Monday, July 16, 2012

on my mind 07.16.12 - meg's edition

news | photo: mconnors
Normally this is where I write about what's on my mind and share information and links on a variety of food, nutrition and holistic health topics.  Today we have a guest post from Meg in Connecticut who has been reading along for a while and was inspired to put together this list of links.

Triage Your Food - this excellent tip from Lifehacker claims that by creating a triage box in your fridge you can keep track of what needs to be eaten first and possibly save $100 per month or more.  I'm currently scrounging around my bin collection to see what I have that can be repurposed so I can implement this very idea.

USDA 'playing chicken with safety' - Essentially the government wants to turn the inspections over to the companies themselves.  This is not the first time this sort of issue has come up and I am assuming it won't be the last.  Unfortunately this is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse and I do not believe that safety will continue along its current levels which are already not good enough.

Maryland politicians chicken out on arsenic ban - Yes, there is arsenic in chicken feed.  No it is not necessary.  Yes chickens, and people, would be healthier if it was removed from the feed.  The producers put it in there to reduce or eliminate coccidiosis, a common problem with overcrowded poultry conditions.  The dangers of arsenic go beyond the exposure in the meat, the run-off present in chicken excrement also poisons water supplies and the environment.  Buying organic chicken or from a a farmer you know and trust is the only way to avoid exposure to this toxic metal.

Ag-gag laws in five states - I find this very disturbing.  Producers are so concerned about public opinion if consumers know what they are really doing that they have managed, in five states, to successfully gag anyone who tries to report on them.  So what are they hiding?  Poor conditions, inhumane treatment of animals, unhealthy and unsanitary conditions, and possible/probable contamination which can affect the consumer.

USDA needs to label mechanically tenderized beef - meat that is tenderized by machine is considered "non-intact" and therefore has more surface area.  This higher level of surface area provides more growth medium for bacteria, therefore requiring a higher cooking temperature to avoid illness.  This issue has apparently been under review since 2009.  Quite frankly I'm not sure what the holdup is, this could prevent illness and bacterial outbreak and makes perfect sense to me.

What's inside the 26-ingredient school lunch burger - The first ingredient is meat and the second is water.  But the third ingredient is soy flour ( there no allergen label in those school cafeterias?).  Most of the ingredients are not food and should not be in there, including "natural" flavor and disodium inosinate both of which are key words for MSG, and caramel color, which the Center for Science in the Public Interest says is a carcinogenic ingredient.  Last time I made burgers I had just six whole food ingredients, meat, egg, onion, parsley, oregano, and salt.  No chemicals, no harmful ingredients.  What's in your burger?

Paper Mache Carrot Pencils - a really cute craft idea to encourage veggie interaction.

Regulating sugar like alcohol - This is an opinion piece from CNN which points out all the reasons that sugar is so bad for our health and how difficult it is to control in our diet.  If nothing else it should at least help you to be more cognizant of how much sugar you may actually be consuming in your diet without being fully aware of it.

Growing Your Own Veggies - more and more people are turning to the idea of home gardening.  Not only to combat the rising cost of food or the increasing food contamination issues, but because growing food is fun.  And other people are learning how to identify, forage for, and eat weeds.


Meg from CT said...

Heh Mira,

Thanks for the shout-out.

I especially like the idea of eating weeds. It's kinda Gardener's Revenge; plus my young nephew things it's funny.

Sam said...

While I should like the idea of eating weeds, my mom used Euell Gibbons 1970's cookbook badly. We called it "how to eat your front lawn" and we were not kind. But I believe as we age, we change our taste buds and am now willing to try it again.