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Posts Tagged ‘tips’

I keep reading articles relating the decline of human health since the inception of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  This term may sound foreign to you and you might think this does not affect you, but I beg you to keep reading.  The worst of the GMOs are those that carry their own insecticides, you eat these foods (i.e. corn) then the insecticides break down your guts to the point of letting undigested food bits into your bloodstream.  The body attacks these particles as if they were viruses or bacteria, for most people this results in new allergy, cancer, or other disease.

Organic For Baby and Mom

The effects of harmful chemicals on human beings can begin with the foods you eat while pregnant or trying to conceive.  These mutations of genes are passed to the fetus.  The infant formula you then feed your child also contains modified and engineered ingredients.  Ever have your baby throw up a bottle of formula?  I did.  Every day.  I had to switch formulas until one didn’t make my son sick.  At the time, I didn’t know anything about GMOs, however they were all around me and had been for at least a decade.  The best kept secret that is a silent killer and multi-billion dollar industry for those who create and sell it.

Making My Face Red

One aspect that I’m very interested in researching is the effect certain foods have on skin.  Before moving to Texas I didn’t have red blotchy skin on my face, didn’t need prescription creams to keep it in check either.  I found pictures of myself (sans make-up) from nine years ago, I had pretty nice skin!  After years of living here in the US, I developed rosacea.  Is there a connection between GMOs and this skin disorder?  The less wheat and processed foods I eat, the less red and irritated my face feels.  Coincidence?  I don’t know yet, but if anyone has information about this or studies please share in the comments below.

Avoid shopping in the middle of the store

I’ll make it easy for you.  This is the list of the most frequently found ingredients that could be genetically modified: Corn, Soybeans, Canola, Cottonseed, Sugar Beets, Hawaiian Papaya (most) and a small amount of Zucchini and Yellow Squash**.  Buy these ingredients in their natural organic form, or with a “No GMO” label.  This also includes pet food.  I suggest printing the shopping guide to keep in your purse or if you have a fancy shmancy phone, download an App for it.

Buy organic meat, dairy (or at least rBGH/rBST free), and organic vegetables or fruits, especially those without peels (berries, stone fruit, squash).

Organic Food Is Not That Expensive

I went shopping to compare prices of organic versus conventional foods.  Here is what I found:

Assuming a pound of each of the fruits and seeds were purchased, the difference is less than 6 dollars.  And note that organic food isn’t always the most expensive item or brand on the shelf to choose from.

Comparison of organic mac’n’cheese to one possibly made with GMOs

But if you know how much the GMO filled foods could impact your health, causing illnesses, anywhere from allergies up to and including cancer, how much will you spend to relieve symptoms over your lifetime?  Wouldn’t that money be better served preventing you from getting sick in the first place?  GMOs are the root cause for what ails you, natural and organic foods will take them out of the equation.

Comparing Chocolate Syrups

I’m A Farmer’s Daughter

This is a sticky situation.  My father used to farm grain crops.  He is also a chemical technologist.  A double whammy for his foodie Earth-loving daughter.  I asked some tough questions and ruffled Dad’s feathers to at least make him aware of what’s happening with GMO seed crops.  He confessed that he grew GM Canola in 1998, the last year we farmed.  It was probably cheaper to buy than regular seed, although that doesn’t sit well with me.  I know it was a hard year but still…

There is a list of safe seed sources from farms that have signed the Safe Seed Pledge in 2012 (YAY!) available here.

Final Thought

As I was writing this post I was snacking on some “all natural” Sun Chips.  I paused.  Read the label and threw out the bag.  Read about the lawsuit against Frito-Lay using “all natural” on the label of GM snacks.  If you need me, I’ll be going through any remaining snacks in the house and tossing them out.  Consumers can let their choices be heard through the products we choose or don’t choose to buy for our families.  Please READ THE LABEL!

*

Resources


Non-GMO Shopping Tips and Free Printable Guide (** list taken from this website)

Genetic Roulette (Video)

Non-GMO Project

Greenpeace Canada

CBS News

I won’t get too link happy here, you can easily find lots of information in your favorite search engine!

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Since we are a few hours away from Turkey Day, I decided to test out a new combination of flavours for roasted birds.  This was prepared with a whole chicken, but you could easily bump up the quantities for a larger turkey.

Mise en place: Roasting pan, cookie sheet, paper towel, foil, room temperature butter, apple, onion, celery, carrot, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, sage leaves and/or dried, salt, pepper, all-purpose flour, measuring cup (Pyrex glass 2 cup measure), whisk and wooden spoon.  Crank up the oven to 430ºF.

First, prepare the bird, same goes for a turkey.  Wash the bird under cool running water, remove any reminence of feathers.  I like to do a lipo job to remove those clusters of solid fat, do this carefully with a small sharp knife while the bird is on a flat surface (cookie sheet).  If you’re not up to this part, leave it alone, I want you to keep your fingers intact.  Discard the excess fat, and flaps of skin next to the thighs.  Pat dry with paper towel, inside and out.  One more step before you go wash your hands: loosen the skin away from the breast meat and legs.  Now wash up!

To the roasting pan, add the spices.  Use about a tablespoon of coriander and cumin seeds along with the cinnamon stick and a couple of sage leaves.  Using whole spices is important here because we want to strain them out to make a gravy later.  If you have a strainer that can separate tiny grains of ground spices, let me know where I can buy one.  Roughly chop the onion, celery (include the leafy tops!), apple, and carrots.  The bigger the pieces are, the longer it will take for them to cook, and they will act as the rack for the bird.  Add them in one layer and a cup or two of water (or white wine if you have it, take it up a notch!).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, season each layer my friends!

Using half of an apple, I used green, dice it into about 1 inch pieces then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  Stuff the apple and a couple more sage leaves into the cavity of the bird.

Next is the compound butter.  Simply mix about 2 tablespoons of room temperature butter with a palmful of dried sage, salt and pepper.  If your butter becomes too warm just pop it into the freezer for a few minutes so that you can work with it.  Remember those pockets of fat you removed from the bird?  We are replacing those with this flavoured butter.  Shove 1/4 of the butter into the space between the skin and the meat, repeat on the other side with another 1/4 of the butter.  The remaining half of the compound butter goes on the skin, all over the entire bird.

Move the bird to the roasting pan using the neck hole and breast plate as handles, otherwise you might lose the butter encased bird to the floor.  Tuck the wing tips under.  I did not truss this bird and sometimes you don’t really need to.  The bonus is all that skin between the legs and breast gets crispy because it’s not squished together and shielded from the heat of the oven.

Place the pan in the oven, legs pointing to the back of the oven.  Don’t open the door, this is important: keep the heat and steam inside the oven.  The more you open the door to check on the bird, the more vapour escapes, therefore causing dry-bird-syndrome.  Leave it alone for a while, set a timer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, check for browning of the skin, look through the glass of the oven door.  Try not to open it.  If you see some nice golden brown, turn down the oven to 350ºF.  Let it roast another 20 minutes. 

Carefully open the door with your body away from the oven.  The steam will give you an unwanted facial if you’re not careful.  Take birdy’s temperature in a thick part of the breast without touching any bones, I use the area near the wings, equivalent to pectorals I guess.  Don’t puncture the top of the bird in the middle of the breast, all the juices will run out (DBS!).  The pectoral should read 160ºF, thighs 180ºF.  Shy by ten degrees? Roast for about 20 more minutes. 

If you have reached the correct temperature, remove the pan from the oven.  Place birdy on a cutting board and tent loosely with foil.  Let birdy rest before carving, let the juices redistribute! 

I have a wee one in the house and if you are a thrifty mama like me, you’ll want to save those carrots and apples from the pan to blend up for your sweet baby.  I even left some celery in the mix, although the strings did a number on my blender!  Fair warning for you.

Gravy!  Life would not be complete without gravy.  Strain the cooking liquid from the pan and separate the grease.  Take note of how many tablespoons of grease you have collected, measure an equal amount of flour.  Add the grease and flour to the pan (you can use another pot) and stir quickly to cook the flour.   Add the rest of the liquid and whisk.  Bring the gravy to a slow boil, cook until the flour is no longer tasted and the gravy coats the back of a spoon.  Now is the time to season with salt and pepper to taste.

Carve and enjoy with your favorite sides.  I made Unstuffing, acorn squash, crescent rolls, and peas to accompany birdy.  Now I’m ready for the big bird!

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