Friday, April 29, 2011

Outlawing "Evil" Marketing to Kids

Image adapted from Rob Sheridan - Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial
I'm a frustrated parent because of the mass marketing that goes on trying to win over the heart of my little one.  If my daughter does get to watch some television shows we prefer Netflix in order to avoid all the commercials.  Given this, you would think that I would be happy to hear that the Government is considering producing guidelines that would limit and regulate the marketing of food to our children.  Captain Crunch and the Silly Rabbit may soon be out of a job.  However, I don't think this kind of political pressure is the answer.  In fact, I fear it may even backfire and make our jobs of teaching our kids about real food even harder. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chipotle Butternut Kale Salad W/Goat Cheese

* We linked this post at Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS *

I have a mixed bag of remnant veggies in my fridge at the moment, so I thought a little experiment would be a good way to make some progress getting through the last bits of it all.  This salad is a savory combination of roasted butternut squash, chipotle peppers, cilantro, red Russian kale, and goat cheese.  The result was delicious, and easy:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Straw bales and potato cages

Straw bales with soil topping and drip irrigation system.  We eat the dandelions, so I don't count them as weeds... ;)
* We linked this post at Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist and Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop *

My straw bale experiments are finally yielding some results, so I thought I'd pass on what I've observed so far, and give a little update on the process while I'm at it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Still Eating Factory Meat? Consider this...

Half of the grocery store meat in the US is contaminated with drug resistant staph.

You read that right.  HALF of the meat on the grocery stores in the United States may be carrying superbug infections.  To anyone who has looked into the way that meat is produced, this should not be surprising.  However, seeing it confirmed with hard numbers is somewhat jarring anyway.  They didn't say anything about eggs and dairy, but I would expect similar results there based on similarities in the production methods used.

If you are still buying factory meat, please stop!  Not only is it bad for you nutritionally due to various nutrient imbalances brought on by a grain diet, but it is actually dangerous to eat.  Additionally, when you buy that stuff, you're giving that production model the means to continue operations and even to expand.  Find a grass-based operation in your area, and buy from there.  It will be more expensive up front, but you're saving a bundle over the long run if you factor on the medical bills!  I believe that the disease-ridden, filthy CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) will end up being among the worst hazards to human health within the next 50 years due to the practice of breeding highly resistant and virulent strains of pathogenic organisms.  Given the falling pace of antibiotic discoveries, the proliferation of resistant pathogens, and the prevalence of constant-low-dose antibiotics in meat production, it seems inevitable that we will suffer unstoppable epidemics within decades (maybe less than a decade).  Even if new antibiotics are discovered, we will not be solving the problem, only adding another flaming chainsaw to the collection we're already juggling.  With our modern population densities and atrocious average nutrition, a drug resistant bacterial epidemic could make the plague years in Europe look like a summer picnic.

Factory meat is a threat to health and the environment.  We have to stop using it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Carne Adovada, Real New Mexican Food

* We linked this post at Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade *

Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  Probably among the very last places you'd expect to have genuine carne adovada, made with real hatch red chiles (I brought them back with me on my last trip to NM -- that's the kind of chile addict I am).  I was following a recipe I found here, at least approximately.  I had never made carne adovada with smoked pork before, but I will never make it without smoked pork now that I have.  This stuff is GOOD.  Be warned though, it is pretty spicy for those who aren't accustomed to chiles.

Carne adovada is a New Mexican dish consisting of cubes of pork marinated in red chile puree, then smoked and finally slow simmered in red chile sauce until they are fall-apart tender and bursting with chile flavor.  The ingredients are simple, the method is simple, but it does take a few days to do this properly.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Food Labels - Using Alternative Sources to Better Inform

* We linked this post on the Hearth and Soul Hop at A Moderate Life and Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS *

Some of you may have already heard that the FDA has declined to require warning labels on foods that contain artificial food coloring even though there may be evidence that these chemical dyes may lead to health conditions, especially in children.  Now, I admit I haven't done my research on food dyes, but my point with this post is not to debate whether food coloring is bad or not.  Rather, I want to discuss what we do about any type of potentially harmful substance in our food supply.  Lobbying our government to impose regulations, require warning labels, and to offer stamps of approval, is common method that seems natural to turn to.  However, this approach seems to come with great frustration and very little effectiveness in the long run. Fortunately, I believe some alternatives to government labels are starting to draw some attraction. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why Eating Meat Is Not Immoral (Interview with Dude2)

This is a special post where I  (Dude1) have the special privilege to interview Erik (Dude2) regarding a hot button topic.  Hopefully, you find it interesting and please feel free to voice your own opinion in the comments section.  Today's topic is the controversial subject of meat eating vs. vegetarianism.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

* We linked this post at Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade  and Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist *

Earlier this month I posted a broccoli soup that I liked, but it  lacked the cheesy creaminess that you might expect when ordering broccoli soup at a restaurant.  The common household method (and probably at most restaurants too) of making a broccoli cheese soup is to use a block of Velveeta-- a far cry from "real" cheese.  This recipe, uses all real ingredients, and resulted in a wonderfully smooth and cheesy goodness that even a toddler should have a hard time turning down.  In this recipe you also get to learrn fancy terms like roux, bechamel, and mornay.