Sprouts anyone?

16 Mar

Read this article!

“Sprouting also changes the chemistry of seeds, so they become nutritional powerhouses,” said chef Adina Niemerow, an expert in holistic cooking. The seeds develop more vitamins (usually lots of A, B, and C) and other nutrients, often in concentrated form. Compared to broccoli, for instance, broccoli sprouts can have up to 50 times more of the cancer-preventing phytochemical sulforaphane. Raw sprouts also have lots of enzymes — those mysterious “life forces.” Niemerow believes these enzymes can make you feel younger and more energized.”

Interesting, right?!

Organic seeds just for sprouting are on my shopping list for next week!

10 Years Later…

14 Mar

The book Fast Food Nation, written by Eric Schlosser, might be one of my favorite books on food corporations. It’s difficult to believe that it was written ten years ago. (Wow, people were conscious of these issues ten years ago?!) In the early years of the last decade, the Internet was just getting popular. Wouldn’t you expect the world to be wildly different because of the Internet? Isn’t it supposed to facilitate the exchange of information and possibly influence the change in eating habits? NOPE.

In this article, Mr. Schlosser reflects on the progress (and lack of progress) since 2002. Please see the following quotes and my thoughts:

“Every day about 65 million people eat at a McDonald’s restaurant somewhere in the world, more than ever before. The annual revenues of America’s fast-food industry, adjusted for inflation, have risen by about 20 percent since 2001.”

I think the key phrase here is “somewhere in the world.” McDonalds has one of the biggest brands in the world and I’m sure they have opened hundreds if not thousands of restaurants in the last decade. In my opinion, the worst place to eat fast food is in the United States. Please see the quote following this to see why.

“As of this writing, the USDA still lacks the authority to test widely for dangerous pathogens, to set enforceable limits on those pathogens, and to demand the recall of contaminated meat.”

Seriously, why doesn’t the USDA have this authority yet?!!?!?

“In 2002 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration changed the form that meatpacking companies must use to report injuries. The new form had no space to report musculoskeletal disorders caused by repetitive trauma—thereby preventing a whole category of serious injury from being counted. Instantly, as if by magic, the injury rate in meatpacking dropped by almost 50 percent.”

Mr. Upton Sinclair would not be happy about this!! This is like the modern edition of The Jungle.

“Even the National Restaurant Association, a corporate bastion of the old mindset, now acknowledges the change. Its 2011 “Restaurant Industry Forecast” says that today’s top menu trends are ‘local sourcing, sustainability, and nutrition.’”

I’m very happy that they acknowledge this but I would love to see fast food corporations locally source their ingredients. I wonder if an economy of scale would exist…

“Although the amount of money spent on organic food has increased more than 20-fold since the early 1990s, it currently accounts for only 4 percent of the nation’s total spending on food.”

THIS IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE!! BUY ORGANIC!!!

“As upper-middle-class and well-educated people increasingly reject fast food, the industry has responded much like the tobacco industry once did when that demographic group decided to quit smoking. The fast-food chains, like the tobacco companies, are now aggressively targeting African-Americans, Latinos, and the poor.”

McDonald’s 20-piece chicken nuggets for $5… I wonder who they are targeting…

TELL THE FDA TO LABEL GMO’S!!

10 Mar

I believe this picture says it all… please click on the infographic and tell the FDA that you want these foods to be labeled!!

20 Uses for Leftover Fruit and Vegetable Rinds and Peels

9 Mar

Avoiding processed foods is good for your body and the environment; it means less salt/fat for you and less trash at the dump. But I find that even when I buy vegetables and fruits, I still have trash. Yes, it’s biodegradable waste but you learn in school about the Native Americans who use every part of the buffalo, etc… and I am inspired to do the same with my food sources! That is why I am so excited to share this article with you. I posted the beauty uses for fruit and vegetable leftovers from the article:

Make a Banana Sugar Scrub. Sprinkle sugar on the flesh side of banana peels and use as a soft, exfoliating loofa. Rub gently all over your body and then rinse in the shower.

Refresh Your Face. For a skin tonic, rub orange or grapefruit peels on your face (avoiding your eyes) and then gently rinse with warm water.

Moisturize. Rub the fleshy part of an avocado peel on your face for a rich moisturizer.

Relieve Your Peepers. Potato peels can reduce puffiness around eyes; press the moist side of the fresh peels to the skin for 15 minutes.

Read the full article here.

Do you have any uses for leftover fruit and vegetable peels that you would like to share?

Reasons Why You Should Avoid Fast Food

24 Feb

By now, most of you must know that I am somewhat of a health nut. I am against fast food on every level and I know some believe that ignorance is bliss but it would be cruel on my part if I did not share this information.

8 Creepy Mystery Ingredients in Fast Food

If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, I’ve gathered the highlights for you below.

1. DUCK FEATHERS & HUMAN HAIR
WHAT&WHY: I-cysteine is derived from the above and added to dough to make it more malleable. Why can’t you just add water?!
WHERE: Found in many fast food bakery products such as McDonald’s Baked Apple Pie, Wheat Roll, and Warm Cinnamon Roll.

2. SAND
WHAT&WHY: Silicon dioxide AKA silica is added to processed beef and chicken to prevent clumping.
WHERE: Found in the chili from both Wendy’s and Taco Bell (I also want to note that this sand derivative is also added to cosmetics and this versatile chemical is also used as a pesticide)

3. WOOD
WHAT&WHY: Cellulose AKA processed wood pulp is used to thicken and stabilize foods, replace fat and boost fiber content. I don’t know about you but I would rather get my fiber from eating spinach…
WHERE: McDonalds, Taco Bell, KFC, Sonic, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Arby’s, Jack in the Box and many others

4. SILLY PUTTY PLASTIC
WHAT&WHY: Dimethylpolysiloxane is a form of silicone used in cosmetics and the Silly Putty. It’s added to fryer oil to keep it from foaming. Would you like your French fries with a side of plastic?!
WHERE: McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish and French fries

5. TBHQ
WHAT&WHY: Tertiary butyllhydroquinone is derived from petroleum and used in cosmetic/skincare products, varish, lacquers and resins — and processed food. The article does not say why but I would assume that since it’s used in varnish and lacquers, it adds shine to the user?
WHERE: McDonald’s uses it in 18 products ranging from their Fruit and Walnut Salad to McNuggets. Please note that the FDA mandated that the chemical should not exceed .02 percent of the food’s oil and fat content because five grams of this stuff is lethal.

6. SOIL FERTILIZER
WHAT&WHY: In the fast food industry, ammonium sulfate is used as “yeast food for bread.” In the agricultural industry, it’s a fertilizer for alkaline soils and an agricultural spray adjuvant for water soluble insecticides, herbicides and fungicides.
WHERE: Fast food bakery products.

7. BEETLE JUICES
WHAT&WHY: Carminic acid AKA Natural Red 4 and C.I. 75470, is a natural red food dye, derived from the dried, crushed bodies of female Cochineal beetles. From the same family, the female Lac beetle produces a resin that is used as a natural shiny coating for a variety of products.
WHERE: You can find carminic acid in a wide variety of products ranging from some meat, sausages, processed poultry products, marinades, bakery products, toppings, cookies, desserts, icings, pie fillings, jams, preserves, gelatins, juices, drinks, dairy products, sauces and dessert products. Don’t be surprised if you find your candy, vitamins, pills, tablets, capsules, chocolate and waxed fresh fruit with the glaze of the Lac beetle.

8. MECHANICALLY SEPARATED MEAT
WHAT&WHY: The FDA defines the above as “a paste-like and batter-like poultry product produced by forcing bones, with attached edible tissue, through a sieve or similar device under high pressure to separate bone from the edible tissue.” After going through this process, the goop is treated with ammonium hydroxide to remove excess bacteria. AND THEN they add the meat flavoring because the ammonia probably killed everything, including the taste.
WHERE: Hot dogs, salami, bologna, burgers and chicken nuggets

PONG BEER

22 Feb

No, the words are in the right order. There is a new beer brand out there and it is made especially for beer pong. It even comes with two ping pong balls! I try to avoid the game because I hate the cheap beer that’s always used (you know what I mean). But PONG BEER is “brewed using only the finest natural ingredients to produce an exceptionally crisp, smooth, and refreshing light beer.” Can’t wait until it comes to California!!

Click on the photo for the article!

Bacon milkshake… scary or wonderful?

21 Feb

Jack in the Box recently introduced its new bacon milkshake. Yes, you read this right!!

BACON. MILK. SHAKE.
Made with real vanilla ice cream, bacon-flavored syrup, whipped topping and a maraschino cherry on top.

I want to first say that I am a major fan of bacon! Am I the only one that thought that chocolate covered bacon was a crazy (but delicious) idea? But with this milkshake I am both intrigued and disgusted. If someone dares me, I might actually try it… hah I’m just disappointed that it does not contain real bacon. What gives it the “bacon flavor” then? I don’t want chemicals, give me bacon!!

But what disgusts me more than the chemicals is that the 24 ounce bacon milkshake contains 1,081 calories, 37 grams of saturated fat, 3 grams of trans fat and 108 grams of sugar.

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