Eating Well Or What The Heck Are We Eating? - Penny Lane Blog at - 298411

Penny Lane

Eating Well or What the heck are we eating? 
Mar. 1, 2013 5:37 pm 
Updated: Mar. 24, 2013 6:53 am

As I am sure you have heard March is National Nutrition month.  As "National" awareness goes this is a good one. Let's talk about this a moment.  One month?  Not a year or a life time?  OK - one step at a time!  

I am sure you have seen the newly revamped "My Plate" which I agree makes more sense than the previous Food Pyramid.  I have a bunch plates in my home and haven't seen a pyramid hanging around the kitchen since my son was in Jr. High and built a pyramid out of sugar cubes on the dining room table.  

What 'The Plate' doesn't address is highly processed foods containing toxic chemicals, GMOs and HFCS. Food stamps aka SNAP still buys and therefore subsidizes soft drinks.     

I applaud Michele Obama for choosing nutrition as her 'cause'.  But honestly 'The Plate' doesn't go far enough.  How can our government promote health and nutrition when we are not even entitled to know if the products we are being sold contain GMOs or the hamburger at the grocery store contains 'finely textured beef product' aka 'Pink Slime' or the produce we are eating is laden with toxic pesticides.  


How about that ingredient azodicarbonamide? Primarily used in the manufacturing of 'foamed plastics' and apparently in the manufacturing of most of our commercially produced bread.   Yes, BREAD!    This chemical is banned in the UK, most European countries & Australia. In Singapore not only is it banned but its use carries a penalty of 15 years in prison and a $450,000. fine.   

Last time I checked, bread is made from flour, water or milk, salt and yeast with maybe a little olive oil tossed in as a dough conditioner. (Lethicin would be cool if it weren't made from GMO soy)  Never have I reached into the cabinet for a bottle of azodicarbonamide.  The typical bun at a fast food chain has more than 20 chemical additives in addition to the main ingredients.  Is this really what we want to be eating and feeding our children as a 'treat'? 

There are those who will say, "We can't afford to eat healthy." "We can't afford to eat organic."   For some this may be very true but in America being poor seems to equate with being over weight and unhealthy - not stick skinny and dying of starvation.  There are many neighborhoods that don't have a grocery store but do have 20 Fast Food places, but these neighborhoods are not the norm for mainstream America.  


How much does a Lunchable cost?  I think about $3.00 maybe on sale $2.00.    

How much for a 2 liter bottle of soda?  About .88 each if you buy 4.  

If you can afford a 2 liter bottle of soda, you can afford an avocado. 

If you can afford a lunchable, you can afford 2 or 3 avocados. 

If you can afford a bag of potato chips you can afford a bunch of bananas or a bag of apples.  


I challenge you to one month - just one month to make every calorie count for you and your family.   

Read labels, make every calorie nutrient dense.  Cut the additives and preservatives, sodium and sugar.  Stay out of the freezer aisle, ignore the canned and boxed goods and buy fresh or frozen produce.  

I am passionate about this!  

You see, I have reason to be.  My 34 year old niece Katherine - mother of a 4 year old and a 1 year old - has been diagnosed with terminal colon cancer.  It has metastasized and although chemo might prolong her life, it isn't going to save Katherine.  She has opted for quality of life rather than quantity.  

Why does an otherwise thin, active and healthy woman develop colon cancer?   Could it be our food supply?  I think so.  

If I had known then what I know now, I would have fed my children a very different diet.  Fast food would not have been considered a 'treat' but an absolute punishment. 

The 'Plate' is great but there is a reason that the Obama family and the Bush family before them eat an organic diet.  Too bad that the rest of us are not afforded the same consideration or at the very least protection from the same chemicals that are banned in other countries.   

Mar. 1, 2013 5:54 pm
Great blog Baking Nana! I feel the same as you. It's just so sad that corporate profits are more important than telling us GMOs are in our food. With all the health issues in our country, I think anyone who doesn't see a connection to our food is blinded. So many other countries label their food and ban the garbage from their food supplies, it is a darn shame our country can't do the same.
Mar. 1, 2013 5:55 pm
Well done, Baking Nana! In state after state it is now illegal to blow the whistle on big food. In our not too distant history, people believed monopolies were bad. They're BA-A-A-C-K! And oh yes, there's a new chemical in beef: Zilmax. Have you thought beef wasn't as tasty as it used to be? There is nothing wrong with your taste buds. Google it.
Mar. 1, 2013 6:01 pm
Nice blog, BN. BPA used in cans is another concern. I am glad you mentioned junk food left on the shelf frees up money for fresh fruits and veggies. I often am frustrated by people saying they can't afford healthy food yet cookies, chips and soda are filling their pantries.
Mar. 1, 2013 6:09 pm
~lissa~ I know that you are very aware of food safety - good for you. You are bringing your baby girl into a world where she will hopefully grow up with the knowledge that you have and not adopt the "real food is fast food" concept. What a sad state of affairs our food supply is in.
Mar. 1, 2013 6:09 pm
Baking Nana, first I want to say: thoughts and prayers going out for your niece and family. May you all have the strength to handle what the future holds. I have been trying to eat healthier for some time now, and agree with you and the other posters here. Everyone needs to know what exactly is in the food we are eating !!
Mar. 1, 2013 6:10 pm
Bibi - I have been reading more and more about Zilmax. Scary stuff. Sigh....what next?
Mar. 1, 2013 6:11 pm
Great blog as usual. I have been purchasing meat directly from the locker.
Mar. 1, 2013 6:13 pm
Great blog, BN. We are trying SO HARD to change our eating habits to not all, but much more of the Mediterranean diet.... and we don't eat much beef any longer at all. I usually buy a pack of ground beef at Costco 2 or 3 times a year. We seal it into smaller sizes and I use for spag sauce, and a meatloaf a couple times a year. It is the processed stuff that will do us in, I truly believe. I have 2 kids,,,both married and all 4 of them are vegan. I don't know if I could give up ALL meat and all dairy (losing dairy would be hard for me),but the fruits and veggies are easy. Even easier in the summer. Also, I haven't had a cookie/ bar/ cake since Jan. 13... sugar, too, seems to be in EVERYTHING. Again, great topic!! Keep on keeping after us.....
Mar. 1, 2013 6:21 pm
I am so sorry about your niece and her family. Prayers and comfort and strength for you all are being sent to God.
Mar. 1, 2013 6:22 pm
...for comfort and strength. Can't type tonight. :|
Mar. 1, 2013 6:24 pm
Great blog Baking Nana. I too hate all of the chemicals/pesticides that we have to put up with in our food. I have totally banned corn from our house. I swear that stuff will kill you. I don't understand why companies will not just add a note to their labels that state it is made with no GMO's surely they would make a bucketful of money from people just like us who do not want that garbage in their food. They have no problem saying "low fat" Just say "no GMO"s. People would still have a choice. As you are aware it is pretty much one company "Monsanto" that is polluting the world with GMO's. Fiery subject. Keep your thoughts coming.
Mar. 1, 2013 6:25 pm
I learned a lot from you tonight Baking Nana. Thank you for that. I live on an island in the Caribbean where good, healthy food is pretty much non existent. (All shipped in and mostly bad by the time it gets there). But I have been up in Maine with my Dad for about 8 months helping out and have since been cooking from scratch 7 nights a week. I dread going back down there and not having the wonderful healthy options I have here. The only thing I want to say is that as a country we need to stop blaming government for everything. The fact is eating healthy and at home is usually cheaper. I can make a wonderful loaf of bread for about 50 cents. You know this as well as I do. I can make a smoothie in less time than it takes to toast a pop tart. Two eggs for breakfast are considerably cheaper than a bowl of sugar cereal. The problem isn't "them" (whoever that is), it's US! We need to start looking at ourselves and stop blaming Bush, Obama, etc. Fact is, I think most people know better, just as much as they know exercise is good for them and don't do it as much as they should. (Myself included!) We need to be responsible for our choices because until we do, nothing will change. I refuse to be a victim!!! Thank you for your wonderful post. -Lara
Mar. 1, 2013 6:32 pm
Zilmax sounds like a steriod for beef production...BUT not inteneded to be used in cattle breeding! Now what is wrong with this picture!
Mar. 1, 2013 6:57 pm
Baking Nana, I cannot express how sorry I am for your niece, her family and you. ... Your warning about additives and preservatives is historically correct. It seems, that even with the most careful of scientific studies, the long term use of additives and preservatives too often results in allergies, intestinal problems or horrifying problems. Science is just fact based faith of mankind- not a divine axiom. At some point, manufacturers must stop their ignorant applications of science and return to real food processing.
Mar. 1, 2013 7:16 pm
BTW! In our house our consumption of "manufactured food" is as close to zero as we can get it. For a while, our kids were not careful about it but they are far more alert, now.
Mar. 1, 2013 7:45 pm
Very well stated, Ba'Nana! I agree with all you've written. I do mostly use natural products, but now and then I do digress to the old patterns that I grew up following. But I figure that once in a while that's OK---it's just the continual use that is the killer. Our bodies tell us what they need! We will just have to keep on fighting the fight for healthy foods! We have a lot to do!
Mar. 1, 2013 7:46 pm
Hello Baking Nana . . . I’m with you on a nutritarian diet likely being the healthiest way of eating presently known . . . obviously, by looking at our obese and drug addicted population, not many are following it. We should and do more to promote healthy eating but without it becoming another avenue to have the police gods dictating what we buy and feed our families. It concerns me to see the major ag businesses in this Country jumping on the Let’s Move! Initiative. Mixing politics and food may be one more avenue for ‘pay to play’ politics for the big boys, a way to crowd out smaller farmers and market participants, and adversely influence gov’t. regulatory oversight (USDA) when cozy with the White House and other politicians if needing a 'favor'. It would be interesting to follow the money trail of this initiative but there will never be that kind of transparency with the American people. I was surprised at the harsh comments from some folks the other day concerning the Buzz post on what liberal journalists call Indiana’s Ag-gag bill. There are over 2.1 million family farms in the U.S., and 1.9 million are classified as small family farms. Rather than paint the entire farming industry as corporate giants who are out to harm the American people, these small farms are owned and operated by some of America’s hardest working families and most live on their farms in homes. Their home is just as sacrosanct as any other person’s home. The idea that anyone, at anytime time of the day, can come unannounced and trespass on private property to sneak around and take photos seems highly un-American to me. I think about petey, and who is the voice to protect these small farmers and ranchers when some people tar every ag business with the same brush? Here is the post . . . . . . here is Indiana S.B.373 . . .
Mar. 1, 2013 8:14 pm
You are singing my song! I was lucky when I was raising my family.I couldn't afford to feed them fast food, chips, soda, etc. so they don't have too many bad habits to break. We need to support our local farmers, who for the most part are growing organic, heirloom type produce and Farmer's Markets certified organic. It doesn't cost that much more than the GMOs and if you consider long term health costs, considerably less. I am proud to say I can shop the perimeter of any grocery store and never venture into the aisles for anything but pet food and paper goods. And I read the labels on the pet food as carefully as I would baby food.....The day some genius decided to treat agriculture as manufacturing was the day the consumer got lost in the equation. Do you think you are getting a great deal on those huge BLSL chicken breasts? Think again, they are from hormone laden freak birds that are too top heavy to walk. And now milk producers are discussing adding artificial sweeteners to low fat milk products and yogurts - without adding them to the labels! It is vicious - the major name brand products are so laden with sweeteners, salt and fat they may as well be selling dope, because they are all addictive. We need to smarten up as consumers. We make the choices that keep these practices profitable.
Mar. 1, 2013 8:18 pm
Great blog Penny!
Mar. 1, 2013 8:28 pm
Thanks ConkyJoe. You make some good points there.
Mar. 1, 2013 8:59 pm
Well - you guys are ahead of me....I had to stop and make dinner. :) Marie C. Thank you for your comments, the fact that many people see soda, chips and other 'junk' as food and then say they can't afford to eat healthy amazes me. Why are these products even called food?
Mar. 1, 2013 9:01 pm
To all of you - thank you for your prayers for Katherine. It is going to be a long hard journey for her and her family. I don't know what to say other than, this should not be happening! Unfortunately, it is happening all to often. :(
Mar. 1, 2013 9:04 pm
Misty - keep on the real food journey - change is not always easy but knowledge is power and we need to know what is in our food.
Mar. 1, 2013 9:11 pm
Thanks for stopping in Magnolia Blossom. I too have been buying my meat locally and just recently bought a locally raised - organic pig and had it processed, wrapped and frozen by a reputable local butcher. I am not ready to become a vegetarian but I am willing to go the distance to make sure the meat we eat is humanely raised and processed. Not everyone has this option but we should have the option to make an educated choice.
Mar. 1, 2013 9:18 pm
I agree with a lot of what ConkyJoe is saying. Although BN, you have to remember you are apart of the AABA group and we are not supposed to make negative comments regarding the programs Allrecipes sponsors. Have you looked at the recipes on MyPlate? They are actually very healthy. I grew up poor and in a family of 10 children. I can tell you that on those days when there was no food, I would have happily eaten a box or can of this or that. My dad worked hard, but supporting 10 children on any income is not easy. It's simple for those of us with a lot of income to make such discretion when we eat, but not others. There is a man that posts often on the buzz, that is trying to make it work on $16 dollars a month. He can only cook what he can and will eat what will make his and his wife's stomach not growl that evening. A loaf of bread with additives, might stretch further than an avacado. We should be knowledgable but mindful of others around us.
Mar. 1, 2013 9:19 pm
Thanks for stopping in chris k - this journey is a process, isn't it? I agree it is the ultra processed 'food like products' that will do us in. That and fast food - the fast food places still have cars lined up around the block - nobody can tell me that fast food is real food and I know it is really expensive to feed a family that way. I am not ever going to be Vegan or Vegetarian - I will continue to try to fill my family up with 'real' food.
Mar. 1, 2013 9:33 pm
We could not afford fast food either growing up. I don't think the alternative is always eat organic or eat fast food. All sorts of people eat fast food from all different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Mar. 1, 2013 9:38 pm
Thanks for stopping in Pelicangal. Labeling is such as easy answer - let us have a choice! I am sure that Big Ag is fearful that too many people may choose to not buy those products ... then what? It is far easier to keep us in the dark, searching for answers. They sure have put a lot of $$$ into our right to not know!
Mar. 1, 2013 9:47 pm
AZ93 - I am not blaming the government for forcing us to eat these 'food products' - I am blaming them for slowly but surely allowing Monsanto and DuPont to control our food supply - introducing GMO's without proper testing and without disclosure. I don't look to the government to 'solve' this problem but I do ask that they not BE the problem. Allowing a chemical, azodicarbonamide to be used in our food supply is irresponsible at best. One should not have to have a degree in chemistry to read a bread label. I am surprised that Island living doesn't afford you fresh fish and produce. I have a lot to learn.
Mar. 1, 2013 10:02 pm
Cliff G - there are a lot of scary things on the horizon - Zilmax just being one of them. Look up transglutaminase, aka “meat glue,” sadly this isn't just used on meat Even some meatless products contain transglutaminase. Oh and vegetarians are not exempt Tofu, yogurt, and cereals are all targets for 'meat glue'. Why can't food just be food?
Mar. 1, 2013 10:08 pm
Thanks for stopping in Mike and thank you for your kind words. It sickens me to know that we, our kids and grandkids are just part of a big science experiment. You have been as inspiration in getting back to REAL food, healthy choices and a balanced life. Thank you!
Mar. 1, 2013 10:17 pm
emeralds - Unfortunately it is much easier to pretend that our food supply is safe and wholesome - it is easier to pretend that the FDA and USDA our looking out for our health and best interest - that is the problem. We have handed over to these agencies what we should have been doing ourselves. I think we fell asleep at the wheel. Something is wrong when we no longer have the RIGHT to know what is in our food and leave it up to Big Ag to decide for us. Our food today is not what it was 25 or 30 years ago.
Mar. 1, 2013 10:25 pm
Thanks, Marianne. As I just said, the processed food of yesterday is not the same product as it is today. Slowly but surely it has changed and not for the better. I can't say I eat an entirely wholesome diet or live a pristine life but it really bothers me that we don't have labeling laws that allow us a choice.
Mar. 1, 2013 10:56 pm
Hi Conky Joe - do you really think that the Ag Gag bills are designed to protect the family farmer? I live about 10 miles from the Hallmark / Westland meat processing plant that was the subject of an under cover video showed horrible animal abuse - it was a short lived victory in that Big Ag set about to turn the tables to prevent this from ever happening again. Indeed the Hallmark Beef scandal was the first-time use of federal statutes in animal protection litigation resulting in a massive beef recall. (Such a shame that so many animals were sacrificed for nothing due to the greed of a few) Big Ag would like us to believe that these laws are protecting the little family farmer but I assure you it is designed to protect the big factory farms. Part of our problem is that after seeing the cattle grazing openly on the hillside our food supply goes underground, out of sight and reappears in neat tidy packages in the grocery store. There is a reason why Costco won't buy from Tyson - Tyson will not allow independent inspectors on their premises. Why? Do they have something to hide? So now an employee who is privy to abuse and other misdeeds can be prosecuted for reporting such acts? Again, look closely at who these new laws protect, it isn't the family farmer. It is very easy for a politician to make big promises of transparency regarding our food supply UNTIL they are elected and they find out who is really running the show. The only power we have is to speak with our $$$. As long as we stick our heads in the sand and pretend that everything is OK we will continue to be the next science experiment.
Mar. 1, 2013 11:04 pm
Thanks for stopping in BSM. Amazing that it is possible to shop the perimeter of the store and avoid most of the processed food and come out the other side with REAL food! I do support our local producers - not all are organic as they don't like the regulations attached but they have been farming our valley for decades - they eat the food they grow, the milk they produce and the cattle they raise. Good enough for me! BTW - those additives you speak of, they are like dope - the more you eat the more you want. I have read numerous studies on this. Hence the trend toward an obese yet malnourished population. Portion control is essential but doesn't do enough if the portions are not nourishing REAL food.
Mar. 1, 2013 11:34 pm
Mar. 1, 2013 11:36 pm
Blender Woman - When you say "AABA group" I assume you are referring to the Allrecipes Brand Ambassador program - which is clearly stated in my profile. If AllRecipes has a problem with my opinions I am sure they will let me know but I don't remember signing anything that said I wasn't entitled to my opinion when I was invited to join the program when it was initially formed. In fact, it is my understanding that we are to be all inclusive and considerate of others. I have not insulted the "My Plate" program or AllRecipes. I simply stated that I don't think the "My Plate" campaign goes far enough in terms of reversing the rising obesity rates and the overall decline of our health as a nation. Nothing is SIMPLE when it comes to feeding our families. The solution is multifaceted. We all come from different walks of life and we all are composites of the experiences we have had. It is my belief we should all have the RIGHT to know what is in our food. This is my calling, Sarah. It was my calling before I became an Ambassador, before Katherine developed colon cancer and I will continue to beat the drum.
Mar. 2, 2013 12:12 am
Thank you for that video LS. I know, you are beating the drum right along with me.
Mar. 2, 2013 12:14 am
Couldn't be in better company.
Mar. 2, 2013 12:32 am
Blender Woman, I would not have signed on to the Ambassador program if it meant my opinion was to be stifled. As unpaid representatives, we gain no profit by "towing the company line". This is a program that challenges our cooking, writing, photographic (artistic), and communication skills. Although it has only been a month for me it has been fun and interesting fitting the activities into my otherwise, humdrum retirement.
Mar. 2, 2013 1:55 am
Part of the reason I so rarely eat out is not knowing what is in my food.. I had thought that making food in my own home gave me control over what I put in my body.. but that isnt even the case anymore. We no longer know what we are ingesting and that scares me. I have a compromised digestive system from multiple surgeries over the years so things dont function like a normal person.I need to make informed choices and I dont have the information. Just imagine if the amount of sugar or salt or saturated fat wasnt "required" to be listed on a products.. people with diebetes or heart problems or hi BP would be flying blind nutritionally.. Not proviving information i s doing no one any favors.. except the ones providing the chemicals
Mar. 2, 2013 2:42 am
People used to say that I ate healthy because of eating so many fruits and vegetables. I thought, "Doesn't everybody?" I came across a statistic that said about 50+% of Americans eat a diet of processed foods, 40+% eat a mostly milk and dairy diet, while only 7% eat a mostly fruits and vegetables diet. This morning, a buzzer asked if a pregnant woman should have honey. I thought, "Does she not understand the dangers of (processed) corn syrup?" Why would anyone think that a processed food might be OK? I, too, wish I had encouraged better eating habits in my growing family! I'm thankful when the children send me new research info on the diet we should be consuming! Of course, I get a lot of emails from different people in the natural/health food realm. Those folks have comments that the government wishes we didn't know!
Mar. 2, 2013 3:35 am
Just musing here ... years ago, when my firstborn was transitioning to veggies, he wasn't too fond of corn, in the little jars. I asked the pediatrician about it and she said not to worry, that they fed corn to cattle "to fatten them up". Now, it's being recommended to have 6 to 8 servings of grain per day, with at least half of them whole grains. Now I know that doesn't mean 6 to 8 servings of corn, but that's a lot of starch (which no one seems to talk about anymore). Seriously? 6 to 8 servings? Most grain products have been vitamin enriched in some way, and they had to be, because people whose diets were high in processed foods were getting various illnesses due to vitamin deficiencies, vitamins we could get naturally occurring in fruit and veggies. But there is no combine for cucumbers, or broccoli, or carrots, so big food isn't so interested in those crops. The reason for half the servings of grain to be whole grain is to stabilize the blood sugar and to provide fiber. Well, folks, your blood sugar doesn't go haywire when you consume veggies, and they have lots of fiber. As a matter of fact, there are actually some negative value veggies that require more calories to digest than they provide. They provide naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and fiber, instead of calories! As a person with a weight problem, there is no way I can eat 6 to 8 servings of grain (whole or not) and have any hope of attaining or maintaining a normal weight. I have to wonder if big grain producers had anything to do with these recs.
Mar. 2, 2013 5:18 am
SueB not all honey is can buy natural honey. I get it all the time in our grocery store and I also get the honey still in the comb w/the frame attached.
Mar. 2, 2013 7:14 am
Hi BN, just wanted to clarify, I don't think YOU are blaming govt, I feel like as a society we do. We need to take control back and be advocates, educators and fight back with our purchases. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said and all you do on this site. Yeah, the VI is not known for their food or health overall. I have bought cans of food that were expired 2 years prior! Cost of paradise I guess. Lastly I am embarrassed I forgot to mention earlier that my heart goes out to you, your daughter and your family. I lost my grandmother, mother, step mother to cancer and my father is now fighting it. None of that can be as difficult as fighting for the life of your child. You sound like a very strong woman and I will bet Katherine is too. Prayers for all of you. -Lara
Mar. 2, 2013 7:23 am
Wonderful blog and important topic Baking Nana. Our son has been going through treatment for stage 3 colon cancer and after much reading we have learned that the American diet is fully linked to this dreaded disease. In fact, his nutritionist and dietician explained to us that colon cancer is the most diet related cancer they have proven so far. Sadly, our younger generation has been subject to a lifetime of products and a food supply that is so laden with chemicals, hormones and god knows what that we are only beginning to see the effects of this science in living experiment. Unlike a previous poster, I do lay much blame on our government. Because they are in the pocket of agra, chemical and actually any large and wealthy contributor, the average consumer has no or little choice (or knowledge) when they go to the store to buy healthy products for their families. I feel it is the duty of my government to protect us from unhealthy chemicals and unsafe or unsanitary food practices. If they don't.....who will?
Mar. 2, 2013 7:47 am
Excellent topic for discussion and I support you 100%. We rarely eat out, because I too, need to know what is in my food. Not just 'bread, eggs, milk', etc, but what is in the bread? Where did it come from? Local cows, local eggs, etc. I strive to keep my kitchen as 'fresh' and as clean as possible--to the point that it annoys my family. I am doing my best to protect them. While growing up, we were dirt poor, but we rarely ate out or consumed a of fast food. My parents stretched their small paychecks as far as they could in fruit, veggies, grains and beans/rice. I am eternally grateful to them for making a conscience choice to instill a need for cooking 'whole foods'. To this day, we don't have processed snacks in the house--my children consider fruits, veggies, yogurt, etc snacks and happily enjoy them. I also do not think that "The Plate" is doing enough to combat obesity in continuing to allow possible GMO products, pink slime and assorted chemicals. How, in good conscience can I support something when ALL the facts aren't laid out? I want all the unhealthy products gone from a 'healthy program', and I want full transparency from all manufacturers. I highly doubt it will happen though. Kudos to you, my friend!
Mar. 2, 2013 8:03 am
Mauigirl I can totally see what you are saying, especially your second to last sentence. But the flip side is from a previous post from one of Doc's blogs. Many, many people wrote in saying "I should be able to drink, smoke, be obese and anything else I want with no interference from government". So do we want government interference or no? The only way out I can see is to yes, definitely demand better of our government, but also to act responsibly by educating ourselves and others (like BN does here) and making statements to big business by making our consumer choices as intelligently as we can. This of course is just IMHO! :) I have learned a lot from this post and I thank you for that. I will spend some time thinking about the things you have both said. In the meantime my prayers to you and your family and my deepest wishes for recovery to your son.
Mar. 2, 2013 8:09 am
AZ93, agree. . . BUT, if the gov't is not allowing the products we consume to be labelled, whose side are they on? How can we make healthy choices if producers are not required to tell us what products are used in the manufacture of those goods?? Did you know you cannot, by law, have your own food tested for GMO's ?? How did that happen??
Mar. 2, 2013 8:30 am
Awesome blog BNana and I find it very appropriate with the coming MyPlate project. Growing up, we didn't have very much money as well, but we didn't eat much in the way of processed foods, as it was mostly expensive then, not so much now. We grew up eating "meat & potaotes" with lots of rice and fresh vegies grown in our "victory garden" in the summer. This I am thankful for now, though back then, I would try to eat over at my friend's house since they shopped packaged foods for convenience, not realizing it wasn't healthy then. And that's the point about processed packaged foods now days isn't it? Convenience and how quickly it can be prepared? Compared to then, convenience foods ARE cheaper and faster to prepare, which with busier schedules for working parents, seems like a blessing. But is it really when cheap fillers/chemicals are replacing more and more of the "real food" that's out there? I mean seriously, I wonder when I read labels and see "and now with more real ________" Um, what was it before and it wasn't REAL?! The big Ag companies, I feel, prey on lower income families and hook them with their foods with all kinds of coupons, the constant push of "convenience and time saving" marketing ploys and big money for lobbying/politics. Seriously, who else could persuade politicians to say that "pizza" is a vegetable appropriate for school lunches during that reform last spring? And sadly they're in every aspect of the food industry with so many subsidiaries and they also own companies who do "independent nutritional/scientific studies" and they always come out the good guy. As consumers, we are given CHOICES and we need to start using our pocketbooks to make our choices clear. Just because those convenience foods are there and they're cheap, doesn't mean we should eat them especially if the companies making them will not tell us whats inside. As a business owner who, by the FDA, is required to label products with full ingredients, I find the lack of legislation to require the same of the food industry a bit disgusting. My products are used topically yet, I am required to detail all ingredients. Those food Ag giants are making products that are to be INGESTED and yet, they are not required to label GMO ingredients? How is that even fair? The MyPlate project is a good start, but so much reform is necessary within the industry to stop this processed food onslaught, because honestly, its not healthy and its deceitful. And I take offense in the opinion scolding, BW.. we are all entitled to have one, regardless of our VOLUNTEER involvement with AR's Ambassadors program. I've expressed my displeasure with some of the sponsors and their processed products on the behest of AR because our opinions are asked for, no matter how positive or negative.. and to scold someone for expressing theirs in the same breathe as you express YOURS is hypocritical, callous and not the first time you've done this to BNana or others as I understand. Her blog comes from a place of personal family experience, and if you can't or won't acknowledge her concern for her family's health and battle with cancer, then leave it be and stop reading her blogs. I know many of us grew up with moms who have said "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all". It appears this old addage applies here.
Mar. 2, 2013 9:02 am
If the government cannot regulate chemicals or true labeling in this country, how can the average consumer make an educated choice? Let us have that info and make our choices. As far as obesity (BTW I resemble that remark) we as a nation have decided to ignore the wisdom of healthy diet and a more active lifestyle and I guess we suffer those consequences. My husband has been a long time teacher and he has seen the first hand the results of no physical education, poor diets and the wide spread (no pun intended) addiction to sedentary activities like puters and video games and just plain get off one's arse and do some hard work. Add in the fact that most kids don't learn good eating/cooking habits at home and home economics classes are no more, due to the lack of available funds. Sad that kids are still drilled to pass a standardized test that over 90% of adults cannot pass, yet they have no tools to help them start and manage the life skills that successful living demands.
Mar. 2, 2013 9:10 am
You are right LadySparkle. I am learning a lot from this post. I don't eat meat so never knew about the pink slime thing until today. As a microbiologist who has done GMO work (just research for my undergrad, nothing for human purposes), that doesn't concern me as much as it does others. But I agree that we have the right to at least know what is in the products we buy. And if they won't tell us what IS in it, can't businesses at least tell us what isn't? (I.e. GMO free). BN was right saying its not too much to ask for the government not to BE the problem. I always thought it was just a matter of choice. But if there is no information, how can we properly make those choices. You guys have really opened my eyes today. And I thank you all for that.
Mar. 2, 2013 9:22 am
Some GMO's are "Round Up Ready". This means Round Up can be used without killing the plant. Do you think this eliminates the chemical from the produce we eat?? NO! We ingest a healthy dose of Round Up with our GMO food. Safe? I'd rather not be the lab rat, personally. . .
Mar. 2, 2013 9:31 am
I agree with all you are saying about the food issues...however, how can you expect a government such as we have to legislate against the big businesses? Government is more the problem than the food industry, because they cater to the businesses in order to gain funding for their election campaigns. It’s a case of you do for me and I’ll do for you. The only transparency I see is their lack of concern for the regular folks. And all this talk about how Michelle Obama is so interested in nutrition and health is a many photos have been published, or articles written, that speak to the preferences for and the consumption of fast food of our first family! Like most political figures, their mantra is "Do as I say, not as I do". And, my goodness, I detect a little animosity toward our government…just a few short months ago; I remember hearing such glowing comments about the administration! We are all responsible for the choices we make in life, whether in food or lifestyle or anything else. I don’t want the government, or any other entity, to “look out” for my welfare. And I find it a little disturbing to hear some of you ladies reprimanding Blender Woman for stating her opinion. What happened to the “all inclusive” attitude? Guess it just makes a difference WHO is stating their opinion whether it’s acceptable or not. You must remember, I was in the Ambassador group too, until I stated my opinion on a subject that was contrary to yours…and it was NOT even on the AR site! But all of a sudden the “all inclusive” turned to exclusive! I was ostracized, removed from the group and made to be the trouble-maker. If that’s how you want to see it, by all means, do so. I am fine with the way things turned out, I have a life that is full and good. It’s a shame that in a group of adults, not everyone has the same rights to voice their opinion and are hassled for expressing how they feel about any given subject. For anyone who is naïve enough to believe that they or their opinions are truly appreciated, just watch what you say or do that is opposite of others, for you too may be on the outside!! Acceptance should be unconditional, but alas it doesn’t seem to be that way in certain circles.
Mar. 2, 2013 9:58 am
Two years ago, I was teaching job/life skills to folks in my state who were on government assistance. I have never thought of myself as a naive person but I will honestly say I was SHOCKED by the things they told me they could and would do with their state assistance. And most of it was not very nice! For the most part, their eating habits were deplorable. They would bring to class bags of chips, sodas, ding dongs, etc and all of this was bought with food stamps. I kept asking.. folks.. where are the apples? Do you not realize fresh produce, on the whole, is cheaper and also so much better for you then what you are eating? Overwhelmingly, the response I received was this was the lifestyle they knew. Many of them came from generations of families who also were on public assitance and this was how they ate. I was heartbroken. To help, I brought in grocery store ads and gave them a 'budget', then challenged them to use the ads to meal plan for one week. The only catch? The meals HAD to be healthy. To give them an idea of the kind of they were putting in their bodies, I had them watch 'Supersize Me' about McDonalds. Many of them told me later they could not eat at McDonalds again. I personally have not eaten there in years. The food may taste OK on the tongue, but 15 minutes later 'McTummy' kicks in. Its always better to eat fresh then processed. Its one of the reasons I love to cook.. I would rather take the time to make my own spaghetti sauce and know its fresh then to heat up Spaghettios. I love to cook but do I occasionally use the boxed good or the munch on a bag of chips? Of course I do! I think balance is the key and also trying to tip the scales more towards the fresh eating versus the constant processed. Aspartame is my big drum beater.. that and high fructose corn syrup. We are vigilant about both and try to keep them entirely out of our diets. I also am a huge fan of whole food supplements and have found black cumin to almost be a miracle supplement.
Mar. 2, 2013 9:59 am
This was a fabulous blog!!!!!
Mar. 2, 2013 10:16 am
Very well stated. Exemplary article. I live in the Mediterranean, and thus,I never eat canned, over salted or over sugared snack krap or junk food and have never eaten in a fast food chain ... We are Olive Oil producing and thus, this is our lard; 1 TBLSP. PER PERSON TO SAUTÉ ... We have fresh fish from the fishermen which have kept the fish or shellfish on ice; and freshly and fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits; as we have an array of climates, from the cold Pyrenee Mountains to the Canary Islands, sub tropics ... We are slim, healthy and feel great ! There is an idiom or saying; YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT ... AND I BELIEVE IT ... THANKS FOR THE VERY WELL WRITTEN ARTICLE ,,, Have a lovely wkend; Margaux Cintrano.
Mar. 2, 2013 10:17 am
This guy should burn at the stake for being a turncoat, flat earther . . . one of the pioneers in starting the anti-GM movement explains his change of heart . . . //// . . . “Most importantly, Lynas said, genetic engineering is a key tool that can help farmers feed the 10 billion people who will be living on Earth in the not-too-distant future without having to convert all the world’s rain forests into farmland. Between 1961 and 2010, he said, technologies that improved crop yields spared the need to plow an area twice the size of South America. /// “There would have been no Amazon rain forest left today without this improvement in yields,” he told his Oxford audience. “Nor would there be any tigers in India or orangutans in Indonesia. That is why I don’t know why so many of those opposing the use of technology in agriculture call themselves environmentalists.” And just for good measure, Lynas pointed out that 3 trillion meals containing genetically modified ingredients have been eaten over the last 15 years without “a single substantiated case of harm,” while dozens of people have died after eating organic crops contaminated with E. coli. . . . But as is often the case in debates like these, many skeptics accused Lynas of being in Monsanto's pocket. Here's a post from Nat addressed to Lynas and the people who stuck up for him on the Web page: “You are morons and shills and should be shot on contact. If you want to kill yourselves slowly, quickly, or however you wish, go for it, but you have NO RIGHT to do it to unknowing masses with your poisonous, genetically mutated monocultures that have NEVER been proven safe anywhere and have only every been tested by the chemical companies who make money selling seeds and pesticides. … May you eat what you reap.” . . . Yep MariaTS, people like Lynas are dangerous to democracy and emotional liberals should kill anyone who does not fully support and agree with their position. What happened to the days when people could express different points of view without others attacking a person such as BW, and trying to stifle her views? Baking Nana did not clearly state she wanted only views of cheerleaders echoing her cause . . . and if that is what she wants, then it should be broadcasted in BOLD LETTERS so everyone knows this is a blog for only those who fully agree with every point made by the author.
Mar. 2, 2013 10:28 am
lol, all that about how the GMO foods being harmless is just political rhetoric. Since when has any government honestly cared about the 'little people"? And big business is in the pocket of the politicians and vice versa. That said, I've got to mention also that while organically grown foods are healthier, although there have been a lot of cases of e coli, the fertilizers used on those farms is from the fecal waste of horses, cattle and chickens...yuck! So we are what we eat? Not sure if I'd rather have the organic or the GMO...but no, I'll stick with the fertilizer!
Mar. 2, 2013 11:03 am
OK - you guys have gotten ahead of me again. I will go back and read each comment in just a moment. Conky Joe - I appreciate the information but please paraphrase and then post a link to the article. It is much easier to read that way. Thanks!
Mar. 2, 2013 11:10 am
LindaT - I understand how eating out is like rolling the dice but it seems that eating in can be just as dicey if we are not given the proper information. As you point out there is already labeling in place - how hard would be to include "Contains GMO corn / soy...." As for the additives and preservatives, do you remember when bread used to get moldy? Not any more and that is NOT a good thing.
Mar. 2, 2013 11:10 am
It's beyond time for us to take back our food supply and the only way to do it is to stop buying the garbage that passes as food. That includes fast food as well as processed . It takes no longer to fix food from scratch and whatever extra money it costs to buy organic (currently the only way to avoid GMO foods) is well worth your and your family's health. You would not put watered-down mystery fuel in your car, would you? Isn't your body at least as important as your car? And what of your kids and grandkids? I won't even feed my pets conventional food and treats. They've been on a grain-free diet for years and all their health problems disappeared immediately. There is no other way to say it--it's up to each of us to buy the right stuff. Shop the farmer's markets, swap with your neighbors if you have a small garden, use your coupons, shop the sales and eat seasonal produce. Above all, google the "dirty dozen produce" and never buy anything but organic from that list. Nearly all corn and soy in this country is GMO--buy organic. Cut back somewhere else, but not on the very stuff of life itself. What you ingest now can help or hurt you years down the road. Make your choices the best they can be. Thank you for this wonderful blog, Baking Nana. I so agree with you!
Mar. 2, 2013 11:14 am
It can be so hard. Where I live, organic food is available but not only is it incredibly more expensive, I'm also reading some of it is no more healthier then non-organic! However, that said, one bonus of living in the country is we do have local farmers who you can buy beef, pork and veggies from. We can't afford to have a full pig like Penny (that is my dream!) but there are some folks who co-op and are willing to share. We also don't have the freezer space so you have to take that cost into consideration, too. I can't wait for the farmers markets to reopen. That, and we grow our own garden which really helps with our veggie intake.
Mar. 2, 2013 11:30 am
Good morning sueb. It is good to hear that your adult kids 'get it'. Honestly though, why should it be so hard to eat healthy? Of course, healthy is a relative term, isn't it?
Mar. 2, 2013 11:38 am
Hi Bibi - it is interesting to see how heavy the 'grains' are. Our bread is fortified with vitamins and minerals that could other wise be attained through eating fruit and vegetables. I still maintain that Big Ag isn't feeding the hungry world through GMO Round Up Ready corn. Despite the PR, Monsanto's goal is not to make hunger history. It's to control the staple crops that feed the world. Will GMOs help end world hunger? I don't think so.
Mar. 2, 2013 11:57 am
AZ93 - Thank you for your kind words. I hope your father beats this dreaded disease. If we stick our heads in the sand and not question and demand a quality food supply we will pay the ultimate price.
Mar. 2, 2013 11:59 am
Mrs Wolfie, I agree that finding organic or more local food sources can be expensive and sometimes impossible. I have been a working schlep all of my life and I did not start paying attention much to the "organic craze" until I had a calcified lump taken out of my breast about ten years ago. The doctor told me at that time to avoid hormones, hormone laced foods or hormone inducing foods.(Like most breast diseases, mine is not hereditary.) When I complained about the cost of that kind of diet, they advised me to make one organic hormone free dietary change for life. I chose dairy because I love milk and all those products from old Bessie :) I also cut down my soy product intake and I still miss edamame as a regular snack. Now that our son is ill, he has been advised by the drs. at Cedars Sinai to not only use organic dairy but to limit red meat to a total of 12 oz per week. That is not very much pork and or beef BTW. They also told him to NOT eat any products with nitrites. These products are very well linked to his disease. His nutritionist did advise him to wash the heck out of his vegis and fruit and many of the fruits and vegis are not key to being organic in is diet. Just wash em' good. It is small steps that we take toward awareness and habit that will serve us better in the long run. The cost of not being more aware of our diet has been literally closing in close to a million dollars in medical care and has taken a giant chunk out of all of our family member's savings for housing during this awful ordeal. I have to admit to being penny wise and pound foolish on this one.....the most important one.....our health.
Mar. 2, 2013 11:59 am
It saddens me when I hear someone say they cannot afford to eat healthy! Yes it may cost more, and then I look back at the last 4 - 5 year of my health care cost for just myself and say wow! Today is day #27 living gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, artificial sugar, corn, and peanut free. I cut eggs out the first three weeks. I added healthy eggs back on week 4. I have now been able to stop all medications related to my gastric issues. I have cut my migraine medication by 1/3. I have stopped my sleeping medication and am sleeping nearly 7 hours a night which has not happened in over 20 years, I not longer take any medication for my muscle spasms. I am not longer exhausted in the afternoon when I get off work. I have about as much energy as when I went to work. GMO food is addictive and harmful to our bodies. I never realized the scope of what the food industry does to corn soy! These two products are so pervasive in our food system, as is sugars and fats. Take the time and if you can start making baby steps... start with all corn products. or all soy products... the two worst GMOs!!! Thanks for the great blog!
Mar. 2, 2013 12:07 pm
Mauigirl - You and I are on the same page. It seems like the more I learn the more I realize that I don't know enough. I feel duped! Our children and grandchildren are paying the price. There is big money involved in this 'experiment'. If we don't speak with our $$$, educate our children and grandchildren and demand transparency of our food supply we are doomed. Ignorance is not bliss.
Mar. 2, 2013 12:12 pm
I also realize that many can't/won't take the time to cook a scratch meal, but I have always done that even when working full time and going to school. That is what my mother did in fact as most of that generation did. People use the same excuse that I use when I don't get off my lazy arse and go workout. I know I am an expert at making excuses for what I don't choose to do :)
Mar. 2, 2013 12:14 pm
Arizona Dessert Flower - Like you I am eternally grateful that I did learn to grow and make real food as a child. Processed food wasn't as prevalent then as it is now. The freezer case at the market contained juice and frozen vegetables. My how things have changed. It is time to reverse the trend. I see it happening. Big Ag is playing 'Whack a Mole' putting out fires demanding labeling. They won in CA but other states are on board and eventually our message will be heard.
Mar. 2, 2013 12:19 pm
AZ93 - The government has already interfered. They are allowing Big Ag to call the shots in terms of food policy in this country. Did you know there is a bill coming up that will make it illegal for states to require GMO labeling? Big Ag is tired of playing 'Whack a Mole' State by State so instead they want a National Policy to forbid labeling laws. If GMOs are so safe, why not label them and give us a choice?
Mar. 2, 2013 12:25 pm
My dear Maria the Soaper, you always seem to be the negative nelly, as it were. Anytime someone expresses a difference of opinion, the negativity comes out and you mark your target. I have seen your comments on other posts and you always seem to enjoy stirring things up. Do you enjoy harassing people for no reason? There never seems to be a clear cut message on your part, just simple nastiness. You stated you are a business owner, I certainly would hope that you don’t treat your clients in this manner if they had a complaint about a product or service you provided. You know, women can be so catty and territorial, unlike men. We settle our differences calmly and rationally, without the emotional tirades. Play nice, honey.
Mar. 2, 2013 12:31 pm
Much like our dysfunctional food safety system in the U.S., cancer treatment is much the same and for the same reason-it is all about $$$. Have you and/or your niece heard of Dr Bryzinski in Houston? I urge you to investigate and find out if his anti neoplastins could help your niece. GMOs, growth hormones, steroids, anti-biotics, meat glue - look what this stuff has done to our food just since the 1990s. All of us need to periodically contact our government representatives and demand safe food whether it is via mandatory labeling, testing, and/or inspection.
Mar. 2, 2013 12:35 pm
Hi again, Lady Sparkle - great point you made! If GMO foods can't be independently tested, legally - then no wonder there is no scientific proof that they are not safe. The french study that came out last year was the closest we have come.
Mar. 2, 2013 12:36 pm
Baking Nana, let me offer my best wishes for Katherine and her family...cancer is horrible and although you said her prognosis is bleak, miracles can happen...the good Lord can make it go away, so that is what we can all pray for! Regarding the issues of economically-disadvantaged people being overweight, I find that to be demeaning and unfair. Many people who are overweight follow good eating habits, but for whatever reason, they may have a medical condition or a medicine-related reason for their weight. Many medicines (one is prednisone) have side effects that cause one to put on weight, but is necessary to treat some other issue. We are fortunate in this country to have choices, even though we may not always make smart ones. Again, economics play a big part in those choices. Yes, I agree, some people opt to purchase junk food items rather than healthy foods; but I personally know of a person who buys chips, pretzels, etc., based on their ideas that while it's not necessarily healthy, they can have many servings from those items, whereas an avocado would be one to him it makes sense (not to me or most people though). Also, there are those who don't even have the budget or option to shop for groceries, healthy or otherwise. Some are known to 'dumpster dive' for any scrap of food they can find just to have something to eat...others have resorted to eating rodents, felines or dogs, even weeds (maybe healthy??)...this sounds extreme, but it is a fact. Many elderly persons live on limited incomes, often having to make a choice between shelter/medicine costs and food. I'm sure you've heard the stories about people who buy canned dog food and eat it...that's oft been the subject of jokes, but it's a serious matter. When animal food is more economically priced than people food, they do what they have to do to survive. to be continued, I think it was too long for one bad :(
Mar. 2, 2013 12:47 pm
MariaTheSoaper - Excellent point about labeling your products verses having truth in labeling for food products. Right now both Wild Caught and Farm raised fish is labeled. The new GMO Salmon that is waiting final approval by the FDA is claiming that is don't need to be labeled GMO, merely Farm raised as there is on inherent difference. Sorry, but I want to have a choice. We are all entitled to an opinion - especially on my blogs as long as it is about the blog subject itself. I think Blender Woman thought this blog was about the Ambassador program, which it is not.
Mar. 2, 2013 12:53 pm
Mauigirl - you bring up a good point, these life skills are not often taught at home and they are not taught is school. Interesting story - my grandkids come over after school, there is always fruit and tons of tomatoes, cheese for their snack. They brought a 16 year old boy over yesterday - I offered him oranges, bananas, grapes and pears and he said, "Don't you have any REAL food?" My grandkids cracked up!
Mar. 2, 2013 12:57 pm
Welcome back again, AZ93 - in doing research for this and other blogs on the subject I came across an article about the Monsanto facility in the UK - their cafeteria is GMO FREE.
Mar. 2, 2013 12:59 pm
Mauigirl, you are right and I'm certainly not making excuses. I have read some organic products are not as good or as necessary (like a potato) so doing your homework and knowing where to put your dollar towards is really important. I try to making nothing but homemade meals and keep healthier snacks (fruit and celery) on hand for the kids. I guess you could say we're doing baby steps? I agree with you, Penny.. there should be truth in advertising and things should be labeled. I'm not about to go dairy and meat free so I would at least like to have some say in which products I pick up. Food IS expensive but as you said, Mauigirl, so is the cost of soothing your health. Now if only I could figure out how to make crackers from scratch that really tasted like crackers! LOL..
Mar. 2, 2013 1:00 pm
Hi Lady Sparkle - Round Up Ready crops and the over use of Round has already created Super Weeds - so now a better and stronger chemical is in development. I don't want to eat or drink Round (the run off goes into our water table) nor do I want a bigger and better weed killer. We are on a slippery slope.
Mar. 2, 2013 1:06 pm
Here is a sad story from the UK
Mar. 2, 2013 1:07 pm
continued from above- Farmers have been subsidized by gov't to NOT grow certain crops, or grow chemically-treated crops as an experiment. The farmers may not agree in theory, but what pays the bills is what they do. "To everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under the Heavens" (Ecclesiastes3:1). So regardless of the situation or the crop, God has ordained that each and every thing has a reason and a purpose. I find that when we don't understand something, we’re prone to speak against it or take measures to change it. This is what I'm reading in this blog. And why is everyone so against corn? It's a grain Indians grew and used, they seemed healthy enough. Let's face it, were it not for corn, oil companies wouldn't be making cleaner- burning gasoline, breweries/distilleries couldn't make the alcoholic drinks many imbibe. I don't know the ages of folks here, but will say that in days of yore, Enfamil and other commercial baby formulas weren’t available. Mothers made the formula for their babies. One of the ingredients was CORN SYRUP (KARO). So are you saying that people who are overweight should blame their mothers for the weight issues because they fed them CORN SYRUP? “To everything there is a season...” I find it ironic that you are bashing the agricultural business for causing all the ills suffered because of how they grow/process food. We most all have a choice in what we buy/eat; there is more than one brand/variety of most food items from which to choose. And let's not forget, even organically-grown foods are not pure! As some of you may be aware, our gov’t has planes that fly around and disperse chemicals in the skies purely for the sake of determining the effects of said chemicals on plants and people. The chemtrails you see in the sky are not all from the passenger jets! And what of other harmful substances in the air we breathe, or that fall on organic gardens? Not all of these harmful things are in food, we breathe it every day. And the chemical treatments used to ripen food picked before maturity and shipped all over the country? Washing with water does not remove all the residue. They have solutions that 'clean' fruits/vegetables of chemicals; but what is in those cleaning solutions?It's a vicious cycle, one chemical to make it last long enough to get to market/maintain freshness/nutrition, another to remove that chemical. How can anyone be certain their food is pure without some sort of adverse reaction? has many sponsors who pay for the advertising they receive here. It's a travesty to know that some of you belong to the site and sing its praises, while you are also condemning those same sponsors for their business practices. And what on earth is this about stating one’s opinion? Dear lady, you have stated your opinion and had many agree with you, then when someone expressed an opinion that did not agree with yours, you disparage them. Is freedom of speech or expression not permitted in your world? It is discouraging to read this, especially when you profess to be such a good and loving person. I wonder at the way people turn on others when the opinions do not match their own. I had a higher opinion of you, maybe I gave you too much credit. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. One last item: What IS this 'faceless frenzy' of which you speak? Is it open to all members, or is it an elite group? You seem to take such glee in wearing yourself out to get pictures posted and have the admiration of your peers. Someone needs a life! In my opinion, if you need a cause célèbre, you'd be better served to find another endeavor to make the world a better place. Find a cure for some horrific disease or save a child or from an abusive situation, that is when you deserve the admiration of the masses.
Mar. 2, 2013 1:24 pm
Very informative blog Baking Nana,we are also eating more healthy these days.We but locally as much as possible,and we have our own garden,and can hardly wait till spring to plant it.My prayers are with you and your niece and family,my sister died from breast cancer,so please take care of each other.
Mar. 2, 2013 1:25 pm
Waterless Cooker - In my opinion Big Ag is the Government and this is the problem. The fox is in the hen house. I don't know how you jumped from our food supply to defending Blender Woman and the Ambassador program. This blog has nothing to do with the Ambassador program. Blender Woman commented and I replied. It was Blender Woman who made this about the program and felt the need to somehow chastise me. As clearly stated in my profile, my opinions are my own. I was invited to join the Ambassador program in May 2011. I have been writing blogs such as this long before the inception of the program. If Allrecipes had objected to the content of my blogs I am sure they would not have contacted me to be a part of the initial program. BTW - I think you are confusing me with someone else. You state "You must remember, I was in the Ambassador group too, until I stated my opinion on a subject that was contrary to yours…and it was NOT even on the AR site!" I don't ever recall having any direct contact with you while you were in the program. None the less, this isn't about the program. Everyone has been allowed to voice their opinion, I don't delete comments. I think the problem comes when people think that everyone must agree with their opinion.
Mar. 2, 2013 1:36 pm
I have been looking at sunflower lecithin. Have you heard of that BN? Here is a link to the product website for you to check out:
Mar. 2, 2013 1:41 pm
BN (me again!), as a well published environmental microbiologist and chemist, I can actually say I'm a bit of an expert on what many people have talked about today. Yet I have learned a lot from all sides. My opinions, while not necessarily changed, have benefitted. And thanks to you and many others here, I am a better person for it. I thank you for starting this blog, and truly feel you have handled a passionate discussion with nothing but class, and grace. Company coming over, so signing out! --Lara
Mar. 2, 2013 1:45 pm
From the website: This sunflower lecithin is the perfect alternative to genetically modified and solvent extracted (via hexane) soybean lecithin. It is exclusively obtained via mechanical extraction by cold pressing sunflower seeds, without the use of any chemical solvents. This product is Non-GMO, all natural (raw), solvent-free (no hexane!), soy-free, gluten-free, unbleached and vegan. The most common applications are as dietary supplement “as is” (intake as directed by your physician or health care provider,) or in recipes for shakes, smoothies, sauces, dressings, or products requiring an emulsifier. It is also recommended as releaser (anti-stick agent) in combination with vegetable oil for baking and cooking.
Mar. 2, 2013 1:55 pm
Thanks for that information WFDM! Lady Sparkle will be thrilled as well.
Mar. 2, 2013 1:56 pm
DaveR - """""You know, women can be so catty and territorial, unlike men. We settle our differences calmly and rationally, without the emotional tirades. Play nice, honey.""""" Gotta say that this is offensive (and laughable) ESPECIALLY after your last entry and your final comments - I am pretty sure that was an emotional tirade. Unnecessary of you, HONEY.
Mar. 2, 2013 2:04 pm
Hi Mrs. Wolfie. - I too have worked with our local food bank. It is very sad to meet people who don't know how to go about cooking some of the real food (dried beans come to mind) yet have spent all their food dollars on processed, packaged frozen food. It does become a life style. Where do you learn these skills if not at home? There is so much we take for granted.
Mar. 2, 2013 2:09 pm
Margaux - Thanks for stopping in. Prior to the launch of the AllRecipes Italy site a group of us were asked to make and photograph recipes for the new site. The most refreshing thing was working with fresh ingredients. About the only thing that could be considered processed were canned tomatoes! Europe has managed to steadfastly resist GMO's - requiring labeling at a very minimum. I hope they stay the course and don't cave to the Big Ag push to control their food supply. We are indeed what we eat.
Mar. 2, 2013 2:10 pm
Hi Conky Joe. I have a link for you to read.
Mar. 2, 2013 2:19 pm
Conky Joe - I need to say, if someone wants to express their opinion here they are welcome to. But to chastise the writer (me) for having written this blog is rather cheeky. Not everyone who comments here has to agree with me - but they really should try to stay on the topic. This blog is really about labeling and giving people a choice. "The Plate" program, to bring awareness to good nutrition is great - it just doesn't go far enough when we don't have the right to know what is in our food.
Mar. 2, 2013 2:26 pm
Penny . . . “Interesting story - my grandkids come over after school, there is always fruit and TONS of tomatoes, CHEESE for their snack. (my upper casing)” / / / Cheese is an energy-dense, nutrient-poor food which is the opposite of nutrient dense which was one thing you’re promoting in this blog, I thought. One of the primary culprits is the amount of cheese in food at fast food restaurants . . . pizza, sandwiches, cheese burgers, etc. . . . . . . The formula for nutritional density is Health (H) = Nutrients/Calories (N/C). All calories come from only three elements: carbs, fats, and proteins. Nutrients are derived from noncaloric food factors - - including vitamins, minerals, fibers, and phytochemicals. By having a high proportion of nutrients to calories, you’re on your way to life-long weight control and improved health. Penny, you’re on the right track, and I hope you’ll do more reading and learning. Here are some links you find helpful. . . {the food scores on this chart may shock you but notice how plant based foods rank so much higher than the food we’ve come to luv when viewed from a nutrient dense framework}. . .
Mar. 2, 2013 2:28 pm
KATSINTHEKITCHEN - I remember you from my blog of Prop 37. Labeling laws are springing up all over the United States. Hopefully one day our voices will be heard at the National level. Until then we have to do our best to spread the word. Get people to research and read for themselves and decide to speak with their $$$.
Mar. 2, 2013 2:33 pm
Lady Pamela - Thanks for stopping in. I have a relative that has had migraines and other health issues for years and like you has been able to regain her health and vitality through diet. You must feel like you have a new lease on life! Congratulations. You are right - small steps in the right direction will make a difference.
Mar. 2, 2013 2:45 pm
Cathey - Thank you for posting. I know that Katherine and her family have explored numerous options in Houston, California and Germany - it is very expensive and out of the question financially. As someone said, "You think eating organic is expensive? Have you checked out the cost of cancer treatments?" You are right, the food I grew up with is not the food of today.
Mar. 2, 2013 2:51 pm
My thoughts and prayers go out to your niece and entire family, Baking Nana, for starters. And great blog. It is such a good topic. People really need to pay attention to what they put in their bodies and carefully read labels. You may not be able to avoid everything but armed with knowledge, you can eliminate a great portion of it. We may pay more for organic fruits and vegetables and definitley pay more for organic milk from pasture raised cows, but it is worth it to us. We feel better when we eat healthier, and we can spend a few bucks to get beans, grains, and veggies that will feed us for a week for far less than we would pay for fast food and sodas. We can even throw some uncured, nitrate/nitrite free sausage in the soup and still spend less! The next step needs to be the elimination of certain items from the food stamp program. There's absolutely no reason for someone to be purchasing sodas and other nutritionally empty foods when there are so many alternatives! As always, you give great food for thought.
Mar. 2, 2013 2:54 pm
Dave R - Thank you for your well wishes for Katherine. She is strong in her faith and it will serve her well. As for my comments about the 'economically-disadvantaged people being overweight' it wasn't meant to be demeaning it is a fact. Backed up by numerous studies that I can link you to. I, like you am ashamed that is this country that anyone could and do, go hungry. Hence, my involvement with the food bank. Some of the kids that come here after school eat their main meal of the day at school - they come here for a snack and often say that nobody at home cooks. Dinner is often a 21 piece box of McNuggets. We can each do just a little but if I can teach just a couple of people that real food is possible then I will have done a good thing.
Mar. 2, 2013 3:04 pm
Dave R - You need to get a blog! I wish AR had formatting - it is so hard for everyone to read peoples posts without it. To answer your question, "What IS this 'faceless frenzy' of which you speak?" It is nothing more than a bunch of foodies that like to prepare and photograph recipes that need a picture. Anyone can do this. The 'frenzy' that we did last weekend was just a fun game. It was open to anyone who wanted to join in. I posted it on the Buzz and people joined in. I am not quite sure why some people, including yourself, find it necessary to imply that there is some nefarious intent involved. AllRecipes has always been a fun place for foodies to hang out - this was no different.
Mar. 2, 2013 3:06 pm
manella - Thank you for stopping in and your prayers and good wishes. Wouldn't it be great if everyone could have a garden, even a small one.
Mar. 2, 2013 3:15 pm
AZ93 - Thank you Lara for stopping in again. I hope you will stop in again and share some of your insights and knowledge. This is a passionate subject and there is so much to learn and understand. I am glad we have this forum to share information and insight. Again, thank you.
Mar. 2, 2013 3:22 pm
I did not and am not going to read all of this. There is nothing wrong with saying we need to support the brand ambassador program if we claim to be a part of it. Karo Syrup was a recent brand. I understand that is (corn syrup). We had other food products that were sponsors or we used that contain this substance and others you are against including artificial sweeteners. I believe we have to stand by the programs we are a part of and are a voice for. There are some that applied to the program and may have not gotten in who wholeheartedly would support the food products that support the site. I also believe in free choice when we shop. There are labels and people are smarter than we give them credit for at all social and economic levels. There is vast information on television and the internet where they can learn about this stuff daily, including in school, and make informed decisions. The MyPlate program is doing just that. I stand by it. Whether you like it accept it, it is those businesses that allow you to write blogs and express your opinions on this site and be a part of these programs. It is also these businesses that allow us to shop at the grocery stores with abundant shelves. There are many in the world that would trade that in an instant. Eat those foods you like and don't those foods you don't like. Grow for yourself, what you don't like as I am sure you do. In the mean time understand it is a huge task to feed the world. I can't imagine I would do it better myself.
Mar. 2, 2013 3:27 pm
Conky Joe, please! I am not claiming to be 'perfect' - is there such a thing? I am a reader and have read the China Study and the Engine 2 diet, gleaning a lot of good information. I understand the benefit of a plant based diet. But come on - we are talking about a kid with a diet that revolves around a 21 piece chicken nuggets - yes all for himself. I don't think some cheese along with the blueberries, apples, pears and tomatoes should be held up to scrutiny. I do have to say - while welcome, your final comments are condescending at best.
Mar. 2, 2013 3:44 pm
I am also on a track to eating healthier so I understand that also. There is a science behind it and ConkyJoe brought up some good points. There is also a business behind it. That is the major difference between where the views divide. Packages today are loaded with labels including whether they are organic, not organic, all natural, fresh, locally grown, the ingredients, the nutrition in all fascets. That all pushes costs on to the consumer. Most of us know, the stuff without packaging is healthier than the packaged. It's a matter of choice and convenience. It has to be weighed. I do a mix of both. I don't know why you keep referring to eat completely well or eat at McDonalds. I knew no one growing up that ate dinner at McDonalds after school, esp 21 nuggets. It was considered a treat just like desserts. My husband said desserts were never in his home. Meals came first because that is what was affordable. He probably ate more desserts since knowing me then he ever did growing up. It is the parenting and not the problem of the food producers is what I am seeing. I personally would talk to the parents, maybe they are just so busy, over-whelmed, and obviously need a little help or assistance with their kids at this time.
Mar. 2, 2013 3:56 pm
Did I miss something here? I had to go back and read the blog just to figure this out. Let's said that you supported the My Plate promotion, but you would like it to go a step further. You said you would like the labeling of GMOs and transparency in our labeling in general. You said that folks can buy soda with food vouchers/stamps? and the lack of nutrition contained therein. I do not get all this nasty backlash. This is a thoughtful subject that brought on a lot of thoughtful dialogue. Why are folks trying to take this somewhere that is out in left field? Time for folks to read this again and then judge what everyone said. This has taken on a life of it's own with way too many personal attacks for NOTHING! Come on decent and respectful like we try to teach our kids. Thanks again BN for posting a thought provoking blog. Guess you are a real rabble rouser nana who is surely poisoning the wells LOL
Mar. 2, 2013 3:59 pm
Blender Woman - I am sorry that you didn't take the time to read through all the comments and my responses. Clearly you didn't understand my blog which clearly stated, "The Plate" is great. It is - it is an awesome cause. I am merely saying it doesn't go far enough and challenged people to take it to the next level. I certainly don't expect to move the Nation like Michelle Obama can. Highly processed foods are not nutrient dense, that is a fact - not my opinion. As for our rolls in the Ambassador program, I didn't bring that into this blog - you did. We all need to make this volunteer program fit into our own lives and beliefs. Yes, sponsors are what keep this site free or at least affordable but being in the program doesn't mean that we are not entitled to our own causes and beliefs.
Mar. 2, 2013 4:18 pm
Blender Woman - to quote you "I don't know why you keep referring to eat completely well or eat at McDonalds." Seriously? I used the 21 piece meal as an example from a child I know. There is of course a middle ground - I never said there wasn't. Most of us, certainly those reading this blog, on a foodie site, can achieve that balance.
Mar. 2, 2013 5:11 pm
Baking Nana, my sympathies and prayers to your niece and family. I want to thank you for your blog post--I've learned a lot reading both it and the many comments it has received, both for and against. I'm sorry a number of them have gone from commenting on the issues to commenting on each other's comments, because I'm sure it never was your intent for parts of the discussion to go so off-topic. Anyway, thank you again for starting such an interesting and thought-provoking (albeit scary) discussion. Right now, I have some strong envy for Petey.
Mar. 2, 2013 5:36 pm
Thank you Nutmeg~n~Pepper - this is a passionate subject and it is easier to go off on a tangent than it is to stay on topic - mainly because the subject is so broad. It is often easier to stray from the subject of the blog and migrate to personal vendettas than it is to face the real food issues before us.
Mar. 2, 2013 6:04 pm
My boyfriend and I both fit into the 'obese' category and finally decided to do something about it: Healthy food, very little processed , lots more fruits and veggies, and way fewer calories. After just two weeks I'm amazed at how much more energy I have. Our food actually tastes better, too. Now, I was cooking dinner nearly every night before, but now I'm making an effort to make everything from scratch or to buy products that aren't processed in 15 different ways before packaged. The difference is amazing and we won't be going back to the way we were. Unfortunately we live in a small town so organic foods are difficult to find and expensive when we do find them. Our farmers markets are only open in the spring and summer. But we're still trying. I just bought a mini hydroponic system to grow fresh herbs and veggies year round. A small start, but a start nonetheless! Next I want a big stand alone freezer so I can buy a whole pig.. Or whatever!
Mar. 2, 2013 6:23 pm
In regards to the frenzy, it really isn't much different than those that like to participate in the weekly recipe group or joining in a fun Saturday night game with gderr. Just a fun thing to do if you choose to do so. It was really quite amazing what some of the AR peeps accomplished during the frenzy event and more wanted to participate as the weekend went on. It even inspired a blog from Doc S. Myself, I wasn't able to participate as fully as I would have liked.
Mar. 2, 2013 6:36 pm
Baking Nana,as far as i'm concerned,you put a very informative blog on here,and i for one appericate all you do.Being negative about things like some people are is never a good thing.Keep an open mind.Baking Nana,as they say in my part of the world"KEEP ON TRUCKING"Thank you again.
Mar. 2, 2013 8:14 pm
Jenn - my hat is off to you! Isn't "obese" a tough term to deal with? You are making strides in the right direction. Go Girl Go! One of these days I will do a blog on with the stories on two of nieces - different paths, different stories, same goal. Keep on making strides - we are in your corner!
Mar. 2, 2013 8:16 pm
manella - I will keep trucking on - we got a bit side tracked today and that is OK - there is room here for 'conversation'.
Mar. 2, 2013 8:40 pm
It is complex, isn't it emeralds. There is so much to learn and so much to absorb. Like you said, like it or not we are all in this together....
Mar. 2, 2013 10:06 pm
Baking Nana-my prayers and thoughts are with you, your family and especially Katherine and her young children. As well, I am sending my prayers and thoughts to Mauigirl and her son.
Mar. 3, 2013 3:47 am
Thank you Lela. It is heart breaking.
Mar. 3, 2013 6:30 am
Thanks for your kind words Lela. It has been quite a journey. The positive thing that has come from this is the folks that have rallied behind us. We are truly grateful for all the kind words, thoughts, prayers and deeds that have held us up during this challenging and frightening time. I would also like to mention the Sharon & Ozzie Osbourne colorectal cancer foundation. They have helped us and many others immeasurably. Funny the allies you find when you are fighting this dreaded disease.
Mar. 3, 2013 6:33 am
I wonder if we quit pressuring the GMO producers to label their foods and instead ask the non-GMO producers to label their products as GMO free. There could be a greater willingness because of the marketing ploy. Just hmmm-ing
Mar. 3, 2013 6:59 am
I think you have the right idea, Mike. I know there are several companies that have clearly come out in favor of labeling and they are committed to using non GMO ingredients. Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Pacific Foods are two that immediately come to mind. Trader Joe's has made a commitment to non-GMO products.
Mar. 3, 2013 7:06 am
Great idea Mike!!!!!!!
Mar. 3, 2013 8:13 am
B'Nana, as you know, this is a topic I am also very passionate about. I frankly don't care if we go about this through the front door (products labeled GMO) or back door (products labeled non GMO)as long as we are informed. I have done much research on this subject. I do not oppose the science. It could, in fact, be very useful. What if we could make our foods more nutritious? Replacing the nutrients we lose in our depleted soils? I don't see that as the direction this science is being used. It is being used for profit at our expense. . . .not necessary to "feed the world". . . . . .the most recent thing I learned about canola oil. . . . . .after reading that organic canola oil had been contaminated by GMO canola. We are all in this together. I would truly appreciate the information necessary to make healthy choices for myself.
Mar. 3, 2013 8:34 am
These references and opinions are mine and the author of this blog is not responsible.
Mar. 3, 2013 8:43 am
Thank you LadySparkle. Thank you for the links and the information. You are right, we are all in this together.
Mar. 3, 2013 9:09 am
Going back to the non GMO Lecithin... I have used this product in my breads. It is granulated and works very well. I prefer a liquid but still researching that. In the meantime you may wish to give this one a try:
Mar. 3, 2013 9:15 am
WFDM, I meant to thank you for that but it escaped me in my deliberation to keep my "passion" under control, LOL! I would prefer liquid as well, but I do so appreciate your research! ;)
Mar. 3, 2013 9:21 am
And I am glad for your link to the canola oil - another item I am concerned about. So nice to have a place to learn and share our information! Thanks LS!
Mar. 3, 2013 9:22 am
I was just stopping in here to make sure that LS had seen your post WFDM. Thank you so much!
Mar. 3, 2013 11:35 am
This subject totally depresses me, but we all know, knowledge is power. It doesn't really matter to me if I agree with you totally or not, I like knowing about it. Thanks for all the great info, everyone!
Mar. 3, 2013 11:44 am
Scotdog, you are one of the few that has seen the reason Baking Nana wrote this!
Mar. 3, 2013 12:02 pm
Thanks for stopping in Scotdog - it is depressing, isn't it? Absolutely heartbreaking. Knowledge is power. There have been so many radical changes to our food supply in the last 20 years that have just flown under the public radar that it makes me wonder what else I don't know. Diabetes is on the rise, as if cancer at younger and younger ages. There has to be a correlation.
Mar. 3, 2013 12:02 pm
Thank you, Mike. You understand. :)
Mar. 3, 2013 12:30 pm
Sorry my eyes got tired before I got thru all the comments. I have been wondering how your niece was doing. I am so sorry for one so so young to have to go thru this. I have no idea what the "my plate" is. Haven't been here much lately. You know I think a lot of food available for purchase contains things no one should be eating. I skimmed some of the comments and I understand what you are saying about the avocado vs commercially made nuggets or a lunchable but here avocados aren't cheap. I sincerely think there should be a way or movement that pair cooks like us with people who need to know how to make better choices with their food and how to cook it. Even preserving it would be a great thing to share. How to make your own "junk" food or freezer meals for those days after work you are just too tired to make a meal. Another good blog!
Mar. 3, 2013 12:52 pm
Hi Cat - I used an avocado merely as an example. Besides, they happen to be one of natures most perfect foods. My Plate the the re-designed food pyramid. There is a collection of recipes here on AR that are designated "My Plate" - I think there are about 300 of them. It is a great step in the right direction. You are right about planning, making ahead and learning to make our own 'junk' food.
Mar. 3, 2013 1:16 pm
I thought you'd be interested to see what a renowned botanist had to say when I asked what he thought about GMOs: Our scientific world is more limited to studying plant biodiversity as it has evolved in nature, leaving plant breeding and genetic tinkering up to those in agriculture (and horticulture). In other words, we don't have an educated opinion. My gut feeling is that it is too bad that the earth is so overpopulated and hungry that humans are having to go to such lengths to "improve" crop yield. We are having so many problems learning how to control invasive weeds that are upsetting the balance of nature. One has to worry that companies like Monsanto could produce frankenstein plants that ar even worse. However, the science of genetic engineering is intriguing and maybe something good could come of it. I just don't know.
Mar. 3, 2013 2:42 pm
I love avocados. I wish I could grow them here as the ones we get, well, they have traveled a few miles. Marianne's comment makes me think of something my dad said years ago about the conservation dept. They "came through and cut down all these wonderful old trees to plant hedge" or Osage Orange "trees to make fence lines. didn't work worth a ______. Stupid idea" Hedge is invasive and a pain. I agree with Marianne after reading about banannas & the problems that are being faced with them, genetic engineering could do some good for many. This is just my opinion but first corporate profit needs to be taken out of the equation for it not to be a destructive thing.
Mar. 3, 2013 3:14 pm
Hi Marianne - I do believe that genetic modification does have it's place, like Cat said it really does play an important roll in the battle against many rampant diseases that threaten some crops. Then again haven't people been 'breeding' crops for centuries to develop disease resistant plants? That isn't genetic engineering. Let me get the link to an article I read about "Golden Rice" is seems to be developed for all the right reasons although it failed. There has to be a happy medium, I am just not sure what that is. But I don't think it begins with Round Up resistant corn.
Mar. 3, 2013 3:19 pm
Mar. 3, 2013 3:27 pm,9171,50576-1,00.html
Mar. 3, 2013 3:34 pm
Hi Cat - Like I said, I believe there is a place for genetic engineering - but something has run amok. Monsanto and the other biotech companies aren't developing these seeds with the intention of giving them away for free, to save the world from starvation. If people can't afford to buy GM seeds, or if they can't afford the fertilizers, pesticides and water the seeds require they are tough out of luck. It is a complex subject, for sure. Without trying to sound like a 'radical' I would like everyone to have a choice.
Mar. 3, 2013 4:08 pm
I stumbled on this. . .
Mar. 3, 2013 4:27 pm
Trying to catch up on all the comments made here. Obviously, you've stirred things up with this one, BN. I am so sorry for Katherine and your whole family. Having to go thru such an ordeal is heartbreaking, but at her age, even more so. I know how passionate you are and have been for some time about the safety of our food, the right to know and the right to choose. I don't think anyone can legitimately argue that those are not things that everyone should care about. Thank you, once again, for contributing yet another thought provoking blog.
Mar. 3, 2013 5:26 pm
Baking Nana, Thanks for the post, it only re-enforces the decision I have made to not buy anything with any weird chemicals added. If I look at the label and it has ingredients I either cannot pronounce correctly or I don't know what it is, it stays on the shelf. Just recently I started making my own whole wheat bread. I will not buy bread again - the ingredient list is just too scary.
Mar. 4, 2013 4:51 am
I never thought of what goes into my body. I had always went by my taste buds! As I got into my 20's I did think of the food I eat and total of fat and cholesterol. I have never exercised. When I got into my early 40's I realized I need to pay more attention to what's in the foods I eat and start exercising to take better care of myself. There are some healthy foods that I do not like and there are only a few that I do like. My mom always fried meats; pork chops, chicken, cubed steak, fish. Now I bake or grill my meats. I'm now cooking my veggies with olive oil, stir fry. I've also got our children to eating more healthy. Great blog! Sorry to hear that your niece has colon cancer. Best wishes to her.
Mar. 4, 2013 5:43 am
I agree that if I want to know what's in my food the information should be available. I recently read criteria for the "Extra" certifications on animal products while researching egg labeling and while it was tedious, it was rather interesting and somewhat disturbing to see what certain humane labels allow. I think the problem with labeling things as non-GMO is that the label wouldn't be regulated. As we all know, the government either seems to define with great detail what is or isn't allowed, or not define it at all. How many folks think the word "natural" on a label means great things? I mentioned on one of your other blogs that natural flavors are on my "try to avoid" list. It's a small term that blankets a huge category of anything that's not synthetic.
Mar. 4, 2013 1:35 pm
Sorry I am late getting back to everyone. Cookin Up A Storm - I didn't mean to start a fire storm. Food, food safety and quality is always a touchy subject. Thank you for your well wishes for Katherine. She has a hard journey ahead of her.
Mar. 4, 2013 1:46 pm
RebeccaD - Isn't it amazing what you find on the labels - bread shouldn't be so scary! Another thing I notice is that often preservatives are denoted by initials, TBHQ seems far reasonable than Tertiary Butylhydroquinone which is in fact a chemical preservative, which is a form of butane. The FDA allows amounts of up to 0.02% of the total oils in food to be TBHQ. This may not sound like a lot, but it does tend to make one wonder why there needs to be a limit on the amount if it is apparently a 'harmless' additive. My concern is that it is almost all fast food, processed food and the packaging and so there might just be a tiny amount in each product, cumulatively it adds up. Thanks for stopping in - good luck in your journey back to 'real' food.
Mar. 4, 2013 2:25 pm
Cheryl's Cooking Now - You bring up a good point, kids don't think about good food vs bad food - it is just food! Another thing is that "comfort food" is generally what you grew up with. My MIL fried everything, if it couldn't be fried they probably didn't eat it. She had 5 hungry boys to feed and huge pans of Mac and Cheese were a staple. To this day, my hubby still loves those 'comfort' foods. I on the other hand grew up eating a ton of veggies with every meal and I love them to this day. (Except canned peas!) It isn't an easy thing to change your tastes and eating habits. I wish you well on your journey.
Mar. 4, 2013 2:36 pm
linda2d - You bring up a good point, what is natural flavorings? What is 'Natural'? Chicken poop might be considered 'natural' and although I would dig it into my garden I don't want to eat it! You make a good point about labeling Non-GMO. Have you heard of the Non-GMO Project? In order to place the Non-GMO Project label on a package is quite involved. Verification can take up to several months or years and depends on many factors including the number of ingredients in a product and the level of evaluation required for each ingredient. Much like Organic certification involves. Many companies are opting to make a commitment to non GMO ingredients but are not on board to jump through the hoops to become "Non-GMO Project" certified. Thanks for stopping in. You always add good food for thought.
Mar. 4, 2013 2:55 pm
Hi campergramma! Eggs have gotten a bad rap! and don't get me started on the things that food stamps can buy! There was a move afoot that I read about (I will have to check and see what is going on...) to allow food stamps to be used at fast food and convenience stores - the claim is that there aren't enough grocery stores in the inner cities. Which btw, is true but instead of bringing real food to the inner city and teaching people to cook it seems easier to OK food stamps for fast food etc... Sigh. I like you, am on board with Michael Pollan. Thanks for stopping in. Good luck on your 'real' food journey.
Mar. 4, 2013 3:03 pm
Sorry about your relative. However, your notion of why there are fat "poor" people is a little whacky. You also seem to also be of the notion that everyone has the time to cook every day. Also, the same government that gave you a plate vs a pyramid continues to approve the chemicals in our food supply. Hmm. A little too much advertising versus content.
Mar. 4, 2013 3:28 pm
Baking Nana, I don't know if the guidelines for usage of the foodstamps (EBT cards) is different for various states, but I do know that here in PA, the people actually have an option to use their benefits at restaurants as well as in stores. With so many convenience stores in addition to the grocery stores, benefits are accepted pretty much anywhere. I don't agree that people should be able to buy junk food items that way, but do think they should have some sort of a benefit for purchasing products such as laundry detergent, toilet paper & sundries. I've helped at the food banks also and that kind of stuff is rarely ever provided to the recipients. You are right, they need to revamp the guidelines.
Mar. 4, 2013 3:42 pm
heather - It isn't MY opinion that there is a correlation between obesity, malnutrition and poverty. There are hundreds of reports that back up this claim. It really boils down to processed foods lack the vitamins that our bodies need. Calories provided by highly processed foods often lack the vitamins that a person needs. I will link you to a couple of studies and articles. As for the government that gives us "The Plate" vs the pyramid and approves the same additives that are damaging our health - I don't know about "advertising versus content" but I do believe if you re-read my blog I am saying the same thing. I am not advertising, I am saying that "The Plate" is great it just doesn't go far enough.
Mar. 4, 2013 3:42 pm
Mar. 4, 2013 3:44 pm
Mar. 4, 2013 4:01 pm
Waterless Cooker - There seems to be a few things we agree on! :) The system does need to be revamped! I was just thinking this afternoon about a woman who came into the food bank with 4 bags of beans that she had received through the WIC program and she offered to trade them for toilet paper or diapers. There are those that would say that she probably receives other public assistance and could have bought those things with that but the fact is, she needed toilet paper and diapers. (They don't get a lot of donations like that.) I would rather see sodas etc... eliminated and other essential items added. The fact remains that sodas will not be eliminated because of the huge profit margins - corn is subsidized making sodas cheap - food stamps are buying the sodas and other junk food so ultimately the government (us) are paying for it on both ends, including providing the medical care needed in the long run.
Mar. 4, 2013 4:40 pm
Im writing from europe and i have to say so good(and scary of course..)to read a few people thinking there and talking about this.U guys in a really hard situation,im telling u its worst like was also but least the goverment did not have the money to poison us.So thank u for this blog and i hope american people going to realise soon how big danger they are in.
Mar. 4, 2013 6:26 pm
KOZI - Welcome. Europe has taken a hard stand against GMOs. Fortunately I am free to write this blog as are others to spread the word. It might not make a difference to the Nation as a whole but it is a small step in awareness of the problem. Without Knowledge we are powerless and without the freedom to speak our minds and decide with our $$$ we would be doomed. I have hope that we can educate enough to make a difference.
Mar. 4, 2013 6:41 pm
Heather - one last comment - you state that "some people don't have time to cook" I believe that people have time to do what they find important - if playing games on the internet is enjoyable then people make time for it. It does take some planning but if it is important to you and your family then you can make time.
Mar. 5, 2013 6:32 am
Just wanted to share a link with you I found interesting. Lots of information here.... **And for the love of Pete be SURE to put FOOD in front of babe(dot)com! ;) alrightythen.....
Mar. 5, 2013 6:42 am
Thanks WFDM, and thanks for the warning! LOL.
Mar. 5, 2013 7:34 am
COZI . . . Since nothing was said about you being off message, then a response to your message is warranted! You say a lot about yourself and those who laud your rant about Americans being in a hard situation . . . ‘worst like communism’. Under communism, the authoritarians don’t let you freely speak your mind as this blogger has the freedom to do. Someone with a brain would understand that socialism is closely linked with communism as dictatorial, control freak politicians must control the economy, the messaging, and what people are allowed to do . . . think former Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, and other failed nation states. It’s a fair argument to say America is marching down this path as we look to bigger and bigger gov’t. to solve our problems but comparing any aspect of our situation as worse than communism is derogatory, hateful, and inaccurate commentary. There are some Americans who can also be emotional about injured and dead family members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting people like this blogger and upholding our rights to freedom. I would counter by saying Europe is in the harder situation when you have nation states teetering on bankruptcy, 25% general unemployment (50 % youth), and people rioting in the streets. The European horse meat scandal happening when some are holding up European labeling as the gold standard seems ironic, doesn’t it?
Mar. 5, 2013 9:14 am
Thanks to Kozi for kind thoughts as it appears to be a sincere comment. This has been a fabulous blog, BN, and filled with the most incredible info all at our fingertips. Thanks to all for their contributions.
Mar. 5, 2013 10:21 am
Lace you make my heart happy :)
Mar. 5, 2013 2:30 pm
Conky Joe - I know that you often like to play devils advocate but you comments to Kozi really are not necessary. What a way to welcome a newcomer to this discussion. I, like you, am thankful that I have the opportunity to speak my mind - but that doesn't come without some risk, does it? An example of what Europe and the UK are doing that we here in the US are not - Kraft, an American food company, has formulated a safer version of their macaroni and cheese without artificial food dyes for our friends over in the UK. This is because consumers in Europe demanded it. And it’s time we demanded the same.
Mar. 5, 2013 2:36 pm
Thank you for stopping in Lace. For the most part - this has been a thoughtful discussion. Hopefully it will be the start of discussions in homes across the country. Together we can make positive changes. What a shame that this generation of children are not slated exceed the life expectancy of their parents.
Mar. 5, 2013 6:47 pm
So sorry about your niece. I struggle with the whole attitude....I can't afford organic. I have really been trying hard to think about my health and not the price. My hubs said the gov't is trying to thin the population. I think he may be right. GREAT BLOG!
Mar. 5, 2013 7:21 pm
Shannon - I have had numerous people say the same thing - I hate to think that is the case. My niece has a very aggressive form of cancer not generally seen in young people. She had a baby just over a year ago - everything went great - no health issues at all. She developed a pain in her side and they thought is was an ovarian cyst. They next day she had surgery and they removed her ovaries, uterus, a huge portion of her colon, lymph nodes. It had already spread to her kidneys, liver and lungs. All that said, we don't know WHY - but I do know that buying organic and cutting out processed food is a small price to pay.
Mar. 6, 2013 6:16 am
Kozi, Thanks for the thoughtful response. This is an important discussion for all humanity. We can learn so much from each other. Come over and visit us one day. If you don't we might have to come visit you :) Please know that Conkey Joe does not speak for most Americans and their hospitality.
Mar. 6, 2013 9:48 am
What are GMOs
Mar. 6, 2013 9:56 am
Karen - GMO - Genetically Modified Organism - For instance - corn is genectically modified to withstand being sprayed with Round Up - it is suppose to kill the weeds but not the corn. Other corn, soy has genes that are altered to include Bt (a pesticide) within the plant itself so that when bugs eat the plant they die. Beside altering the DNA of the plant, which I see as a problem, it also means we are eating plants that have been doused with herbicides. This is very different than plants that are bred with other like plants to create a hardier plant - those re hybrids.
Mar. 6, 2013 9:58 am
Karen - here is a link to another blog I did - it might help explain it a bit better.
Mar. 6, 2013 4:46 pm
Dear sorry if i hurt your feelings or others maybe it was not the best semblance..but why i said it bec i just was wondering witch situations in life get worst.Prohibition or freedom without knowing basic stuffs..most of the poeple in your country has no idea what they eating,they not informed,or teached basic elements what u need to know if u want your body survive!!!Our country suffering from differents shits trust me,big trouble here but i just meant its really sceary u got kind of poisoned by your country here u can make a choice much easier in this subject.. Im searching a lot about world eating habits its kind of my job and its unbelieveble what u guys go trough!!
Mar. 6, 2013 4:57 pm
Feeding the animals with the same food what u eating??!!This is crazy!I saw a few documentary and in one a mother telling,she did not know about fast food is bad for kids all the time..the last 15 years she bought these every day because no one told her...I have to say here is still no trust at all bec of bad history and goverment maybe that why but we dont believe things just like that or live with it,no big clouds around fake foods i dont know...looks like a sci-fi to me BUT ITS NOT!
Mar. 6, 2013 5:05 pm
Glad to see you returned to this site, Kozi. As you can see we are working to get as informed as possible about our food and agriculture industry in the U.S. and yes, you're right on Mauigirl!
Mar. 6, 2013 5:15 pm
Here is problem how people can water the seeds bec its no money for water,but no one telling them what seeds to use.No one even think about this or control this,here is the problem about farmers giving it up and we export veg and fruits what maybe covered with some stay long fresh chemicals.Its still really far from the seed monopoly situation u have,its no choice to u left to choose natural food when its already controlled what to grow.That is against nature on a really hard way!Im a city girl but even i know these traditional ways when and what to plant..etc its really needful.
Mar. 6, 2013 5:24 pm
Yes, basically it appears we have strayed from the natural ways to raise crops and animals for nutrition in our country. It seems like common sense but these are huge industries that are working against us with chemicals and genetic engineering.
Mar. 7, 2013 1:44 am
OMGoodness! What a fire storm you started! (= I haven't read through all the comments, yet, but just wanted to jump on the prayer bandwagon. And to say that I wish I had you guys when my kids were growing up!
Mar. 7, 2013 5:21 am
Thank you Kozi for stopping in again and thank you Lace for being here. I think the thing that bothers me most is that is the lack of transparency with our food supply. When GMOs started appearing on the shelves of the markets in the mid 90s we were oblivious. Now 16 years later 90% of the products containing corn, soy and sugar are genetically modified. Labeling that says, "All Natural" isn't. Labeling that says, "No Trans Fats" PER SERVING still contain transfats / hydrogenated oils. Eating well shouldn't have to be so hard.
Mar. 7, 2013 5:23 am
Good morning Barb. I really stirred things up this time, didn't I? Good food for thought though. Like you I wish I had known more as I was raising and feeding my children.
Mar. 7, 2013 7:03 am
Baking Nana, I know you have already stated this but I just read this in my Organic Gardening Mag and I liked the way they put it so I'm sharing Hybrids vs GMO's-"While plant breeders have long used genetic manipulation methods to produce plants with desirable characteristics, those techniques replicate the natural processes by which genetic information is remixed. By comparison, genetic engineering often results in a final product that could never be achieved by nature."
Mar. 7, 2013 7:38 am
Well stated Cat. I know that many people remain confused about the HUGE difference between Hybrids vs GMO's. Thanks.
Mar. 7, 2013 8:29 am
Thank you Baking Nana!
Mar. 7, 2013 11:20 am
You are welcome Karen. There is a lot to learn, isn't there?
Mar. 7, 2013 12:32 pm
I thought that was the best explanation I have seen so far. Words can be used in such a way as to confuse or explain an issue. People have been breeding plants and animals for a long time. That way does take time & trial and error. It is my personal opinion breeding anything that could never have happened, even with time, is not a good idea.
Mar. 8, 2013 10:41 am
Good morning campergramma. I do believe that the Farmer's Markets around here accept EBT/food stamps too. As much as the movie "Food Inc." I really objected to the premise that Fast Food is cheaper than real food. It doesn't need to be that way. This week avocados are 2 for $1. here or oranges .50 a pound while Lay's Potato Chips are 2 for $5. and a frozen pizza is $5. $10 for 2 bags of chips and a frozen pizza. I can buy a lot of 'real' food for $10. It does take planning though and a desire to eat well.
Mar. 9, 2013 9:11 am
I'm so glad I found this blog!!! Totally agree on everything. I work for a nutritional program as a nutritional counselor and you would not believe the things that I hear and see on a daily basis. IMO, education combined with commonsense is the key, however, not everyone has the commonsense and not everyone uses their education effectively. Getting people to actually think for themselves and investigate or research is very important and I try to stress that each time I talk to them someone. My Plate is a lot easier to deal with than the Pyramid and easier for people to understand. It is a good tool to begin with, but i doesn't do any good if you don't know what food comes from what food group, how much is a serving size, or how many items from each group is needed, let alone what additives are in our foods!!! Then we have the people who claim to only eat "organic" but refuse to eat a piece of fruit off the tree in their backyard. I have people who refuse to eat an egg because of cholestoral but will eat a pound of shrimp because it has no fat. Menu planning is a really great tool as well, and I always suggest container and patio gardens. My point is that The only way we can make sure our food does not contain things we don't want is to grow our own when we can and enter co-ops for the other items. Buy locally and direct when we can.
Mar. 11, 2013 3:41 pm
When I talk like this people think I'm crazy! I couldn't have said it better. Thanks for the info Baking Nana and for raising awareness on this particularly grueling subject. I was just watching a video about curing cancer with a carb free diet. It's on CBNNEWS.COM if you're interested. I'll say a prayer for your niece.
Mar. 12, 2013 1:07 pm
Baking Nana Bravo and amen. It is hard to stand out for this. In a public eatery, it is even harder. But, we have to care about this. If we don't we will all go down this awful, painful road of disease that is totally preventable. I just viewed Forks Over Knives on Netflix. I am telling you, if we don't buy this non-food poison, they will go out of business. Our vote is in our pursestrings. Keep preaching it sister. Blessings, Marjorie
Mar. 24, 2013 6:53 am
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Baking Nana

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Member Since
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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Quick & Easy

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive! Visit me at If you would like to contact me directly please use the 'Contact Me' on my site.
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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