Wednesday, January 27, 2010

about GMOs, why should you care?

UPDATE: I am happy to note that the post from Kelly for Real Food Wednesdays is also on GMOs- and a great link to this Huffington Post article on spreading the word about the truth of GMOs make sure to check it out!

Readers know I have been interested in healthy nutrition since I was much younger. My ideas of what healthy actually means have changed alot since then (think Real Food now!) but also over the years some things I felt were important have slipped through the cracks. One of these is the debate on GMOs (genetically modified "foodstuffs" and ingredients). I cared about GMOs long before most people even knew what they were, but I also knew it was hard to avoid them. (I didn't realize how hard until reading an article on hidden GMOs in our foods.)

A lot has been posted, written and tweeted lately about GMOs, especially on health concerns, and especially those concerns in connection with Monsanto. This Big Ag company is being investigated for holding an illegal monopoly on seed production, and was given much attention (good and bad) after being named Forbes' Company of the Year.

My feeling is simple: avoid GMOs- and companies that encourage them.
A note: I have moved up the date for my new -all real food- site: Authentic Homemade will be active for the first week in February!
I am happy to share this at Real Food Wednesdays and Fight Back Fridays.

Reviewing Goals and Resolutions

Well, January is almost over. This is the time every year when we realize how much (or how little, for most of us!) we've accomplished towards our resolutions. I didn't really do a post on my resolutions; I think people either love them or hate them. I prefer to call mine goals, and set them as these goal-setting recommendations.

So far, I have done well with about half of my "resolutions" and not so great with the other half. I review my goals, and whether or not I'm working consisitently to acheiving them. I also like to go over and make sure my goals are still valid, or if there's anything that might be more important to me to work on. One of my favorite blogs has a great recent post on making sure your priorities are in line. This post helped me realize that some of my resolutions are more important than others, and I should be working towards them appropriately.

A note: I have moved up the date for my new blog: Authentic Homemade- it should be up by February!
I am happy to post this at Works for Me Wednesday.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Introducing: Meal Planning by MAHM

Starting in 2010, I will be offering my weekly meal planning by email subscription. This service will include:

  • 7 days of complete menus: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks
  • new recipes: never before seen and not available elsewhere
  • plan-ahead tips for using traditional techniques: soaking, sprouting, fermenting

See below for an example week plan. Each week features easy meal recipes, and tips for making the most of your time in the kitchen. I recommend tradition-foods ingredients which include
  • grains either soaked, sprouted or sourdough (fermented)
  • fermented vegetables, fruits and condiments
  • grass-fed/ pastured meats, eggs and butter
  • no preservatives/ nitrates added
  • organic produce
wherever possible. However, as many of my readers, I am also on a tight budget. I do therefore keep my menus as inexpensive as possible. Splurges are noted, and I will often try to recommend substitutions. Some meals will not specify the meat/ poultry or produce used. I purchase the cheapest available meats and vegetables in season. For frugality purposes I try to leave this flexible in my plans.
A sample weekly Meal Plan
Please leave a comment with any comments or questions.

Annual Subscription- only $7.99/ month, billed in 2 easy payments of $47.95
Includes free access to all 13 e-cookbooks.

Monthly Subscription- $9.95/ month, billed monthly, hassle-free cancel anytime
Now with a 50% off FREE one month- your choice- of available e-cookbooks.

This week in real food and giveaways!

First, this is the last day for my giveaway for a six month subscription to "Real Food" Meal Planners, including exclusive recipes and the e-cookbooks. Enter now!

This week I wrote about another sign of real food (kind of!) entering the mainstream- a major national supermarket introduces a private label of grass-fed milk. Still homogenized and pasteurized, but it's a step forward. There is also a note here to keep your eyes on the proposed food safety acts- don't let them slip through into policy!

There's been a lot of information on Monsanto lately, join me next week for a post on exactly what you need to know about this giant in Big Ag, and about GMOs in general.

Finally, another giveaway- Coconut Oil!

I am happy to share this at Fight Back Fridays hosted by Food Renegade.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Real Food (kind of) goes mainstream

On the heels of my post last week on local food featured on the show Iron Chef America, I discovered an example this week of the mainstreaming of real food. Or kind of real food, anyway. Weis markets, a regional supermarket now offers a store-brand grass-fed milk. Now, of course it's not real real food, since it's homogenized and pasteurized, but still. I think it's a good omen for the future, and yet another sign that the mass market is beginning to take note that consumers are more aware of what good food is, and more vocal in getting the message that they want it.

If you like real, local food, remember to take action. Join your local groups on real food, raw milk, sustainable or local products. Make your voice heard. One idea to focus on is the "Food Safety Modernization Act" and the similar "Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009" which was well summarized as to the disgraceful nature of the bill by Jenny at Nourished Kitchen. Keep in mind that these bills can take very little or very much time to pass the House and Senate, and they are often absorbed into other, new bills with no notice- unless you read up on the new bills. Keep your eyes and ears open- and your mouth too- tell people who will also be concerned with the growing threat of Big Ag support!
I am happy to share this at Real Food Wednesdays- check out all the great posts there.

Giveaway Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions

UPDATE- winner announced! #2- Sarah, congratulations!

My second giveaway, and I'm really excited about this one! Tropical Traditions is giving a free 32 oz. jar of Gold Label unrefined virgin coconut oil to one of you. I was able to review this product and was quite pleased with it. Being unrefined, the flavor is strong, with the natural essence of coconuts you would expect. I love it in my baking, especially my homemade larabars for the flavor it adds. I also mixed in with homemade ghee to use for frying my sourdough doughnuts this weeks- yum! Keep in mind that a refined product would be better if you are not looking for the flavor of coconuts. But if you're like me and love anything coconut, this product is perfect for getting the nutritional benefits of the medium chain fatty acids talked about in Good Calories, Bad Calories (see sidebar) with a fresh coconut flavor.

To enter:
  1. Please leave a comment below telling me how you would use your coconut oil.
Bonus entries:
  1. Visit Tropical Traditions and subscribe to their newsletter.
  2. Follow me on Google Friend Connect or tell me if you already do.
  3. Share this giveaway on twitter (use tweet icon in the post.)
That's four entries total! This will run for one week.
Please visit my other giveaways.

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sustainable, Local Food goes mainsteam (and primetime)

So sustainable, local food (SOLE) has hit the mainstream. One of the top food trends for the past year, 2010 ushered in a true acceptance of local food - primetime TV! Popular show Iron Chef America has given us the "Super Chef Battle" and was billed to include a secret ingredient- the show's highlight- that would be of "national importance." The episode featured First Lady Michelle Obama who introduced the ingredient du jour for the chef's battle- food fresh from the White House garden.
I was planning on a post on local food for some time, getting more involved is in my resolutions this year, so expect a lot more from me on this topic to come. Today I want to talk a bit about this show, I think it might really advance the cause of eating real food.
Through the two hours of the double length show, Alton Brown as the host and the four "superchefs" Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse and White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford all spoke on the importance of locally produced food. The secret ingredient was followed by an abundance of proteins- all from within 100 miles of the show's studio location. Sustainable meats, including heritage turkey, and local seafood such as the bluepoint oysters, sat side by side with fresh goat cheeses and eggs. Yum!
The show highlighted, as Brown stated, a determination to inspire Americans to "eat local, eat fresh, in short: eat well."
I loved seeing the different vegetables, including romenesco, one of the few foods I've never had, and so on my must-try list, really come alive and be featured as the star of the dishes.
But who could ignore the delicious meats- pork shoulder, bay scallops- or the direct from the White House hive honey? I also drooled while watching the pasta genius of Batali's sous chef in her sweet potato and fresh ricotta "raviolo" filled with a fresh egg yolk. The yolk does not set upon cooking, so it breaks open creating a sauce for the dish. Simple, and yet so decadent.
Team Flay/ Comerford might have gotten the title, but I think we are the real winners. As the chefs said throughout the show, this is the way we should all cook, all the time. Nothing is better than vegetables straight from the farm (or meat from the pasture).
I hope for the statement to come true that this is the way we will eat soon. That one day, my children will sit around, and look back, with humor, on this time as when people still saw locally produced food as something innovative and strange. I can't believe how they used to get meat from factory farms, and produce from conglomerates growing it thousands of miles away. That upcoming generations will be closer to their food, and maybe even take it for granted.
America, take note: the farm-fresh food is coming. Yes, we are winners indeed.

I am happy to share this at Real Food Wednesdays and Fight Back Fridays.

Friday, January 1, 2010

In the New Year

Happy New Year! Here's what you can look foward to in 2010 at MAHM:

  1. Not actually here, but there are two great new things happening in bloggy world I wanted to share: one is a new blog (already started by 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven): 365 Days of TV-free Toddler Time. You have to check this out, such a great idea and motivation for me, and I bet you too! The next is a challenge of sorts, which starts officially with the new year: 90 Days to Reading the Bible. Now, I don't know about this, but I'm darn well going to give it my best shot. I am sure I waste at least an hour every day doing silly things, and I can surely eliminate these things to make time for this (at least I hope so!)
  2. I will be starting a new challenge myself here at MAHM, decluttering (almost) daily. I plan to start with the new year. I will be posting on my daily (or almost daily, hence the name!) attempts at decluttering our house. There are always those spots that get t you in certain seasons of your life. After the new baby came, just like the first time, the presents and accumulated stuff somehow never unaccumulated itself. (Don't you just hate it when your junk doesn't organize itself!) But really, with everything I have going on this year, I need more space and breathing room. So, I will be sharing my tackles of the trouble spots in our house, and invite you to do the same. Share your comments, or links to your posts, on the decluttering going on at your place. Let's declutter together!
  3. My main plan is to start a new blog for my food/cooking posts. I hope to have this up by march or April, depending on how soon I can scrape together enough to start it on a new hosting site. I am also planning on updating this site to self hosted, again, when it works financially. (Shameless attempt coming) If you would like to support these sites and my blogging, please see my sidebar.

I hope all is well with you and yours this season, and have a wonderful start to the new year!


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