"The United States spends over $87 billion conducting a war in Iraq while the United Nations estimates that for less than half that amount we could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitation services and basic education to every person on the planet. And we wonder why terrorists attack us." - John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man|
Saving the Planet, One Meal at a Time CHRIS HEDGES FOOD AND AGRICULTURE NOVEMBER 11, 2014
Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all worldwide transportation combined—cars, trucks, trains, ships and planes. Livestock and their waste and flatulence account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51 percent of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock causes 65 percent of all emissions of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 296 times more destructive than carbon dioxide. Crops grown for livestock feed consume 56 percent of the water used in the United States.6 Eighty percent of the world’s soy crop is fed to animals, and most of this soy is grown on cleared lands that were once rain forests. All this is taking place as an estimated 6 million children across the planet die each year from starvation and as hunger and malnutrition affect an additional 1 billion people. In the United States 70 percent of the grain we grow goes to feed livestock raised for consumption.
The natural resources used to produce even minimal amounts of animal products are staggering—1,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk. Add to this the massive clear cutting and other destruction of forests, especially in the Amazon—where forest destruction has risen to 91 percent—and we find ourselves lethally despoiling the lungs of the earth largely for the benefit of the animal agriculture industry. Our forests, especially our rain forests, absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and exchange it for oxygen: Killing the forests is a death sentence for the planet. Land devoted exclusively to raising livestock now represents 45 percent of the earth’s land mass.
And this does not include the assault on the oceans, where three-quarters of the world’s primary fisheries have been overexploited and vast parts of the seas are in danger of becoming dead zones.
We can, by becoming vegan, refuse to be complicit in the torture of billions of animals for corporate profit and can have the well-documented health benefits associated with a plant-based diet, especially in the areas of heart disease and cancer.
The Edible is Political ANDREA LEVY FOOD AND AGRICULTURE AUGUST 2, 2011
Many thinkers and activists who are deeply concerned about the scope and gravity of the environmental crisis pay too little attention to how far the production of animal flesh and fluids for human consumption is implicated in global ecological degradation, including climate change. Eating habits are deeply ingrained. And the thought of changing them radically is unpalatable to some people irrespective of the evidence.
But the need for a dietary revolution is incontrovertible. The unspeakable cruelty to sentient beings that defines such practices as factory farming should be reason enough for people of conscience to protest the reigning food system. But if the moral appeal falls on deaf hearts, the ecological argument should clinch the case.
Researchers Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang calculated previously uncounted livestock-related greenhouse gas emissions and concluded that, taken together, all the GHG-producing activities directly and indirectly related to meat and dairy production – from clearing land for grazing livestock and growing feed to animal respiration to meat processing and cooking – accounts for at least half of total worldwide anthropogenic GHGs (PDF).
Replacing livestock with sounder alternatives, they point out, would have a more rapid impact on reducing GHG emissions than actions to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.
Time for a food revolution DEVLIN KUYEK FOOD AND AGRICULTURE JULY 10, 2011
A spike in food prices in 2008 pushed the number of hungry people in the world past the one billion mark. It was not a temporary phenomenon. Those record prices are now back on international markets.
Most of today’s hunger happens in the countryside. About 80 percent of those without enough food to eat are the people who produce food – farmers and rural labourers. People are not starving because of a global shortage of food, but rather because they do not have the money to buy the food they need or have access to the resources they need to produce it for themselves – land, water, animals, fish, etc.
And things are set to get much worse. By 2080, under a business as usual scenario, climate change is predicted to reduce global agricultural yields by a staggering 16 percent, while the population continues to grow. The worst effects will be felt in the South, in countries like Senegal. Already beset by high population growth and severe food insecurity, Senegal is predicted to see a 50 percent decline in agriculture productivity before the end of the century. To this we have to add an increase in extreme weather, such as droughts and typhoons that will severely disrupt agricultural production and leave twice as many people living in highly water-stressed environments.
In this context, the world desperately needs a food system that can ensure that food is distributed to everyone, according to need.
Food WasteFood Waste numbers If the amount of food wasted globally were reduced by just 25% there would be enough food to feed all the people who are malnourished according to the UN.
Each year 1.3 billion tons of food, about a third of all that is produced, is wasted
Environmental impact: the carbon footprint of food produced but not eaten is estimated to be 3.3 gigatons of CO2 per year.
How to revive old food and make it delicious again The statistics are getting repetitive, but they bear repeating ad nauseum: 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten, equaling on average more than 20 pounds of food waste per person every month. Americans throw out the equivalent of $165 billion each year; the impact is staggering.
Much of it has to do with a wildly inefficient food system, but we consumers are to blame as well. The average American consumer wastes 10 times as much food as someone in Southeast Asia; we waste more than half [more] of what we did in the 1970s. We’re spoiled, we need to pay more attention. And one of the things we can do is not be so squeamish about imperfect food.
If apples, bananas, potatoes, avocados, artichokes, and others become brown
If fruits or vegetables are bruised
If lettuce has brown or pink spots
15 easy ways to reduce food waste Buy frozen foods, which suffer fewer losses from farm to shelf. Shop often. Buy fresh food at local farmers markets.
Take home leftovers. Share side dishes to keep portions under control. Ask the waiter to hold extras such as bread and butter you don’t plan to eat.
Use FoodKeeper or other apps for food-expiration reminders. Switch to smaller dishes to control portions. The standard plate is 36 percent larger than it was 50 years ago. Eat leftovers on a regular night each week. Give uneaten food a second chance. Freeze or can extras.
Not sure if those leftovers are still safe to eat? This app can help available for both Android and iOS
Denmark's newest grocer only sells unloved food Mislabeled products, damaged packaging, ugly produce, looming expiration dates – these are the things that send perfectly good supermarket food to the trash bin and add to the prodigious problem of food waste. In the United States we lose up to 40 percent of our food after it leaves the farm and the problem isn’t exclusive to the Land of Opportunity. France recently made it illegal for supermarkets to throw out unsold food – viva la France! – and now Denmark is jumping on the noble don’t-waste-food bandwagon with the launch of a novel new supermarket model, WeFood.
They are a non-profit run by volunteers; their profits go to help anti-poverty initiatives around the world. They collect surplus goods – from bread and produce to dairy and other groceries – and sell them 30 to 50 percent cheaper than regular supermarkets.
And how is that working out? Every day since the store opened in February, people have lined up on the sidewalk for a chance to buy previously unloved food. Bjerre says some of these surplus food die-hards are low-income people looking for a deal. But mostly, he says, they're here for more political reasons, Overgaard notes. The runaway success has led to a surprising scenario. They run out of food almost every day.
Vegan TopicsEarth is Running Out of Land … Seriously. And It’s Going to Spell Disaster for Our Food System The University of Sheffield’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures discovered that around one-third of the planet’s arable land (i.e. land that is suited for growing crops, excluding deserts, ice, etc), has been destroyed by erosion or pollution in the past 40 years alone.
According to the to study’s authors, the loss was “catastrophic” and near irreversible without major changes to agricultural practice. Considering 33 percent of land worldwide is occupied with growing livestock feed and another 26 percent is being used to graze animals for consumption … we have to say we absolutely agree with the whole “catastrophic” thing … in fact, that might not even do it justice.
While this news is absolutely ridiculous, the reality is that we can all do something about this, starting today. By shifting our diets away from animal agriculture and towards more plant-based foods, we can redirect enough grain to feed 1.4 billion people.
Eat for the Planet http://www.onegreenplanet.org/ campaign
In the past 40 years, we’ve lost 52 percent of wildlife from the face of the planet; there is currently more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there has been in the past 800,000 years and our oceans are riddled with over 400 massive dead zones, completely devoid of life due to our pollution. While it may be difficult to fathom the fact that humankind has been responsible for this enormous amount of damage, it is the reality. But what is possibly even more challenging for people to understand is that something as simple as the food choices we make every day can be intrinsically tied to this destruction. Especially, our appetite for meat, dairy and eggs.
70% of global freshwater supplies are used for agriculture.
These statistics illustrate the devastating use of land resources, freshwater supplies and sheer volume of greenhouse gases produced by the livestock industry, and yet, 850 million people across the world still suffer from lack of food. Not to mention, animal agriculture is also the leading driver of deforestation and habitat loss which has pushed countless endangered species on to the brink of extinction. As our population grows to nine billion by 2050, these percentages are set to grow exponentially.
If every person in the U.S. were to choose more plant-based foods, we could cut our carbon footprint in half, save around 200,000 gallons of water each, redirect enough grain from the livestock system to feed roughly 2 billion people. We have the potential to make an enormous impact.
No matter how you look at it, the animal agriculture industry is a losing bet for the environment, animals, and people. It is time that we stop looking for ways to make this archaic industry “less inhumane,” “less environmentally destructive,” and “less unhealthy,” and choose an option that is not “less bad” but undeniably better: plant-based.
Eating for the planet has never been easier … or more delicious. One Green Planet just happens to be home to the largest vegan recipe database on the web – and trust us, once you dive in, you’ll probably ask yourself why you never considered eating plant-based before.
Japanese FoodHow the Japanese Diet Became the Japanese DietJapan successfully transformed its diet into one that is healthy and delicious within one generation.. So perhaps the real question should be: If the Japanese can change, why can’t we?
Cooking5 new ways to use your slow cooker (that don't involve food)
101 Cookbooks a clean, well-lighted place on the Web for cooking stories. Since Ms. Swanson is a professional food photographer, all of her gastronomic adventures come with beautiful pictures. Visitors are invited to post comments, as well as browse the list of upcoming attractions
Sustainable / Regenerative FarmingRegenerative Farming
..rather than come up with one definition for the word "sustainable" as it refers to food and food production methods, we suggest doing away with the word entirely. In its place, as a way of helping food consumers make conscious, informed decisions, we suggest dividing global food and farming into two categories: regenerative and degenerative.
In this new paradigm, consumers could choose food produced by degenerative, toxic chemical-intensive, monoculture-based industrial agriculture systems that destabilize the climate, and degrade soil, water, biodiversity, health and local economies.
Or they could choose food produced using organic regenerative practices based on sound ecological principles that rejuvenate the soil, grasslands and forests; replenish water; promote food sovereignty; and restore public health and prosperity—all while cooling the planet by drawing down billions of tons of excess carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in the soil where it belongs.
How Corporate Farmers Are Waging War on Our 1st Amendment Animal abuse isn’t only a problem when people find out about it.
The First Amendment may be inconvenient to some people at times, but it’s still the law of the land. Case in point: so-called “ag-gag laws.”
These are laws in Idaho, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa that prohibit people from taking photos or videos of farms without permission. They’re designed to prevent the exposure of cruelty to animals on factory farms.
"The United States spends over $87 billion conducting a war in Iraq while the United Nations estimates that for less than half that amount we could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitation services and basic education to every person on the planet. And we wonder why terrorists attack us." - John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
"The United States, with less than five per cent of the world's people, consumes over twenty five percent of its resources...
"...the really scary news is that the rest of the planet is scrambling to catch up with our lifestyle. If all 6.4 billion people did so, we'd need four more Earths to accommodate them" ("The Sierra Club Launches its "True Cost of Food" Campaign." Alamo Sierran, Aug. 2004: 1-2).
Myth #1: Too little food, too many peopleOur response: Abundance, not scarcity, best describes the world’s food supply. Even though the global population more than doubled between 1961 and 2013, the world produces around 50 percent more food for each of us today—of which we now waste about a third. Even after diverting roughly half of the world’s grain and most soy protein to animal feed and non-food uses, the world still produces enough to provide every human being with nearly 2,900 calories a day. Clearly, our global calorie supply is ample.
Food scarcity is not the problem, but the scarcity of real democracy protecting people’s access to nutritious food is a huge problem. So, fighting hunger means tackling concentrated political and economic power in order to create new equitable rules. Otherwise hunger will continue no matter how much food we grow.
Myth #2: Climate change makes hunger inevitableOur response: Climate change is no myth. It already means crop losses from drought and the expansion of pests into new regions. The World Food Program forecasts the number of malnourished children to increase by 24 million by 2050, or about one-fifth more than without climate change. These expert observations form a powerful call to action, but they are a far cry from a verdict that hunger and famine are inevitable.
Because the global food system is so inefficient and inequitable, we have plenty of room to increase available food before we hit earth’s actual limits. If remade, our food system has unique capacities to help rebalance the carbon cycle by cutting emissions and storing more carbon in the soil. Climate-friendly farming practices are low-cost and especially benefit small-scale farmers and farmworkers, who are the majority of hungry people.
Myth #3: Only industrial agriculture and GMOs can feed the worldOur response: Industrial agriculture relies on patented seeds, manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, and large-scale machinery. The production increases of “industrial agriculture” are no myth, but this model of farming is not sustainable and has already proven unable to end hunger.
Myth #4: organic and ecological farming can’t feed a hungry worldOur response: In many parts of the world, farming practices that minimize or forgo manufactured pesticides and fertilizer are proving effective. Called organic farming or agroecology, the approach involves much more than the absence of chemicals. Agroecology is an evolving practice of growing food within communities that is power-dispersing and power creating—enhancing the dignity, knowledge, and capacities of all involved. Agroecology thus helps to address the powerlessness at the root of hunger. It builds on both traditional knowledge accrued over millennia by peasants and indigenous people and the latest breakthroughs in modern science.
$51 Million: That’s How Much Big Food Spent So Far This Year to Defeat GMO Labeling Cole Mellino, News Report--Big Foods has done all they can to support the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act, also known as the DARK Act. And most of it comes in monetary value spending more than $51 million to defeat GMO labeling.
WHERE IS YOUR FOOD FROM? TRANSPARENCY COMES TO U.S. WITH THE REAL CO - 100% SINGLE ORIGIN FOODS The Real Co is pioneering Single Origin in food products, which is an exciting and transparent new food category and method of sourcing products globally and delivering it at a local level. The Real Co enters partnerships with farmers and growers around the world that don't have an established route to distribute their products and creates a way to share their commodity with the world. The company brings full transparency and sustainability to the U.S. food industry. The Real Co products are carefully inspected and sourced by company representatives, and go straight from farm to shelf, eliminating the need for any middlemen. This unique 100% Single Origin method allows everyone in the world to enjoy what is usually impossible to experience: unique, tasty, freshly farmed/mined products at affordable prices.
GMO Foods Monsanto, etc.
The Dirty Secrets of 'Clean' Labels A survey last year by the Nutrition Business Journal found that high-fructose corn syrup tops consumers’ least-wanted list. No. 2 was partially hydrogenated oils or “trans fats.”
Names of things that sound like they’d be used by chemists, rather than home cooks, are being whisked off the ingredient labels of processed foods -- which now account for 70% of the American diet. Ingredient lists are being made as short, easy to pronounce, and understand as possible.
In the food industry, this is called “clean labeling.” And big companies are racing to do it. In recent weeks, Kraft said it would take artificial colors and preservatives out of its iconic mac & cheese. Nestle is chucking artificial colors and flavors out of its chocolates. General Mills will purge artificial colors and flavors from its cereals.
In some cases, industry experts say companies are genuinely trying to make more wholesome products. But in others, they say these clean-label ingredient swaps are more about marketing food than really making it healthier. And there are some signs that the rush to make highly processed foods seem pure and basic may be causing problems for vulnerable consumers, like people with food allergies.
How did we get here? It starts with four letters: GRAS.
The FDA has long used the designation “generally recognized as safe” as a way to quickly exempt common and widely used food additives, like vinegar, from rigorous and sometimes lengthy formal safety reviews, which were required of new ingredients or old ingredients that were used in new ways.
But in 1997, amidst budget cuts and industry grumbling that the FDA was taking too long to approve new ingredients, the agency proposed a new system.
It now allows food companies to review their own new ingredients and decide what’s safe. They can submit those reviews to the FDA for acceptance, but it's not required by law.
He says there’s one switch that’s become pretty common in processed cereals and baked goods.
“You take out high-fructose corn syrup,” he says, “and replace it with fructose.”
In these cases, it’s also up to the food company to decide how to list the ingredient on labels.
In February, CSPI and three other consumer advocacy organizations called on the FDA to overhaul the GRAS system, saying it violates the 1958 law that requires the FDA to determine ingredients are safe before they are added to the food we eat.
What's Hiding in Your Food? All processed foods have ingredients called additives. While these additives often help food stay fresher longer or improve its flavor and texture, they may also affect your health. Here's what you should know about a few of these troubling ingredients.
PhosphatesAt least 45 food additives contain phosphate. High levels of phosphate increase the risk of death in people with kidney disease and may also contribute to heart disease, bone loss, and other chronic conditions in people who are otherwise healthy. Phosphates, commonly found in fast foods, are also added to products such as flavored waters, iced teas, sodas, meat and chicken products, cereal bars, nondairy creamers, and bottled coffee drinks. Bottom line: If phosphates are a health concern, look at the ingredients list for words containing "phosphate" or "phosphoric."
EmulsifiersThese ingredients help oil and water mix together in foods and beverages. In one study, healthy mice that had the emulsifiers polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose added to their diets gained more weight and fat and had worse blood sugar control. In mice with genetic risks for bowel problems, these additives triggered more frequent and severe disease. More tests are planned in humans. You can find emulsifiers in lots of foods, like frozen desserts and nut milks. Bottom line: Although research is in its early stages, if you are concerned, you may want to avoid ingredients like gums (which are not the same thing as chewing gum), polysorbates 60 and 80, lecithins, and carboxymethylcellulose.
Monk Fruit; Sweeteners
Monk Fruit: First Healthy Artificial Sweetener That Also Tastes Great? Now monk fruit, a melon cultivated by Buddhist monks at one time or another in certain types of China, is gaining popularity as a flavorsome and healthier alternative to aspartame.
Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo fruit, is traditionally grown in the forested mountains of southern China, Reuters reported. Its antioxidant and vitamin properties have made it a popular remedy for anything from a sore throat to diabetes, and its naturally sweetened flavor makes its dry form a practical ingredient for soups and teas. Manufacturers report that one gram of monk fruit extract is equal to eight teaspoons of sugar.
In its pure form, monk fruit is considered 300 times sweeter than sugar. According to BioVittoria’s website, Fruit-Sweetness is around 150 times sweeter than sugar. Fruit-Sweetness, marketed as “a truly natural, zero calorie, high intensify sweetener,” is currently the only product derived from monk fruit to receive the FDA’s GRAS approval.
Coca-Cola products are currently sweetened by stevia, a low-calorie sweetener that is “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA. Although stevia is considered a healthier option compared to the perceivably dangerous aspartame, it has also been criticized for its bitter taste. California-based Zevia recently launched its brand of zero-calorie sodas, sweetened with a mixture of monk fruit extract and stevia.
Companies like BioVittoria and Zevia may be at the forefront of the monk fruit market, but there is one dilemma any potential manufacturer of this fruit will run into: a Chinese law that prevents monk fruit from being grown outside of the country. This combined with the intricate process involved with monk fruit extraction makes it a pricey commodity. With the continued decline of Coca-Cola sales, soft drink companies may have to pony up extra coin to afford this healthier alternative to the dreaded aspartame.
Monk fruit has ancient healing power Monk fruit is a sweet fruit that has been used for centuries for its healing ability. It is also know as “Luo Han Guo” and dates back to the 13th century monks living in the steep mountain region of Southern China.
The fruit was named after advance Buddhist practitioners, called “luohan”. It is also known as the longevity fruit; many of the population live to be over a hundred in this region of China.
Magical fruit with many health benefits
Organic luo han guo supports the immune system, digestive tract, glands and respiratory system – which is why it is used in China for medicinal purposes. From allergy to cancer, this fruit holds the promise that it can help eliminate and defend against many health-related problems…
Defeating diabetes has never been easier
It has been found that luo han guo extract has a powerful effect on diabetes. The extract has been shown in animal studies to decrease blood sugar, total cholesterol, triglycerides and improve liver function. In addition, it increased the HDL (“good” cholesterol) while protecting the antioxidants in the animals livers.
Conquer allergies, cancer, heart disease (and more) – naturally
Luo han guo has been shown to have an antihistamine effect in mice given the extract. The extract seems to counter an allergic response by calming the mast cells that release the chemicals such as histamine – which is associated with both allergies and asthma.
Japanese laboratory studies found that mogrosides from luo han guo showed extraordinary effects against skin cancer in mice. This is note worthy since research supports the idea that sugar consumption elevates the risk of cancer. Perhaps it’s the type of sweetener, since the sweet Monk fruit seems to be able to elicit the opposite response.
Lo han guo seems to show promise at preventing cholesterol from oxidizing, and since this plays a role in the formation of plaque buildup in the arteries – it may translate to a decreased risk of heart disease and strokes.
NAFTA; Labor Abuses
Out Of Sight: The Labor Abuses Behind What We Eat NAFTA’s agricultural provisions allowed American farmers to dump their products on the Mexican market while raising animals fed on cheap American corn. This transformed Mexico. Mexican pig farmers went out of business because pork prices dropped so low. In 1995 Mexico imported 30,000 tons of pork from the United States, and in 2010 it imported 811,000 tons. Mexican hog farmers had to leave their farms to make a living. Some migrated north, becoming undocumented immigrants in the United States. A group of those people found work in a Smithfield Foods processing plant in North Carolina. Smithfield used these immigrants to bust a union-organizing campaign in the plant. When some of those immigrants in turn joined the union, Smithfield called the Immigration and Naturalization Service to report itself for immigration violations.
This Smithfield story tells us much about food’s role in the globalized economy. First, it shows that the food industry outsources production for the same reasons as other industries—to pollute and to exploit workers while minimizing resistance from empowered locals with labor and environmental organizations. The meat industry already locates its facilities in antiunion states such as North Carolina, and even politicians in more progressive states, like Maryland governor and Democratic candidate for president Martin O’Malley, oppose regulations demanded by citizens to keep their water clean because they fear that the meat industry will move to another state. If the regulations in all the states become too strict, NAFTA has opened up Mexico to American agribusiness. States compete with states and nations with nations in a race to the bottom. Ecosystems and workers suffer.
Corporations do not care about national borders so long as they can accomplish their objectives. Whether the slaughterhouse is in North Carolina or Veracruz, most of us never see where our food comes from. When it makes sense to invest in Mexico, agribusinesses do so. But they can also move to the vast Great Plains or the South, where environmental regulations are few and labor unions weak. As Timothy Pachirat writes in his powerful firsthand account of working in a Nebraska slaughterhouse, “Distance and concealment operate as mechanisms of power in modern society.” Hiding food production protects companies by concealing how the industry treats animals, what it dumps into the ecosystem, and how it treats workers. Today’s consumers might eat organic food, but that does not mean the food is produced in a way that contributes to social justice. It does not mean that the people growing the food, butchering the meat, or serving you in the restaurant are treated humanely. Peeling off the food industry’s concealing blindfolds can empower consumers to again fight for labor and nature.
Public knowledge of working conditions and animal treatment is the food industry’s worst nightmare. This is the motivation behind a series of so-called ag-gag bills to criminalize undercover footage of industrial farming operations. Iowa, Utah, and Missouri have these laws, and Idaho joined them in February 2014. In Idaho, it is now illegal for anyone not employed by the farm—and for anyone who misrepresented themselves to get hired—to make video recordings of what happens on that farm without the express consent of the owner. Violators could receive a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. Agribusiness pushed for the law after an undercover video showed workers beating and sexually abusing cattle at an Idaho dairy operation. Animal rights groups are challenging on constitutional grounds, but it is a dangerous advance in the concealment of industrial activity. If laws protect what happens in meat factories from view, why would they not give all factory owners legal standing for concealment? Why not make the documentation of violations of workers’ rights or the dumping of pollution in any industry a crime? Although court challenges will result, if these laws are held up, they are a very scary legal aid to corporations concealing their operations.
Activism; NewsTake Part take action
Food Tank news and action on food
GMO Foods Monsanto, etc.
Who's Making Money from Overweight Kids? meat and chicken are being subsidized heavily by the USDA.
"...make fish safer to eat by acting to clean up the largest source of mercury pollution, coal-burning power plants...
"Send a free fax or find sample letters here www.healthyfish.net/index.html.
"Also contact mayor Garza and all the council persons telling them we do not want a HUGE coal plant right here in San Antonio" ("Do Your Part." Alamo Sierran, Aug. 2004: 2).
8 Vegetables That Are Better to Eat Raw Cooking vegetables can often bring out their health benefits, but to maximize the cancer-fighting potential of some of them, raw is the better way to go.
Cooking vegetables is usually a good idea: Heat breaks down cell walls, releasing antioxidants. But heating cruciferous vegetables (part of the Brassicae family) actually destroys their unique anti-carcinogenic potential. That's because crucifers, unlike other types of vegetables, are high in glucosinolate, a plant compound that produces naturally occurring small molecules called isothiocyanates, which have been shown to fight cancer.
It should be noted that people with goiter or hypothyroidism must limit their intake of cruciferous vegetables, which are goitrogenic; i.e., they induce the formation of goiter through enzymes that interfere with iodine uptake. And as with most things, too much glucosinolate can be hazardous, particularly for people who are seriously ill.
Here are eight of the most popular cruciferous vegetables that are best to eat raw to get the most out of their cancer-fighting power — and also to prevent their water-soluble vitamins from leaching out during the cooking process. Arugula, Bok Choy ( ranked second for nutrient density out of 41 "powerhouse" fruits and vegetables), Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, watercress.
Dispelling another myth! Purslane is thought of as a weed, but you can go grab this delicacy right out of your yard and throw it in your salad. It's a succulent and has a wonderful peppery & slightly sour taste that compliments most leafy greens. I know, I had some cognitive dissonance the first time I pulled this plant out of a sidewalk and took it to the kitchen. It can feel a little weird.
Purslane is also a superfood! It contains more Omega-3 than any other land vegetable. You didn't even know salad greens could have omegas, did you? Well this one is packed with it. It also contains many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. (from Greenling email)
* 5 FDA Approved Foods That Are TOXIC to Humans The majority of food items purchased at the grocery store and manufactured by big name brands contain toxins like BPA, genetically-modified food, aspartame, fluoride, pesticides and toxic vaccines and we aren’t even aware of it. And it’s killing us.
According to the CIA’s World Fact Book, The United States ranks 42 in life expectancy... No doubt some of the responsibility is on our shoulders as more of us reach for processed garbage and call it food. But the fact is there are chemicals in our food that have been approved by the FDA that are so dangerous and toxic they have been banned by other countries.
Acesulfame Potassium (also known as Acesulfame K)--a new calorie-free artificial sweetener marketed as “DiabetiSweet” and “Sweet One.” It is used in gelatin desserts, baked goods and chewing gum. Possible side effects of this additive are, according to research studies, lung cancer and thymus gland tumors in rats, as well as leukemia and breast cancer.
Aspartame marketed under the names “NutraSweet” and “Equal.” According to some health experts, this additive is one of the most toxic substances being added to our foods.
BHA and BHT (Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene) Petroleum-derived antioxidants and are primarily used in the preservation of fats and oil. They prevent these foods from oxidizing and spoiling too quickly. You can find them in chewy granola bars, breakfast cereals, potato chips, shortening, desserts, and candies, to name some of the food items.
Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue) and Blue #2 (Indigotine) banned in the EU.
Fluoride Even small amounts of fluoride if consumed can actually damage your teeth and bones and disrupt your thyroid function. It has also been linked to cancer and the lowering of IQ.
Exposure to fluoride disrupts collagen production and leads to the breakdown of collagen in our bones, tendons, muscles, skin, cartilage, lungs, kidneys and trachea.
Fluoride depletes the energy reserves and the ability of our white blood cells to find and destroy foreign bodies. Even the smallest, smallest traces of fluoride in the body can seriously depress the ability of white blood cells to destroy pathogens.
Fluoride seems to confuse the immune system and get it to attack the body’s own tissues. This causes an increase in tumor growth in cancer-prone individuals.
Fluoride disrupts thyroid function.
Fluoride promotes the development of bone cancer.
Fluoride causes premature aging.
Here’s How You Can Take Back the Power and Vote for a Better Food System Today Americans are changing the way they eat. Driven by concerns over health and sustainability, the average American consumer has grown a lot smarter about their food choices and it is spawning a real food revolution that’s currently sweeping the nation.
Meat and dairy consumption is on the decline and interest in clean, whole foods is on the rise. Moreover, consumers are starting to understand foods that are good for us also happen to be great for the environment. Yet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, two government agencies responsible for updating and publishing the important Dietary Guidelines for Americans, decided to take sustainability off the plate for the latest incarnation of the guidelines. According to a new survey commissioned by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, 74 percent of adults believe the newly released Dietary Guidelines should include environmental provisions and support sustainable agriculture practices. 70 percent of all survey respondents said that the agricultural industry has a responsibility to produce food in a sustainable way. In contrast, a mere 30 percent said the industry’s responsibility is to provide food at a low cost. Consumer Trends Driving the Rapid Rise of Sustainable Plant-Based Foods in America Almost every other packaged food you find these days is labeled “vegan,” as millions of Americans wake up to the idea that eating foods that are meat and dairy free just makes sense – they’re optimal for our health and the health of our planet. Here are some consumer trends:
1. Drop in Meat Consumption
Recent studies have shown that around one-third of Americans are choosing to leave meat off their plates more frequently. In 2015, annual per capita red meat consumption in the U.S. fell 15 percent to 101 pounds in the past 10 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It’s down by a third since the early 1970s, when per capita consumption was pushing 150 pounds per year. These trends are being driven by people broadly understanding how diet affects their health, concerns around the use of hormones and antibiotics in producing meat, the treatment animals in factory farms, and how food choices have a very real impact on the planet.
2. Drop in Dairy Consumption
Fueled by changing consumer perception of dairy’s nutritional value for bone development, concerns around hormones and antibiotics, increase in milk allergies, rising milk prices, and the popularity of plant-based milks, U.S. milk consumption has been steadily declining by 25 percent per capita since the mid-1970s. Americans, on average, drink 37 percent less milk today than they did in 1970, according to data from the USDA. That’s an astounding fact. What are they consuming instead? Plant-based alternatives like almond, soy, and coconut milk!
3. Values-Based Shopping
American consumers (a whopping 87 percent of them) want to buy food from brands that have a positive social and environmental impact, and most are willing to pay more for such products. Consumers are starting to value transparency, not only regarding food ingredients but also about the supply chain and are looking for brands that have an authentic mission and genuinely care about the impact of their products. From a natural resource consumption standpoint, plant-based foods are inherently better for the planet, and most brands in the space are not afraid to wear their values on their sleeves, which makes them even more attractive to consumers.
4. The Power of Millennials
By 2017, the generation is expected to outspend the baby boomers. As a consumer group, Millennials recognize that their food choices have a very real impact on society and the environment, and they are big proponents of shopping with a conscience. One in 10 millennials is vegetarian or vegan, and they are at the forefront of driving the American consumer marketplace by demanding more plant-based options. Millennials are increasingly interested in vegan cuisine, and more than 60 percent consume meat alternatives.
As a consumer, you need to recognize the tremendous power you wield with your food choices and what a crucial role you play in shaping this story.
Growing rhubarb in the garden? These pretty pink stalks are stellar in strawberry jam and berry pies, but stay away from the leafy greens. Unlike most garden goodies that offer extra value with many edible parts, the leaves of the rhubarb plant are to be avoided. Oxalic acid is a nephrotoxic and corrosive compound found in these leaves, and it should not be ingested, as it is commonly found in metal cleaners and bleach. Anthraquinone glycoside is another compound to watch out for. Unlike less harmful chemicals, those found in the rhubarb leaves can cause severe symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea and gastric pain.
Thinking about making chili tonight? Make sure those kidney beans are well cooked before serving. While a common ingredient in many recipes, these red legumes share something dubious with their cousin, the lima bean. Kidney beans contain a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin, also known as kidney bean lectin. Kidney bean lectin can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and in extreme cases, fatalities. Like many other foods containing poisonous compounds, the toxin is neutralized when the beans have been cooked. The US Food and Drug Administration recommends boiling for 30 minutes to ensure they reach a sufficient temperature long enough to completely destroy the toxin. Trying to decide if you should use canned or dried beans? Canned beans are usually pre-treated and safe. Dried beans should be used as stated on the instructions with overnight soaking and long, slow cooking over moderate heat.
Mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, and French fries are not as harmless as they look. The benign potato, often a favorite staple of family meals, is not just an innocent tuber. Potatoes are actually a member of the Nightshade family. Potatoes and their mild mannered counterparts contain chemical compounds called solanine and chaconine, both glycoalkaloids. Both occur naturally in potatoes as a defense mechanism, as they have pesticidal and anti-fungal properties. Solanine is potentially poisonous to humans, and can cause gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, vomiting, burning of the throat, dizziness, and even cardiac issues. In severe cases solanine has been known to cause hallucinations, paralysis, fever, and other severe symptoms. Solanine develops in potatoes when they are exposed to light. As long as potatoes are stored in a cool, dry, dark place and not served when they appear green, they are perfectly safe to eat.
The stems of the tomato however, can be quite dangerous to eat. They contain a substance called tomatine – a substance that’s toxic enough to be used as a pesticide. So make sure you completely remove the stems from any tomatoes you eat.
Green tea has been shown to increase your metabolism an additional 80 calories per day. Studies have shown that the polyphenols contained in green tea provide both health and metabolism boosting properties. Resting metabolic rates have increased over 17% contributing to faster fat burning effect in some research reports. In addition to its role in speeding your metabolism, it is also responsible for reducing hunger pangs as well as cravings. This makes green tea a great way to help shed those stubborn extra pounds.
Improves blood flow
Long known for its medicinal properties, green tea has health benefits that scientists are still discovering. For those with circulation problems, this “miracle” beverage can actually help to improve circulation and blood flow. Green tea contains flavonoids which increase circulation by relaxing the blood vessels and allowing blood to flow more freely through the body. Recent studies have also shown that green tea has short term benefits on arterial health. Drinking green tea can help the arteries to expand temporarily which helps the blood to circulate through the body. Improved circulation doesn’t just benefit cardiovascular health, it benefits the entire body. This is great news for anyone looking to improve their overall health!
One amazing benefit of drinking green tea is its ability to not only help prevent diabetes, but also its ability to help treat it. Green tea is rich in antioxidants including catechins. Studies have shown that catechins can positively affect glucose metabolism, which helps diabetics to maintain regular insulin levels. Catechins can slow the production of glucose while helping to increase the production of insulin. Green tea can help even out blood sugar levels and reduce insulin sensitivity. Additional research has shown that green tea lowers the risk of developing diabetes which is important for anyone with a family history of this disease.
Green tea offers amazing cardiovascular benefits. In addition to helping to improve circulation, green tea can also help to protect LDL cholesterol and prevent ailments such as coronary artery disease. Green tea contains a powerful antioxidant known as EGCG which helps to decrease inflammation and prevents LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. The antioxidants in green tea prevent plaque build-up on arterial walls and also work to reduce cholesterol. Many doctors are starting to recommend green tea as a part of a healthy heart diet for those looking to improve symptoms, prevent heart disease and stroke, and increase their blood circulation.
Thinking about replacing that cup of coffee with a cup of green tea? Here is another reason to do just that. The antioxidant properties in green tea make it an excellent source for healthy skin. Green tea contains polyphenols, which can help with cell regeneration and preventing skin damage. While not a replacement for sunscreen, studies have shown that long term consumption of green tea can help to prevent damage from UVA and UVB rays. The antioxidants in green tea also help calm inflammation as well as aging of your skin. With skincare as an added benefit, many companies are starting to include green tea as an ingredient in lotions and facial cleansers, though direct consumption is recommended as the best way to benefit green tea.
There is nothing more relaxing than sitting down with a soothing cup of tea. In fact, green tea actually contains ingredients that can help to reduce stress and calm nerves. Green tea contains a compound called L-theanine which can help with serotonin and dopamine levels and positively affect emotions and mood. In addition to this, there is the added psychological benefit of slowing down and taking a moment to just sit and sip. Taking a moment to relax and combining it with the stress reducing ingredients of green tea can produce a calming and soothing effect.
Its’ anti-inflammatory properties
Improves brain function
Forgot where you put your keys? Green tea can also help with memory and brain function. In addition to providing additional energy, the compounds in green tea can offer help with aging and improving brain function. Studies have shown that the catechins that help with cardiovascular health also improve circulation to the brain. Green tea’s compounds can also have protective effects on neurons which may help to reduce the risk of neurological and cognitive diseases. Research has shown a stronger working memory area of the brain for those who consistently drink green tea. The L-theanine contained in green tea helps with focus and attention, increasing the benefits of this amazing beverage.
FabanaiseSay Hello to ‘Fabanaise’ Vegan Mayo You Can Buy That’s Made With Aquafaba (Chickpea Water)!
Could Veganism End World Hunger? The World Health Organization calls malnutrition "the silent emergency", and says it is a factor in at least half the 10.4 million child deaths which occur every year.
If you’re concerned about animal rights, water conservation, clean air and health then you may already be on the road to becoming vegan – so why not take five minutes and find out how veganism could end world hunger?
There is more than enough food being produced to feed everyone in the world twice over.
The problem is, our meat-based diet means that land, water, and other resources that could be used to grow food for human beings are being used to grow crops for farmed animals instead.
70% of U.S. grain production is fed to livestock.
One-third of the world's fish catch is fed directly to livestock.
In cycling our grain through livestock, we waste 90% of its protein and 96% of its calories.
An acre of cereal can produce five times more protein than an acre devoted to meat production. Legumes [beans] can produce ten times as much.
"Those who consume livestock products and fish are competing directly with those who need grain for food." (Lester Brown, president of Worldwatch)
The truth can no longer be dodged. Livestock farming gobbles up agricultural land, water and energy that could be far more efficiently devoted to growing food for people.
The cost of an 8 ounce steak will fill 45 to 50 bowls with cooked cereal grains.
Livestock now outnumber humans by almost three to one. In the last 40 years, the number of cattle has doubled and the fowl population has trebled.
The meat and dairy industry is also putting a huge strain on our water supply.. it is unsustainable.
"The American fast food diet and the meat-eating habits of the wealthy around the world support a world food system that diverts food resources from the hungry" [Dr. Waldo Bello].
It would take just 40 million tons of food to eliminate most world hunger, yet a staggering 760 million tons of grain will be used to feed farmed animals this year.
An individual can make a huge difference. They can stop supporting the meat, fish, egg and dairy industries. They can become vegan.
In the U.S., 64% of cropland produces feed for animals, while only 2% grows fruit and vegetables.
It takes about 300 gallons of water per day to produce food for a vegan, and more than 4,000 gallons of water per day to produce food for a meat-eater.
Fact: You save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you do by not showering for an entire year.
Veganism is about wanting something better.. for the future of our children and the world as a whole.
Veganism is about making the world we live in a better place for people and animals alike.
Diet and Global Warming If one takes the threat of global warming seriously, the most powerful personal step you can take may well be choosing a vegetarian diet.
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) - Monsanto's Toxic Chemicals Monsanto's sordid past
What exactly is Bragg's Liquid Aminos honestly? Many vegans do mention protein being made of amino acids and them not needing it from animals and, how soy has all the essential amino acids in it.
It is unfermented so it can't be soy sauce(I can't confirm this, Braggs website doesn't mention it), and they also don't add salt.
Comment: It was created by a bonafide food scientist, Natral Health icon , Paul Bragg. It contains no wheat, no salt, and is not fermented, making it a superior soy seasoning; safe for our largely yeast overgrowth population; low in Sodium. Salty taste without unbalanced earth salt added.
Bragg's FAQ Amino Acids are the building blocks of all our organs and tissues. They are also the building blocks from which different food proteins are constructed. When we eat a protein food, such as meat or soybeans, the natural hydrochloric acid in the stomach digests the protein, releasing the Amino Acids. They are the link between the food we eat and assimilation for our body tissue. Lack of adequate Amino Acids may make it impossible for the vitamins and minerals to perform their specific duties.
Bragg Liquid Aminos is a healthy alternative to Soy and Tamari sauce. No table salt or preservatives are added.
Is it OK for a person on a low-salt or sodium diet to use Liquid Aminos? It is OK for an individual on a low-salt or sodium diet to have small amounts of the Liquid Aminos (just a few teaspoons) a day for seasoning. Bragg Liquid Aminos are not recommended for persons on no-salt or sodium diets.
What is the Nutritional content of Bragg Liquid Aminos? The Average Nutritional Breakdown per 1/2 Teaspoon is:
• Protein / Soy (Amino Acids) 290 mg
Amino Acids: Coconut vs. Bragg's This miracle sauce is made from coconut tree sap and sea salt, with no other additives. Better yet, it’s raw, so all of those living nutrients, amino acids and enzymes from the tree sap are captured and passed directly along to you
Be careful not to confuse coconut aminos with Braggs liquid aminos, however. Braggs are actually a highly processed form of soy sauce that uses chemical reactions in place of natural fermentation methods.
Although coconut aminos are a great substitution for soy sauce, coconut aminos do have a high sodium content like soy sauce does, so be sure to keep that in mind if you are watching your salt intake.
Coconut Aminos Granted, regular soy sauce is horribly high in sodium. The same can be said of the lower sodium versions you can purchase at most grocery stores. However, for the last several years I've been able to purchase online House of Tsang Less Sodium Soy Sauce with only 320 MGS SODIUM PER TABLESPOON. A few months ago I read a couple of blog posts and forum entries about Bragg’s, and I bought a small spray bottle of the Aminos just to give it one more try. It tastes pretty much like the Tsang soy sauce I use. However, it's got 160 mgs sodium per 1/2 Teaspoon. That works out to 960 MGS PER TABLESPOON – quite a bit more than the low sodium soy sauce I presently use – three times more sodium!
A while ago, one of the Cooking Forum members posted a link to a coconut amino product that looked really interesting. Its sodium content is lower than Bragg's, just 113 mgs for 1 Teaspoon. That works out to 339 MGS PER TABLESPOON, just a little higher than the soy sauce I purchase online. When I found the coconut product at three different stores in my area, I decided to give it a shot.
Once I got it home, I did a taste test, comparing it to what I had on hand. The Coconut Aminos has a very similar taste to Bragg’s and low sodium sauce. It does, however, have a stronger fermented undertone. The extreme saltiness of the Bragg’s was immediately apparent in comparison to Coconut Aminos. I ended up dumping the Bragg’s and pouring the coconut product into the spray bottle. I figure a light spray on top of vegetables or rice might brighten things up a bit.
Although I will continue to use "House of Tsang" Less Sodium Soy Sauce, Coconut Aminos is a great option for those who dearly love amino products and also need to reduce their sodium intake. It’s got a flavor that’s similar to both Bragg’s and low sodium sauce. It’s also a great product for those trying to avoid soy products, due to sensitivity or allergy.
Comment: If the soy sauce is for a dipping sauce, I dilute it -- 2 parts low sodium soy sauce to 1 part water & 1 part unseasoned rice vinegar. (Example: 2 tsp. soy sauce mixed with one tsp. water & 1 tsp. rice vinegar.) Then I add a couple of drops of hot chili oil and some toasted sesame oil, maybe even some crushed garlic & ginger. By the time I'm done, I've got a pretty tasty dipping sauce with a lot less sodium than straight soy sauce, even low sodium soy sauce.
ONLINE: Coconut Secret Organic Raw Coconut Aminos Soy-Free
This sap is raw, very low glycemic, an abundant source of 17 amino acids, minerals, vitamins and has a nearly neutral pH. A comparison between coconut tree sap and soy, shows that coconut sap contains 2-14 times the amino acid content of soy.
Seasoning alternative for use like soy sauce in salad dressing, marinades, sautes, and with sushi. ... the folks at Coconut Secret for offering an alternative to soy sauce, tamari and Bragg's.
Everything You Need to Know About Lentils Lentils do not require soaking. The red lentils cook the fastest. Avoid cast iron or aluminum cook ware when cooking lentils.
3/4 cup cooked lentils provides more potassium than a large banana.
Lentils provide more folate than any other plant food. [Foaltr Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Folate, formerly known as folacin, is the generic term for both naturally occurring food folate and folic acid, the fully oxidized monoglutamate form of the vitamin that is used in dietary supplements and fortified foods.
Colby Glass, MLIS, Professor Emeritus