Finally U.S To Ban Trans Fats?

I was excited to see this article today. Just yesterday I was trying to buy tortillas at Target and there was not a single brand that did not have hydrogenated oil (trans fat) in its ingredient list. Of course, the front of the package touted “zero trans fats per serving” because of a loophole that allows up to .5 grams per serving without showing it on the nutrition index.  The Institute of Medicine has stated that there are no safe levels of trans fats for human consumption so this loophole has always made me crazy!  Read on for more info!

Peace and greens,



Switch to Himalayan Rock Salt

This is a great article that should convince us that it really is time to give up the fast and processed food.  I always think of the unhealthy fat and calories being the biggest problem, but now there is evidence that the salt found in these foods is linked to autoimmune diseases(MS, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and many more).  Here is just an excerpt from the article on the True Activist site. I have also included a link if you are interested in reading the entire article.  It does a great job of explaining why processed salt is not such a good choice for our health.


“Refined, processed and bleached salts are the problem. Salt is critical to  our health and is the most readily available nonmetallic mineral in the world.  Our bodies are not designed to processed refined sodium chloride since it has no  nutritional value. However, when a salt is filled with dozens of minerals such  as in rose-coloured crystals of Himalayan rock salt or the grey texture of  Celtic salt, our bodies benefit tremendously for their incorporation into our  diet.

“These mineral salts are identical to the elements of which our bodies have  been built and were originally found in the primal ocean from where life  originated,” argues Dr Barbara Hendel, researcher and co-author of Water &  Salt, The Essence of Life. “We have salty tears and salty perspiration. The  chemical and mineral composition of our blood and body fluids are similar to sea  water. From the beginning of life, as unborn babies, we are encased in a sack of  salty fluid.”

Read more


Peace and Greens, Melissa

GMOs Part 4, Reading PLU stickers

I know I promised this on Friday but life got in the way:)  Sorry for the delay!

PLU codes are applied to fruit, vegetables, herbs, and nuts although the sticky labels are normally only found on fruit.  The codes are 4 or 5 digits long.  Fruit is divided into 3 categories: conventional, organic, and genetically modified.  4 digit codes mean that the produce has been conventionally grown, most likely with pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers, and grown in nutrient-depleted soil.

5 digit codes begin with an 8 or a 9.  If the code begins with an 8, the produce has been genetically modified.  If the code begins with a 9, the produce has been grown organically without the use of harmful pesticides or fertilizers.

Andrea and I recently made a trip to the supermarket to see just how many types of produce we could find that had been genetically modified and we came up empty-handed.  At first we were relieved.  Then we realized that the far bigger problem was in the boxes and bags lining the shelves in the remainder of the market.  So many products that contain corn, corn syrup, or corn oil, soybean oil, or any soy derivative, cottonseed oil, or aspartame! These are the large industrial crops that are being genetically modified and added to our food supply without our knowledge.  Unless it is labeled “organic”, there is no way to know what lurks inside.  There is no PLU number to help us decipher what we are eating.  This is just not right!

Please sign the “Just Label It” petition if you haven’t already done so.  The petition is at least a start in the right direction.

Enjoy your Sunday!


GMOs, Part 3…What Can We Do?

I know it’s been pretty depressing this week with all the GMO posts but there are some things we can do to protect ourselves.  First, buy organic whenever possible.  Just last week there was some information in the media about it not being all that important to buy organic.  Interestingly, there is evidence that this study was done to undermine organic farmers and the initiative to label GMOs.  It was backed by big GMO advocates.  Unfortunately, buying organic is the only way to know for certain that what you are eating is not genetically modified.

Try to find substitutes for your favorite boxed or bagged snacks if they are not already organic.  For example, one of the products almost always in my pantry is a box of Nabisco Wheat Thins.   I’m pretty sure that the soybean oil purchased by Nabisco is made with genetically modified soybeans.  My kids LOVE Wheat Thins so I’m going shopping on Saturday for a replacement. First I will look at Trader Joe’s because all of their products are GMO free and usually much less costly than Whole Foods.  Whatever I can’t replace at TJs I will most likely be able to find at Whole Foods.  The major supermarket chains also have their own brand of organic cereal and crackers.

Second, cut diet soda out of your life completely!  Aspartame, the fake sweetener used in all diet Pepsi and diet Coke products is created by using genetically modified BACTERIA! Yuck!  If you love your diet soda, it may take a few days to give it up; aspartame is also known to be addictive!  (BTW, don’t replace it with regular soda made with high-fructose CORN syrup!  Corn is one of the most genetically engineered crops!)  Aspartame is also found in most sugar-free products like chewing gum, hard candies, and yogurt.  Read the label on any “diet” food like Weight Watchers or Snackwells and you will probably find aspartame (also known as Nutrasweet and Equal).

Lastly, buy local produce whenever you can.  Most of the GMO crops are from large, industrial farms. By shopping at your farmer’s market or subscribing to a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) you will be able to avoid GM products and possibly save money at the same time.

Tomorrow I will post about the “plu” stickers we find on produce at the supermarket.  They can tell us quite a bit about what we’re buying!

Peace and greens,