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Monthly Archive for: ‘March, 2012’
Ready to Plant?

I’m hot to start my organic garden but I can’t decide what to plant.  So many good vegetable and so little time and space.  The following are 10 easy vegetables and when to plant them

10 Easy Vegetables from Lowe’s Creative Ideas magizine

  1. Beans – so the seed directly in late spring once the ground has warmed to around 70 deg.  Provide support for the plants to grow up or just let them trail down from a raised bed or flower box.
  2. Beets:  Plant the seed in the spring or late summer while it is still cool.  Havest before the beets get thick and woody
  3. Carrots:  Sow the little bitty seeds in the spring or late summer like the beets.  Till or turn your soil deeply and amend with peat or spagnum moss and sand to allow for good drainage and a easy growing space for the carrots, which are of course just a big root.  A tip in planting is to mix a table spoon of sand into your carrot seeds to help space them when planting.  I hate to thin fresh little growths.  It seems like a waste.
  4. Leaf Lettuce:  Plant the seed or starts in the cool spring.  Harvet before the weather turns hot to have the most tender lettuce.  Protect from rabbits and chipmunks.
  5. Onions:  Plant onion starts just about any time.  Harvest when the foliage begins to yellow.  Dry them out for a week before storing.
  6. Peppers:  Plant after the last danger of frost.  Support the plants by staking or with cages as you do tomatoes.  Banana peppers are the earliest to pick.  Bell peppers are later.
  7. Radishes:  Some radishes are ready to pick in 20 days.  Sow the seeds directly in the spring or fall and thin tight groups.
  8. Spinach:  Plant in the spring or fall and harvest before the heat of summer or the first frost.
  9. Tomatoes: Plant as soon as the fear of frost has passed or plant starts when the ground has warmed to 70 degrees.  Stake or cage the plants to keep the fruit off the ground and water consistently to prevent cracked fruit.  Mulch to prevent soil-borne diseases from splash up on the foliage.
  10. Zucchini:  Sow seeds in late spring.  The plant needs lots of sun and room to grow.  Harvest while the skin is still shiny.

Post your Garden Ideas

I had a request from my friend Steve that I ask my readers to share their vegetable garden ideas and solutions to their individual problems.  I thought that was a great idea.

Send pictures to jughandle@jughandlesfatfarm.com and I’ll post them as they arrive.

Gardens

No better way to make sure your food is exactly how you’d want it to be than to grow your own, or rise your own livestock for that matter.  Gardens can be all shapes and sizes.  They can be planted in the ground, in containers, in raised beds, on roofs, flower boxes, old wheel borrows, concrete blocks etc, etc.  I know some of our readers even manage their own bee hives too.  This is GREAT stuff people.  I love this idea.

Brown thumb

I must admit that I have a brown thumb.  Try as I must, year after year, I always have some kind of problem that makes my crops less bountiful than I wish they were.  To be honest, I’m going to use your ideas to boost my crop yield.

Things I’d like to know

  • How important is the soil?
  • What kind of amendments should I add to my soil?
  • What kind of vegetables should I try to grow in the North Atlanta area?
  • How close should my tomatoes be?
  • What kind of support should I use for my vines?
  • How much sun should I have on tomatoes, beans, squash, broccoli?
  • Should I protect my garden from my free range chickens, local rabbits, chipmunks, etc, if so how?
  • When and with what should I fertilize?

No Dig Vegetable Garden

To start things off, I’ll offer a find on the net about a no dig garden and how to build it.

 

That should get the ball rolling.  Please help us all answer these and other lingering garden questions and God knows, please send pictures. – jughandle

Off Topic – The 3 point shot

I bet you didn’t know that basketball introduced the 3 point shot in 1961 in the American Basketball league.  That league only lasted 1 1/2 seasons before folding.  Then in 1967 the ABA started and added all kinds of interesting “stuff”, like the 3 point shot and dunk contests.  I’m still pissed off that while I played high school basketball and could dunk, the no-dunk rule was in effect.  Heck, if the 3 point shot had been in effect while I was in high school, Fritz and I would never had touched the ball.  C*******and N**** would have jacked the ball as they brought it across the line.  I can’t imagine Coach Moses with the 3 point shot.

Where is the line?

The NCAA once only had the line at 19 feet.  That is the reason I’m writing this blog, because I noticed while watching a game the other night that there was just one 3 point line on the court and it seemed further back than I remembered.

From what I understand, the NBA has a 22-foot 3-point line in the corners and a 23-foot, 9-inch line elsewhere. The WNBA and the international game plays with a 20-foot, 6-inch line. The NCAA men’s game has a 20-foot, 9-inch line (a move from 19 ft 9 inches in 2008) while the NCAA women and high schools have a 19-foot, 9-inch line.

15 Different Frosting Recipes

Tired of the same old same old? Need something more than sticky on your buns?  Try one of these from MarthaSteward.com

1. Meringue Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 5 large egg whites
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and water to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer onto the saucepan. Boil the syrup, brushing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystallization, until the syrup registers 240 degrees (soft-ball stage).
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium high until stiff but not dry peaks form.
  3. With the mixer running, pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl (to prevent splattering) into the egg whites in a steady stream, and beat on high speed until the steam is no longer visible, about 3 minutes. Beat in butter, piece by piece. Add vanilla; beat until smooth and spreadable, 3 to 5 minutes. If it looks curdled at any point during the beating process, continue beating until smooth.

2. Whipped Frosting

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites, sugar, salt, and water. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.

3. Basic Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high). Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)

4. 7 minute frosting

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature

Directions

  1. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons water. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Rub a bit between your fingers to make sure there is no graininess. Raise heat to bring to a boil. Do not stir anymore. Boil, washing down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water from time to time to prevent the sugar from crystallizing, until a candy thermometer registers 230 degrees about 5 minutes. (Depending on the humidity, this can take anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes.)
  2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 1/2 minutes. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Remove the syrup from the heat when the temperature reaches 230 degrees (it will keep rising as pan is removed from heat). Pour the syrup in a steady stream down the side of the bowl (to avoid splattering) containing the egg-white mixture, with the mixer on medium-low speed.
  3. Beat frosting on medium speed until cool, 5 to 10 minutes. The frosting should be thick and shiny. Use immediately.

5. Dark Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil. Remove from heat; add 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped, and let stand, without stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk just until combined. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until spreadable, about 1 hour.

6. Cream Cheese frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and vanilla until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add butter, beating until incorporated.
  2. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add sugar, beating until incorporated.

7.  Brown Sugar Butter cream

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons

Directions

  1. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, whisk together egg whites, sugar, and salt. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.
  2. Transfer to the clean bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy and cooled, about 15 minutes.
  3. Raise speed to high; beat until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium-low; add butter, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, until fully incorporated.

8.  Caramel frosting

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 package (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, salt, and butter. With the mixer on low, slowly add cream; beat until smooth. If frosting seems too thick, stir another tablespoon cream into the mixture.

9. Mrs. Milman’s chocolate frosting

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces Nestle semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 4 cups whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup

Directions

  1. Place chocolate morsels and cream in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until combined and thickened, between 20 and 25 minutes. Increase the heat to medium low; cook, stirring, 3 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.
  2. Stir in corn syrup. Transfer frosting to a large metal bowl. Chill until cool enough to spread, about 2 hours, checking and stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Use immediately.

10. Coconut-Pecan frosting

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and brought to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 2/3 cups (7 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Combine egg yolks, evaporated milk, and brown sugar in a saucepan. Add butter, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick, about 10 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  2. Stir in vanilla, salt, coconut, and pecans. Let cool completely. Frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before using.

11. Maple Buttercream frosting

Ingredients

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups pure maple syrup, preferably grade A dark amber
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

Directions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pour maple syrup into a medium saucepan. Place pan over medium-high heat; bring syrup to a boil. Cook syrup until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees (just above soft-ball stage), about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat. While the electric mixer is running, pour the syrup in a slow, steady stream down the side of the mixing bowl into the egg-yolk mixture (it is essential that the syrup touches the side of the bowl as you pour it in so the sugar will be very evenly incorporated and not splatter onto the sides of the bowl) until the syrup has been completely incorporated, about 1 1/2 minutes. Beat until the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch, 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Add butter, one piece at a time, until all of it has been completely incorporated and the frosting is fluffy, about 4 minutes more. Use immediately.

12. Italian Meringue buttercream

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil. Continue boiling until syrup reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft-ball stage).
  2. Meanwhile, place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium-high speed until stiff but not dry; do not overbeat.
  3. With mixer running, add syrup to whites in a stream, beating on high speed until no longer steaming, about 3 minutes. Add butter bit by bit, beating until spreadable, 3 to 5 minutes; beat in vanilla. If icing curdles, keep beating until smooth.

13. Coconut meringue buttercream

Ingredients

  • 10 large egg whites
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups (8 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure coconut extract

Directions

  1. Whisk egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water until sugar has dissolved and mixture registers 160 degrees, about 3 minutes.
  2. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until cooled, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add butter; beat until pale and fluffy. Mix in cream of coconut and extract. Buttercream can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days; beat before using.

Variations

When Martha used this buttercream to frost the Coconut Column Cake, she used 2 1/2 cups sugar.

14. Brown Sugar Swiss meringue buttercream

Ingredients

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 2/3 cups packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature

Directions

  1. Put egg whites, sugar, and salt into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until mixture registers 160 degrees, about 4 minutes.
  2. Beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low. Add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition (meringue will deflate slightly as butter is added). Beat until frosting is smooth and glossy, 3 to 5 minutes. Buttercream can be refrigerated airtight for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature, and beat before using.

15. Chocolate whipped cream frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine heavy cream and chocolate, and heat over medium heat until chocolate has melted. Remove from heat and refrigerate until well chilled.
  2. Place heavy cream mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat until thick and spreadable. Use immediately
Tempeh?????

Just when I thought there was nothing left in the world that could surprise me, along comes Tempeh.

What the heck?

Tempeh is another soy product in patty form.  Yes, it is fermented.  Temp’h is made with whole soybeans that undergo very little processing.  It is high in protein, as most soy products and is therefore a great vegan protein source.

Why do we care?

We care because of the texture.  Ahhhh, the texture is that of meat.  I’m not going to pretend that I don’t love everything about meat, with the exception of what it does to my body.  I miss the texture, the mouth feel, the chew of a steak, bbq, a simple hamburger.  Is tempeh the answer?  I sure hope so.

Where to get it

The author of at least one of the articles I read about tempeh feels that because of the complicated nature of the fermentation process necessary to make tempeh, they do not recommend making your own.  This is one of those pre-packaged foods you’ll want to buy.

“You can find tempeh pre-packaged in the refrigerated section of most natural foods stores. Unlike tofu, it hasn’t made it to most mainstream groceries just yet, but try requesting it and see what happens. You might be pleasantly surprised to discover they’ll stock it, or order it for you. If you have to order in bulk, that’s okay because it can be frozen until ready to use.

Because soy bean crops are almost always grown with GMOs  (Genetically Modified Organisms ), your soy products (and corn products, for that matter) should always, always, always be made with organic soy. And this is no exception. So be sure to check your labels to be sure it’s organic. Sometimes it says it on the cover of the package, and sometimes it says it in the actual ingredient list, so check both.”

How To Clean and Prep Tempeh

There are basically two types of tempeh which you can find, one is fresh (or fresh frozen) and one is vacuum-sealed and found in the refrigerated section of your store.

The vacuum-sealed tempehs are almost always pasteurized. This is not in all actuality “pre-cooking” but a way to kill bacteria and molds and other harmful organisims. The pasteurization ensures that all the bacteria is killed off (including, unfortunately, beneficial bacteria) so it can be packaged and sold in stores. These are ready-to-eat and usually do not have to be pre-cooked.

The fresh tempeh is more rare, but seems to be healthier because all the fantastic nutritional qualities are still intact. It’s definitely a food filled with live cultures and such. Fresh tempeh must be pre-cooked for at least 20 minutes before eating. Fresh tempeh can also be frozen in this fresh state.

(When I called my local Whole Foods store to ask if they have any fresh frozen non-pasteurized tempeh, they said it’s illegal for them to sell non-pasteurized tempeh.)

So in the end, the consumer really has to be vigilant. It the package says ready to eat, that means it’s likely been pasteurized and is good to go. If the package says to cook first, then it’s very important to do so.

No matter which tempeh you choose the soybeans are fermented so it’s much easier for our bodies to digest. And of course the tempeh is a nice source of protein. I might recommend that, as with all pre-packaged foods, one not rely on them on a daily basis but try to focus on eating whole foods as nature intended.

Now, having said all that I recommend you cook your tempeh before using it in your recipe. First of all, it helps to remove some of tempeh’s bitter flavor. Secondly, it helps to make the tempeh soft and moist which makes for scrumptious tempeh recipes. And if you would like to marinate your tempeh, cooking it first helps the tempeh to accept more of the marinade.

If you would like to steam it first, you can learn how to do that here: How To Steam Your Tempeh. I recommend steaming it for 20 minutes.

 

Recommendations

I haven’t yet tried tempeh, but I’m going to today.  If this is the next coming of the faux meat, I’ll let you know, believe me – jughandle

Soak Your Nuts

I was given a heads up by a friend on an article about eating and soaking nuts grains, seeds and legumes before eating them.  The following is a loose synopsis of the article

Natures way

No, not the “Spirit” song.  Nature is one smart old broad.  And I mean that in the nicest way.  Nature includes some digestive and decay resistant chemicals in nuts and seeds, etc., to keep them viable until they have the opportunity to sprout and grow.  It only make sense that these chemicals would be toxic to animals and wash off easily with water.

Why soak nuts, grains and seeds?

1. To remove or reduce phytic acid.

2. To remove or reduce tannins.

3. To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.

4. To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.

5. To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.

6. To break down gluten and make digestion easier.

7. To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.

8. To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.

9. To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.

10. To prevent many health diseases and conditions.

“Soaking allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. Soaking in warm water also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, present in all seeds, and encourages the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. The action of these enzymes also increases the amount of many vitamins, especially B vitamins. During the process of soaking and fermenting, gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.”

What to Soak them In and how long?

Now, I’ve always soaked my dried beans overnight in water to make them easier to cook, but I didn’t know about the seeds and nuts and grains.  There are many methods suggested, but the simplest is plan old warm water.  Soak for 7 to 24 hours to neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.

If they start to sprout, all the better for you.

There you go.  You can then dry them in the refrigerator or eat them wet.  What ever you deside to do you’ll be a little healthier for doing it -thanks B – jughandle

To get the full article – click here

 

More Reasons to buy Organic

If you haven’t gotten on the organic band wagon, I’ve got some more convincing to do.  The following is largely from an article in Organic Gardening Mag.

Think about it

You should be eating a heavily weighted diet of plants and raw foods.  I don’t want to hear the same old BS that we are meat eaters and should be eating red meat.  That may have been true 100 years ago, but not know.  Chemistry has gotten into our diet.  Chemists have found ways to increase the yield of everything and haven’t thought about the long term costs until recently.  If you don’t eat organically grown food you are ingesting 12 or more chemicals  and pesticides that can  HARM you, your family and your future family.  The hormones in the dairy and meat we eat are changing the size of the human race.

Corn

Maybe you’ve heard of the chemical “Roundup”?  Supposed to be one of the safest weedkillers around.  So safe that chemists have genetically engineered crops like corn to be “Roundup ready”, meaning that a corn crop can be planted then when the weeds start to grow and compete with the corn, Boom, just fly by with a crop duster and spray Roundup on everything and the genetically engineered corn being resistant to the Roundup lives on while the weeds die.

Sounds great, doesn’t it.  Not so much.  Roundup is not just salt as we might have heard.  The main component of Roundup is GLYPHOSATE.  Glyphosate is a systemic chemical, which means it is absorbed into the root system of the plant.  People being lazy, greedy, bastards, farmers are no exception.  They found that using Roundup increased the yield of their crops and was a whole lot easier and cheaper to use.  So much so that researchers can find glyphosate in RAIN and in the air and of course our ground water and streams.  In 2009 the USDA says that farmers sprayed 57 million pounds of glyphosate on food crops.  That alone is reason to buy and eat organic.  Not convinced?  I’ll proceed.

Glyphosate

To be brief – glyphosate is a hormone-disrupting chemical.  It is linked to metabolic damage, infertility, obesity, learning disabilities and birth defects.  Need More?  Really?  If you are smugly thinking that you are a meat eater and don’t eat much corn, think again.  Most cattle are raised on CORN and that corn is Roundup ready.  Don’t believe me – take a trip to Nebraska.

In fact if you live in a corn growing state like Nebraska, you are drinking glyphosate in your household water unless you have a granular activated carbon filter to remove it.

We are eating Crap!

I’m not just being crude.  Human sewage sludge is used as fertilizer in farm fields.  Yes, that is a potential source of salmonella out breaks or worse.  I make this point because another huge problem is hormone-disrupting phthalates which are very common fragrance chemicals used in soaps and shampoos.  Phthalates are being found inside our produce and the only reasonable source is the sewage sludge.  EAT ORGANIC- the use of human sewage is banned in organic farming.

Fat and don’t know why?

May be you eat too much.  But maybe it is the pesticides that are making us fat.  Even in very low doses, pesticides tamper with our body’s natural weight loss chemistry.  These are also linked to cancer and type 2 diabetes, go figure.

The nice thing is that eating organic for just five days can rid the body of virtually all pesticide residues.

What to avoid?

Avoid synthetic fragrances, soft vinyl products and “slow release” or gel-coated medications to eliminate phthalates.  And of course eat organic.

More reasons

Pesticides can interfere with your vitamin D levels.  Organophosphates are a class of pesticides that include 20 or more different pesticides and account for more than 70 percent of the pesticides used in the US.  It is known that these pesticides interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize vitamin D.  D, known as the sunshine vitamin protects us from cancer, diabetes, infections, heart desease, broken bones and boosts our immune system.

Feed Lot Farming – now this is a story in its own right, but hopefully you’ll read it anyhow.  Feed lots are a farming method to raise a large number of cattle or fowl in a small space.  The animals are herded into tightly packed pens or corals.  They are fed in situations that force the animals to eat their own feces.  These “Lots” are so filthy the farmers inject low levels of antibiotics into the animals to keep them health, which in turn end up in the meat we eat and cause antibiotic resistance in humans.  All mass produced animals including cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs, dairy cattle and sheep are raised this way.  In such conditions pests can also be a problem, so farmers spray the herd or flock with pesticides which also get into their food.

Conditions are so bad that e.coil bacteria is a problem, so to prevent it from getting into the food supply, after slaughter, one method is to wash chickens in a chlorine bath that contains 30 times more chlorine than a swimming pool.  To mask the chlorine odor and supposedly to keep the bird moist while cooking, the chickens are then injected with a solution of water and phosphate.  Phosphate can increase our risk of kidney disease, weak bones and even cause premature aging.

Need more reasons?

You are beyond hope – it was nice knowing you – jughandle