All Food IS Created Equal

Sep 7, 2012 by

I’ve finally calmed down enough to give my take on the Stanford University study on organic food.  I’ll admit, it took me a minute.


I learned a few things by reading this study but the one I want to focus on first is this:  there are people who actually believed that organic food is not only healthier but more nutritious.  Seriously.  And it isn’t just media-saturated, trend-happy hippies either.  SCIENTISTS actually hypothesized that organic food would be more nutritious than non-organic food.


How does this make sense?  Do people even know what “organic” means?  I understand how some people believe that organic food is “healthier” because they are concerned about the use of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and etc. on non-organic products.  Whether I agree or not is irrelevant.  I can at least understand where they are coming from.


These morons people, however, who think that spraying Potato A with Round-Up and leaving Potato B alone somehow equates to less vitamins and nutrients in Potato A?  They confuse me.  What, because it was grown in a mixture of rotten food compost, that somehow gives it more vitamins?  Or was it the cow shit “natural fertilizer” that gave it the extra edge?  Give me a break.


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am food pro-choice.  I do not choose to buy organic products myself, but I believe everyone should educate themselves and choose what they think is best for themselves and their families.  I also think if you decide organic produce is the way to go for your family, then you need to be prepared to pay more for it.  That’s basic economics.


My goal in writing this post isn’t to make fun of stupid people (ok, maybe a little!) or to knock anyone’s preference in how their food is grown.  I’m just thrilled that a very reputable university has finally published a study proving what those of us in agriculture already knew.  Organic food is great, if that’s what you’re into.  But it simply is NOT more nutritious.  Period.


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Sweet Corn Season

May 30, 2012 by

G$ had his first ear of sweet corn this weekend and it was a big hit.  What follows can only be described as a photo bomb.  Enjoy! 🙂




I only have two teeth…how am I supposed to eat this stuff? 



Like this?



I got it.  Like THIS!



Cool it with the pictures, lady…can’t you see I’m busy here?



If you like corn and you know it, clap your hands!



Please ignore my mom’s white trash t-shirt.  The point here is that I play well with others.



Ruh roh…I stole G$’s corn…



 Scuse me while I scarf this real fast so that little boy can’t get it!


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Food With “Integrity”

Feb 27, 2012 by

There’s been a huge uproar this week over Chipotle restaurant’s new video “Back to the Start” promoting their “Food With Integrity” program.  Farmers and ranchers are PISSED!  This is not a group of people you want as an enemy.  Don’t believe me, just ask Oprah.


The video starts out showing an animated farmer and the pigs he raises, out in the open air.  Then it becomes pigs in a pen, pigs in a barn, pigs on a factory farm, etc.  It goes on to show the farmer feeling conflicted about putting these pills in their food, presumably representing antibiotics.  It shows him feeling guilty about putting the pigs in pens indoors.  Eventually, he gets a wild hair and decides to tear down the pens, barns, sheds and go “back to the start” which, of course, means no to big buildings and yes to loading the pork onto a Chipotle truck.  The end.


I must admit that my heart was pumping pret-ty hard after watching that video.


Listen, it’s not hard to understand where Chipotle is coming from, at a base level.  Their “Food With Integrity” program, according to, means that they don’t want chickens who are fed arsenic.  They don’t want dairy from cows given rGBH.   They claim to want to support family farms.  Well, what do you know?  These are all things *I* want!



Let’s talk about this video.  If Chipotle wants to pretend like they have integrity because of where they shop, perhaps it would be good to have some integrity in how they advertise/market their products and restaurants, don’t you think?


This video has several problems, most of which I will leave to the actual agriculture information groups and livestock farmers themselves.  My issues are the following:

1. As I mentioned, the “Food With Integrity” program is severely lacking in advertising integrity.  For starters, farmers want to take CARE of their animals.  They want HEALTHY animals.  Why? Because sick and dead animals don’t sell.  It doesn’t make financial sense.  So this business about the green sludge, antibiotics and, although they didn’t mention it, we might as well throw vaccinations in the discussion too, is just misleading to the average consumer.


Let’s bring it back to humans for a second.  Do you know any parent out there who wants to give their children antibiotics in their food just because?  No.  And there are a number of reasons why not.  Do you really think farmers want to just spend a boatload of money pumping their animals full of unnecessary antibiotics?  I can tell you, the answer is no.  Farmers and ranchers are vaccinating animals at birth, just like humans, and giving them antibiotics when necessary.

This idea of not putting pigs in pens because the close quarters can get too many of them sick, therefore equaling “inhumane treatment” is also a load of crap.  Are you going to stop sending your kids to school because when one gets sick they all get sick and therefore may require antibiotics or, gasp!, shots?  Does it seem “inhumane” to put your kids in daycare because they’re in close quarters with other (potentially sick) children?  I didn’t think so.


2. I am so sick of hearing about “factory farming” I think *I* might need a shot.  Who is a factory farmer anyway? As dramatic as this video is with Chipotle getting this hero complex and making farmers look either like the bad guy (factory farmers) or the hapless victim (factory farmer who “sees the light”), depending on how you look at it, the sad part is this video doesn’t touch on the real victims…the farmers.  (And, more so, the consumers.)  The average person probably has no idea what goes on in rural America, on the farm.  How could they?


How many people read’s “Food With Integrity” section and don’t think or know enough to dig a little deeper?  Their very own site states “We source organic and local produce whenever practical.”  Um…what is practical, exactly?  Have you ever gone shopping for local and organic produce at Whole Foods because it’s practical?  Nothing about Whole Foods is practical.  It’s expensive.  If I wanted to be practical, I would go to Walmart and buy my produce there.  It’s closer, cheaper and I can get everything in one stop.  But it’s probably not local OR organic.  So, Chipotle, when, exactly, is it practical to buy organic and local produce?  Why don’t you just get out from under your hero complex and admit that the only time it’s “practical” is when you can show your true colors and bully the local and organic farmers to give you dirt cheap prices?  Oh wait, because then you wouldn’t be the hero anymore.


If they’re trying to say they would ALWAYS buy organic and local produce and antibiotic-free meats BUT it’s not PRACTICAL, then I would like to refer them to my 4th grade teacher Mrs. List who wisely said, “But, but, but, we all have one, so what’s your point?”


It’s time we individuals with agricultural knowledge stepped up and started letting everyone know that we aren’t going to be bullied into the background, into silence, anymore.  There are a lot of young farmers now and we aren’t afraid of social media, of getting our truths out there.   I love Chipotle’s food.  I am not telling anyone to stop eating there or write nasty letters or anything of the sort.  I simply hope that this is a teaching moment for all of us who ARE in agriculture and DO know better.  When you know better, you do better, so let’s do better, farmers!

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Winter Weight Loss #2

Jan 31, 2012 by

I am learning so much about getting healthy these days.  One family member is doing a vegetarian detox.  Another few are starting up with Weight Watchers.  I find it so interesting to hear the different theories, plans and motivations.


Recently, I was telling someone about our trip to Sandals.  I mentioned that it took a day or two to get oriented with where things were (specifically, the good food).  I happened to use cheese sticks as an example of one of the foods we were surprised A) was available in the Bahamas and B) that was GOOD (even hand-battered!).


The person I was talking to said *insert sarcastic tone* “Well, I see you stuck to your diet.”




And this is why Adam and I are not stuck on a specific “diet” plan.  People just don’t get it.  First of all, that is a rude and ignorant comment.  If this person had listened, rather than interrupting, they would have learned that in our 5 days there, we ate cheese sticks ONE time, and mostly vegetables, fish and beef the rest of the time.  Not to mention, what business is it of anyone’s whether we stuck to a “diet” or not?  That’s why it’s called VACATION!  Oh, and one more thing, we were never on any certain “diet” to begin with, so suck it.


But now, hearing about the different pros and cons of things like the Weight Watchers points system and South Beach Diet’s low sugar recipes, I think Adam and I are getting a clearer idea of what we want to do.  For example, on WW, fruits and vegetables (other than super starchy things like peas and potatoes) are all zero points.  Isn’t that how it should be? Wouldn’t you be better off eating a bucket of apples and asparagus than whatever crap you’re eating now?  I had spiral mac and cheese for dinner, I’m not perfect.  Guarantee I’d be feeling more healthy, more full and more satiated if I’d gone with apples and asparagus.  On South Beach, they want you to get off the white refined sugar and flour.  Duh.  I mean come on people, the one thing we DO know about the evil that is cancer, is that it feeds off of sugar.  If that’s not enough reason to cool it on the sweet stuff, I don’t know what is.


Which brings me to the point of all of this.  Adam and I are now on what I am branding the Common Sense Diet.  It’s pretty simple.  Try not to eat crap.  Try to eat lean proteins, vegetables, fruits and whole grains.  Follow that up with some exercise.  Cheat once in a while.


I think we can all agree on that.


Oh, and don’t think I forgot to hold myself accountable.  As for total pounds lost, Adam is -8 and I am -4.  Slowly but surely.  I’m just happy as hell that I didn’t GAIN weight on vacation.

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New Year, New You

Jan 13, 2012 by

Rarely do I write a post when I don’t already have a good idea of what I’m going to say.  This is one of those times.

Like most people, Adam and I have one New Year’s resolution: lose weight/get in shape.  Like most people, we have been very determined for the last 3 weeks.  Like most people, however, we don’t have an awesome plan as to what exactly we are going to DO in order to lose the weight/get in shape.

I believe that previous sentence is a key point though: Losing weight or getting in better shape should be about what you DO not what you DON’T do/eat/etc., right?  Listen, I’ve tried a lot of different ways to get healthy.  None of them have worked 100% because I didn’t keep up with them, or put 100% of my energy into them when I WAS keeping up with them.

Here’s what I DID:

1. While I was pregnant, I got hooked on sugar, specifically ice cream.  I thought that after G$ was born, the ice cream craving would simply go away.  All the other cravings did…but not ice cream.  I fixed the ice cream problem by simply not purchasing any more ice cream.  Duh, right?  But I was still having outrageous sugar cravings.  Totally out of control.  So what to do?

2. The only thing that has ever broken me of sugar cravings is the South Beach Diet.  I know, I know, it’s supposed to be “lifestyle change” not diet, right?  Well that only counts if you follow the whole plan.  Adam and I used this diet in the past to lose weight and break the addiction to sugar and it works!  Two weeks later, you have no more sugar cravings and you’re back to eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  You know…the stuff you should be eating.

3. Adam and I did the first two-week section of the South Beach Diet and, wouldn’t you know, it worked again.  Mostly.  In the past, I’ve lost up to 10 lbs in those two weeks and Adam usually loses around 15.  Not this time.  Adam lost 9 and I’m down less than 2.  Grr.

At this point in the story, bloggers usually like to post their starting weight or a “before” picture.  I’m not going to do that.  It’s not because I am embarrassed over the number; in fact, if you ask me in person, I’ll be happy to share my starting weight.  The main reason is I really hate reading blogs where people say “I’m so fat/gross” or “OMG eww…I weigh xyz” and then “xyz pounds” is less than my weight.  That happened yesterday.    I’m not going to post my photo now.  If you know me, you know what I look like.  If not, then stay tuned for more posts tracking our weight loss and eating/exercise plans.  Photos WILL be coming.  Buuuuuut, since everyone loves a visual, bear with me for a moment.

As I mentioned before, Adam is also looking to lose a lot of weight.  He was encouraged by his 9 lb. loss (and he should be!) until he visited our neighbors and their son thought he was (get ready for the visual):


That’s right, Santa.  Not cool.  Out of the mouths of babes, right?  Less cool? If he’s Santa…that makes me Mrs. Claus.  Yipes.

So here’s our plan:


Complete the first two weeks of South Beach diet

Break sugar cravings

Begin exercise regimen

Phase one: COMPLETED!  Woohoo!  It might not seem like a big deal but I did not work out AT ALL while pregnant so, between that and the ice cream, I got fat and lazy.  Getting back on the wagon was a big deal to me!



Eat healthy foods but leave room for treats

Eat more vegetables

Increase exercise and make sure to SWEAT
But first…we are going on a much-needed VACATION!  See you all in a week! 🙂

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5 Things I’m Loving Right Now

Jan 3, 2012 by

Thanks to Chesterrific for this great idea!  It’s so easy to focus on all the things that piss me off (white stick people family stickers, I’m looking at you!), especially in the winter when it’s cold and dreary (or in our case, cold and windy as a mother).  So, instead, I’m choosing a positive outlook and I hope you all do too.

Here are the 5 things I’m loving RIGHT NOW.

5.  The Dan Patrick Show.

My husband got me hooked on this over the summer, and now I watch it voluntarily, even when he’s not here.  I love their banter, and it’s a nice change from the whiny Mike & Mike and nasal CC on The Herd (although I usually agree with him).  Plus, they have a show blogger, so of course that makes me happy.  Especially since he’s nicknamed McLovin. 🙂


4. Sandals Nassau.

I am SO FREAKING EXCITED to go on vacation in 14 days (not that I’m counting…would it be too nerdy to make a paper chain?).  Seriously.  This January is gonna be a nasty one in IL, I think, so I can’t wait to take a break…let’s hope it’s warm enough to get in the water.  But even if it’s not, I don’t expect anyone to feel tooooo sorry for me. 😉


3. My new purse

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but words cannot express (though I’ll try) how majorly pumped I am….like Hans and Franz pumped, about this purse.  It’s purple, it’s leather, it has feet on the bottom so it gets less nasty bathroom floor germs dog hair on it, and, most importantly, it’s NOT A DIAPER BAG.  WOOT WOOT!!!!!


2.  Food Network Magazine, specifically the Jan/Feb 2012 issue

This magazine has more healthy and delicious recipes than any other magazine I’ve seen.  They consistently do an amazing job explaining, step-by-step, how to recreate their dishes.  I chose this month’s issue specficially because it’s their “light” issue, which is chock full of extra healthy dishes and Superbowl snacks.  Gotta love it, especially if your New Year’s resolution is to get in shape/lose weight!


1. The Dark Knight Rises

I just saw the trailer today for the first time. Although it didn’t give much away as far as what to expect for the movie, I am still super excited to see it next summer.  Ok, so maybe I’m just excited for all the Christian Bale “Batman voice” skits on SNL, but who cares?  🙂



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