Clean 15 or is it?

We’ve been trying to stick to the clean 15 for our non-organic items.  Partly because of the price of organic produce and because we live in an area without a lot of access to organic items.  Yes, we have a Walmart and Tops but if you look through Walmart the only organics I’ve found are the occasional green pepper for $2 per pepper.  You can find some other organic things in Walmart if you hunt them down, Annie’s Mac and Cheese, Muir Glenn, chicken, etc.  Tops is easier to shop in with the organic aisles put together in one section for cereals, pastas, soups, etc.  But the produce is just a little corner of celery, carrots, and a few other items that are hit and miss.

When we first started this I didn’t know how we were going to be able to do it in the area we live in.  I already make our own white-whole wheat bread since I have yet to find any around here.  Local bakeries use bleached all-purpose flour for the most part and when I do find some with whole wheat there are usually a list of preservatives involved.  The dirty dozen and clean 15 were a relief when I found them.  Now I came across the fact that the onions (and garlic) are sprayed with anti-sprouting agents AFTER harvest. TOXIC anti-sprouting agents.  Are these included in making them #1 on the clean 15?  I doubt it 🙂

I’ve tried to do some research on these but I can’t find much other than it’s toxic.  I’m sure that is what makes the outer skin on the onions crisp.  Interestingly enough I was just thinking the other day “why do the onions I buy from the farmers market have a different type skin?”.  I know they use them on potatoes to prevent spuds (stopping mitosis) which is why I opt for sweet potatoes when possible.

Thinking about it makes you wonder how clean are the clean 15? Sure they are better alternatives than the dirty dozen but still, not great for you.  How much does the anti-sprouting agent penetrate into the onion?  I doubt it is only the outside layer.  Do we really want to put something in our bodies that stops mitosis? No.

I use at least 4 onions a week in the food I make for our family.  With the health benefits of onions I was excited to know they were on the clean list. Now I am back to feeling overwhelmed and frustrated trying to eat healthy in today’s world.

Coffee love and peppers

I am currently working on my second batch of cold brew coffee.  Before J and I got married I attempted it and boy what a mess! I was given a not to happy expression when I mentioned making another batch for the hot summer weather.  There were coffee grounds all over the counter (plus the floor) and it took HOURS to drain all the coffee.  I received some feedback from a friend that a French Press coffee maker works well to separate the grounds quickly.  However, even though I am a big fan of coffee and own four different coffee makers, my collection does not include a French Press.   I was all prepared to suck it up and do it all over again when I looked at my drip coffee maker and thought “it drains hot coffee fast enough!”.  I’m excited to say it is going much quicker and minus the mess, woohoo!

When J and I first started dating every time I cooked for him he would tell me how much he loved it.  What I came to realize is he actually did!  I was skeptical at first and would throw some interesting ingredients in there but I was pleasantly surprised he was willing to try anything at least once, or twice if made a different way.  Excellent!  I love to cook and experiment so he is the perfect test subject.  His skills in the kitchen are somewhat lacking but he is great at cutting onions I can’t see through the tears and helping in anyway he can.

When I got him to agree to watch Food Inc with me I was worried that I would be disgusted by the things I saw and that he wouldn’t be affected and would want to keep eating the way we were.  I had known about Food Inc. for several years before and was toting the “Ignorance is bliss” mind set.  Surprisingly, J was the one to push to eat better in the beginning.  I have certainly picked up the slack in the last month or so and ruined several of his favorite places to eat (Subway, anyone? Ew.) but he defiantly got the ball rolling.  I love him for that.

We have added a few new foods to our diet.  We tried Quinoa for the first time in a stuffed pepper.  It was the first time I had actually enjoyed a stuffed pepper.  Before that I thought they were too saucy and had a  “weird” texture for me.  Honestly, I think that may be from the fact that I only really remember eating microwavable ones.  Being an avid label reader now and a new Step-Mom I am trying to cut back on the junk the kids eat while they are with us.   This would be difficult with kids that live with you full time it is even more so when they have full access to the food they are used to when they are not with us.  I am slowly introducing new foods with them and the peppers were one they loved, success!

Give credit where credit is due: http://www.rachelcooks.com/2011/07/08/southwestern-quinoa-stuffed-peppers-and-southwestern-quinoa-casserole/

Hello world!

I’m a newlywed and lover of all things nerdy.  My new hubby and I have recently been on a mission to improve our health through food.  We watched Food Inc. back in March and since that fateful day we have (slowly) changed our eating habits.  I want to share how we are cooking now and other things along the way.