October 15th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
In First They Came for the Cows: An Activist’s Story, Vermont farmer Sharon Zecchinelli has written a fictionalized account of her battle with federal farm regulations.
Zecchinelli’s target: the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)—a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that collects data on farm animals.
The book exposes how the USDA provides loopholes for massive industrial farms, favoring corporate operations at the expense of family farmers and consumers.
Read More:Book Explores Threats to Family Farms
September 13th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Katherine Schwarzenegger felt something was terribly wrong last summer, when she overheard her young cousins chatting about their bodies.
“They’re 8 years old and were talking about how they don’t want to be fat and how they want to be ‘sexy,’” says the 20-year-old daughter of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and journalist Maria Shriver.
It wasn’t the first time Katherine had heard the girls and other young friends discuss body-image issues. She, herself, had struggled to maintain her self-esteem under media and public scrutiny.
Now a junior at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, Katherine eventually tackled her body-image issues and developed self-confidence—and she shares her hard-earned wisdom in a new book, Rock What You’ve Got: Secrets to Loving Your Inner and Outer Beauty from Someone Who’s Been There and Back.
Read More:Katherine Schwarzenegger Talks About Body Image in New Book
June 17th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Children love summer vacation, but parents often find it difficult to keep them engaged in productive activities.
Most kids experience a learning slump during their time away from school. At best, they show little or no academic growth over the summer, according to the National Summer Learning Association. At worst, they lose 1 to 3 months of learning.
It is, however, possible to keep your children engaged and stimulated over the summer months. Books like I’m a Scientist: Backyard—part of a new series for younger readers (5+ years)—introduce kids to the world of science with interesting outdoor experiments. Clear, step-by-step instructions allow children to absorb science easily.
You can also use summer vacation to instill a love of nature, the outdoors and organic gardening. I’m a Scientist: Backyard teaches preschoolers and early elementary students to:
- Take a garden safari
- Make a bug house out of a soil sample to observe the creepy-crawlies that live within
- Perform plant-based experiments that foster an interest in botany
- Experience wind power by making their own pinwheels
- Discover a tree’s age and measure its height using just a stick and a piece of string
- Make a sundial to tell time using only the sun’s position
- Learn about centrifugal force with a simple bucket of water
The book retails for $12.99 and will be released July 19. You may preorder it on Amazon and save 20% ($10.39).
Photo courtesy of DK Publishing
Read More:Teach Your Child to Be a Backyard Scientist
May 12th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
What do multiplatinum-selling musician Moby and Global Animal Partnership Executive Director Miyun Park have in common?
They’re coeditors of the new book Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety, an info-packed guide to the consequences of factory farming.
Gristle covers “the rarely publicized ramifications of industrialized farmed animal production and meat, egg and milk consumption on the environment, human health, communities, workers, taxpayers, zoonotic diseases, global warming, global hunger and, of course, the animals themselves,” Moby writes. “There are huge and egregiously well-financed interests who want to keep the truth of animal production hidden.”
The book’s contributors include:
At 144 pages, Gristle is a fast and enlightening read. Order through Amazon, and you’ll save 25%. (Pay $10.49 instead of $13.95.)
Read More:Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety
January 22nd, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Family is one of the most powerful influences on a child’s weight and health.
Win at Weight Loss: A Healthy Guide for the Whole Family offers simple steps parents can take to improve their own health habits and help their children “grow into” a healthier weight.
Today’s recipe, excerpted from the cookbook, features Alaskan cod—a sustainable fish choice. Avoid Atlantic cod, which makes the eco-worst list.
Start-to-finish time is 30 minutes, and all of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store.
Easy Corn Flake-Crusted Fish
Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
3 cups corn flakes, crushed to make about 1-2/3 cups
4 Alaskan cod fillets (4 to 6 ounces each)
2 tablespoons canola oil
- In a shallow dish, mix flour and salt. In another shallow dish, beat egg and water with fork. Place crushed cereal in a third shallow dish.
- Dip fish in flour, coating well; shake off excess.
- Dip floured fish in egg mixture and then in cereal, coating all sides completely. Place coated fish on an ungreased plate.
- In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Keeping at least 1 inch between fish fillets (and cooking in batches, if needed), cook fish in oil 3 to 4 minutes on each side, turning once, until well browned and fish flakes easily with fork.
- If needed, place cooked fish on paper towels on a cookie sheet and keep warm in a 225°F oven while cooking remaining fish.
Recipe and photo reproduced by permission from Win at Weight Loss: A Healthy Guide for the Whole Family by Betty Crocker. Copyright © 2005 by Betty Crocker. All rights reserved.
Read More:Easy Corn Flake-Crusted Fish
November 17th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Steven Trudell, PhD, and Joe Ammirati, PhD, know their ’shrooms.
Authors of the recently released Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest, Trudell is an affiliate professor of forest resources and lecturer in biology, while Ammirati is a professor of biology who specializes in mycology (the study of mushrooms). Both teach at the University of Washington.
The profs wrote this book because mushroom guides are plentiful, but they could never find one that focused on the Pacific Northwest—an area with diverse and abundant mushrooms. In 352 pages, with more than 460 photos, they cover the geographical area, fungi basics, mushroom collecting, fungus ecology and mushroom poisoning.
Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest makes a great gift for organic mushroom aficionados. It regularly retails for $27.95, but Amazon is currently offering the book for $18.45 (a 34% savings).
Read More:Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest
September 28th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Bat flowers. Lily-of-the-Nile. Devil’s tongue. Cobra lily. Black cow parsley.
Each of these plants is a lovely shade of black.
Once you open the pages of Paul Bonine’s Black Plants, you’ll no longer associate the floral color with Morticia Addams’ garden or a Goth funeral wreath. Bonine, co-owner of the wholesale nursery Xera Plants in Sherwood, OR, will have you craving a patch of “dusky denizens” in your organic garden.
Hauntingly beautiful, 75 black annuals, perennials, bulbs and shrubs are featured. You’ll find black varieties of common favorites like pansies and columbines, as well as more exotic offerings. (Dracula orchids, anyone?)
The 160-page book retails for $14.95, but Amazon is selling it for $10.17 (at press time), a 32% discount.
Read More:Plant It Black
August 20th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
When the folks at Health magazine asked organic foodie Mollie Katzen to name some of her favorite products, she cited Fusion Naturally Flavored Sea Salts, a new line of artisan salts.
More than 20 flavors are available, from Thai Ginger and Italian Porcini Mushroom to Green Tea and Spicy Curry.
The salts “add a punch of exotic flavor to roasted or steamed vegetables,” notes Katzen, a best-selling cookbook author who cofounded the famed Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY. “Because they’re so potent, you end up using less salt.”
That’s an important health priority, as Americans consume far too much sodium. Just ask the New Jersey man who’s suing Denny’s over its high-sodium entrees.
I’m looking forward to trying Fusion’s Aged Balsamic Sea Salt, a blend of hand-harvested sea salt and aged Modena balsamic vinegar.
10 Favorite Mollie Katzen Cookbooks
- The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without
- The New Moosewood Cookbook
- The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest
- Mollie Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven
- Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe
- Mollie Katzen’s Recipes: Soups
- Mollie Katzen’s Recipes: Salads
- Honest Pretzels (children 8 and older)
- Salad People and More Real Recipes (preschoolers and older)
- Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes (preschoolers and older)
Read More:Fusion Sea Salts
August 5th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Food historian and self-described “full red-blooded carnivore” Betty Fussell understands that Americans are “caught up in the romance of beef.”
As she writes in Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef:
I felt that when I ate steak, I was sinking my teeth into the myth of the Frontier—the Marlboro cowboy busting his bronc, the cast-iron skillet on an open fire, the smell of tobacco and burnt coffee, a soft neigh or two from a tethered horse, the clank of a metal spur, the wheeze of a harmonica, a black sky full of stars.
But Fussell also acknowledges the stark realities of factory farms and slaughterhouses, animal cruelty, E. coli, mad cow disease and the toll meat production takes on our environment.
She talks with folks like Connie and Doc Hatfield of Country Natural Beef, who prove it’s possible to raise cattle humanely, without feeding them hormones or antibiotics, and without polluting the environment.
This makes Raising Steaks a fascinating anthropological read for organic foodies, whether you’re a meat eater, vegetarian or flexitarian.
Read More:Raising Steaks
August 4th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
We already know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As noted in Healthy Breakfast May Protect Against Heart Disease:
Eating breakfast—especially one that includes whole grains—reduces your risk for heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart failure, according to the May 2008 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter.
Now, a prominent physician suggests that if you’re watching your weight, there’s an optimal time to eat your first organic meal of the day: within 15 to 30 minutes of waking up, and no later than 8 a.m.
Matthew Edlund, MD, director of the Center for Circadian Medicine in Sarasota, FL, and author of The Body Clock Advantage, recently told Redbook magazine: “If you don’t eat breakfast, your body thinks it’s in starvation mode, and you’ll eat more food later on.”
Try these recipes from our blog:
Read More:The Right Time for Breakfast