Food for Thoughts 2

Food for Thoughts 2

Food for Thoughts 2/17/2011

Growing up in the pre-alps of Switzerland, our winters were long, cold and with quantities of snow. At that time kids were not chauffeured around and we would walk the couple of miles to school, I remember leaving the house in the darkness of the early morning and to be the first one to walk in the fresh snow for part of the way.
I never was a big fan of the winter cold and yes this was the reason why 30 so years later I moved to South Florida.
But one of the fondest memory of those winters was the hot chocolate. We were leaving a few miles from the chocolate factory Cailler and my mother would get their chocoloate powder. I still can see the packaging: metallic pink with navy blue writing. That cacao powder was just grinded cacao beans, nothing else. We would cook it with milk and added sugar. Our milk was raw, unpasteurized and you had to go to the dairy with jug to get it (yes we all survived!!) but let me tell you that whole milk mixed with the cacao was making The best hot chocolate !!!
I think my favorite was the afternoon one I would get retuning from school that was so good.
Later on all the "instant" version of chocolate powder hit the market, I did not liked them, too "chemical" tasting, I knew what real chocolate was ...
All the years in south Florida never really requested any hot chocolate drinking and I forgot about it.
In recent years reading the labels I figured it out why it tasted bad and avoided to buy any.
But this winter I was just too cold and the memory of The hot chocolate came back!
Last year I got to learn about all the wonder of raw organic pure cacao powder. It is named one of the super food of the world and has nothing to do with the processed commercial form of chocolate but that is a whole other story.
I had been experiencing with it making creme of chocolat and other desert so I started to mix it with organic evaporated cane juice to find the right balance: a little sweet but not too much and mainly that taste of my childhood hot chocolate.
It took some trial and error and a lot of hot chocolate drinking (ya really cold winter!) but I finally got it ... and it is delicious ... so far I had it with wholemilk, with homemade almond milk and even with water: just delicious ....
I will have it for sale at the market :
Organic Hot Chocolate Mix : The Swiss Way
Yes the weather warmed up but the night are still collish .... 

Food for Thoughts 02/03/2011

A week ago USDA authorized unrestricted planting of GMO alfalfa and therefore open the floodgate to Frankenfood, like it could be worst that what it already is !!!
A lot of brouhaha over the net, fingers pointing etc ... bottom line : USDA has approved GMO's alfalfa and I still need to see throng of people boycotting processed food !!!
But my point is not there as I already said : too many people just dont care ...
My point is in the responses from the CEO of Whole Food Market/Organic Valley/Stonefield etc ...
They more or less all said the same :
1. they are commited to organic farming
2. USDA presented only 2 options :
2.a.bad : allowing unrestricted planting of GMO's alfalfa
2.b.bad : allowing restricted planting of GMO's alfalfa
so their excuses was we had "no choice" but to opt for option 2.b.bad "cohexistence".
Now you want me to believe that you are the CEO of one of those multi billions producing company and you are at the table with USDA and YOU HAVE NO CHOICE ???
Who are we kidding here ???
of course you have a choice ... the choice to get up and walk !!!
Make no mistake they had a choice and they did not take it because their bottom line is not your wellbeing and they could careless about what you, the consumer, think ...
All this is already one week old ... now the consensus is "united we stand" BS
and it is business as usual ... the less we hear about it the better and in the meantime GMO's alfalfa will be planted this spring ... and Monsanto won another round !!!

If you want to learn more about what organic really means join us this coming Tuesday, February 8 (see calendar below) for a viewing of What is Organic about "Organic"?
See you All bright and early ....

Food for Thoughts 01/27/2011

Very depressing news today and I don't know which one is worst .. and I am not sure that, beside the 25 peoples reading this email, people really understand the long term negative impact on their health, on the environement and the future of food.
Today USDA announced that it's will NOT impose any restriction on planting GMO alfalfa which will open a flood gate to any other Frankencrops and in the same token Whole Food Market, Organic Valley and StonyField Farm have decided it was time to surrender to Monsanto.
Top executivs from these corporations have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto's controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa and want to cut a deal of "coexistance" with Monsanto following recent USDA recommendation to do the same !!!!
No need to have a PHD to understand that "coexistence" between GMO's and organics is impossible. For allowing Monsanto premeditated pollution WFM wants "compensation" and we already know that will never happens.
Several reasons behind this, first they all desesperately want the controversy surrounding GE food to go away, you need to know that 2/3 of WFM $9 billions/year sales is derived from so called "natural" processed food and animal products that are contaminated with GMO's.
Approximately 2/3 of the products sold by WFM and their main distributor, United Natural Foods (UNFI) are not certified organic but rather conventional (chemical-intensive and GMO tainted) food and products disguised as "natural".
Many well meaning consumers are confused about the difference between conventional products marketed as "natural" and those nutritionally/environmentally superior and climate friendly products that are "certified organic".
WFM and the others are maximizing their profits by selling quasi-natural products at premium organic prices.
There can be no such a thing as "coexistence" with a reckless industry that undermines public health, destroys biodiversity, damages the environment, tortures and poisons animals, destabilizes the climate and economically devastes the world's 1.5 billions seeds saving small farmers.
There is no such a thing as coexistence between GMO's and organics in the European Union and do you know why ?? there is almost no GMO's crops in the EU and do you know why ?? the consumers refused it !!
They (the consumers) made it mandatory to label any food containing GMO. Every study shows that american consumers would want it too but rest assured it will never happend because there is absolutely no polical will for it ....
The only way we will get any kind of result is by putting some serious pressure on retaillers .. and it is very simple : stop buying any processed food, right there you will avoid most GMO and you will save money because processed food is very expensive.
Give it a try next time you go grocery shopping !
You have the power to force a change each time you go to the grocery store, make sure you use it ...

See you All bright and early ....

here are the full articles:
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22449.cfm
http://www.cornucopia.org/2011/01/breaking-news-usda-to-fully-deregulate-monsantos-genetically-engineer-alfalfa-gene-contamination-of-feed-milk-meat-and-other-products-to-follow/

Food for Thoughts 01/06/2011
Well back with some thoughts after a break is hard!! hard to get back on track and focus on work after a few days off over the Holidays ....
So let's start the year focusing on the getting all that  GMO food labelled. It is very simple : GMO are bad for your health, bad for the environment, bad for the livestocks ... just plain bad and food containing GMO ingredients should be labeled. End of the story !!!
I am reprinting hereafter informations you can find at The Organic Consumers Association but they are compelling numbers and show that whatever processed food you buy DO contain GMO ingredients :

Any processed food that contains corn (75 million acres, or 85%, of U.S. corn production is GM); soy (72 million acres or 91% of U.S. soy is GM); cottonseed oil (8.8 million acres or 88% of U.S. cotton is GM); canola (3.2 million acres or 85% of U.S. Canola is GM); or sugar beets (1.2 million acres or 95% of U.S. sugar beets is GM); is overwhelmingly likely to contain Monsanto's engineered DNA, and therefore needs to have a label that says "May Contain GMOs."

Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, grass-fed animal products, and whole grains, while avoiding multi-ingredient packaged foods, fried foods, sodas, juice drinks and factory-farmed animal products, is another good way to avoid GMOs.

But most people in the United States find it very hard to do this. This isn't entirely the fault of consumers. According to the National Cancer Institute, the US only produces and imports half of the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables required for our population.

Only a quarter of the US population is aware that they are being force-fed GMOs, and most say they wouldn't buy GM foods, but nearly everything sold at grocery stores contains GMOs. And none of it is labeled.
Support Truth-in-Labeling. For more information about avoiding GMOs, you can go to Millions against Monsanto web page at
http://www.organicconsumers.org/monlink.cfm

In the 1990s, Monsanto found an ingenious way to sell large quantities of its broad-spectrum toxic herbicide RoundUp to farmers. The company's scientists gene-spliced corn, soy, cotton, and canola with foreign DNA, enabling these "Frankencrops" to survive massive doses of RoundUp.
Farmers could now repeatedly spray their fields with RoundUp, killing weeds but not the crop. Unfortunately, the collateral damage of heavy RoundUp spraying includes groundwater pollution, toxic residues in crops, and destruction of essential soil microorganisms.
The Genetically Modified (GM) crops themselves create herbicide-resistant Superweeds and spread genetic pollution to organic and non-GMO crops as well as plant relatives.
Last but certainly not least, Monsanto's GM foods have been linked to serious health damage - not only for animals, but humans as well.
Today, a major portion of cropland in the US is sown with Monsanto's "RoundUp Ready" corn, soy, cotton, canola, and sugar beets.
Eighty percent of these GM crops are then sold as animal feed to the nation's 125,000 factory farms or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) that produce most of the non-organic meat, dairy, or eggs sold in grocery stores or served in restaurants, schools, and hospitals.
The other 20% of Monsanto's Genetically Modified Organisms are laced into non-organic processed foods (soy lecithin, corn or sugar beet sweeteners, cooking oils, etc.) that are found in every grocery store aisle.
There is a direct correlation between our genetically engineered food supply and the $2 trillion the US spends annually on medical care, namely an epidemic of diet-related chronic diseases. Instead of healthy fruits, vegetables, grains, and grass-fed animal products, US factory farms and food processors produce a glut of genetically engineered junk foods that generate heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
Low fruit and vegetable consumption is directly costing the United States $56 billion a year in diet-related chronic diseases.
Monsanto's GM crops are highly profitable for the food industry, turning cheap, federally subsidized, genetically engineered crops and GE-fed animals into cheap, ubiquitous, junky foods. But from the standpoint of public health and environmental sustainability, Monsanto and their factory farm collaborators are nothing less than merchants of disease and death.
A critical mass of consumers would turn away from GMOs and Factory Farmed meat, dairy, and eggs - if they knew what they were eating.

You can find more informations on GMO at the following sites :
www.organicconsumers.org
www.nongmoshoppingguide.com
www.responsibletechnology.org
If you missed our Growing Local film serie in November you need to watch the movie that was presented : " The World according to Monsanto", google it, you can watch it for free from several web sites.
On a side note, GMO is a huge flop in Europe because the european consumers voted with their money and refuse to buy it. It is also now mandatory in all EU  to have GMO labelled in red on the packages.
Let's make 2011 a GMO free year ....

See you All bright and early ....

Food for Thoughts 09/30/2110

I was not going to have any "thoughts" tonight, it is late and I am close to brain dead but I got this article from a friend and I just find it too disturbing to pass it ...
somewhere in North Carolina, 60,000 chickens died in one of those ChickenGulag. Due to a power failure, the ventilation system stopped and they died of heat exhaustion !!!
Let's just pass the 60,000 chickens in ONE wharehouse !! according to the report, chickens died within minutes ... I would say probably NOT !! chickens are very resilients, those chickens died slowly of suffocation.
They" found the chickens ONE week later ... yes one week ... Health official say there is not public health concern!
Let's recap here :
60,000 dead chickens + one week + one smoltering hot metal building =
I let you do the "math" !!!
Why did it takes one week to find the chickens ?? because the owner does not want to pay someone to make sure accidents don't occur, he rather pay an insurance preminum and cover this type of problem.
And this is not an isolate case !!!
As a society, we let things like that happened all the time and I find it very disturbing ...
All of it because we want to pay $2 for a dozen of eggs ...

That's it ... the Cornucopia Institute report on eggs is out ... I read it and will you my 2 cents on it next week ...

Food for Thoughts 09/23/2010

Last week at the the 6th European Conference of GMO Free Regions in the European parliament in Brussels, a group of international scientists led by Andres Carrasco, Argentina's leading embryologist, presented a report confirming Roundup link to birth defects.
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the world's best selling weed killer, Roundup, causes malformations in frog and chicken embryos at doses far lower than those used in agriculture spraying and well below maximum residue levels in products presently approve in the European Union (not to worry we are NOT in better shape).

They were led to research the embryonic effects of glyphosate by reports of high rates of birth defects in rural areas of Argentina where Monsanto's genetically modified "Roundup Ready" soy beans are grown in large monocultures sprayed by airplanes regularly. The soybean has been genetically modified to survive Roundup, allowing farmers to spray the herbicide liberally (understand "as much as you want") to kill weeds while the crop is growing.
The findings in the lab are compatible with malformations observed in humans exposed to glyphosate during pregnancy. Reporting started in 2002, two years after large scale introduction of Roundup Ready soybeans in Argentina.

In the U.S. 90 % of the soy produced IS genetically modified to be Roundup Ready and 70% of the corn produced IS genetically modified to be Roundup Ready and 95 % of the sugar beets produced ARE genetically modified to be Roundup Ready ... plus a large number of other crops but let's just stop at those 3 ..
Let's not be fooled here, Monsanto has fingers long enough to be in every cookies jar and such independent research will never happened in this country !!
Without saying at any time one of those 3 is present in any processed food ... so if you did not get sprayed you got the residual in the food !!!
and GMO ingredients are not disclosed on any label !!!
On a side note more and more countries in the European Union are pledging to be GMO Free Zone by 2011 !!! ....

Some update on the FrankenFish :
both FDA and the salmon's maker, Aqua Bounty, have said the fast growing fish APPEARS to be the same as normal Atlantic salmon and poses little threat to the environment or diners ...
APPEARS??? Lucky us it is still looking like a fish ... why in the world FDA is even considering it ???

Interesting history of Salmonella in eggs in the NY Times:
The first enteritidis outbreak recognized by health officials was in 1982 in N.H. and they traced the eggs from a farm in Maine owned by DeCoster (same guy of recent massive recall)!!!
In 1987 the first major food poisoning from eggs left 9 people dead and 500 ill, the eggs at the source of the outbreak were from a farm owned by DeCoster !!!
During the 80st, NY and Maryland state believed DeCoster eggs were such a threat that they banned selling them in their state !!!
Testing then found that a Maine breeder flock owned by DeCoster was infected, meaning that hens there could be passing the bacteria to their chicks, which might grow up to lay tainted eggs. Widespread contamination was also found in laying barns.
In 1991, tests revealed more salmonella contamination at one of DeCoster's farms in Maryland. The state quarantined the eggs, DeCoster challenged the order and a federal judge ruled that Maryland could not block him from shipping eggs (contaminated) to other states !!!
And the story goes on during the 90izz ... By then DeCoster had moved to Iowa where they have NO salmonella testing requirement !!! Nice to know that most of the commercial eggs out there are produced in ... Iowa !!!
Wednesday (last week) DeCoster apologized in front of a Congressional panel and said he was horrified his eggs may have made people sick !!! no shit ... where has he been for the last 30 years ??? he also said that the filthy conditions found by FDA were standard practice in the indutrie .. humm this explain that ...
any more reasons to come to the market to pick up your eggs ???

Snacking on watermelon ...

nWatermelon snack

Food for Thoughts 09/02/2010
This egg's drama is just getting better every week !!!
Now we know the chickens are producing eggs with the salmonella INSIDE, each eggs popping out is tainted with salmonella .. I mean every egg/every day ...
You would think that basic common sense the hens would be destroyed (not merely ground up and served again (that is how Mad Cow spreaded)) and the houses burned down, I dont know if you have read the inspectors report ? yes let's just burn them down ...
but NO ...
the eggs are going to be sold to food processors (another bunch with an immaculate safety record) and either pasteurized or cooked enough that hopefully the salmonella wont "outbreak" again !!!!!
This has disaster in the making written all over ...
All that just to save the owner a few $$$ ....
The next brilliant piece of the saga is the inspection report ...
On one end you  have little Twin Oaks Farm and it's 50 chickens. In the State of Florida in order to legally sell eggs, at the farmer's market, you must have a fully equiped commercial facility, we built it out in 3 weeks and the licensing of it took 1.5 years but we have it.
Every 3 to 4 months, Mr. Inspector shows up and inspects our tiny little facility : Thanks to Mr. CarotTop and his team of licensed killers (AKA The Cats) our rodents population is under control, a crew of roaming chickens/ducks and the bugs are none and I do the scrubbing so usually we pass the inspection fairly well, every 3 months we also have to test our well water, if we don't do it timely we get a letter from The Holmes County Health Department reminding us....
so this is our situation here at litte Twin Oaks with our 50 chickens, we like it or we don't like it is not the question, those are the rules and we abide by them.
NOW how at the other end 4,000,000 chickens wharehouses are NOT inspected for years ?? Their water containing salmonella was not tested in years ?? ALL of that from some owner that has been a patented polluter for years, who has been fine millions by agencies that are not known to be the most efficient on the Big Guys when they (the agencies) find time and resources to send inspectors to little Twin Oaks or in the same token harass small farmers over a few gallons of raw milk, the list of abuse on small farms can on and on but you got my point !
I just need a very detailled explanation here because I am not getting it ...
And the spin is already on, a recent article in US NEWS was mentionning some obscure expert as saying there is no evidence that organic farm fresh eggs are safer !!! ....
Those people are delusional and in denial ...
And "cage-free" is not the solution, you will still have 20,000 chickens in a wharehouse fed the same mix of diseased animals, manure and other animals waste, plastic pellets and drugs and chemicals ... All residual of which you get in the eggs and in the meat ...
Well ... it is late and I will leave you that yummy note ...


Jenn Broson wrote this great article on Eat Local, America !
check it out
http://eatlocalamerica.coop/node/509


See you All bright and early ....

....farmer's market in Seaside

Food for Thoughts 08/27/2010
By now we all have heard or read about the eggs recall, we all know about the filthy inhumane conditions those hens are raised, squeezed in a cage the size of 8"x11" sheet of paper, stacked on top of each other, do you know how much a chicken poop ?? You better be on the top rack !!!
And then you learn about the owner of the farm, The Iowa Department of Natural Resources declared him a "habituel violator", making his the first and only operation ever to be deemed as such in Iowa, for its handling of hog waste !!! Plus of course a few other millions in fines here and there for other violations ... Nice guy... !!!!
The precise cause of the salmonella infection has not been pinpointed yet, but the revelations by federal authorities on Thursday suggested they are moving closer and the bacteria was also found in bone meal, an ingredient used by the farm to make its feed.
which bring me to my point : factoryfarm feed ....
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, today's feed contains :
Same species meat,
diseased animals,
feather, hair, skin, hooves, and blood,
manure and other animal waste,
plastics,
drugs and chemicals and
unhealthy amounts of grains,
Are these ingredients legal ? YES, unfortunately.
Some raise human health concerns, others just indicate the low standards for animal feed. All are symptoms of a system that has lost sight of the appropriate way to raise food animals.
Animals in farm-factories receive antibiotics to promote faster growth and to compensate for crowded, stessfull, and unsanitary living conditions. An estimated 70% of the antibiotics produce in this country is added one form or another to animals feed.
Some of the antimicrobials use to control parasites and promote growth in poultry contain arsenic, a known human carcinogen.
Many animals need roughage to move food through their digestive systems. But instead of using plant-base roughage, animal factories  turn to pellets made from plastics to compensate for the lack of natural fiber in the feed.
And grains, some animals are made to eat grains, like a chicken, some other are not, like a cattle, a natural grass eater. Under current US agriculture policy, the government provides large subsidies to farmers that produce grains, particularly corn and soy.
Livestock consumes 47% of the soy and 60% of the corn produced in the US and it has been estimated that factory farms get a discount of 7 to 10% of their operating costs because of the subsidies provided by the government.
Bottom line factory farms are in business to make money, they dont care about the health of the animals, about OUR health, about the environment or anything else but making money. 
It is time we change the way we feed ourself, let's eat less meat but better quality one, meat raised by local farmers, on pasture with some respect for the animals.

See you All bright and early ....

 Mark your calendar

Growing Local: The Naked Truth about Your Food
August 31st at 7pm
Simply raw
Reversing Diabetes in 30 days
chronicles six Americans with diabetes who switch to a diet consisting entirely of vegan, organic, live, raw foods in order to reverse diabetes naturally. The participants are challengeD to give up meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, soda, junk food, fast food, proc...essed food, packaged food, and even cooked food for 30 days. THE RESULTS ARE AMAZING.

Growing Local: The Naked Truth about Your Food is a film series presented by Raw & Juicy and Twin Oaks Farm every last Tuesday of the month at 7pm at the REP, Seaside Meeting Hall Theater.

Starting at 5:30pm, we will have a Localvore pot luck diner in front of the REP, come to the farmer's market, shop for local food and let's share it on Tuesday...

We have been invited, this year again, to the New Leaf Market 2010 Farm Tour, mark your calendar : Sunday October 24 2010.
More details to come ....


Thanksgiving's diner has arrived, time to reserve your duck....
....ducklings

Food for Thoughts 08/05/2010
Reading the following "news" over the week is going to make last week request for GMO labelling so dull !!!
AquaBounty Technologies made big news when they announced they were getting close to approval (by FDA!!) for their salmon that grows twice as fast as regular salmon, reaching full growth in captivity by 200 days, instead of 400!! The salmon grows faster because researchers inserted the gene for a growth hormone from another salmon into Atlantic salmon eggs.
They give you the whole list of "environmental advantages" but the most bothering part is that this animal (can we still call it animal or is it FrankenFish ??) is the closest of getting FDA approval for human consumption, having passed 5 section of the FDA's 7 part application !!
Hummm ... would you want to know that when you buy it ?? like a red little disclosure somewhere on the package ???
No worry it gets even better, the University of Guelph "created" a pig that produce less waste ... in other words a non-pooping-pig !! Your average pig can not digest phytate, which makes up around 50-75% of phosphorus present in cereal grains, corn and soybeans: the pig's main food. This excess phytate comes out in their waste, and they need to be fed additonal phosphorus in a digestible form. The "Enviropig" (yes it is it's name) contains a gene from E.coli called phytase, which encodes an enzyme which metabolizes phytate molecules into readily absorbed phosphate (no worry I am not getting it either). As a result it eats less feed and produces less waste including 30-65% less phytate. Again emphasizing on the environmental advantages, like if all of a sudden factoryfarms main concern was the environment !!!
Hummm ... would you want to know that wen you buy it ?? like a red little disclosure somewhere on the package ???
I have another one ... Omega-3 fatty acids are trendy, and for good reason, their consumption is linked to better cardiovascular health and lower risks of diabetes and cancer.
But they are hard to come by in a land-locked diet and animals fed a diet consisting mainly of grains, soy and corn, don't consume much omega-3 and naturally contain only omega-6 fatty acids, which don't have the same health benefits.
So long story short, Jing Kang, at Harvard Medical School, has inserted the fat-1 gene from C.elegans (don't know either who that is) into pigs, which allows them to convert the omega-6 fats found in their normal feed into omega-3s !!!.
At this point you need to feel sorry for those poor pigs .. they are piled in filthy conditions, genetically modified to not poop anymore and transform all their not that good omega into good one all that to be slaughtered in barbaric conditions to end up cheap food ...

That's is for tonight, really busy week here, clearing under the oaks threes, where we will be moving all the chicken coops early tomorrow morning. The heat has been just too much for our poor chickens and that is the only place where we really have some shade ...

But we will be ready in time for the market ...
See you All bright and early ....

 Mark your calendar

Growing Local: The Naked Truth about Your Food
August movie : Simply raw

Growing Local: The Naked Truth about Your Food is a film series presented by Raw & Juicy and Twin Oaks Farm every last Tuesday of the month at 7pm at the REP, Seaside Meeting Hall Theater.

We have been invited, this year again, to the New Leaf Market 2010 Farm Tour, mark your calendar : Sunday October 24 2010.
More details to come ....


Diner time ... just so much better from the bucket ....
....Diner time

Food for Thoughts 07/30/2010
I was reading the Soil Association report on GM Crops - The Health Effects ....
One of the main concern about GM crops is whether they will have negative effects on health. This was initially a theoretical concern. however, considerable scientific evidence has emerged over the last few years that has substantially developed our understanding and show that there are indeed real health risks from genetic engineering.
Evidence is also beginning to emerge that if GM crops are fed to animals, small amounts of GM material appear in the resulting meat and dairy products. This raise serious human and animal health concerns about the use of GMO's in food, and also major concerns about the fact that foods from GM-fed animals remain unlabelled.
It is now known that genes do not operate in isolation or completely dictate to the plant. Genes are instead themselves controlled by numerous interactive plant regulatory mechanisms, including other genes and cellular processes, in a complex systeme which is far from fully understood. The result is that the same gen can behave in 10 different ways in 10 different locations, depending on the regulatory elements it ends up next to ....
Almost all non-organic processed food and animal products in the U.S. today contain ingredients that come from genetically engineered crops or from animals given genetically engineered feed, vaccines or growth hormones.
Again you may not care or think GMO is fine but let it be a consumer's choice ... let's label GMO food and have each of us decide if Frankenfood is what we want ...

 
See you All bright and early  ....

Please forward this email to your mailing list and help us spread the word about Real Food.

chick

Food for Thoughts 07/22/2010
I was reading this article (link below) about 2 kids in Utah with incredibly high level of arsenic, long story short, they found out, after testing all over, that the feed their backyard chickens were getting contained arsenic (a common practice in industrial feed) and that arsenic was found in the eggs and those kids eating the eggs got a shot of arsenic each time !!!
Which bring me to my point today : disclosure level when it comes to food .... 
Don't you think if that bag of feed had a warning in red letter "May contain arsenic" those parents, who went the extra yard to raise their own chickens, may have thought twice before buying it ???
As I was at the farm store, I looked at their chicken feed label (no particular brand they are more or less all the same !!) the first ingredient on the label is :"Processed grains by product" what in hell is that ??? "Processed grains by product" .. it is not even grains to start with and then it is processed, which can means anything and everything but always sounds suspicious. The first ingredient in the bag of feed is "unknown" at best then I dont remember what was in second but in third position was Methionine (remember the story of the mouse and Alzheimer??) as for the rest of the label it mades me feel like I had an acute dyslexia so I gave up ...
The price of the bag is like $13 or so .. again "cheap" comes at a price.
Our chickens are getting a certified organic mix of real grains and because our feed is certified organic it can NOT contain any of the above !
I keep on hearing "organic certified" means nothing, well here is a good example of the meaning : it gives the consumer the garantie some unwanted ingredients are not in the product.
The lousiest business deal is all about disclosure and when it comes to our food amazingly we don't request any !!! 
Right now food manufacturers are fighting for NOT to have to disclose GMO in their products. Europe just made it mandatory to disclose the disastrous side effect of dyes in food by a warning label and here FDA has not even shown interest in the subject. If all of the above are so safe then why not disclosing it and then let the consumer choose ??? We may or may not want to eat food that glow in the dark but let us be the judge.
Beware of what you are buying and ask questions, obviously we still have a long way to go before disclosure gets mandatory when it comes to food !!!
and if you raise backyard chickens dish out $30something and get some certified organic feed, your children deserve it ... and your chickens too ... 

Localvore potluck diner before the movie ...
Growing Local, The Naked Truth about Your Food.
Tuesday, July 27 at 7pm at the REP
This month : A chemical reaction
The award-winning documentary film - while being a heart-warming, inspirational, human-interest story about the origin of the natural lawn care movement in Canada and the U.S. - is also a powerful tool for individuals and organizations interested in reducing and/or eliminating pesticides from the environment, especially around homes and schools.

Before the movie .... 

We will hang out outside the Rep Theater and eat yummy food from 5:30-6:30ish,  then together clean up and get ready for the movie which will start promptly at 7pm.

Remember, this is a potluck - so, please bring a food (with serving utensils) or beverage to share featuring local/regional foods. It would be great if you could bring plates and cups for your own use, as well, though we will have some on-hand.

Food for Thoughts 06/24/2010
Lots of events in the community the next few days and it is exciting to see so many people wanting changes. I am a firm believer in the power of numbers, changes will never occur, no politicians, no government will do it unless WE request it ...
The first one is
Hands Across The Sand
Saturday at noon at a beach near you ...
If you were not able to make it last February to keep offshore drilling off the coast of Florida, well then now it is time to get out there ... We know now the disaster affiliated with offshore drilling but it goes beyond that, we all need to seriously think about our oil addiction and what we can do to change it. It won't happened overnight but if we never start it will never happened ... so walk or bike to your nearest beach ....
Then on Sunday night, at 7pm, at the Hibiscus House in Grayton Beach,
Reclaim Our America is hosting a "Beyond Oil Party",
showing a 15 minutes documentary on the Deep Horizon Oil Spill and few small films made locally documenting the experience of the local community and the effects of oil.
They will have individual flags for sale for a $1 where you can write your name and a step that you will take to begin to move beyond oil. The flags will be on display along businesses on 30A showing your support for moving "beyond oil".
It is a potluck, always fun and a great way to bring a dish made with some locally grown produces.
Then on Tuesday night at 7pm at the Seaside Repertory Theater,
Raw & Juicy and Twin Oaks Farm have collaborated in sponsoring
Growing Local, The Naked Truth about Your Food.
A film series putting a spotlight on what goes into the food we eat.
The first film of the series is FRESH, The movie and here is what Michael Pollan had to say about it :
"If Food, Inc. was your wake up call, FRESH, The movie is your call to action. FRESH's strength is that it shows the incredible creativity of individuals who are devoting their lives to producing food differently. We all know the problem with the American food system, but what about the solutions? FRESH is a bracing, even exhilarating look at the whole range of efforts underway to renovate the way we grow food and feed ourself".

I read somewhere and the author forgive me because I dont remember where I read it:

"If you think you are too small to be effective, you've never been in bed with a mosquito" !!!

here are few links :
www.handsacrossthesand.com
www.reclaimouramerica.us
www.freshthemovie.com

See you All bright and early  ....

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Fresh the movie

 

Food for Thoughts 06/17/2010
Raw & Juicy and Twin Oaks Farm have collaborated in sponsoring :
Growing Local, The Naked Truth about Your Food.
This film series sheds a spolight on what goes into the food we eat. It is presented to support the idea that eating and living organically and sustainably is necessary for our health and the health of our planet.
The films will be shown the last Tuesday of every month at the Seaside Repertory Theater at 7pm.
The showing is free to the public but we ask you to consider a $10 donation to the REP to support their mission.
The first film of the series is FRESH, produced by Ana Sofia Joanes, and will be aired on June 29 at 7pm.
FRESH is described as a film that "celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are reinventing our food system. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision of our food and our planet's future.
FRESH addresses an ethos that has been sweeping the nation and is a call to action America has been waiting for. For more information on this film, visit www.FRESHthemovie.com.

Future film include:
A Chemical Reaction, on July 27.
What is Organic in Organic, on August 31.
Raw for Thirty, on September 28.
No Impact Man, on October 26.
The World According to Monsanto, on November 30.

For more informations and frequent up date please join our facebook page:
Growing Local, The Naked Truth about Your Food. 

See you All bright and early
 ....

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Blueberry preserve

Food for Thoughts 06/10/2010
Local strawberry season is over but if you try to prolong it make sure you buy certified organic ones :
In 2006, in California, pesticides and fertilizer used on strawberries :
9,274,453 pounds of pesticides at an average rate of 279.44lb per acre on 33,190 acres !!! This is the highest average pesticide use on any fruit or vegetable !!
Two of the top five pesticides are probable carcinogens. All five top chemicals cause multiple birth defects and the article goes on with the detail of which on does what damage and 92.3% of the berries tested had pesticide residues ...
and right now EPA is reveiweing the approval of Methyl Iodide, as a soil fumigant that could also be used on strawberry fields, Methyl Iodide causes cancer, is a known neurotoxin and thyroid disruptor etc etc. It is so toxic that it is used to intentionnally induce cancer cells in lab setting. And yet EPA has decided that Methyl Iodide is fit for our food, for our communities and for our bodies ...
In the meantime blueberry season is upon us ....
They are everywhere, they are LOCAL and you should be bulging on them ...
They are full of all the goodies your body will need to fight the "stuff" EPA is approving !! 
When buying the local ones you are pretty safe on pesticides, blueberries dont need any spraying still you are putting them in your body so ask how they are grown and if they have been sprayed with anything ... 
You will be surprised but farmers spraying and the ones that are not are equally proud and both side will brag !! always amaze me ...
There are plenty for sale at the farmer's market and here is a list of u-pick put together by WaltonOutdoors
http://www.waltonoutdoors.com/its-blueberry-time-in-the-florida-panhandle/#more-10898
they freeze beautifully
and of course our fabulous preserve is made with fresh local blueberries ....
 

See you All bright and early  ....

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Blueberry

Food for Thoughts 06/03/2010
Reading some report this week I found some really interesting, or should I say disturbing, numbers ???
3 dominant players control the dairy industry :
Dean Foods, the majority of the fluid milk (up to 100% in certain part of the country),
Kraft dominates the consumer cheese sector, I mean if you can call "cheese" some fluorescent orange rubbery substance !!
and Leprino Foods manufactures most of the mozzarella cheese for pizza and food processing industries (side note on Leprino : analysis of Leprino's patent for coated cheese granules reveals they use a silicone-base industrial chemical in their manufacturing of cheese. Polydimethylsiloxane is sold by Dow-Corning as anti-foam FG10, and is used as an anti-foaming agent in boiler water. It has no FDA approval as a food ingredient ... and you usually find it on your pizza !!)
2 companies dominate the corn seed market :
Monsanto and DuPont (Pionner) between both 58% of the market.
3 companies control 90% of the corn market :
Archer Daniel Midland, Bunge and Cargill. That enable them to manipulate the price of corn on the Chicago Board of Trade.
3 companies control more than 80% of the beef industry:
JBS Swift, Tyson and Cargil.
4 Companies control 66% of the pork industry:
Smithfield, Tyson, Cargill and JBS Swift.
4 companies control 60% of the poultry industry:
Pilgrim's Pride, Tyson, Perdue and Sanderson Farm.
Knowing that all of the above are raised/produced in factory farms !!!!

At the other side of the spectrum I am taking the "Eat Local America" Challenge, check the facebook page of the farm, every day I update each meal and I also keep a tab on the cost of eating local ....

See you All bright and early  ....

Tonight's diner: Organic chicken liver in red wine sauce and roasted potatoes.

diner

Food for Thoughts 05/20/2010

One of the news this week was the study linking children's attention deficit disorder and exposure to common pesticides found on fruits and vegetables !!! DAAHHH ... and they need studies to figure that pesticides may not be that good !!!! I don't even want to comment on it !!!
I am going to tell you about my own study who did not make the news ...
I have 2 flocks of ducks, the "OldOnes", who make the fab eggs you know and the "LittleOnes", who hopefully will give us eggs at some point.
The OldOnes roam large and wide and you have seen plenty of picutres of them.
The LittleOnes are also on pasture and free to roam, they are just not that courageous and pretty much stay around their coop until last week when they decided it was time to go explore The world ...
The first step was to pass the electric fence, it took them a few days of basically staying on either side of the fence, the next step took them under the white fence and into MY backyard !!! Up to that point it was amusing but then some serious social drama started and lasted over 10 days ...
The OldOnes were resting  under the oak tree and the LittleOnes got within 15 yeards of them, quacking and being very agitated until one of them got her courage under her wings and waddled her way to the closest OldOnes which turned her head, looked at "that" quacking thing, stand up and walked a way totally snubbing her, not discouraged by the rebuff the LittleOne waddled to the next duck : same thing happened and so on at least 15 times ... until she got really disappointed and retreated to her own.
They got even more agitated and noisy.
Now let me make a parenthesis here, I am not sitting there watching ducks, it happened that the commercial kitchen where I wash the eggs has a huge window overlooking part of the pastures and the backyard and all of this is going on just in front of it ... Like my big flat screen with my own Animal Planet during egg washing ...
The next step in the drama involved the pool, for the rest of the week the OldOnes "blocked" the access to the pool. My poor little ducks were behind the screen enclosure and each time they would make a move toward the pool the OldOnes would make a B-line for it.
During all that micmac the OldOnes were very quiet and kind of passive resistance, not aggressive at all just very snooty. On the other hand the LittleOnes were super noisy and aggitated.
This morning I missed an episode and when I got back I found my 2 groups,one on each side of the pool, meaning the LittleOnes got into the enclosure and were quacking insanities to the other side who was their usual condescending. It lasted several hours until I heard huge splashings around : the LittleOnes were in the pool at which point the OldOnes left the pool in a single file without a quack nor a look back and did not come back to the pool for the rest of the day.
The LittleOnes did not leave the pool at all and tonight it took me 45 minutes to get them back to their coop ... They had no clue where they lived !!!
Welcome to my pesticide free world ...

See you All bright and early  ....

The LittleOnes
LittleOnes

Food for Thoughts 05/14/2010

I wanted to tell you  a cute story about the baby ducks attempt to socialized with the older ducks and get totally snobed by them but then the Cornucopia Institute came out with their Soy Report and if you are slightly remotely interested in food and therefore in your health you should have a look at it !!!
It is really well done and informative not to say right down scary. Even if you already know the negative side effects associated with soy, this report has a different approach and does not really talk about the health problems resulting but look at the whole production/process side of it.
One part of the report ranked food companies producing soy food from their sourcing of the soy beans to their willingness to disclose source of productions to their commitments to American organic farmers.
They also talk at lengths about the supposedly "organic" production of the soy beans in China and the total lack of overshight when it comes to monitor the level of their organic claims, noting that a vast chunck of the soy consume in this country comes from China.
Soy health benefit claims were born in the marketing departments of food manufacturers interesting in selling more soy products. In 1999 FDA approved health claims for soy food, those claims were not proposed by doctors but by Protein Technologies International that of course would profit immensely if they could convince the american public to eat more soy proteins. It also explain in details the effect of isoflavones in soy, substances that are structurally similar to the hormone estrogen. It goes on with soy based babies formula and there the numbers are staggering.
And then it gets to Hexane ....
Hexane is a neurotoxin in petrochemical solvent use by conventional grain processors. USDA Organic Standard strictly forbid the use of hexane. Hexane is use to extract oil from soy, corn, canola etc ...
Soybeans are immersed in a hexane "bath" before being further processed into ingredients such as oil, soy protein isolate or texturized soy proteins etc. The non organic soy proteins, used in vegetarians burgers and nutrition bars, are all processed with hexane. It come really interesting when they tell you that not all food labeled organic is hexane free  If a product claims (and the report gives you name brand example) "made with organic soy beans" it only has to have 70% of organic beans in it, the rest can be conventional beans processed with hexane and usually is because it is cheaper ... and even the ones with a certified organic label can have it if they contain substance like soy lecithin that does not exist in organic form !!!
And a lot of organic and non organic soy food are manufactured in the same plan .. don't tell me there is no commingling !!! You got a long descriptive of hexane and the disaster effect on the environment. FDA does not set a maximum residue for hexane in food nor does it require food manufactureres to test for hexane residue.
And on ... and on ... The report is very impressive, their section on soy base formulas for babies is sickening, no wonder so many kids have so many health problems. As I said when I started if you care about your health it is a must read.
here is the link to it :
http://www.cornucopia.org/2009/05/soy-report-and-scorecard/
and if you are new to the soy reality or as a reminder here is the link to the Weston Price web site :
http://www.westonaprice.org/Soy-Alert/
and remember we are a soy FREE farm.

See you All bright and early  ....

Busy backyard
Busy back yard

Food for Thoughts 05/14/2010
I wanted to tell you  a cute story about the baby ducks attempt to socialized with the older ducks and get totally snobed by them but then the Cornucopia Institute came out with their Soy Report and if you are slightly remotely interested in food and therefore in your health you should have a look at it !!!
It is really well done and informative not to say right down scary. Even if you already know the negative side effects associated with soy, this report has a different approach and does not really talk about the health problems resulting but look at the whole production/process side of it.
One part of the report ranked food companies producing soy food from their sourcing of the soy beans to their willingness to disclose source of productions to their commitments to American organic farmers.
They also talk at lengths about the supposedly "organic" production of the soy beans in China and the total lack of overshight when it comes to monitor the level of their organic claims, noting that a vast chunck of the soy consume in this country comes from China.
Soy health benefit claims were born in the marketing departments of food manufacturers interesting in selling more soy products. In 1999 FDA approved health claims for soy food, those claims were not proposed by doctors but by Protein Technologies International that of course would profit immensely if they could convince the american public to eat more soy proteins. It also explain in details the effect of isoflavones in soy, substances that are structurally similar to the hormone estrogen. It goes on with soy based babies formula and there the numbers are staggering.
And then it gets to Hexane ....
Hexane is a neurotoxin in petrochemical solvent use by conventional grain processors. USDA Organic Standard strictly forbid the use of hexane. Hexane is use to extract oil from soy, corn, canola etc ...
Soybeans are immersed in a hexane "bath" before being further processed into ingredients such as oil, soy protein isolate or texturized soy proteins etc. The non organic soy proteins, used in vegetarians burgers and nutrition bars, are all processed with hexane. It come really interesting when they tell you that not all food labeled organic is hexane free  If a product claims (and the report gives you name brand example) "made with organic soy beans" it only has to have 70% of organic beans in it, the rest can be conventional beans processed with hexane and usually is because it is cheaper ... and even the ones with a certified organic label can have it if they contain substance like soy lecithin that does not exist in organic form !!!
And a lot of organic and non organic soy food are manufactured in the same plan .. don't tell me there is no commingling !!! You got a long descriptive of hexane and the disaster effect on the environment. FDA does not set a maximum residue for hexane in food nor does it require food manufactureres to test for hexane residue.
And on ... and on ... The report is very impressive, their section on soy base formulas for babies is sickening, no wonder so many kids have so many health problems. As I said when I started if you care about your health it is a must read.
here is the link to it :
http://www.cornucopia.org/2009/05/soy-report-and-scorecard/
and if you are new to the soy reality or as a reminder here is the link to the Weston Price web site :
http://www.westonaprice.org/Soy-Alert/
and remember we are a soy FREE farm.

See you All bright and early  ....

Busy backyard
Busy back yard

Food for Thoughts 05/06/2010

Interesting "things" coming out !!!
This morning, in the NY Times, an article on the last report from the President's Cancer Panel (yup it exists) they found out a lot of the chemicals we have been breathing/eating/drinking/ sniffing, you got the idea, "safely" for years ...  well may  not be that safe at the end !!! Really ???
They want to let us know that they are concerned and therfore we should be !!!
Am I dreaming or what ???
But then it goes on saying that of 80,000 (yes that is eighty thousand) of chemicals out there very few have been tasted for safety, beside weak laws, laxness and the existing regulatory presumption that chemicals are safe unless strong evidence emerges to the contrary many known or suspected carcnogens are completely unregulated !!! On the brighter side, the food indutry is already fighting, 41% of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life, cancers are becoming more common specially in children which make me wonder what do they expect as "strong evidence" ???. They suggest we should be giving preference to organic food, checking radon levels in the home and micro waving food in glass containers rather than plastic ...
The next one: Roundup, developed by Monsanto, is not working anymore !! For those of you not familiar with it, Roundup is a weed killer, conventional farmers plant genetically modified corn and soy that have been genetically modified to resist to Roundup so it could be sprayed on the genetically modified crops killing the weeds not the crops. Today 90% of the soy and 70% of the corn are genetically modified to be Roundup ready, by the way you have no way to find it out when you buy a product, if GMO or not,  because the food and farm industries have been fighting hard not to have to disclose it but that is a whole other discussion. Back to our weeds, well they have evolved, like in Darwin theory, just at super speed, Nature at its best. So now we end up with super weeds super resistant !!! The really scary part is they are using stronger (and older) weed killers. All the big agri biotech are trying to develop genetically modified crops that would be resistant to other  weed killers, one being 2,4-d, a component of agent orange !!! I wonder what the Presidents' Cancer Panel think of that ?? or should they be "concerned", I know Darwin is having fun ...
Both articles are really interesting to read and you can find them on our facebook page: Twin Oaks Farm

See you All bright and early  ....

Strawberries being process in our kitchen
Cooking !!!

 

Food for Thoughts 04/22/2010

Earth day today !! I got really fascinated in the last couple of weeks by that volcano eruption in Iceland, I am hoping it will put 2 cents of reality in lots of people brain ... All of a sudden you realize that we (like in human) are nothing !! Mother Nature screwed up the transportation system in a big chunck of the world in no time, just reminding us who is in charge !! Sorry for the people that got stranded but that is beyond the point. Just imagine if it lasted one month ?? We were lucky this time around, it was just a sneeze but it should be a wake up call for a lot of different reasons, one being where does the food you eat come from ??
Now is a good time to start the withdrawal from all that process food who travel thousands of miles, and is not good for your to start with, a good time to start the routine of getting most of your food from the farmer's market, a good time to start a little garden, you got the idea : GET LOCAL with your food.
Then last night, for the third or fourth time, I watched Food Inc. on PBS. I know all that stuff still I am, each time, flabbergasted by those images... We should watch it every other week just to never forget the disgusting way unreal food is produced
I missed Dirt, the movie, the night before that, also on PBS, I was asleep before it started !! ... so between our new friend the volcano and Food Inc. I am more than ever committed to eat local and produce some too ... That will be my Earth Day resolution... Happy Earth Day Everyone ...

See you All bright and early  ....

Strawberries being process in our kitchen
Strawberries at the farm's kitchen

 

 Food for Thoughts 04/16/2010

One of the summer ritual, growing up in Switzerland, was to go in the forest to pick wild strawberries. I hated it, it was hot, bugscentral, "things" would grab my legs and scratch and every flying "object" would fly right into my face !!! But then once there the "gourmandise" would take over !!! They were so good, little, no more than the tip of your little finger, juicy, sweet but with a little bit of tartness, I could not get enough of it !!!. As we were there for picking and not just bulging, my Mom would invent some picking contest to make sure I got some in my bucket ... ya competitive edge taking over gourmandises !!! lol
Then once home it would get even better, we would have the strawberries with fresh cream. Now in Gruyere when you buy fresh cream it comes in a jar and when you turn the jar upside down the cream stays in the jar !!! well ... real cream I guess?? So you mix it with those little strawberries and I can still remember the taste : it was in incredible !!! One of the best summer memory, taste bud memory that is ...
I was thinking of it last night as I had some fresh home made yogurt (made with Ocheesee milk) with some of the strawberry preserve and some fresh strawberries, it was the closest I got to those little marvels taste in so long ...

See you All bright and early  ....

Strawberry Preserve ....
Strawberry Preserve

 

Food for Thoughts 04/09/2010
Recently I was reading an article about eggs and even if we know everything about eggs it is always good to get a reminder ...
In order to sell eggs to grocery stores, eggs have to be graded and weighted, in order to do that you need to produce insane amount of eggs, like one million a week, so don't be fooled by the fluffy hens running in front of the barn on the label,  those eggs are from hens that have never seen the outside and are packed in a factory farm (even the organic's ones).
Free range just means raised on the floor instead of cages and somewhere along the wall of the warehouse there is a door to access the outside. Trust me those hens are not sunbathing.
Now let's get to the "bragging" :
all vegetarian diet : there is nothing less vegetarian than a chicken !! They love meat aka bugs and eat galore of them, this is another good indication that those chickens are never outside.
Soy protein : if you still eat soy that is your choice so I wont comment on it.
Hormone free : it is the law!! you can not use hormone in poultry raising, but have no worries they have other gimicks, one being the soy !!!
Antibiotic free : same here, what ever it is called those chickens are medicated one way or another (vaccine is one). To be packed so many in a confine space will generate health problems.
And then there is all the "stuff" that we dont know about, like Methionine, which I still dont know what it does beside getting Alzeihmer to little mince overdosing on it !!!
And when there is no bragging on the box it means caged/confined/