food nutrition and health

Sustainable Food: If This Doesn’t Convince You, Nothing Will

So what’s it going to take to get your community hooked on sustainable food? If you are reading this, you probably already know about many of the problems with our food system and you're probably making some efforts to change your buying and eating habits. But what about your parents? Your neighbors? The people shopping the inside isles at conventional grocery stores in your town? What is it going to take for us to reach out to that next layer of eaters and entice them with sustainable food?

High Fructose Corn Syrup: If This Doesn't Convince You, Nothing Will

Let's start at the beginning - what is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)? Sugar as we know it traditionally came from sugar cane and later from sugar beets. HFCS was developed from corn in the late 1950s, refined for industrial production in the 1970s, and introduced into many processed foods from 1975-1985 - a big dietary and nutritional change that went largely unnoticed over the past 35 years.

Genetically Modified Organisms: If This Doesn’t Convince You, Nothing Will

To start at the beginning, what are Genetically Modified Organisms? GMOs have had their DNA altered in a way that doesn’t happen naturally. Individual genes are transferred from one organism to another to obtain a desired trait or characteristic, including transferring between non-related species (such as placing jellyfish genes in pig embryos to create glowing pigs). The process is referred to as "modern biotechnology," "gene technology," "recombinant DNA technology" or "genetic engineering."

Pesticides: If This Doesn’t Convince You, Nothing Will

I recently read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson and was shocked. Published in 1962, it attacked the use of pesticides and read like a story that might have been written today about the detrimental effects of ____ (fill in the blank), a product that hasn’t been properly tested, but is being sold anyway.

Antibiotics: If This Doesn’t Convince You, Nothing Will

As a child I had strep throat on a regular basis. The doctor would diagnose me by putting a giant Q-tip into the back of my throat to check for bacteria. I was given penicillin, amoxicillin, and tetracycline - at least those are the names of the antibiotics that I remember.

New Toxic Pesticides to Replace Older Ozone Depleting Pesticides

Nothing says summer like strawberries, but before you bite into your next, read this. Methyl Bromide, a soil fumigant often used on strawberry crops, was phased out in the US by 2005 because it was depleting the ozone layer. The phase out was based on the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the Clean Air Act. And what did they replace it with? Another toxic pesticide.

Kale, What Doesn't Kill You...

I don't recall eating kale for most of my life. It's not that I didn't know what it was it's just that I didn't buy it, cook it or know that it was edible. As a teen, I can recall the salad bar at Sizzler (a family favorite) being decorated with its curly leaves stuffed into the ice - not something that would have been mistaken as a crudite and piled onto your plate. It must have slipped quietly into my diet when I started studying nutrition. Even then, I was taught about its superfood properties, but didn�t think much about those hardy, dark, green leaves.

A Peck of Peppers Pickled

While I'm not one to follow recipes, canning should be done precisely. Thoughts of botulism, though very rare, often scare people away from canning the summer's bounty. I decided to follow this hot pickled peppers recipe with careful attention. But I missed one detail. Don't handle hot peppers without gloves.

The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook (A Book Review. Sort Of.)

"Do you have a Mister Sausage in your life?" O'Donnel asks in her promotional video for TMLMC. And surely, you do. You'll know Mister Sausage as "that person who cannot imagine not eating some kind of meat every single day." These Mister (and Misses) Sausages of the world will find their imaginations -- and their culinary horizons -- expanding because TMLMC has 52 menus, organized seasonally. There is also a section titled "Kitchen Tricks for Your Sleeve" that will serve any cook well.

Very Superstitious: New Year's Foods

Waiting for the ball to drop last year, I put a few handfuls of black eyed peas in a bowl of water to soak over night, and my Cuban friend put out 12 grapes for each of us to gobble down at the strike of midnight. We were preparing for a bountiful 2010 and working a little superstition to help it along. The black eyed peas would be turned into a delicious Hoppin' John on New Year's Day to bring us good luck and fortune, and the grapes, if all went well, would be gone by 12:01 A.M. - one for each month, the sweeter the grape, the better the month.

Our Heroes: Brian Gotreaux of Gotreaux Family Farms in Scott, Louisiana

Brian Gotreaux never made the conscious decision to become an organic farmer-- it was simply a matter of getting healthy. After years of hard work, Brian and his wife Dawn successfully run an organic farm, a CSA and a farmer's market all while educating their community about the benefits of organic farming.

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