Four Meals in One Cooking Session

I am breaking a blogging rule today and I am not adding pictures. I know pictures draw people, but when I had my cooking session I was focused on the cooking and did not stop to take pictures. Plus, I had no idea how it was going to turn out. It turned out well, so I want to share it with you, pictures or no pictures. I know you guys can handle not having pictures! A couple notes first, I do eat meat, I do eat grains and I do eat dairy. These meal ideas do not fit every persons diet style! I also cook for 6 people who all have adult appetites.

About a week ago, I stumbled upon a blog from a woman who does meals in bulk by prepping everything, putting it in freezer bags and then using the crockpot to reheat the meal. While I liked her idea, she used a lot of canned foods to build her meals and I don’t. But, it got me thinking, and I came up with the idea of cooking four meals at once to put in the fridge for the week. My goal was to create different dishes using as many of the same ingredients as I could to minimize my time in the kitchen. Read More→

Warm up with GMO Free Hot Chocolate!

This is a great time of year to indulge in some hot chocolate! My kids absolutely love this drink. It does take more time than opening an envelope of hot chocolate mix, but it is worth the time and effort.

 

 

Hot Chocolate

1/2 cup cane sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbls flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups cold water

6 cups organic whole milk

1 tbls vanilla or omit the cinnamon and use mint flavoring

Stir sugar, cocoa, flour, cinnamon and salt in a sauce pan. Stir in cold water. Stir constantly while you bring it to a boil. The mixture will thicken. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes while stirring. Stir in milk and heat but do not boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla. This recipe serves 6.

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Non GMO Breakfast

          I will admit it. My budget is recovering from Christmas and so I am being extra cautious with the food budget which means cooking more from scratch. Store bought non GMO Cereal can be expensive, so whenever I get to chance to do it, I make granola. It helps my mornings go more smoothly if we have something ready to eat. Last weekend, I set aside a little time to make homemade granola.  I rarely follow a recipe exactly and I change something every time I cook or bake. Here is what I did this time:

                                    

Granola

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1 cup organic cane sugar with 3 tablespoons of molasses mixed in

1/2 cup of coconut oil

6 cups of oatmeal

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup shredded coconut

Mix can sugar, coconut oil, and molasses and heat in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved and coconut oil is liquified. On large cookie sheet with sides, mix oatmeal and cinnamon. Stir melted oil/sugar mixture into the oatmeal and stir thoroughly. Spread into a thin layer and bake at 375. Stir granola after ten minutes and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, watching closely. Remove granola from the oven and stir in raisins and coconut. Allow it to cool.

          You can use grapeseed oil instead of coconut, and honey or maple syrup in place of the sugar. I have used diced dried pineapple, apricots, apples and dates. You can stir in walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seed. I have added orange or lemon oil to the liquid and have used a variety of spices including cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. The only limit to this recipe is your imagination.

Enjoy!

GMA Report Shows Organic, NonGMO Farming is Sustainable

Grocery Manufacturers Association defines Sustainability and takes note of changes to consumer preferences.

          Grocery Manufacturers Association knows what you want, but they are working to undermine it by using their money and political influence to prevent mandatory gmo labeling laws. Read More→

Investing in Secrecy

How the Grocery Manufacturers Association is committed to preventing you from knowing what is in your food.

          Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents companies like Pepsico, Kraft, Kelloggs, Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences and Land O’lakes has taken another step in their efforts to prevent you from knowing GMOs are in your food. GMA is well known for contributing millions to defeat mandatory labeling efforts in California.  It is also responsible for half of the $22 million dollars raised by opponents of labeling in Washington State.  According to a document obtained by Politico, GMA  is pursuing a national labeling standard for GMOs. That sounds like what we want, right? Wrong. Let’s take a closer look. Read More→

2, 4D Resistance Crops One Step Closer to Market

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is moving toward deregulation of Dow AgroSciences new 2,4-D resistant corn and soybeans. These new products are intended to offer farmers the ability to use additional chemicals, due in part to the weed resistance caused by use of other chemicals, including glyphosate which is heavily used on Roundup Resistant crops.

Those of us who have been working for transparency and labeling for genetically altered foods have seen this coming for a few years. It became obvious to those in the biotech industry and to GMO activists alike, that weed resistance was becoming a problem. Their solution is to double down and add more chemicals and more altered genes. These new crops are tolerant to multiple herbicides including 2,4-D and glyphosate. Read More→

There’s a Hole in the Cheerios Story

CheeriosIf your Facebook circles are anything like mine, you have seen memes calling out Cheerios for their use of GMOs. Over the last couple of years, Cheerios has become a specific target of GMO activists. It is estimated that over 75% of food on store shelves contain GMOs, so why then would Cheerios be specifically targeted? I think it is because moms who have trusted Cheerios to be a first finger food for their kids for decades felt especially deceived. It has been a staple cereal in homes where moms were concerned about avoiding sugary foods and Cheerios has continued to appeal to families as a better choice.

As more people learned about GMOs, more people felt betrayed and deceived by food manufacturers and regulating agencies who opted to introduce GMOs into our foods without our knowledge or permission. At the same time, these same food manufacturers were creating GMO free versions of their foods for other countries where labeling and/or bans are in place. And so, Cheerios faced a flurry of angry, passionate people who became relentless at every turn. It got so Cheerios could not make a post on their Facebook page about any topic without dozens of comments from people who said they refuse to buy Cheerios until they are GMO free.

It worked. Last week Cheerios announced that they are now using GMO free cornstarch and pure cane sugar in their cereal, but only the regular Cheerios. This should be a clear victory for GMO activists, and I believe it is, but with some added notes and caution.

The statement made on the Cheerios website regarding this switch is very pro GMO in wording. While they are making the change in the Cheerios brand, they are also defending the use of GMOs. I suppose General Mills has a vested interest to do that from a corporate standpoint, considering all of their other brands will still contain GMOs. A statement put out by General Mills says: “There is a broad consensus that foods containing GMOs is safe, but we decided to move forward with this in response to consumer demand.”

Cheerios falls back on the statement that the FDA and World Health Organization has deemed GMOs as safe. This is not exactly true. The FDA does not research the safety of GMOs. The FDA merely requires the biotech industry to submit their research for the FDA to evaluate. Human safety testing of GMOs is voluntary only, and currently no biotech company has opted to conduct such testing. The actual position of WHO is that there is no evidence GMOs have caused harm in countries where they have been approved. But, if there are no labels and consumers do not know that they are eating them, then there is no conversation being had among the general public with their doctors regarding the role GMOs might have in health conditions.

While General Mills is capitulating to consumer demands regarding GMOs, they also donated over 2 million dollars to defeat mandatory labeling during the last two years. General Mills has supported legislation or policy changes which would allow GMO ingredients to be labeled “natural”. In addition, General Mills boxes will now claim “This product is produced without the use of genetically modified ingredients”, but there will be no third party testing and the box will reportedly include an extra disclaimer which says the cereal could contain trace amounts of GMOs due to cross contamination.

Food activists who become passionate about GMOs tend to be very passionate about other aspects of food. Some of these activists are extremely unhappy with General Mills and consider this entire move to non GMO Cheerios to be a loss for “our side”. This is because it does not meet other qualities activists deem important such as being organic or being full of grains, which some believe damage health. Foodie bloggers have written about this being a loss because people will be lulled into believing Cheerios is healthy when it is still a non organic, processed cereal owned by a big corporation who is opposed to full disclosure labels with third party accountability. Some don’t think people should financially support a corporation who uses their profits to fight labeling efforts. Some activists, including me, have become passionate about supporting small, local farmers as much as possible because we know that in order to avoid this kind of deception again, we have to have a relationship with the people who produce our food.

The GMO issue is a complex one that begs for tighter regulation, corporate accountability, support of small farmers, evaluation of chemicals used in farming and many other issues. It is an issue that can introduce you to dozens of other health concerns within our food supply. But, the fight against GMOs requires that we have a clear, consistent mission with clear consistent demands. I don’t believe we can win this fight by switching up the rules based on our wide variety of food interests, when companies are trying to meet our demands. We can make our demands more clear; like demanding that Cheerios prove they removed GMOs through third party verification. But, if our goal is to gain transparency in our food supply about GMOs, or to get GMOs removed from certain products or all products, then we need to keep our focus there. If our goal is anti corporate or anti grains or anti conventional farming, then the conversation needs to be different from the outset.

Is General Mills latest move just a marketing ploy to make more money on the GMO issue and get the angry mob to stop posting damaging things about Cheerios on social media? Maybe so. But, the fact that we have influenced a large multinational corporation to change their product and generate mass national media attention to a cause that was largely invisible a few years ago is a major win. We have seen the power of the consumer speaking out. It should encourage us to speak out more often, more loudly and for our own sanity and unity, with more clarity.

GMO Free Idaho Responds to Monsanto Statement Regarding GMO Wheat

GMO Free Idaho co-founder Jenny Easley expressed frustration at the discovery of Roundup Resistant Wheat in an Oregon field. Monsanto, she said, continues to claim these crops are safe despite the fact they were never approved for production in the United States. Easley pointed out that the FDA has never tested any GMO (genetically-modified organism) for human safety.

“Export markets are at risk with this discovery,” Easley said. “The Idaho Wheat Commission website shows that Idaho ranks fifth nationally for wheat export and, according to their website, was a 524 million dollar industry for Idaho in 2010. Discovery of GMO-wheat could hurt our economy significantly.” With 64 countries having either banned or required labeling of GMOs, many countries may halt trade with US farmers if they fear the wheat has been contaminated. According to the international news agency Reuters, Japan has already done so. Easley is making a public request to the Idaho Department of Agriculture to reconsider its recent decision not to test fields in Idaho for the Roundup-Ready gene.

In addition to trade concerns, Easley cited consumer concerns in the United States. For years the biotech industry and large food manufacturers have claimed that mandatory labeling of genetically-modified foods is unnecessary. They point out that consumers who wish to avoid GMOs may buy organic or avoid crops, such as corn, soy, sugar beets, and canola which have been widely genetically-engineered. Monsanto indicates the corporation is not opposed to voluntary labeling.

Easley said that organic and voluntary labeling does not protect against cross contamination like we are seeing in wheat in Oregon or from an earlier case of rice contamination. This leaves American consumers who wish to avoid GMOs at risk of eating something they would choose to avoid.

GMO Free Idaho is calling on elected representatives, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration to support mandatory labeling of genetically-modified crops. “We need to have protections in place for farmers, consumers and our export markets.” Easley said. GMO Free Idaho will continue to educate the public about GMOs and to push for mandatory labeling of foods which contain genetically modified foods.

Source: GMO Free Idaho
Media Contact: Jenny Easley 208-571-6388 Leslie Stoddard 208-521-8997

March against Monsanto News

As many of you know, there is a national event on May 25th being held in cities across the country and in Canada.

Boise resident, Lindsey Rhinehart has signed up on March against Monsanto’s page to host the Boise march. While we will attend and Lindsey has asked us to speak, GMO Free Idaho is NOT the host of this event!

GMO Free Idaho has received inquiries about how to help with the event. We think it is great that you want to help, but since we are not the hosts, we are referring you to Lindsey. To help minimize the confusion, we are providing you with Lindsey’s March against Monsanto Facebook Event Page.

Lindsey is holding several planning meetings between now and May 25th. You may contact her to see when and where the meetings will take place. Lindsey has provided her email address on the event page. You can reach her at lindseyrinehart@compassionateidaho.org.

Thanks!

GMO FREE IDAHO

Idaho Representatives to Get Educated on GMOs

This is a good time to reflect on the last year and set goals for the New Year. I have considered the best way forward with GMO awareness and my activism and after a couple months of contemplation, especially since the defeat of California’s Prop 37, I have come to some realizations.

You see, at first, I was disheartened by the loss in California. I thought since California could not pass a labeling law, neither could an agricultural state like Idaho. And, truth be told, I was probably right. But, my vision of what is a win and what is a loss was blurred. I was assuming that a loss at the ballot box meant a loss for the cause. I was wrong.

In California, 48% of voters…an estimated 6 million Californians voted to pass GMO labeling this last November. Six million people stood up against GMOs together on the same day. That is amazing! That is a win, because two years ago, those same people may not have known GMOs existed nor had an opinion on the topic. More than that, Prop 37 spawned a national conversation and empowered people across the US to come together and continue the fight for what we know to be right; honest labeling of our food and a choice. Washington has collected 350,000 signatures to get labeling on their ballot this coming November. New Mexico and other states a introducing legislation to mandate labeling. Every time these bills are introduced, more people become aware and our cause grows.

I have met enough of our representatives in Idaho to know that many of them don’t know any more about GMOs than the average person in the grocery store. They simply do not know what we know, just as I did not know three years ago. What most of them do know about biotech, they learn from the lobbyists who fill the capitol or from the big businesses that hold so much power in Idaho politics. They don’t know the consumer concerns because, frankly, we have never told them.

Who do they hear from? Read More→