Jump on the Food Train

I may be hopping on the crazy person soap box during this post…consider yourself warned.

Genetically Modified – Monsanto and the Labeling Nightmare

Everyday that I read and learn more and more about the state of the food that the majority of us are putting into our bodies and the governing bodies that completely fail at doing their job to create and uphold regulations to keep us safe I get more and more disgusted. In fact, from what I can see, the federal government (not just this 4-year version, I’m not getting political) is not only doing nothing to stop it, they are allowing companies like Monsanto to continue producing Genetically Modified (GMO) crops without labeling them, something that the majority of the general public wants to know. In order to be fair, here is Monsanto’s rebuttal as to why they shouldn’t have to label such products. I’m sorry Monsanto, but that’s a pretty sorry excuse, and it sounds like you think people wouldn’t buy products labeled GMO so you don’t want to have to do it. If you really think GM plants are so awesome, why don’t you want to label them, like organic farmers do? That’s what I thought. Yeah, congress sided with you, but that’s not saying much…I bet several of those spineless politicians have a hefty check coming their way for their re-election campaign. This is, after all, the same congress that decided Pizza was a vegetable…enough said. P.S. THANK YOU Health on the Run for continuing to have awesome, thoughtful, intelligent posts about the current problems in America’s Public Health domain. Her recent post on the survive on 35 challenge was right on the mark.

Gardens, Gardens Everywhere

OK, if you haven’t stopped reading yet, let’s move on to a lighter topic. First here’s a quick update on Hubster and I’s garden, which I had high hopes for back in January and February…Hubster gets all the credit for purchasing, planting, watering, and nuturing our tomato, green pepper, red pepper, sweet pepper, cucumber, yellow squash and zucchini plants while I was in the throws of long work days and high burnout level. Unfortunately we only got a couple yellow squash and zucchini before mystery bugs ate the darn roots off the plant. The “red pepper” plant seems to be confused and is producing green peppers, but they are T-A-S-T-Y! Our tomato plants are lookin’ gooooood and almost ripe for the pickin’, and the cukes have mysteriously disappeared. Granted, we crammed all those plants into essentially a 3′ x 8′ space (hubster didn’t really listen to the whole “plant approximately 36″ apart” thing) so when it’s all said and done I’m pretty impressed with our little garden. If I can get enough tomatos to try my hand at canning I will be a happy girl.

Funny story…when I saved this file to my computer I saved it as “cukes”. These are most definitely NOT cukes but they were supposed to be red peppers. Poor plants just don’t know what they are!

When I was home in NC I snagged my parents’ latest issue of Mother Earth News. There were, as always, many good articles that I read and re-read on the multiple plane trips I had, but one really stuck with me. It was about eating local food and supporting local farmers in lieu of paying lots of money to ship food all over the country and world, but the point I took home was about using unused land and green space around us to grow food. There are several places here in Cleveland that immediately came to mind that are already doing this – Lucky’s Cafe is not only a delicious place to eat but they also get almost all of their food locally or grow it in their garden, which is right next to the restaurant and while you are waiting to eat you can tour their vegetable beds! If you are ever in Cleveland, please, PLEASE eat breakfast or lunch at Lucky’s. You won’t be disappointed.

Anyway, back to the gardens in unused spaces. The next time you go somewhere, take a look at all the space that is just being “wasted” around you and how it could be used to grow food. It’s really amazing to think about, but I’m pretty sure Cleveland could easily grow enough food to support itself if all the empty lots housed gardens, traditional or raised-bed. Wouldn’t that be awesome!? I think the U.S. would be so much better off if we went to a more local food culture. So many families that are struggling to find work and/or put healthy food on the table here in Cleveland would have a way to both earn money and put good food in their bellies if they could grow vegetables or livestock (*humanely*). And Big Agriculture would hopefully find it’s demise and change its ways to a more environmentally friendly way of farming, putting nutrients back in soil and eliminating the need for more and more pesticides and other yucky stuff.

On Sunday I went to the Farmer’s Market, and Made Bread.

Both endeavors were equally successful, but I learned that Hubster takes all the fun out of the farmer’s market. I’m one of those people who likes to peruse the stands, talk to the people, meander around without a plan. Hubster is strictly business. Make list. Buy only what is on list. Don’t talk to people. It’s boring! We did make some pretty stellar purchases: fresh corn, green beans, fresh pasta from Ohio City, and some romaine lettuce. Things I wanted to buy but got talked out of: grass-fed pasture-raised pork, organic chevre ball with herbs on it, grass-fed aged mild white cheddar cheese. Next time I’m leaving Hubster at home 🙂

Oh Kamm’s Corner Farmer’s Market, how cute you are…

I’ve been wanting to make bread for a while, I really would like to get into a habit of making it every week or every two weeks and stop buying the stuff from the store. Today I found a recipe from heavenly homemaker’s blog for honey whole wheat bread, I just found the blog and I’m a big fan, but I’m an even bigger fan of this recipe. It was easy enough, and 3 1/2 hours later two nearly perfect loaves of bread came out of the oven. I should start a bakery. Today for lunch I had a sandwich with homemade bread, kale, homemade hummus, and grass fed white cheddar cheese. I felt so healthy I wanted to finish it off with a giant chocolate chip cookie 🙂 But seriously, that sandwich was freakin’ tasty.

100% deliciousness.

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