that bad, we had a metal 50 gallon drum and we never had to clear the ashes out, the barrel was one of the last things to go on the trailer, we just used grey water to make sure the coals were completely out and loaded it on the trailer and dealt with all the ashes when we got home.

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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by EmilyD » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:15 am

Kitchens are on my mind today. Thanks for all the really great tips everyone.
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by pretty_monster » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:23 am

> I'm thinking about suggesting that people bring paper plates and cups / minimal resuables to minimize water use. Have burn barrel. Good? Bad? - everyone on the playa should have a reusable cup on their persons at all times. EVERYONE. you shouldn't need to supply cups from the kitchen. yes to paper plates. you don't even need your own burn barrel. you can keep burnable trash in paper bags and take it to the big "barrels" on the Esplanade.

> What is the best way to wash and sanitize reusable plates/cups? - not your problem if everyone's got their own cup and you use paper plates. i would suggest normal silverware, though, or insist that people reuse plastic wear until it breaks. i HATE seeing all those stupid plastic utensils being used once and tossed out. (i, personally, keep a spork on me at all times, which gets "cleaned" by me licking it off really well and sticking it back in my bag. radical self reliance, yo.) as for actually washing dishes: i camp in a huge camp that has a 4 station system like BoyScoutGirl described. this is a good model, easily scaled to the size of your camp, if you don't want to go with the "everyone licks their own spork clean" system. as for cups: keep 'em full of booze and you never have to wash em, am i right?!

> SO, what can I suggest to avoid this issue / help people plan meals better? I thought camp meals were awesome! Anything else?? - the camp that i camp with plans 3 meals a day ahead of time by having everyone volunteer to make 1 meal for 25 people, sharing that schedule as a group google document, and then posting said schedule in the kitchen on a giant board. this board also lists who has volunteered for Kitchen Cleanup Crew (drunk cook babysitters) for the day/shift. it is such a simple & elegant system and makes such a hugs impact. it really frees everyone up from feeling like they're constantly cooking & cleaning.

> Washing station - see above.

> I'm looking into the best way to do ovens or cooking stations that aren't stove top. Ideas? - it really depends on how big & elaborate you want to go. being with such a large camp, there's plenty of genny power and we actually have a microwave in the kitchen. a more practical suggestion for a smaller camp would be grills. i've done lots of regular camping where all of the cooking was done in pots, pans & foil packets on a grill or fire pit. it's totally doable. the foil thing is particularly nice because then you don't have a pot/pan to clean afterwards. you just wad up the foil & toss it in the recycle bag.
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:18 am

lollergirl wrote:> I'm thinking about suggesting that people bring paper plates and cups / minimal resuables to minimize water use. Have burn barrel. Good? Bad? - everyone on the playa should have a reusable cup on their persons at all times. EVERYONE. you shouldn't need to supply cups from the kitchen. yes to paper plates. you don't even need your own burn barrel. you can keep burnable trash in paper bags and take it to the big "barrels" on the Esplanade.
No. You cannot burn paper in the communal burn barrels/platforms. This is new (year or two).
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by some seeing eye » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:24 am

All good advice above based on my experience. The thing I would add is that the Alternative Energy Zone are experts on solar ovens and other solar cooking lore.
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by chuckularone » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:27 am

lollergirl wrote:i, personally, keep a spork on me at all times
I just ordered a titanium spork! Thanks for the idea!
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by Oldguy » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:06 pm

FWIW Spooning with a hard-on is called sporking. :lol: I crack myself up :lol:

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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by unjonharley » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:18 pm

Oldguy, :D :D :D

The moop last year gifted me a spork.. Its titanium with stove/lantern wrenches punched into the handle.
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by Sunbeam56 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:53 pm

Im working on slightly acidic versions of tried and true recipes. Cuz i'm thinking, you really cant get away from the alkaline dust.
Do you have experience with this?

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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:14 pm

Sunbeam56 wrote:Im working on slightly acidic versions of tried and true recipes. Cuz i'm thinking, you really cant get away from the alkaline dust.
Do you have experience with this?

Never trust a skinny cook... Everything must be tasted :)
You really cannot get away from the alkaline dust, but IMHO it's not a big enough deal to try and tweak your recipes to be more acidic. First of all depending on what your recipes are, tweaking the acid/alkaline ratio too much may screw up the chemistry and affect the results of your cooking.

Second, the 'modern' diet usually consists of way too much acidic food anyways. The human body is naturally alkaline and so much of what we eat affects the PH level, creating an acidic environment rather than alkaline. Foods such as meats, pasteurized dairy, pasteurized juices, alcohol, grains and canned foods are all acidifying. I have a theory that the alkaline environment of the playa is one of the factors in just about everyone there being able to party like rock stars for a week plus and manage to stay fairly healthy...

I think it's more important to try and keep the outside of your body sufficiently acidified than to try and worry about counter-acting the small amounts of alkaline dust you may ingest out there.

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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by Sunbeam56 » Thu May 01, 2014 10:38 am

Thanks.
You know how church casseroles all start with midhroom soup? Most of my reciprs start with tomatoes, so likely avidic enuff.
I appreciate your response :)
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by some seeing eye » Thu May 01, 2014 11:36 am

People crave salty food on on the playa for obvious reasons. Suggest where you can using unsalted ingredients, then adding "lite salt" - about 55% potassium- and 45% sodium- chloride salt. Here is the million dollar idea - potassium chloride in the mix for bacon!
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Thu May 01, 2014 12:40 pm

Potassium chloride? Eww. Yes it's an essential elecrolyte, but you can get all you need from real salt, or a banana. Lite salt also tastes like shit.

If you need or crave salt it is your body telling you that you need sodium chloride, the mineral humans need to survive. Not the synthetically derived, iodized crap that says Morton's on the box. Real, naturally occurring salt. Unrefined sea salt is best, especially salt from the Dead Sea. It also contains other natural minerals beneficial to the body as micro-nutrients and electrolytes.

'Modern' table salt is like so many modern foods in that it has been bastardized so much it is no longer beneficial to humans, so in our infinite wisdom we're trying to figure out how we can make it healthy again. Like adding synthetic iodide when everyone in the country started getting goiters from using synthetic salt. Instead of just switching back to sea salt we start adding synthetic iodide (not iodine) to table salt. Guess what? Unrefined sea salt contains iodine and potassium chloride along with close to 80 other trace minerals in the same proportions needed by the human body and most other animals as well.

Ask any farmer or rancher and he will tell you that his livestock needs salt licks, because sodium chloride and other minerals are essential to life functions. The problem is the shit we call 'salt'. Sodium replacement is not the answer for correcting mineral imbalance.

Anyone interested in learning more about the history of and importance of salt should check out "Salt: A World History" by Mark Kurlansky:






I'm not even going to get started on replacing sodium with potassium chloride in the bacon curing process...

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some seeing eye
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by some seeing eye » Thu May 01, 2014 2:06 pm

Mr Rock le French, appreciate your participation and contribution to ePlaya. That rocks!

But here is science. The body needs sodium, chlorine, and *potassium* ions for nerve conduction and muscle function. Electrolytes. Table salt and sea salt provides only sodium and chlorine ions.

How do I know? I have a science background including nerve conduction research, recovered from food sickness with natural potassium sources and had to go to medical at the event for electrolyte fail.

Lite salt is an essential ingredient for DIY low cost electrolyte drinks. It should be in every playa kitchen.

You are right - bananas, coconut water and other dietary ingredients are excellent potassium sources. Yes, potassium chloride salt has a metallic taste and is usually mixed with sodium chloride.

And yes I had more than one serious engagement with death for lack of potassium. We can inject science and medical into the BM community. So yea potassium!
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by unjonharley » Thu May 01, 2014 2:34 pm

If I do not get enough hydrating minerals my body hands me a big ole charlie horse... Food salt is not enough..Sports drinks can kill you.. I add minerals to good old water.. Today in the 80s, I will drink 2/3 of a gallon.. Then more in the evening.. Bout the same riding trike on the playa.. Don't forget to brick your camel..
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A-RockLeFrench
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Thu May 01, 2014 4:52 pm

Thanks Seeing Eye!

You have a science background, and experience with food sickness recovery and electrolyte failure.

But I still have to disagree with your statement that sea salt only provides sodium and chlorine ions. This is true for table salt but not sea salts, especially salt from the Dead Sea.
Wikipedia wrote:The Dead Sea's mineral composition differs from that of ocean water, varying with season, rainfall, depth, and temperature. In particular, the salt in most oceans is approximately 97% sodium chloride while Dead Sea salt is only 12-18% sodium chloride. An analysis of major ion concentrations in the water of the Dead Sea gave the following results.[2]

Major ions of Dead Sea water:
Ion Concentration (mg/L)
Chloride and Bromide 230,400
Magnesium 45,900
Sodium 36,600
Calcium 17,600
Potassium 7,800
Himalayan pink salt, fluer de sel, and Redmond salt from the Great Salt Lake are also well known for their ionic trace mineral content. Himalayan salt is ancient sea salt and Redmond salt comes from a lake that was once a sea.

Mineral analysis of Redmond Real Salt: http://realsalt.com/wp-content/uploads/ ... alysis.pdf

Unfortunately, IMHO modern science (empirical methods and reductionist reasoning) has failed so far to adequately understand and explain the complexities of human dietary needs and the myriad of intrinsic relationships between nutrients and co-factors etc. I am not dismissing it as completely flawed, it is useful in forming an understanding of why we need what we eat, however I do believe that there is still much that has been missed. You may have a background in science while I have a background in food. Together maybe we can inject something into the eplaya...

I do find it funny how the research of Weston Price is still considered quackery by most of the scientific community when diets based on his findings have been successful in curing diseases that modern science has not.


As far as the bacon thing goes, while potassium chloride is hygroscopic and hygroscopic action is a very important process in the curing of meats, I still think it tastes like crap and I do not believe that taste needs to be sacrificed due to sodium-phobia. When I cure my bacon I use Real Salt, Himalayan or sel gris. I only use commercial nitrites when planing on serving large quantities to the public where food safety is enough of a concern to override my aversion to synthetic chemicals in food, like at BM.

This year I will be experimenting with celery powder...

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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by GreyCoyote » Thu May 01, 2014 6:44 pm

A-RockLeFrench wrote: If you need or crave salt it is your body telling you that you need sodium chloride, the mineral humans need to survive. Not the synthetically derived, iodized crap that says Morton's on the box. Real, naturally occurring salt. Unrefined sea salt is best, especially salt from the Dead Sea. It also contains other natural minerals beneficial to the body as micro-nutrients and electrolytes.
Actually, Mortons salt is mined salt, and this is the same stuff as "solar" or "natural" or "sea" salt. The only difference is that mined salt was deposited millions of years ago by nature from ancient seas before nuclear bombs, chemical weapons, large-scale industry, heavy metals, and human sewage came on the scene and used our lakes and oceans for a global cesspool. Contrast this stuff to salt deposited 6 months ago by some guy named Ringo who has bleeding ulcers on his feet and just got over a bout of amoebic dysentery. The same guy who is pumping polluted seawater into drying flats beneath where seagulls roost (and shit) every night.

As far as Dead Sea salts being good for you, this is now nothing more than hype based on what used to be. The truth is the current Dead Sea is MASSIVELY contaminated. The Jordan River has become an industrial waste canal and parts of Old Jerusalem as late as 2012 lacked even rudimentary sewage handling, preferring instead to just dump this stuff raw into the Dead Sea. In the last 5 years the Jordan flow is down to just 10% of what it was 60 years ago, and current estimates are that almost HALF of this flow is refuse water from human sewage and industrial/agriculture operations upstream. The real problem with the Dead Sea is this: Once in, never out. This stuff accumulates, and without any real outlet, it has become the ultimate septic tank. Mud samples from the Dead Sea show an alarming heavy-metals profile, cryptosporidium, and industrial compounds. Honestly, I don't see how they can even sell this stuff with a straight face. 40 years ago? Maybe. But today, I wouldn't put it in my mouth, but that's just me. In contrast, none of these issues are present in the "old" deposits from ancient seas.
A-RockLeFrench wrote:'Modern' table salt is like so many modern foods in that it has been bastardized so much it is no longer beneficial to humans, so in our infinite wisdom we're trying to figure out how we can make it healthy again. Like adding synthetic iodide when everyone in the country started getting goiters from using synthetic salt. Instead of just switching back to sea salt we start adding synthetic iodide (not iodine) to table salt. Guess what? Unrefined sea salt contains iodine and potassium chloride along with close to 80 other trace minerals in the same proportions needed by the human body and most other animals as well.
I disagree. None of the food-grade salt in the US is synthetically-derived. All food-grade salt comes from natural sources. You can't even use "produced" salt for feed additives or free-feed supplements with livestock. All of the synthetically produced salt gets recycled in the manufacturing of goods (rubber, metals, especially aluminum).
A-RockLeFrench wrote:Ask any farmer or rancher and he will tell you that his livestock needs salt licks, because sodium chloride and other minerals are essential to life functions. The problem is the shit we call 'salt'. Sodium replacement is not the answer for correcting mineral imbalance.
As a livestock owner, let me expand on this a bit. Livestock are no different from any other animal, including humans, in that we all need salt to survive. This much is true. And in fact, most higher species make periodic trips to natural salt licks or brackish springs for exactly this reason. But the similarities end there. We all have different requirements, and there is no reason to use a "one-size-fits-all" mentality when it comes to salt for a given species. Feed livestock common table salt and you are asking for disaster in the long run. Not because it is "contaminated" or "bad", but because it's not what nature intended for them to have. Different species need different stuff in different amounts in their salt.

Modern livestock salt is a highly engineered compound that is completely unsuitable for humans. In fact, unlike table salt (which is essentially pure NaCL), livestock salt is engineered and blended for a specific species. Livestock salt contains all of the trace minerals, metals, and other "stuff" that is missing from their diets. (Most livestock can't get to a salt lick every couple of weeks to recharge, so the salt lick has to come to them. And since we are now putting non-native species on lands that could never have supported them, we have to tweak the salt composition toward their "native" licks in order to make them survive and thrive on an "alien" landscape). Salt for cattle contains copper, vanadium, arsenic, zinc, manganese, iron, and cobalt. Salt for sheep contains the same thing plus sulfur and iodine. Horses need a slightly different formulation with less copper and vanadium and no sulfur. Same for pigs. But none of this stuff goes on a "human" table and is expressly labeled against human use. Humans are at the top of the food chain, and they get most of these other trace compounds from our diet alone. (Exception: iodine, for reasons I will explain later).

One thing I giggle at, is people who don't understand that ALL salt for human consumption comes from one of two natural sources: brine springs/sea water, or mined salt (which is nothing more than ancient deposits of salt that precipitated from seawater). The difference for humans isn't biologically significant. Both sources are oceanic salt, contain trace minerals and electrolytes, and are equally useful to humans. Some will claim that sea salt evaporated recently is "better", but this isn't the case. The fact is, no naturally occurring salt source contains enough iodine to keep modern humans out of trouble. It must be supplemented.

To understand why iodine supplementation for humans is necessary, you need look no further than the modern diet. It's basically refined crap. All of the old-time "power-foods" are largely gone. Natural sources of iodine in yesteryear were hard cheeses, raw milk, free-range eggs, saltwater fish, dried seaweed, shellfish, and old-style yogurts as well as muscle-meat with yellow carotene-tinged fats from grass-fed herbivores. (How much of this stuff did you eat this week? heheheh). As man learned to intensively farm, most of these natural sources of iodine went away, and by the late 1800's and early 1900's, goiter was a big problem. So we dropped-back and added iodine (in the form or iodide or iodate) to common table salt, and the problem disappeared almost overnight. Goiter became rare, and cretinism dropped radically.

So I would dispute that the current salt we consume is crap and only holistic salts are good for you. Todays table salt is some of the best salt in history. Our ability to purify salt and to remove impurities such as magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium and organics isn't a "problem". We have abundant sources of all of these things in the diet already. Refining salt, when it is actually done, is a solution to shelf-storage and stability problems, and it eliminates almost all of the really nasty salt-tolerant bacteria that used to kill people. (In ancient days, kings would require a new salt source to be fed to slaves for up to 7 years before allowing it to be used in the kingdom. Salt-resistant bacteria were rare, but when found, killed humans in droves). None of this is an issue today.

There are those who would prefer a modern, solar-evaporated sea salt, and that is their choice. But they need to understand the only difference between that stuff, and the evil "mined" salt is the presence of impurities that give it its color, fragrance and taste. Both are "natural" salts. Should the "purists" decide to get their "natural, sea-salt" from a source that is laden with toxins, heavy metals, and modern rubbish, that is their right. But personally I'll take something 200 million years older than Man any day.

To be clear there is no flame intended to A-Rock. I just felt I needed to set the record straight before some hippies start trying to make "Love Salts" from the reactor discharge near San Onofre. :mrgreen:

Maybe Rhino will pitch-in here and grade my paper. I'd love to hear his thoughts on this too.
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Re: Need Communal Kitchen Tips

Post by dragonpilot » Fri May 02, 2014 4:54 pm

GreyCoyote wrote:
A-RockLeFrench wrote:
I just felt I needed to set the record straight before some hippies start trying to make "Love Salts" from the reactor discharge near San Onofre. :mrgreen:
Dude...that stuff's bad? I've been surfing there for years! Crap!
Don't bore your friends with all your troubles. Tell your enemies instead, for they will delight in hearing about them.

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