What does “Organic” really mean? (Part 2 – Meats, Dairy and Seafood)

In my last post, I talked about what “certified organic” means for fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables, and wine. I started with those foods because they’re the least processed foods. That means that there’s the least amount of room for creativity in terms of how to produce them as cheaply as possible while still maintaining the organic seal on the label. Now I’m going to turn to more complex foods – meats, eggs, dairy products and seafood. Continue reading


What Does “Organic” Really Mean? (Part 1 – Produce & Wine)

A friend recently told me that she no longer eats conventional processed sugar, but has switched to Stevia. I was very proud of her for making this switch. It wasn’t until later in the conversation that I learned that she isn’t actually crumbling dried green leaves into her tea. She buys her Stevia from Whole Foods. It comes as a white powder, wrapped in convenient serving-size  paper packets.  I told her that I’m skeptical because this sounds like it’s just as processed as white cane sugar. After all, how do you take a green, leafy herb and turn it into a white powder without significantly altering the biology of the product and therefore impacting how your body synthesizes it? That’s when she retorted, “it’s ORGANIC stevia” with great emphasis on the word “organic.” In other words, she was convinced that this product was good for her and that clearly my insinuation that it’s not good for her was off base. Continue reading


The Vaccine Controversy

Do you get flu shots? Is your tetanus shot up-to-date? Should you give all of the recommended vaccinations to your children? 98% of doctors will probably tell you yes. End of story. Did you even know that this was a controversial topic? I didn’t. At least not until a few weeks ago, when Frontline: The Vaccine War showed up in our Netflix queue. Continue reading


Book Review: Folks, This Ain’t Normal – by Joel Salatin

Ever meet a farmer who opposes farm subsidies? Or a Christian who’s against donating food to developing countries? Or an environmentalist who believes we have too many trees in the US?  How about a forward-thinking innovator who wants to do away with sewage plumbing and go back to a hole in the ground? What if all of this described one person, and that person had the nerve to publish a book accusing everyone else of not being normal?

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Food Labels That Lie

False advertising on food packages in the U.S. seems to now be status quo. For example, nearly all bread that’s labeled “whole wheat bread” contains far more refined flour than actual whole grain flour. While that’s not a lie, I think it’s awfully deceptive. But what *really* gets my goat is when food producers have the nerve to print blatant lies on their labels – and with the backing of the US government. Here are the lies that bother me most: Continue reading