ALC 10 Aids Life Cycle(Aids Ride California)

Dear Friends

One evening at a private dinner party in 2005 I met Lou Rosenblate. Instantly we connected; discussed food, molecular gastronomy and the sensation for anything that stimulates our receptors in varied – or unusual combinations. Through Lou’s daily inspirations, I dived back behind the home stove, re-enacted old tricks and unfolded buried old recipe sheets hidden between cookbooks. “You’re the best…!”

He would encourage the devil in me (culinarially), showed up for dinners with new findings, recipes he clipped, stories of discoveries and openings. Foremost, he was a delightful dinner guest for a chef: He salivated, raved, aaah’d and complimented sauces and nuisances over pretty much everything I prepared for his delightful cravings. He would inquire every bit of food I had in a day, curios if I enjoyed or just ate. Lou never learned to cook with an odd adversity to baking.

One day he confessed he was HIV positive and since I had an extensive knowledge about health-food and Traditional Chinese Medicine he asked if I could help him with a healthy diet. Surprised, I found myself lacking sufficient knowledge but comforted him that his passion for food, regardless of calories or fat was a soul-pleasing aspect and mind-curing life-style. I promised to study the specifics first. “You do that, chef – you’re the best…!”

We planned a culinary trip to South Africa after my return from work in Asia. The planning of this seven-day trip required us to eat five times a day not to miss any of the spectacular restaurants and local specialties. It was all about food!

It was utterly shocking when I received a message from his twin sister that Lou had died in his sleep. Just like that. Dead at 48, gone. With that a friendship erased, a support vanished, meals uncooked; I boxed away cookbooks.

I still feel this awkward empty pain when thinking about him: When a market stores Quince Jelly next to aged cheese, when a food Magazine raves about Chilli laced Cheescake, a cocktail waiter entices Rum soaked Goosberries with Goatcheese or when someone asks if I’d tasted dark chocolate with bacon pieces… Yes, Lou introduced me to it. He was merely a gourmet connection and he still pops in my mind and shows his presence. Nobody should die nowadays of HIV infections: it’s absurd. But – people do. For weeks I was angry and confused.

I’m participating for the 2nd time in ALC 10 (Aids Ride California). To play along in the spirit of Lou’s obsession and because it’s funny as a chef to observe absurd realities – I will post daily a detailed list of my food and drink intake between June 4th – 11th 2011 to share with you what it takes to burn 5000 calories a day bicycling 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Our 7 day journey will raise money and awareness in support of Centers in both cities in their fight to end AIDS.
I rely on your generous support in raising at least $3000 to participate. Please, become a donor and within connected to a cause that will prevent future friendships and families from being early interrupted. There is still a general lack for compassion and much need for research and medicines.

We all share a common ground on earth, live in one short cycle of actions and must allow ourselves to make donations and share wealth, as this is direly needed in the midst of the political chaos and aid-strangulations we experience. Thank You from the bottom of my heart and in the name of Lou’s family and all his friends.

Follow me on Facebook.

You’re the best!

Chef Raphael Gamon www.AidsLifeCycle.org go to donation and JUST DO IT!

All this for steam

Nuclear Power for Steam

I was six years old when my father painted my body yellow with a huge biohazard sign across my little chest and dragged me to an anti-Nuclear-facility-demonstration in Switzerland, protesting the construction of the second AW (Atom Werk) in progress.

When in late April of 1986 the accident of Chernobyl scarred half of Europe into the reality of the risks of using the “power of the sun” as my father expressed; I was well educated in his views on my Plutonium Power Generation; He, as a professor for mathematics, physics and chemistry on the ETH (Swiss University for Science and Technology) had instilled a very strong perception on the ignorance of indeterminacy risk by generating energy through BWR (boiling water reactors).

So, I am a geek when it comes to this specific knowledge on Nuclear risk; indoctrinated from early childhood on. With the recent catastrophic development in Japan I have come to realize that I need to educate a very “blind” generation with simplicity and passion: Everyone should be very alert about the reality of the Fukushima Nuclear power plant catastrophe. Sorry, this is scary!

In 1967 the plans to build six Nuclear reactors in the Futabe District about 140 miles SE of Tokyo on an earthquake fault caused engineers to quit their respected jobs, frustrated that the Tokyo Electric Company and the conservative Government would not regard their warnings… The construction started in 1971. Yes, the plans are that old, the security is outdated and the population has expanded 240% in the surrounding area. Partially because there had not been an accident and foremost since real estate boomed in the late 80’s and compliance is a human trait.

All the signs were there: Today, Chernobyl caused over 1 million people to die painfully on cancer, we have over 20’000 people in an 300 mile area of ground zero living with Thyroid cancer and no farmland can produce vegetables beyond or above grounds that should be used for living consumption; Although people live in that area, grow food and are sickly and even infertile. Today, 40% of Northern Europe produces crop and produce that contains elements of radioactivity that is considered harmful (60 times above some dubious guidelines) to humans and certain products from Turkey, like Hazelnuts are sold worldwide, even so they are unsafe…

Back to Japan. We have six Nuclear reactors damaged. Three of them without shielding cover. Two of the cooling towers blown out by a hydrogen explosion and with it about 250 pieces of highly radioactive spent fuel-rods scattered all over the place. Also they are “old” rods, they still need to be cooled for about sixty years (we don’t really know, because we have no reference…) If you held one of these cladded twenty inch long and ½ inch wide rods next to your face you would die within minutes of radiation burns. Your skin would boil and fall off your face. Standing ten feet away you would die within days of inner organ burns, your eyes would dry out and your brain shrink and this old rods radiate in dangerous high measurement even 1 mile away to such an extreme, they can cause anyone to experience skin eruptions in month and years to come: internal damage equal to an AIDS patients dying of a whipped out immune system. Hey, I’m not trying to scare you, we know this for fact from Chernobyl. Google some pictures… So, twice, 250 pounds of these rods in each of the cooling roofs are blown all over the place… It’s a mess. Two towers missing, a third roof partially gone.

After the earthquake the electricity went out. The Tsunami took out four generators the size of a Midwest farm barn, usually assisting in an emergency supply of energy needed for the 3M L H2O pM (one million gallon of water per minute!) to keep the facilities running safely. About 30 tons of Nuclear waste needs to be cooled every year… Besides, it takes lot’s of water to cool the 500 lbs of active purified Uranium in the core of each facility to keep it from melting; a term used when a critical stage of heat is overstepped (we are not sure about this precise measurement either) the rods will burn, glow or melt uncontrollably and there is no stopping it… Not even salt water that was pumped directly from the ocean and washed back radioactive…

To date, 500 lbs in each of the six buildings are not cooled correctly; two of the cooling pools are pretty much exposed or empty and the Zirconium covered rods are evaporating, overheating, releasing a radioactive steam that can cause bone cancer, Typhoid cancer and all sorts of allergies for the next 600 years on earth. Okay, it eventually dilutes in the atmospheric region but some will rain down on fields and foremost oceans where it will be absorbed by plankton feeding crustaceans, feeding little fish, feeds big fish and is surely absorbed by us with no escape. It only takes 1/M of a gram to cause cancer in a human being. Five lbs of this yellow cake Plutonium is enough to cause cancer in all living species on earth. (That includes us…)

Right now we have 1000 lbs of activated Uranium leaking radioactive energy all over the place on Japan, spews variations of radiation traveling into the winds and cruising onwards Northern America and “falling out” (rain) onto the freshly sprouted farmlands. The energy released by each core is equal to 1000 Hiroshima bombs – not a mathematical matter we can ignore or brush aside as insignificant. Yes, it only took 5lbs to make the Nagasaki bomb.

I was furious about the oil spill in the golf of Mexico, but the catastrophic reality happening right now on Japan is by far the worst result caused by the greedy need for energy. A human notion we could play with the energies of the sun gone slightly wrong.

For the first six weeks we are in danger of Iodine 129 causing guaranteed Typhoid cancer, well that has nearly past (the EPA claims… but all private research levels are still alarmingly high and the energies released have not diminished), for the fact of fission radiation of Cesium – well, let’s look at it this way: Einstein estimated it would linger 600 years in ground water supplies and possibly harm any living organ in this time frame…

Strontium 90 however will cause radiation damage for at least 500 million years, but heck – who cares… That is a freaking long time and nobody will know, really…

As a Buddhist I have to end this “outburst” with a kind and encouraging note: Indeed, there are solutions that Nature offers us to cope with the never-ending pollution brought upon humanity by brilliant minds. We can adjust our intake, be it physically and mentally; it does require we become informed and don’t shy away from the information available. Self-promoting as it seems, I do teach courses in cooking and consuming healthy food that can boost our immune response and aids our abilities to cope in this short cycle of wondrous living.

Chef Raphael