January 7th, 2012
It’s no surprise that where millions of dollars are involved, sometimes our ideals pay the price. See the article, “Organic Agriculture May Be Outgrowing Its Ideals.” An excerpt below:
But even as more Americans buy foods with the organic label, the products are increasingly removed from the traditional organic ideal: produce that is not only free of chemicals and pesticides but also grown locally on small farms in a way that protects the environment.
December 27th, 2011
For many of you, big game hunting season is drawing to a close, or has already ended for the year. For those of you who still question the value of hunting, read the following NY Times article by Seamus McGraw. McGraw eloquently conveys the many reasons–including ecological reasons–he became a hunter well into his adult years. He is not so “presumptuous as to suggest the obligation extends behind [him],” but it’s worth reading about his excursion with a flintlock into the Pennsylvania mountains.
December 8th, 2011
This is a stunning article. It details a recent study showing that many of the top selling children’s cereals contain more sugar per serving than a Hostess Twinkie. I think most people knew that Captain Crunch was loaded with sugar. Cocoa Krispies? Not shocking. But Wheaties Fuel?! The breakfast of champions! Who knew the champion was running on fructose. To be fair, many of the cereals are low in sugar and won’t cause the insulin spikes that are regularly blamed for the spike in obesity since 1976 (watch this). The best part is that your non or low-fat milk is dumping even more sugar into your system. This is all new in the history of humans; maybe something’s wrong? Let us know what you think. In the meantime, kudos to the plain Cheerios. Although we prefer Kale.
December 4th, 2011
Most of us know that such technologies are “out there,” but few of us probably comprehend the extent to which “flavorists,” in chemical laboratories, flavor the food that lines our grocery store shelves. Not only do these scientists make the food taste better, they manipulate the delivery of flavors in the eating process in order to maximize our desire to return for more. Last week’s 60 Minutes included interviews with several of the scientists, particularly from Givaudan, the largest flavoring company in the world. Is there something wrong with this picture? Or are such flavorings just elaborate–and more intelligent and expensive–forms of salt and spice? Let us know what you think.
November 28th, 2011
The November 21 New Yorker, as demonstrated by its cover, delights in food, with article titles ranging from “The King’s Meal” to “Heirlooms” to “The Food at Our Feet.” Check it out–there are many good reads, even the short story which begins “The sign in the Sweet Apple kitchen declared it a nut-free zone …” Come on. Relish some words.
November 19th, 2011
Firearms season has started in our part of Virginia. Visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to read about the seasons and get a license. You can order it online, print it out, and be in the woods in a few minutes.
Also, check out the blurb below from the Department website about “Hunters for the Hungry” if you’re not familiar with the organization, which distributes a significant amount of venison each year.
And read here about more good news for local backyard chickens.
From the VDGIF website:
Hunters for the Hungry
Hunters for the Hungry receives donated deer from successful hunters. Funds are raised to cover the costs of professional processing, then the venison is distributed to the needy across the state.
This past season 407,796 pounds of venison was distributed. Over 4.5 million pounds or 18.2 million servings of venison have been distributed in Virginia since 1991.
Each $40.00 contribution allows another deer to be accepted. Hunters donating an entire deer are not required to pay any part of the processing fee.
Legislation was passed in 2003 in honor of Hunters for the Hungry founder, David Horne. The David Horne Hunger Relief Bill gives you the opportunity to donate $2.00 or more to the Hunters for the Hungry program when you purchase your hunting license. One hundred percent of your donation will go to providing venison to the hungry.
You can make a difference to the hungry and to the future of hunting in Virginia. For additional information e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the website atwww.h4hungry.org, call 1-800-352-HUNT (4868), or write to P.O. Box 304, Big Island, VA 24526.
November 11th, 2011
For Veterans Day and in honor of our men and women in uniform, USOF would like to not only thank them for their service, but remind the rest of us about the proud history of self-sufficiency to support our troops. In WWII it was the Victory Garden, a phenomenally popular idea to help make sure the troops were well fed and not an inch of good soil wasted. Today, perhaps in addition to the self-sufficiency and waste-not attitude that founded the country and helped it persevere, perhaps the garden can also serve as a gateway to better health by reminding us what real food is and where it comes from. So please thank our Veterans today and, as the poster says, take part in some “Gardening, canning, and drying”!
November 3rd, 2011
The first snow hit the northeastern US last week. There is definitely a chill in the air here in Virginia. Time to get out of the yard? To retreat for the long winter without your home-grown vegetables and herbs? Not so says USOF!
Cold frames will allow you to plant cool weather crops well into winter. We sell a beautiful cold frame in our store. You can also build your own with this simple but thorough guide from Mother Earth News . The top crops for your winter harvest? A winter salad! Please send pictures to us at email@example.com when your first feast is ready. The best will receive recognition and a prize!
Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/2007-12-01/Garden-with-Cold-Frames.aspx?page=3#ixzz1cf6U8QSY
October 28th, 2011
This is a great, easy, and quick recipe to do with your kids (or your parents) after you are finished disfiguring your various large squashes. You don’t want to waste any of their guts, of course. So we know you’ll make pumpkin pie, but don’t waste the seeds either!
- 2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
- Spread the pumpkin seeds on a medium baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt.
- Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted.