Shopping for food shouldn’t be complicated, but it is. There are signs and claims on boxes and packages that scream ‘healthy’ to entice you but which system should you listen to? Loblaws has licensed a system that has been in use in the US for some time now called the Star System. One study showed that it improved purchasing choices 24% of the time—that’s a pretty good rate. It works like this: items receive zero to three stars depending upon their benefits like vitamins, minerals, fibre, whole grains versus fats, cholesterol, sugar and sodium. It’s a much better system than what is currently in use but it is only being rolled out in one province in Canada at the moment—Ontario. Here are some key pros and cons.
Should you go organic? Everyone has to make this choice in their own kitchen with their own body and on their own budget and it’s not an easy one. The studies go back and forth on whether or not there are more vitamins and nutrients in organically grown food. But, what if we are looking for the wrong thing? What if there are key micro nutrients and phyto nutrients that we don’t even know about yet that are being missed? The argument in favour of organic goes beyond that of what it may or may not do for your body into what pesticides are doing to the planet. The picture is still too new to be crystal clear. What we do know is that ANY vegetable is better for your body than no vegetable. If you can’t (don’t believe you should or can’t afford to) go organic, do not let that stop you from eating more vegetables. We can all agree on that. The number one vegetable on the store shelves is kale but no one knows how to prepare it. Here is a simple and insanely delicious recipe for a quick Pesto Kale Salad.
Non-stick skillets are being dumped left, right and centre for their PTFE coatings which emit a gas when heated beyond medium. The speckles and flakes will pass right through you somewhat harmlessly but their presence means you are inhaling more of this toxic gas. Luckily, the solution is something you can buy at a yard sale for $3 or steal from your mom. Cast iron pans take a little tiny bit of care (scrape, rub with oil and reheat to dry) but are just as ‘non-stick’ when all is said and done. Here is a fabulous cast iron corn bread that will be perfect for your fall roster with hearty soups and warming stews.