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Archive for December, 2010

With love…this holiday season and always

December 24, 2010 •  no comments.

 •  Blog, News

Merry Christmas!

Feliz Navidad

Boas Festas

Joyeux Noel

Froehliche Weihnachten

Gun Tso Sun Tan’Gung Haw Sun

Glædelig Jul

Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah

Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan

Hyvaa joulua

Kala Christouyenna

Mele Kalikimaka

Vrolijk kerstfeest

Mo’adim Lesimkha. Chena tova

Shub Naya Baras

Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket

Selamat Hari Natal

Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah

Nollaig Shona Dhuit or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat

Food for Thought: Big Ag, Big Carbs, Big Problems?

December 22, 2010 •  no comments.

 •  Blog, News

Remember everything that you learned about a low-fat diet? Well, it may be time to unlearn it, according to Harvard University researchers and a recent story in the L.A. Times. As Americans waistlines become increasingly larger, so, too, has our consumption of carbohydrates and scientists around the country are wagging their fingers at our high sugar, high carb diets.

According to Dr. Walter Willet of Harvard University:

“Fat is not the problem,” says Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. “If Americans could eliminate sugary beverages, potatoes, white bread, pasta, white rice and sugary snacks, we would wipe out almost all the problems we have with weight and diabetes and other metabolic diseases.”

And while I will leave the diet debate to the scientists, one line, in particular, from the L.A. Times piece struck me as incredibly insightful:

One way to put our diet in perspective is to imagine the face of a clock with 24 hours on it. Each hour represents 100,000 years that humans have been on the Earth.

On this clock, the advent of agriculture and refined grains would have appeared at about 11:54 p.m. (23 hours and 54 minutes into the day). Before that, humans were hunters and gatherers, eating animals and plants off the land. Agriculture allowed for the mass production of crops such as wheat and corn, and refineries transformed whole grains into refined flour and created processed sugar.

So at 11:54 p.m. on this Food Clock, we made a radical change to the way that we fed ourselves and our families.

The agricultural industry has profited enormously from this change, but what has the overall cost been to the health of our country?

Perhaps it’s time we think about it.

Planet-Saving Gingerbread Men

December 12, 2010 •  one comment.

 •  Blog, Getting Started, News, Recipes

As seen on www.vegnews.com

The holidays have officially kicked off, and we’re pretty sure that something consistent across all reasons to celebrate—faith, tradition, amazing veg food—is cookies. Everyone loves cookies.

And VegNews just released their first-ever cookbook, the Holiday Cookie Collection. They are pretty danged thrilled with it, not to mention that by occassionally opting out of animal food products, and their industrialized food processing that is increasingly being linked to global warming, you just might be doing your part in eating your way to saving the planet for our kids!

All the cookies in the collection come from top-notch vegan bakers. While all the recipes are fantastic, there’s only one that you can make into a house. Yes, the perfect recipe for vegan gingerbread has finally been nailed, thanks to our man Ben Adams and the team over at Sticky Fingers Bakery in DC. Whether you roll it out thin and make yourself an edible dream home, or leave your dough a little thicker for soft, chewy gingerbread men, there’s something delicious in store when you make these cookies.

Perfect Gingerbread Cookies

What You Need:

  • 2-3/4 cups pastry flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup non-hydrogenated non-dairy, soft-buttery spread (like Earth Balance) , softened
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1-1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons rice or almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

What You Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.
  2. In a bowl, combine pastry flour, baking powder, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together margarine, molasses, and brown sugar together until smooth. Add soymilk and vanilla and whisk thoroughly.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix with spatula to form a dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  4. Roll out dough onto a floured board, 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick, depending on desired texture (thinner cookies will be crispier, thicker cookies will be chewier). Cut into shapes with cookie cutters and place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. Go crazy with frosting and decorations!

Makes 24 Cookies

Ted Turner & the Superhero in All of Us

December 10, 2010 •  one comment.

 •  Blog, News

There is a superhero in all of us. And as we work to restore the health of our children, we are all being called upon to serve in whatever ways we can. And while none of us can do everything, all of us can do something.

So start where you stand, just like Ted Turner did twenty years ago with his heroic efforts to restore the integrity of our environment and his inspired vision of Captain Planet.

And as each and every one of us begins to lend our own unique talents and skills to restoring the integrity of our food supply and the health of our children, together, we can galvanize hope and affect remarkable change in the health of our families.

To learn more Captain Planet, please visit at www.captainplanetfoundation.org or from the video below.

Top Ten Things You Can Do to Protect Your Family and the Planet

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 •  Blog, News

Submitted by Douglas Abrams

1. Educate yourself about endocrine disruptors, and educate your family and friends. Read the novel or other books (like Our Stolen Future: www.ourstolenfuture.com) and share them with others. I wrote a fact-based eco-thriller, because I wanted to share these issues with people in a way that was entertaining as well as informative and that allows readers to experience the reality we face emotionally and not just factually. My goal was to help us understand the real threats and find an inspiring way back into a relationship with the natural world that will allow our children to inherit a healthy world.www.douglascarltonabrams.com

2. Buy organic food and eat as low on the food chain as possible since pesticides concentrate as animals eat other animals.

3. Avoid using pesticides in your home or yard, or on your pet — use baits or traps instead, keep your home especially clean to prevent ant or roach infestations.

4. Find out if pesticides are used in your child’s school or day care center and campaign for non-toxic alternatives.

5. Avoid fatty foods such as cheese and meat whenever possible, since chemicals concentrate in animal fat.

6. Eat small, low mercury fish. If the entire fish fits on your plate (like tilapia), it is generally healthier. Also check out the safe fish eating guide put out by the Monterey Bay Aquarium (http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_whatsnew.aspx).

7. Avoid heating food in plastic containers, or storing fatty foods in plastic containers or plastic wrap.

8. Use cast iron pans or enamel coated cast iron pans instead of non-stick, which has lots of chemicals that leach into your cooked food.

9. Do not give young children soft plastic teethers or toys, since these also leach potential endocrine disrupting chemicals.

10. The most important thing is to work with other parents and non-profits to get strong government regulation of and increased research on endocrine disrupting chemicals. I provide a list of excellent non-profits on my website. In the end, we cannot shop our way or lifestyle our way out of chemical exposure. Toxins are so ubiquitous in our environment that the only true solution is working together to change chemical regulation. In fact, there are some very exciting new developments. The EPA has just come out with its principles for chemical reform, and it is likely that a bill entitled the Kid Safe Chemical Act will be introduced into Congress this year. But the only way it will pass is if we make our representatives do the right thing. There will be very strong forces of opposition working against it.

I start out every novel I write with a question, not an answer. The day I was sitting by the fire reading to my daughters, I asked myself a question that was both deeply personal and universal. It is a question that many of us are increasingly asking ourselves: Given the ecological challenges we face, can we survive as species, and what might be stronger than our greed, our fear, and our denial? I needed an answer to this question, and there is no better place to ask questions about human nature than in the fictional world. I got an answer to my question.

What I learned from the scientists is that in our species, and in fact all mammals, there is nothing stronger than the maternal instinct. Yes, mothers are the secret, and fathers, too. Today, we can speak of the parental instinct. In other words, it is our love for our children that is our greatest hope for survival. But we cannot protect our children without protecting all children. We have to realize that all children are in our care, even if they are not in our family.

For more information about endocrine disruption, the research mentioned in this blog post, and about Doug’s fact-based eco-thriller, Eye of the Whale, please visit www.DouglasCarltonAbrams.com.