Friday, November 12, 2010

Simple Food for Busy Families

Several people have asked me for easy, healthy recipes. I'm kind of a wing-it person, so I'm always on the look-out for good websites or books to help with quick, easy cooking. I found one that's definitely a keeper. Simple Food for Busy Families: The Whole Life Nutrition Approach is a fabulous resource with step-by-step instructions on how to turn your family's bad eating habits around. The first half of the book addresses everything from getting enough sleep to why it makes sense to eat seasonal food. Each section gives practical tips on how to implement changes slowly in your family's routine so that eventually you're eating better and feeling better.

The second half of the book is why you'll want to keep a copy in your kitchen. The authors describe basic kitchen tools, basic cooking techniques, give core pantry ingredients and great information about spices and herbs. With buying, storage and cooking instructions for veggies, beans, and grains this book is a one-stop resource for cooking whole foods. My favorite part is the Mix and Match section of recipes, so in a small space, they give you several options for everything from pasta sauces to smoothies.

You also get important tips such as which oils to use (stay away from solvent-extracted oils; use cold-pressed oils instead) and the best oils for specific purposes. And fun tips like the size of your stomach is about the size of both of your fists put together.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The GMO Campaign

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) were supposed to be the great savior of the world. GMO technology was touted as being the key to ending world hunger. It hasn't really turned out that way. Instead of ending world hunger, GMOs have the potential to plunge us into world-wide famine because the plethora of seeds used for crops world-wide are quickly being reduced to just a few engineered varieties.

GMOs have not been properly researched before being unleashed on the American public, and what research has been done is not favorable. Below is a set of four videos featuring Jeffrey M. Smith of The Institute for Responsible Technology. Each video is about 15 minutes long. They really are worth watching, even if you don't have time to watch all of them at one sitting.

Politics are mentioned in the video, but don't let that turn you off. He mentions both the (first) Bush and Obama administrations. This is a political issue, but not a partisan one.

While almost all processed food contains GMOs, most American's don't realize it. (I didn't realize it was so many items. I thought corn was the main culprit. It's corn, soy, rice, cotton, and sugar.) According to a survey cited by Mr. Smith when asked if they ate GMO foods, 60% of Americans said no and 15% said, "I don't know." So 75% of Americans don't know that they're eating GMOs in almost every meal.

The agriculture industry claims that the GM seeds are no different than non-GM seeds, yet they race to patent their GM seeds. We have to take back our food supply. It's already happened in Europe. Consumers refused to buy GMO foods and companies stopped putting GMOs in their foods. There is no reason we can't do it here. Mr. Smith acknowledges the economic disparities that keep some people from buying organic and/or local food, but points out that enough people CAN afford to do so to reach what he calls "the tipping point" at which the industry will realize that we will no longer stand back and let this happen.

Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4: