What an honor!!

The Boston Business Journal’s Top 100 Women-Led Business list has our name on it again this year. We are so pleased, and we know we couldn’t have gotten there if it weren’t for each and every one of you who come through our doors. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We wish you and yours a happy, healthy December. We hope 2013 will be the best year ever for everyone.

David did not triumph over Goliath

The labeling of genetically engineered food. California voters rejected Proposition 37 by 53.1% to 46.9%. Chemical and food company giants outspent proponents 10 to 1 during the campaign. Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Yogurt, Chairman of Just Label It called the spending spree an “an unequal contest between the single voter and corporate money.” Don’t despair, polls still show that 90% of American consumers support labeling of GE foods. The fight is not over!

Seated Next to Typhoid Mary?

Debra Stark (published originally in 2002!)

Don’t you wonder why everyone doesn’t get sick when the cold and flu is going around? It boils down to how healthy your immune system is and whether it has the strength to stop those invading bad bugs.

I rarely get a cold and ‘tis true (for the record!) that I’ve two brothers who do get sick. What do I do when I feel a tickle in the throat or stuffiness of the nose? Short of downing a bottle of brandy (which a college roommate in the 60’s assured me was the cure), I do just about everything below. And I keep “doing” for a few days after the bug seems gone so it won’t come back and say, “Gotcha!”

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A Pinch of Salt?

– Debra Stark (this appeared first in the Concord Journal)

I’ve been wondering for years whether salt, whose overall intake has maintained steady despite all the warnings (if it’s not in our packaged food, we’re adding it ourselves at the table), is really bad for us, or whether it’s just the refined salt that has done us in.

Does the kind of salt we add to our food make a difference?

Before we are born, we float in the womb in sole (so-lay), an ancient Celtic word for the watery-salty solution that comprises our bodily fluids. Those same Celtic ancients believed that sole came from the ocean and that we are all born from the same fluids arising from the same soul… Poetic, isn’t it?

So, back to salt. Yes, we need it live, but it can also harm us when we use too much.

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Mushrooms à la Grecque

This is a 30-minute hors d’oeuvre, a wonderful thing in a season that is rushed. Not much muss, definitely gourmet. Will they say “Wow!”? You bet! And if you don’t want to use it atop bread, you can fill phyllo cups or spoon over beans, a grain, fish, or eggs. Spoon over polenta or pasta, roll in steamed chard leaves. Or serve as a side dish as is. Top a mixed green salad. Your way, babe.

If you want to know something of the history of mushroom, they go way back. Mushrooms were prized by the Pharaohs as a delicacy, by the Greeks to provide strength for warriors in battle, and by the Romans who served them only on holidays because they were regarded as a gift from God. The Chinese treasure mushrooms as a giver of health and protector of immunity.

Don’t like mushrooms? Use this method to sauté sliced Brussels sprouts. Or use this method and flavoring to prepare grated butternut squash and sausage….

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Paleo Apple Chocolate Fudgies

Paleo means “prehistoric” or “primitive,” and now there’s the Paleo Diet, sometimes called the Primal Diet or Caveman Diet. The idea is, everything you eat has to be made from something a caveman or cavewoman could’ve eaten. So fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, fish and meat, honey and olives and herbs and spices, are all fine. But beans and grains, which have to be processed and prepared, are off limits. Dairy is off limits, too, because it comes from a domesticated animal. (You can’t really milk something wild…) And of course partially hydrogenated soybean oil and Red dye #5 are strictly verboten.

Of course no true caveman or cavewoman gathered around the cave fire, eating a “fudgie” made in a food processor with cacao from Africa, apples from Kazakhstan, and maple syrup from Vermont!

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Ten Reasons to Choose Non-GMO

GMO Corn Field
Photo courtesy Lindsay Eyink via Creative Commons license.

What are GMOs? Genetic Modification (GM) is when genes from one specie of bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans, are forced into the DNA of another specie. GM crops share two main factors: they’re engineered to survive application of weed killers and their altered genes produce poisons to kill bugs. An example: Monsanto’s Round-Up Ready soy beans.

Since GM soy came on the market in 1997, allergies to soy have risen 50%. There are scientists who state things like 1/3 of ladybugs who ate aphids who fed on GM potatoes became sterile and many more of them died.

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Where does the Research Stand? Random Questions, Inconclusive Answers… Plus: Opinions!

High Fructose Corn Syrup, Vitamin C, Dr. Oz, and more!

How bad is high-fructose corn-syrup? Is plain sugar that much better? When we’re talking about long-term health, we really want to see long-term trials. We want to follow identical people with identical diets, whose only difference is what kind of sweetener they consume. But those trials don’t exist. Who would pay for them? Who would sign up for them? Who would stick to them? And would they even be ethical?

So right now, the evidence is based on blood work and epidemiological observations. Blood work is great, but in the end, it’s all circumstantial, and can only hint at long-term, real world outcomes. Epidemiological research is great too, but it’s also limited. No matter how hard we try, we’ll never really have two “identical” groups, with only one difference. In this case, maybe the people who consume a lot of HFCS also eat less vegetables, or consume more caffeine; or consume the exact same number of calories… only more of them in liquid form; or they cook less at home, and it turns out the act of cooking itself is somehow valuable.

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