Eating Organic Food

There is always endless debate about the merits of eating Organic food, does it taste better, should it be more expensive, is it any more nutritious. One thing I have always been clear about is that I eat organic food when possible as I personally do NOT want to be loaded with herbicides and pesticides…

This campaign, for Swedish supermarket chain Coop, reveals what happens in your body when you switch to eating organic food.

We recruited a family that didn’t eat organic food, the Palmbergs. Then we recruited the Swedish Environmental Research Institute IVL. They started by choosing twelve pesticides to look for.

The first week the family ate only conventional food, and urine samples were taken from everyone in the family, every day. Eight of the chosen twelve pesticides showed up in their urine.Then they switched to 100 % organic food for two weeks. New urine samples were taken, and after a few days almost all of the pesticides were gone.

“We were surprised when we realized the number of pesticides we put into our bodies when we eat conventional food. Now we eat a lot more organic food”, Anette Palmberg says.

What are we eating?

The Guardian has undertaken a 5 month undercover investigation of the British poultry industry – it’s damning. We need to think about what we’re putting into our mouths as obviously government, regulators and food producers are failing us.

Guardian Expose

The Guardian’s investigation uncovered a catalogue of alleged hygiene failings in the poultry industry, prompting three leading supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer – to launch their own investigations on Wednesday. Undercover footage, photographic evidence and information from whistleblowers has revealed how strict industry hygiene standards to prevent the contamination of chicken with potentially deadly campylobacter bacteria can be flouted on the factory floor and on farms.

At the last count, campylobacter was present in two-thirds of British fresh chicken sold in the UK. Although the bug is killed by thorough cooking, around 280,000 people a year in the UK are made ill by it, and it is thought that 100 people die. Contamination rates are known to have increased in the past decade.

Namaste – Surviving Wholefood

Kelly MacLean

Great piece of humour from comic Kelly Maclean

Whole Foods is like Vegas. You go there to feel good but you leave broke, disoriented, and with the newfound knowledge that you have a vaginal disease.

Unlike Vegas, Whole Foods’ clientele are all about mindfulness and compassion… until they get to the parking lot. Then it’s war. As I pull up this morning, I see a pregnant lady on the crosswalk holding a baby and groceries. This driver swerves around her and honks. As he speeds off I catch his bumper sticker, which says ‘NAMASTE’. Poor lady didn’t even hear him approaching because he was driving a Prius. He crept up on her like a panther.

As the great, sliding glass doors part I am immediately smacked in the face by a wall of cool, moist air that smells of strawberries and orchids. I leave behind the concrete jungle and enter a cornucopia of organic bliss; the land of hemp milk and honey. Seriously, think about Heaven and then think about Whole Foods; they’re basically the same. read the rest on the Huff Post

Seaweed – the unsung superfood


Seaweed has:

  • 10 x the calcium of cows milk
  • 2 x the vitamin C of oranges
  • 50 x the iron of spinach

The Japanese have treasured it as a valuable food source for centuries so why have we been so slow to embrace it? I suppose personally it’s a blend of cultural history and personal history. On the cultural side seaweed has been snubbed as the poor mans fertiliser and in years gone by it was harvested and rotted down as a manure for farms. Personally I spent a lot of my childhood messing about on the foreshore and seaweed tends to bloom close to unsavoury areas, so in my mind I think there was an association. I’m the first to admit that this is a crazy notion, however childhood associations are hard to shift and even diving in pristine kelp forests has not shifted my prejudice!

Reading up on the characteristics of seaweeds as a food source has however shaken my anti-seaweed position. I was amazed that it outranks the stalwarts Milk, Spinach & Oranges for various nutritional elements. I’m going to investigate further and report back…

Cutting back on Coffee

I love coffee! I’m nearly fifty years of age now and I’ve fuelled my professional career with coffee. I am particularly partial to a milky coffee (or seven) every morning at work. When my consumption has become ridiculous I’ve tried to cut back in the past unsuccessfully. Inevitably when the pressure comes on it’s very easy to turn to coffee as a boost to get through the day. Unfortunately, I can never seem to stop at one.

Cafe Latte

This time around I’ve decided to cut it out completely. The first day without coffee was a bit of a shocker – I had a really bad headache all day. But I’ve persevered and now have gone 4 weeks without a coffee (which is a huge achievement for me!).

I have been having a sneaky decaf on Saturdays, however I think I’m going to give up on this as I’m not really enjoying it. I’ve been using a very nice Swiss Water Decaffeinated blend, however it’s just not really the same…


Healthy Juice Recipes

Healthy juices can be an acquired taste by which I mean that some can be downright disgusting!

Here are a couple of my favourite juice recipes, all of which I have naturally stolen from my wife!

We use organic fruit & vegetables in our juices. I personally think that if you’re going to go to the trouble of juicing for a health benefit you probably don’t want to juice something that has been sprayed with pesticides or weedkillers…

Organic Kale

Organic Kale – courtesy of Evan-Amos

To Prepare – wash all fruit and veg thoroughly and chop into pieces that will suit your juicer and peel any citrus fruits you are using.

Drink the juice as soon after juicing as is feasible, immediately if possible.

Green Power Juice

4 Large stalks kale
3 Stalks celery
1 Apple
1/2 A Cucumber
1/2 A small bulb fennel
A handful of mangetout
A small handful of parsley
1 Lime

Carrot, spinach, beetroot and apples

3 Large carrots
1 Medium beetroot
1 Apple
4 Handfuls of spinach
1 Small piece of ginger

Apple, Beetroot, celery and carrot

4 Large carrots
1 Apple
2 Celery stalks
1 Beetroot
1 Small piece of ginger

Cucumber, celery, apple and lime

1 Large cucumber
2 Stalks celery
1 Apple
1 Lime

My juicer separates the fibres and spits it out into a second container – this is a magic concoction for composting. I’ll have to find use for all this organic compost one of these days….

Which Type of Juicer to Buy

Juicing is trending (whatever that is) according to the Huff Post I’m so damn trendy with my juicing!

omega juicer

There are a bewildering range of juicers to purchase and here is the upshot:

1. Centrifugal Juice Extractors
Traditionally, this is the most common type of juicer. These typically utilize a fast-spinning metal blade that spins against a mesh filter, separating juice from flesh via centrifugal force. The juice and pulp are then separated into different containers. The problem with centrifugal juicers is that the fast-spinning metal blade generates heat, which destroys some of the enzymes in the fruits and vegetables you’re juicing. The heat also oxidizes those nutrients, rendering less nutritious juice than a cold-press juicer.

2. Cold Press Juicers (a.k.a. Masticating Juicers)
These newer juicers extract juice by first crushing and then pressing fruit and vegetables for the highest juice yield. Because they don’t produce as much heat, they keep more of the fresh ingredients’ nutrients intact.

The lowdown:
Buy a centrifugal juicer if:
— You use the juice mostly for cooking, baking or other processes where heat will eventually be applied
— You’re not picky about getting maximum nutrients
— You’re trying to save cash

Buy a slow press juicer if:

— You’re into cleansing, making nut milks and green juices, and you like fresh juice
— You want to pack the most nutrients into your body as possible
— You don’t mind spending a few extra bucks

What I did:
I obeyed my wife and went with an Omega fruit and veg Juicer which is a masticating juicer and I can highly recommend it!

What they don’t tell you:
All juicers are fiddly to clean and need to be cleaned immediately and thoroughly after each use, which is obviously a bit of a pain…