Potatoes aren't just for throwing in a fryer to make french fries or chips. Baked in their 'jackets' or steamed with the skin on potatoes offer a host of healthful benefits. They are a storehouse of vitamins and minerals with high levels of vitamin C and potassium. They are easy to digest, satisfying, easy to prepare and as 'cheap as chips' to buy....
BUT, and here's the caveat, only if they are organically grown because conventionally grown potatoes might be killing you. Potatoes are treated with at least 35 pesticides and herbicides some of which are carcinogenic, some are neurotoxins and others hormone disrupters. According to Jeff Moyer, farm director at the Rodale Institute and former chair of the National Organic Standards Board, some conventional potato growers say "point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.”
Not very comforting....
"For anybody considering a month-long Vegan Diet, here are 5 beginner’s tips to keep in mind while enjoying a plant-based diet adventure
1. Embrace Change
2. Include the sugar, salt, and spice
3. Prepare in advance
4. Make sleep a priority
5. Don't over think it."
We have know for a while now that the pesticides that we use to grow crops are killing off our bee colonies, and it looks like birds might be going the same way too.
Industrialized agricultural practices are short-sighted - not only are the methods dangerous for the wildlife and have carcinogenic characteristics for us humans, but the easiest fastest way to produce food using chemicals cannot 'feed the world' in the long term. If we seriously want to have enough food to go around in the next few decades we have to adopt sustainable methods of producing food.
And last word about bees - no bees no food, it's that simple
"Neonicotinoids are washing off of their host seeds and into water bodies—threatening not just aquatic insects but the birds that rely on them". READ MORE
"Vaquitas -- the world's smallest and most endangered porpoises -- live only in Mexico's northern Gulf of California. After suffering decades of decline due to entanglement in shrimp-fishing gear, vaquitas are down to only 30 individuals left on Earth."
There is lots of talk on this page about meat dairy and eggs but one of the reasons i gave up fish as well as factory farmed animal products was that it became problematic sourcing sustainably caught fish. It's time that I reminded people about the demise of our oceans not only as a result of over-fishing but also from waste as a result of by-catch. What is by-catch? "The incidental capture of non-targeted fish". If we utilized the by-catch then it wouldn't be so terrible, but the by-catch just becomes sea waste. Commercial fishing gear covers extensive areas of the sea and is largely non-selective, so it is efficient in catching lots of fish but very inefficient when it comes to by-catch. There are ways to reduce by-catch and the World Wildlife Fund is working to develop, test and implement alternative fishing gear for commercial fishing boats, and to raise awareness with consumers.
We are at a critical point in the demise of fish in our World's oceans and if the way we catch fish doesn't change soon then so many fish and mammals will either be on the endangered species list or extinct all together.
~ Gillian F2B Team
Wasting food in my opinion is tantamount to criminal. We waste approximately 40% of the food produced in the world - this is a shocking figure. Proponents of industrialized farming practices claim that without factory farms, genetic engineering, and other intensive farming practices we won't be able to produce enough food to feed the world's growing population...does anyone hear 'greenwashing'. How about instead we stop wasting so much and start looking at ways to reduce food waste?
Some companies are taking the initiative and finding that cutting waste is improving their profit margin. According to an article in Grist...
"On average, businesses saved $14 for every $1 invested in reducing food loss, according to a new study commissioned by the Champions 12.3 coalition. That’s a robust return for companies and the planet.The study looked at 700 food companies in the U.S. and 16 other countries and found that a whopping 99 percent actually made money by reducing food waste. Restaurants saw the highest returns, but manufacturing, hospitality, and retail businesses also had returns of $5–$10 for every $1 spent."
~ Gillian F2B Team
The animal welfare standards that Applegate has set out in its blog are not as far reaching as we would like, but any company that raises animal welfare issues and commits to improvements is heading in the right direction in terms of increasing public awareness and getting things right. Check out their blog here
This is Applegate's promise for a better future for animals raised for meat "Today, Applegate stands as the only company producing meat with higher animal-welfare standards (including no antibiotics ever) at a national scale. As we look ahead to the next 30 years, we will continue to be a leader in the movement for higher animal-welfare standards, so that they benefit animals and fairly address the economic realities faced by farmers and suppliers."
~ Gillian F2B Team
lIn striving to 'eat right' whatever that might mean to us - healthier, organic, humanely produced etc. we sometimes forget that our personal ethos around food should extend to our pets too. Here are a couple of companies that are working to improve the sourcing of their ingredients. The first is Tender & True. The chicken is rated 3 on the Global Animal Partnership 5 Step rating system, the turkey step 1, and the fish is certified sustainable with the Marine Stewardship Council. So OK while the turkey rating isn't the best it is still a step in the right direction away from conventionally raised turkey. The good thing about this brand is that the meat and fish have third party verification.
The other brand is Acana and does not carry the weight of third party verification. It boasts that the meat is sourced from "free run" animals but looking at their chicken supplier and its website I think 'free run' is stretching the point a bit. The chickens are in sheds with a door to the outside but I am not sure how attainable 'outside' is, plus the chicken used is one of the fast growing breeds which are not suitable or adaptable for the outdoors.
I guess the only sure fired way of knowing the source of your ingredients is to cook your own pet food using meat from farmers you can trust.....but this has its drawbacks - time, getting the right balance of nutrients, and convenience.
We would love to know your thoughts.
- Gillian F2B team
"THE SOLUTION UNDER OUR FEET: How Regenerative Organic Agriculture Can Save the Planet"
John Roulac, Eco Watch