Monday, October 31, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
The Green Halloween webiste also talks about hosting a greener Halloween party, how to conserve energy (although it's mostly year-round stuff, not really specific to Halloween.) They have a section for kids that has games and activities, that are, of course, green. There's also a section for schools, giving info about making their Halloween parties greener. They also mention the healthy aspect, so decreasing emphasis on the junk food aspect. I thought this was interesting:
"Green Halloween participated in numerous Halloween events last year and came face to face with thousands of children. We asked them what they would think if someone gave them one of the alternative goodies we had on our display instead of regular candy. After seeing the alternatives, not one single child of any age said they would rather have candy. Not one. Kids feel good when the adults around them model positive attitudes. If you’re excited about it – they will be too."
It's a neat idea and I think it's kind of cool to start with baby steps in going green, one holiday at a time. And who are we kidding, the best holiday of all is Halloween, so why not start there?!?!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
As for today's post it's a farewell to the fresh fruits and veggies of the warm weather. As the weather turns colder, I'm always excited to start eating the winter squash that I love so much, but that seems to be about it for fall produce. It's so important to eat seasonally and locally, when possible, so I thought I'd look into what some good fall fruits and veggies are. The first on the list was apples, which made me feel like an idiot! Of COURSE that's a great fall fruit! Some of the other don't really strike me as fall food, but they're healthy non-the less. I found them on this site, but I'll cut and past here for simplicity.
Help your family eat healthier this fall by picking up some of the best nature has to offer. Find a local farmer’s market or check for local produce at your grocery store for these fresh fall fruits and veggies.
- Apples – Nature’s ultimate fast food! High in vitamin C and fiber, apples come in a wonderful variety of flavors, textures and sizes.
- Avocado – If apples are nature’s ultimate fast food, avocados may just be nature’s most perfect food. They are high in fiber, potassium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and E.
- Bananas – another one of nature’s perfect, portable foods, bananas are high in vitamins C and B-6, potassium and fiber.
- Beets – known for their deep color (that’s a good thing) beets are a good source of folate, vitamin C and potassium.
- Cabbage - great in soups or salads, cabbage is high in vitamins A and C.
- Cauliflower – while cauliflower doesn’t really pass the deep color test, it is still a great source of folate, fiber and vitamin C. Try it roasted or mashed for a change of pace.
- Chestnuts – while most people think of eating chestnuts roasted, chestnuts are really good raw as well. They are high in vitamin C.
- Clementines – these tiny little oranges are so much fun to eat! They are a good source of vitamin C, fiber and folate.
- Cranberries - think outside the Thanksgiving box and use cranberries in cakes, breads and muffins while boosting their vitamin C and fiber.
- Figs – Did you know that fresh figs have more fiber than any other fruit or vegetable! Pair with a strong cheese or prosciutto for a good balance.
- Grapes - the deep purple and red varieties pack the most nutrition per grape. Grapes are perfect for lunch boxes and on the go snacks. Just remember to cut them and remove seeds for little ones.
- Grapefruit – good source of vitamin C, fiber and folate. Try the Ruby Red variety for a real treat.
- Kiwi -high in vitamin , did you know that the entire kiwi is edible? Yes, even the skin.
- Parsnips – Add a few cubes of parsnips to your next batch of mashed potatoes or mash them with carrots for a pleasant change. Parsnips are high in folate and vitamin C.
- Pears – In my opinion, nothing beats a good pear! Pears are wonderful on their own but they also work very well with cheese. Pears are high in fiber and vitamin C.
- Pomegranates – the very deep red color of a pomegranate tells of its healthy goodness! Pomegranates are a great source of iron and vitamin C.
- Pumpkin – pumpkins aren’t just for decorating. Their sweet flesh makes a wonderful soup and is also good in risotto. Pumpkin is high in vitamins A and C and folate.
- Squash – Winter squashes are a nutritional jackpot! They are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber, and a good source of folate and thiamin. Roast, steam, use in soups, or even grill – there are so many ways to use squash.
- Sweet Potatoes - why settle for a regular old spud when you can get even more nutrition and flavor from its cousin the sweet potato? Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A, C and B-6, fiber, copper and potassium.
- Swiss Chard – these deep, green nutrient rich leaves are high in vitamins A and C and iron. Wilt in a pan with a bit of olive oil and salt or steam for best taste!
Go for the dark, intense colors in the fall fruits and vegetables. Your body will thank you!
The experts speak on caffeine, exhaustion and fatigue:
"Caffeine's immediate effects on your body"
It doesn't take a genius to see that there might be a downside to all of this neuron activity. In fact, uncontrolled neuron firing creates an emergency situation, which triggers the pituitary gland in the brain to secrete ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone). ACTH tells the adrenal glands to pump out stress hormones—the next major side effect of caffeine.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 56
Within five minutes after you drink your morning coffee, the caffeine begins to stimulate your central nervous system, triggering the release of stress hormones in your body, causing a stress ("fight or flight" ) response. The stress hormones are useful if you need to prepare yourself to fight or flee a dangerous situation, but if you are simply sitting at your desk you may feel a short charge of alertness, quickly followed by feelings of agitation. Within the next hour or so, after the stress response dissipates, you will probably feel more tired and hungry. At these low-energy times, many people reach for another cup of coffee, or eat a snack that is often high in sugar to "pep up" and stay alert. However, both caffeine and sugar only give you temporary feelings of increased energy, which quickly dissipate. For some people, this cycle of low energy followed by an infusion of caffeine or food continues the entire day -- leaving them feeling exhausted and unable to focus by 3:00 p.m. because they are drained from the ups and downs in energy their body endured throughout the day.
Active Wellness By Gayle Reichler MS RD CDN, page 12
Among other things, it stimulates the production of adrenaline, one of the hormones secreted by the adrenal glands to help us in extreme emergency situations. Our adrenals evolved to give our early ancestors the extra strength and alertness needed to escape a saber tooth tiger attack, but we don't often need that much adrenaline these days. Like sugar, coffee constantly stimulates the production of adrenaline, putting excessive wear and tear on the adrenal glands. And let's not forget that green tea and black tea contain caffeine, and even decaf still contains some caffeine. If you're sensitive to caffeine it can keep you awake at night even if you haven't had any since noon. If you're suffering from insomnia, your best bet is to drink nonstimulating herbal teas such as chamomile or mint in the evening. If you need a boost in the afternoon, try a cup of ginseng tea.
Prescription Alternatives by Earl Mindell RPh PhD and Virginia Hopkins MA, page 388
Caffeine triggers a stress response that involves a surge in adrenal hormones and the classic fight-or-flight "emergency," affecting virtually every cell in the body.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 98
Everybody "knows" that caffeine makes you more alert and clearheaded. Think again. A cup of coffee gives you a wakeup jolt because it triggers a stress response. Your adrenal glands are prompted to kick out the same stress hormones that are released when you perceive an external threat or danger. Your muscles tense, your blood sugar elevates for extra energy, your pulse and respiration rates speed up, and your state of alertness increases so you're ready to wrestle with or run from environmental dangers. You may be only sitting at your table or desk drinking a cup of coffee, but your body doesn't know that. It's preparing for action.
The Memory Solution by Dr Julian Whitaker, page 261
Caffeine increases the stimulating neurohormone, noradrenaline, and reduces the calming neurotransmitter, serotonin.
The Crazy Makers by Carol Simontacchi, page 191
Caffeine also stimulates the production of norepinephrine, another stress hormone that acts directly on the brain and nervous system. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are responsible for increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and that "emergency" feeling. In fact, the emergency is quite real. caffeine can trigger a classic fight-or-flight stress reaction with all of the results listed in Illustration.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 57
I particularly recommend that you avoid caffeine. What caffeine actually does is set off a stress response. It stimulates your adrenal glands to make epinephrine and norepinephrine—the same stress hormones that are produced in response to any stressor. This sets the stress response in motion, causing tense muscles, elevated blood sugar, and increased pulse and respiration. You may feel mentally sharper because your brain is high on adrenaline. It's ready to rumble. One cup of coffee for most people isn't damaging. But as you may recall from our discussion of the three stages of the stress response, if stress hormones remain elevated, the body is thrown into a state of chronic stress. By sipping on coffee, tea, or caffeinated soda all day long, you are forcing your adrenal glands to continue to pump out stress hormones.
The Memory Solution by Dr Julian Whitaker, page 165
Caffeine works by mimicking a hormone that tells the adrenal glands to crank out more adrenaline. The adrenal glands think there is a stressful situation and that they are supposed to be making more adrenal hormone.
Herbal Defense by Ralph T Golan ND, page 280
A dosage of 50 to 100 mg caffeine, the amount in one cup of coffee, will produce a temporary increase in mental clarity and energy levels while simultaneously reducing drowsiness. It also improves muscular-coordinated work activity, such as typing. Through its CNS stimulation, caffeine increases brain activity; however, it also stimulates the cardiovascular system, raising blood pressure and heart rate. It generally speeds up our body by increasing our basal metabolic rate (BMR), which burns more calories. Initially, caffeine may lower blood sugar; however, this can lead to increased hunger or cravings for sweets. After adrenal stimulation, blood sugar rises again. Caffeine also increases respiratory rates, and for people with tight airways, it can open breathing passages. Caffeine is also a diuretic and a mild laxative.
The New Detox Diet by Elson M Haas MD, page 30
Caffeine and nicotine overstimulate the adrenal glands. When these substances, other stressors, and a generally poor diet are combined, the adrenals can enter into a state of emergency. They become depleted of important vitamins, such as B-complex vitamins and vitamin C.
Complete Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Gary Null PhD, page 233
Although we think of caffeine in coffee as the "wake-me-up" chemical, chronic use of it may cause fatigue, headache, moodiness, and depression in some people. Because caffeine boosts energy through increasing the production of ATP, the basic unit of energy production in your body, one school of thought suggests that chronically stimulating this system may deplete it, sort of like overworking the soil in farmland. Recommendation: If you are a caffeine junkie (more than 3 cups of coffee a day) and can't get through the day without your coffee fix, you may be promoting your fatigue with caffeine and need a rest period. Go slowly with your reduction to zero caffeine to avoid developing overwhelming sleepiness and a bad headache.
Doctors Complete Guide Vitamins Minerals by Mary D Eades MD, page 324
Caffeine can have a detrimental effect on blood sugar. When caffeine is ingested, the nervous system is stimulated. Adrenaline is released and, in turn, the liver begins to emit stored blood sugar. Insulin is then released, and blood sugar drops below normal—a common seizure trigger for people with epilepsy. Caffeine can also constrict blood vessels in the brain. It is important for people with epilepsy to know that caffeine can be an ingredient in medications, including some antihistamines and decongestants.
Disease Prevention And Treatment by Life Extension Foundation, page 739
For an optimal response to our plan, we recommend eliminating or sharply reducing your caffeine intake. Caffeine raises levels of adrenaline, causes overexcitation, increases stress, and impairs the relaxation response. It's hard to be at peace when you're revved up on caffeine.
Ultraprevention by Mark Hyman MD and Mark Liponis MD, page 241
Monday, October 24, 2011
*I realize this isn't a very "green" blog entry, but I'm was thinking along the lines of creative play. You know, how it's better to give a kid blocks because they can make them into anything rather than a Dora that talks and moves because a Dora that talks and moves isn't anything but a Dora that talks and moves. I've been planning for Christmas gifts lately...
Friday, October 21, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
1 C whole wheat pastry flour - 3/4 C unbleached white flour
1 Tbs baking powder - 1/2 tsp salt (I omitted)
2 tsp cinnamon -1/2 tsp ground ginger -1/4 tsp allspice - 1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 C pureed pumpkin or winter squash
1 tsp vanilla
2 C milk
3 Tbs canola oil
Stir (and sift) together all the dry ingredients in a med. size
bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs with the pumpkin & vanilla.
Beat in the milk & oil until smooth. Add to flour mixture. Cook as usual!
Squash and White Bean Soup
1 sm onion, diced
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 C water or vegetable stock
1 butternut, kabucha, or hubbard squash, peeled and cute into cubes (about 7 cups)
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 Tbsp miso
1 Tbsp tahini
2 C cooked white beans
1/2 C minced fresh parsley
sea salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot over medium-low heat, add onion and oil. Stir gently to spread and then cook about 15 minutes without stirring until the onions are brown and caramelized. Stir in garlix. Add water/stock and squash. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer 30 minutes until squash is tender. Puree squash mixture in blender or food processor with spices, miso, and tahini. Add water if soup is too thick. Return to pot and stir in beans and parsley over low heat. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with pumpkin seeds if desired.
Kale and Rice Casserole
4 C cooked brown rice
1 cup minced kale, collards, chard or spinach
1 1/4 C milk
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 C shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 375. Oil a 2 qt casserole dish. Mix greens into cooked rice and spread in prepared baking dish. Beast together milk, eggs, yeast, and seasonings. Pour over rice. Top with shredded cheese and bake 40 minutes until firm.
Breakfast is from: www.wholesometoddlerfood.com
Lunch and Dinner are from: The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook by Cathe Olson
Monday, October 17, 2011
I Googled "chemicals in wine" and found this site. It's written by an Australian Naturopathic Nutritionist and he actually uses the term "chap" in his article so you KNOW he's reputable! He spent two years researching wine and health and the "French Paradox" (the way the French have such low levels of heart disease but eat a diet rich in saturated fat and cholesterol.) He cites multiple studies in his article and has a lot more infomation than I'm summarizing here, but overall, he says wine it good for you, in moderation of course, because of the anti-oxidents which counter the free-radicals. He says it better, "Frankel's team reported in the British Medical Journal in 1993 that the phytonutrients in wine, with names like Flavonoids and Resveratrol, significantly inhibited the oxidation of lipids (ie. fats & oils) and cholesterol in human blood. It should be mentioned that a primary cause of cardiovascular disease is oxidative damage to the artery walls caused by oxidised or rancid lipids and cholesterol in the bloodstream, causing the artery walls to become inflamed, leading to the build-up of plaque that narrows the artery."
He goes on to talk about people with wine allergies and what can cause them. "These sufferers restrict their consumption of wine because of headaches, facial flushing, sinus problems and other negative reactions." (Would those "other negative reactions" include drunk dialing and yelling when you think you're whispering?) This is where the discussion about chemicals come in. "Chemicals that are permitted by law for use in winemaking include pesticides, herbicides, equipment cleaning chemicals, and sulphite preservatives." Just like with other juices, those @%$# pesticides are lurking in your wine. I didn't know this, but "grapes used in winemaking are not washed. This may come as a surprise to many people, who would naturally assume that grapes are washed after picking but prior to fermentation to remove all traces of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides. Sadly, that is not the case. The obvious question is "Why not wash the grapes?" Unfortunately this is not possible, as grapes are normally 'machine harvested' and the grape skins are damaged by the picking equipment and grape juice is released. In other words, the collection containers are filled with damaged grapes in a sort of liquid mush, and there in no way that the grapes can be washed." Suddenly, those organic wines don't look so expensive after all! And of course we need to add preservatives to our food. In wine they are sulfides. "As a simple rule, any wine that is capable of being shipped long distances and stored in hot tropical 40c temperatures, will need high levels of preservative sulphites to stop the wine from deterioration. Such high preservative levels can be a culprit in what we call 'restaurant syndrome' and most consumers have experienced the ill effects of a good night out." He then goes on to talk about the alcohol that's in wine and how the liver cleans it out and what to do to aid that process (lots of water and B vitamins...which would have been helpful to me YESTERDAY!)
So I guess wine is like everything else out there. If you drink the conventional wine, you're going to have pesticides and preservatives in there, but if you're drinking organic you're not.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Today I was FINALLY getting a chance to glace at my Kiwi Magazine online newsletter and I found an article about how to detox your family. It's pretty basic stuff that I already know, one being to stay away from food additives. The cool thing is, they gave a database web address for food additives! It just checked it out and it's GREAT! It's from the Center for Science in the Public Interest and it's a pretty easy site to navigate. This is the info from the home page for food additives:
Shopping was easy when most food came from farms. Now, factory-made foods have made chemical additives a significant part of our diet.
In general, it's best to avoid the following ingredients.
- Sodium nitrite
- Saccharin, Aspartame, Acesulfame-K
- Food Dyes
And don't forget to cut back on sugar and salt, which cause more harm than all the other additives combined."
Most of these I knew about, but I guess I didn't really know that last part, about sugar and salt. And that's actually great, because I can read "sugar" and "salt" on a label, whereas it's a lot harder to decipher many of the other additives (although "sugar" has so many forms now.)
It also has a chart that shows the safety of all food additives, rated similarly to the cosmetic database, and then a huge glossary of additives. So if you've ever wondered what pantothenic Acid is, now you can find out! I'm really excited to use this as a reference in the future!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Here are the requirements:
- It must be paraben-free
- I have to be able to get it at the grocery store.
- It must be under $5 a bottle.
- It must have a "low-hazard" rating on the Skin Deep database.
- It must WORK! My oldest has eczema so we need something strong!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
"The special aims to address the growing problem of hunger in America, where nearly 17 million families like Lily’s have limited access to food, according to Jeanette Betancourt, the senior vice president for outreach and educational processes at Sesame Workshop. Children age six and under make up 9.6 million of those who are hungry, she said."
What a horrible statistic! It makes me think of Hell's Kitchen (I know I'm repeating myself) and how, in the name of high standards of fine dining, mass amounts of food are thrown away, simply because they're not cooked to someone's liking. It really disturbs me to watch as they throw away beef Wellington after Beef Wellington simply because it's overcooked. I can think of 9.6 million people who wouldn't complain! And the waste of resources to raise that beef that was thrown in the trash. Uggg!
So, again, I'm applauding Sesame Street. Her's a You Tube clip from the episode.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I like doing activities like that with my kids because I feel like it gives them a better sense of the natural world around them. Besides getting them out in nature, it gives them a real look at what the REAL world looks like, beyond our suburban backyard. I don't want my kids to be one of those that actually thinks food comes from the grocery store, not realizing that it's grown somewhere before it gets there. Having a respect for animals is really important to me, and taking my kids to the wilderness center is a great way for me to impart that to my kids. We're ALWAYS talking about respecting our pets feelings (when she hisses and her ears are flat, that means the cat doesn't like being carried like a baby). It's important for me to make sure my kids know that when we talk about being green, on the most basic level, like not littering, they can see what nature is supposed to look like and what we're destroying we when litter. Plus, it's just nice to unplug and hike around a little!
Monday, October 10, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
51/2 C water
2 TBSP Chopped wakame (it's a sea vegetable that can be found dried by the Asian food)
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 c chopped kale, cabbage, watercress, or other green
1/2 cup snow or snap peas (you need to use fresh. Frozen ones just get nasty in the soup!)
1/2 cup small uncooked pasta noodles (we use ABC noodles)
8 oz tofu, diced (or chicken)
2 TBSP miso (we use Hatcho Miso, which is strongly flavored. I've also used white miso which is much milder)
soy sauce to taste
Place water and wakame in medium-sized pan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered 10 minutes, or until pasta is just cooked. Remove from heat, stir in miso (you need to take a little liquid from the pan, and mix it with the miso in a small bowl to form a paste, about the consistency of ketchup and THEN add it to the soup. Otherwise you'll end up with chunks of miso in the soup). Season with soy sauce if desired.
I love this recipe because it's fast and is uses wakame and miso as well as dark leafy greens, all of which give a great nutritional boost (I've already talked about the wonders of kale, but miso has 8 amino acids and is a good source of veggie protein as well as live enzymes which aid digestion. Wakame is high in protein, iron, calcium, vitamins and trace minerals.)
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Group seeks labels on genetically altered foodAmericans are mostly clueless about whether the food they buy has been genetically altered. But in a nation increasingly concerned about food ingredients, there's a new push for that to change.
The actions come at a time when American consumers are more closely reading product labels and are showing greater concern about the ingredients in the foods they buy.
Critics say there are safety questions about eating such foods — and note that labeling is required throughout the European Union, Russia, Japan and even China.
But executives at the Biotechnology Industry Organization insist there's no need for labeling. "Anyone who has ever studied the issue has come to the conclusion that there are no health issues here," says CEO Jim Greenwood. "Unless the scientists have stopped being scientific, this will be rejected."
Some 88% of the corn planted in the U.S. is genetically engineered, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It shows up in many packaged foods.
"This is about the consumer's right to transparency," says Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farm and a member of the Just Label It coalition. "People deserve the right to know what they're eating."
The campaign includes a commercial that features a blindfolded family struggling to eat — symbolically blind to the genetically altered food. The family members wreak havoc, even knocking over dinner candles that catch the table on fire.
But the FDA is not likely to be easily swayed.
While not commenting on the petition, Tamara Ward, an FDA spokeswoman, says the agency "has not found that foods from genetically engineered organisms, as a class, present different or greater safety concerns than their conventional counterparts."
The coalition hopes consumers will visit its website, justlabelit.org, and comment on its FDA petition, says Andrew Kimbrell, a coalition member and executive director for the Center for Food Safety.
Eating genetically engineered food, says Hirshberg, "makes guinea pigs of us all."
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I don't eat meat, as you all know. But my dad got a cow, or part of a cow, or someone in his family got a cow, anyway, I now have a freezer FULL of dead animal. This cow came from the Stark County Fair, which bothers me because we walked through the beef cattle last year and it brought tears to my eyes. But that's not really where I'm going with this. My mother was watching my youngest the other day. When I got home I realized I needed to get my stew in the crock pot for dinner, I was in a rush...anyway she was kind to help me get my dinner ready. Her job was to cut this massive roast into chunks. She asked where I got it, and I told her it was from a cow at the fair. "Ewwww!" was her response. Which kind of startled me. I asked her why and she said it's because you don't know where it came from, which surprised me even more! I know (or could easily find out) not only where that cow came from, but who it's parents were, see where and how it lived, and talk to the farmer (or kid in 4-h) that raised it. I found it strange that she would think it was gross to eat THIS cow, but a cut of meat from Acme is fine. Which made me remember a "fun" statistic I heard/read somewhere about ground beef. So I Googled "How Many Cows go into 1 lb of ground beef?" And I found this:
In just 4 ounces, a typical burger patty is packed with the meat and fat of 50 to 100 cattle from multiple states and two to four countries.
Eat two hamburgers a week — as the average American does — and in a year's time the consumer samples a stampede: 5,200 to 10,400 cattle.
THAT is gross to me! The sad thing is that these cows don't live on a farm, like my Fair Cow did. They live in a factory farm, packed in with hundreds of other cows, knee deep in their own manure, being fed a diet of corn (probably GMO), which isn't a natural diet for a ruminant (animal that chew cud).
I kind of feel like this is getting a little preachy, so I'm going to just sum up here that generally speaking, locally raised beef is better than what you're buying in the grocery. If you live in the Canton area, and are interested in locally raised beef or poultry, I just got an email from Simon Certified Organic Farms about their October Harvest Days. Also, if you have any good pot roast recipes I have a few roasts I need to use...
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
It's the same with eating healthy food, as I found out this weekend. I was at Sam's Club with my dad/Stepmom. My Stepmom and I were talking about what foods are OK to eat since she's been trying to eat a healthier diet. She said her nutritionist is telling her not to eat all kinds of thing (similar to what I do here, I guess) but now she knows what NOT to eat, but not what TO eat. So I've decided to blog about things TO eat, not what NOT to eat. So, as Michael Pollan says, EAT FOOD!
It's always best to eat organic food, but it's not always possible. I said a good rule of thumb is to eat lots of fresh food, but she was concerned about GMOs. I told her to check for that PLU codes starting with an 8, which does indicate a GMO, but then I found out that it's OPTIONAL to add the 8 so you can't assume that if it doesn't start with an 8 it's not GMO. The good news is that very few US grown produce is GMO, except for Hawaiian papayas, some zucchini and yellow squash, and corn on the cob. If you don’t buy these organic, they *may* be genetically-modified (or they may not be).
Whole grains are always good. This includes rice (brown and wild), millet, quinoa and oatmeal. I found that the Raisin Rack all of these in bulk (not wild rice).
If you eat meat and/or dairy, look for grass-fed or pastured. Cage free, isn't the same thing. The organic label is always good here too. There aren't factory farms in Canton, Ohio so if you're buying locally raised meat, you're probably in good shape too.
Here's a good fall recipe that meets all the "Do" rules:
Brown and Wild Rice Pilaf in Acorn Squash
2 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 c brown rice
1/2 C wild rice
1 TBSP minced fresh rosemary
2 1/2 C boiling water
1/2 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/2 C chopped pecans or walnuts
1 acorn squash
Heat oil in saucepan. Stir in onion and saute 5 min. Add celery, rice and rosemary. Saute 10 min. Pour boiling water over rice. Add salt. Cover and simmer 35-40 minutes or until water is absorbed. Season with black pepper. Stir in cranberries and nuts.
To make the squash:
Wash and put whole squash in slow cooker for 8 hrs. OR, cut in half, brush with olive oil and roast, face down, in a 375 oven for one hour.
Fill 1/2 squash with pilaf (of you want to unhealthy it up a little you can add some honey or brown sugar).
Monday, October 3, 2011
But, seriously, I think it's great that Pampers has changed it's product to be better for it's users and the planet. How great that consumers are now more aware of what's in the products that they buy! And what's even better is that they're causing companies to change (and boast about the changes) for the better! Michael Pollan is always saying that we "vote with our dollars" when he talks about how we can influence companies to change to more natural/organic ingredients. I think this is a perfect example! Now if we could only do the same thing about that disgusting funny berry smell....(Pssst! Pampers, this is your cue to make fragrance free toddler shampoo! I'll be looking for it on Giant Eagle's shelf in about a week!)