POSTS WITH TAG: eco-friendly

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    I'm trying to treat my body better than I have in the past. That's tough for anyone, let alone a person with a passion for food and a genetic predisposition toward hips of the birthing-a-baby-in-the-snow-while-cutting-firewood variety. When I'm eating well, I try to avoid processed foods. I've never given the science behind this much thought. To me, processed foods = fat making. Turns out, it might not be that simple.

    The studies that link obesity with processed foods don't account for the other environmental causes of obesity. So yeah, the breakfast cereal I like might have vitamins added to it chemically. But why does the word 'chemical' have to be a synonym for bad? It's an example of perception being everything when we grocery shop or eat. And it doesn't stop there. 

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    There's throwing your money away and then there's really throwing your money away. An anonymous donor has spent $50K to fund a retirement plan for some egg-laying chickens. And no, 'retirement'  is not a euphemism for dispatching the birds to the great big chicken coop in the sky.

    The donor's actually having the birds flown from California to a lush East Coast locale where they will spend their days wandering around, eating, and clucking. You know, chicken stuff. This kind of nutty gesture got us thinking. If more donors stepped forward, where else could we send the farm's senior citizens? 

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    Here in the states, about 40 percent of our food supply chain goes uneaten. Forty percent. The average family of four throws away about 20 pounds of food per person every month. That's a lot of grub going down the drain, and in Japan, well, they ain't having it. One seafood restaurant in Sapporo charges patrons a surcharge if they don't finish every last drop of food on their plate, down to the final grain of rice.

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    Organic. Eco-Friendly. Natural. Pasture-raised. Grass-fed. So many foods making claims that they're better for you. So little time to figure out what it all means. Food labels, catering to our desire to feed our families the healthiest and most environmentally-friendly food we can, have become as common and as useful as Kardashian tweets.

    Hundreds of new food labels have popped up on both fresh and processed grocery store items in the past few years, and it's enough to make your head spin. But do eco-claims actually mean anything?

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    Everyone should have the choice to eat however they choose. Personally, I eat meat. I like meat. I try to eat ethically raised meat, but sometimes, I'll get that diner cheeseburger and I like it. I'm fine with those who choose to go vegetarian, but some people take it too far and become fanatical. Nobody likes an extremist.

    Take this recently-turned-vegetarian mom, who has decided she's going to make her daughter be vegetarian too -- just in time for Thanksgiving. Yes, I too have a vegetarian sister who makes dinner out of side dishes. Which ... good for her. More turkey for the rest of us. But why you'd impose dietary extremes on kids is beyond me.

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    Get out your poster board and your markers because you are going to want to take some serious, if not large and colorful notes on this topic -- food waste. Sounds boring, sounds kind of gross, but I'm here to tell you that it's a problem, my friends. Guess what percentage of the food supply in the U.S. goes uneaten?? Guess.

    Oh! Then guess how much money a family of four tosses out in food each year.

    You're going to be astounded. Here are the facts:

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    Remember when eating fruits and vegetables was actually the healthy thing to do? I'm really starting to miss those days. Because another food safety report is out today to scare you out of shopping, this time from the folks over at the Environmental Working Group.

    I keep thinking the move toward organic in the market would have forced regular produce sellers to step up their game. It's the lesson of supply and demand, right? Consumers are demanding organic, so the supply should be adjusted. But the EWG is saying no way: our favorite eats are still loaded down with pesticides. If anything, it looks like things have actually gotten worse -- they had to up their "buy organic" produce list from the Dirty Dozen to the Dirty Dozen Plus. Just check out the highlights on what to avoid:

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    Packing school lunches is probably not up there on any mom's favorite list of tasks, but bringing lunch from home (theirs and yours!) is healthier, cheaper, and can even be the green choice if you do it the right way.

    The average school-age child will throw out 67 pounds of trash over the course of a year just from lunch alone. That is a lot of landfill. But there's a greener way. Check out the latest episode of Mom-Ed:Green Living (and our tips) after the jump so you can go from tons of waste to no waste with a few simple changes.

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    You have to hand it to Michelle Obama. The First Lady is  trying her best to get the country on the road to eating healthier. She started the "Let's Move!" campaign to get people to adopt healthier lifestyles. The White House staff is on a diet. And she even planted a White House garden. Now, she has a new book out, American Grown. Obama has been raising greens on the South Lawn and she says that the garden is so famous that people all over the world ask her about it. If her book can accomplish anything, perhaps it's to inspire us all to at least TRY to grow our own food. Let's face it, there is nothing healthier than eating what you yourself cultivate.

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    Don't you hate it when you're at the organic food co-op, with your eco-friendly hemp tote, and you're loading up on radicchio, which you don't like but you heard was healthy, and someone sniffs over your merch and she's all, "Oh, you get the organic radicchio? Well, I get the quadruple organic radicchio grown by monks who take a vow of organic celibacy," and you're all, "Whatever!" And then she's like, "Oh, is that a mass-produced hemp tote? My hemp tote was hand-woven by farmers in Chile." And you're all, "Whatever again!" Well, apparently this stuff actually happens because a new study says that people who eat organic are more likely to have holier-than-thou complexes and be more judgmental.

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