Monthly Archives: September 2010

meatless monday recipe: spinach artichoke pita pizza…

i’m loving this single serve idea from meatless monday…spinach and artichoke mini pizzas with pesto! it’s so dang hot out here, the thought of a delicious and flavorful light supper that will be ready in five minutes in a toaster over or broiler is a welcome one. i’m thinking of sprinkling some roasted garbanzo beans on top (just to up the protein level), but that means i will have to turn on the oven today…

hmmm.

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an upstream swim to stop GE salmon…

AquAdvantage GE salmon vs. Atlantic salmon…which would you rather eat?

so the FDA decided it needs more time to make a decision on whether or not GE salmon is fit for human consumption. i’m live streaming the hearings, but have a pit in my stomach…i can pretty much tell you what i think by looking at the photo above. it’s really freaking me out.

AquaBounty (who owns AquAdvantage … you can tell by all the clever capitalization) says that their “fish” are safe (when safety is based on vitamins, dha, omegas, taste, blah blah blah <- and this is what the FDA is looking at – rather than food allergies, environmental impact on natural populations, etc.). they say that their “fish” is better for the environment because less feed is required to grow the fish. and their claim that their “fish” consume less fossil fuels because the “fish” will be raised in pens near population centers rather than the open sea is a pile of crap as well. according to the washington post:

AquaBounty wants to incubate genetically modified eggs in Prince Edward Island, Canada, then ship them in plastic coolers to Panama. There they would be raised in land-based tanks and eventually processed before being transported to the United States for sale.

they say the growing population needs GE fish to keep up with demand…again, i call b.s.  – while i wouldn’t eat farmed salmon, there is no evidence that conventional farmed salmon cannot keep up. and finally that they brag that their “fish” grow to maturity in half the time – this is their one true statement…although looking at that photo, what does maturity even mean? that thing up there is a nightmare!

from eatocracy:

The fish’s rapid growth will be boosted by the injection of a combination of a growth gene (GH-coding sequences) from the Pacific Chinook salmon and genetic material (the AFP gene) from the ocean pout – a large, eel-like fish – into the fertilized eggs of Atlantic salmon, making the recombined DNA present in cells throughout the body of the fish. The Chinook gene promotes the growth to market size, and the pout gene allows the fish to grow in the winter as well as the summer.

so, basically these “fish” have their growth hormones going 24/7, unlike natural salmon which produces these hormones only some of the time. mmmm, what’s for dinner tonight, mommy?

today the hearings are focusing on whether the “fish” will be labeled. but the FDA hasn’t even approved these frankenfish for consumption. and quite frankly, i don’t even know how much i trust the FDA. their stance thus far is that genetically engineered salmon is essentially the same as atlantic salmon (according to us news and world report). that there is no material difference between a GE salmon and a conventional salmon. say what?!? it’s not just people eating freaky fish, it’s also whether these female frankenfish will become an invasive species with wild atlantic salmon. again, from eatocracy:

AquaBounty Technologies claims the resultant fish are reproductively sterile due to another genetic alteration – triploidy – that eliminates the possibility of interbreeding amongst themselves or with other native breeds, while maintaining protection over intellectual property. The company will only sell female eggs and raise the fish within contained, inland systems. However, despite these assurances, the FDA indicates that up to 5% of the eggs may indeed be fertile, and the company’s claims in this regard are “potentially misleading.”

it’s so hard to listen to these hearings. there’s a guy talking right now that says that consumers are eating GE foods all the time right now and that there are a lot of scare tactics out there, i.e., calling it “frankenfish” and if consumers want GE products to have labels, then the cost must be passed onto those of us who don’t want to eat them because there is no scientific/nutritional difference between the two. say what again?!? i need to pay for a label for something i would never eat because i believe it is not food?

now the ceo of AquaBounty is talking and saying that biotech and environmentalists are on the same side and espouse the same values. that we should put away our fear and distrust cards and take out the discuss card…see how the benefits outweigh the risks…and he admits that he shops at whole foods and buys organic products (the audience chuckles and i notice he doesn’t say he’s ate the frankenfish) and that the audience has already consumed GE products…those papayas from hawaii would be extinct were it not for genetic engineering. yo, ceo! i’ve since switched to only organic soy because of all the GE crap that is in conventional soy (see my boca blog here) – so i beg to differ that we are on the same side…he wants the labeling to be positive, rather than scaring the public…maybe the public should be scared, or at least made aware…

wow. no questions from the FDA panel for this dude? i might have to shut this stream off. i think all this crap is gonna pass. i don’t think there will be labels. this will probably be within 2 years. i think we all will have to spend more and more time to make sure the food we are buying is safe. and it will be up to each of us to determine what “safe” means to us. they are on break now, i don’t know if i have the stomach (literally) to listen when they return…

unlike america, 2/3 of the world already labels GMO food. for me, this is the start of a very slippery slope…up next in the store aisles, enviropig…!

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here comes the sun…

my apologies dear reader, blogposts have been pretty sporadic, but it was all for a good reason…last friday, i found out i got a job that i wanted so badly. a job so perfect for me, it’s almost scary. a job working with awesome, passionate people at one of the best companies in the u.s.a. – whole foods!!

as some of you know, my last job was a rough one. full of promise, but more full of paranoia and backstabbing and chaos. i thought it would be impossible (especially in this economy) to find a job i actually care about. so, for those of you still out there looking for work, i say don’t give up.

since i’ve been away from these pages for so long, i’m just going to list a few links regarding the FDA’s review today as to whether or not GMO salmon is safe and tomorrow they will hear comments as to whether it has to be labeled as such.

from the daily beast:

FDA to Weigh In on ‘Frankenfish’

Next week, the Food and Drug Administration will hold public hearings on genetically modified salmon and the safety of genetic modification. Aqua Bounty Technologies has developed a method of genetically engineering salmon, one that allows its modified salmon eggs to grow to full-size in about half the time it takes regular salmon to reach its full-size. The company insists that aside from the slight genetic modification, the salmon is the same as regular Atlantic salmon. “Their ability to grow faster does not impact the nutritional or biological make-up of the fish,” reads its website. But food safety groups question the salmon’s actual safety, and argue that modified fish are more susceptible to the spread of disease vs. natural salmon. Environmental groups also believe that farmed salmon threatens native salmon populations.

i also came across this great chart from the cornucopia institute, showing who owns many of the well-known organic labels:

and finally (and rather late), a couple meatless monday recipes…

from mark bittman:  braised tofu with eggplant and shiitake mushrooms

and if that sounds too hearty, check out this recipe for a light and fresh gruyère and apple salad that i emailed myself from my free whole foods app (which pretty much kicks butt), there’s more info about it here:

yummy! it feels good to be back!

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meatless monday recipe: amish breakfast casserole…

boy! i’ve been away from the blog for awhile! things have been crazy and exciting out here in the valley … lots of change and the days are flying by. we drove to fresno this weekend to celebrate t’s brother’s birthday. the drive was horribly boring, but their home is lovely and i absolutely adore their kids. it was a nice and relaxing family get together and stacey put out quite the spread, including this lovely brunch centerpiece on sunday.

here is the recipe – i, of course, would substitute veggie sausage or bacon (sprinkled on top at the very very end) – but she made me my own individual meat-free mini casserole (so sweet of her!) and it was delicious as it was, but i figure the irishman would enjoy a little “meaty” flavor in there!

AMISH BREAKFAST CASSEROLE (i am omitting the 1lb of diced bacon which would be sautéed with the onions)

prep time: 15 minutes | cook time: 35 minute

serves:  12

INGREDIENTS

1 medium sweet onion, diced

6 eggs, lightly beaten

4 cups frozen shredded hash browns (we’re loving the trader joe’s brand), thawed

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese

1 1/4 cups shredded swiss cheese

sauté the onion in olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste; (add veggie sausage, if desired); set aside. in a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and fold in the onion/veggie sausage mixture. transfer to a greased 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking dish.

bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until set and bubbly. let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. (add veggie bacon bits, if desired).

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