10/4/12

My Interview with Mark McAfee, Founder and CEO of America’s Most Controversial Dairy

Real, unadulterated, whole, raw milk. People have consumed this versatile, satisfying and nutritious food for thousands of years. That is, up until about 100 years ago, when it fell out of favor and was replaced by the highly processed and allergenic alternative that is found in today’s supermarkets. Although it’s growing again in popularity, raw milk and its producers are mistrusted by government officials, the mainstream media and the vast majority Americans.  Several raw milk dairies in America have recently closed their doors due to the intense scrutiny and harassment they’ve endured from state health departments. But Mark McAfee, head of America’s largest retail raw milk producer, is far from letting anyone get in the way of pursuing his dream of improving the health of this country by providing informed consumers with access to “mother nature’s perfect food.”

In this interview, Mark gives me the inside scoop on the very public pathogen outbreaks that have been associated with his dairy. He answers the hotly debated question of whether humans should be consuming the milk of another species. He talks about government corruption. And he tells me about a new enterprise he has launched, which aims to bring greater transparency and standardization to raw milk production. Continue reading

08/8/12

Are You Unknowingly Eating Spoiled Foods?

A few weeks ago, while baking with my German mother-in-law, she politely informed me that my hazelnuts and whole wheat flour, which had been in my pantry for ~8 weeks and 6 months respectively, were both rancid.   She had me smell the flour. I did, but couldn’t tell it was rancid because I didn’t have fresher flour to compare to. Besides, the expiration date was still several months out. When I tasted the hazelnuts, however, I knew she was right.  They had a bitter aftertaste. She also explained that the dark color was another clue that they were old. I wondered how much of a risk rancid foods pose. Continue reading

04/25/12

What does “Organic” Really Mean? (Part 3 – Packaged & Processed Foods)

Packaged and Processed Foods

In my last two posts, I talked about what “organic” means for meats, dairy, wines, seafood, and produce – basically everything that you find along the perimeter of your supermarket. This third and final post on this topic is about what organic means for packaged and processed foods, which are found in the center aisles of the supermarket and include the product that started this post: organic stevia powder. Continue reading

03/22/12

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

03/3/12

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

11/27/11
Folks-this-aint-normal

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?

Continue reading

10/28/11
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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

10/9/11

Why I prefer homemade yogurt over store-bought

On business trips, I often crave my usual breakfast of yogurt with honey, fruit and nuts. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a yogurt for sale in supermarkets, health-food stores or even gourmet food markets that compares to my homemade yogurt. Here are my thoughts on why store-bought yogurt doesn’t even come close to the yogurt you can make at home. Continue reading