Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Good Food = Good Health

 I originally posted this on my other blog, http://spiralway.blogspot.com 
Thought those of you who follow me here might enjoy the article. Sorry it has been so long since I posted here. Perhaps this winter I will get back to writing about my Urban Plot. Enjoy! 

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."
     It has been a long journey to cut out processed food from my family's diet, but these days we rarely give in to convenience foods. I find that if I keep plenty of healthy handy snacks available, it is easier to avoid grabbing just whatever! Making homemade granola snack bars is fast becoming a weekly activity for me. These bars make a great grab-and-go breakfast or snack. I especially love knowing exactly what is in them. I find that making food from scratch is empowering! Cutting out the processed, convience foods and making things from scratch with good quality food stuff is the best way to take charge of your healht.  Knowing what you are putting in your body is the first step. You truly are what you eat!

    Here is my granola snack bar recipe.The time involved in making these bars is minimal and does not require baking. It is a flexible enough recipe that you can a
djust to suit your taste and diet requirements. Makes a thick dense snack bar that is filling and satisfying. Enjoy! 
Power Packed Snack Bars 
4 cups of "good stuff" (nuts, seeds, dried fruit, coconut, oats, grains, etc)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 - 1/2 cup honey or molasses or mixture
1/3 - 1/2 cup nut butter (sunflower, almond, peanut, cashew or sesame)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted nuts or seeds)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
(I also add some adaptogen and immune boosting powdered herbs 1/2 tsp) 
Mix nut butter, coconut oil, and honey in a pan. Warm on medium heat until melted. Add vanilla, cinnamon, salt, cinnamon and herbs. Stir until mixed well. Remove from heat and stir in the "good stuff" by the cupful and mix well. If using chocolate chips mix in at the end once the mixture cools a bit. Press into an 8" x 8" pan, lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars or squares. Store in the fridge. They will become softer at room temperature.
The "good stuff" in my most recent batch is dried apricots, dates, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, currants, pumpkin seeds, granola, coconut. Yum!
 "Health requires healthy food."
~Roger Williams

Friday, April 15, 2011

The CHICKENS are coming!

The Chickens are coming!
I did it. Today I purchased six 7 week old Rhode Island Reds for our Urban Plot. Let the next phase of "grow your own" begin.

We now have until Tuesday to get the coop built and the run put up! You know, sometimes you just have to paint yourself into a corner to make the things happen that you want to have happen... otherwise it is easy to keep putting it off. It is the getting started that can be hard to get to! But when I give US a deadline... well, stuff starts happening!
I have been wanting to get chickens for a very long time. But just for your amusement... I am amused.. here is the "timeline" for painting myself (and David) into this corner we are now in!
  • For many years: Reading about getting chickens, planning and dreaming and wondering where to put the coop in our yard. Looking at coop plans, will it be a tractor or a stationary coop? Etc...
  • 4 months ago: Finally figured out where I want to put the coop and pen! In the shady bottom of the garden where nothing really grows well, but where chickens will be happy.
  • 3 weeks ago: I took a "Getting Started with Chickens" class at Eagledove Greenhouse in our neighborhood. It rocked!
  • 2 weeks ago: I ordered plans for the City Biddy Chicken Coop
  • 1 weeks ago: I  purchased water and feeder units for my theoretical girls.
  • Today I went in a paid for 6 chickens at Eagledove to pick up on Tuesday... The deadline is set!
Here is an image of the coop we are working towards... although ours will have a front porch for the girls...
Stay tuned for pictures of our progress and of our actual coop.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sow True Seeds

We are SO lucky to have the Sow True Seed Company in our town! I wanted to share this piece with you that was published in their most recent mailing. This local seed company ships around the country...so if you are not able to come visit them in Asheville, you can still have their wonderful seeds and support a business that has as their goal the best interests of our planet and our health! 
We Step Up to Say NO to GMO

On March 29, 2011, Sow True Seed joined 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations to file suit against Monsanto Company to challenge the chemical giant's patents on genetically modified seed. Once released into the environment, genetically modified seed contaminates and destroys naturally reproducing seed for the same crop.  For example, soon after Monsanto introduced genetically modified seed for canola, organic canola became virtually extinct as a result of cross-contamination.  Organic corn, soybeans, cotton, sugar beets and alfalfa now face the same fate, as Monsanto has released genetically modified seed for each of those crops, too.  Monsanto is developing genetically modified seed for many other crops, thus putting the future of all food, and indeed all agriculture, at stake.  

“It is challenging to find non-hybrid (open-pollinated) corn seed that has not been contaminated by genetically modified pollen,” says Sow True Seed Co-Founder Peter Waskiewicz.  “We choose to test our corn seed to ensure it is free of GMOs before we offer it to our customers. In the last decade, it’s become nearly impossible to ensure corn seed is free from contamination.”

“We never planned to become involved in a lawsuit, but morally it has become necessary to stand up and fight for keeping open-pollinated seed safe and available,” says Co-Founder Carol Koury. “Sow True Seed was founded to promote and foster sustainable regional agriculture by helping to preserve our shared botanical heritage and seed a new era of sustainable culture and ecological wisdom. Monsanto not only does not embody this vision, but is actually encroaching on our ability to offer open-pollinated and organic seeds. We are fighting against this injustice.”

Waskiewicz adds, “We recognize that the unlimited production and distribution of open-pollinated seed is primary to the growth and endurance of sustainable, regional farming communities. Sow True Seed endorses the basic right of all the earth’s people to enjoy a safe, ethical and sovereign food production and distribution system.”

For more information, please visit: http://www.pubpat.org/monsanto-seed-patents.htm

To get involved:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Organic Ag Can Double Food Production in 10 Years

 I just had to share this quote that I got from the latest Organic Consumers Association Newsletter. Read the whole article here.

Eco-Farming Can Double Food Output by Poor

"To feed 9 billion people in 2050, we urgently need to adopt the most efficient farming techniques available. Today's scientific evidence demonstrates that agroecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production where the hungry live - especially in unfavorable environments.

"To date, agroecological projects have shown an average crop yield increase of 80% in 57 developing countries, with an average increase of 116% for all African projects. Recent projects conducted in 20 African countries demonstrated a doubling of crop yields over a period of 3-10 years."

-Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food and author of the report "Agro-ecology and the right to food," published March 8, 2011.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Feed Your Roots

I wanted to share with you a blog that I enjoy. Feed Your Roots is written by Penina Bareket, of Asheville, NC. It is filled with great recipes to help you change the way you eat.
You can follow Penina on Twitter.  @PBareket


Thursday, December 9, 2010

The GM genocide

I read this article today and am so appalled that I just needed to share it with all of you. Farmers committing suicide in India over their crop failure after being persuaded to switch to GM varieties at a cost of 1000% more than traditional seed...told that it would not need pesticides... but we know that GM seed requires more pesticide than regular conventional seed... Crazy...

Read the article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1082559/The-GM-genocide-Thousands-Indian-farmers-committing-suicide-using-genetically-modified-crops.html#ixzz17e5PXqrR
Prince Charles is so distressed by the plight of the suicide farmers that he is setting up a charity, the Bhumi Vardaan Foundation, to help those affected and promote organic Indian crops instead of GM.
I did a search to find out more about the work of Prince Charles and his Bhumi Vardaan Foundation. DO check it out for yourself.
The Prince of Wales launched the Bhumi Vardaan Foundation, in March 2006, in Punjab, India, to help small farmers convert to grow certified organic produce (by providing training facilities and marketing support) and to market the produce for them in India and overseas. Based on the Duchy Originals UK model, all profits will be utilised for charitable initiatives which promote sustainable agricultural development in India.
I have made a commitment to purchase and eat only food grown without chemical additives, to use organic and local whenever possible, to ask questions about where something comes from and HOW it is grown or where it was made... This is important. The more we buy into the GM model, knowingly or unknowingly.. we just add to the problem.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Scientist warns of dire consequences

"Ignoring potential non-target detrimental side effects of any chemical, especially used as heavily as glyphosate (Monsanto's RoundUp herbicide), may have dire consequences for agriculture such as rendering soils infertile, crops non-productive, and plants less nutritious. To do so might well compromise not only agricultural sustainability, but also the health and well-being of animals and humans."
- Johal, G.S. and D.M. Huber. Glyphosate effects on diseases of plants. 2009. European Journal of Agronomy 31:144-152
Read more on this warning here. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Change the World: Go Organic

"If you do just one thing to change the world, go organic."
"Going organic is the single most critical (and most DOABLE) action we can take right now to stop our climate crisis. Every acre of ground that's farmed organically has the potential to pull thousands of pounds of warming greenhouse gases out of our air."
"Organic farming is a real, attainable solution to our current global climate crisis! Organic farming can actually remove greenhouse gases from the air - helping to reverse the climate crisis!"
"Organic living can stop the climate crisis. When you combine the impact of protecting the beneficial mycorrhizal fungi in the soil (which absorb and neutralize carbon) and eliminating all the toxic chemicals (and their packaging and the energy spent producing them), the carbon problem in our atmosphere is practically solved. We still need more renewable energy, but restoring the earth's ability to sequester carbon is a good place to start. And you'll do it while eating."
-Maria Rodale, Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Seven to Avoid

Did you know that there are foods that even the farmers who grow them will not eat! I have been reading a great piece about these foods. 7 Foods So Unsafe Even Farmers Won't Eat Them. The following foods are outlined in the article. Check out the article for the details.

1. Canned Tomatoes

2. Corn-Fed Beef

3. Microwave Popcorn

4. Conventionally Grown (Not Organic) Potatoes

5. Farmed Salmon

6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones

7. Conventional Apples 

For me it always comes back to grow what you can, buy local from farmers you know, eat in season, buy organic.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

HazMat on the Farm

I found this image along with an article called How to Protect Yourself from 7 Food-System Threats
at Rodale.com. It is a piece that obviously talks about what you can do. It is a great article and I urge you to read it, ask questions and implement their suggestions wherever you can. 
I guess what struck me the most, was this image! I just had to share it with you... Look at those hazardous materials suits.  At first look, does it say farming to you? Does it say food? Does it convey safety of the food grown in this manner? Not to me! IF this is conventional farming, I don't want anything to do with food produced in this manner. 
Buying organic may cost more at the grocery store, but the cost we pay in health care and the environment is so much greater with the cheaper alternative. I choose to grow my own, know my farmer, or buy organic. It really does matter!