July 9, 2009

Vegetarian Cooking Goes Mainstream!

vegetarian.jpg Vegetarian cooking is becoming more and more popular as people seek healthier eating options. According to the Associated Press:
Vegetarian cooking outgrew its Birkenstocks long ago, but as Americans combat obesity and even financial strain, meatless meals are becoming mainstream.
From Paul McCartney's Meatless Mondays to scientific evidence humans evolved to be vegetarians, there are more and more reasons to ditch the meat in favor of the veggies.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 7, 2009

Greenpeace Calls Trader Joe's Traitor Joes for Selling Red List Seafood


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Greenpeace is calling out Trader Joe's for selling red listed seafood. With over 300 stores, Trader Joe's is the "the largest US grocer operating on a nation-wide scale that refuses to substantively respond to Greenpeace inquiries regarding its seafood sustainability policies and practices."

Trader Joe's does label private label products as low sodium, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and kosher to help customers make informed choices - but this trend stops short of reaching the seafood section. Trader Joe's customers are given no information regarding environmentally responsible seafood, and the Trader Joe's seafood section is stocked with a plethora of red list items, including orange roughy, Chilean sea bass, Atlantic salmon, and monkfish. To make matters worse, Trader Joe's actively disseminates misleading information about its seafood selection. In some stores, signs claiming that Trader Joe's seafood comes from sustainable and environmentally benign sources hang above the seafood freezer, lulling customers into a false sense of security and willfully duping patrons into supporting parts of the seafood industry that cause tremendous harm to the planet.

Trader Joe's sells 15 of the 22 red listed seafood items. If you don't feel like you can fully boycott Trader Joe's, at least stop buying fish there and voice your concern to the store managers. Greenpeace is also updating an activist toolkit for Trader Joe's consumers.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 2, 2009

Humans Naturally Evolved as Vegetarians

15_woman-eating-apple.jpg The debate is old: whether or not humans are evolutionary omnivores or herbivores. Those in favor of meat consumption point to our incisors as evidence we are meant to be omnivores. Those who think we are naturally vegetarians consider our long winding intestines as evidence we are not designed to eat meat; however, some doctors believe we should not be carnivores at all. According to Kathy Freston writing for the Huffington Post:
The point is this: Thousands of years ago when we were hunter-gatherers, we may have needed a bit of meat in our diets in times of scarcity, but we don't need it now. Says Dr. William C. Roberts, editor of the American Journal of Cardiology, "Although we think we are, and we act as if we are, human beings are not natural carnivores. When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us, because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores."

Sure, most of us are "behavioral omnivores"--that is, we eat meat, so that defines us as omnivorous. But our evolution and physiology are herbivorous, and ample science proves that when we choose to eat meat, that causes problems, from decreased energy and a need for more sleep up to increased risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 26, 2009

Natural Food Friday: Organic Baked Apple Snacks by Yogachips

yogachips.gif Sweet organic fuji apples are used to make Yogachips. These baked snacks are full of crunchy apple flavor. They are made in a two part process where first the apples are baked and then popped. Yogachips are certified USDA Organic and Ecocert.
Ecocert is an international third party certifying body that verifies organic claims and grants organic certifications on behalf of the USDA.
Yogachips uses Ecocert certification because the apples it uses are grown in China. This certainly adds to the carbon footprint of this product if it is consumed in the US.
In the course of producing a wonderful apple chip, we also look for ways to ensure we benefit our suppliers and the environment. Our Fuji apples come from China's northern Shanxi Province and grow on the southern slopes of a mountain range facing the Yellow River. As terroir makes a good wine, so are the natural factors at our orchards critical to nature providing a sweet, juicy apple. Grown at 2,300ft, our USDA (NOP - National Organic Program) certified orchards are cool enough to deter most pests, allowing apples to grow and ripen robustly from the first April blossom through till October harvest.

Yogachips are also Kosher, gluten-free, Halal, and certified vegan. My children love them and can easily eat a couple servings in one sitting.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 22, 2009

Biodegradable Bamboo Dinnerware

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It's exciting to see more and more alternatives to disposable plates and cutlery appear on the market. Bamboo Studio has introduced a line of biodegradeable dinnerware:

Bamboo Studio is a revolutionary all-occasion dinnerware that is both disposable and reusable. Handcrafted from the sheath of the emerging bamboo plant, these dynamic new serving pieces are elegant, strong, and environmentally friendly.

  • Strong and leak resistant

  • Handcrafted from Bamboo sheath

  • No harsh chemicals or bleaches are used

  • Requires little energy to make and Bamboo is 100% biodegradable

Bamboo Studio's organic certification is pending. What makes these bamboo plates unique is that they are made from the sheath of the plant, so the living bamboo is not harmed. The sheath also has a beautiful texture. This dinnerware is longer lasting and sturdier than typical paper plates, besides it is far more aesthetically pleasing.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 11, 2009

Doctors Advise Patients to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods

doctor.jpgThe American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) is advising:
Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.
AAEM was founded in 1965 and is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to expand "the knowledge of interactions between human individuals and their environment." Specifically, AAEM is calling for:
  • A moratorium on GM food, implementation of immediate long term safety testing and labeling of GM food.
  • Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community and the public to avoid GM foods.
  • Physicians to consider the role of GM foods in their patients' disease processes.
  • More independent long term scientific studies to begin gathering data to investigate the role of GM foods on human health.
AAEM has found that there is a causation between GM foods and serious health risks, such as "infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system." Over 70 companies have responded to the dangers of GM foods by pledging to avoid sugar from GM sugar beets in their products.

Via: Seeds of Deception
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 10, 2009

Ahoy Matey! 6 Flavors of All-Natural Pirate's Booty

piratebooty.jpg We've long been a fan of the original Robert's American Gourmet Pirate's Booty in our home, but I have to admit we took a long break from the products following the Veggie Booty recall in 2007. Enough time has passed, and I hope Robert's Gourmet has learned their lesson, so Pirate's Booty is back in our kitchen cabinets. It's a great snack made from puffed rice and corn that is baked (not fried). We've tried six varieties of Pirate Booty, including two new flavors!
  1. Pirate's Booty: This is still my favorite. I love the white aged cheddar.
  2. Pirate's Booty with Golden Caramel: This was my youngest scallywag's favorite flavor. He does have a sweet tooth!
  3. Bermuda Onion Pirate's Booty: This is a new flavor and my oldest scallywag's favorite. It is really good!
  4. Robert's American Gourmet Sea Salt & Vinegar Pirate's Booty: Unlike many sea salt & vinegar chips that are too strong, this new flavor has just the right blend.
  5. Veggie Pirate's Booty: A blend of spinach, kale, cabbage, carrots, and broccoli makes this snack easy to get hooked on.
  6. Barbeque Pirate's Booty: This would be the captain of our ship's favorite variety. I hope he watches out for the pirates!
My only wish is that these products were made from organically grown ingredients.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 29, 2009

Organic Spirits: Blue Ice Organic Wheat American Vodka

blueiceorg.jpg One of my favorite things about eating at the Millennium vegan restaurant in San Francisco is the organic mixed drinks on the menu. To make organic cocktails, you need to start with organic spirits. Blue Ice American Wheat Vodka is handcrafted from "pristine" Idaho water and certified organic neutral spirits by a family owned distiller.
As a USDA Certified Organic product, Blue Ice Organic Wheat Vodka bears the highest legal benchmark of purity that a beverage can receive. This guarantee ensures a commitment to environmentally sound farming void of chemical pesticides or harsh fertilizers and the absence of chemical additives or other possible taste-altering agents. Combined with a fresh harvest of hand-selected winter wheat and the seasoned palate of Blue Ice's veteran Master Distiller Bill Scott, the new spirit imparts a smooth body and a crisp, refreshing finish designed to please the discriminating vodka connoisseur.
Blue Ice also makes an organic potato vodka.

I'll be enjoying an organic cocktail this Friday evening thanks to Blue Ice!

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 27, 2009

Eco-Friendly Disposable Plates and Bowls Made from Sugar Cane Available at CVS Pharmacy

earthessentials.jpg CVS Pharmacy is now offering a line of disposable plates and bowls made from sugar cane. CVS Earth Essentials Paper Plates and Bowls are affordable and biodegradable. They hold up to water and oil (and a heavy plate full of locavore potluck foods). Made from sugar cane, a natural and renewable resource, these plates are also microwaveable. In just one to three months, these disposable plates and bowls completely biodegrade. It is good to see eco-friendly products in national chains, such as CVS, even though I prefer to support locally owned stores.  Reaching out to mainstream American with eco-friendly products, even disposables, at least can make life a little bit greener for the average citizen.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 18, 2009

Organic Fruit Delivered to Your Office

fruitguysbox.gif Reward your employees with fresh, organic fruit! The FruitGuys make it easy by delivering organic fruit to your office every week.
The FruitGuys is the industry leader in providing farm-fresh produce to the American workplace. Founded in 1998 and headquartered in San Francisco, The Fruitguys has pioneered this fast-growing category that provides viable solutions to the ever-challenging workplace health crisis. The company was founded on the premise that bringing healthy brain food to the office can boost productivity, improve wellness and help companies improve their bottom lines. The FruitGuys provides fresh seasonal fruit from local farms to thousands of American businesses, from small family-run businesses to major Fortune 500 corporations.

My family received a box of fresh, delicious organic fruit from The FruitGuys. Almost all of the fruit is from California, which is where I live, with the major exception being bananas. From cherries to oranges, we thoroughly enjoyed our box of organic fruit. FruitGuys has expanded to home delivery via the office, which is a nice option to ensure your family has fresh fruit every week without a trip to the store.

Why fruit in the office? According to the FruitGuys, fresh fruit can increase morale, improve employee performance, and lower health care costs by improving health. FruitGuys makes it easy by setting up weekly or biweekly delivery, and the program is cost effective. Feeding your employees fresh, organic fruit rather than donuts or vending machine snacks will make them feel better and know that their company truly cares about their well-being.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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