Archive for September, 2012

Is Buying Organic a Waste of Money?!

Monday, September 17th, 2012

The Stanford University Medical School team published a paper on the nutritional quality and safety of conventional versus organic food earlier this month (http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1355685) and concluded that:

“The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods,” and “Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”

 

There may be a few problems with the study, such as the definition of “significantly more nutritious,” for starters.  Read The Devil in the Details (http://organicfarms.wsu.edu/blog/devil-in-the-details/) by Chuck Benbrook for a recap of shortcomings in the study and a different view of what the numbers mean.

 

Aside from the nutrition question, there are proponents of organic farming because it’s more environmentally sustainable than conventional farming, keeping pesticides out of our soil and water, and our bodies.

 

This leads us to the second finding, “Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.” In fact, 38% of conventional produce tested positive for pesticide residue vs. 7% of organic produce. Limiting exposure to pesticides is particularly important in children. Even the EPA admits that children are at greater risk for adverse affects because they have limited resistance to pesticides and “There are “critical periods” in human development when exposure to a toxin can permanently alter the way an individual’s biological system operates,” http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/factsheets/kidpesticide.htm

 

Ultimately, it’s important to examine your reasons for buying organic. Are you purchasing organic because it is higher in certain nutrients (but not all) or because you want to limit your or your children’s exposure to pesticides? Michael Pollan’s response to the recent headlines (http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2012/09/04/michael-pollan-organic-study/) helps put the Stanford University findings into perspective when trying to make purchasing decisions.

 

Then there is the question of locally grown vs. organic, but we’ll save that for another day!

 

Peace & Raw!


Fresh Figs with Cashew Creme

Friday, September 14th, 2012

 

  • Fresh Figs
  • 1 cup raw soaked cashews
  • ¾ water
  • 4-5 pitted medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Raw cacao powder
  • Cinnamon

First make the cashew crème.  In a Vitamix or food processor, combine the cashews, water, dates, coconut oil and salt.  Process until smooth and creamy.  Divide the crème up between several bowls.  It’s very rich, so you don’t need a lot.  Slice figs in half and arrange on top of the cashew crème.  Sprinkle with the cacao powder and cinnamon.  Such a rich treat and great for dessert too!

 

Yay!  Fresh figs are in season!  


“May all be fed, may all be healed, may all be loved,” John Robbins

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Today I met John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America, The Food Revolution, and his latest, No Happy Cows. Mr. Robbins was a featured speaker at the Living & Eating Green Expo held in Kirtland, Ohio, along with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., who was featured in the Movie Forks over Knives.

If you’ve read any of Robbins’ books, you know he is the son of Baskin & Robbins 31 Flavors founder, Irv Robbins. Although groomed to take over the family business, he rejected his family’s fortune after making the connection between diet and health, and watching members of his family succumb to disease and early death.

In his books, he details the impact of dietary choices on our personal health, the health of our planet and its creatures, and our spiritual well-being. In person, he is warm, articulate, and speaks with passion and intelligence about what is clearly his life’s mission: making our world a safe and better place for all God’s creatures. Thankfully, it wasn’t to create a 32nd flavor!

Read his books and be prepared to change your view on the agribusiness practices in this country, our government’s national health policies, and most importantly, your own food choices.

Peace & Raw,

Jennifer


Pickled Cucumbers

Friday, September 7th, 2012

 I had so many cucumbers from our crop share this week, I decided to pickle some using lacto-fermentation.  Its an easy way to ferment your food, and this simple technique has been used for ages.

  • 3-4  cucumbers, sliced about 1/2 inch
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, snipped
  • 2 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 cup filtered water
  1. Wash cucumbers well and place in a quart-sized wide mouth jar.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over cucumbers, adding more water if necessary to cover the cucumbers. The top of the liquid should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.
  3. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature out of direct sunlight for about 2 days before refrigerating.