Wednesday, July 22, 2009

YO DUDE! What's UP????

What's going on Obama? I thought you were more pro-environment, pro the people?
What the ......?

Per the Organic Consumer's Association.........

Now, the Obama Administration is putting two notorious biotech bullies in charge of food safety! Former Monsanto lobbyist Michael Taylor has been appointed as a senior adviser to the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner on food safety. Just what we need a lobbyist as senior advisor, no conflict of interest there!!

According to OCA
  • While working as a lobbyist, Taylor authored more than a dozen articles critical of the Delaney Clause, a 1958 federal law prohibiting the introduction of known carcinogens into processed foods, which had long been opposed by Monsanto and other chemical and pesticide companies. (oooh, yummmy, I'd love some more pesticides in my food, wouldn't you?)
  • When Taylor rejoined the federal government, he continued advocating that Delaney should be overturned. This was finally done when President Clinton signed the so-called Food Quality Protection Act on the eve of the 1996 elections.

As for Wolff...

per OCA....

rBGH-using dairy farmer and Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff is rumored to be President Obama's choice for Under-Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety.

Dennis Wolff is the Secretary of Agriculture for the State of Pennsylvania. Wolff also is a dairy farmer and owns Pen-Col Farms, a 600-acre dairy cattle operation.

so, if you want to purchase milk without rBGH in it you can't identify it BECAUSE IT'S NOT ON THE LABEL!!!!

Per Wolff, (awwwe, he did it for us)
... consumers were "concerned or confused" about the labeling and said his department received "many calls" about it. Yet when a New York Times reporter asked him about this, Wolff couldn't provide any surveys showing consumers were confused and could not come up with the name of ONE CONSUMER who had complained.

(sounds fishy to me! politics as usual)
* Held one meeting of the so-called Food Labeling Advisory Committee and said they recommended the labeling ban. Yet the committee never voted on anything and never made any recommendations specific to dairy. Moreover, the group most affected by the rules and most opposed to them, the PA Association of Milk Dealers, was never even invited to the meeting.

Per OCA....

After 5 years of declining sales and several legal setbacks, Monsanto has finally decided to dump rBGH! Thanks to consumer pressure, major retailers, dairies, and cafes, from Kroger to Starbucks, have commited to sourcing milk from rBGH-free cows.

Several countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the European Union have banned rbGH because of its impacts on human and animal health.

From the book: What's in your milk? by Samuel S. Epstein,M.D.

Monsanto, supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), insists that rBGH milk is indistinguishable from natural milk, and that it is safe for consumers. This is blatantly false.
  • rBGH makes cows sick. Monsanto has been forced to admit to about 20 toxic effects, including mastitis, on its POSILAC label.
  • rBGH milk is contaminated by pus, due to the mastitis commonly induced by rBGH, and antibiotics used to treat the mastitis.
  • rBGH milk is supercharged with high levels of a natural growth factor (IGF-1), which is readily absorbed through the gut.
  • Excess levels of IGF-1 have been incriminated as a cause of breast, colon, and prostate cancers.
  • IGF-1 blocks natural defense mechanisms against early submicroscopic cancers.
  • rBGH factory farms pose a major threat to the viability of small dairy farms.
  • rBGH enriches Monsanto, while posing dangers, without any benefits, to consumers.

I don't know about you but I'm fed up! No wonder every other person you meet has been touched by cancer. We all have to care about this stuff. The system is too big and too driven by corporate interests. Vote with your dollar! Don't buy the junk!!! Go to the OCA site and send a message about these new appointments. Click Here! and send a message!

These appointments stink. Sounds like the investment banking debacle! Do they all work for Goldman Sachs or Monsanto!!???&*&*

So whoopie, there's crap in the sunscreen that can give you cancer, gunk in the milk, cancer causing properties in artificial sweeteners, injected farmed fish, nitrates and nitrites in your cold cuts...........the list just goes on and on!

LET's wake up peeps!!! Send a message that you'd prefer your food products be free of cancer causing crazy crud.

Friday, July 17, 2009

FRIDAY FIX.........

A delicious treat from my Grandma. Peachy-keen!

So, you've been eating healthy for a whole week. Right? Right??? Well, even if you haven't been good, It's time for a treat, so I'm going to share a very special recipe, one that's near-and-dear to my heart: my maternal Grandma's Dutch Apple Cake. It's amazing...and worth the splurge, trust me. And, as Mary Ann says, since you're making it from scratch you know what's in it, and you're not ingesting nasty hydrogenated oils or artificial colors.

Yep, I'm aware you're staring at a picture of peaches. Don't worry, I haven't lost it completely...not yet, anyway (although I'm well on my way). You see, this "cake" (really, it's more like a tart), is just as delicious made with ripe, juicy summer peaches as it is with apples. Best of all, peaches will be in season and available locally in NJ very soon, I think (I love the peaches from Valley Crest Farm on Allerton Rd. While not organic, the lovely Maria, who works there, told me that only the flowers are sprayed, not the fruit itself).

Ok, so back to the recipe. Here is one of Catherine "Birdie" Knappe's specialties (she also made a killer pot roast, by the way). It's a true family heirloom.

Dutch Apple Cake (Peach, too!)

You will need 5-6 large peaches (more if they're small), cut into thin slices. If the peaches are especially juicy, mix with a tablespoon or so of flour.

for crust:

1 1/4 cup flour (you can use 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour or my fave, King Arthur organic white whole wheat flour (available in most large supermarkets)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons milk, mixed together

Mix dry ingredients, cut in butter add liquid (you can do this 1-2-3 in a food processor). Spread with fingers in an 8X8 glass baking dish, coming about 1/2 inch up the sides.

For topping, mix together:

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter

Spread peaches over crust and sprinkle evenly with topping. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until bubbly and crust is golden. Serve slightly warm. Amazing with vanilla ice cream.

Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! Enjoy!


Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Fix........

Looking for a quick and easy, healthy, one-pan dinner? Well, what could be simpler than a recipe using lovely, local free-range eggs, bursting with beneficial Omega-3's! Here's a frittata recipe that works for any meal of the day, and you probably have all the ingredients on-hand. (I used the beautiul fresh red potatoes I bought at the Stanton Farmer's market, and parsley snipped from my garden. Yum!) Feel free to throw in chopped tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, or whatever eftover veggies are lurking inside your fridge to up the nutrition and fiber content. Add a green salad, and you're done!

Potato, Onion, and Parmesan Frittata

1 Tbs. olive oil

1lb red potatoes, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

6 large eggs, beaten,

2 large egg whites

1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1. In a 10" non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add potatoes and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are cooked through and lightly browned.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, parsley, Parmesan, and pepper. Pour egg mixture into pan, evenly spreading to coat bottom. Cover and cook 15 - 20 minutes or until center is cooked through. Sprinkle top generously with additional Parmesan, if desired.



Now, here's something else to chew on....literally!! (And so appropriate, I thought, given the name of this blog!) We put a lot of time and effort into eating healthy food, right? But do we give much thought into actually how we eat it?

Actually, my friend Kelly got me thinking about this....well, her Dad, really. See, Kelly's Dad, Ronald, is quite an interesting fellow who, at this point in time, is following a macrobiotic diet. Now, I'm the first one to admit that I know nothing about macrobiotic diets (can anyone out there educate me?), but Kelly told me that you're supposed to chew every bite of food 50 times before swallowing.

Sounds a bit extreme, right? Well, I came across this interesting bit of information recently, and there's a lot to be said for S-L-O-W E-A-T-I-N-G. Besides giving us time to enjoy our food, would you believe it can help us lose weight, too?? Hey, I'm all over that! Something to think about this weekend:

5 Powerful Reasons to Eat More Slowly

Many people rush through the day, with no time for anything. When they have time to get a bite to eat, they gobble it down. That leads to stressful, unhealthy living. Here are some reasons you should consider the simple act of eating slower:

Lose weight. A growing number of studies confirm that just by eating slower, you’ll consume fewer calories -- in fact, enough to lose 20 pounds a year without doing anything different or eating anything different. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that you’re full. If you eat fast, you can continue eating past the point where you’re actually full. (WOW.. I LOVE THIS!!!!)

Enjoy your food. It’s hard to enjoy your food if it goes by too quickly. Make your meals a gastronomic pleasure, not a thing you do rushed, between stressful events.

Better digestion. If you eat slower, you’ll chew your food better, which leads to better digestion. Digestion actually starts in the mouth, so the more work you do up there, the less you’ll have to do in your stomach.

Less stress. Eating slowly, and paying attention to our eating, can be a great form of mindfulness exercise. Be in the moment, rather than rushing through a meal thinking about what you need to do next.

Rebel against fast food and fast life. A hectic, fast-paced, stressful, chaotic lives -- the Fast Life -- leads to eating fast food, and eating it quickly. Rebel against that entire lifestyle and philosophy with the small act of eating slower.

What do you think? I think it's time for me to stop countersurfing and actually sit my butt down in a chair to eat!


Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Fix...........

Red, White, and Blubarb Cake.......Happy Fourth of July!

This is the last piece just waiting for a dollop of whipped cream, yum....

My dear sweet Aunt Adele delivered a beautiful bunch of organic Rhubarb (which she grew) to my mother this week. The usual go-to recipe for Rhubarb would be a pie (we are certified pie-freaks!) but we wanted to try something different and went in search of a recipe for cake.

I modified a recipe from for rhubarb cake to make it a bit healthier and used some of the tips from the 100 plus positive reviews.

This cake was super easy and very moist and delicious, especially when warm. My friend Jackie used to say "mmmmm, that's so good it makes you wanna slap your momma". While I will not condone anyone slapping their momma, this cake does tempt! (oh, and for the record I absolutely did not slap my sweet little mom:)

original recipe here

My modifications were.............
for cake:
1/2 stick of organic butter and 1/4 cup olive oil instead of 1 stick butter
1 cup turbinado sugar (organic brown sugar) instead of 1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup Bob's Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour and 1 cup White Flour instead of 2 cups white
3 1/2 cups rhubarb vs. 2 cups (this was suggested by reviewers)

for topping:
I used organic oats, olive oil, and brown sugar and spread over top. I just eyeballed it till it seemed a good consistency. Not too wet, not too dry. After spreading on top I just threw some blueberries over the top.

How to make it healthier:
Even with 1/2 cup less sugar I think you could cut the sugar a bit more (though my husband liked at 1 cup), try honey, try agave, use less butter, get organic buttermilk, try with spelt flour. Mom suggested putting the blueberries into the batter with rhubarb but I think they look pretty on top even though they exploded a bit.

I'm not about to banish treats but I do feel much better about eating treats made from scratch. At least I know what's in them.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Soccer Moms Unite! Say No to Artificial Sweeteners

(image from The National Expositor)
One lump or two? How about none!
I've been reading about artificial sweeteners lately and there are just too many red flags.
So please, please read about it and choose natural sweeteners.
Of course you can always find articles supporting the artificial sweetener industry but there's a recent press release on the National Cancer Institute site linking formaldehyde exposure and cancers. In my opinion this new study validates links between Aspartame and cancer.
and....It's not just aspartame! There are red flags concerning all of the artificial sweeteners.

The following excerpt from an article by Ob/Gyn Marcella Pick sums up concerns regarding sugar substitutes - (The NCI article concerning Aspartame is even scarier than the awful side effects mentioned below)

"Aspartame, the main ingredient in Equal and NutraSweet, is responsible for the most serious cases of poisoning, because the body actually digests it. Aspartame should be avoided by most women, but particularly in those with neuropsychiatric concerns. Recent studies in Europe show that aspartame use can result in an accumulation of formaldehyde in the brain, which can damage your central nervous system and immune system and cause genetic trauma. The FDA admits this is true, but claims the amount is low enough in most that it shouldn’t raise concern. I think any amount of formaldehyde in your brain is too much.

Uh, yeah...

Aspartame has had the most complaints of any food additive available to the public. It’s been linked with MS, lupus, fibromyalgia and other central nervous disorders. Possible side effects of aspartame include headaches, migraines, panic attacks, dizziness, irritability, nausea, intestinal discomfort, skin rash, and nervousness. Some researchers have linked aspartame with depression and manic episodes. It may also contribute to male infertility."

So, is Splenda safe? The truth is we just don’t know yet. There are no long-term studies of the side effects of Splenda in humans. The manufacturer’s own short-term studies showed that very high doses of sucralose (far beyond what would be expected in an ordinary diet) caused shrunken thymus glands, enlarged livers, and kidney disorders in rodents. (A more recent study also shows that Splenda significantly decreases beneficial gut flora.) But in this case, the FDA decided that because these studies weren’t based on human test animals, they were not conclusive. Of course, rats had been chosen for the testing specifically because they metabolize sucralose more like humans than any other animal used for testing. In other words, the FDA has tried to have it both ways — they accepted the manufacturer’s studies on rats because the manufacturer had shown that rats and humans metabolize the sweetener in similar ways, but shrugged off the safety concerns on the grounds that rats and humans are different. In our view, determining that something is safe (or not) in laboratory rats isn’t a definitive answer, as we’ve seen countless examples of foods and drugs that have proved dangerous to humans that were first found to be safe in laboratory rats, both in short- and long-term studies.

Remember those carcinogen warnings on the side of products that contained saccharin? They no longer appear because industry testing showed that saccharin only caused bladder cancer in rats. Most researchers agree that in sufficient doses, saccharin is carcinogenic in humans. The question is, how do you know how much artificial sweeteners your individual body can tolerate?

You can read the entire article from Marcella Pick here

read the NCI press release linking formaldehyde here

and... if you think artificial sweeteners are part of a weight loss plan read...
"The skinny on artificial sweeteners" here.

also, from The Economist read "The battle to replace sugar intensifies" here
So, SOCCER MOMS UNITE! Read up, choose natural, and vote with your purchases! Don't drink this stuff, don't give it to your kids, and go buy some stevia or honey. We're the ones out there doing most of the shopping and we're a powerful force. Make sure to read those labels. Many products hide these ingredients in the small print. No wonder our kids sometimes drive us crazy! They're jacked up on all this junk! nervous, irritable?

I've just started seeing commercials for the latest artificial sweetener "Truvia". Check out Green Luvin' blog here (she's done some digging into Truvia and it seems there's a Monsanto connection. Ah, very interesting).