Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Meatless Monday

Food for thought……

If you aren’t ready to commit to a vegetarian or vegan diet full time, consider opting for a meat-free meal once each week, which can save 84,000 gallons of water per year.

Source: Earth911

Meatless Monday (Sort of)

This is not my typical Meatless Monday post but I think it’s worth sharing. I am against energy drinks (for my own personal reasons) but I have often wondered about the likes of sports drinks. Especially when comparing the price of Pedialyte and Gatorade…….what’s the big difference? When I came across this article I thought it was a great read for parents.

Worst Drinks: Sports Drinks

The major difference between energy drinks and sports drinks is Caffeine content! Both have tons of sugar but because of caffeine levels, energy drinks can be dangerous for teens and younger children. The amount of caffeine in energy drinks can be 3 to 4 times as much as a large can of soda.

Sports drinks don’t contain caffeine but do contain electrolytes. Electrolytes are used by our cells to maintain electrical impulses. When electrolytes are lost during vigorous exercise they can be replaced by those in sports drinks, thereby restoring balance to your body’s systems.

However, sports drinks weren’t intended for teens after an hour of basketball practice, but for athletes doing intense exercise for an hour or more. According to the article, children and teens should rehydrate with water. And in the case of a sick child, with less sugar and more electrolytes, Pedialyte is still the best option.

So the take home message is that energy drinks are no-no for kids, sports drinks should be limited and water is always the best bet.

Source: MNN


Meatless Monday

Here are some fun facts about our Meatless Monday veggie of the day, Broccoli. Broccoli is one of the healthiest green vegetables. It’s versatile, inexpensive and tastes great.

Broccoli has been cultivated for more than 2000 years. Cultivation is believed to have originated in Calabria, Italian. This is the origin of the Italian name “Calabrese.”

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, and Kale are all of the exact same species of plant! Many folks don’t believe this as they look so different…. but how does a Poodle compare to a Great Dane?

The name “broccoli” comes for the Latin word brachium, which means “branch,” or “arm.” Broccoli has only been grown in America for about 200 years and for much of that time it was considered exotic. Until the 1920’s, broccoli was virtually unknown by most Americans. Broccoli production in the U.S. increased 700% between 1971 and 1991 and is continuing today.

Broccoli is a “cool weather” crop and does poorly in hot weather. Because it is tolerant to cold, it is available year ’round in the U.S.

The American film producer, Albert R. Broccoli, (April 5, 1909 – June 27, 1996) famous for producing the James Bond movies, claimed his family invented Broccoli. This has been judged a highly dubious claim by most experts.

Broccoli comes in a variety of colors, ranging from deep sage all the way to dark green and purplish-green.

Tom “Broccoli” Landers  holds the current world record for eating 1 pound of broccoli in 92 seconds.

Source: Swampy Acres Farm
Photo: Electric Tree House

Meatless Monday

Today we continue the “Easy ways to eat more veggies (and fruits)” series. So for the next few Meatless Monday’s we’ll give you tips on how to get move veggies into your busy lifestyle.

Today’s Tip:

Serve main dish salads. No explanation needed. But as a side note if you have kids consider having a salad bar at home and allow them to add their own ingredients or eat them as piles of separate foods.

 Source: Tammy’s Recipes

Photo: Martha Stewart

Meatless Monday

Today continues the  “Easy ways to eat more veggies (and fruits)” series. So for the next few Meatless Monday’s we’ll give you tips on how to get move veggies into your busy lifestyle.

 Today’s Tip:


Give fewer options at meal times or snack times, and include veggies. If you serve a dinner of three different foods,  you’ll end up eating more of each item than if you serve five foods. Unless you’re serving several vegetable dishes, limit the choices for everyday dinners and snacks and your children will surprise you by eating more — because they’re still hungry. Only buy/offer healthy snacks and if they’re hungry, that’s what they’ll eat. (I have definitely found this to be true.)

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

Photo: Full Plate Cooking Lessons

Meatless Monday’s

Today starts a new series on “Easy ways to eat more veggies (and fruits)”. So for the next few Meatless Monday’s we’ll give you tips on how to get move veggies into your busy lifestyle.

 Today’s Tip:


Prep ahead. This one is key: Make sure your fridge is stocked with ready-to-eat veggies. Whether this means cutting carrot sticks by the bag-full or buying baby carrots, do what it takes. Celery, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and sugar snap peas are some of our favorite fresh vegetables. Another tip is to put the veggies out so you can see them, use clear containers in the fridge or place them on the counter so they’re in eye-sight. Have your favorites ready so when you’re hungry, you grab them. I also find its easier if I wash grapes and cut melons so that I have a healthy snack when I’m on the go or waiting for dinner.


Source: Tammy’s Recipes



Below is an article from, its long but definitely worth a glance. The article mentions Nature Valley Trail Mix Bars….guess I have for a snack today…. Nature Valley Trail Mix Bars. It pays to be an informed consumer.



What does “natural” mean? The nature of this notoriously vague label is once again reaching the courts, this time in a lawsuit filed by two Californian women against General Mills. The plaintiffs claim, according to the New York Times, that General Mills has deceptively marketed its NatureValley products as natural when they contain highly processed ingredients, and therefore the company is liable for false advertising and anticompetitiveness.

This case is the latest in a number of lawsuits that have been filed lately against General Mills, accusing the company of using deceptive advertising for its products. In addition to the legal questions, this series of lawsuits brings other questions to mind – for example, does the label under debate violate the company’s commitment to ethics and intregity? And what does it mean for a company that prides itself on being responsible, or as its CEO puts it: “our approach to global responsibility is straightforward. It’s all about living our values – one of which is “We do the right thing, all the time.”?

This case is also important because it helps once again to bring to the public attention the debate around the “natural” label. Currently there are no legal requirements or restrictions for using the label “natural” on foods, and it can be a meaningless marketing term, but consumers nevertheless tend to value it. For some reason, as some surveys show, they even value it more than they value “organic” labels. Under these circumstances, is it any wonder that the “natural” label became so popular?

In the current lawsuit (which, according to Marc Gunther hasn’t even been filed yet), the plaintiffs explain, they bought Nature Valley’s products because they believed they were all-natural and therefore healthier, only to find out later that “they contain non-natural, highly processed ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), high maltose corn syrup (HMCS), and maltodextrin and ricemaltodextrin (together, Maltodextrin).”

What gave them the impression that the products they bought were all-natural? The packages of the products, the plaintiffs explain. For example, “on the front and back of both Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars’ boxes, the phrase “100% Natural” appears immediately beneath the NatureValley logo. The back of the Chewy Trail Mix Dark Chocolate & Nut Granola Bars’ box states: “100% Natural. 100% Delicious.” Given this type of language, they were expecting to buy all-natural snacks, not ones that contain HFCS, HMCS, and Maltodextrin.

As mentioned, this is not the first lawsuit against General Mills with this sort of allegations. Last October, Annie Lam of California filed a lawsuit against General Mills, claiming it is incorrectly describing the ingredients of its fruit snacks, citing strawberry-flavored Fruit Roll-Ups that contain “pears from concentrate,” but no strawberries. Lam also said, according to Reuters, that the packaging “was likely to deceive consumers into believing the snacks are healthful and natural, rather than a combination of artificial, non-fruit ingredients.” In May U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti in San Francisco allowed Lam’s lawsuit to go forward, noting that reasonable consumers might be misled by packaging that claimed the snacks are “made with real fruit,” and would not read the fine print.

According to AdWeek, that was the second lawsuit General Mills has faced for its Fruit Snacks. On June 2011, a woman sued the company for $5 million for misleading consumers about the health and nutrition qualities of Fruit Roll-Ups. The case was voluntarily dismissed a month later by the plaintiff, who decided not to pursue the case.

Another consumer lawsuit against General Mills was filed by Minneapolis law firm Zimmerman Reed, accusing the company of violating the FDA’s standard of identity for yogurt and knowingly mislabeling its Yoplait greek yogurt  because it includes milk protein concentrate (MPC), which isn’t listed by the FDA as an ingredient acceptable for use in yogurt. The use of MPC makes Yoplait Greek yogurt “neither Greek yogurt, nor yogurt,” the suit claimed.

All of these examples are from the last year, but it seems like General Mills had to face these issues even before that. AdWeek, for example, reported that in  2009, the FDA forced the company to discontinue misleading cholesterol and cancer-prevention claims on its Cheerios packaging.

So what do you think? Is this a frivolous lawsuit or should General Mills pay for “false” advertising?

Memorial Day Tips

 Memorial Day is around the corner and with this holiday comes lots of backyard BBQ’s! Here are some tips on how to make your festivities as eco-friendly as possible.  

  • Instead of getting supplies from a chain grocery store, support your local farmer’s market.  Walk or bike there to make it an even greener shopping trip.  Or if you have a garden, use your own organic ingredients.
  • Keep pesky mosquitoes away by using an organic bug spray/repellant.  You can also set out a cup of sugar water away from the crowd for the mosquitoes to flock to instead of your guests.
  • Serve your food with reusable or biodegradable plates, cups and utensils.
  • Use cloth napkins that can be washed and reused.
  • Set up recycling bins next to the trash can so guests will know to recycle.  Clearly label the bins by paper, plastic and aluminum. 
  • If you are using a charcoal grill, use lump charcoal made from natural and sustainable wood.  Avoid using lighter fluid if possible. 
  • Use biodegradable plastic trash bags to clean up unrecyclable items. 
  • Send your guests home with plenty of leftovers to avoid food waste. (Remind them to bring reusable containers with them)
  • Clean the grill using soap and water (and elbow grease) instead of using harsh chemicals. 
  • Compost any leftover food scraps in a special compost pile in your back yard. Don’t compost? Save the scraps for a neighbor who does.

Source: Energy Ace 

Meatless Monday



 “Most of your most powerful animals in the wild are vegetarian, so I’m trying to get my strength to that level. I don’t know if I’ll make it or not, but elephants are vegetarians. They’re pretty big, so. . .”



Feature Friday

Happy Friday! Answer the following questions correctly for a chance to win a Recycled and Recyclable travel mug.  To enter simply comment on this post with the correct answers by noon on Monday, May 14.

Choose the answer you feel is best for the environment.

1. Its lunchtime and you’re late for a meeting so you’re reduced to eating fast food. Do you:

a.  Order at the drive-through


b.  Park and head inside to place your order

2.  So to make up for your fast food lunch, its time for a healthy dinner, salmon. At the fish counter , you choose:

a. Atlantic

b.  Wild caught fromWashington,Oregon or California

c.  Neither you skip the fish counter and buy canned

Good luck and be on the lookout for the correct answers next week. Have a great weekend.