Monday, December 10, 2012

Call, (or boycott) Prop 37 Killers

A recent post by the Organic Consumers Association calls for the boycott of a long, surprising list of products whose parent companies donated millions of dollars to out swagger the prop 37 bill. This list includes tons of top name food brands including PepsiCo and Kraft.

Now this type of maneuvering may hit them where it hurts in the extra long run, but reaching out may be a better idea. As a consumer of Cascadian Farms Cereals (oddly enough the only one on the list I buy), I did some research and found the contact information for their parent company, General Mills. Calling them, writing letters and calling again, not only lets them know how you, as their customer, feel about their corporate influence, it also ties up resources that are usually fielding calls from stockholders and suppliers.

I complied a list of contact information on the parent companies donating to influence the downfall of Prop 37 so you can get in on the job of educating our food manufacturers:

PepsiCo:

1-800-433-2652

 Consumer Relations
1 Pepsi Way
Somers, NY 10589

M-F 9:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. EST

Website: https://cu.pepsico.com/pepsi

 Kraft or (Mondelez International?):

 The general telephone number is 847-646-2000.

Kraft Foods Group, Inc.,
Three Lakes Drive,
Northfield, IL 60093

Mondel─ôz International
Three Parkway
North Deerfield, IL 60015 

Website: http://kraftfoods.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/26

Oddly, both of these companies have the same style of corporate website and I was directed to the Mondel─ôz International site automatically when searching Kraft.

 Coca-Cola: 

The Coca Cola Company
P.O. BOX 1734
ATLANTA, GA 30301

USA (800.438.2653)

Website: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/contact-us/

General Mills:

763-764-7600. I

General Mills
P.O. Box 9452
Minneapolis, MN 55440

Website: http://consumercontacts.generalmills.com/consolidatedcontact.aspx?page=faq&js=True


 Conagra:

U.S. Consumer Affairs 1-877-CONAGRA(1-877-266-2472)
Canadian Consumer Affairs 1-800-461-4556
Investor relations 402-240-4154
Corporate Headquarters 402-240-4000

ConAgra Foods Inc.
One ConAgra Drive
Omaha, NE 68102-5001

Websites:

Consumer website: http://www.conagrafoods.com/contact-us
Investor website: http://www.conagrafoods.com/investor-relations/contact-information


In 2008 or 2009 I contacted these folks and asked where they sourced their Wesson brand oil. The lady on the phone became very nervous and said, "That information is privileged." Then she hung up on me. I was just going to ask if their canola was GMO. I don't think they wanted me to know. 


Kellogs:

Call Consumer Affairs 1-800-962-1413

 Kellogg's Consumer Affairs
P.O. Box CAMB
Battle Creek, MI 49016

 Website: http://www.kelloggs.com/en_US/contact-us.html

 Smuckers:

 The J.M. Smucker Co.
1 Strawberry Lane
Orrville, Ohio 44667-0280 

1-888-550-9555 (9-7 EST Monday-Friday)
Fax: 1-330-684-6410

Website: https://www.smuckers.com/contact/default.aspx

 Unilever:

 1-800-298-5018 Monday-Friday 8:30 AM-6:00 PM Eastern Time.

 Unilever
 800 Sylvan Avenue
 Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 07632

 Website: http://www.unilever.us/resource/contact/default.aspx


 Dean Foods:

 Dean Foods
2711 N. Haskell Ave.,
Suite 3400
Dallas, TX 75204

 214-303-3400

 Website: http://www.deanfoods.com/media/56157/df_fact_sheet_2012.pdf

 This "website" is actually a media flier.


 If you'd still like to boycott the products, this is Organic Consumers Association's list:

"PepsiCo (Donated $2.5M): Naked Juice, Tostito's Organic, Tropicana Organic • Kraft (Donated $2M): Boca Burgers and Back to Nature • Safeway (Member of Grocery Manufacturers Association, which donated $2M):"O" Organics • Coca-Cola (Donated $1.7M): Honest Tea, Odwalla • General Mills (Donated $1.2M): Muir Glen, Cascadian Farm, Larabar • Con-Agra (Donated $1.2M): Orville Redenbacher's Organic, Hunt's Organic, Lightlife, Alexia • Kellogg's (Donated $791k): Kashi, Bear Naked, Morningstar Farms, Gardenburger  • Smuckers (Donated $555k): R.W. Knudsen, Santa Cruz Organic • Unilever (Donated $467k): Ben & Jerry's • Dean Foods (Donated $254k): Horizon, Silk, White Wave"

As a last note, please use this information with prudence. Do not go and call them and scream in their ear or picket their headquarters in your underwear. Respect begets respect, and you gotta give it to get it.

Now, lets go have some fun!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

How to Cook Butternut Squash - Yes You Can!

Do the isles of strange looking vegetables in the produce department scare you? It used to scare me too. Now I revel in the inexpensive variety of squash avalible at my local Whole Foods every fall and winter. Acorn, Butternut, pumpkin, Patty Pan, Hokkaido, I've tried the traditional and not so traditional and had yummy results.

Squash is not only healthy, it is very tasty too. It's not hard to prepare fresh squash either. Butternut, my favorite squash, has a mild nutty flavor, and you can prepare it similar to sweet potatoes. The organic butternut has a rich orange color and a wonderfully sweet flavor. It's great with cinnamon and honey! This is how I prepare it:


First Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler.


Then chop off the ends of the squash with a chef knife.





Then cut it in half. Depending on the ripeness, this may be a difficult task.
 


The heavy chef's knife makes this an easy task.

Next, save the seeds. Gently pinch the seeds out of the goo with your finger.



This should not be done to varietys that have patented seeds.

Next slice it lengthwise in strips and cut into chunks. Place the chunks in a baking dish and sprinkle with honey, olive oil (or butter if you are not dairy-free), a sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt and cinnamon. Bake at 325 degrees until the chunks are soft. Smash the chunks with a fork and serve!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pampered Chef (RTM) Microplane Review





Ready, Get set, GO!

I'm launching the PC part of Gluten Free Fantasy this week with my very first "First Look" at several PC products. My friend and upline, Lauree, is a super gal and she and I are going to have a fantastic time bringing you REAL info on these products. Expect excitement... expect fun... and expect fast paced info that is anything but fake!

Hold onto your laptops here we go!!



I grated the whole block of cheese in less than a minute!
Here is the PC Microplane (TM) adjustable fine grater (there is also a coarse FYI). It grated an 8oz. block of cheese so fast I nearly lost a finger when I turned my head. We grated pecorino Romano cheese which is made from sheep's milk. It's salty, and normally a lot like Parmesan, but not with this tool. The micorplane lives up to it's name and made fluffy micro-thin curls from this hard cheese. They were so thin and light that they melted in my hand! Also, as you can see in the video, I spent very little energy and time (things I have in short supply with 4 kids!) grating a good amount of cheese. In a later video I'll show you the whole pile I made in less than 1 minute!



The Blade is Made in the USA!
The one thing I didn't like about this was how sharp the blade was, but that is the reason it works so quickly. It look harmless coming out of the box, and I even was able to "test" the blade and did not get cut (that is until was using it for real), but it is not. Let the kiddos watch you (and point and laugh while they get you a band-aid) on this one. :)

My next video will be a "use and care" video, as I really didn't read the directions before I used it the first time. (hence the need of first aid, LOL)

If you'd like to get this, go to:

http://new.pamperedchef.com/pws/glutenfreepc

and search "microplane," or just drop me a line on Facebook and I'll hook you up. :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

And the Winner of the Wal-Mart Contest is... HUMANKIND WATER!!!!

I am proud to announce that HumanKind Water is the WINNER of Wal-Mart's Get-it-on the shelf contest!!

HumanKind Water is not just a company with an entrepreneurial spirit, Hk also has a heart. It donates 100% of it's net profits to build water wells in Haiti, as well as several other underdeveloped countries.

Right now Wal-mart.com is out of stock, but you can click here to have Wal-mart contact you when it becomes available.

God Bless Hk Water!! For more info. visit: http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/03/smallbusiness/walmart-humankind-water/index.htm

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Monsanto's Bitter Pill

There is a saying at the FDA that says only a drug can cure a disease. Since a natural substance, like naturally occurring citric acid in oranges for instance, can't be patented, this FDA stance creates quite a dilemma. What drug, for instance, cures scurvy?

Why are we trusting this regulatory agency when all they are doing is allowing food manufacturers to deliberately poison us with their "flavor enhancers"? Why is it fully legal here in the US to make us addicted to their crap? Look at Monsanto and his GMO Horror Corn story, splicing human and corn genes, and what high fructose does to your system. This reminds me of a global mafia type organization pushing frankenfood and then pharmaceutical poison to cover up the symptoms of what the food does to us!



Our bodies are craving the minerals and nutrients found in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, high quality grass fed meats and other, non-genetically modified, protein. Instead we are pasteurizing, homogenizing, sterilizing and plasticizing our food to last forever, robbing it of the enzymes, photochemicals and whole natural vitamins and minerals our body needs. No wonder we over eat!! Our brains are starving for the snippet of whatever is left of the nutrients in the "food" and the big manufacturers are stuffing their pockets with our money we throw at them. It reminds me of the relationship between the drug pusher and the addict, except the drug task force (the FDA) is saying to Monsanto, "go ahead, deal away."

There are other sources that say this is all related to population control plans hatched in the grip of the Rockefeller Foundation and food management is just a small part of the conspiracy. "The World According to Monsanto" certainly does have a lot of compelling commentary to make me think that GMOs effects are not just accidental.

Color Me Natural - Homemade Gluten Free Frosting with No Funny Stuff

The kids (and Grandma) had a grand time, and I was happy the frosting didn't have wierd, unpronounceable stuff in it.
For birthday parties I sometimes bake gluten free cupcakes and mix up a bunch of colors and put each into a decorating tube. Then I give each party-goer a "blank canvas" cupcake and stand back and watch the creativity squeeze out. Each child exchanges ideas and frosting colors and a fun time is had by all.

So how did I get all those awesome colors without weird stuff? I used combinations of blueberry juice, spirulina (a blue green algae sold in health-food stores as a whole food vitamin and mineral supplement), turmeric, and India Tree Natural food coloring. I use a palm kernel oil shortening to make my frosting with powdered sugar and natural peppermint flavoring.

Here is what I used to create the colors:

  • Red: India Tree red and a small amount of blueberry juice gave me a richer red than with the coloring alone. I also added a tiny sprinkle of turmeric.
  • Orange: I used the India Tree red, a drop of blueberry juice (to get the "red" in the orange), turmeric, and some of the India Tree yellow.
  • Yellow: Turmeric and India Tree yellow combined to make a much brighter yellow than the coloring alone, I then added the tiniest bit of spirulina.
  • Green: I mixed turmeric, spirulina and the blue and yellow India Tree colors until I got a great green. I went heavy on the spirulina. I added the slightest bit of blueberry juice to ad a bit of depth and got a great result.
  • Blue: I used the IT blue, blueberry juice and spirulina. Blue is a tough color.The spirulina made this easy though because it balanced out the "purple" of the blue India Tree coloring and blueberry juice.
  • Purple: Blueberry juice, Blue food coloring, and just a little bit of spirulina made a surprisingly vibrant purple. 

If you think this looks yummy, you should see my G-Free K-Too cake on my Facebook page!

Kashi = GMOs

The Kellogg brand Kashi is in trouble. A recent sample tested by Cornucopia contained 100% GMO soy. Like any spoiled child, Kellogg stamped their foot and whined that no testing had actually occurred. 


Cornucopia's research director, Will Fantle, stated in response:


"We purchased a readily available box of Kashi's GoLean® cereal from a Whole Foods store. We then sent a sample to an accredited national lab for testing, finding that the soy in the natural cereal was 100% GMO."
Caught in their lie, Kellogg is now promising that their products will, within 3 years, contain a whopping 70% organic ingredients. This may fool some, but it is clearly a way to save profits. They may as well say they are changing their inGREEDients, as their intention is not on food quality, but strictly on profits.

Further research revealed Kellogg's plan. By 2015 all NEWLY INTRODUCED Kashi products will be NON-GMO project certified (
http://www.kashi.com/ourcommitment). They say nothing about their current line.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_g-BH9Qic8Yw/SjHTyLThomI/AAAAAAAABRM/K6lnzWqBI7k/s1600-h/buying_organic_chart_big.gif
(Click here to see an enlarged version of this chart)
According to Phil Howard, Kellogg also owns Bear Naked, Gardenburger, Morningstar Farms and Natural Touch brands. Expect your favorite natural brands to change recipes when the corporate ownership changes. It is also important to note that you should ALWAYS read the ingredient labels of the foods you purchase, and CALL the company, to be sure there are no food allergens, (such as soy) in the recipe.


Sometimes though, you may not get all the answers you are looking for.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gluten Free Restaurant Review - Verona Village Inn


Verona Village Inn - 551 Wildwood Avenue - Verona, PA


Hubby and I headed out last night to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. As a woman on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, restaurants are often a big hit or a big miss, and I dread trying something new since some of my G-free dining experiences have been truly horrible. These bad experiences include pricey "fine dining" places to fast food joints. Many people just don't understand what food intolerance is and often make rash judgments ("She's SOOO picky!") or express fear ("Am I going to have to call an ambulance if you smell the broccoli cheddar soup?") when I share my dietary needs with waitstaff. But share I must, mostly because if I don't make my needs known I'll invariably get a meal I can't eat.

Of all the types of restaurants, Italian ones are the worst as far of selection for me. Italian restaurant menus are saturated with pasta dishes slathered with cheese and I must navigate a minefield of wheat and dairy based dishes reading the ingredients carefully, then asking the waiter "what else" is not listed in the description on the menu. When my husband recommended the Verona Village Inn, I was not enthused. We in fact passed it to try another local eatery, but turned back when it was obvious that we would not get a table until sometime next week. We turned back and walked in, and as I perused the menu and took in the ambiance, my expectations changed drastically.

The place was busy, but there was not a wait, even though we did not make reservations. We were seated and served by friendly courteous staff who were bustling through the restaurant, but they did not make us feel rushed. Our drinks and meal were served with wonderful smelling garlic bread and fresh salad. I selected a grilled chicken salad topped with french fries and asked that they hold the cheese. My waitress was a bit surprised when I brought out my own cheese substitute and jokingly asked where I found it on the menu. My chicken breast was grilled just right and had a wonderful flavor. The salad was a fresh mix of romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and mushrooms, which tasted as if it was just cut right before I ordered it. My husband's lasagna looked yummy and smelled even better, and even though I couldn't eat it, I enjoyed the fact that he was full and happy afterward.


My glass of white Zinfandel topped off the evening perfectly. I haven't had a meal out at a restaurant this good in a very very long time. Verona Village Inn was a definitive big hit! They may have to get used to seeing us every year. ;)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

HumanKind Water Makes the Finals!

Humankind Water has started something big and have their sites set on making it huge! Big box retailer, Wal-Mart, is running a contest to see what their next product should be and asking people to vote for the most worthy product. The final round of voting begins April 11 and continues til the 24th, and Humankind water is asking people to vote for them.

Why should we vote for Humankind water? Because 100 percent of the net profits go directly to building wells and helping people gain access to clean drinking water.

Go to the Humankind website to learn more about their mission and vote!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Gluten Free Product Review - Julian Bakery ZERO Cookies

zero-cookies
 Ginger Spice, Cocoa Delight and Strawberry Banana Perfection
Photo courtesy of julianbakery.com

I recently was given the opportunity to try Julian Bakery's "Zero!" cookies. I must say this is one of those gluten free products that I, being the sweet tooth that I am, was very eager to try. These treats have zero net carbs, no gluten and no sugar, which is quite intriguing, but how do they taste?

Soft AND Chewy "Home Baked" Texture

Gluten free cookies are often not soft and are certainly never chewy. Somehow the folks at Julian Bakery did both in these cookies, AND they STAY that way after they are opened! This my friends is nothing short of a miracle.

Sweet, But Not Too Much

Sometimes in an effort to win us over, gluten free manufacturers bombard us with too much sugar. Zero! cookies are designed not just to meet the needs of those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, but they have crossed boundaries and offered something good for diabetics as well. The Zero cookie is also naturally sugar free, so you are not downing a bunch of chemicals (for more see my information on processed coconut and grain fumigation). Instead they use Erythritol, Stevia and Monk's Fruit extract. While I would have preferred a bit more sweetness in the Cocoa Delight, the other flavors (Strawberry Banana Perfection and Ginger Spice) were plenty sweet enough.

WHEYt a Minute!

Alas, I did find that these cookies were not completely dairy free. They do have whey protein in all three flavors. Whey is an excellent source of nutrition, unless you are sensitive to the protein. I've not really experimented with anything containing whey before and I found I had no reaction to the Zero! cookies. I actually felt energized after eating these, which is the opposite of what a K-too does to me.



As you can see from this photo, the Ginger Spice were my favorite. Julian Bakery's website has a list of why they call them "Zero!" cookies. I can add one more to that list. There will be "Zero!" left! Don't worry, the hubby got enough of the Cocoa Delights. ;)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bottled Water Brand to Make a Splash in Africa

Humankind Bottled Water to Give 100% of Profits to Drill Wells






A new company has put a new twist to the bottled water industry by using 100 percent of their profits to fund wells in Africa. While some are condemning the bottled water industry, the chlorine and fluoride in municipal drinking water leaves little else for health conscious families to choose from. The fight to take back municipal water continues, and Humankind water fills the gap. This all while helping the world drink cleaner water.
They are asking people to vote to bring them to the shelves of our local Walmart. Visit them at humankindwater.org to vote.

As a spokesperson for the company says, "When you buy Humankind water, you buy humankind... water."