April 8th, 2009 - Laura Klein
I’m so excited – the Laura Klein Green Club is now up and running!
As a green living consultant, my amazing clients in the Los Angeles area have kindly paid me to help them green every aspect of their lives. From assessing their kitchen, to investigating their home cleaning products and techniques, to taking a deep look at their personal care products, I regularly put my clients on track to a greener, healthier lifestyle. And they graciously pay me for the privilege!
But something just didn’t feel right…
I desperately wanted to get the word out that ‘living green’ is a powerful form of preventative medicine to more people. How could I reach beyond the physical realm of my one-on-one consultation to share the important message about health and green? How could I make my custom green lifestyle program to the masses?
That’s where the concept of the Laura Klein Green Club began to take shape. By creating an online subscription-based community, I could easily spread the message behind my consultation services far and wide. Now, more people than ever can learn take the step-by-step, day-by-day steps necessary to create a toxin-free life and reap the rich health benefits for themselves and their loved ones. Of course, living green helps the Earth too – an amazing benefit for the big blue marble on which we all dwell! Extra bonus? They can do it more affordably than my one-on-one consultations.
Join my great green movement! For a limited time, I’m offering OrganicAuthority.com readers membership to the Laura Klein Green Club for just $1. Watch my video to find out more and sign up today! I look forward to seeing you inside the Green Club!
Read More:Blast Off to Better Health!
February 24th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
In 2007, 32.2m hectares were certified as organic farmland, an increase of 1.5m hectares from the previous year. Signaling consumers growing demand for local, organic foods.
In a new report entitled The World of Organic Agriculture: Statistics and Emerging Trends 2009 published by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), the latest data reveals the strongest growth took place in Latin America and Africa.
Crops such as coffee, cocoa and tropical fruit increased by as much as 30% with the global organic market reaching an estimated $46 billion in 2007 and most of the products are being consumed in North America and Europe.
Popular foods in these markets include olives, nuts, grapes, cereals, salad crops and dairy products and for many of these items, specifically dairy, the demand was greater than local production, resulting in more imports and national imbalances between supply and demand.
Researchers can’t predict if the growth will continue, citing a dip in demand over the last 6 months—my guess is due to the slumping economy—but authors of the report state the number of ethically committed consumers who prefer local foods is encouraging.
Now, in our ever growing green world it makes sense that more people would make the switch to organic, especially since previous studies claim organic fruits and veggies may actually be more nutritious. Good thing, because a recent report claims centuries of modern farming practices in the United States have left locally grown produce less nutritious than crops harvested just 50 years ago; Time Magazine reports.
Read More:More Consumers Demanding Organic
December 18th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
The University of New Hampshire’s organic research dairy farm has announced the birth of its first organic female calf. The Jersey heifer, born Dec. 12, is the firstborn to mother May (both pictured here), bred at Molly Brook Farm in West Danville, Vermont. The calf weighed 42 lbs. and was 24 inches at the withers.
“She’s a beautiful, healthy calf, and May handled the birth like a pro,” says “Uncle” Charles Schwab, a UNH professor of animal and nutritional science. “We’re anticipating a busy month ahead, as 46 cows in the herd give birth and begin producing organic milk.”
Now, here’s the fun part: The calf will be named by the highest bidder on an eBay auction, with proceeds going to the university’s organic dairy project.
A registry for “baby gifts” will be established online. In lieu of diapers and strollers, the cows request contributions toward farm equipment and new facilities for their calves. (UNH has raised half the project total of approximately $1.5 million.)
Both May and her calf are resting comfortably at Burley-Demerritt farm in Lee, site of the organic research dairy farm. A maternity and fresh cow barn has been renovated, and a farm equipment building has been constructed. Planning and fundraising are in progress for a barn, state-of-the-art milking parlor and educational center.
UNH will begin shipping organic milk in early January. It launched its organic dairy in December 2005 as the nation’s first land-grant university to have an organic dairy farm. It provides much-needed education and science-based research for present and future organic dairy farmers, while helping to secure the future of the Northeast’s farming heritage.
The farm is located on 200 certified-organic acres in Lee, about five miles from the center of campus.
Read More:Name an Organic Heifer!
August 25th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Our end-of-the-week recipe is the perfect meal on a hot summer day when you don’t feel like turning on your oven.
On Wednesday, I noted that avocados are a good nutritional choice, as long as you don’t overdo it when snacking on chips and guacamole. But when avocado is the star of the culinary show, you can really appreciate its dietary benefits: One-fifth of a medium avocado has 55 calories, with 3 g monounsaturated and 1 g saturated fat. This means one medium avocado has 275 calories and 25% of your daily limit for saturated fat—not bad if you’re making a meal out of it.
One medium avocado also meets 25% of your daily potassium requirement, 60% of your daily fiber goal and 20% of the following recommended nutrients: vitamin E, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin C and niacin.
California Avocado Grapefruit Salad
Makes 2 servings
2 large avocados
2 ruby red grapefruit (or other sweet variety)
Poppy seed dressing (brand of your choice)
- Peel and slice avocados. Section grapefruit, removing pulp.
- Toss avocados and grapefruit with dressing (about 1/3 cup).
- Serve on lettuce leaves.
- Optional: As shown in the photo, you can add orange slices and garnish with fresh citrus peel and a sprig of mint before serving.
Note: Because you are committed to organic living, OrganicAuthority.com recommends using certified organic foods, when available, in all recipes to maximize flavor and nutrition, while minimizing your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals and preservatives.
Photo courtesy of the California Avocado Commission
Read More:California Avocado Grapefruit Salad
April 10th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
At Organic Authority, we’re proud to join a host of supermarkets and manufacturers in supporting the Second Annual Go Organic! for Earth Day campaign—the largest educational effort to promote organic products in history.
Throughout April, more than 3,500 grocery stores and 50 organic product manufacturers are joining forces to promote this national campaign, designed to encourage people to learn about and try organic products. The event is held in conjunction with Earth Day (April 22) and is intended to draw attention to the ways organic products support a healthy environment and build on Americans’ growing interest in organically produced products. Go Organic! for Earth Day is a project of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), Earth Day Network and MusicMatters.
“Organic foods can now be found in most grocery stores, and many people would like to try them,” says OTA Executive Director Caren Wilcox. “Looking for the Go Organic! for Earth Day campaign logo in supermarkets is one fun way to get familiar with organic products—and a simple way to take care of yourself and the planet.”
“Most Americans would like to buy products that are grown without pesticides and made without artificial colors and flavors,” adds MusicMatters President Michael Martin. “By choosing organic products, consumers get these benefits and more. The Go Organic! campaign provides a simple way to experience the benefits of choosing organic products.”
The campaign includes money-saving coupons, available free through participating retailers or by calling 1-866-I-GO-ORGA(NIC). Supermarkets will also host organic food demonstrations and offer product samples.
More “Go Organic! for Earth Day” coverage will be featured in our blog this week. Please refer your friends and family for daily updates.
Read More:Organic Authority Supports “Go Organic! for Earth Day” Campaign
February 28th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
On Jan. 2, I wrote about cocoa’s cancer-fighting properties. Now, when you shop for organic food, there’s another reason to pick up a tin of organic cocoa.
A study of elderly Dutch men indicates that eating or drinking cocoa is associated with lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of death, according to an article in yesterday’s edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Cocoa has been linked to cardiovascular health benefits since at least the 18th century, but researchers are just beginning to collect scientific evidence for these claims, according to background information in the article. Cocoa is now known to contain chemicals called flavan-3-ols, which have been linked to lower blood pressure and improved function of the cells lining the blood vessels.
Brian Buijsse, MSc, of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, The Netherlands, and his colleagues examined cocoa’s relationship to cardiovascular health in 470 Dutch men ages 65 to 84. The men underwent physical examinations and were interviewed about their dietary intake when they enrolled in the study in 1985 and at follow-up visits in 1990 and 1995. The researchers then placed them into three groups based on their level of cocoa consumption. Information about their subsequent illnesses and deaths was obtained from hospital or government data.
Over the next 15 years, men who consumed cocoa regularly had significantly lower blood pressure than those who did not. Over the course of the study, 314 men died, 152 due to cardiovascular diseases. Men in the group with the highest cocoa consumption were half as likely as the others to die from cardiovascular disease. Their risk remained lower even when considering other factors, such as weight, smoking habits, physical activity levels, calorie intake and alcohol consumption. The men who consumed more cocoa were also less likely to die of any cause.
Although blood pressure is usually linked with risk of cardiovascular death, this was not the case in this study. “The lower cardiovascular mortality risk associated with cocoa intake could not be attributed to the lower blood pressure observed with cocoa use,” the authors write. “Our findings, therefore, suggest that the lower cardiovascular mortality risk related with cocoa intake is mediated by mechanisms other than lowering blood pressure.” The benefits associated with flavan-3-ols may play a role.
The link between chocolate and overall lower risk of death suggests that other mechanisms also may be involved. “Because cocoa is a rich source of antioxidants, it may also be related to other diseases that are linked to oxidative stress (e.g., pulmonary diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and certain types of cancer) ,” the authors conclude. “However, this merits further investigation.”
Sources for Organic Cocoa Powder
Green & Black’s
Read More:Another Reason to Enjoy Organic Cocoa
January 27th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
My sister just renovated her home, and she has a huge new kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances. While she enjoys entertaining, she confessed she had never learned the fundamentals of fine cooking. When a recent recipe called for a pasty blender, she knew about “pastry” and “blenders,” but she had no idea what this handy little accessory looked like.
As we begin a new year, I’m going to devote one week each month to host “Organic Cooking 101.” Each class, which will appear in this blog, will focus on seasonal organic foods, preparation techniques and helpful tips that will raise your culinary IQ. We’ll take one specific recipe and break it down into parts so you can master organic cuisine and incorporate our lessons into your everyday kitchen routine.
Class will be in session next week, Monday through Friday, with the goal of readying you to shop and prepare a special organic dish over the weekend. Our first week’s recipe is a Latin tomato and mushroom soup made from scratch—and perfect for a chilly winter evening. If you’ve never made homemade organic soup, I’ll demystify the process so you’ll have everything you need to succeed.
If you have questions along the way, post them here or email me at [email protected].
January’s Organic Authority Cooking School
When You Can’t Find Organic Ingredients…
Homemade Organic Tortilla Strips
Cooking with Organic Dried Beans
Hot Trend: Organic Chili Peppers
The Recipe: Latin Tomato and Huitlacoche Soup
Read More:Welcome to Organic Authority’s Cooking School!
December 14th, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
Exotic Mushroom Basket from Diamond Organics
Mushrooms have become an increasingly popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine. Hispanic-Americans generally favor two varieties: “white mushrooms” (most likely button mushrooms) and portabellas, according to a report commissioned by the Dublin, California-based Mushroom Council.
It’s no surprise, then, that Ruth Bass, author of “Mushrooms Love Herbs,” chose to use portabellas in her unique recipe for Mushroom Salsa with Cilantro. Often spelled “portobellos,” they have a hearty taste and meaty texture, which is one of the reasons they’re replacing beef patties in burgers at many restaurants.
You should have no trouble finding organic portabellas at your local natural or whole foods store. Click here to find a farmer’s market in your area. You may also want to treat yourself or a loved one this holiday season to the 2-lb. Organic Exotic Mushroom Basket from Diamond Organics, which includes portabellas.
Bass’s salsa recipe combines portabellas and tomatoes for a new twist on the classic recipe.
“Salsa is everywhere,” she notes. “Sometimes it’s fiery hot, sometimes it’s mild, and it nearly always includes tomatoes. For a new taste sensation, try it with mushrooms, parsley and cilantro.”
Mushroom Salsa with Cilantro
Makes about 2 cups
1 large (4- to 5-inch diameter) portabella mushroom
2 ripe tomatoes
4 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 small onion, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, cored, seeded and minced
- Remove the stem from the mushroom, then clean and chop the cap.
- Dice the tomatoes and combine in a medium-sized bowl with the mushroom. Stir in the parsley, cilantro, lime and lemon juices, onion and jalapeño pepper.
- Let stand at room temperature for at least an hour so that the flavors will blend. Stir well and serve with tortilla chips.
Interestingly, one of the main debates among professional and amateur chefs is how to clean mushrooms. Should you go over them with a dry mushroom brush, or should you wash them in water?
“Cleaniks can’t face cooking a mushroom that hasn’t been washed, so they get them all wet and then have to towel them off,” writes Bass. “Purists say you never wash a mushroom; you just brush it with a mushroom brush.”
Luckily, there’s a compromise, she tells Organic Authority: “Simply wipe them with a dampened paper towel.”
See Amazing Organic Herbal Salads in our just-published Winter Edition for more recipes from Bass.
Note: This recipe is featured in “Mushrooms Love Herbs.” Copyright © 1996 by Storey Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission from Storey Publishing.
Read More:Organic Mushroom Salsa
November 22nd, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
Ted Allen’s Leftover Turkey Sandwich
After you wash your Thanksgiving dishes and head to bed with a full stomach, something wonderful awaits the next day: leftovers.
“Thanksgiving is just one day, but we’re definitely going to be enjoying turkey for several days after that,” says Ted Allen, food and wine expert on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and author of “The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes.”
“It’s one of the great pleasures of the holiday,” he continues, “and, of course, we’re going to do that primarily by making turkey sandwiches. So, when you’re shopping for your Thanksgiving dinner, remember to put some sliced bread in the cart.”
Allen has created a special leftover turkey sandwich recipe for the occasion. Note: Because you follow an organic lifestyle, Organic Authority recommends using certified organic ingredients, when available, in all recipes to minimize your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals and preservatives.
Ted Allen’s Leftover Turkey Sandwich
2 thick slices of bread, toasted
2 thick slices of leftover roasted turkey
2 tablespoons leftover cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons leftover mashed sweet potato
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- Lay the two slices of toast side by side.
- Spread the cranberries on one slice and the mashed sweet potato on the other slice.
- Sprinkle with fresh sage, and place turkey on the cranberry side.
- Top with the sweet potato side and cut diagonally.
Read More:Organic Turkey Sandwiches