Onions are at the core of my CRY ME NO TEARS Trilogy - from the ground up. Praise onions, do I, and all their relatives. Onions are the most universal foodstuff you can find, and have been so throughout humankind's history. I used them full and well last night when making a casserole - oh, yes! It is no surprise (to me) to find them fighting cancer.
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The world's first anti-cancer cookery schoolCancer patient Jane Kelly attends a pioneering cookery school in France that teaches women how to revel in preventative feasting Jane Kelly, right, learns how to cook an anti-cancer meal with nutritionist Conner Middelmann-Whitney
It’s 9am, and the kitchen already smells inviting, even though the coq au vin hasn’t yet reached the oven. “It’s going to be really homey,” says Conner Middelmann-Whitney, a cookery instructor who teaches people how to recover from and even prevent cancer by feeding themselves a Mediterranean diet.
The previous night, I went with her to a local farm, near her home in south-west France, to collect a bag of fresh organic chickens. The pungent aroma comes from having marinated the birds in red wine, onion, garlic, thyme, bay and dried cep mushrooms.
The spicy plum crumble she is making for dessert also sounds “homey”, at least compared to our breakfast of millet porridge made with hazelnut milk, served with quince jam and homebrewed coffee.
Everything Conner cooks at home and on her pioneering anti-cancer cookery course is selected for its freshness and nutrient density. Things some of us take for granted, such as cows’ milk, bread and potatoes, are replaced with foods that provide a slower release of glucose into the bloodstream.
“Cancer cells love sugar,” she explains. “Glucose can act as a growth factor for tumour cell growth.” Nothing on Conner’s menu will give you a sugar rush, and she refuses to have refined foods – “anything that has been near a factory” – in her classroom kitchen. Instead, she has filled it with natural, seasonal foods, which she teaches her half-a-dozen students – professional middle-aged women from around the world, mostly – to cook slowly, the Mediterranean way.