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Genetically Modified Food

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Continuing our theme of making small changes to create big impact on our lives, and on removing artificial foods from our diets, I would like to address Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs). Genetic modification is a process whereby the genes of one species of plant or animal are inserted into the genes of another in order to give that plant or animal certain positive traits. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) can be created with genes from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or humans.

The problem with genetic modification is that it cuts across species lines and, therefore, can have many unintended consequences on organisms. This is because no one knows what reaction the insertion of a foreign gene into an organism will cause. As a matter of fact, there is evidence that genetically modified foods can cause severe illnesses, allergies, asthma, and cancer. In a well-publicized case, in 1994, Calgene came out with a tomato called the FlavrSavr Tomato, which was meant to look fresh long after being picked. The tomato was eventually recalled because it did not taste good. However, in studies, it had been shown that the FlavrSavr Tomato caused stomach lesions in rats.

To avoid GMOs, buy organic. Products which are certified organic are not allowed to contain GMOs. Also look for products which state “Non-GMO” on the label. Finally, avoid products which typically contain GMOs, such as:

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Canola
  • Cotton
  • Sugar beets
  • Papaya
  • Dairy products with rBGH or rBST, which are genetically engineered hormones designed to increase milk production.

For more information on GMOs, check out:

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Chocolate

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There are phytonutrients in plants called flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties. Cocoa is full of flavonoids called flavonols. Research has shown that the flavonols in cocoa help prevent heart disease and stroke because they prevent fatlike substances from clogging the arteries. Cocoa is also rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps preserve normal muscle and nerve function, and keeps heart beating normally. The key thing is making sure you consume small quantities of high quality dark chocolate—70% cocoa or higher (the higher the percentage of cocoa, the lower the sugar).

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Quote of the Month

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“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

—Charles M. Schulz

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Upcoming Events Headline

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02.22.2011

Healthier Food, Healtier Families

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03.01.2011

Cooking with Whole Grains

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03.08.2011

Eating for Energy

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03.15.2011

Healthy Snacks for You and Your Kids

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I am the mother of four daughters and a Certified Health Counselor, as well as a passionate advocate of organic and local food and a healthy lifestyle. I decided to become a health counselor to fulfill my passion of working with children and parents to improve their health and family life. Learn more about me at healthytiffin.net/about.html

Call to action: Want more information? Visit www.healthytiffin.net for recipes, resources, events, and to learn about our individual and group programs. Click here now!
In this issue:

Recipes

Organic Valentine’s Day Truffles (makes 30 medium truffles)

  • 8 oz organic heavy cream
  • 10 oz organic bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 ½ oz organic butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 ½ oz brandy, whisky or other liqueur (optional)
  • organic pistachios, chopped
  • organic unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • organic cocoa powder
  1. In a saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate. Stir until melted.
  2. Stir in butter until melted, then stir in liqueur.
  3. Strain mixture into a bowl and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Using a spoon or melon-baller, scrape mixture into 30 medium-sized balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Sift cocoa onto a plate. Roll truffles in cocoa and round them into small balls. Repeat process with chopped pistachios or shredded coconut.

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