Category Archives: GMO

Fact: GMOs are registered as pesticides with the EPA.

Why are so many people confused about GMOs? It is what the chemical companies such as Montsanto and Dow are counting on.   They state that crops have been ‘genetically  modified’ for years and that what they’re doing is not wrong.   They are counting on people to be confused so they can continue their campaign.  Most people such as myself have no problem with these companies creating toxic foods.  Those who want to eat it are most welcome to eat it.  That’s right, Folks!  Eat up!  Enjoy!  Feed it to your children and loved ones!

We, on the other hand, refuse to buy or consume anything unless it’s (1) Certified Organic or (2) at least labeled with the Non-GMO Projects emblem.  Non-GMOProjectThe chemical companies would like you to think that there are a handful of tree-huggers who are trying to destroy them.  It’s far from that.  And ok, sorry for the sarcasm, but their crocodile tears are wasted on intelligent people.  As always, just follow the money.

The truth is simple.  All we ask is to be given the information that we require so we can make our own decisions.  I certainly do not want to be ‘slipped a mickey’ in the form of some skeezy poison-laced GMO foods.   All the reasonable, wellness-minded people in this country are asking is to simply LABEL IT and to make proper labeling the law.   After all, if it is as harmless as the chemical companies want you to believe, then why are they spending millions and millions of dollars on lobbyists  and advertising campaigns to stop any and all attempts to simply require a truthful label, stating that a food is either GMO or it is not.   Why are they quietly paying off scientists to write phony papers about how safe GMO is?

Case in point:  University of Florida agricultural professor of Kevin Folta.  Mr. Folta has now been exposed as being paid by Montsanto to come up with a paper stating that GMOs are safe.  Written proof of Kevin Folta’s receipt of bribe  So, this is just one well-known episode.  As is always the case, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  All of the so-called peer-reviewed papers proclaiming GMOs as safe come from Montsanto’s own people, ex-employees, or so-called agricultural professionals who have taken bribes, such as Kevin Folta.

Now, to the reason for the confusion.  The chemical companies continue to ‘sell’ the idea that our food has been genetically modified for hundreds of years.  They’re counting on the average citizen’s lack of knowledge on the difference between hybridization and genetic modification.  These are two very different things.

This article breaks it down very succinctly:  Hybird vs GMO   Hybridization has occurred when nature naturally does this over time, OR when humans have cultivated new plant varieties through selective breeding. This takes time.  A LOT OF TIME!  They did this by cross-pollinating two different, but related plants over 6 to 10 plant generations, eventually creating a new plant variety.  To quote Jerry Seinfeld:  “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”  BUT often a weaker plant results.

Genetic modification is a far different process.  These seed varieties are created in a lab and are far from the ‘low tech’ process used for hybridization.  GMO seeds are not crossed with similar varieties of plant.  Actually, they are crossing different biological kingdoms such as say, a plant with a bacteria.     ARE YOU AWARE THAT THESE GMO PLANTS ARE REGISTERED AS PESTICIDES WITH THE EPA?   Pay attention now. It isn’t just the one plant variety that is affected.   Montsanto’s btCorn isn’t just a toxic crop. It IS a pesticide. If you feed this actual pesticide to your cattle or your chickens or if you eat it yourself, you’re eating a full dose of pesticide.  EATING IT.  It’s not just a bit of residue from the surface of a plant that was sprayed with pesticide.  It’s IN it.  You cannot wash it off.   This is occurring with all crops now – wheat, soybeans, canola and more (even though we don’t eat any of those anyway.)

This process has begun to poison our entire food chain.  AND it is putting the small, honest farmers out of business.  (That’s a very long story)  I highly recommend seeing the film “Food Inc.”  It is free for Amazon Prime members and is available on DVD.  Another great film?  King Corn .  These are eye-opening and very concerning exposes’ of the manner in which corporate farming and chemical companies are ruining our food supply and destroying small farmers who have farmed their land for generations.

For now, I will use those with the above Non-GMO Project certification, but it is only a second choice for me.  The only guarantee that you have of safe food is to buy certified organic.   Organic Labeling

 

 

GMOs – TRUST NO ONE!

I read a recent post where a company has surreptitiously sold 400 acres worth of GMO potatoes to grocery stores.  It seems that even McDonald’s won’t buy this particular poison for their poisonous menus! (At the bottom of today’s post is a cut ‘n’ paste from the post about the potatoes, fyi.)

For me, this was the final straw.  I will no longer buy ANYTHING that isn’t non-GMO.  I don’t care if a recipe has a big gap in it.  If it isn’t organic and if it doesn’t STATE clearly that it is non-GMO, I will not buy it.  You really have to be careful when shopping these days if you want to save your family from serious disease from poisonous foods.  Food producers, chemical companies and the farmers who are involved in the toxic food industry will do all they can to sell YOU this toxic stuff and they don’t care about you.  They don’t care about your family and your children.  All they care about is their own greed and profit margins.  I urge each and every person who reads this to vow right now to do the right thing for their health and run these crooked people out of business.  If no one buys their toxic crops, then they will stop playing games and trying to sell it to you.

Today’s trip to the grocery store even further solidified my thinking on this subject. Often, there are similar products available, but you must read the labels to see what you are getting.   One of my non-organic short-cuts is an occasional Kind bar.  They are generally healthy, they are non-GMO and they are gluten free.  They don’t have artificial ingredients, are high in protein, fiber and nutrients. And no, not organic.  Today I saw that Publix is selling their own brand.  So I photographed theirs (and did NOT buy it)  , and here is a photograph of the original, Kind version above it: KindBarAnd Toxic copy  Kind’s labeling tells us what we need to know: NON GMO!  This is not to be found anywhere on the Publix brand wannabe.

Next up, I looked at something else on my shopping list – Gluten-free bread.  Predictably, the first store I went to didn’t have what I want.  (That is a massive source of frustration here in our third-world town!)  The supply of minimally acceptable foods is never reliable. Anyway, outside of that little gripe which I foresee as another post another day, since the first Publix I went to didn’t have what I wanted, I considered buying another brand.  I buy Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free breads because they don’t have soy and because they are non-GMO.  But since the store saw fit to NOT stock the one I wanted this week (the multi-grain version), I looked at an alternative – UDIs brand.

My problem with Udis in general has been that they often have soy in their products, GF Bread comparisontheir fiber content is almost non-existent, and now I see that GMOs are obviously in there, since they don’t claim that they are non-GMO.  These photographs are a side-by-side comparison of the Cinnamon Raisin bread from both companies. Note the emblems in the circles.  Canyon Bakehouse is Gluten Free and Non-GMO.  Udi’s makes no such claims about GMOs.  AND I must say from past experience, the Udi’s simply tastes awful.

Needless to say I walked away from buying anything at this store because of the GMOs.  I know, I know.  It seems I’m constantly complaining about Publix but in Key West, there are two stores and one is no better than the other.  AND they’re both Publix and both 2 blocks away from each other!  (The other option, Winn Dixie, is a lost cause and waste of time.  No one speaks my language there, which is English, and their supply of organics, non-GMO and gluten free is non-existent. ) The problem is that we have no other choices and it seems that Publix’s intent is to force the people of this town to buy whatever they offer, whether it is healthy for the customer or not.  Not everyone is like me, though. Many buckle under and buy what they’re offered. Not me. I have a list and will then buy at Whole Foods when we go to the mainland, which is about once every  month and a half.  We load up and fill our freezer and fridge on those trips.  OH, and to not totally denigrate Publix stores, when we’re on the mainland in SW Florida, we often go to Publix there and have a totally positive experience.  They have everything we need in stock, the stores are spotless and the staff is bend-over-backwards helpful.  In Key West?  None of that applies.

These are just two items of thousands in a grocery store that on the surface appear to be similar, but when you read the labels, you will see that one is toxic and the other is not toxic – or at least not SO toxic.

Now, below is the article on the sneaky potato swap.  Based on this, from now on, I do not recommend buying potatoes at all unless they’re organic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After being rejected by McDonald’s, genetically engineered potatoes created with dsRNA technology, which may be linked to autoimmune disease in vertebrates, are being marketed and sold directly to unsuspecting consumers. 400 acres of these reduced-browning potatoes were sold in grocery stores in the Midwest and Southeast this summer. Simplot, the company that created these potatoes, has plans to increase the production to 2,000 acres next summer. The USDA has already approved the next generation of Simplot’s GMO potato. It’s only a matter of time until the EPA and FDA give the second generation potato the rubber stamp. Was your family part of Simplot’s GMO experiment this summer? Boycott Simplot’s GMO Potatoes. BOYCOTT GMOs.

READ: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2015/08/28/3960031/usda-oks-simplots-2nd-generation.html

READ: http://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/monsantos-worst-fear-may-be-coming-true/

Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/GMOFreeUSA/photos/a.468695639837571.108816.402058139834655/1061833373857125/?type=1&theater

 

Another trip to the market and discovering hidden ‘bad stuff’.

It was time for yet another trip to the market. A family’s gotta eat!  Today I’m looking at some pantry items.  These are stand-bys we can keep on hand for quick meals when time becomes an issue.  So, where to start?

Nicoise saladWho doesn’t love a beautiful Nicoise Salad or a spicy black bean salsa?  These are easy dishes made easier using pantry items.

First let’s look at a couple of real disappointments – items that have ingredients that are less than ideal and in one case, BAD.  Just because it says organic, it doesn’t mean that there cannot be problems.  ALWAYS read the labels!

I’ve been a fan of Annie’s brand for years, but lately, I’ve come across some disappointing items.  Last week, it was a so-called ‘healthy’ boxed macaroni and cheese, but to be honest, anything that is boxed can’t be that good.  Annies CaesarToday, in reading the label of Annie’s Organic Caesar dressing, I was disappointed to find that they list a generic ‘expeller pressed vegetable oil’ Canola and/or sunflower).  Canola is generally, BAD.  It is a genetically engineered oil from the rapeseed.   Rather than going into a detail on this, I am referring to a great article from Natural News.  It starts ” Corn oil comes from corn: sunflower oil from sunflowers, sesame oil from sesame seeds, peanut oil from peanuts, olive oil from olives, Canola oil from…Canolas? What is a Canola?”  The uptake?  Canola is bad.  There are many more good oils to choose from.  It is made from a high-heat process using toxic chemicals in the process.  It is touted by the food industry as being healthy, yet many animal studies point to serious and deleterious effects on rats and pigs.  Why take the chance?   I should add that we generally make our own Caesar salad from scratch.  Hmmm…I’ll post that recipe soon.  It’s to die for!

Another disappointing item?  Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups.  Justins Peanut Butter CupsThese are a real taste sensation.  You’ll never want the standard old junk-food peanut butter cups again.  BUT there’s one nasty item on the ingredient list:  SOY.  Even if it’s organic, it’s still soy and soy is a hormone disruptor.  I can’t understand why companies that appear to be health-oriented continue to use soy lecithin when there’s a far healthier choice out there in the form of non-GMO sunflower lecithin.  As much as I like this item, I’ve stopped eating it now because of the soy.  Hormone disruption is the basis of many health problems.  Weight issues are the first that come to mind, but anything to do with your body’s endocrine system can be disrupted with soy.  The World Health Organization reports problems from hormone disruption including non-descended testes in young males, breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, developmental effects on the nervous system, attention deficit /hyperactivity in children and thyroid cancer.  Come on, Justins!  Get with the program and stop using that stuff!

Now for the good things.  While I always encourage using fresh and healthy items, there are times that you just need a bit of help in the kitchen.  That’s when we go to the pantry for our jarred or canned items.    The packaging is important.  If possible, buy these items in jars where you will have little or no BPA exposure.  If in cans, be sure they’re marked as BPA-free.

Who wants to make sauerkraut from scratch?  Not me! I occasionally find some organic Sauerkrautchicken sausages for a quick dinner, brown them and cook with sauerkraut.  I’ve been really happy with the Eden Organic product.  The ingredients?  Organic cabbage, water and sea salt.  That’s all you need!  This is a good pantry item to have on hand.

If you don’t have nut allergies, a great snack always includes peanut butter.  It’s high in energy, protein and fiber.  And the best peanut butter contains absolutely NOTHING but organic peanuts.   You can spread on apple wedges for a quick snack or on organic bread (ours is gluten free) with sliced bananas PeanutButterfor an old fashioned peanut butter and banana sandwich.  Oh, my Mama loved those!

Kalamata Olives are a great addition to salads and for appetizers. Divinia Organic Olives These organic olives are particularly good and I use them in a Nicoise salad (as shown above) and for any Greek style dish.  What’s in them?  Organic Kalamata olives, water, organic red wine vinegar and sea salt.  You can make a divine main-dish salad from leftovers such as chilled green beans, hard boiled eggs, sliced seared fresh tuna, fresh herbs and olives with a light mustard-based dressing. Add Feta cheese for a Greek accent or some hard Italian or French cheese shreds for a more northern Mediterranean accent.

Living in South Florida, one comes to rely on black beans in many dishes.  Black bean chili is a healthy one-dish meal.  Black beans are wonderful in salads, salsa and of course, over rice.  Black Bean salsaThe ideal manner of preparing is using dried black beans that have been soaked overnight and slow-cooked.  However, since there isn’t always time for that, canned black beans are a great pantry item to add protein, fiber, vitamins and iron to your diet.  (Note:  If using corn in your black bean salsa as shown to the right, be sure you have organic, non-GMO corn!)

At the risk of being downright boring, I can’t remind you enough:  READ THE LABELS!

BlackBeans

Wellness for your pets. They deserve the best!

I credit much of my success in weight loss and in my wellness to the loving atmosphere in my home. Yes, the meditation is key. Yes, excellent nutrition is a requirement. But the mental and emotional world surrounding us can have a profound affect on us all. And our home is a spa for us all.  The love we have for our pets and that they have for us nourishes our spirit daily.

I’m an advocate for all animals, big and small. I feel that they deserve the best we can give. This of course, translates to working with animal rights groups, rescue organizations and wildlife organizations. But it really must start at home.

Having never had children, my fur and feather babies ARE my children. They get the best of everything. We are very particular about healthy nutrition and this of course, goes for our pets.

I’d never even consider buying kibble for our cats nor would I consider feeding our Yellow Nape Amazon Parrot a fattening, unbalanced seed diet. We try to keep their diets as close as possible to what nature intended. Here’s a rundown of the diet for our gang

Harrisons Bird FoodsOur Amazon has been eating an organic food since she was a hand-fed chick. This food was developed by a vet, Dr. Gregory Harrison.   I feed this about 10 months out of the year.  When she comes into her ‘season’ and gets, um, shall we say ‘frisky’, it is clear that her body is demanding more of her so we feed the higher protein version for those two months.  She’s now 11 and very healthy and active. We supplement with fresh food as well. She loves nuts but they can make her fat, so now we do freeze dried organic peas as her treat and she’s crazy about them.  Another treat?  I give her the seeds from organic oranges, lemons and limes that I use when cooking.   I order this directly from Harrison’s in Tennessee.  Harrison’s Bird Food  I highly recommend them, though.

Our cats are young – 2 years, 2 months and 5 1/2 months old.  They have eaten raw since they were babies.   It is difficult to do here in this town because we have very few quality choices for high quality raw pet foods, and the local stores, while nice, don’t keep things in stock for ready access.  So, most everything they eat is ordered in.   There are three ways to go raw:  (1) make it yourself  (2) frozen and (3) freeze-dried.   Freeze dried cat foodTo make it yourself, you really need the highest quality organic ingredients and the problem with that is that we have no real quality source for organic meats here.  I did buy an organic chicken a few weeks back that was NOT out of date, that was rotted when I opened it.  Nasty!   Thus, I go with option 2 or 3.  Most of the time, it’s the freeze dried.  They do love it, though.  There are added vitamins and taurine but not much else – just raw meat that is sourced from outside the US.  I try to buy NOTHING that is sourced in the US if it is not organic, thus much of this comes from New Zealand.  I actually had a problem trying to snap this picture because the girls thought it was lunch time – AGAIN.  I order this from an on-line Florida company called http://www.Chewy.com. They generally arrive in 2 or 3 days and shipping is free with an order over $50.00.   You toss these with a small amount of warmed, purified water to reconstitute.  Be sure to do this, though.  Dehydration will do a great deal of harm to a cat’s kidneys.

The last option is far more expensive.   The frozen raw is harder to come by and even Raw Advantage Frozen chicken neck crumblesharder to find in organic.  As you can see, I was unable to get a good picture without, um, supervision.  Not only do you have to ship it in, but it needs to come in an expedited manner and frozen.  Raw Advantage Organic Chicken Neck Crumbles .  Since freezer space is at a premium, these are used more often as treats.

Raw chicken ‘meaty bones’ are good for cats.  Just never, ever, ever give them cooked bones!  This gives them the same sensation they have when chomping down on a meaty mouse, though my babies have never had such a thing.

And finally, let’s not forget the highlight of the evening:  TREATS.  Again, it is hard to find something that is not ‘manufactured’ with artificial and harmful ingredients.   Our girls go crazy for these!   They’re nothing but freeze dried single-ingredient chunks.  The salmon is Alaskan wild Freeze Dried Treatssalmon so I feel fairly comfortable with that.  NEVER, EVER give your pets or your family farmed fish!   The chicken, well…they love it but the fact that it is stamped “Made in the USA” makes me really nervous.  We all know what goes with US meat production.  I’m always looking for an alternative.  I’m able to buy these from Amazon most of the time.

Now, a word of warning about the pet foods you generally see in the supermarket or on TV.  RUN!  If you simply Google “Pet Food Recalls”, you’ll be astounded by how many there are.  And very few companies are immune from this.  Some of the worst are sold in vets offices:  Hills Science Diet and the Prescription diets as well as the highly-touted. Royal Canin sold by breeders and vets?  Not good.  Kibble is also known as kitty crack.  They spray this with something that makes cats crave this, much like they get children hooked on bad breakfast cereals.  This can destroy your babies’ kidneys and shorten their lives.  Pet food dealers will often tout ‘human grade ingredients’ but with GMO’s and other poisons, that isn’t saying a lot.

Finally, here are a few shots of my girls.  Sophie.  And then there are Mhysa and Mei Li…Nice?  Or not so nice?  The seemingly nice ‘hug’ is generally the prelude to a bit of a fight.   😉Sophie Mei Li and Mhysa

 

 

The shocking truth about Milk – it does NOT do a body good

I had not planned to write about this today, but a little back ‘n’ forth on Facebook has pushed me forward on this subject.

You see, I’ve never been a fan of social media.  I’m a fairly private person and don’t want to spread my personal life in public.  However, since I wrote the book, it seems I’m expected to put myself out there more to promote my writing.  So, the first step was Facebook.   To continue to embrace healthy choices, I ‘liked’ a few sites that appeared to have healthy concepts to share.  Two of the three are excellent and I have learned something new every day just from reading their posts.  The other though?  Oh, my!  They are espousing ideas and concepts that are supposed to be healthy but in fact, are far from it.  I suspect they’re either (1) on the payroll of factory farmers and the companies that sell products laced with GMO’s or (2) they aren’t truly interested in doing the research that it takes to provide facts for those interested in true wellness.  Many of these sites are heavily driven by advertising so if you look at WHO advertises with them, you can then judge their content more clearly.

I guess this is just a lesson to all of us to never take anything at face value.  If we want to move forward with our wellness goals, it’s important to question everything.  This particular site many times has pushed ‘chocolate milk’ as the ultimate health food.  I mean, seriously?  Milk is far from healthy.  As I mentioned briefly in my ‘Cheese, glorious Cheese‘ post a few days ago, milk is actually bad for most people. Humans are the only species that drinks milk after they are weaned and we’re the only species that drinks the milk of another animal.  That in and of itself is hardly natural.  But let’s put that information aside for a few minutes and look at what milk really is and the damage it does.

First, the manner in which it is produced is always in question.  Generally, dairy cattle are NOT allowed to graze in the sunshine like these lucky cows are in the first photo.  Dairy cattle in pasture - the right way Instead, most are forced to live in barns 24/7, they’re tied to an area where they cannot move,  they sleep on concrete and are nothing but production machines.  They have no quality of life to begin with (see the second photo below.)  There is no way that this bad treatment doesn’t transfer to your food!  When you support this type of operation, then you are supporting the poor treatment of a species and that makes you part of the problem. When you buy the products, you enable these operations to prosper and continue to do great harm to the animals and to us all.

Dairy Farming - The WRONG way

The second group pictured is feeding on whatever feed is provided.  They are commonly fed GMO feeds and of course, those poisons and toxins now go into your milk.   There is a chance those grazing in the pasture are also getting GMO’s, but it’s not as likely.

Now we get to the actual value of dairy or lack thereof, to your health and well-being.  Suffice it to say that the entire advertising campaign about how healthy dairy is for you is nothing but fraudulent.

Cows’ milk is great for calves, but it is not formulated for humans.  The dairy councils advertise that milk provides calcium, but not only does the calcium not absorb, it MILK BADactually depletes calcium from your bones.  Even doctors don’t seem to know this, but that isn’t surprising since they have very little working knowledge of nutrition.     MILK does the body HARM!

Scientific studies show that milk actually increases fracture risks.  Studies show that those who consumed milk at age 20 have a higher risk of fracture when older.

Dairy consumption has also been linked to ovarian, breast and prostate cancers.   Understanding the Problems with Dairy Consumption

Type 1 Diabetes has been linked to dairy consumption.

And again, back to the whole contamination issue:  Milk is highly contaminated with rBGH, a bovine growth hormone, which is used to increase milk production in dairy cattle.  Once you add that, the cows end up with inflammation of the mammary glands simply because their bodies were never MEANT to produce in that manner, and so they must be given antibiotics.  That, plus the GMO’s and pesticides all show up in the milk that you and your loved ones may be drinking.

When I have a recipe that calls for milk, I now use organic coconut milk.  I like the SO Delicious brand of unsweetened coconut milk.  I’ve used it for years in casseroles, sauces and baked goods and no one has ever noticed that I don’t use dairy.   You can use canned coconut milk, refrigerate it and then, carefully skim off the cream portion and whip it as you would whipped cream for a great dairy-free topping.

As for the drink du jour?  How about fresh, purified water?  We can never get enough of it!

If you wish to find out more about the excellent sites that provide the best health information as well as those that are more questionable, please comment or ask questions!

 

Healthy eating at a restaurant? Rare!

Weekends are a time for relaxation and our weekends are Sundays and Mondays every week.  It’s Sunday and sometimes, we’d like nothing more than to have a relaxing lunch or dinner. Sounds easy enough, right?   Hardly!

Restaurants are notorious for menus that tell you NOTHING.  GMO’s?  No information.  Organic?  Hardly.  And anytime you ask the wait staff, they’ll tell you what they think you want to hear.  When we work hard all week to eat properly, eat healthy meals with no chemicals, no GMO’s, and in our case, no glutens nor dairy, why would we un-do all our good work with a meal of unhealthy, poisonous food?  Let’s face it, GMO’s are everywhere and  GMO’s are poison.

In the past, one felt they could take a chance on non-organics because one could always attempt to scrub the pesticides and other poisons off the food.  However, with GMO’s, the poison is embedded.  It’s in the genetic structure.  So no amount of scrubbing will get rid of it.

We live in a town where there were (at last count) around 250 restaurant and bar licenses.  Eating establishments come and go so it’s difficult to keep up with them all.  The published health department ratings might tell you about poor food storage habits and vermin, but they don’t tell you what is in the food.

Thus we have very few reliable choices, but at least there is one that we know of that is reliable.   This restaurant serves beautiful organic food, as well as gluten free.  It’s the ONLY place on the island where I can get an organic burger on gluten free buns.  OrganicBaconBurgerTheir vegetables are very fresh.  The restaurant is ‘Le Petit Paris’ in Key West.  They have a very nice staff and they’re very knowledgeable.  They have filtered water available for the table.  They make wonderful omelets, Panini and crepes.  And now?  They have fondue!  We highly recommend Le Petit Paris if you’re visiting Key West.  It’s the one place you can visit where you will have an excellent, healthy meal with great service.

Now, I have to go from the best to some tales of the worst.  I am continuously alarmed at how many restaurants are NOT upgrading to healthy choices, but instead are downgrading their food quality and menus.  One restaurant stopped using a nice local bread about 5 years ago.  Now, they don’t even buy local seafood any longer.  They buy frozen from places that are far, far away from a town that has excellent access to the freshest fish and seafood.

And one of the most disgusting things I see on menus locally? Tilapia!  Seriously!  Tilapia! I’ve seen it in far too many seafood restaurants and markets.  I’m shocked to hear patrons in restaurants and in seafood markets actually ORDERING it!  This is yet another example of Americans making bad choices because they have chosen NOT to educate themselves!

Rather than go into too many details on this subject, you can read a great expose’ on this farmed nightmare here:  http://www.eatthis.com/tilapia-is-worse-than-bacon   They have almost no heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids.  Farmed fish end up with parasites because of a filthy pond system.  As farmed fish, they live on corn and soy, ALL GMO and poisonous.  If your food eats poison (as you find with non-organic meats and poultry), YOU eat poison. Tilapia go through a sex change because of hormones being fed to them to fatten them up.  If they eat hormones, YOU eat hormones.

So again, please research your food!  And when going dining out, research the restaurants in advance.  You can call and ask questions as well, about their foods.

I ask that everyone who reads this, please have a discussion with your friends and families to teach them the RIGHT way to eat and to stay well.   And you are all invited to comment, ask questions and engage in conversations here on our site.

 

Cheese, glorious cheese!

I generally do not eat dairy.  Think about it.  Humans are the only species that drinks the milk of other species.  And humans are the only species that drinks that milk of other species, after weaning.  Our systems aren’t made to process it well.  Those of us who have fine-tuned our diet have an even greater problem with dairy.  I don’t crave it and don’t want it – except for CHEESE!!!!

CHEESEActually, cheese has some excellent nutritional benefits, as long as you don’t overdo it and overload on the fat content.  And, cheese doesn’t give me a problem!  While I don’t think we’re technically ‘lactose intolerant’, those who are lactose intolerant have no problem with cheese.  Why?  When milk turns to cheese, it goes through a process called acidification, which is a souring process.  The lactose in the milk converts to lactic acid.  It becomes a different entity altogether.   By the time a cheese is aged, most if not all of the lactose is gone.  The more aged or the firmer the cheese, the safer it is to eat if you’re lactose intolerant.

WHEW!  I’m really glad to know all of that.   Both Mark and I are cheese lovers, but we do limit ourselves, AND as always, I read every label when buying cheese.

There are organic cheeses that are really good and easily available in the States. Organic Cheese Horizon and Organic Valley make some good basic  cheeses and they’re reasonably priced.  But if you want something really special, you should be looking at cheeses that are not made in the US.   Knowing the contamination factor of GMO’s in this country, as always, you should go organic.

And knowing that Europe is very anti-GMO gives me a better feeling about their cheeses.  There are some excellent Canadian cheeses as well. I could spend hours in the cheese section of Whole Foods or any other store that has an excellent cheese section. Trader Joes?  Just read the labels.  Trader Joe’s has inexpensive food, but it’s often NOT organic and NOT non-GMO.

When it comes to labeling, like anything imported into the US, the country of origin should be displayed on the product.  In my case, I’m not looking to eliminate the product from viable choices.  I’m looking for something that is a better choice than most cheeses in the US.

Until fairly recently, you could count on the type and name of a cheese to know where it was produced based on the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) , PGI (Protected Geographical Indication and TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed).  The European Union protects the name of regional foods and it is enforced within the EU and internationally via bilateral agreements with non-EU countries.  This protects the reputation of regional foods and insures a consistent quality for those items.  Wines, cheeses, hams, sausage, olives and beer are governed by this.  Some examples of cheeses that fall into this category are Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano, Asiago and Roquefort. But cheesemakers nationwide have begun to infringe on these protections. If you ask me, it makes them look really bad.   Yes, they make some tasty (and some organic) cheese in Wisconsin but can’t they create their own styles? Why do they feel they have the right to take something that is not theirs?

The US hasn’t been particularly helpful in this legal process, protecting these lovely foods, and thus, you see more and more US-made ‘imitations’ of European cheeses.  Without the particulars of the location that they are traditionally made in, you aren’t getting anything remotely close to the original.  For example, to be named Roquefort,  Cheese.Wikia.com says, ”  cheese must be made from the milk of a certain breed of sheep, and matured in the natural caves near the town of Roquefort in the Aveyron region of France, where it is infected with the spores of a particular fungus (Penicillium roqueforti) that grows in these caves. “

Interestingly enough, what’s good for the goose doesn’t seem to be good for the gander.  Cheese producers in Wisconsin infringe on EU PDO products constantly.  You really have to read the labels to know what you’re getting, because the people in Wisconsin have adopted Italian, Dutch and French names for their companies.  Here is a prime example and if you ask me, it should be illegal. Those who know no better could be easily duped into buying a product that is in fact NOT Gorgonzola and NOT Italian.  WisconsinItalianCheeseNOYET, many regions in the US feel they deserve the protections that the US denies European producers.  Some examples:  Georgia feels that to be labeled a Vidalia Onion, it must be produced in the area of Vidalia, Georgia.   Idaho feels the same way about their potatoes and Florida is very protective of their Florida Orange Juice moniker.

So again, we’re back to reading labels.  On my trip to the market yesterday, I took some pictures of cheese labels to illustrate what we’re talking about.

Note how BelGioioso uses an Italian Name, claims to be an Italian Blue Cheese, yet it’s made in Wisconsin.

 

Also, this Feta, WisconsinGreekCheeseNOwhich is traditionally a Greek cheese, uses a more Mediterranean company name and yet it is made in the US.

And finally, I found this interesting little gem (Castello) in the cheese section at the local supermarket.  I’ve turned it inside out and found no country of origin.  So I bought it, since I love this type of cheese, thinking perhaps that once it was opened, the magical country of origin would be revealed.  Nope!

Now, I suspected it was from Denmark since I saw a small stamp on it that said DK.  But again, it didn’t meet the requirements for labeling in the US.

 

As it happens this is a delicious cheese and I’m sure it’s from Denmark, CheeseNotProperlyLabeledbut still, this proves that you must read every label, every day to know what you’re putting in your body.

And shame on Publix for not adhering to the law that requires that anything they sell is properly labeled as to country of origin.   I might have passed this by, assuming it was another deception by a Wisconsin cheesemaker, if I’d not seen the DK in the small circle on the back.  And most Americans don’t know the symbols for European countries.

Finally, the entire time I’ve been writing this, a commercial jingle from the 80’s kept rolling around in my head so I am including it below.  Now it will probably embed itself in YOUR head for the rest of the day.  Enjoy!

(Edit:  Now after posting, I realized that this ad was for the American Dairy Council and our dairy products in 1987 were already soaked in pesticides.  Oh well.  All we can do is demand better for ourselves and our family. )

 

 

The key is to read the labels – for now.

Some of you may have noticed that I’m fairly rabid when it comes to giving our bodies the food we need to keep us healthy, encourage wellness and discourage disease.  The two things that are key to wellness are (1) healthy food and (2) keeping out the toxins and poisons.

It’s such a shame that our food supply has been poisoned by big companies, who think it’s absolutely ok to embed poisons in the genetic material of the basic foods that Americans eat.  While we rarely eat anything that is processed, I still read labels every single time.  These poisons are often hidden and you may not even know it.   What is even more disturbing is that the food producers (i.e. General Mills), chemical companies (Montsanto, Dow and more), and non-organic factory farming operations are lobbying and lobbying HARD to remove labeling and our right to know what is in our food.  The biggest these days?  GMOs.   They truly don’t want you to know what’s in your food.   The interesting thing is that these companies are required to comply with stricter labeling requirements in Europe and in other countries.  Yet they are doing all they can to keep from doing this in the US.  Do they have that much contempt for their U. S. consumer?  Obviously so.

Yesterday, I read the posts of someone who said he was a student at one of the top universities in the country for bio-engineering.  His argument?  That GMO’s are no more harmful than hybridization.  I am NOT a chemistry major nor a genetics major and I know that is not the case. This is really just more evidence that these big corporations are doing all they can to  keep us in the dark about what we are eating.

I’ve just made a trip to the market for a few basics, and took a few photos of labels to share.  This illustrates what you will find on labels and how misleading they can be. They’re far from healthy.

Here is an example of a ‘meal in a can’ for someone in a hurry.  Here’s the adult version and its’ label.  Bad Meal in CanCan someone tell me why they need to add modified corn starch and corn oil into this product?  And of course, it’s all GMO, laced with poison and insecticide.  And the beans are just called ‘prepared’.  How were they prepared?  So many questions!

I was even more shocked when I looked at what parents are feeding their children as a ‘meal in a can’!  There were two mothers there, each with a child in her cart, each buying a cart load of Bad Meal In Can for Kidsthis stuff! It may be hard to read, but the sheer number of ingredients on this can of Chef Boyardee are outrageous.  There is soy protein, textured vegetable protein (what is that) that is made with soy protein concentrate, soybean oil.  And they wonder why children are maturing so early?  There is also corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, modified corn starch among other things.

Here are two labels from two boxes of macaroni and cheese mixes.  Both were in the ‘organic’ section, but there is a big difference.  Again, I apologize for the blurred photography.  A woman was watching me as if I am nuts. 😉  You all know I’m not, right?

Mac Cheese ComparisonThe first one is from a brand I normally like, Annies. The label says it has ‘Organic wheat macaroni’ but nothing else is organic.  And there it is!  CORN STARCH.  NOT organic which means it’s GMO.

There was a better choice right beside it From a company called Nature’s Delicious Foods. Note EVERYTHING in this is organic and And look!  No soy!   It’s a shame that they do have maltodextrin – a ‘hidden’ sugar which isn’t needed.  But since I am gluten intolerant and don’t generally eat dairy*, I’d not be buying this anyway.  The reason I showed these, though, is to show how two seemingly similar items on the same shelf can be so different, even in the ‘healthy’ Greenwise section.

Finally, since I was in the pasta aisle, this is what we have used for many years. Good Pasta It cooks well.  Doesn’t become mushy. It is certified organic, non-gmo, has only TWO ingredients, high in fiber and has good protein.  It’s available in many styles – shells, elbow macaroni, spaghetti, linguini and more.

Always read the labels.  And sometimes, it is what they don’t say that is very telling as well.  For instance, if it doesn’t say Organic, it isn’t.  If it doesn’t say non-GMO, you can be assured it’s loaded with pesticides.

 

*As for the dairy, we find that dairy doesn’t agree with us.  But then there’s cheese!!!  Who doesn’t love cheese?  Perhaps tomorrow will be the day to write about dairy and cheese!