Go, Go, GOJI BERRIES!!!
When I was growing up, my grandmother would make traditional chinese herbal soup at least once a week. The slow cooker would be filled with twig-like ginseng roots, black chicken, red dates, dried bark-like herbs whose names I don’t even know and of course the ubiquitous Goji berries. I was told that these concoctions were good for me. They were good for my eyes, my hair, my brains, my blood. They would cool me down when I was ‘heaty’ or warm me up when I was cold. So under the watchful eye of my mother, I would drink up the fragrant soup with gusto. Not because it was good for me, but because I liked the flavour. Simple as that. The crimson berries engorged with herbal fluid, would burst in my mouth, leaving a sweet aftertaste.
When I left home, Goji berries and its herbal companions disappeared from my cuisine and remained absent for many years. After watching ‘Foodmatters’ and being thoroughly mesmerised by David Wolfe and his energetic vibrancy, I became reacquainted with Goji berries again and they are back with a vengeance! This time, it’s a whole new love affair.
The local organic store sells the most amazing organic Goji berries. I put them in everything, in my water, in fruit shakes, in soups, salads, as a beautiful garnish. One of my favourite snacks is frozen Goji berries. Frozen Goji berries have the most amazing crunchy sweetness. It’s like candy but so much better. They’ve become such a pervasive ingredient in my nutrition that I began to think to myself, “Is too much of a good thing, bad for you?”
So I googled and came across some information about the potential side effects of Goji berries. The critical factor in all these articles were the presence of certain pharmaceutical drugs. That is, the potential side effects arose from an adverse reaction to certain medications that people were taking. Does that mean then, no drugs, no side effects??? Ultimately, it’s our responsibility to learn about what’s good for our bodies and make informed choices.
For me at least, the Goji berries are here to stay.