Extra Virgin, Cold Pressed, Pure…how do you know what olive oil to buy on your budget? Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cold Pressed is your top choice and most expensive. You should have a bottle in your home at all times. However, you don’t need to use it exclusively. Instead, buy olive oil, cold pressed to use for cooking. Wynnie Stein, co-author of the Moosewood Cookbook series, suggested using olive oil sprays for preparations and saving the Extra Virgin as a topping just before serving to add richness and moisture. Wynnie also noted that to avoid olive oils that have had some other oils added, always look for the country of origin as an assurance you are getting what you are paying for.
Storage: Keep cool. A dark cook cupboard is okay. Sally has the most practical solution. Place the bulk of your olive oil in the refridgerator and keep a small spout-topped bottle of olive oil in a dark cool cupboard. Refill when needed. The purpose of keeping olive oil cool is to prevent the formation of free-radicals.
Why Cold Pressed? To avoid the ingestion and side effects of hexane gas used to extract oil from the olives. Cold press is the way to go.
Enjoy the healthy benefits of olive oil.
… for the health of families,
Wynnie Stein, co-author of the twelve Moosewood Cookbook series, reminded us that the Mediterranean communities have existed for thousands of year and so have many of their traditions. Whether located on the northern coast of Africa, Greece, Italy, Spain or anywhere along the Mediterranean Sea, these communities have at least one thing in common, they eat fresh food. Traditions of Mediterranean meals all center on how food is grown, harvested, prepared and served. Fresh vegetables, fruits and grains are the foundation of their diets. Legumes (beans) are included for protein. Lean meats and seafood are added to recipes often as an accent, not a center piece. Smaller portions are served. In Spain, Tapas are popular -they are similar to appetizers served in little dishes. You simply take a bit or two of each offering.
Eating locally grown and in season produce are both key to Mediterranean cuisine. The preparation of meals as well as the consumption of the food is a social event. Engage your kids and enjoy making light easy Mediterranean recipes in your home. Watch for a Mediterranean menu with recipes by Wynnie Stein on our website – coming very soon.
… for the health of your family,
Sally and I have put together our official Family Food Experts 12 Worst Foods to feed your family, listed alphabetically:
Twelve Worst Foods
1. Candy artificially dyed, sweetened and flavored
(Examples: M&Ms, Smarties)
2. Candy Cereal
(Examples: Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms)
4. Drinks: Artificially sweetened, artificially dyed, artificially flavored drinks
(Examples: Kool-Aid, Crystal Light, Gatorade, Powerade)
5. French Fries (all deep fried food)
8. Pizza with extra cheese and pepperoni
9. Pop Tarts
10. Pork products (bacon, chops, tenderloin, hotdogs)
11. Soda – ALL
12. Sugars: Refined sugars and sugar substitutes
(Examples: high fructose corn syrup, Splenda, Nutri-Sweet)
Honorable Mentions … couldn’t help ourselves as these should be part of the twelve.
A. Bleached and bromated flours
(Examples: white flour, white breads/rolls, white pasta, cakes and pastries)
B. Lunch meats with nitrates
C. Milk, non-organic
For the health of your family, AVOID these foods.
What does Free range really mean? Good question, one we are asked often. The official definition of Free-Range is “allowed access to the outdoors.” You can see that this is a broad qualification. If you have a warehouse filled with hundreds of cooped-up chickens and have a one foot square hole in this building’s side, this environment would fit the definition of free-range. The fact the most if not almost all the chickens never or rarely step outside is not considered. Yet, it is fresh air, natural sunlight, freedom of movement, innate pecking and scratching on the ground behavior which helps a chicken be a chicken – naturally growing and happy. Stress, agitition, confinement all contribute to the release of survivial acting hormones. Humans are not the only species that experiences this reaction. It is instinctial for most living creatures. The presence of these stress-related hormones will effect the taste of a chicken.
How do you know which brands follow the true concept of Free-Range? You have to know the brands. We have a list on our website: www.KidKritics.com. Two you can count on are Shelton’s Poultry and Bell and Evans. Both are great companies with integrity. They care.
… for the health of families,
You thought antibiotics were given to turkeys and chickens just to keep them from getting sick or to make them well. NOT. The dirty little secret is that when a little bit is inserted into their feed, it will help them gain water weight. We have heard this can result into as much as a 15 percent increase. Thus, when you are buying poultry raised with antibiotics, you are paying for water weight in addition to the meat. This water weight which is added into the price, drains out while the meat is sitting in packaging and when it is cooked. Some of your hard-earned money literally drains and evaporates away … who needs that today? Antibiotics are used medicinally as well, but, also as a price increase trick.*
Be smarter than these companies and buy turkeys and chickens that are antibiotic-free. You’ll also be thwarting the evolution of superbugs that are evading the antibiotics. Turkeys, chickens and humans all need healthy immune systems. The ingestion and overuse of antibiotics work against this, as well as your budget. So stay away from them.
… for the health of families,
* To learn more about this, listen to our June 19th archived internet radio show with Matt Flanagan: www.BetterFoodChoicesRadio.com