Spinach salad – kids love it

Posted by on May 28, 2010 in raising children, Recipes, seasonal | 3 comments

I spent some time in different aged classrooms over the last couple of weeks, bearing spinach (our food of the month) – in bushels, sautéed with olive oil and garlic, and chopped and dressed up with a little olive oil, lemon and sea salt as shown here. The premise – to get kids thinking about why it’s great to eat local food, to learn about spinach (what it likes and needs to grow, why we eat it, how to make it), and to offer students the opportunity to try  it in a few different ways to see what they think.

What I most love about these in-class food sessions, are the surprises. So many students were surprised to find that they like things they have previously made decisions not to like. A couple of students weren’t feeling so adventurous, and opted out. That’s OK. This is a no pressure exercise (of course if you don’t try it, you can’t vote on it). This afternoon one student who made sure I knew he didn’t like spinach in any form, came to discover that he actually likes it very much – raw. Another, was turned off by the look of the sautéed spinach, but came to find he loved the taste.

These are steps in adventure taking, in risk taking. Exercising our risk-taking muscle helps us to expand our vision of what is possible. How wonderful it is to have opportunities to expand our vision 3+ times a day. Happy eating!

The ingredients: spinach, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt.  The kids can make this one for you..

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Do you know what the 8 genetically modified foods are?

Posted by on May 26, 2010 in families, gardens, raising children | 2 comments

The Future of Food – a documentary (very well done, visually wonderful to watch) about the history and context of genetically modified foods was my first real education on the subject. Anybody who eats food, should see this. Although created with the best of intentions to feed a hungry world, the GM dynasty that Monsanto (the company that has most patents on seeds, that have toxic chemicals intended to kill bugs that affect crops, but also affect you) has created is responsible for the loss of livelihood of many, many small farmers(Monsanto sues farmers that are found to have their patented crop growing in their fields – something that happens along the borders of farms due to wind, birds and squirrels that bring seeds from one side of a street, to another), the disappearance of biodiversity and the dependance on their seed companies every season as they create “suicide seeds” that fail to produce more than 1 crop.

We at Butter Beans avoid GMO’s (genetically modified organisms), and you can too, if you know what to look for.

There are eight genetically modified food crops:

  1. Soy
  2. Corn
  3. Cottonseed (used in vegetable cooking oils)
  4. Canola (canola oil)
  5. Sugar from sugar beets
  6. Hawaiian papaya
  7. Some varieties of zucchini
  8. Crookneck squash

Based on this list, anything containing soy or soy derivatives should be avoided, as well as anything containing corn, the most obvious ingredient being high fructose corn syrup.

The easiest way to avoid ending up with GM foods in your shopping cart is to do some pre-planning using the free non-GMO shopping guide, available at www.NonGMOshoppingGuide.com.

The Institute for Responsible Technology has also created a free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.

The shopping guide lists the various derivatives of each crop to be avoided, and even better, it lists hundreds of brand products in 22 food categories that are non-GMO, so if you’re still buying processed foods, at least you can easily select a brand that does not use genetically modified ingredients.

(Thank you Dr. Mercola for the above links!)

Big corporations often do what’s best for their bottom line. If enough people stop buying foods with genetically modified ingredients, they’ll have to stop making them. It’s the time-tested rule of supply and demand. We can demand real food three times a day, every time we shop, every time we eat.

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Pita Pizza Playdate

Posted by on May 25, 2010 in families, raising children, Recipes | 0 comments

What could be better? It takes all of five minutes to prepare, and another 5-10 minutes in your toaster oven. Pictured are two versions – the first with tomato sauce, shredded kale and sausage (all natural sausage made from a happy pig), the other spread with hummus and topped with shredded kale and kalamata olives. My daughter and her playdate were psyched to design their pizzas, and I was psyched to deliver. These were made on Ezekiel brand pita bread. Ezekiel bread is known for being made of sprouted grains instead of flour. This is great for added nutrition and better assimilation. Many people who are sensitive to gluten, find that they do well with sprouted grain bread. That said, these pitas are not sprouted, but the second ingredient is carrots! For those gluten sensitive bellies, at our house, we love Nature’s Hilight Brown Rice Pizza Crust.

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Detroit – a Farming Mecca?

Posted by on May 20, 2010 in gardens, news and happenings | 0 comments

Of all the city’s across this country that have suffered from a loss of industry, Detroit is one that easily comes to mind. Imagine turning vacant lots and left behind debris of a prior boom era – into an agrarian wonderland where people are employed and reconnected to our food source, and able to eat and share real food that can reverse the dire statistics of obesity and heart disease and diabetes.. it’s a brilliant idea, and it’s happening in Detroit.

Learn more at: www.hantzfarmsdetroit.com.

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Cameras, Decisions and Risk taking

Posted by on May 18, 2010 in Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes | 4 comments

Hello good people.

Today I would like to ask if anyone has a great recommendation for a new camera? I need a good one that is easy to use, has great resolution and a nice sized screen that fits in any bag that I can use for this blog. I want to be able to take nice pictures of food and seeds and children, schools and working farms.

I am in the process of writing my Will. Do you have one? Through this decision-making process I consider how children feel about making big decisions. About taking risks. An adult client this morning told me that her mantra is to take more risks. Risk taking means different things to different people and can range from trying a new food, to wearing a new color, to speaking up in a group, or starting a new business.

Taking risks is agreeing to transition. Transition moments – the most alive of times, moments full of great potential.

Children are able to live in this way of continuous alive time. They don’t limit themselves the way we adults do, until we teach them about limitations. We have a lot of work to do now as a human family dealing with disaster and suffering. We need people filled with love and light and willing to try new things to create solutions to the issues of our time. We need our children. Isn’t that why we all get into this role of parenthood – to create something better for the future.

If you have any tips on cameras or thoughts on risk taking, send them along.

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