Food


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Waste, Food
World Hunger

"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

Email From "Organic Consumers Association"

Six Questions

Monsanto may not be the largest company in the world. Or the worst. But the St. Louis, Mo. biotech giant has become the poster child for all that’s wrong with our industrial food and farming system.

With 21,000 employees in 66 countries and $15 billion in revenue, Monsanto is a biotech industry heavyweight. The St. Louis, Mo.-based monopolizer of seeds is the poster child for an industry that is the source of at least one-third of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and is largely responsible for the depletion of soil, water and biodiversity. Not to mention the company’s marginalization—and sometimes terrorization—of millions of small farmers.

Since the early 20th century, Monsanto has marketed highly toxic products that have contaminated the environment and permanently sickened or killed thousands of people around the world. In a rare exception, Monsanto was recently ordered to pay $46.5 million to compensate victims of its PCB poisoning. Sometimes the company settles out of court, to avoid having to admit to any “wrongdoing.”

But for the most part, thanks to the multinational’s powerful influence over U.S. politicians, Monsanto has been able to poison with impunity.

It’s time for the citizens of the world to fight back. On October 15 and 16, in The Hague, Netherlands—the International City of Peace and Justice—a panel of distinguished international judges will hear testimony from witnesses, represented by legitimate lawyers, who have been harmed by Monsanto. In their preparation for the citizens’ tribunal, and during witness testimony, the judges will consider six questions that are relevant not just in relation to Monsanto, but to all companies involved in shaping the future of agriculture.

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 Waste

Food 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
Skin on produce protects the inside, but when the flesh of some items is exposed to air, it oxidizes and turns brown. It may not be pretty, but there is no harm in eating it and taste will not be affected. Douse the exposed surface immediately in lemon juice to slow down browning if the look of it turns you off.

If fruits or vegetables are bruised
Something gets bumped or jostled, it gets bruised – cell structure is damaged and softening and browning set in. Light bruising does not make food inedible; just remove the bruised section as the texture may be affected and more importantly, they may create an entry point for microbes.

If lettuce has brown or pink spots
It may be unsettling to see lettuce with brown ends, brown stains, or a pink center – but this doesn’t mean the greens are diseased. Leaves can become brown from growing conditions or exposure to oxygen. And pink lettuce? This can occur when the middle rib is exposed to higher temperatures. It’s all perfectly safe to eat. You may not want to showcase it in a centerpiece salad, but tossed in chopped salads and tucked into sandwiches will hide a multitude of sins. Some heartier lettuces are great sautéed, too – romaine hearts can even be put straight on the grill for a charred Caesar salad that goes far in camouflaging imperfections.

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 Topics

Earth 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.
14.5% of global greenhouse emissions are produced by livestock.
45% of [mostly] arable global land is occupied to raise livestock.
33% of arable global land is used to grow feed for livestock.

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 Food

How 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?


Cooking

5 new ways to use your slow cooker (that don't involve food)

Foil vs. parchment vs. wax paper: Here's when to use them

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
A La Carte ode to French cuisine from an admitted die-hard fan. From recipes and techniques to the pettiest of phraseology quibbles, he has your crock pot covered (Yahoo! Picks)
Betty Crocker baking recipes
Break Eggs cooking fundamentals with lots of recipes and entertaining ideas
Chocolat & Zucchini sophisticated yet simple recipes, nice arrangement, gorgeous photos
Daily Gullet culinary news and discussion; Recent articles include a discourse on creative crepery, a celebration of the onion-infused rendered chicken fat known as "schmaltz," and an in-depth interview with food specialist Ted Allen of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame. The editorial content is lovingly steered by an international cabal of culinary enthusiasts, and you'll naturally find a diverse selection of user-submitted recipes. And don't miss Diary of a Cooking School Student for the low-down on epicurean boot camp
Epicurious "the world's greatest recipe collection"
Family Cookbook Project create your own family cookbook or see what others have done
Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project view transcripts of many old cookbooks; can also view the original pages
Food Network TV recipes
Food Section "..publishes original food writing and photography and scours the web for links to culinary news and events, recipes, and gastronomical ephemera"
Food Timeline new foods discovered/invented from 17,000 BC to present
German Foods.org current events also
Guide to Greek Food whisks you through dining hotbeds of the Greek Isles one minute, gives a lesson in restaurant etiquette the next, then introduces you to some of the friendly locals. Then it's off to the olive stands for a quick respite before partaking in the true Greek snack: sardines
Kitchen - American Standard
Kitchen - Kohler
Kraft Foods search recipes
Meals for You find solutions fast according to diet, taste, time, nutrition
Milioni Online Magazine At last count, Milioni (named for Italian-TV cooking maestro Stefano Milioni) offered 10 different gnocchi recipes, maps and descriptions of 20 Italian wine-growing regions, and a plethora of pages celebrating the glories of Italian cuisine from pasta to polenta, minestrone to gelato. We found delightful recipes for obscure vegetables like bitter broccoli and fresh fennel, and a tasty survey of Sicilian products. And that's just the English-language version. Buon appetito!
Not By Bread Alone: America's Culinary Heritage highlights rare books, photographs, menus, and other early documents that trace the history of gastronomy in America
NUTRITION page of links
On Line Cookbook by recipe type, from appetizers to soups
Recipe Book Online from around the world
Recipe Search by Ingredient from AllRecipe
Recipe Search by Ingredient or Cuisine from Cooking.com
Saveur magazine With its lavish descriptions and photos of food from around the world, this site will make your mouth water. Pick a country or region from the Culinary Traditions section and virtually taste exotic cuisine from Alabama to Venice. Most articles are paired with links to recipes
Science of Cooking Discover how a pinch of curiosity can improve your cooking! Explore recipes, activities, and Webcasts that will enhance your understanding of the science behind food and cooking


Storage

20 things you don't actually need to keep in the fridge

Food Storage Mistakes Learn how to store food properly in order to fight unnecessary food waste at home.

No oversized containers: When you store food in a container that’s too big, it can lead to faster spoilage and freezer burn.

Don’t refrigerate hot foods: You might think your high-tech fridge can handle the task of chilling hot leftovers, but it’s not a good idea. The hot air can increase the temperature of neighboring foods and increase the rate of bacterial growth. Instead, let food cool at least somewhat outside the fridge before transferring it.

Change store packaging: If you purchase pantry items, the same rule applies. You want to avoid the 3 M’s – mice, mealworms, and mustiness – so transfer dry goods such as beans, pasta, flour, and grains from store packaging into glass jars.

Label freezer foods: Put a description and date on whatever goes into the freezer so you can keep track of it. All it takes is some masking tape and a marker. Otherwise, it’s too easy to forget what’s there. As you use freezer items, move older ones to the front for easy access.

Don’t keep potatoes and onions together: If you’ve been storing these in the same place (like I have), then it’s time to change. Apparently both require cool, dark, dry space, but they release moisture and gases that speed up spoilage. Onions need more air circulation than potatoes and are best stored in the fridge. Potatoes should never be refrigerated, but stored in a basket or bag in the pantry.

Store herbs properly: Fresh herbs can be kept in a jar of water on the counter if temperature is moderate. Alternatively, wrap in a damp cloth and place in a sealed bag in fridge.

Keep half-used onions separate from other foods: Onion halves will impart their strong smell to neighboring foods if stored loose in the fridge. Wrap or cover in a bowl to prevent having oniony-tasting pears, apples, and broccoli.

Don’t leave lettuce in plastic: It will go slimy if left too long. A better method is to wash, spin dry, and place in an airtight container or bowl with a clean tea towel or cloth napkin on the bottom to absorb moisture. You'll be more inclined to eat salad, too, if it's already prepped.


Sustainable / Regenerative Farming

Regenerative 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.


World Hunger

"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).

10 of the Most Common Ways World Hunger Is Misunderstood

Myth #1: Too little food, too many people

Our 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 inevitable

Our 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 world

Our 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 world

Our 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.


GMO; Labeling

$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.

Phosphates

At 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."

Emulsifiers

These 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

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.

MonkFruit


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; News

Take Part take action

Food Tank news and action on food

Fooducate

GMO Foods Monsanto, etc.

Who's Making Money from Overweight Kids? meat and chicken are being subsidized heavily by the USDA.

Consumer Self-Defense: 12 Ways to Drive GMOs and Roundup off the Market

"...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).

Organic Bytes email

Race to the Bottom

On Sunday (September 25) thousands of runners will show up early in the morning in 37 cities in 22 countries for the Global Energy Race, sponsored by Bimbo, the world’s largest baking company. Nothing wrong with organizing a global race to draw attention to personal health and climate change—unless you’re running a company that feeds junk food to kids, and contributes to global warming by destroying the world’s soils with pesticides.

New science on soil critters, carbon & climate Soils are the Earth’s largest carbon storage depot after oceans and fossil fuels. Yet scientists estimate that since the industrial revolution, agricultural practices have caused massive carbon losses from the soil, contributing up to a third of all the increased CO2 in the global atmosphere.

mycorrhizal fungi play a major role in taking up carbon and forming stable soil aggregates that protect that carbon from degradation.

Bimbo USA is a subsidiary of Mexico-based Grupo Bimbo, which has operations in 21 countries. Here in the U.S., Bimbo’s operates more than 60 bakeries (according to the company website) and markets a long list of brands, including Arnolds, Sara Lee, Thomas’ English Muffins, Orowheat, Stroemans. In July, Bimbo bought the Eureka Grainiac Organic line. The company also sells a brand called “Nature’s Harvest".

Bimbo USA Brands list

For the most part, Bimbo products are junk food. Search the website Fooducate.com and you’ll find nutritional information on a lot of Bimbo products, many of which high-fructose corn syrup, trans-fats, artificial color and petroleum-derived antioxidants and high levels of sugar.

Fooducate


Vegetables

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.


PURSLANE

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)


Food System

Our Broken Food System (And How to Fix It) video

* 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.

Poisonous Foods 8 Poisonous Foods We Commonly Eat

Rhubarb

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.

Kidney Beans

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.

Potatoes

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.

Tomatoes

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.






Tea

All types of tea come from the same basic plant, the Camellia Sinensis plant. The differences between teas arise from processing, growing conditions, and geography. ... Tea can be divided into six basic categories: black, dark (including puer), oolong, yellow, green, and white.

TYPES OF TEA details and info.

8 Benefits of Green Tea

Weight Loss

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!

Diabetes

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.

Improves cholesterol

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.

Skincare

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.

Reduces stress

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.

Fights cancer

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.


Fabanaise

Say 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.

Big Food Found Guilty in Multimillion Dollar Cover up in GMO Labeling Fight

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
• Carbohydrate 100 mg
• Natural Sodium 160 mg
• Calories 0

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.

Why You Should Eat Pulses Every Day

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.

Groats are the hulled kernels of various cereal grains such as oat, wheat, rye and barley. Groats are whole grains that include the cereal germ and fiber-rich bran portion of the grain as well as the endosperm. Wikipedia

Monsanto


Monsanto

Organic Bytes email 9/25/16

Millions Against Monsanto: Countdown to Justice

While the CEOs of Monsanto and Bayer were droning on last week about their (phony) love of farmers and their (bogus) plans to feed the world, organizers of the International Monsanto Tribunal were booking flights for witnesses, and finalizing programs for both the formal tribunal and the People’s Assembly. The International Monsanto Citizens’ Tribunal is less than a month away. The People’s Assembly will begin on October 14. The tribunal itself will begin on October 15.

Both will take place in The Hague, Netherlands—also known as the International City of Peace and Justice.

International Monsanto Tribunal In the Hague The aim of the Tribunal is to give a legal opinion on the environmental and health damage caused by the multinational Monsanto. This will add to the international debate to include the crime of Ecocide into international criminal law. It will also give people all over the world a well documented legal file to be used in lawsuits against Monsanto and similar chemical companies.

Currently, it is impossible under law to bring criminal charges against a company like Monsanto or its management, for their crimes against human health and the integrity of the environment.

Each year, Monsanto spends enormous amounts on legal defense to fend off the cases brought by the victims of its activities. This does not encourage the company to change its practices. So long as it remains more profitable for shareholders to take risks in the community – even if that means compensating the victims occasionally - these practices will persist.

Monsanto's history is a paradigm for the impunity of transnational corporations and their management, who contribute to climate change and the depletion of the biosphere and threaten the security of the planet.

Monsanto will serve as an example for the entire agro-industrial system whereby putting on trial all multinationals and companies that employ entrepreneurial behavior that ignore the damage wrecked on health and the environment by their actions.

General purpose of the Tribunal:

To get a ruling – even symbolic - against Monsanto by a bench of real judges, after veritable proceedings in an international court, and contribute to the establishment of international mechanisms to bring justice to victims of multinationals.

Five distinguished international judges will preside over the tribunal. Thirty witnesses and scientific and legal experts will present testimony during the two-day proceedings. More than 45,000 citizens and nearly 800 organizations have already signed on to endorse this historic citizens’ initiative.

To mark the end of the tribunal, and World Food Day (both on October 16), those who can’t travel to The Hague are organizing protests and house parties in a show of solidarity. Want to participate in an event near you? Or organize your own? Email campaigns@organicconsumers.org for details and materials.

The tribunal, announced nine months ago during the COP21 Climate Summit in Paris, has been in the works for more than a year.

Organic Bytes email 9/25/16

A Crime is A Crime

It’s been about a week since Monsanto and Bayer confirmed their intention to say “I do”—ample time for media, lawmakers, consumer and farmer advocacy groups, and of course the happy couple themselves, to weigh in on the pros and cons. Reactions poured in from all the usual suspects.

Groups like the Farmers Union, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth and others didn’t mince words when it came to condemning the deal.

Farmers Union Condemns Bayer/Monsanto Deal

EcoWatch: Bayer to Buy Monsanto Creating World's Largest Seed and Pesticide Company A successful merger would create the world's largest agrichemical firm, which will control more than one-fourth of the combined global market for seeds and pesticides.

According to Bloomberg, "The deal gives Bayer more than 2,000 varieties of seeds for crops such as corn, soybeans, and wheat. Adding that portfolio to its own vegetable, rice, cotton and oilseed offerings give Bayer a virtually unassailable position at the head of the market."

The Monsanto-Bayer combination is yet another example of the rapidly consolidating agricultural industry, with only a handful of companies controlling the sector.

Monsanto, the world's largest producer of genetically modified (GMO) crops and maker of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, has faced mounting controversy and numerous lawsuits in recent years over the health and environmental impacts of its products.

Bayer has also been subject to criticism over its widely used insecticide, imidacloprid, which belongs to a controversial class of chemicals called neonicotinoids that's linked to widespread deaths of pollinators.

On today's landmark news, Murphy said: "Now the most evil company in Europe has absorbed the most evil company in America. Monsanto and Bayer's new corporate motto should be 'Killing bees and butterflies for fun and profit.'"

"With this deal Big Biotech gets bigger; it means monopoly power for Bayer-Monsanto, just like the previous mergers of Dow and DuPont and Syngenta and ChemChina," Ken Roseboro, the editor and publisher of The Organic & Non-GMO Report, told EcoWatch. "These three companies will dominate the global seed and pesticide markets and will likely drive up costs for farmers. The Justice Department should stop these mergers because they are bad farmers, bad for agriculture, and bad for consumers."

"The merger of Bayer and Monsanto should make the connection between Big Pharma, Big Biotech and Big Food all the more apparent to consumers," Ronnie Cummins, the international director of the Organic Consumers Association, told EcoWatch.

Meanwhile, Monsanto's tribunal at The Hague next month is still on deck. The Organic Consumers Association, IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International and Millions Against Monsanto, joined by dozens of global food, farming and environmental justice groups are putting the transnational corporation on trial for crimes against nature and humanity and ecocide.

Predictably, the corporate heads of state last week promoted the proposed $66-billion deal as an altruistic plan to improve “the lives of growers and people around the world.” This week, they told Senate Judiciary Committee members that the merger “is needed to meet a rising food demand.” Is anyone out there still buying the line that Monsanto and Bayer are in the business of feeding the world? When all the evidence says otherwise?

Even if that claim weren’t ludicrous, who thinks it’s a good idea to entrust the job of “feeding the world” to the likes of Bayer, a company that as part of the I.G. Farben cartel in the 1940s produced the poison gas for the Nazi concentration camps, and more recently sold HIV-infected drugs to parents of haemophiliacs in foreign countries, causing thousands of children to die of AIDS?


Greens

The Essential Guide on How to Work With Every Kind of Green Vegetable

1. How to Prep Greens

Greens can be very sandy and gritty, especially when you get them fresh at the farmer’s market or in your CSA box, so they need to be washed well. Don’t wash the greens unless you are going to use them in a day or two, as they will start to wilt. If you do wash them in advance, place them in a storage bag with a clean towel or paper towel to absorb the moisture and keep them refrigerated.

Store them in the crisper drawer of the fridge, away from the fruit. Fruits give off ethylene gas which can hasten spoilage.

The easiest way to wash greens is to fill the sink with cool water and give the greens a bath. Separate the leaves and agitate the water a bit with your fingers to loosen the dirt. Shake the leaves dry of excess water and then dry them in a salad spinner or by laying them between two clean towels.

Greens can last up to a week in the fridge but they may wilt. You can perk them back up by putting in a bowl of ice for 10 minutes or so. If the greens you are using have thick stems or stalks, you need to remove them. This is true for kale and collard greens. Other greens such as chard and spinach have edible stems though you can certainly remove those as well. Beet and turnip greens need to be separated from their roots before storing.

The easiest way to remove the stems from large leaves is by “stripping.” Hold the base of the stem in one hand and run your index and middle finger of the other hand along the stem, from base to tip, stripping the leaves off as you go. The leaves can then be chopped.

Bok Choy

Bok Choy, also known as Chinese white cabbage, pak choy and white mustard cabbage, is indeed a type of cabbage. Bok choy is tender, mild and sweet. It is available in mature and baby versions. Mature bok choy has large stems which can be separated from the leaves and prepared first since they take longer to cook. Baby bok choy can be cooked whole. It can also be eaten raw in salads.

Butterhead Lettuce

Butterhead lettuces include Boston and Bibb lettuce. They have soft, rounded leaves and a sweet, delicate flavor. Their rounded shape makes them perfect for lettuce cups and wraps.

Cabbage: Savoy, Red, Napa

Cabbage is a staple of cooking all over the world. This multi-layered veggie is a nutritional powerhouse, providing us with manganese, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin A, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin and folate.

Smooth-leafed firm-headed green cabbages are the most common type. Savoy cabbage, also known as curly cabbage, has ruffled, lacy, deeply ridged leaves which are loosely layered and more tender. Use Savoy cabbage to make these Savoy Rolls.

Red cabbage is a pretty purple color. It has a heartier texture. It tastes great raw and when cooked down as in this Braised Red Cabbage with Beets.

Napa cabbage, also called Chinese cabbage, has long, light green leaves and looks a bit like romaine lettuce. It has a mild, peppery flavor and is often used in stir-fries. It is also used to make kimchi.

Chard

Chard has large, thick, dark leaves and stalks that can be white (in Swiss chard) or colored (in Rainbow chard). The leaves taste similar to spinach but much stronger and with a rougher texture. The stalks are edible with a mellow flavor and the yellow, purple, red and orange stems are a colorful addition to any dish.

The stalks need to be cooked first since they take longer than the leaves though chard can also be eaten raw. Chard is often used in soups, stir-fries and stews.

Collards

Collards are a member of the cabbage family and closely related to kale. They have wide, flat, green leaves and thick stalks which should be removed. Collards have a slightly bitter taste though they can be eaten raw. They are often paired with other greens like kale, mustard and spinach. Collards are a staple of Southern cuisine.

Dandelion Greens

You know those little yellow flowers in the yard that you loved as a child but your parents knew were weeds? Well, those dandelions have leaves that are not only edible, but also healthy and delicious. The leaves are peppery, similar to arugula, and can be eaten raw, blanched or cooked.

Mustard Greens

Mustard greens are a staple of Southern cuisine. They have frilled curly edges and are a bright green color. The taste is quite peppery and they are usually cooked with other greens such as kale and collards.

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce is well-known with crunchy, thick ribs and long, slender leaves. It has a crunchy texture and a mild flavor. Romaine can be grilled but is probably best known for its use in Caesar salad.

Spinach

Spinach is a delicate green that can be eaten raw and cooked. Baby spinach tends to be milder and less bitter than mature spinach. Spinach is a versatile green, able to work well in almost any recipe. When you buy spinach, buy a lot because it cooks down significantly.

Turnip Greens

When you buy turnips, be sure to get them with the greens still attached. The leaves have a hearty texture and a strong, bitter flavor which mellows when cooked. Turnip greens are a staple of Southern cooking and are often mixed with other greens.

Watercress

Watercress has small, oval-shaped leaves with a peppery smell. The flavor is also peppery and is similar to horseradish and wasabi. Watercress is best paired with mild, creamy ingredients that will balance the bitterness. It can be used in soups, pasta, salads and on burgers and sandwiches.


Olives

10 Reasons You Should Be Eating Olives

Recent research studies have also shown that the monounsaturated fat found in olives (and olive oil) can help to decrease blood pressure. The oleic acid found in olives–once absorbed up into the body and transported to our cells–can change signaling patterns at a cell membrane level (specifically, altering G-protein associated cascades). These changes at a cell membrane level result in decreased blood pressure.

Weight Loss: It appears that monounsaturated fats, the kind found in olives, may encourage weight loss. Olive oil consumption has been shown to breakdown fats inside fat cells, get rid of belly fat and reduce insulin insensitivity.

People who have the highest olive consumption eat fewer calories overall and are rarely overweight. Blood tests show they have higher levels of serotonin, a so-called satiety hormone that makes us feel full.

Black olives are a great source of vitamin E, which has the brilliant ability to neutralize free radicals in body fat. Especially when working with the stable monounsaturated fats found in olives, vitamin E can make cellular processes safer. When such processes such as mitochondrial energy production are not well protected, the free radicals produced can cause oxidation, damaging a cell’s mitochondria, and preventing the cell from producing enough energy to supply its needs. If the DNA of a cell is damaged, it may well mutate and become cancerous. Studies have shown that a diet supplemented with olive oil leads to a lower risk of colon cancer, almost as low a risk as a diet rich in fish oil.

Less Pain: Spanish-style green olives, Kalamata-style olives, and many different methods of olive preparation provide us with valuable amounts of many different antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients which can act as a natural Ibuprofen. Their oils contain oleocanthal, a substance with anti-inflammatory agents. Similar to classical NSAIDs, they are a type of non-selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase (COX). 50g (more than three and a half tablespoons) of a typical virgin olive oil per day contains an amount of oleocanthal with similar anti-inflammatory effect as 1/10 of the adult ibuprofen dose.

Less Allergies: New research may help explain how olives work to provide us with anti-inflammatory benefits, especially during circumstances involving allergy. Olive extracts have now been shown to function as anti-histamines at a cellular level. By blocking special histamine receptors (called H1 receptors), unique components in olive extracts may help to lessen a cell’s histamine response.

How to Select Olives
While olives have been traditionally sold in jars and cans, many stores are now offering them in bulk in large barrels or bins (often called an “olive bar”). Buying bulk olives will allow you to experiment with many different types with which you may be unfamiliar and to purchase only as many as you need at one time.

Avoid purchasing olives in cans. FDA data has shown levels of acrylamide as high as 1,925 ppb in some canned, nationally distributed brands of black pitted olives. Based on this data, higher acrylamide levels in select canned black olives may be related to specific handling, storage, processing (especially preservation and darkening methods), and heating steps that favored formation of acrylamide.

As far olive oils go, the best processing come from ice-pressed oils which is in the complete absence of heat; a dramatic 20-30 times colder than the cold-pressed olive oil; a critical distinction in terms of maintaining the oils’ nutritive and healing potential and to staking claim as one of the world’s only RAW producers of olive oil. Taste the distinct refreshing taste!

Health Benefit of Black Olives promotes digeative health [fiber], Iron, Vitamin E, promotes cardiovascular health.

Though black olives provide many health benefits, they are relatively high in sodium and calories. A 100-gram serving of ripe olives provides 115 calories and about 735 milligrams of sodium. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. It's important to limit sodium intake because increased salt consumption is associated with higher levels of blood pressure.

Olives: The world's healthiest food Even though more attention has been sometimes been given to their delicious oil than their whole food delights, olives are one of the world's most widely enjoyed foods. Technically classified as fruits of the Olea europea tree (an amazing tree that typically lives for hundreds of years)

Dozens of health-protective nutrients have been identified in olives, and recent studies have taken a very close look at olive varieties, olive processing, and changes that take place in olive nutrients. The overall conclusion from these studies is exciting for anyone who loves olives of all varieties. Greek-style black olives, Spanish-style green olives, Kalamata-style olives, and many different methods of olive preparation provide us with valuable amounts of many different antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients.

Hydroxytyrosol, an olive phytonutrient that has long been linked to cancer prevention, is now regarded as having the potential to help us prevent bone loss as well.

In traditional herbal medicine practices, preparations from olives and olive leaves have often been used in treatment of inflammatory problems, including allergy-related inflammation.

Specific mushroom alters microbiome of mice to reduce obesity the Ganoderma lucidum mushroom has been used for centuries to promote better health. Scientific research has shown that polysaccharides (complex sugars) isolated from the fungus prevent fat cell formation in diabetic mice, and other isolates promote antidiabetic activity. Scientists in Taiwan were curious as to whether G. lucidum had any effect on body weight and obesity-related disorders such as chronic low-grade inflammation which leads to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease, and they published their results in Nature Communications.


Coffee

What’s All the Noise About Coffee? By Dr. Mercola

The number of Americans drinking coffee in 2017 rose after a decline of the previous four years as gourmet brews gained popularity, especially among younger consumers

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has ruled coffee must carry a cancer warning under Proposition 65 as the brew contains acrylamide, a known carcinogen and potential neurotoxin

Acrylamide is created when carbohydrate-rich foods are heated at high temperatures; but while the production of acrylamide starts with brewing, elimination with longer roasting means dark roast coffee contains less than light roasts

Caffeine is the most consumed psychoactive drug in the world, including children and adolescents; however, caffeine has demonstrated the ability to disturb sleep and had a long-lasting negative effect on brain maturation in young people

What Is Coffee's Effect on the Kidneys? The ever growing worldwide popularity of coffee as a beverage of choice also makes it a subject of intense study into its health effects. There is research that has been done to study how coffee impacts everything from our immune system, to the risk of heart disease, and even cancer risk. The debate about whether coffee is good or bad for you has actually raged on for over a thousand years, ever since coffee was first discovered (possibly) in Ethiopia.

A 2008 study from Korea that involved over 2600 women showed that consumption of coffee was associated with a decreased risk of kidney disease, including in diabetic women. As we know in medicine though, population-based surveys are not enough to draw hard conclusions.

Therefore, given the pertinent and possibly controversial nature of the topic, a meta-analysis published in 2016 attempted to answer this very question. This meta-analysis showed no association between coffee consumption and increased risk of kidney disease in male patients. Interestingly, it actually noted the possibility of a reduced risk of kidney disease in women who drink coffee.

The results of the above meta-analysis are similar to another study from another part of the world, specifically the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua where lower prevalence of chronic kidney disease in coffee growing villages has been noted.


Expiration Dates

Expiration Cheat Sheet Date for Everything!


Pesticide Residue

Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen in the Produce Bin Most health experts emphasize the importance of eating lots of vegetables, but which ones have the least pesticide residue? If you want to avoid pesticides as much as possible, but can’t afford to buy everything organic, which products should you focus on?

The Dirty Dozen for 2018:

Shoppers can use the lists developed by the Environmental Working Group to guide their purchases. The group has just issued its annual report on the dirty dozen and the clean fifteen (EWG April 10, 2018). The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit nonpartisan organization that educates citizens about the environmental hazards found in food, water, cosmetics, household cleaners and other common products.

This year’s list of the most contaminated produce is actually a baker’s dozen. At the top of the list are strawberries, with detectable residues from 20 pesticides. The list goes on to include spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, bell peppers and hot peppers. When possible, these are products that should be purchased as organic foods. That’s because the conventionally grown products are so often contaminated. Aiming for organic strawberries, apples or spinach is especially important for those feeding children. Young bodies may be more susceptible to negative effects from pesticides.

strawberries 20 pesticides

spinach

nectarines

apples

grapes

peaches

cherries

pears

tomatoes

celery

potatoes

bell peppers

hot peppers

The Clean Fifteen for 2018:

The EWG also determined the least contaminated produce—the clean fifteen. These are vegetables and fruits you can be confident in eating, whether or not an organic version is available. They include avocados, sweet corn (non-GMO), pineapples, cabbages, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplants, honeydew melons, kiwis, cantaloupes, cauliflower and broccoli.


Beets

This Often-Vilified Food Substance Naturally Boosts Brain Energy Many think it's less than healthy and gets converted into this potentially dangerous substance, but it actually works wonders when found in this food. In fact, athletes swear by it - it widens your blood vessels so more oxygen can reach your brain and muscles.

Whether you desire a boost for your stamina and endurance, support for your body’s natural detox processes, protect your cells and organs against environmental stress, or just want to support healthy blood flow throughout your brain and body, these fermented ruby gems might be just the ticket.

“Fire Up Your Performance With Organic Red Beets, Without the Excess Sugar”

Red beet root juice has become synonymous with performance, stamina and endurance. But beet juice is not the ideal way to get the benefits of beets as it is loaded with sugar and is mostly from GMO beets.

Organic beets deserve a place in your everyday diet for 7 important reasons:

They can boost your athletic performance, stamina, and endurance

They help promote a healthy normal inflammatory response

They help promote healthy blood flow throughout your body and brain

They support your body’s natural detoxification processes

They support immune and cellular health

They promote brain neuroplasticity, or the ability to form new neural pathways, especially when consumed before exercise

They’re high in valuable nutrients: vitamin C, folate, potassium and manganese

So what is it about beets that make them such a unique and valuable vegetable?

nitrates,

bioactive pigments called betalains, and

other beneficial phytochemical compounds.

Nitric Oxide: The Key to Healthy Blood Flow and Other Potential Benefits

These endothelial cells line your entire circulatory system, from your heart to the smallest of your capillaries.

Inside these cells, a soluble gas called nitric oxide, or NO, is continually produced from the amino acid, L-arginine.

This gas, NO, is an important signaling molecule in every cell of your body. It plays an important role in:

Supporting your cardiovascular health

Promoting your normal endothelial function

Promoting healthy dilation of your veins and arteries to support healthy blood flow

Protecting your cells’ powerhouses, or mitochondria

Preventing your red blood cells from sticking together

Nitric oxide helps your blood vessels relax and increases the diameter of your vessels for improved blood flow.


Chicken

If You’re Buying Meat, Watch Out For This On The Label So, what’s the difference between natural and organic, or free-range versus grass-fed? Meat terminology can be confusing. But health-conscious carnivores who care about animal welfare need to understand the differences between labels when choosing meat. Armed with the right information, you’ll not only make the healthiest choices but also be better equipped to choose meat that comes from animals raised, handled and slaughtered humanely. So, here’s everything you need to know about meat labels.

Organic

What our food is fed directly influences our health. So, if the meat we consume has been fed an unhealthy diet full of chemical additives, it goes without saying that those chemicals, in turn, can transfer to us.

So, what’s the solution? Well for most people the solution is simple: organic meat. But what exactly are you getting when you choose organic meat? All meats labeled organic must meet the USDA’s standards and must be verified by a USDA-accredited certifying agent. ORGANIC LABELS ALSO SUGGEST THAT THE ANIMAL WAS FED ORGANIC FEED AND RAISED WITHOUT THE USE OF ANTIBIOTICS, GROWTH HORMONES OR ANY SYNTHETIC SUBSTANCES. MEANWHILE, WHEN IT COMES SLAUGHTER, IT MUST TAKE PLACE IN A CERTIFIED FACILITY. ADDITIONALLY, ANY SYNTHETIC PROCESSING AGENTS, SULFITES, NITRATES OR NITRITES ARE PROHIBITED.

What about the animals — is organic production a much more humane way to raise them? Keep in mind that just because an animal has been raised organically it doesn’t mean they are living a lifestyle that is more humane than conventionally raised animals. For instance, according to the USDA, when meat is labeled organic this is an indication that animals must have access to pasture and be allowed to participate in their own natural behaviors.

However, PETA paints a different story. Animals typically raised organically spend most of their time confined to crowded sheds or mud-filled pens. That’s because many organic farmers can find loopholes to keep animals confined since the USDA decided that animals may be temporarily confined for health and safety reasons or to protect soil or water quality. Cruel animal practices still exist on organic farms.

Natural

Unlike organically labeled meats, THE “NATURAL” LABEL DOES NOT REQUIRE CERTIFICATION. SO, THERE IS NO GOVERNING BODY for all-natural meat products. It’s actually a common myth that meat labeled as natural has not received growth hormones or antibiotics. The fact is, EACH INDIVIDUAL PRODUCER CAN DECIDE IF THEIR ANIMALS WILL RECEIVE GROWTH HORMONES AND/OR ANTIBIOTICS, according to the USDA.

A natural label represents a meat product that CONTAINS NO ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS OR ADDED COLOR AND IS ONLY MINIMALLY PROCESSED. Minimal processing suggests that the product was processed in a manner that does not primarily alter the product. And of course, the label must include a statement defining the term natural, such as “no artificial ingredients and minimally processed.”

Keep in mind with a natural designation there is no restriction on the use of growth hormones, antibiotics and animal byproducts. Additionally, a natural product does not consider the animal’s welfare. But that said, some natural producers do avoid using feed grown in chemicals or using antibiotics and growth hormones. They may also follow more humane animal husbandry practices.

Grass-fed vs. grain-fed

Most cattle today are often fed grains. Yet, the animals who once roamed free ate grass, as they always did throughout time. All calves drink milk from their mothers and then go on to feed on grass. Eventually, though, conventionally raised cattle are moved from pasture to feedlot. There, cattle feed on a concentrated grain diet (usually corn) for the purpose of fattening them up quickly for sale.

On the other hand, grass-fed cattle spend their entire lives eating just grass as nature intended. They’re not fed any grains. So, unlike grain-fed cattle, grass-fed animals take six to 12 months longer to reach market weight, making them a healthier option for carnivores. Grass-fed beef is leaner and lower in calories than grain-fed beef due to less marbling. And, generally, antibiotics and growth hormones are not part of the diet of grass-fed cattle.

And when it comes to humane animal practices, well, grass-fed cattle lead more natural lives moving around in open pastures. In addition, cows cannot digest grain. So, switching cows to a corn-heavy diet upsets their digestive system and increases the likelihood they’ll develop heartburn, stomach ulcers and liver abscesses. Plus, grain fed cattle are raised in overcrowded feedlots with no access to pasture, exercise or fresh air — a brutal and inhumane existence.

Free-range

“Free-range” is ONE OF THE MOST MISLEADING LABELS THERE IS, thanks to the difference between what free range implies and what is actually required to make the claim. Labels on eggs and chicken products imply that the chickens ranged freely outdoors. But, the claim does not have to be verified through on-farm inspections.

So, producers can claim on a label that their product is free-range, as long as the animals were given “some” access to an outdoor area — no matter what the size. For chickens, this outdoor area can be a small space that’s actually not big enough to accommodate all birds.

In fact, there are no requirements for the size or condition of an outdoor area. For that matter, there are no requirements for how accessible the outdoor area is to the birds, and how often and for how long each day the birds have to be given access to the outdoors. The bottom line is: chicken and eggs labeled “free-range” do not mean the birds ranged freely outdoors. Just another reason to consider backyard chickens.

The healthiest and most humane way to consume meat

Livestock that is prevented from moving naturally in overcrowded in cages, pens and transport trucks, only to be slaughtered in cruel conditions, is why vegetarianism is on the rise.

But if you still enjoy a steak, chicken breast or burger, and want to do so in the most humane way, here’s what you need to do. Buy your meat directly from a farm whose practices you trust. Visit farmers markets or even the farm yourself. If your local butcher or grocer is where you buy your meat then push for change.

Choose meats that are antibiotic- and hormone-free, with animals raised on a 100 percent vegetarian diet. The meat you consume should not be fed any animal by-products. Most of all, demand that your grocer or butcher supplies meat that’s either SPCA-Certified or Certified Humane.

A Certified Humane label on meat, chicken, pork, eggs, pet food or dairy products means that the food comes from farms where humane treatment of farm animals are implemented. So, don’t be fooled by labels that say one thing but mean something else altogether. There are other, more ethical choices available. Just put your dollar where your ethics are and change will happen.

— Katherine Marko


Worst Foods

The 9 Worst Foods to Eat and Healthy Swaps Dr Jockers










Pickles

The Case of the Phony Pickle She produces for your inspection one jar of Claussen Dill Pickle Spears.

“Aha!” you exclaim. “These pickles are impostors! Rather than being naturally fermented, they were made with vinegar and therefore offer no probiotic benefit whatsoever! Any nutrition buff worth her salt and vinegar would know this. Madam, I’m afraid I must pooh-pooh your pro-probiotic proclamations and place you under arrest!”

Didn’t catch the suspect’s story’s flaws? Don’t feel bad. Espousing the power of probiotics two weeks ago on his show, Dr. Oz failed to mention any difference between real, fermented sauerkraut and the vacuum-sealed vinegar-brined type. He likely has no idea that real, fermented pickles and sauerkraut are a world apart from the jars you find in the condiment aisle of the average store. Real pickles are kept in your grocer’s refrigerated section and their containers list just a few simple ingredients — cucumbers or cabbage, water, salt, garlic and spices. And they do not contain vinegar.

Why no vinegar? Because real pickles and sauerkraut create their own acids as they ferment. The fermenters are the probiota, the beneficial microbes that provide additional nutrient, aid digestion and are thought to offer a wide range of additional health benefits, like fighting cancer.

It’s no wonder nearly every traditional world cuisine includes a variety of fermented foods. Fermentation is a happy accident of nature, something that occurs naturally without any help from us. The oldest recipe known to exist, written in cuneiform, is for a kind of beer bread. In “The Story of Wine,” Hugh Johnson nominates fermentation as the central driving force of civilization.

Many of today’s best foods benefit from the process of fermentation. Take away fermentation, and there goes that glass of cabernet. Yogurt and cheese — gone. Chocolate’s out, since cacao nibs must sit in the sun for a week or so to let the fruit ferment around the nibs and develop the full symphony of flavor. Oh, and you’ll have to skip the morning coffee, as coffee “berries” need to rest in fermentation tanks to develop complexity of flavor.

Fermentation produces rich, complex flavors. And dishes that incorporate them are, in my opinion, some of the most flavorful. Years ago, Luke and I spent a day skiing on Shasta Mountain. Driving down the winding road in the setting sun, we realized that we were hungry, really hungry. When we passed an unassuming little Czech restaurant, although the parking lot was empty, we took a chance and pulled in.

I have to tell you, the rich, creamy sauerkraut soup they served us was like something out of a dream — surreal pleasure. We asked about the sauerkraut used in the soup, and they told us that, as if it should go without saying, the sauerkraut was like everything else on the menu, homemade.

Last week I suggested that homemade stock is a propitious sign for any restaurant. If you find a restaurant that makes its own stock and its own fermented vegetables, pitch a tent. Refuse to leave. Hand the proprietor the deed to your house and claim the restaurant as your newly adopted home.

Chefs appreciate real fermented foods because, in addition to everything else, they admire the way these foods celebrate the processes of nature. Fermented foods are, in the truest sense of the phrase, “living foods.” That’s why real, fermented pickles, sauerkraut and kimchee stay good — and usually improve — for months in the refrigerator.

It’s also why if I hear of any chef in the Napa Valley making a traditional dish using real fermented foods, we’ll be visiting him or her very soon.

Real fermented foods are an antidote for a world of processed, tasteless foods high in “safety” and low in nutritional content.

Fermentation is wild!


Meat

Is Eating Animals Sustainable? Wrong Question! We have gotten this debate all wrong Earlier this year, Quillette published an article by Keir Watson titled “The Case for Sustainable Meat.” In it, Watson challenges many “green” myths concerning animal agriculture. Here are a few of them.

It takes 100,000 liters of water to produce 1kg of beef.

The grain eaten by farm animals in the U.S. could be used to feed 800 million people.

Livestock accounts for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions globally.

That’s just a sampling.

Watson goes beyond merely quashing popular environmental talking points, though, going so far as to suggest that farming animals may be “part of the solution, not the problem,” and that this is “logical and exciting.” The piece is data-driven, provocative, and, at times, convincing. No matter where you find yourself on the carnivore/herbivore continuum, Watson’s essay is worth reading.

But who is spreading these myths (or, as Watson calls them, “damn lies”)? Sincere environmentalists who happened to have gotten their data wrong? Actually, according to Watson, the driving force behind this propagation of misinformation is people who spread anti-meat-posing-as-green (AMPAG) ideology.

This, from Watson, is unfortunate. The characterization of vegetarians or vegans as “ideologues” is nothing new, of course, but unsubstantiated. The reality is that for many, the decision to quit eating animal flesh is simply the result of moral reflection and from a recognition that animals, like humans, have both interests as well as the capacity to suffer.

Is this realization ideological? When we care for those who aren’t members of our family, or our nation, or our race, or our religion, we call it compassion or just common decency. But extend this concern any further and, apparently, compassion mutates into ideology.

I think we may have stumbled upon the most ingenious way of avoiding moral reflection: brand anyone whose concern for others is more inclusive than one’s own an “ideologue.”

Is seeing animals as moral patients—beings which moral agents should treat with great moral consideration?—?a function of ideology? If not, if instead ethics are in view, then the way we characterize those opposed to meat-eating should undergo a change.

Despite the misplaced charges of “ideology,” Watson is right that many animal welfare activists make use of environmental arguments in the hope of getting others to reduce their meat consumption. Yet there are far stronger arguments to support their position, which means that their deployment of discredited data points shouldn’t be taken as decisive.

The truth is, the decision to abstain from eating meat shouldn’t rest on the factuality of animal agriculture’s impact on the environment. It should rest on other, more morally salient considerations.

The debate surrounding the sustainability of breeding and killing animals is comparable to the question of whether or not homosexuality is natural. When someone condemns homosexuality by claiming it isn’t natural, many well-intentioned people retort, “Yes, it is!” But giving a “yes” answer lends credence to the underlying assumption that what is natural is what is good.

Some readers will recognize this as the naturalistic fallacy, and it is a problem for anyone trying to go from natural to good. Imagine we were all born with a gene that makes us cruel to everyone we meet. Should we conclude that this is right precisely because it’s natural, and that suppressing our cruelty is wrong because it’s unnatural?

Similarly, when adherents of the speciesism-posing-as-green ideology (SPAG) try to justify the harvesting of animal flesh by claiming that it is more sustainable than a vegetarian diet, the right response is to say, “So what?” Some try to engage the SPAG adherent on his or her own grounds, trying prove the opposite claim, that is, that eating meat is unsustainable, yet what’s interesting is that the question of sustainability isn’t very significant.

It isn’t entirely irrelevant, of course. If a practice were shown to be unsustainable, then calls to end it would make sense. But the converse?—?if a practice is sustainable, then it should be continued?—?doesn’t hold; being sustainable is only a necessary condition, not a sufficient one.

Invoking “green” arguments is tempting, because it appeals to the meat-eaters’ own interests. But it also holds animals’ well-being hostage to the possibility of conflicting data emerging from the lab. That is not to say that the SPAG ideology couldn’t be defeated at its own game. Recently, the Guardian published an article stressing the environmental benefits of a meat-free diet. But by engaging SPAG devotees in this debate of what is more sustainable?—?to exploit animals or not?—?animal welfare activists have inadvertently embraced the SPAG narrative, that is, that the answer to this question is morally relevant. It isn’t.

SPAGers will tell us that cows can graze on land not suitable to farming crops (as if every last acre of Earth must be utilized to produce protein for humans) and wax lyrical about the chemical qualities of livestock manure. It is a big leap, however, to go from “cow shit is useful” to “we must breed and kill its makers.” Change the species to [insert your favorite animal here] and the proposal for any such practice would be dismissed rather than discussed.

Granted, the farming of animals has other benefits?—?many of which are laid out in Watson’s article?—?but the reluctance to search for alternative ways of realizing them is both lazy and telling. As an analogy, imagine being stranded on an island with one other person, and, after failing to spot an obvious food source within minutes of arrival, your travel companion starts to ponder the utility of eating you. Is it ethical to entertain such thoughts in earnest before all other options have been explored, never mind exhausted? No. And the situation we’re currently in is not too dissimilar.

The debate around the relationship between sustainability and animal husbandry must be recast?—?from asking if we require the breeding and slaughtering of animals for a sustainable future, to focusing on how we can sustain ourselves without having to do so.

Furthermore, time spent on the former is time not spent on the latter, meaning that the opportunity cost of debating the “if” question is literally death.

Fortunately, there are those who focus on the latter, as breakthroughs in food science show (e.g., Golden Rice and Clean Meat). But imagine how much?—?and how fast?—?progress could be made in this area if more people joined in the efforts? Wouldn’t that be “logical and exciting”?

Sadly, though, cognitive dissonance and a failure of imagination continue to plague the discourse around eating meat and its relation to animal welfare. Whenever an article on the apparent importance of livestock farming is published, meat-eaters rejoice. But news that it may be necessary to exploit the most vulnerable among us is a cause for contemplation, not celebration, and the creation of a sustainable world for all of us may well depend on how soon we realize this.



Send comments to co@dadbyrn.com, Colby Glass, MLIS, Professor Emeritus