Why Europe Cares More About GMO’s Than The U.S.

In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) stated that, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified (GM) food.”   These include infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The AAEM has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid GM foods. But how can people avoid GM foods when they are not labeled as such?

The United States has tried numerous times to pass GM labeling legislation, with the most prominent recent example being proposition 37 in California, which failed just like all prior attempts. Contrast this with the European Union, which passed GM labeling laws back in 1997 when the first Genetically Engineered (GE) corn (maize) crops were being planted.  Far fewer safety studies had been done back then, but the Europeans had strong feelings on the topic nonetheless.

Why do the U.S. and Europe have such diverging attitudes on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)? Here’s my list of the top 7 reasons followed by what those of us who want labeling legislation in America can do about it:

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Better Than Canned Coconut Milk

IMG_8003Coconut has long been a staple food in tropical regions around the world and has grown in popularity in America. This is thanks in part to Americans’ growing interest in the exotic flavors from countries like Thailand, India and Brazil. But it is also thanks to the growing body of research on coconuts’ nutritional benefits (a good resource is the Coconut Research Center).  Luckily it’s pretty easy these days to find good quality whole coconuts, shredded dried coconut meat and coconut oil. Unfortunately coconut milk is another story.

Do you buy canned or boxed coconut milk or eat at restaurants that cook with these products? Ever wonder what all those extra ingredients in the can are? Do you want to know where to find pure, fresh-tasting and additive-free coconut milk without having to make it yourself? Continue reading

Two Weeks Without Wheat: Why and How I Did It – Plus Recipes

I’ve been wondering why wheat is getting such a bad rap lately.  We’ve known for some time that refined flour contributes to metabolic problems, like cavities, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  What’s new is the growing number of people having severe and immediate reactions to wheat or the gluten in the wheat. Celiac disease is on the rise, but many other people have digestive, autoimmune or neurological issues, such as IBS, Hashimotos, depression, autism and ADHD, the symptoms of which appear to be vastly diminished when wheat/gluten is eliminated from the diet. But how could wheat really be the culprit, since it is a traditional food that’s been consumed by humans for thousands of years? Continue reading

Why Consider Giving Birth Outside a Hospital?

Birthing Center

Photo courtesy of http://www.birthcenter.com.

It’s risky. It’s painful. It’s messy.  It may even cost you more out-of-pocket. Why, then, are some people choosing to forego the safety and convenience of a hospital birth and opting instead to labor without pain meds in a birthing center or at home?  And why did I eventually choose this option for myself?

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Shame on you, Dr. Oz! Here’s how to *really* eat healthy on a budget.

I occasionally buy fresh spinach at the farmer’s market. And fresh carrots. And pasture-raised meats. Apparently that makes me a food snob who’s wasting money without actually getting any meaningful nutritional benefits from these food choices. At least that’s my takeaway from this month’s Time Magazine cover story, authored by the surgeon turned TV personality known as “Dr. Oz.”  In the article, Dr. Oz tells readers “What to eat now” based on his “Anti-food-snob diet.” Continue reading

My Interview with Mark McAfee, Founder and CEO of America’s Most Controversial Dairy

Real, unadulterated, whole, raw milk. People have consumed this versatile, satisfying and nutritious food for thousands of years. That is, up until about 100 years ago, when it fell out of favor and was replaced by the highly processed and allergenic alternative that is found in today’s supermarkets. Although it’s growing again in popularity, raw milk and its producers are mistrusted by government officials, the mainstream media and the vast majority Americans.  Several raw milk dairies in America have recently closed their doors due to the intense scrutiny and harassment they’ve endured from state health departments. But Mark McAfee, head of America’s largest retail raw milk producer, is far from letting anyone get in the way of pursuing his dream of improving the health of this country by providing informed consumers with access to “mother nature’s perfect food.”

In this interview, Mark gives me the inside scoop on the very public pathogen outbreaks that have been associated with his dairy. He answers the hotly debated question of whether humans should be consuming the milk of another species. He talks about government corruption. And he tells me about a new enterprise he has launched, which aims to bring greater transparency and standardization to raw milk production. Continue reading

Turkish Zucchini Pancakes

I learned this recipe from my mother, who grew up in Turkey. The biggest challenge with Zucchini pancakes is getting them to be more dry or crispy than soggy.  This recipe produces a a very nice texture, although you can always bake them afterward to dry them out even more. Zucchini pancakes are typically served at room temperature, which makes this a good dish to bring to a party. Try to select tender, young zucchini, but if that’s not possible (especially this late in the season), then cut the zucchini lengthwise down the middle and remove the seedy core with a spoon before grating.  Although I’m normally a stickler for recipe quantities, this is one recipe where you really are better off going by “feel.” Especially since the moisture level of zucchini varies, as does the size of eggs. Continue reading