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Big Food Sues Vermont

Big Food GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) is suing the state of Vermont over its GMO labeling law 35 days after it passed.  In short, the lawsuit states that manufacturers are being forced to convey messages that they do not want to convey as well as infringing on the federal standard of nutritional labeling.  Organic consumer groups are now raising money for the defense of the labeling law in Vermont.  This move was widely anticipated , and its verdict will influence the labeling law across the country.  The GMA has supported anti-labeling campaigns across the country in state by state votes with large corporate funding that trumps the organic industry dollars.

You can also support labeling by boycotting the Big Food brands who are members of the GMA like PepsiCo, Coca Cola, Nestle, Kraft, General Mills, ConAgra (Alexia, Pam Spray), Campbells, Smuckers, Kellogs, McCormick, and more.   For more dish on the GMA, check out this Dr. Mercola article.  Additionally, you can check out the GMA website directly and decide what to support for yourself.

About a year ago, we started making our own nut milks instead of buying them.  Honestly, this was one of the last things that I wanted to do.  I kept telling myself that it was just so much easier to buy a boxed brand, and I wasn’t excited about taking this step.  I think this is a step that so many don’t want to take because it seems so cumbersome (but it’s not), AND it’s actually easier than running to the store!  Homemade nut milks TASTE much better than boxed or cartons too. You can even add chocolate, vanilla, or almond flavor if you want.  After our first batch, I was hooked and have enthusiastically continued to make and experiment with nut milks.

After reading up on some of the ingredients in ORGANIC nut milks, I wasn’t thrilled and this fueled the fire to create my own milks at home.  For instance, carrageenan is a common ingredient that is used as a thickener.  Carrageenan has been linked to stomach problems in people producing a colitis like effect.  I actually have a close friend and family member who both experience stomach issues with carrageenan.  Additionally, it causes inflammation in the body and may be carcinogenic. Many doctors would argue that chronic inflammation is the root cause of all disease.  If you are going to continue to buy packaged nut milks, read the ingredients and look for brands without carrageenan and minimal fillers.

For more on carrageenan:

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401181/Is-Carrageenan-Safe.html

http://foodbabe.com/2012/05/22/watch-out-for-this-carcinogen-in-your-organic-food/

Anyway, onto the good stuff.  Cashew milk is the easiest nut milk to make because you do not need a nut milk bag or to strain it.  Place all ingredients into a high speed blender, and blend on your highest setting for 3 minutes.  You will have a frothy, creamy delicious dairy-free beverage good for cooking, cereal, coffee, and anything you would use milk or nut milk for.  Once blended, it’s warm from the torque – and this is delicious topped with a bit of nutmeg & cinnamon on a chilly evening.  I store my cashew milk in a large mason jar in the refrigerator, and it keeps for several days.

Not only are they my favorite nut, cashews are extremely beneficial to your health as they are high in copper, zinc, and iron.  Iron supports your immune system and helps destroy infectious diseases.  Zinc promotes healthy cell growth and development while copper aids in energy production.  They contain magnesium which helps muscles relax and can even aid in preventing migraine headaches. Cashews are cancer fighting and also help to protect the skin against UV damage.  For more on cashews, try this article from Dr. Mercola.

Ingredients
1 cup of organic, raw cashews (Raw is necessary for blending.)

3.5 cups of water  (You can add more or less water depending on the consistency that you want – less water produces a more dense beverage.  See my post on cashew cream as a waffle topping on 2/24/14.)

2 pitted dates

1 pinch of pink himalayan sea salt

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http://althealthworks.com/2299/nine-year-old-boy-daniel-bissonnette-gives-monsanto-the-business-in-epic-speech-at-vancouver-march-with-video/

“Why is it that farmers who use GMO seeds and spray lots of chemicals don’t have to tell you anything, but a farmer who cares for the soil and grows nutritious, healthy crops has to spend lots of time and money to come up with a label to tell you his food is organic?”

Good question, Daniel!  Check out this video clip from Daniel Bassonnette’s speech at a Vancouver March Against Monsanto courtesy of onegreenplanet.org.

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Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 9.50.52 AMhttp://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/morrisseys-new-video-captures-the-horror-behind-the-chicken-industry-video/

Singer Morrissey is an advocate for animal rights and created this animated video to shed some light onto the inhumane practices of the chicken industry. Chickens sold for meat are crammed into tiny cages and pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics. 8 billion chickens per year are slaughtered for meat.  I found this on onegreenplanet.org.

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We make this quick pasta dish quite frequently in the summer. It’s lovely to eat on the patio and so easy. It tastes like a lighter and fresher fettucini alfredo (without the dairy, of course). I highly recommend this recipe, and I found it on one of my favorite blogs, ohsheglows.com.  I double her recipe and make a box of pasta.  I use half the garlic.  It’s raw and can be pretty intense, so I recommend starting with half then adding to your taste.  I also skip the lemon zest as there is plenty of lemon in the dish for me, but give it a try and find your favorite way to serve it this summer!

I usually have leftovers for two lunches, and we eat them at room temperature (reheating will not work due to the avocado).  I have used organic quinoa pasta, spelt pasta, and whole wheat with this dish.  All are delicious with it.  Pick your favorite pasta and go to town!

Another plus to this dish is that it contains avocado. Avocados are a great source of potassium and fiber.  They contain folate which helps to prevent stroke and birth defects.  Avocados assist in regulating  blood sugar levels and they can ward off cancer with their oleic acid content.  Hungry for more info on avocados and why you should be eating them on the reg ?  Check it out here.