Friday, October 4, 2013

Wake Up Call: Early Death Comes From Drinking Distilled Water

I thought this was worth sharing with my readers as I never knew just how aggressive Distilled Water was.
Wake Up Call: Early Death Comes From Drinking Distilled Water: by  Zoltan P. Rona MD MSc During nearly 19 years of clinical practice I have had the opportunity to observe the health effects of drinkin...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Things have been busy around our little farm. The chicks from our first two hatching's have finally separated from their mothers. It appears that we were blessed (sic) with five Cockerels. Thank goodness that we have another hen that started hatching her clutch today. Let's hope we have all hens. The young roosters are fun to watch as they bounce around the yard and try to challenge each other but they do make it a noisy place.
We were given three little Quail this week. Their mother got hit by a car so our neighbor gave them to us. More babies for the farm.
People are probably wondering why I say little farm constantly. The reason is, it is little. Our entire piece of land measures 80 sq. meters and that includes the house we live in. That is small by any standards for a farm.
You would be surprised what you can do with a little piece of land and determination. Our goal is raise, minimum, half our produce and the majority of meat on this tiny piece of land. Some think we are crazy (not for the first time) but we have a good start.
Right now our farm consists of:
·        Tomatoes (two varieties)
·        Peppers (three varieties)
·        Malunggay / Moringa (See my articles on this miracle plant)
·        Calamansi (Like a small lime)
·        Papaya
·        Dalandan (A native Orange)
·        Ginger (Yellow and White)
·        Onions
·        Garlic
·        Fentil
·        Okra
·        Chickens
·        Quail
·        A spoilt rotten dog
·        And I have grape vines sprouting now
We will add more things as we work out the placements and find native seeds to use.

Everything we grow here will come from native seeds and varieties. We will use no chemicals for any reason. Our entire purpose is to see just how much healthy food we can produce for ourselves.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Our Organic Farm Begins

One of the advantages that I enjoy living in the Philippines is that the majority of our food comes from a local market. This isn't a market like most in the US or Even Europe would think of. It would equate best to the markets like we see in movies of Old England or Flee markets in the US.
They are loud, claustrophobic, and a pure joy to shop at. Meat is cut by hand in front of you. Fish are still swimming and breathing when you buy them and vegetables and fruits are fresh picked, seven days a week.
Best of all you can meet and get to know the people that are growing your food. If you have questions, they answer them and most will invite you to their farms for visits.

Organic Food Joy

Being a people person and knowing a visit here usually involves a drinking session. I have gotten very friendly with several of the farmers we buy from. They are not only wonderful people to get to know but they are organic farmers and don't even realize it.
Big corporate farms here are limited to a few export important crops and the majority of food is still grown on small family run farms. The farmers grow a mix of crops and animals, not only for their livelihood but their own sustenance.
They have little concept of what we would call heritage breeds or organic farming methods. What they do have is generations of farming tradition. They save their own seeds breed their own stock and use one to feed the other. That is where this story gets interesting.

Good Advice

I was talking with one of my friends. Her family grows the most delicious tomatoes you have ever tasted. I asked her where I could get some seeds and she just handed me a tomato and told me, with a smile, the seeds were inside. When I asked for advice about growing them she told me "for good tomatoes, raise chickens".

That was the beginning for our little microfarm. Next time I'll tell where we went from there.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Recreating "Eating Modern"

The first thing I would like to do is apologize to the readers of this blog. It has been way to long since I posted here. My time away was spent writing two books (Write and Get Paid! And You Can Write) which are available on Amazon, just follow the links. This was something I had wanted to do for some time and those, with my outside writing, pretty well consumed me for the last couple of months.

Food disenchantment

To be honest I had also become disenchanted with the way this blog had seemed to be headed. It was totally my fault. I created this blog as a food blog but came to realize that just another food blog wasn't what I had wanted.
I love food and that love was the root of my dissatisfaction. I don't just love cooking and recipes and trying new things but I have a deeper love that makes me care for more than just cooking and eating.

New Focus

I care about how our food is grown. I care about what is put in the food we eat and I care about how that food affects us. That is why I am recreating this blog and rededicating myself to writing for it.
"Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food."- Hippocrates
My plan, at this point in time, is cover much more in the area of healthy food, organic food, organic gardening, GMO, and general food issues.
I will also be focusing more in a personal bane as I have now started my own micro farm and to be honest, I have a feeling this is going to be an amusing journey for me and my family.
I hope you my readers enjoy this new focus as I feel it is a much more important mission than just giving out new recipes for you to try. The recipes will still be here but will no longer be the focus of this blog.
Let me know what you think.

Gregg

Friday, July 5, 2013

Roast breast of chicken with bacon and cabbage

Ok this is a simple dish that is inexpensive to make and tastes really good in my opinion....

6 slices of bacon cut into 1/4 inch strips                                                                        Serves 4
4 tablespoons cooking oil
4 boneless chicken breast halves
2 onions sliced
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 cups shredded savoy cabbage
2/3 cup low salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons light cream or half and half
10 tablespoons butter or 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons
salt and pepper to taste 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Cook bacon until crisp, drain and reserve on paper towels
3. In a large oven proof skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and add the chicken skin side down and brown lightly for about 3 minutes per side
4. Transfer pan to oven and bake for 15 minutes
5. In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and saute the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent after about 3-5 minutes add the cabbage and mix well
6. Add the broth and bring to a boil until cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes
7. With a slotted spoon transfer cabbage to four heated plates
8. Boil the cooking liquid until reduced by half, add the cream and boil until reduced by half again
9. Whisk in the butter, strain the sauce and add in the reserved strips of bacon
10. Slice the chicken onto the cabbage and pour the sauce around it.

Traditional Irish Shepherd's Pie

Ok just a short explanation of why the title says "traditional" and the recipe uses beef instead of lamb...lamb is expensive unless you live in New Zealand, Australia or Ireland
where being an actual shepherd is more common than the rest of the world where its the norm to be a cattle rancher. If you have the funds available to use the lamb the amounts and procedure is the same just use lamb gravy instead of beef gravy as well. Ok then lets start with the ingredients.

1 cup diced raw or cooked carrots if you're using fresh carrots boil them in salted water for about ten minutes then drain and set aside
1 onion sliced cooked in boiling salted water for about five minutes until tender
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
3 cups diced cooked beef or lamb
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup beef or lamb gravy ...just use the fat drippings, flour, and water method to make your own gravy powder mix is nasty.
2 cups mashed potatoes at room temperature
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk

Now that's out of the way here's how ya slap it all together and get a pie lol

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 
2. In a 8 cup casserole dish combine vegetables, beef, salt and pepper
3. In a small saucepan make your gravy then pour over the meat and vegetable mix
4. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, then cover with the mashed potatoes
5. In a small bowl beat the egg and milk together and brush over the mashed potatoes
6. Return to the oven for 10 minutes then  place under the broiler for 5 minutes to brown the potatoes

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dublin Coddle


1lbs of large pork sausages preferably Irish bangers                                      Serves 6
8oz sliced bacon cut into 2in pieces
3 onions sliced
1 and 1/2 lbs boiling potatoes peeled and sliced
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Prick the sausage with a fork
3. Put the sausage and bacon in a sauce pan adding enough water to cover
4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until slightly tender about 10 minutes
5. Drain, reserving the liquid and skim off the fat
6. In a large dutch oven layer the sausages, bacon, onions, and potatoes sprinkling each layer with pepper and parsley
7. Pour the reserved liquid over to barely cover
8. Cover with a sheet of waxed paper then the casserole lid and bake until potatoes are tender, usually about 1 hour. Serve hot.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Glazed bacon with red currant sauce

Here's one of many Irish recipes that I will be adding to the site for all to enjoy. Glazed bacon (ham) with red currant sauce is a fairly easy dish and believe me it tastes fantastic! So without any more delay lets get down to business shall we.               

3lbs. smoked shoulder                                                     Serves 4-6
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2/3 cup reserved boiling liquid

1. Place smoked shoulder in a large pan and cover with boiling water
2. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to a simmer
3. Cook until fork tender about 60-75 minutes skimming the foam occasionally
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and transfer shoulder to a roasting pan
5. Strain and reserve boiling liquid, cut off the rind and score the fat
6. Combine the mustard and brown sugar in a bowl and spread over the meat
7. Add 2/3 cup of the boiling liquid to the roasting pan and bake for 20 minutes adding more if needed
8. Transfer to a serving plate and keep warm

Red Currant Sauce
2/3 cup boiling liquid
2 tablespoons red currant jelly
2 tablespoons port wine
2 tablespoons fresh red currants (optional)

1. Pour the 2/3 cup boiling liquid into a small sauce pan
2. Add jelly, port, and red currants if you have them
3. Cook over a medium heat until thick, usually about 10 minutes
4. To serve slice the meat and pour sauce over it.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Happy Anniversary to Me


 Today is the 1 year anniversary of an event that was painful at the time and that changed my  life more than I could have ever foreseen. 1 year ago today I was injured on the job. I won't go into all the details but I was working in Kuwait, took a bad fall and tore my Achilles tendon, broke my foot and ripped the heads out of two of my three calf muscles. It took nine months of treatment and therapy for me to walk unassisted but I walk.

This accident ultimately cost me my job and forced me to leave the Middle East. I came to the Philippines rather than return to the U.S. because the little saving that my wife and I had would last much longer here, my wife had family here, and, to be honest, because I love being in the Philippines.

Even at Filipino prices money does eventually run out and I started needing some way to support myself. My wife can work but I was never a man to do nothing. Being on crutches or canes made finding a job near impossible and I had started to despair ever being fruitful again until my wife looked at me one night and asked "Didn't you tell me you always wanted to be a writer?". It was true, when I was younger, I had wanted to write but as with many dreams, life had gotten in the way. Her opinion was this was God way of giving me a second chance at that dream.

Taking the long and making it short, I started writing. This blog was first and it is still my baby but it didn't pay. Still needing income I looked for other places to write. I found one site that promised a lot but delivered very little, other than a chance to practice. Looking back now I needed the practice bad. If you read my early post here you will see how much I needed practice.

Next I found a site I could submit to but everything had to go through editors. This was my first experience being edited and it was scary learning but I learned from their criticism. Best part this site offered a writing academy. Free education should never be passed up and I learned even more.

Now, I can say I am a professional writer. This blog still doesn't pay the bills but I publish enough articles (over 400 so far) to keep food on the table and lights burning. Much of what I write gets someone else's name on it but I don't mind. Thanks to a bad fall and a good wife, I am living a dream I had given up on long ago. I am a writer. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

End Violence against Women; Ring the Bell

A white ribbon to commemorate the National Day...
A white ribbon to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Right-to-life Awareness. White Ribbon. فارسی: روبان سفید، نماد بین‌المللی آگاهی و توجه به مبارزه با خشونت علیه زنان است. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This will be an unusual post for a blog normally dedicated to food and food related issues but this is a subject that needs to be discussed and a movement that needs attention from everyone. The "Ring the Bell" campaign to end violence against women (VAW).

I have long been vocal in my stand against domestic violence but have just recently become aware of this campaign. Ring the Bell, ask men to make a promise to do their part, in some way, to end violence against women. How they will help fight, is up to each individual person. Some men have promised to give money to their local Woman's Shelter, others to simple talk to their friends on the subject. I promised to raise awareness through my writing. This post is the first step in keeping that promise.

It is a man's' world or so the song says and it is up to men to end violence against women. Ring the bell is asking for one million men to make one million promises to help end violence against women. Progress is being made, there have been several countries pass violence against women acts this year, but there is still much more to be done.

You cannot legislate attitude and that is what this issue calls for a worldwide change is attitude towards women. It can no longer be acceptable to treat a woman as property, it can no longer be acceptable to beat or kill a woman because she insults your manhood.

It is only through the recognition of woman as people, as equals and as valuable members of society that violence against women can be eradicated from our world.

One Million Men, One Million Promises, One million voices ringing out with the purity of a bell, One million, is just a start.

Ring the Bell, to stop violence against women. Please visit the site below to make your promise and add your voice today.


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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Part 3 Traditional Chicken Farming versus Modern Poultry

Environmental Impact



Free Range Chickens being fed
Free Range Chickens being fed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When discussing Modern farming methods versus traditional Chicken farming one of the most glaring issues that must be considered is the impact on our environment. As has often been stated, we only have one planet, best we take care of it. The effects of mass production chicken farming have been well documented and yet are still cause for debate. As with most issues associated with this subject passions tend to run at a feverish pitch. Those for and against, modern farming methods have much at stake. In this article, I will endeavor to give you simple, documented, facts without venturing into editorial comment.

Traditional (free range) Chicken Farming


With the traditional Chicken Farming Methods, birds and their waste was spread over a wide area and was based on a natural diet. Chickens grazed consuming grasses, seeds and insects. The supplemental food they were given was also based on natural sources, cracked corn, local grown grains and waste vegetables from gardens.

The Poultry waste from these birds was actually beneficial to the environment.  They reprocessed nutrients from their food and returned them to the environment in a manner that helped enrich the soil. Thus preventing soil degradation and assuring a healthier growing environment for the food that would, eventually, feed them and their owners. A shortened food cycle but one based on the sound ecological practices of a balanced environment and conservation of resources.

Modern Poultry Facts


Annual production of fecal waste from poultry flocks was 8.8 million tons on a dry weight basis plus more than 106,000 metric tons of broiler hatchery waste. Add to this 37 million dead birds and condemnations at processing plants (figures are from USDA for 1989 based on USDA National Statistics Survey). These figures are 14 years old. Since they were released the USDA has greatly reduced its public output of such information. This leaves us having to make some conclusions by supposition.

The American poultry Industry has shown a 30 percent growth rate per decade over the last two decades. Consider 14 years as roughly 1.5 decades this means a waste output of 12.76 million tons of fecal waste and 53.65 million dead birds. These numbers are being kind to the industry.

Unfortunately for the environment this waste is no longer spread over a wide area as it once was. Modern Poultry Farms are based on maximizing production, while maintaining as small a foot print as possible. This means more waste contained in a smaller area and altering the nature of the chickens' diet to increase growth rate. Altering their diet means altering their waste.

Commercial Chicken feed is no longer the natural product of their environment. Today's high growth feeds contain hormone and steroid precursors to increase growth rate. High antibiotic content to reduce losses due to diseases in the flock and arsenic to promote growth, reduce parasites, and give the meat that nice rosy glow that consumers have come to associate with fresh chicken. Hormones and steroids will be discussed in a later article. Our primary focus will be on the arsenic and antibiotic content of poultry feed.

Antibiotics in Poultry feed


High doses of antibiotics are used to protect flocks grown in very aseptic conditions. Overcrowding and an environment high in waste products, create an environment where diseases could run rampant and cause a sever loss of income to a farmer. To combat this extremely high doses of antibiotics are administered to the chickens in their feed. The primary concern with this process from an ecological stand point is that, viruses, bacteria and other microscopic organisms are highly adaptive. You provide them with a perfect breeding ground and then attack them with antibiotics they will quickly adapt and become resistant to that antibiotic. Witness the recent outbreaks of various Avian or Bird flues and E Coli that have become increasingly difficult to combat as they have become more and more antibiotic resistant. These antibiotic resistant organisms reaching us, the people, are a direct result of the feeding methods and waste management protocols in modern poultry farming.

Arsenic in Poultry Feed


Arsenic finds its way into poultry by way of feed. Nitarsone and similar arsenic based drugs have been used in the United States since the 1930's. Since that time it has been used to control parasites, promote growth and add pigment to the meat. The arsenic used in feed is an organic type found in nature but problems arise when it passes through the digestive tract of the chickens and then is deposited in the chickens Feces. Through a process of inorganic digestion, this organic arsenic is converted to an inorganic type that not only is a known carcinogen but is also water soluble.

Environmental Impact


"Runoff from poorly managed facilities can carry pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, nutrients, and oxygen-demanding organics…" http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/agriculture_facts.cfm

"according to the E.P.A., An estimated 19.5 million Americans fall ill each year from waterborne parasites, viruses or bacteria, including those stemming from human and animal waste."


These two Quotes speak for themselves. Wastes from Modern Poultry farms find their way into our rivers and streams. Their high nutrient levels (Nitrates, phosphorus etc.) cause a negative impact on the ecological systems by causing over production of plant life in certain areas. Oxygen demanding compounds lead to fish kills and dead zones in our waters. Arsenic and Pathogens contaminate our free waters and leach into the water table jeopardizing all that use water. Secondary contamination through livestock watering and irrigation spreads these contaminants further endangering the Eco-system and our food supply. The high concentrations of, ammonia and other gases, from decaying carcasses and waste, ads to global warming and Ozone Layer depletion.

I have done my best to avoid commentary in this article. Check my sources, check my facts. All that I have done here is try to provide information. What people choose to do with that information is up to their discretion?

If you missed the first two parts of this series you can follow the links below. Part 4 will cover the health impact of these two farming methods



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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Solving world hunger one tree at a time.

English: Sonjna Moringa oleifera in Kolkata, W...
English: Sonjna Moringa oleifera in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the most important pieces I have written to date was published this morning. It was a contract piece for another blog so I can't publish it here but I really wish I could it was a piece about Moringa or Malunggay and how it could make wonderful inroads on the battle to fight world hungry and drinking water shortages. This one simple tree could, if distributed, provide nutrition, commerce, fresh water and shelter to millions of people around the world. It is fast growing drought resistant and easy to cultivate.

Rather than people being dependent on relief organization to survive, Moringa would enable them to once again be self-sufficient. Read more about this wonderful Tree at the address below.


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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Traditional Chicken Farming versus Modern Poultry Farming Part 2

Free range chicken, searching for scraps from ...
Free range chicken, searching for scraps from a buffet dinner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Modern Farming methods negate Low Fat benefits of chicken

Once heralded as the gold standard of healthy meats, chicken can no longer claim the health benefits that once made it king of healthy meals. Nutritional studies once placed chicken at the top of the list for nutrition and low fat sources of protein. Modern farming methods have not only destroyed the health benefits once found in chicken but have created new health risks.


Chicken low fat no more



Chicken was once the Golden Child for people who wanted low fat high protein diets now it is more of a Golden Ram. The little fat that was traditionally found in chicken was primarily made up of Essential Fatty Acids that our bodies and minds needed to function properly. Modern farming methods have changed that.

Recent studies have found that today's chicken is not only higher in fat but that the composition of that fat is no longer of a healthy type. Traditionally farmed chicken, allowed to free range, provided us with long chain amino acids. Very high in DHA, essential to proper mental function and cell development. Free range chicken was considered a true brain food.


A farmer on Martha's Vineyard moves a mobile p...
A farmer on Martha's Vineyard moves a mobile poultry coop of a type called a "chicken tractor." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Modern farming methods now provide us with chickens that have a fat composition made up of Low Density Cholesterol (the bad kind) and oily fats void of nutritional value. More calories now come from the fat content of a chicken than from the lean protein.

DHA Importance


Chickens loss of DHA content has greater health implications than may be apparent at first. DHA plays many roles in our bodies. It is a powerful antioxidant (Omega 3 fatty acid) and protects us from cell breakdown. This is of major importance in regard to such diseases as Cancer and Alzheimer's.

The human brain uses DHA at a very high rate. A Low DHA level has been tied to clinical depression. Patients suffering with this condition show better a than 70 percent improvement rate. Patients suffering from Chronic Insomnia show similar recovery rates. By coincidence these mental disorders have been steadily rising at a rate that closely mirrors the rate that both chicken and salmon production has been modernized.

DHA also plays a major role in our hearts health and the functioning of our immune system. The implications of low DHA levels for our entire body are at a minimum horrific.

Review Traditional versus Modern Chicken


Chicken when raised more in attune with its naturally environment, allowed to free range and forage is low in fats and the fats it does contain are beneficial to our health both physical and mental. Chicken raised by modern farming methods contains more calories from fat that it does from protein and the fats are saturated fats rather than the beneficial fatty acids it should contain. At a time when obesity has become a major player in the health risk game and true low fat alternatives are vanishing from our grocery shelves I can't help but agree with this from "Public Health Nutrition" as reported by The Cambridge Press "This type of chicken husbandry needs to be reviewed with regard to its implications for animal welfare and human nutrition". You have to love the British knack for understatement.

For more on the comparison of these two farming methods please watch for part 3.

To view "A Chickens Life" the first article, in this series, please follow the link below.


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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Paella de Marisco

This is a dish that I haven't had for a long time and there are many different variations of it as well, it serves 8 so be sure to share!

15 cooked mussels
15 cooked clams
10 shrimp....medium size at least
1 and 3/4 calasparra rice that's a paella rice
4 and 1/2 cups clam juice
2 teaspoons paprika
1 small red bell pepper 1/2 chopped the other half sliced into strips
1 head of garlic
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped scallions (green onions)
1 medium tomato chopped
3 ounce fish fillet
2 teaspoons Spanish saffron
1 medium onion chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil for the garlic paste
2 teaspoons salt


First you will need to pound the garlic smooth so you need a pestle and mortar or something you can use the same way for that.
Next add the parsley and continue to pound until smooth then add the paprika and the 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and mix.
Now heat a paellera which is a paella pan or just a really big (wide) frying pan will work with the 5 tablespoons olive oil using a medium flame and pan fry the fish until both sides are golden. Then remove it from the pan and chop into small pieces and set aside for later.
Next pan fry the shrimp in the same oil and their color changes....if you ever cooked shrimp you know the color....lol take them out and set aside for later.
Stay with me we're getting there...lol saute the onion, scallion, and chopped red bell pepper in the same oil then when the onion gets a little clear add the tomato and continue until the tomato gets soft.
Now pour in the clam juice and let it boil.
Add the garlic paste from earlier and the Spanish saffron then stir to mix it up nice.
Put in the paella rice and let it boil again then add the fish and salt then stir
Turn down the flame to low so it simmers and allow it to cook for 25 minutes, I would suggest covering it so the rice is sure to cook.
After the rice is done arrange the mussels, clams, shrimp, and sliced red bell pepper on top of the rice, make it pretty! LOL
Cover the pan with some foil and now turn the heat off....hope you left it on this whole time...I forgot to say that part...lol
A nice garnish for this is some lemon wedges and the juice is good on it also if you and the guests want to do that....I suggest serving this with either a nice cold San Mig or some kind of a nice white zinfandel.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Traditional Chicken Farming versus Modern Poultry Farming Part 1

Free Range Chickens being fed
Free Range Chickens being fed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Part 1: A Chickens Life

The first in a multi-part series comparing modern poultry farms to the more traditional Free Range Chicken. Modern farming methods have not only removed the humanity from poultry farming, they have taken the nutritional advantages of one of our healthiest protein sources and turned it into just another form of fat for us to poison ourselves with.

Free Range Chickens



Chicken raised by traditional farming methods were allowed to roam. My Grandmother called them yard birds and that is what they were. These chickens were raised in an open coop and allowed to free-range during the day. They foraged for the majority of their food consuming insects and grasses as well as the little food that was given to them. In return these chickens fertilized the soil in the yard and kept the insect population under control.



Broiler House Prisons



Chickens being transported in trucks, presumab...
Chickens being transported in trucks, presumably for slaughter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Modern farming methods have done away with these free-range chickens. Chickens are packed into long closed Chicken Houses. In the European Union and Australia these are generally 150 meters long, 15 meters wide and will house 40,000 to 60,000 chickens. In the United States houses vary greatly in size but a recommended flock density of one bird per square foot is the norm.


Lights burning overhead are kept dim to encourage calm in the flock. The chickens live in a perpetual twilight broken only by the 4 hour rest period they receive each day for sleep. This is the minimal amount of rest that, research has found, will allow the broilers to survive till harvest. The other twenty hours of their day is spent feeding and drinking. Food is never more than 3 meters from any chicken.

Chickens will spend five weeks (average 5lb weight), their entire life, in these living conditions. Twenty hours a day in twilight. 4 hours a day in darkness and twenty-four hours a day standing in their own filth. Chicken houses are not, normally, cleaned during a growing cycle.
A commercial meat chicken production house in ...
A commercial meat chicken production house in Florida, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


This form of poultry farming has been indicated as a NPS (None Point Source) polluter by the USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). It is considered a major contributor to air, water, and soil pollution. If you have ever lived close to one of these Poultry farms you won't doubt any of these charges.

Free Range or Broiler House


This article was just to introduce you to a subject I plan to cover in-depth. There will be more to come. Mental and physical health, environmental and ecological impact, Food cost and nutrition all these subjects come into play when discussing this subject and hopefully I will be able to share some useful information on all of them. Making educated decisions is the responsibility of each of us. I don't judge another person's choices. I simply hope to give you the information you need to make those decisions.
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Quiche au Fromage

Ok this is a simple quiche and there are many variations that can be made using this as a base.

First you need a mealy pie crust dough which is simple to make
1 and 1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
4 tablespoons of cold water
mix these together until you have your dough and that part is done.

The filling isn't that hard to do either and is the part you can get creative with
4 ounces of cheese.....your choice what kind
3 eggs beaten
4 ounces of cream
8 ounces of milk
1/2 teaspoon of salt
pinch of white pepper
pinch of nutmeg

Ok once you have your crust laid out into the pie pan you will use sprinkle the cheese in the bottom.
Next beat together the filling ingredients thoroughly and pour into the shell
Place the quiche into a 375 degree oven on the bottom shelf and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the filling has set up
Once you're done you can serve this hot or cold take your pick.....some of the variations I was talking about is you can put mushrooms, ham, spinach...lots of things into this just take your pick.

Indian Samosas

Ok guys this is a long recipe because of all the ingredients but I promise you it is really good! First I will start with how to make garam masala which is a seasoning spice you will need for this dish.

Garam Masala spice

4 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 and 1/2 teaspoon black cumin seeds
1 and 1/2 teaspoon dry ginger
3/4 teaspoon black cardamom (3-4 large pods approx)                              
3/4 teaspoon cloves
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (2 X 1” pieces)
3/4 teaspoon crushed bay leaves

Here's how we make this, first heat up a frying pan over medium heat then add all the ingredients, except the dry ginger,  leaving the cardamom in the light green pods...now gently roast these until they turn a little bit darker then when they started out...maybe two shades darker, use your judgement. Next turn off the fire and let them cool down unless you like to get burned...lol. Once its cooled off and you can touch it take the cardamom out of the pods and put them back with the rest of the spices....yes including the ginger....you thought I forgot LOL. Now that you have it all set up grind this stuff to a powder seriously a powder and store in a air tight jar because this stuff will keep for a while and its good in a lot of dishes.

First you will need your pastry dough because that's what the filling gets stuffed into before frying.

Pastry
2 cups unbleached flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 tablespoon oil or ghee
1/2-3/4 cup of water

Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center and pour in your oil and water then mix until you get a slightly wet dough....you want it to end up kind of sticky. Next on a lightly floured surface knead the dough for about 10 minutes and cover with a damp towel until you're ready to use it.

Next part is your choice for the filling some people prefer to be vegetarian some like meat...here's the meat filling.

Meat filling
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 small cloves garlic
1/2 kilo ground lamb or beef
2 large onions thinly sliced
1 tablespoon garam masala.....added after your done cooking..just stir it in
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
and a little oil if you need it to keep stuff from sticking

Here's how we cook this mix just crush the ginger and garlic before you start your pan on the fire put it all into the frying pan and simmer for 30 minutes over a medium flame until the meat is brown...drain off any extra grease but don't let the stuff stick either. When its done mix in the garam masala spice and set aside until you're ready to stuff the pastry.

Now finally here's the vegetable filling if you choose this version

Vegetable filling

3 medium potatoes cubed to about 1/2 inch size
2 carrots also cube cut...probably slightly smaller would be good since carrots take a little longer than potatoes to boil al dente...that's semi-soft.
1 cup of peas
3 tablespoons oil or ghee
1 cup onion chopped
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large garlic cloves crushed
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds crushed
2 tablespoons fresh coriander chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Ok to start with first cube your potatoes and carrots then put into a separate pot to boil until al dente...slightly soft. While that's going heat another pan and put in some oil or ghee and saute the coriander, ginger, onions, and garlic. Stirring constantly this whole time for about 5 minutes add the lemon juice and the carrots and potatoes that should be done by now and the peas last making sure everything is completely cooked. The next part is filling the pastry.

Finally the easiest part really...LOL hopefully you're still with me...When you're done with the filling pinch off a little ball and roll it out into about 6 inch circles that are really thin....like 1/8 of an inch thin and cut them in half then fold in half to make a triangle shape. Put enough filling onto one side of the two triangles you made and leave enough room to be able to connect the other triangle on top along the edges....when doing this add a little bit of water and pinch all around the edge to make it stick together. Once you have all your samosas filled and ready to go heat about 2 inches of oil in a large frying pan to about 375 degrees and fry em up until golden brown one side at a time.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Monsanto will Sue Vermont if GMO Law Passed
 
English: Flag of Vermont ᏣᎳᎩ: ᏣᏩᎦ ᎦᏓᏘ Español:...

Legislators in Vermont face a hard decision, do they do what is best for the voters or do they bow to the world most hated company, Monsanto. In question is Bill (H-722) which if passed would require the labeling of all Genetically Modified Foods within the state of Vermont.

The Vermont Legislature, once considered the most progressive in the US, is attempting to avoid having to take a vote on Bill H-722 by holding public hearings and committee discussions until their session expires in early May.

H-722 appears to have overwhelming support from the public. It has caused the greatest surge of mail, phone calls and e-mails to legislators in the last 13 years with 90% being in favor of passing the bill.

At first Monsanto attempted to kill the bill with the use of unsubstantiated or outright false scientific facts. These failed as each of their attempts were refuted by proven scientific testimony.

Failing in these attempts Monsanto feel back on their standard bullying tactic of promising to file suit in federal court if the bill was passed into law.

For more on the Vermont right to know Movement visit: http://www.vtrighttoknow.org or http://www.facebook.com/vtrighttoknow

For more on this and other organic food issues please visit: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25180.cfm

http://www.bubblews.com/news/354829-monsanto-protection-act-signed

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lucas Mussers Muffuletta


Lucas Mussers' Muffuletta

This recipe was given to me by my friend Lucas Musser. Lucas is a professional chef trained at the oldest cooking school in the world, the venerable Cordon Bleu of France

Allow me to introduce to you a sandwich a strange name and a great taste, the muffuletta. I learned how to make this great tasting treat while in chef school. It is a Sicilian sandwich to which Signor Lupo Salvatore claims to have been the inventor of in 1906 New Orleans. My recipe is slightly different than the one offered online by the descendant of Signor Lupo Salvatore. So without further delay here ya go.

Muffuletta 1/2 ring

2 green olives chopped

2 black olives chopped

1 teaspoon parsley chopped

1 clove garlic chopped

1 teaspoon of capers

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 anchovy mashed

1/4 cup of oil, olive oil is good here

1 teaspoon pimento chopped

5 ounces hard salami

5 ounces of ham

5 ounces of provolone cheese

Combine everything except the salami, ham, and provolone and make it into a spread, really mix it up good. Next cut the 1/2 ring loaf in half horizontally and take out a little bit of the bread inside. Now let’s make a sammich...lol brush the spread you've made on one side of the loaf about 1/3 its really up to you. Then layer in salami, ham, and cheese on top of the meat. To finish just spread some more spread on top of the layers then on the other half of the loaf, close up your sandwich and cut into pieces and you’re done. Enjoy I really like the taste of this one.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Bottled Water Bad for You and the Environment


Bottled Water Bad for You and the Environment
Young woman taking drink of bottled water, St....

Americans alone consume 29,000,000,000 yes that is 29 billion bottles of water a year. I am not sure why other than a well-managed marketing campaign by the major bottling companies. This number is only for the United States imagine the numbers if you include the rest of the world. I will work here with just the numbers from the US as they were easier to cross check.


A large pile of half-pint Poland Spring bottles
A large pile of half-pint Poland Spring bottles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
From an environmental and economic point of view, bottled water is a catastrophic product.  The production of the bottles requires in excess of 17,000,000 barrels of oil. To put this into prospective that is enough oil for Americans to drive 1,000,000 cars for 12 months, an entire year. The production of these bottles ads to the greenhouse gases released by the US by approximately 2,000,000 tons and with only 13% being recycled the required landfill space for their disposal is astronomical. For the sake of bottled water Americans increase their dependents on foreign oil, increase both land and air pollution and spend billions of dollars for a product they have available for pennies a gallon.

The most common argument I here in favor of bottled water is the safety of drinking more highly processed or refined water. That it is cleaner and healthier than tap water. This is not the case and this belief actually places both you and your family at a higher risk from water borne pathogens and contaminants. True bottled water has to meet a different set of standards than tap water but different does not mean stricter.
Drinking Water
Drinking Water (Photo credit: SEDACMaps)

Thanks to the lobbying power of the bottling industry the standards for bottled water have been steadily lowered over the last ten years. Yes, politicians will sacrifice safety for campaign funds. In test performed by the FDA in conjunction with the EPA, 22% of the bottled water on the market in the US did not meet the standards for contaminants set for tap water.

Keep these numbers in mind next time you reach for that brightly labeled bottle of water. You’re not only buying water, you’re buying increased air and land pollution; you’re buying higher health risk; you’re buying increased dependents on foreign oil and you’re paying an exorbitant price for it. ENJOY!

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