Live Well
November 2017

Out of the Wallets of Big Ag and Big Food

I recently read an op-ed piece in the New York Times about the power of voting with one’s wallet, and our apparent inability to do so. However, I’ve come to believe that this may be where we can make the greatest impact on our food system.

We tend to think we don’t have that much power to affect the food on the shelves of grocery stores. And to a large extent that is true. Big agriculture and big food companies spend millions of dollars every year to increase subsidies to large farms producing soy and corn (for use in animal feed and in all the processed foods we are sold), to prevent states from implementing soda taxes, or to influence the government’s nutrition guidelines. In fact, according to the Environmental Working Group, in 2015, companies spent over $100 million to prevent GMO labeling. However, when we make a conscious decision about the products we agree to buy, we can influence change in the food system.

Here are a few ways, we can effect change by voting with our wallets.

  • First of all, we need to stop supporting large agriculture companies that use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that are destroying the environment, as well as our health.
  • We also need to stop supporting large agriculture companies that promote the use of genetically modified seeds that are herbicide-resistant and have been shown to cause cancer.
  • We need to stop large food companies from selling us (and especially our children) sodas, junk foods, and processed foods which have been shown to make us sick.

The best way to do this is to eat mostly fruits and vegetables, and buy food from local farmers. In doing this, we are telling the Big Ag and Big Food that we are not interested in their products and that if they want our business, they have to listen to what we want and not the other way around.

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Cook Well

Beet and Hazelnut Cake

I’m not normally one to “disguise” healthy foods in sweets but I did enjoy this Beet and Hazelnut Cake, which is a modification of the Carrot Cake recipe that is in my cookbook, Live, Eat, Cook Healthy: Simple, fresh and delicious recipes for balanced living. Serves 6-8

5 large eggs
1 cup organic cane sugar
2 cups hazelnut flour
1 cup beets, peeled and grated
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar, optional
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-in. Springform pan and line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper too.
  2. 2. Separate the eggs.
  3. 3. In a medium bowl, combine hazelnut flour, beets, raisins, ginger and baking powder. Mix well.
  4. 4. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and creamy.
  5. 5. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs whites to medium-firm peaks.
  6. 6. Fold half of egg whites into egg yolk and sugar mixture. Mix well. Then ad hazelnut flour mixture and remaining egg whites. Fold gently until everything is fully incorporated.
  7. 7. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely then sprinkle with powdered sugar, if using.
Worthwhile

HERE are some
recent pictures of the latest offerings at the Union Square Farmers Market.

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Learn

Here are a few of my favorite articles for this month:

A great piece (with some frightening statistics) on the obesity epidemic in the United States. READ ARTICLE

This is an interesting article on the need for grass-roots organizing to bring about change in
the food system. READ ARTICLE

A must-read about how Monsanto may have know that glyphosphate is a human carcinogen. READ ARTICLE

More on the ill effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. READ ARTICLE

A great compilation of articles by notable food advocates. Definitely worth a read. READ ARTICLE