Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
- Buy more locally grown food. Until now I told myself anything grown in North America counted as "local" or "in season". I live in Los Angeles so doing it that way allowed for produce grown in Mexico. I think I should limit it to produce grown in California for the most part.
- Buy more organic items. I was buying some organic but I also was trying to stick to a budget which can make shopping for organic items more difficult. This is a challenge so I will have to find a way to make it work.
- Avoid genetically modified food. I will blog more about the issues of genetically modified food later. I eat a lot of soy products (soy milk, soy yogurt, etc.) so I will have to read more labels and do more research to avoid genetically modified soybeans (currently, up to 85 percent of soybeans are genetically engineered).
- Prepare more responsible and healthy dishes. I need to incorporate my locally grown, non genetically modified and organic items in to tasty dishes!
- Get more involved in the food movement. There is so much we can be doing to improve food safety, school lunches, etc. I will be becoming more active and sharing ways for others to do so as well (I also would appreciate your ideas for ways to get involved).
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.
Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Cookbook Review: Babycakes: Vegan, Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-About Bakery
Erin Mckenna, the author and owner of Babycakes Bakery in NYC, was on the Martha Stewart Show making cookies from her new cookbook. Martha went on and on how good they were. Well, my mom, my sister and I immediately ordered the book. Unfortunately there are many problems with the cookbook.
- It is not completely gluten-free as the title states. The whole chapter on biscuits and scones and some other recipes are not gluten-free (those recipes use spelt flour).
- I, my sister and many other people (see Babycakes blog and Amazon reviews) seem to be having similar problems. Muffins and breads collapsing, cooking times way off, cookies coming out as flat disks, etc.
- Ingredients and directions are not clear in the book. She lists coconut oil in the recipes but then on her blog she says you should use unscented and melted coconut oil (unscented is more difficult to find and that should be stated in the recipe as well as whether to melt it or not).
- She has a couple of posts on her blog to deal with all questions and problems people are having with her recipes. But her responses all seem to assume the homecook has made mistakes or not followed her recipe exactly. She also states "Remember, baker buddies, this isn't easy stuff! " Vegan and gluten free bakers are used to tweaking recipes and having cooking disasters. But when one uses a cookbook and follows the recipe exactly, it should come out well (maybe in the future you tweak spices and such but overall the recipe should work).
So I think that she did not have recipe testers for this which is a shame because the book is beautiful and it would have been great to have a go to cookbook for vegan and gluten-free baked goods. The shortcake bread came out well as well as one batch of the cookies. Buy this if you are ok with it providing guidelines for you for vegan and gluten free baking but not consistently good recipes. Be ready to spend a lot for ingredients ( a jar of coconut oil might be enough for two recipes) and to have a many inedible disasters before getting something good.