Posts Tagged ‘food’

Zucchini Tots

Yield: 12 mini tots

  • 1 cup zucchini, grated (for me this was one zucchini, about 7 inches in length)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ of an onion, diced
  • ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400°.  Grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.

2.  Grate the zucchini into a clean dish towel.  Wring all of the excess water out of the zucchini that you can (it won’t be much, but every little bit counts).

3.  In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

4.  Fill each muffin section to the top, pushing down on the filling with your spoon so it’s nice and compacted (otherwise they’ll fall apart more when you try to take them out of the tin).

5.  Bake for 15-18 minutes in preheated oven.  The top will be starting to golden.  To easily remove from the pan (without scratching it to death), run a plastic knife around the edges of each tot and they should come right out.


  • The sharp cheddar can be substituted with whatever cheese you have on hand.



Jalapeno Chicken Sausage with Mango, Pineapple Salsa

By: al fresco All Natural
“Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage, mango, and pineapple salsa is served over cilantro rice for this island-inspired dinner.”


  • 1 (12 ounce) package al fresco® Spicy Jalapeno chicken sausage, fully cooked, slice on the diagonal 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 cup fresh mango, 1 inch chunks
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, 1 inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh salsa
  • 1/2 cup prepared fresh/frozen edamame (soybeans)
  • 1/2 cup canned black, unsalted soybeans, rinsed
  • 3 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat a 12 inch skillet with olive oil over high heat. Quickly saute the jalapeno sausage for 2 minutes, add the dry sherry and cook 2 more minutes. Toss in the mango and pineapple and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the fresh salsa, edamame and black beans, continue to cook 2-3 minutes just to heat through.
  2. Mix the chopped cilantro with the rice. Spoon the sausage and mango and pineapple salsa over the rice and serve immediately.


Portobello Mushroom Cap Burgers In The Raw

This recipe is for the RAW food eater. My self being one although when I am out and about if there are no raw foods I will eat a cooked meal once in a while. So, I guess I am 99% Raw Foody.

The reason some folks eat raw foods is that raw foods contain all their nutrition including the enzymes to digest each food. Once you cook a food above 116 degrees F* the enzymes start to die and you do not digest the total nutrients. When you digest the total nutrients of raw foods your body acts accordingly and discards ‘bad fat’ content appropriately.


This recipe is an amazing winter treat for all those burger lovers out there who miss a warm, delicious sandwich. It is simple to make, has great flavor and texture and can be eaten with veggies or between two slices of raw bread.

Mushrooms are fleshy, nutrient dense and low in calories, making these burgers a great option for people who are watching their weight. Moreover, mushrooms contain more vitamin D than any other vegetable, and are a great addition to the diet during winter days.

Mushrooms offer a wide range of nutrients, including essential amino acids, vitamin B, as well as minerals like copper, iron, selenium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. They also contain a special amino acid called ergothioneine, which is found only in mushrooms and yeasts and that functions as strong antioxidant.

The sunflower seeds are added both for their fiber, protein and essential fats, as well as for their texture and taste. I often add sunflower or pumpkin seeds to my raw vegan recipes, as I find it much easier to incorporate them in my main meals than eat them as they are.


4 portobello mushroom caps, chopped
2 tablespoons of soy sauce (nama shoyu)
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 cup of raw sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro (optional)
1/2 cup chopped carrot
pepper and other herbs to taste

  1. Combine the nama shoyu, raw honey and vinegar in a bowl to form marinade. Add the chopped mushrooms in and let them sit for a couple of hours.
  2. Process the sunflower seeds in a high speed blender, until smooth.
  3. Add the mushrooms from the marinade into the blender and process until you obtain a slightly rough mixture (make sure it doesn’t turn into a very smooth paste).
  4. Incorporate the remaining ingredients and blend well.
  5. Shape the mixture into 4 burgers and dehydrate for a couple of hours on one side, and another couple of hours on the other side. Serve with raw bread and salad for a delicious sandwich.


Please sponsor the Genetically Engineered Technology Farmer Protection Act

From The Organic Consumers Association

Please sponsor the Genetically Engineered Technology Farmer Protection
Act. This bill establishes a set of farmers‘ rights in regards to
genetically engineered organisms and the business practices of biotech
The intent of the act is:

To provide additional protections for farmers and ranchers that may be
harmed economically by genetically engineered seeds, plants, or animals,
to ensure fairness for farmers and ranchers in their dealings with biotech
companies that sell genetically engineered seeds, plants, or animals, to
assign liability for injury caused by genetically engineered organisms,
and for other purposes.

Prohibited Practices

The act prohibits several practices that have become common in contracts
with biotech companies. For instance:

Purchasers of genetically engineered seed will not be prohibited from
saving seeds for next year’s crop and will not have to pay a fee to save

Liability for any damage done by the genetically engineered organism
will not be shifted to the farmer.

Farmers will not have to allow biotech companies access to their

If a genetically engineered product does not perform as advertised,
the purchaser will able to recover damages.

Preventing Cross-Pollination

Biotech companies will be required to provide written instructions on how
to grow the genetically engineered crop in such a manner as to avoid
cross-pollination.  Conventional farmers who want to sell their crops to
places that prohibit genetically engineered food and organic growers will
benefit from this provision.

Pest-Resistance to Natural Pesticides

Bt pesticides are a useful tool in an organic farmer’s pesticide arsenal.
Bt is a naturally-occurring bacteria that kills many crop pests.

Engineering crops to produce Bt toxins is common among biotech companies.
Pest insect resistance to Bt could damage a large segment of the
non-biotech farming community.

The act requires biotech companies to formulate a plan to prevent
resistance to Bt.

Additional Provisions

H.R.3555 also includes a prohibition on loan discrimination against
farmers who don’t want to adopt biotech in their fields, a prohibition on
non-fertile plant seeds (the terminator gene), and mislabeling.

Please take action to protect farmers!

Organic Consumers Association

New Events on the Millions Against Monsanto World Food Day Map!


New Events on the Millions Against Monsanto World Food Day Map!

This World Food Day, October 16, 2011, is going to be the biggest single day of action for labels on genetically engineered food in U.S. history.

New events are being posted to the Millions Against Monsanto map on a daily basis.

Zoom in to see what’s happening in your town

Many of the Millions Against Monsanto events are of national importance. In Pleasanton, CA, activists are rallying at Safeway headquarters. Like most supermarkets, most of the food sold in Safeway contains unlabeled genetically engineered ingredients. Act in solidarity with the Pleasanton rally by sending a letter to Safeway, letting them know that 9-out-of-10 shoppers want genetically engineered foods labeled.

Another way to participate no matter where you are by posting a photo of yourself with your wittiest anti-GMO slogan in the Virtual Rally for the Right to Know About GMOs on Flickr.


Plant RNAs Found in Mammals

Plant RNAs Found in Mammals

Wednesday, 21 September 2011 15:40

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Plant RNAs Found in Mammals
Cristina Luiggi
The Scientist, September 20, 2011

*MicroRNAs from plants accumulate in mammalian blood and tissues, where they can regulate gene expression.

MicroRNAs from common plant crops such as rice and cabbage can be found in the blood and tissues of humans and other plant-eating mammals, according to a study published today in Cell Research. One microRNA in particular, MIR168a, which is highly enriched in rice, was found to inhibit a protein that helps removes low-density lipoprotein (LDL) from the blood, suggesting that microRNAs can influence gene expression across kingdoms.

“This is a very exciting piece of work that suggests that the food we eat may directly regulate gene expression in our bodies,” said Clay Marsh, Director of the Center for Personalized Health Care at the Ohio State University College of Medicine who researches microRNA expression in human blood but who was not involved in the study.

MicroRNAs are, as the name implies, very short RNA sequences (approximately 22 nucleotides in length) discovered in the early 1990s. They are known to modulate gene expression by binding to mRNA, often resulting in inhibition. With the recent discovery that microRNAs circulate the blood by hitching a ride in small membrane-encased particles known as microvesicles (see our July 2011 feature on microvesicles, “Exosome Explosion”), there has been a surge of interest in microRNAs as a novel class of biomarkers for a variety of diseases.

Chen-Yu Zhang, a molecular biologist at Nanjing University in China, was studying the role of circulating microRNAs in health and disease when he discovered that microRNAs are present in other bodily fluids such as milk. This gave him the “crazy idea” that exogenous microRNAs, such as those ingested through the consumption of milk, could also be found circulating in the serum of mammals, he recalled.

To test his hypothesis, Zhang and his team of researchers sequenced the blood microRNAs of 31 healthy Chinese subjects and searched for the presence of plant microRNAs. Because plant microRNAs are structurally different from those of mammals, they react differently to oxidizing agents, and the researchers were able to differentiate the two by treating them with sodium periodate, which oxidizes mammal but not plant microRNAs.

To their surprise, they found about 40 types of plant microRNAs circulating in the subjects’ blood—some of which were found in concentrations that were comparable to major endogenous human microRNAs.

The plant microRNAs with the highest concentrations were MIR156a and MIR168a, both of which are known to be enriched in rice and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli. Furthermore, the researchers detected the two microRNAs in the blood, lungs, small intestine, and livers of mice, in variable concentrations that significantly increased after the mice were fed raw rice (although cooked rice was also shown to contain intact MIR168a).

Next, the researchers scoured sequence databases for putative target genes of MIR156a and MIR168a and found that MIR168a shared sequence complementarity with approximately 50 mammalian genes. The most highly conserved of these sequences across the animal kingdom was the exon 4 of the low-density lipoprotein receptor adapter protein 1 gene (LDLRAP1).

LDLRAP1 is highly expressed in the liver, where it interacts with the low-density lipoprotein receptor to help remove low-density lipoprotein (LDL), aka “bad” cholesterol, from the blood.

The researchers hypothesized that MIR168a could be taken up by the epithelial cells lining the gastrointestinal tract, packaged into microvesicles, and secreted into the blood stream, where they can make their way to target organs. Once in the liver, MIR168a binds to LDLRAP1 mRNA, reducing the protein levels and ultimately impairing the removal of LDL from the blood.

To test this hypothesis in vitro, the researchers transfected synthetic MIR168a into a human epithelial cell line and collected the secreted microvesicles. When they added these microvesicles to a liver cell line called HepG2, they found that while it did not change the levels of LDLRAP1 mRNA, it did decrease the levels of the actual LDLRAP1 protein.

Likewise, the LDLRAP1 protein level decreased in the livers of live mice 3 to 7 days after eating fresh rice or being injected with synthetic MIR168a—significantly increasing LDL in the blood. When the researchers injected the mice with an RNA sequence that bound to and neutralized MIR168a, the protein and LDL levels returned to normal.

“This microRNA inhibits this protein and increased the plasma LDL levels,” Zhang said. With higher levels of circulating cholesterol, “it can possibly increase the risk of metabolic syndrome,” he added. But more importantly, this research points to a “new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of diseases,” based on the enhancement or inhibition of exogenous microRNAs.

Although the team has still a long way to go in elucidating the mechanisms by which plant microRNAs can regulate gene expression in humans, these initial results promise to increase the understanding of how specific ingredients in food can mediate health and disease, Marsh said.

Indeed, Zhang suspects that this is just one example of many. With time, “I’m confident other people will find more exogenous plant microRNAs that can pass through the GI tract and also have effects on the host physiology,” Zhang said.

L. Zhang, et. al., “Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA,” Cell Research, doi:10.1038/cr.2011.158, 2011.


REPORT: Acrylamide-containing foods


chemical formula C3H5NO

Acrylamide — a chemical suspected of causing cancer — forms in some foods when they’re fried, baked, toasted or roasted at high temperatures. Acrylamide forms from sugars and an amino acid naturally found in plant-based foods when exposed to high heat. Although high levels of acrylamide cause cancer in laboratory animals, there is insufficient evidence about the risks to human health, if any, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

So, here we go…..
Carbohydrate-rich products that have been subjected to heating and the “browning reaction” – when flavors colors and textures are formed -generally contain acrylamide.  Acrylamide is formed in thousands of different products.  Among the foods which develop acrylamide during cooking are coffee, chocolate, almonds, french fries, potato chips, cereal, crackers, bread, and even some fruits and vegetables.

Potato Chips and French Fries (even in “Prince Charles Organic Potato Chips)

Potato chips and French fries are the foods containing the highest amount of acrylamide. Potatoes that are boiled or microwaved contain no acrylamide. Avoid dark brown fried, roasted or baked potatoes — they contain the most acrylamide. Instead, enjoy them fried only to a golden yellow color. Don’t store potatoes in the refrigerator; it increases the amount of acrylamide formed during cooking. Slice and soak potatoes in water for 30 minutes prior to cooking to reduce acrylamide, according to the FDA. Also on the list are Hula Hoops, Ryvita, Pringles and Tesco Ginger Nut biscuits.

Despite its warning, the Agency said it has concluded the levels of acrylamide found during its survey ‘do not increase concern about the risk to human health’.

The highest readings for acrylamide were found in Tesco own-brand potato rings, ahead of the Duchy Originals vegetable crisps.

Among the fast-food chains, acrylamide levels were highest in the chips served by KFC, ahead of McDonald’s and Burger King.

Procter & Gamble, which makes Pringles, criticised the FSA for going public with its findings.

Toast, Cookies and Breakfast Cereals

Products made from grains — especially toast, cookies and breakfast cereals — are high in acrylamide. Acrylamide increases with longer cooking times and higher temperatures. Toast bread only until it’s light brown and avoid eating any dark brown areas. Consider limiting your intake of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals by replacing them with homemade oatmeal or other foods if you’re worried about acrylamide, according to


Coffee is high in acrylamide, but there’s no known way to reduce the chemical because the beans are roasted before you brew them. Choosing a light roast instead of a dark one can help.


The Players

The pet food market has been dominated in the last few years by the acquisition of big companies by even bigger companies. With $15 billion a year at stake in the U.S. and rapidly expanding foreign markets, it’s no wonder that some are greedy for a larger piece of the pie.

  • Nestlé’s bought Purina to form Nestlé Purina Petcare Company (Fancy Feast, Alpo, Friskies, Mighty Dog, Dog Chow, Cat Chow, Puppy Chow, Kitten Chow, Beneful, One, ProPlan, DeliCat, HiPro, Kit’n’Kaboodle, Tender Vittles, Purina Veterinary Diets).
  • Del Monte gobbled up Heinz (MeowMix, Gravy Train, Kibbles ’n Bits, Wagwells, 9Lives, Cycle, Skippy, Nature’s Recipe, and pet treats Milk Bone, Pup-Peroni, Snausages, Pounce).
  • MasterFoods owns Mars, Inc., which consumed Royal Canin (Pedigree, Waltham’s, Cesar, Sheba, Temptations, Goodlife Recipe, Sensible Choice, Excel).

Other major pet food makers are not best known for pet care, although many of their household and personal care products do use ingredients derived from animal by-products:

  • Procter and Gamble (P&G) purchased The Iams Company (Iams, Eukanuba) in 1999. P&G shortly thereafter introduced Iams into grocery stores, where it did very well.
  • Colgate-Palmolive bought Hill’s Science Diet (founded in 1939) in 1976 (Hill’s Science Diet, Prescription Diets, Nature’s Best).

Private labelers (who make food for “house” brands like Kroger and Wal-Mart) and co-packers (who produce food for other pet food makers) are also major players. Three major companies are Doane Pet Care, Diamond, and Menu Foods; they produce food for dozens of private label and brand names. Interestingly, all 3 of these companies have been involved in pet food recalls that sickened or killed many pets.

  1. Are there other ways humans are exposed to acrylamide?Food and cigarette smoke are the major sources of acrylamide exposure. Exposure to acrylamide from other sources is likely to be significantly less than that from food or smoking, but scientists do not yet have a complete understanding of all sources of exposure. Acrylamide and polyacrylamide are used in some industrial and agricultural procedures, and regulations are in place to limit exposure in those settings.
  2. What are other health effects of acrylamide?High levels of acrylamide in the workplace have been shown to cause neurological damage, e.g., among workers using acrylamide polymers to clarify water in coal preparation plants.

  3. Are acrylamide levels regulated?The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates acrylamide in drinking water. The EPA established an acceptable level of acrylamide exposure, set low enough to account for any uncertainty in the data relating acrylamide to cancer and neurotoxic effects. The U.S. FDA regulates the amount of residual acrylamide in a variety of materials that come in contact with food, but there are currently no guidelines governing the presence of acrylamide in food itself.

WHAT EPA PROGRAM OFFICES REGULATE ACRYLAMIDE, AND UNDER WHAT LAWS IS IT REGULATED? __________________________________________________________________________ EPA OFFICE LAW PHONE NUMBER __________________________________________________________________________ Pollution Prevention Toxic Substances Control Act (202) 554-1404 & Toxics Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Regulations (Sec. 313) (800) 424-9346 Toxics Release Inventory data (202) 260-1531 Air Clean Air Act (919) 541-0888 Solid Waste & Comprehensive Environmental Emergency Response Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund)/ Resource Conservation and Recovery Act / EPCRA (Sec. 302/304/311/312) (800) 424-9346 Water Safe Drinking Water Act (800) 426-4791 A technical support document can be requested from the TSCA Assistance Information Service, (202) 554-1404. WHAT OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES OR GROUPS CAN I CONTACT FOR INFORMATION ON ACRYLAMIDE? __________________________________________________________________________ AGENCY/GROUP PHONE NUMBER __________________________________________________________________________ American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (513) 742-2020 Consumer Product Safety Commission (301) 504-0994 Food and Drug Administration (301) 443-3170 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (800) 356-4674 Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Companies that produce acrylamide:
Anhui Jucheng Fine Chemicals Co., Ltd. manufactures polyacrylamide. It offers acrylamide that is used in used in petroleum, coal washing, papermaking, textile, sewage treatment, metallurgy, sugar making, construction, coating, drug, and daily chemicals.

Dongying Kechuang Biochemical Industrial Co., Ltd.

Acrylamide has also been advertised as a soil conditioner called Krilium by Monsanto Company(No surprise there) in the 1950s and today “MP”, which is stated to be a “unique formulation of PAM (water-soluble polyacrylamide)”.

Chemical Use Type

Describes the most common use(s) for a pesticide active ingredient. If there is more than one use for the chemical, the most common use is listed first.

Use Type Description
Used in pesticide products to increase the effectiveness of the active ingredients, make the product easier to apply, or to allow several active ingredients to mix in one solution. Solvents, emulsifiers, and spreaders fall in this category.
Kills algae.
Used in paints and other coatings to inhibit growth of algae, barnacles and other shellfish on the hulls of ships.
Kills birds.
Substance used to attract pests, including sugar, honey, meat, oatmeal, etc.
Bear repellent
Repels bears. , usually by producing an offensive odor.
Bird Repellent
Repels birds.
Breakdown product
The chemical transformation product resulting from metabolism of a pesticide in a biological system or from reaction of a pesticide with oxygen, water, light or other substances in the environment. In the PAN database, known breakdown products are listed as related chemicals for the parent pesticide (see Related Chemicals section at the bottom of the Chemical Infomation page); however, it is important to note that not all pesticide transformation products have been identified. Breakdown products can sometimes be more toxic than the starting pesticide.
Kills leaves on broadleaf plants. Commonly used in cotton production to remove leaves before harvest.
Used to remove moisture, such as sulfur dioxide used in producing dried fruits.
Dog and Cat Repellent
Repels dogs and cats, usually by producing an offensive odor.
Coloring agent.
Chemical used to add a particular odor to a pesticide product. Sometimes these fragrances are attractants for insects; other times, they are added to hide an unpleasant chemical odor.
Exist as gases or produce a gas when they break down in the environment. Fumigants typically kill all living things. Used in agriculture to sterilize soil before planting and to kill pests in stored food or before shipment to other countries. In urban settings, fumigants are used to treat dwellings for termites, ants, and roaches. The target pests for many soil fumigations are nematodes. Most of these pesticides are highly acutely toxic.
Kills molds, mildews, and other fungi.
Kills unwanted plants.
Herbicide safener
Compounds applied prior to the application of an herbicide to increase the tolerance of a specific crop (corn, rice, etc.) to a specific herbicide. Typically used on germinating seeds.
Compounds produced during chemical synthesis that contaminate an active ingredient. Sometimes impurities are more toxic than the active ingredient itself, for example dioxin contaminants in 2,4-D.
Insect growth regulator
Interferes with normal growth and development of insects, blocking maturation or causing production of sterile offspring.
Insect Repellent
Repels insects such as mosquitoes, black flies, and deer flies.
Kills insects. As used in the PAN Pesticide Database, the term “insecticide” encompasses miticides, acaracides, and nematicides as well.
Kills microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi and used in disinfectant or antibacterial products.
Kills snails, slugs, and shellfish.
Kills nematodes, microscopic soil organisms that can deform roots, limit water uptake, and even kill plants.
pH adjustment
An acidic or basic substance used to alter the acidity (pH) of a solution or product.
Insect sex-attractant hormones used to disrupt mating. These compounds are used in very small quantities and are very selective for a particular insect species.
Kills fish.
Plant growth regulator
Blocks or accelerates plant growth.
Gaseous compounds used in spray formulations of pesticides to create an aerosol mist of the pesticide.
Pruning Aid
Used to cover freshly cut surfaces on trees and vines after pruning. Normally a wax or tar-like substance.
Kills rodents such as rats, mice and gophers.
Compounds that have surfactant or detergent properties.
A liquid compound used to dissolve other substances.
A chemical compound that reacts with a pesticide active ingredient to accentuate its pesticidal activity. Often used with pyrethroids.
Water treatment
Chemicals used for treating water to make it potable.
Wood preservative
Used to prevent wood decay from microbial attack. Most wood preservatives are highly toxic.


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