It’s 4pm and you’re only now starting to think about dinner tonight. Am I right? For me at least, lack of advanced meal planning is one of the top barriers to eating healthy and frankly, reducing stress. Especially given my family’s dietary restrictions (I am gluten free, though soy sauce is fine for me) – weekly meal planning has been my saving grace. It sounds so simple and yet so few people actually do it. I hope you’ll give it a try. And to get you started, I’ll share with you my own meal planning routing.
- Me: Are your vegetables organic?
- Farmer: No, sorry.
- Me: That’s too bad.
- Farmer: It’s really expensive to get certified, you know.
- Me: Ok, well what pesticides do you use, exactly?
The conversation quickly goes over my head. By now I’m also getting dirty looks for holding up the line. Sheesh, all I wanted to know is if these sweet potatoes are worth the slightly higher price compared to those at the neighboring stand. Isn’t there an easier way to differentiate the quality of the products at the different stands? Why yes, there is a better question. And one whose answer you can judge in 5 seconds or less. 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
Here’s a drink that’s much tastier and more nutritious than whey protein powder shakes. It’s a drink that my 16-month-old and I both became addicted to while in Istanbul last week. It also turns out to be quite easy to make at home. It’s the traditional Turkish drink called Ayran (pronounced “EYE-ron”). Continue reading
This morning NPR reported that a farmer in Oregon found some Roundup-resistant wheat growing on his land. He sent it to a lab for testing. That lab, and then subsequently the USDA, both confirmed that the plants were genetically modified. About a decade ago, Monsanto did create Roundup-resistent varieties of wheat, which they tested in wheat fields in 16 different states, but those field trials ended in 2005 since the wheat industry didn’t want it. It has never been approved by the U.S. government for commercial use.
In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) stated that, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified (GM) food.” These include infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The AAEM has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid GM foods. But how can people avoid GM foods when they are not labeled as such?
The United States has tried numerous times to pass GM labeling legislation, with the most prominent recent example being proposition 37 in California, which failed just like all prior attempts. Contrast this with the European Union, which passed GM labeling laws back in 1997 when the first Genetically Engineered (GE) corn (maize) crops were being planted. Far fewer safety studies had been done back then, but the Europeans had strong feelings on the topic nonetheless.
Why do the U.S. and Europe have such diverging attitudes on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)? Here’s my list of the top 7 reasons followed by what those of us who want labeling legislation in America can do about it:
Coconut has long been a staple food in tropical regions around the world and has grown in popularity in America. This is thanks in part to Americans’ growing interest in the exotic flavors from countries like Thailand, India and Brazil. But it is also thanks to the growing body of research on coconuts’ nutritional benefits (a good resource is the Coconut Research Center). Luckily it’s pretty easy these days to find good quality whole coconuts, shredded dried coconut meat and coconut oil. Unfortunately coconut milk is another story.
Do you buy canned or boxed coconut milk or eat at restaurants that cook with these products? Ever wonder what all those extra ingredients in the can are? Do you want to know where to find pure, fresh-tasting and additive-free coconut milk without having to make it yourself? Continue reading
I’ve been wondering why wheat is getting such a bad rap lately. We’ve known for some time that refined flour contributes to metabolic problems, like cavities, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. What’s new is the growing number of people having severe and immediate reactions to wheat or the gluten in the wheat. Celiac disease is on the rise, but many other people have digestive, autoimmune or neurological issues, such as IBS, Hashimotos, depression, autism and ADHD, the symptoms of which appear to be vastly diminished when wheat/gluten is eliminated from the diet. But how could wheat really be the culprit, since it is a traditional food that’s been consumed by humans for thousands of years? Continue reading