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Sunday, June 2, 2013

What do you know about what you eat?

With so much concern being voiced all around us about processed and genetically altered foods, I am becoming more and more aware of what I put in my own body (maybe too late for thatJ) and what I feed family and friends. My mom was an early advocate of Adelle Davis, and I always thought, because of Mom’s influence, I was a healthy cook and eater, but this is a whole new world (Adelle Davis and Mom would both turn over in their graves). Monsanto is at present the big bad evil, and I was discouraged to find that so many of the brands I take for granted are companies owned or influenced by Monsanto. To find a list, go here: For instance, I buy Hellman’s Mayonnaise because I like the idea that at least one kind of it is made with olive oil; I’ve been making casseroles with Campbell’s soup since I learned to cook, but it’s homemade white sauce for me from now on (and watch the kind of flour you use). With ConAgra on the list, I may have to rule out Wolf Brand chili (okay, I make pretty good chili from scratch) but I have several recipes with Ranch Beans at the core. Some products on the list I never use—Kid Cuisine, Tombstone Pizza, Loma Linda, Lean Cuisine. But I’m going to have to carry the list to the grocery with me.

And for you grow-your-own folks, which I’d like to be, Monsanto has its sticky icky fingers into a lot of seed companies. Go here for a list of Monsanto-free seed companies:

I was pleased to find a new meat line from Oscar Meyer—Selects. I bought chicken breast hot dogs, labeled all rib meat, no preservatives. Elizabeth, my food label expert, read the label and agreed they look good. And Oscar Meyer is apparently untainted by Monsanto.

You know those little stickers on a lot of fruit and vegetables? A four-digit code means conventionally grown; a five-digit code beginning with eight means genetically modified; a five-digit code beginning with 9 means organic. But, alas, Snopes says they’re not always reliable. Still they’re a step toward educating ourselves, and I think we have to do that to protect our food supply.

I am fortunate (in some ways) to have a gluten- and dairy-free friend living in my garage apt. (Sometimes, when she will be eating with us, meal planning is hard, but she’s very adaptable and self-sufficient.) She’s well versed in reading labels because her health demands she know what's in a product, and she helps me steer the course. This morning we made really healthy cookies from a recipe that’s been floating around the web this week:

You need:

 3 really over-ripe bananas
1/3 c. applesauce
2 c. oats (we used quick cooking rolled—steel cut wouldn’t work I don’t think)
¼ c. almond milk (yes, you could probably substitute but Elizabeth had it in her fridge)
½ c. raisins—we substituted mini semi-sweet chocolate bits, though I don’t object to raisins and even think dried cranberries might be good
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mash it all together.

Grease cookie sheet (we didn’t and learned the hard way), drop by teaspoons onto sheet (Elizabeth does that so precisely) and bake 15-20 minutes at 350.

The house smelled heavenly even before we got them in the oven and better yet while they baked. They’re chewy with a different texture than what you expect from a cookie, but they’re delicious. Waiting for six-year-old Jacob to arrive tonight and give his verdict.
Jacob's verdict was predictable: he doesn't like them. A texture thing, I suspect.


1 comment:

  1. Good info. I've never been a good label reader and sure don't know what all the codes mean. But, I'd like to be smart about it.

    We became vegetarians more than a year ago when daughter read a book called Eating Animals. She shared it with hubby and he became a vegetarian for the 2nd time in his life. This time, he's a serious vegetarian. I didn't have to read the book. I used my imagination and just became one on faith. :) There are times I think I would kill for my favorite Cajun steak from O'Charley's but all I have to do is see a cow stumble out of his stall on the news ... well, I'll say no more.

    This is a good informative site. I'll be back!