Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Is Work Healthy?

I've often thought if I could work from home a couple of days each week I'd be happier, healthier, and less stressed. I could change out laundry or clean up the kitchen when I'd normally spend that idle time chatting with co-workers. Weekends would be free of such mundane tasks and open for more fun pursuits.  I could jog miles at lunchtime when I'd normally have settled for a quick lap around the building.  I wouldn't be subject to the sweet temptations of cake and donuts when others bring them into the office.  Dilbert's Pointy-Haired Boss has confirmed what I've long suspected to be true...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Coming to a Store Near You...

As it turns out, genetically modified (GM) products are typically used in processed foods, which is good for us as humans.  It means that we are exposed to less of their disease- and insect-resistant properties because the things they are used in have gone through so much processing.  Think of GM corn going into corn syrup or corn starch rather than a steaming ear of midsummer corn on the cob.

Based on this article, that may change in the fall.  Monsanto, a company most notorious for genetically modifying crops and levying harsh penalties on farmers who go out of their way not to use them, is going to start selling their fresh GM corn in supermarkets.  This company already controls 60% of the U.S. corn market, and given corn's promiscuity, the GM plants are likely to cross-pollinate with nearby natural varieties.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The modified fresh corn is going to include resistance to weed-killer Roundup (also sold by Monsanto) and insects via the biological pesticide Bt toxin. As you would expect, some pests are becoming resistant to Monsanto's efforts the same way "superbugs" evolve to become resistant to powerful antibiotics.  Several species of weeds and one population of moths are no longer bothered by Roundup.  I wish we knew the long-term effects of producing and ingesting GM products, but so far sufficient studies have not been done.

Stop messing with nature!

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Fresh" Defined

Apologies for not posting in a while!  I have been cooking, farmers-marketing, and hanging with Henry.  Lots of inspiration has been coming my way for websites and services that I think would be really useful and successful and I've been focusing on those things a bit more than food lately.  This morning, however, I was "inspired" by what I saw when I pulled up to work.

I suspect that the word "fresh" in this instance means "not yet expired".  Being someone who learns best by example, I'd like to quickly go over what does and doesn't count as fresh food.

The tomatoes and bell pepper from my garden I used in yesterday's dinner.
The farmer's market watermelon slices I ate with breakfast.
Baby carrots in my lunchbox.

Gray Area:
Yogurt and cheese from the grocery store.
Packaged soy milk

Definitely Not Fresh:
Juice from concentrate
Frito's corn chips
Fruit snacks
Sticky buns
Everything in that truck