Friday, April 26, 2013

GMO: crops to avoid, companies to avoid, and companies to support

Of course, the best thing to do to avoid GMO's is to stay away from packaged foods and avoid whole foods that are currently gmo'd. Cook from scratch. Grow and preserve your own food. Join a local organic CSA.

According to the Non-GMO project, the following crops are the highest risk crops of being gmo:
  • Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
  • Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
  • Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
  • Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
  • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)
The following crops are at risk for contamination:
  • Beta vulgaris (e.g., chard, table beets)
  • Brassica napa (e.g., rutabaga, Siberian kale)
  • Brassica rapa (e.g., bok choy, mizuna, Chinese cabbage, turnip, rapini, tatsoi)
  • Curcubita (acorn squash, delicata squash, patty pan)
  • Flax
  • Rice
At this time, the following companies are companies that either have products that contain gmo's and/or donated a significant amount of money to defeat the labeling of gmo's:
 List provided by

Campbell’s - $250,000.00

  • Healthy Request
  • Wolfgang Puck Soups
  • Pace Foods
  • Pepperidge Farms
  • V-8

Cargill, Inc - $202,229.36

  • Truvia Natural Sweetener
  • Shady Brooks Farms
  • Diamond Crystal Salt
  • Liza
  • Nature Fresh
  • Peter’s Chocolate
  • Wilbur Chocolate
  • Honeysuckle White
  • Rumba Meats
  • Good Nature

Coca Cola -  $1,164,400.00

  • Vitamin Water
  • Smart Water
  • Dasani
  • Nestea
  • Minute Maid
  • Honest Tea
  • Odwalla
  • Vitaminenergy

Con-Agra - $1,076,700.00

  • Orville Redenbacher’s Organic
  • Hunt’s Organic
  • Lightlife
  • Alexia
  • Healthy Choice
  • Hebrew National

Dean Foods -  $253,950.00

  • Horizon
  • Silk
  • White Wave

General Mills - $908,200.00

  • Nature Valley
  • Fiber One
  • Cheerios
  • Cascadian Farm
  • Muir Glen
  • Lärabar
  • Gold Medal Organic
  • Food Should Taste Good

Heinz/Hains Celestial - $500,000.00

(Hains is actually owned by Heinz, Phillip Morris, Monsanto, Citigroup, Exxon-Mobil, Wal-Mart and Lockheed Martin)
  • Earth’s Best
  • Spectrum Organics
  • Garden of Eatin’
  • Casbah
  • Rice Dream
  • Soy Dream
  • WestSoy
  • TofuTown
  • MaraNatha
  • Mountain Sun
  • Walnut Acres
  • Fruiti di Bosco
  • Health Valley
  • Bearitos
  • Bread Shop
  • Celestial Seasonings

Kellogg’s - $632,500.00

  • Kashi
  • Muslix
  • Nutrigrain
  • Bear Naked
  • Morningstar Farms
  • Gardenburger

Kraft - $551,148.25

  • Snapple
  • ReaLemon
  • Triscuit
  • SnackWell’s
  • South Beach
  • Boca
  • Back to Nature
  • Nabisco

Nestle -   $1,169,400.00

  • Pure Life
  • Pelligrino
  • Perrier
  • Poland Spring
  • Gerber
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Tribe Mediterranean
  • Sweet Leaf Tea

PepsiCo $2,249,661.61

  • Miss Vickie’s
  • Sun Chips
  • Aquafina
  • SoBe
  • Harvest Crunch
  • Dole
  • Ocean Spray
  • Tropicana
  • Miranda
  • Tazo
  • Quaker
  • Naked Juice
  • Mother’s

Unilever – $467,000 (source)

  • Salada
  • Knorr
  • Ben & Jerry’s
 Here is a list of companies that are GOOD options:
  • 7th Generation
  • Amy’s Kitchens
  • Apple and Eve
  • Applegate
  • Azumaya
  • Blue Diamond
  • Bob’s Red Mill
  • Bossa Nova
  • Cal Organics
  • Cedarlane
  • Cell-nique
  • Choice Organic Teas
  • Clif Bar/ Nectar Fruit
  • Coombs Family Farmers
  • Cosorzio All Natural
  • Country Choice
  • Crystal Geyser Alpine Water
  • Doctor Kracker
  • Dr. McDougall’s
  • Dr. Praeger
  • Eat Raw
  • Echo Farms
  • EcoMeal
  • Eddie’s Pasta
  • Eden Foods (The only company NOT using harmful plastic in the lining of their cans as bonding agent!)
  • Edward and Sons
  • Endangered Species Chocolate
  • Ener-G
  • EnvironKiz
  • Fantastic Foods.
  • Giving Nature
  • Golden Temple
  • Go Naturally
  • Greenway Farms
  • Harvest Bay
  • Hawthorne Valley
  • Ian’s Natural Foods
  • Koyo Organics
  • Lakewood
  • Lesser Evil
  • Let’s Do…Organics
  • LifeStream
  • Living Harvest
  • Lundberg Family
  • Madhava
  • Murray’s Chicken
  • Nasoya
  • Native Forest
  • Natural by Nature
  • Nature Factor
  • Nature’s Path
  • Newman’s Own Organic
  • Organic Prarie
  • Organic Valley
  • Pacific Naturals
  • Pamela’s
  • Peace Cereal
  • Petalumi
  • Rapunzel
  • Real Foods
  • Republic of Teas
  • Road’s End Organics
  • San J
  • Sensible Foods
  • Seven Star Farms
  • Sunergia
  • Tasty Bite Indian
  • Terra Nostra
  • Texmati
  • Theo chocolates
  • Think Organic
  • Turtle Island Tofurky
  • Vermont Mystic Pie
  • Vitasoy
  • Vita Spelt
  • Vivani Chocolate
  • Wizard’s Saucery
  • Woodstock Farms
  • XOXOXO chocolate
  • Yogi Tea
  • Zija
  • Zoe’s Granola

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Super Silky Lotion

This is a super silky, hydrating lotion. Caution: when it goes on it looks very shiny (which is why I've hesitated on posting this) BUT it soaks in rather quickly and the shine goes away. This is a wonderful lotion I've been making for quite awhile and our whole family loves it. I was able to order all these items from Amazon, so that's an option if you can't find them locally.

Super Silky Lotion
by Amanda @ Natural and Organic Lifestyle

1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1/2 cup organic grapeseed oil
1 cup raw organic shea butter
Optional: Essential oil for fragrance, I use about 10 drops

Mix all ingredients together in a blender. Store in an airtight container. Makes 2 cups.
Slather on =)

I'm brewing kombucha!

Don't know what kombucha is? Well I'll tell ya...
Kombucha is a fermented tea which has been consumed for thousands of years, an ancient elixir. Though the benefits of kombucha are completely based individually, some benefits it's known for are improving digestion, clearer thinking, and increased energy.
Here is a list of some other benefits from Kombucha Kamp website:

*Probiotics – healthy bacteria
*Alkalize the body – balances internal pH
*Detoxify the liver – happy liver = happy mood
*Increase metabolism – rev your internal engine
*Improve digestion – keep your system moving
*Rebuild connective tissue – helps with arthritis, gout, asthma, rheumatism
*Cancer prevention
*Alleviate constipation
*Boost energy – helps with chronic fatigue
*Reduce blood pressure
*Relieve headaches & migraines
*Reduce kidney stones
*High in antioxidants – destroy free-radicals that cause cancer
*High in polyphenols
*Improve eyesight
*Heal excema – can be applied topically to soften the skin
*Prevent artheriosclerosis
*Speed healing of ulcers – kills h.pylori on contact
*Help clear up candida & yeast infections
*Aid healthy cell regeneration
*Reduce gray hair
*Lower glucose levels – prevents spiking from eating

I'm not saying it will do any of these things for you, but it might. None of these statements have been approved by the FDA (haha, all the more reason to try it!) and I am not a medical doctor #disclaimer =)

Brewing kombucha is something I've wanted to do for quite awhile. I never started because I couldn't find a bottle of plain flavored kombucha locally, never really thought of ordering a bottle online. Well, I finally ordered a case, and then they sat in the fridge for awhile. FINALLY I did some research and decided to start brewing. I didn't have a SCOBY to start with though. I found instructions on how to grow my own, but apparently that is no longer recommended since the strength of kombucha that's allowed to be sold retail is not able to grow it itself. So I was stuck. No one I know brews is so I couldn't snag one from a friend. Finally I decided to order one from They seemed very reputable and there are tons of articles and how-to's on brewing kombucha. I highly recommend visiting their site if  you have any interest in brewing. I was very excited when it arrived and wanted to start brewing right away! But somehow I failed to notice you need a gallon sized container (How did I miss that???) So I ordered one because I couldn't find one locally. I was itching to start and everytime I tried something was missing!!! FINALLY the jar came and I was able to start brewing. Here's a picture of my brew on the first day:
Today is day 8 and I took my first taste of the brew. You're supposed to take a straw and put it under the SCOBY and take a sip. Yeah, I kind of looked at it for a minute thinking "I really have to drink something with that thing floating on top???" I did it though. It tasted great! I think I'm going to give it a few more days of brewing though since this is my first time. I want to see how it tastes if you go longer. Not sure what my preferred "kombucha taste" is.
Here is a picture of it today:

The SCOBY multiplies every time you brew and a new one is formed. I think this is a really cool process. Next I need to figure out how I'm going to flavor it!!! So exciting! I know...I'm a dork.

And, by the way, I actually tried to grow my own SCOBY even though it was doubtful it would work:
Uh, yeah, a month later and nada. So save yourself the time and buy one! Or if you're local to me, I'd be happy to pass one on. Like I stated above, each time you brew a new SCOBY is formed. Fun stuff!

There is an initial cost to brewing your own kombucha, but over a few batches you'll make it back in what you would have spent if you bought bottled, and you'd have a far superior product. I think I spend $25 on the SCOBY and $10 or so on the gallon size jar. Considering a bottle in the store can range anywhere from $3-5, you'll make back that money quickly.

More later on my adventures with kombucha!

If you've tried brewing kombucha I would LOVE to hear about it!

Hot Tonic

I was just making a fresh batch of this and it occurred to me I've never shared this recipe here before. This tonic is so good for many ailments. It was developed by a naturopathic physician. The ingredients have been used for centuries with powerful antioxidants and disease fighting properties. It's been known to help people with arthritis as well as many other ailments. It clears the nasal passages which makes it powerful for colds and flu.

Note that this is very spicy. You can mix it in water or with honey to make it easier to take. Though, my kids take it straight on a spoon, so pull your panties up and try it ;) Do not take it on an empty stomach.

For a three week cleanse:
Week 1: 2 TB a day with each meal
Week 2: 3 TB a day with each meal
Week 3: 4 TB a day with each meal
After that 2 TB a day is a good maintenance.

In a blender, blend up: (organic ingredients are highly recommended)
1 bulb garlic (not a clove, a whole head), peeled
1 small yellow or red onion, peeled and cut in 1 inch chunks
1 piece of fresh horseradish (about the same size as the onion) peeled and cut in 1 inch chunks
1 or 2 fresh, small hot red peppers, seeds removed and cut in 1 inch pieces
1 piece of fresh ginger (about the size of the onion) peeled and cut in 1 inch chunks
apple cider vinegar to cover (about 2 cups)

This will last 2 weeks at room temperature or months refrigerated. Shake before use.
Makes about a quart.