I didn’t know it at the time, but the columns of grey smoke I saw in the distance, beyond acres of corn and soy fields, was the first clue we had arrived in Pennsylvania’s Amish country. The next clue was a man riding an adult-sized scooter on the side of the quiet country road. He was dressed in the tell-tale suspendered pants over a loose-fitting shirt that I’ve seen before. Then we finally spotted our first horse-drawn buggy, holding up a line of cars. Continue reading
I’m a serious cook and I expect my kitchen equipment to work well and hold up. Unfortunately I’ve struggled for many years with frying pans and skillets. They either stick too much, are hard to clean and maintain, or they are coated with materials like Teflon, which quickly wear down and eventually lose their non-stick properties. Plus, these coated pans are of questionable safety because small particulates of the chemical coating inevitably get into the food.
I am grateful to my friend Monica for turning me on to an amazing pan that solves all of these problems and produces delicious, perfectly cooked food. I will now share this amazing find with you and also describe my experience with various other types and brands of pans I’ve used over the years. Continue reading
Strawberry season has just started here in the Washington, DC metro area. (It’s very late thanks to our long, hard winter!) That means it’s time for our annual journey to my local pick-your-own farm to stock up on strawberries for MUCH cheaper than in supermarkets. Since they only last in my refrigerator for a few days, I freeze mine so that I can enjoy them throughout the year. Here are my tips on how to freeze them properly and ideas for using them afterward.
There was a time when I thought that all alternative or healthy foods could be purchased from retail stores, like Whole Foods. Now I know better. The more I learn about natural, traditional and alternative foods, the more I’m amazed by how little is available in most, if any retail stores. Continue reading
I want to know what’s in my food. I am skeptical of many of the novel, new foods and production methods food producers are employing to supposedly “enhance” foods, which is usually marketing spin for production changes that serve primarily to increase profits, regardless of the impact on public health. The last thing that I want is to permit the food industry to take this deception even further by sneaking biologically altered ingredients into our foods without us even knowing it.
So I should be in favor of GMO labeling, right?
About 4 months ago, I began this blog post with the aim of arguing in favor of GMO labeling and exposing the holes in my opponents’ arguments. In order to do this effectively, I had to really understand the other side. So I devoted countless hours to listening to various authorities who argued against labeling for various reasons. And that’s when things got complicated. One by one, each of my arguments fell apart. Confusion led to frustration which lead to fear. Fear that I’ve been so ignorant and probably still am. Fear that I might tip over to the “dark side” and join the likes of Monsanto, the most vilified entity in the natural foods community. Fear that I would lose my readers.
After more than 40 revisions to this article, I’ve decided to go ahead and publish it now, despite being more undecided than ever on this very polarizing topic. As with my journey to learn more about the complex issues surrounding vaccines, I invite you to join me on my at this critical juncture in my journey toward greater understanding through openness, objectivity and humility. Continue reading
Some things are impossible to buy in the U.S. and one of those things seems to be German gingerbread cookies. Sure, we sell many varieties of so-called gingerbread cookies in this country, but none come anywhere close to the soft and intriguingly spicy variety I enjoy in Germany, called Lebkuchen.
Food battles with my son began shortly after his first birthday. Over the past several months, his opinions on food have only become stronger. He discriminates against “foods of color:” carrots, peas, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli and squash, for instance. They apparently make better projectiles than food. Sand, rocks and discarded bottle caps, on the other hand, go straight into his mouth at first sight!
Luckily, I’ve found one way to get at least some vegetables into his diet every day, thanks to these vegetable pancakes. I make several days worth of batter at a time, then store it in the refrigerator in a jar. Every morning I just spoon out the batter and fry up the pancakes. I cook and puree the veggies in bulk and then freeze it in small bags so that when I use up the last of the batter, I just move a bag of frozen puree to the refrigerator so that the next morning it’s ready to be made into batter. Continue reading
Milk shouldn’t be drunk raw because, well, look at where the cow’s udder is located – at the same end of the cow as her…<gulp>…”you know what!”
This is the message I heard a government official deliver in response to a presentation advocating raw milk by Sally Fallon Morell of the Weston A. Price Foundation. That official was Heidi Kassenborg, director of the Dairy & Food Inspection Division of Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
The venue was an open debate, put on by Harvard University’s Food Law Society. It’s been a year and a half since the debate, but I still can’t get out of my head the cartoon image of the cow that Kassenborg displayed so prominently in her presentation. The implication was that it should be obvious to anyone, even a child, why milk shouldn’t be drunk raw.
This got me thinking more and more about poop/feces/manure/bodily waste or whatever you want to call it and whether it’s necessarily as dangerous and sickening as it’s made out to be. Not that I *want* to be consuming it, but how diligent must I be about ensuring that I or my child never come in contact with it? Is this even realistic? And is that a valid reason to think twice about drinking raw milk? Continue reading
I could hardly contain my excitement when I came upon this powerful, astute and somehow poetic portrayal of the problems with our food system – a topic I love to write and debate about, although never so eloquently or succinctly. Therefore, I want to share with you this short excerpt from the book Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community. It is a series of essays written by the award-winning author and agricultural activist Wendell Berry. Continue reading
Modern varieties of corn are different from the corn our grandparents ate: they’re sweeter and don’t require as much cooking time. Here’s my secret to perfect cooked corn – without a timer! Plus I’ll share two of my favorite recipes for perfectly cooked corn: summer tomato, avocado and corn salad and corn chowder. Continue reading