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Gwyneth Paltrow Shared What She Eats in a Typical DayAnd Its Surprisingly Simple –

Jan, 27th 2020 8:47 am, Article Recommended by Dr. J. Smith

At 47, Gwyneth Paltrow is thriving. Her skin is glowing, her hair is shiny, and she looks incredibly fit. So its only natural to wonder what she eats on a regular basis. Is she living off an all-organic diet, with a few jade egg-level unusual foods in the mix? Does she secretly eat total junk?

Paltrows former personal chef, Kate McAloon, revealed in a 2017 interview that her family eats as healthy as youd expect. They are very strict. They avoided any sugars, anything sweet, no dairy, just more vegetables, McAloon said. But, she ended up bending the rules a little. When I got there I was trying to stick to the brief and I realized as I started adding more ingredients in, they said, Your food is getting better! she recalled. Thats what happens when you eat more than grass.

Now, in a new video with Harpers Bazaar, Paltrow says she has pretty much become more of an omnivore. Heres what the Goop founders diet looks like in a typical day.

Paltrow told Harpers Bazaar that she starts her day with a large glass or two of water. Then, I sit down with my computer at the kitchen table before the kids wake up, she said. Next up is coffee and some quiet time with her husband as they look ahead to their workday.

Im not a big breakfast person, Paltrow said. Ill eat brunch sometimes late on a weekend but, after I take my kids to school, I go straight to the gym and I always have a big thing of water at the gym.

Paltrow said she puts two GoopGlow super powders into her water for vitamin C and for skinits like my morning orange juice.

Paltrow said on her Goop podcast in 2018 that, on a normal day, Ill have a smoothie for breakfast. She tries to find something that has good fat, protein, and fiber. Among her go-tos: A cacao and almond butter smoothie with spinach and protein powder. If shes in a rush, shell have a peanut butter protein bar.

Paltrow said this is very rare these days but, if she has a hangover, she told Harpers Bazaar that she tries to have an egg sandwich or something that will help me through it.

Paltrow told Harpers Bazaar that shes big on a salad with some protein, although sometimes shell eat something thats being tested in the Goop kitchen, like a turkey burger wrapped in lettuce.

Usually around three or four, Ill hit the snack cupboard at the Goop office, Paltrow said. There, shell grab something salty and crunchy, like cashews or pretzels.

She also likes to have a cup of green tea. That will hold me through til dinner, she said.

Paltrow said on her Goop podcast that shes a little looser with dinner. For dinner, I have whatever I want, she said. But I do always try to avoid highly-processed foods and high-fructose corn syrup.

I cook every weekend, but during the week, its hard because of my job, she told Shape. I have a bunch of chicken dishes and pasta go-tos, and I do a lot of stir-fry for the kids. I always keep cooked brown rice in the fridge. Then it takes two minutes to chop up some vegetables, make a nice sauce, and youre done.

Shes also into one-pot dinners, like chicken in a Dutch oven with root vegetables and potatoes underneath. I like to eat dinner on the early side, she told Harpers Bazaar. Ive gotten real geriatric about that 6:00, 6:30 dinner.

I love French fries, which is a well-known fact, Paltrow said. French fries are sort of my favorite meal. Theyre technically a side, but I guess I could eat them for a mealand I would.

And, like the rest of us, sometimes she needs a nightcap. Ive been trying not to drink so much on weeknights, because its such an easy habit to fall into, Paltrow said. But sometimes, work is tough, and you just need one. Her drink of choice: a Gibson, (a vodka martini with cocktail onions) or whiskey on the rocks.

Because she eats such healthy meals, Paltrow says she can feel it after indulging in processed foods and booze, per a 2017 interview with Womens Health. But at the same time, you want deliciousness, you want a fun lifepleasure! Youre going to have a baguette-and-cheese-and-red-wine frenzy sometimesbut you want it to be a choice youre awake to: I know this might not make me feel great, but today Im choosing it anyway.

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The fastest-growing vegan demographic is African Americans. Wu-Tang Clan and other hip-hop acts paved the way. – SF Gate

Jan, 27th 2020 8:47 am, Article Recommended by Dr. J. Smith

Rapper was a 20-year-old in Brooklyn trying to get a record deal, deep in what his wife calls the original hip-hop lifestyle: burgers, blunts and booze.

"I had picked up some bad habits, smoking herb all the time, drinking every day in the urban obstacle course," says, a.k.a. Khnum Muata Ibomu but born Clayton Gavin. "I woke up one morning and my ankle was gigantically swollen, and I found out I had gout. That was my wake-up call. It was a blessing that revealed my path."

Stic, one-half of the political duo Dead Prez, has been a vegan for two decades since then. Like several of hip-hop's titans - think Jay-Z and members of Wu-Tang Clan - Stic has parlayed his passion into a business that allows him to preach the lifestyle benefits of going meatless, and make a little extra green on the side.

It seems to be working. A 2016 Pew Research Center survey found 3 percent of American adults overall identified as vegan and only 1 percent of Hispanic Americans. That number jumps to a startling 8 percent among African American adults. In Gallup's latest findings on consumers' meat-eating changes, which will be published Monday, whites reported eating 10 percent less meat in the past 12 months while people of color reported eating 31 percent less.

The interweaving of African American performers and veganism is tight and intricate, with threads running through lifestyle choices and business decisions of some of music's titans. Eight out of 10 of the Wu-Tang Clan identify as vegan or vegetarian. Jay-Z and Beyonc famously offered free tickets to fans if they went vegan. Rapper Jaden Smith, son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, launched a vegan food truck for the homeless; rapper Cardi B started a vegan fashion line. A$AP Rocky rapped about veganism on his recent single "Babushka Boi."

Jay-Z was listed as a hip-hop's first billionaire by Forbes in 2019. Much of his portfolio is glamorous food and beverage businesses that add luster to his brand. A purported $310 million of his fortune comes from Armand de Brignac Champagne and another $100 million from D'Uss cognac.

But the star also has begun investing in companies that align with his enthusiasm for a meatless lifestyle. In 2015 he and Beyonc partnered with her trainer Marco Borges to launch 22 Days Nutrition, a high-end vegan meal planning and delivery service with an estimated annual revenue of $2.7 million.

And last year Jay-Z's venture capital firm Marcy Venture Partners invested $1 million in Partake Foods, a black-owned start-up that makes allergen-free vegan cookies. He's also invested in Impossible Foods, the company responsible for the popular plant-based Impossible Burger.

Jay-Z joined fellow celebrities Katy Perry, Serena Williams, Jaden Smith, Trevor Noah and Zedd is a $300 million investment round that brought the company past $750 million in funding. Jay-Z did not respond for requests for comment.

RZA, Ghostface and GZA of Wu-Tang Clan have promoted Impossible Sliders at White Castle. Snoop Dogg is an ambassador for Beyond Meat.

Of course, the investment from such hip-hop legends is a drop in the bucket: Investors have poured more than $16 billion into American plant-based and cell-based meat companies in the past 10 years, $13 billion of that just in 2017 and 2018.

But it looks increasingly like major hip-hop figures are using their influence to inspire healthy choices.

During an impromptu appearance at Beyonc and Jay-Z's On the Run II Tour in Foxborough, Massachusetts, music executive DJ Khaled had one question for the crowd: "Do we have any vegans in the house?"

The question was answered with a roar from the crowd of 40,000.

Hip-hop legends also are turning to plant-based ventures as career Plan B's that allow for high visibility as they give back to their communities.

Jadakiss and Styles P of the hip-hop group the Lox, which had its heyday in the late 1990s, have launched juice bars called Juices for Life, with four locations in the Bronx, Yonkers and Brooklyn, and runs RBG Fit Club in Atlanta with his wife Afya Ibomu, offering cooking demonstrations, live performances and merchandise.

Although four out of the top 10 "most trusted" brands are food companies, food brands and restaurant concepts have been politically fraught, as well as notoriously risky investments with high failure rates. For this growing number of celebrities, plant-based investments may make ideological sense as well as dollars and cents.

Data from the Good Food Institute and the trade group Plant Based Food Association shows that while the U.S. retail food market grew overall by only 2 percent from April 2018 to April 2019, plant-based products grew an impressive 11 percent.

Burger-oriented fast-food restaurants, overrepresented in low-income "food swamps," are seen as opportunities to introduce plant-based options. Although market research firm NPD Group found almost 90 percent of the people eating non-meat burgers are not vegetarian or vegan, a 2018 Gallup poll found that Americans who earn less than $30,000 are almost twice as likely to be vegan or vegetarian than those who earn more than $75,000.

And the market is likely to keep growing.

According to research firm PitchBook, more than 47 companies that make meat and dairy products from plants have raised $2.29 billion from venture capitalists in the past decade, a quarter of it in 2019 alone. Acumen Research and Consulting predicts plant-based meat sales will reach $6.5 billion by 2026, this popular food category Googled three times more frequently than gluten-free and vegetarian products. And it predicts that the global vegan food market will grow at an annual rate of 9.1 percent to reach a value of $24.3 billion by that same year.

There were nine elements of hip-hop, as codified in a KRS-One song of that name in 2003, which included things like DJing and beatboxing. The tenth element of hip-hop, added in 2016, is health and wellness. A bit of a departure from components like break-dancing and street fashion, its elements include plant-based eating, organic gardening, fitness, sobriety, food justice and animal rights activism. But like the other nine elements, health and wellness has proved to be a source of livelihood for practitioners.

Keith Tucker, a Seattle-based health activist, is partly responsible for the tenth element of hip-hop. He had a radio show, worked with stars like Public Enemy and Russell Simmons (a vegan since 1997) and pushed back against the stereotyping of hip-hop artists.

"KRS-One was an inspiration for me," Tucker says. "His song 'Beef' in 1990 influenced a lot people in hip-hop to think about veganism, to think about the meat in the slave diet, about the chemicals that were starting to be put in the food and the rise of highly processed foods."

The lyrics include these lines"

"Let us begin now with the cow

"The way it gets to your plate and how

"The cow doesn't grow fast enough for man

"So through his greed he makes a faster plan

"He has drugs to make the cow grow quicker

"Through the stress the cow gets sicker"

In 2009, Tucker held his first Hip Hop Is Green dinner, assembling hip-hop artist and educators with the goal of bringing health and wellness to youths and families around the country through group meals with star-studded casts of attendees and performers. In 2015 he produced the first plant-based hip-hop event at the White House.

And hip-hop proved to be a powerful megaphone. According to Rolling Stone, hip-hop dominates music streaming, accounting for 24.7 percent of songs consumed in 2018. Its dominance is predicted to continue, with performers such as Drake, Kendrick Lamar, the Weeknd, Migos and Cardi B. at the top. Black listeners are the largest user group of streaming services, and the role of streaming itself is forecast by Goldman Sachs to more than double to about $131 billion by 2030.

"Hip-hop is the biggest influence on planet Earth when it comes to young people," Tucker said. "It's the CNN for the black community. If we can move it in a green direction, the world will move in a green direction. It's going viral right now.

"We did drugs and gangbanging and sex over and over again and saw that these things aren't conducive to a healthy world."

SupaNova Slom, a performer known as "hip-hop's medicine man," says younger African Americans have turned to plant-based living because they've witnessed their parents' poor health due to lifestyle decisions and disparities in access to healthy food. He says a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is more feasible in urban centers that have experienced gentrification and where even fast-food restaurants now reliably offer plant-based options.

"That's the positive about gentrification. We have a Whole Foods in downtown Newark," Slom said. "Influencers online, you see them juicing, doing yoga, using food as medicine. Some of them have lost their parents to diabetes. It used to be blinging outside, now it's internal blinging. Is your prostate functioning properly?"

Slom was raised vegan in Brooklyn by his mother, a holistic wellness coach named Queen Afua (whose wellness products are backed by performer Erykah Badu), a childhood he says set him apart from many of his peers.

"Sprouted bread sandwiches, apples and oranges as my snacks - it was hard coming up, me and my brother and sister being raised vegan. It had a profound impact on me," he said.

A combat veteran who served in Afghanistan in 2013, Slom has maintained a strict vegan diet in difficult situations. He has promoted the "Chlorophyllion" green lifestyle, which touts the health benefits of freshly pressed green juice, with a book called "The Remedy" and a line of vegan dietary supplements.

"The message is health is wealth," Slom says. "If you want to continue to do your art at a high level, fuel yourself with high-quality fuel. It's about reclaiming oneself. Look at the top 20 rappers and 10 of them are talking plant-based."

Some of the change may be powered by growing options and an increasing national interest in plant-based foods. A 2017 Nielsen survey found that 39 percent of Americans are actively trying to eat more plant-based foods. Grubhub reported orders of vegan-friendly dishes increased by more than 25 percent in 2019. Research firm NPD Group found that plant-based alternative sales were up 30 percent last year. And plant-based restaurants with strong African-American patronage, places like Slutty Vegan in Atlanta or the Land of Kush in Baltimore, have long lines and Instagram accounts crowded with celebrities.

Ibomu, a holistic nutritionist, sees distinct reasons for the rise of African-American vegans.

"We have higher rates of obesity, cancer, diabetes and asthma. It's partly our DNA; we're not well-suited to a standard American diet," she said. "Many of us came from West Africa where they mostly had goat's milk. And here it's cow's milk. The majority of health guidance is based on European bodies."

She says some of the health disparities have been the byproduct of oppression, poverty, food deserts and lack of education, but that also African-American culture can contribute to the problem: "We use food as a cultural thing, showing someone you love them by giving them high-sugar, high-fat food."

Music industry heavyweights Jermaine Dupri, Badu, Waka Flocka Flame, Andr 3000, Common, YG and DJ Khaled have dabbled or committed to plant-based lifestyles.

AshEL Eldridge, a wellness and food-justice activist and rapper in Oakland, California, speaks about how the plant-based food movement for African Americans is about reclaiming food sovereignty. "You have your history, your body, your culture."

He says his community is grappling with questions: "How do we take care of ourselves? How do we govern ourselves? How do we regain the wisdom of our ancestry? And how do we reclaim our health?" he asked.

He says people want a sense of agency and that diet exemplifies that.

"There's a huge movement around decolonizing the diet," Eldridge notes. "There is disease related to diets heavily reliant on meat and genetically modified crops and monocropping. How do we extricate ourselves from that? It's revolutionary." says younger hip-hop artists have long been inspired by the diet and fitness choices of their elders.

"When I was a young teen getting into hip-hop, LL Cool J and them were swole superheroes. Now I see a lot of cool b-boy yogis. That's a whole movement. There were break-dance battles back in the day; now there's a movement of calisthenics, bar athletics and Nike-sponsored events," he says. "The New G [Gangster] Code takes empowerment in a healthy way: I don't care how many weights you can lift, how many people have you lifted up?"

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The fastest-growing vegan demographic is African Americans. Wu-Tang Clan and other hip-hop acts paved the way. - SF Gate

18 Vegan Athletes Who Swear By Their Plant-Based Diets – Women’s Health

Jan, 27th 2020 8:47 am, Article Recommended by Dr. J. Smith


The previous school of thought: In order to get big and strong, you need to eat meat, and lots of it. But now, tons of vegan and plant-based athletes are proving everyone wrong. In fact, recent research from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that vegan athletes get the benefit of a higher intake of carbohydrates, fiber, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and other micronutrients than omnivores. And all of that can contribute to prime performance, whether they're lifting weights or running miles.

So yeah, you can totally stick to that veggie-centric life and crush those PRs. Need more proof? Check out some badass vegan athletes who are showing the world that strong bodies arent only made at a steakhouse.

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1Alex Morgan

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup champ Alex Morgan fuels her soccer game with a vegan diet. "It makes me stronger and helps with fatigue and recovery, Alex told USA Today in an interview. And during the World Cup, she shared the U.S. Women's National Team chef prepared special vegan meals for the athlete.

"I never thought it was possible I could be playing at an elite level as a professional athlete with a plant-based diet," she said. "Then I realized it wasnt detrimental at all."

2Tia Blanco

This World Surfing Games champion has been riding the vegan wave for the last seven years, after having maintained a vegetarian diet from birth. On her YouTube channel, she shared that she starts her day with refreshing lemon water and a vegan smoothie made with in-season, fruits, leafy greens, and sources of healthy fats like hemp seeds.

But its not always smooth sailing. She told Great Vegan Athletes that traveling makes it particularly difficult to stick to a raw vegan diet, so she ends up opting for lots of pasta, brown rice, and bread on the road. Hey, nothing wrong with a little carbo-loading before a major event.

3Meagan Duhamel

Meat wasnt behind the metals for this two-time figure skating world champion and Olympic gold medalist. After reading a book about veganism at an airport bookstore, Meagan told CBC she immediately cleaned out her fridge of meat products and made the switch to a diet focused on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Since switching to veganism, she's noticed major boosts in her energy levels and athletic performance on the ice.

4Steph Davis

Its always been difficult for this world-class rock climber to reconcile her love of animals and simultaneously consume them. So in 2002, Steph shared on her blog that she cut out animal products to stop funding an industry that holds animals captive in wretched living conditions [while being] killed violently. The vegan athlete adds that while fighting animal cruelty is her main goal, if I climb better and feel better on top of it, all the better.

5Venus Williams

When the former Grand Slam and Olympic tennis champion was diagnosed with autoimmune disease Sjorgen syndrome in 2011, she looked to a raw vegan diet to help her get back on the court in full swing. But more recently, Venus told Insider that she's added a few non-raw items back into her diet, like rice, potatoes, and lentils to sustain her training.

6Molly Cameron

The only trans athlete to compete in the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup, Molly's success as a pro bike racer is due in part to her vegan diet. She told Viva La Vegan that she cut out meat accidentally in 1999 because she didnt like the taste. But what motivated her to adopt a stricter vegan diet were the positive effects on the environment and her improved athletic performance. Eating organic and whole food keeps my energy level and mental focus consistent," Molly told Organic Athlete. "It is the logical step when living a super active and conscious lifestyle.

7Hannah Teter

After watching the documentary Earthlings, this animal-loving Olympic-snowboarding gold champion became a vegan athlete. But after taking a closer look at how factory farms treat animals, she decided to cut out animal byproducts entirely. My plant-based diet has opened up more doors to being an athlete," Hannah said in an interview with HuffPost. "Its a whole other level that Im elevating to. I stopped eating animals about a year ago, and its a new life. I feel like a new person, a new athlete.

8Jahina Malik

Bodybuilder Jahina is known for a lot more than her impressive lineup of titles like NPC Eastern USA Bodybuiding Champion and IFBB Pro Physique Pro Card holder. As the first ever vegan bodybuilder since birth, she told Meat Free Athlete that she considers veganism a lifestyle, and not a diet. Plant-based foods like couscous, vegan chicken, and tofu help her recover from tough workouts. When asked about the advantages of being a vegan athlete, she told Plant Built: For me, its breaking all the stereotypes and barriers that vegans cant bodybuild.

9Morgan Mitchell

Runners are notoriously focused on upping their carb intake to promote strength and endurance on the road or track, but this Olympic sprinter takes pride in finding wholesome protein-rich, plant-based foods to fuel her incredible feats of athleticism. Perhaps its no coincidence that she won her first Olympic medal two years after swearing off meat and its byproducts. I recover a lot quicker than I used to, the vegan athlete told Live Kindly. Its easier to keep my weight down and I havent been sick at all.

10Pat Neshek

Baseball isnt all hot dogs and cheese fries. For free agent pitcher Pat, its about optimizing performance as a vegan athlete, he told the Star Tribune. While his teammates have teased him for his plant-based food choices, he takes solace in knowing his game has improved since first going vegan after reading The China Study. Hey, at least sunflower seeds are vegan-approved.

11Patrik Baboumian

You might equate a vegan diet with scrawny, sinewy muscles, but strongman Patrik is anything but that at five foot seven and 256 pounds. After earning the title of Germanys Strongest Man in 2011, he went vegan shortly thereafter, according to Barbend. On his YouTube channel, he shared what a typical day of eating looks like: vegan sausage, falafel, oven fries, tofu, and smoothies, clocking in at over 5,000 calories and 400 grams of protein.

12Colin Kaepernick

Football fans know and love Colin for his boundless skill and agility as a quarterback and former San Francisco 49er, as well as his political activism advocating for racial equality in America. Its thus little surprise that Kaepernicks compassion extends towards animals as well, and he sticks to a vegan diet. [LET'S CITE WHERE THIS LINK IS GOING TO]

13Sarah Stewart

Superstar Sarah won three Australian championships, placed in the All-Star Five for five years, and won three Paralympic gamesand she credits her success to a vegan diet, which she adopted in her late teens. I think being vegan makes me healthier," she told Great Vegan Athletes. "I certainly believe that vegetable carbs and protein along with all their nutrients build better, cleaner bodies, including muscles, without all the bad-for-you animal fats. And trying to avoid causing pain and suffering along the way is a great thing too.

14Abel Trujillo

Having recently competed in the lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship as a mixed martial artist, Abel, also known as Killa, has a gentler side fans dont often see on camera. He told Raise Vegan that he wanted to make veganism a part of his life after taking up Kundalini yoga. Energetically, this type of yoga is a sacred science of becoming in your higher-self, so your diet must be pure and clean, he said in an interview. This is why all the holiest people on the planet [] dont eat meat. He looks to foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts to heal and purify the body.

15Madi Serpico

Professional triathlete Madi Serpico is all about life as a vegan athlete. "I did some research and watched Forks [O]ver Knives and Earthlings and decided that I didnt want any part of animal cruelty, not to mention putting poison in my body, she told Viva.

16Ruth Heidrich

After being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in her forties, Ruth switched to a vegan diet, according to her website. Two years later, she became the first vegan athlete to run the Kona Ironman Triathlon. Now, at 83 years old, she's competed in over 900 races, including five more Ironman Triathlonsproving a vegan lifestyle can fuel incredible athletic feats, at any age.

17Rocky Luedeker

Sure, age is just a number, but 63-year-old Leudeker wouldnt have been able to break 14 powerlifting world records and 33 state and national records without the help of the vegan diet she adopted 16 years ago. I eat a variety of foods with various grains, beans, vegetables, tofu and a bowl of fruit for dessert, she told Vegan Health and Fitness magazine. "The morning of a competition, I eat a bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter mixed in, and a glass of grapefruit or orange juice. The only supplement that I take is turmeric. I do not use protein powder or take B12 or any other supplement.

18Dana Glowacka

Dana Glowacka holds the women's world record for the longest plank. (FYI: It's 4 hours, 19 minutes, and 55 seconds, according to Guinness World Records.) To make it even more impressive, Dana is a vegan athlete. "Vegan diets are the best to prepare for endurance and recoveryI am absolutely convinced!" she wrote on Instagram.

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18 Vegan Athletes Who Swear By Their Plant-Based Diets - Women's Health

Where to Buy Humane & Organic Chicken Online – Chowhound

Jan, 27th 2020 8:47 am, Article Recommended by Dr. J. Smith

All featured products are curated independently by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, we may receive a commission.

With so many concerns about mass-produced, factory-farmed poultry we looked into alternatives and it turns out there are plenty. Here are some of the best certified humane and organic chicken you can buy online, and a few reasons you might want to make the switch.

Its no secret that the U.S. poultry industry has major problems and, for years now, has fallen under the scrutinous eye of informed consumers, journalists, and activists alike. Look no further than Jonathan Safran Foers Eating Animals or Michael Pollans The Omnivores Dilemmaboth devastating indictments of widespread factory farmingto discover the horrors of a system that has evolved to grossly emphasize quantity over quality, all to the detriment of animals and consumers.

health checkWhat Are Processed Foods?There are two major problems within the wider poultry farming industry: the breeding and raising of chickens on an industrial scale, and the agricultural practices that are implemented to feed all these birds and keep the enormous supply chain moving.

Breeding& raising practices include a litany of dubious standards including acute selective breeding to make birds unnaturally big and meaty (but not healthy) and fed antibiotics to keep them from getting sick. They get sick, of course, because living conditions are often dismal, which brings up another set of moral issues often undertaken by animal rights groups. Its true, the majority of poultry bought, cooked, and eaten in the U.S. is riddled with antibiotics, harvested from unnaturally bred and highly stressed birds that exist only for a short time in conditions most of us would likely condemn if we knew about them.

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Farming practices enacted to grow feed for chickens and other animals is the more underreported problem plaguing both the industry and the planet. Because of the size of the industry and the demand for output, massive quantities of GMO row cropsnamely corn and soyor the grain economy, is required to sustain such an enormous supply.

Due tothe unprecedentedyet self-imposed demand for so much cheap chicken (roughly 50 billion chickensper year)industrial agriculture practices must be employed. That translates to more chemicals, pesticides, fertilizer, and genetically modified crops. Not only does this impact the health of the crops which are then fed to the birds and, in turn, to us, but soil health deteriorates and the entire system becomes more and more pollutedeach year.

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According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 26 percent of the earths ice-free land is used for livestock grazing while 33 percent is used for growing feed (chicken feed alone represents 9 percent of row crops). When you consider the impossibly poor farming conditions for animal feed (most of which is inedible for humans) you realize thats a whole lot of chemicals going into the earth, water, and air.

Related Reading:These Charitable Food Brands are Helping to Fight Hunger

I, like many, reached a tipping point after taking a somewhat dystopian dive into the shady chicken farming and breeding practices, deciding the least I could do was investigate options for poultry that existed outside of the traditional factory-farm apparatus.

In turns out there are options, and they might be more affordable than you think. Matt Wadiak, former Blue Apron COO, recently launched Cooks Venture, a company and farm that raises, slaughters, and sells heirloom poultry using humane breeding and raising practices but alsoand just as importantlyemploys regenerative farming to keep soil health intact and limit the overall impact poultry farming has on climate change. Cooks Venture heirloom chickens are raised onqualityfeed, air-chilled, pasture-raised with unrestricted access to the outdoors, and Animal Welfare Certifiedthe last of which is a rather important and rigorous label to earn (more on that in a minute).

Its Wadiaks goal forhis farms practices to go mainstream and with Cooks Venture havingalready scaled up to deliver about 700,000 chickens per week, it doesnt seem far-fetched.

Cooks Venture

Cooks Venture, along with other humane and sustainable poultry farms,is up against massive systemic and societal obstacles, including deep poultry lobby roots with even deeper pockets to influence regulatory policy. But also highly ingrained consumer habits that have adapted to the cheapening of chicken and poultry.

Over the years meat, and specifically poultry, has become (comparatively) cheaper and cheaper via factory farming and is in no way keeping up with general inflation. Too cheap if you ask Wadiak, as the price cuts have come at the expense of both the health of the planet and the animals we then put into our body (not to mention cruel farmand slaughterhouse practices).

Related Reading:How to Protect Yourself From Foodborne Illness

A humanely raised, organically fed whole chicken is likely to cost youbetween $12-$23 (Cooks Venture chickens can be had for as little as $15) but when you consider one could easily feed a family of four or a single person for a few days it doesnt seem like that much. On the flip side, paying $6 or $8 for factory-farmed Perdue chicken may be an attractive proposition to pad your bottom line, but stop to consider all the associated risks and problems and its hard to argue in favor of meat that cheap. Something has to bear the brunt of such inexpensive poultry and it very well may be you and your health.

Chicken Labels to Consider

Sifting through the labels and terminology when buying meat and poultry can be tricky. With so many different standards its helpful to have a way to decode. To complicate matters, only some of the labels refer to USDA regulations while others, like all-natural, are simply marketing buzzwords and mean nothing.

These first two labels signify some of the most rigorous standards and are the best indicators you are getting a humanely raised poultry product.

Certified Humane

According to theASPCA, this label represents a significant improvement over conventional standards and means the animal has outdoor access for ruminants and for pigs and poultry when accompanied by the words free-range or pasture-raised. If animals are raised indoors, it means more space, bedding, and enrichment are required and subtherapeutic antibiotics are prohibited. Standards extend to transport and slaughter too, and compliance is assured by independent on-farm auditing.

Animal Welfare Certified

This six-level rating program for animals raised for meat and eggs is slightly more complicated. According to the ASPCA, each successive level represents progressively higher welfare and includes all requirements of those below it. Cage confinement, hormones, and subtherapeutic antibiotics are prohibited at all levels, standards extend to transport and slaughter, and compliance is verified by auditors on every farm.

Read moreabout both these labels here.


The organic label is a good one to look out for but keep in mind it really just means that the chickens have been fed a certified organic diet and generally (but not always) means the farming practices used in feeding the birds arebetter. But it doesntsignal anything about the chickens quality of life or humane practices during their life or death and, in many cases, organic chickens still withstand a lot of factory farmings notorious practices.

No Antibiotics or Raised Without Antibiotics

This means the chickens were not routinely given preventative antibiotics, which many deem harmful, but it doesnt ensure they werent given antibiotics if they had gotten sick.


Because theres no legal definition of this term, pasture-raised is hard to verify. The USDA requires labels to be accurate but without any formal guidelines, this one has quite a bit of wiggle room but implies birds spentsignificant time outdoors and in a pasture.


This is another label youve likely seen on sides of egg cartons and chicken packages that is misleading once you dive into the criteria. Free-range is meant to indicate that chickens had access to the outdoors but there is almost no requirement for how much or how big that outdoor space is. In many cases, coops are set up so that the chickens donteven use the outdoor space.


This is a marketing term and means nothing. There are no requirements for a chicken to be labeled all-natural and if you see it, you should probably assume it is anything but.

For more,read our in-depth breakdown of chicken labels or check outout this chicken labeling chart from the ASPCA.

If youre concerned about eating humanely raised chicken that was bred and fed using sustainable and natural processes, your best bet is to do some research and find a good farm/producer and a consistent way in which to buy them. Luckily, a lot of the best chicken producers can be bought online so you dont have to rely on your local market tocarry them.

Cooks Venture

Founder and CEO Matt Wadiaks goal is to improve the overall farming and feeding system which supports the massive poultry industry and bring it to scale (theyre currentlydistributing upwards of 700,000 chickens per week) so more people can eat better chicken raised on environmentally friendly feed. You can get theirG.A.P Animal Welfare Certified heirloom chickens which are bred to be biologically sound, gut-healthy, and tasty (Ive had them and they are!) directly from Cooks Ventures website for as little as $15 when you buy six (free shipping on all orders). Or snag one bird for about $16via Fresh Direct.Buy Now


This chicken from specialty food store DArtagnan is certified humane, air-chilled, antibiotic-free and pasture-raised making it one of the best choices for humane chicken you can buy. Right now, the high-end retailer is selling two frozen birds (3-3.5 pounds) for just $22.39 (plus shipping) during this limited sale. Worth noting not that not all products by this brand are certified humane.Buy Now

Related Reading:Our Favorite Healthy Chicken Recipes|11 Chicken Recipes for the Slow Cooker

Gentle Harvest

This poultry producer meets a lot of the top and most rigid criteria including Certified Humane and USDA organic. You can snag a three-pound chicken for under $18 and have it shipped to your door. Or buy smaller cuts separately like chicken breasts, legs, wings, and thighs.Buy Now


All of this online butchers chicken isG.A.P Animal Welfare Certified. While you cant place single orders or single whole chickens you can choose monthly boxes that include chicken like the popular Beef & Chicken Box.Buy Now

Smart Chicken

Certified Organic Smart chickens are fed an organic grain diet, are free-range and certified humane by the Humane Farm Animal Care. All Smart chicken products are raised without the use of antibiotics. A 4-pound birdcost about $23.Buy Now


This farm in upstate New York has been providing antibiotic and hormone-free, certified humane chicken since it opened in 1992. Get a package of chicken breasts for less than $7.Buy Now


Youve probably seen these chickenproductsand other products in your local market. You can rest assured they use organic chicken in all their goods but note only the chicken hot dogs areG.A.P. Animal Welfare Certified.Buy Now

Header image courtesy of Getty Images.

Where to Buy Humane & Organic Chicken Online - Chowhound

Midwestern Farm Network Is Leading the Way to Chemical-Free, Sustainable Farming – Truthout

Jan, 27th 2020 8:47 am, Article Recommended by Dr. J. Smith

Ben Hagenbuck calls himself a full-time banker and a part-time farmer. But working with his father and uncle on the familys 1,100-acre corn and soybean farm in north-central Illinois has become much more than a hobby: Hagenbuch is part of a network of American farmers hoping to save the world. This is a grandiose goal to be sure, but it has its roots in science. Growing evidence points to chemically driven industrialized food production as a key culprit behind a broad range of both environmental and human health problems. To reverse the damage requires a focus on enriching soil health and perfecting farming practices that are free from synthetic chemicals. Its not an easy undertaking, these farmers are finding. But it is urgent.

Fifty-year-old warnings by scientist and author Rachel Carson about how indiscriminate use of chemicals could decimate the natural world are playing out now in undeniable ways. Numerous scientific studies show that routine use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides is contaminating waterways, decimating soil health, and killing off pollinators. At the same time, cancers and other diseases are on the rise. Doctors attribute many cancers including leukemia, lymphoma, and brain and breast cancer to exposures to pesticides, and federal government research finds farmers have a higher risk of developing prostate and other cancers.

Hagenbuchs journey from banker to would-be organic farmer started a decade ago when his father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and the family was advised that a diet of raw milk and healthier foods could be helpful in dealing with the disease. Soon after, Hagenbuch and his wife had their first child, which only deepened their desire to provide their family with a healthy diet. They found an organic farmer not far from their home and began to visit his farm regularly to buy raw milk. The fact that the farmer doesnt use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers in the grain he feeds his dairy cows gives the couple a sense of security in the nutrition they provide for a family that has grown to include four young boys, ages 1 to 9. Hagenbuch attributes his evolving friendship with this farmer to his interests in chemical-free agriculture.

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As he embarks down his own regenerative farming path, the 43-year-old Hagenbuch is driven by multiple goals: He wants to preserve and protect the family farm and one day operate it with his boys; to protect his familys health and the health of the rich soil that has provided a way for five generations of his family to make a living; to grow crops in a manner that protects waterways from the chemical contaminants that have become almost inescapable in some parts of US farm country; and to use his land in ways that capture carbon and help mitigate climate change.

Transitioning the land to regenerative practices, and eventually growing food that can be certified as organic, would go a long way towards accomplishing all this. But achieving this will require a major shift away from the type of farming perfected by his father and uncle, who still run the family farm.

* * *

Though research points to an increase in organic farming in the United States in recent years, only about 1 percent of total American cropland is currently certified organic. Which means that in 2011 and 2012, the most recent years for which the Environmental Protection Agency published data, US farmers applied more than 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides to their crops.

The companies that sell farm chemicals, and other advocates for chemical-dependent farming, say we need these pesticides. They say that while organic agriculture may fit a certain niche consumer demand, it is simply less productive than conventional methods, that theres no way to produce enough food without the use of synthetic insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers to kill pests, and weeds, and fungi, and to supplement soil nutrients. They say that consumers are being fooled into thinking that organic foods are more nutritious than conventionally grown ones, and are paying more for food that is essentially indistinguishable from lower-priced options grown with chemicals. The trace amounts of pesticides that often remain on conventionally grown foods after harvesting and washing are nothing to fear, they argue.

They also point to other perceived downsides of organic agriculture, including the fact that many farmers growing organic crops at least lightly till their soil to combat weeds, something farmers applying herbicides are less likely to do. This practice disturbs the soil in ways that can release stored carbon into the atmosphere and allow evaporation of needed moisture, and also contributes to erosion.

The American Council on Science and Health, a group funded by Monsanto and other companies that sell seeds and chemicals to farmers, argues that if all farms were converted to organic there would be far less food available for a worldwide population expected to hit 9 billion by 2050. Or, they say, if everyone were to go chemical-free, we would need to plough under large swaths of forests and meadows to meet demand.

But increasingly, new scientific research is showing just the opposite that sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices, including but not limited to organic, can keep people fed and also keep them healthy. Hagenbuch and other like-minded farmers are providing real-life examples of how to make the transition to regenerative practices one field at a time.

I like the idea of farming without chemicals, says Hagenbuch, who views his work to transition acreage to organic as a grand experiment that he hopes will have impacts far into the future. We can grow healthier food and feed our families healthier food and save the planet at the same time. Those are my reasons for doing this.

Hagenbuch is part of a group of more than 400 farmers participating in a novel partnership called the IDEA Farm Network, an undertaking that started in Illinois but whose work is expanding through the US Midwest, a region known for its production of billions of bushels of chemically aided corn, soy, and wheat. IDEA members in multiple states are using their farm fields as test plots for unofficial experiments in how to match conventional yields in soybeans, corn, and other crops with different mixtures of time-honored farming practices.

Theyre digging deep, so to speak, experimenting with mixes of cover crops, varying sizes of row spacings, and assorted crop rotations all aimed at perfecting no-till organic, regenerative food-production practices that can rival conventional production in both quantity as well as quality.

The IDEA network which includes both organic and conventional farmers looking to make their practices more environmentally sound is part support group and part research organization. Members mentor each other, sharing strategies that work well and also warning each other of failed tactics. They trade videos and photos, participate in a listserv, and hold tailgate meetings around the region to brainstorm about how to garner top yields and raise livestock while also meeting the networks mission of creating nutritious food through financially viable methods that regenerate, according to IDEAs mission statement, precious soil, water, and wildlife.

Over the past summer, the listserv was buzzing as farmers debated whether a weed problem in a members soybean field was due to a calcium imbalance in the soil, or potentially too little oxygen due to planting into wet soils. Another thread turned to soybean yields. One member wrote that mowing the tops off of soybean plants when they were less than six inches tall led to a 3- to 7-bushel-per-acre yield increase.

One popular topic is roller crimping, the practice of carefully mowing down a crop that a farmer has planted not to harvest but to add nutrients to the soil and to provide a thick mulch that will suffocate weeds. During the roller crimping process, seeds are dropped down into the mulched cover crop. Cereal rye is one-such popular cover crop for organic soybean farmers. Roller crimping helps farmers avoid tilling the mechanical digging up or turning over of the soil which contributes to runoff and erosion.

There are also questions about livestock, such as the benefits of feeding barley to hogs in the weeks prior to slaughter, and the potential for local pork marketing co-ops to maximize marketing opportunities.

The network has support from the University of Illinois as well as a number of organizations working on conservation and sustainable food issues, and has obtained financial support, including a small grant from the US Department of Agriculture, to document crop gains and losses associated with various practices. Academics from Ohio and Wisconsin also frequently weigh in to offer expert guidance, and the group is open to consumers and advocates as well.

As the network grows, the farmers are working together and with advisors to explore new markets for the pesticide-free products they are producing and are pushing for policies that support regenerative agriculture. Some members hold field days with school groups. Others speak out at farming conferences.

Industrial agriculture is not feeding the world, said ecologist and IDEA farmer member Kim Erndt-Pitcher. We need to overhaul our agriculture system so that it supports not only humans but the planet.

Early indications suggest the work is paying off. Will Glazik, an agronomist and crop consultant who helps lead the IDEA Farm Network, says that by tracking the work of IDEA members and looking at academic data, he sees organic grass crops such as corn, wheat, and oats currently yielding about 75 percent of those that are conventionally produced. Organic growers of legume crops, such as soybeans, peas, and alfalfa, can yield almost the same as conventional farmers, he says.

That is in line with the findings of a scientific meta-analyses published in 2015 that found relatively small differences in crop yields between organic and conventional agriculture of between 15.5 and 22.9 percent. The yield differences dropped to less than 10 percent when diversification techniques such as multi-cropping and crop rotation were used.

Numbers aside, Glazik says, there are much more important benefits of the collaborative effort to consider too.

Im in it for environmental reasons, he says. The way that we raise crops without synthetic inputs means we can increase the soil organic carbon. Plus were removing the chemicals from our fields, which in turn takes it out of the streams and the waterways. Were providing habitat for pollinators and other biodiversity, he adds, explaining that the use of flowering cover crops provides food for pollinating insects, while healthy buffer zones of land around fields offer a consistent habitat for insects and other living things.

Glazik and his family farm about a thousand acres near Paxton, Illinois. Like Hagenbuch, he represents the fifth generation of his family to grow food there. As they move more acres to organic, Glazik and his brothers have been working to develop value-added products, including starting a spirits business selling wheat vodka to local restaurants, bars, and grocery stores. The brothers have also found that a type of open-pollinated heirloom corn makes a fantastic bourbon, Glazik says. Meanwhile, he and a group of farmers are exploring the possibility of investing in a mill to turn their organic corn into corn flakes.

Glazik says growing the markets for organic grains such as oats, wheat, and canola, along with soybeans and corn, is perhaps more important than pushing for more organic vegetables because, in the US, grain production impacts broad swaths of land compared to the smaller plots generally used to grow vegetables.

In America, if we want to have any meaningful impact on our environment, we need to focus on broad-acre crops. Also organic meats because organic animals eat organic grains, he says. If we want to get as many acres as possible off insecticides and herbicides we need to support organic grain growing.

Taylor Stewart, a member of the IDEA Network and degreed agricultural economist, says that what is often lost in the discussion about feeding the world is the actual end-use of grain. Roughly 40 percent of the US corn crop goes to make ethanol, not to feed people, while 24 percent of the soybean crop goes to make biodiesel, he says. Organic corn and beans are not typically directed into fuel uses but into foods consumed by people and animals, meaning even smaller yields in organic fields are still contributing to food needs at levels comparable to crops grown with chemicals.

Organic and conventional fields are quite competitive in terms of actual quantity that reaches the consumers plate, says Stewart, who now raises cattle in Virginia on chemical-free pastures for a wholesale grass-fed beef company. We managed for thousands of years without silver bullet chemical solutions. Well manage again when theyre gone.

Two United Nations experts have also challenged the industry narrative that chemical-intensive agriculture is necessary to meet global food demands, calling for a comprehensive global treaty that would phase out the use of dangerous pesticides in farming and support sustainable practices.

Excessive use of pesticides [is] very dangerous to human health, to the environment and it is misleading to claim they are vital to ensuring food security, the UN experts said in a 2017 statement. It is time to overturn the myth that pesticides are necessary to feed the world and create a global process to transition toward safer and healthier food and agricultural production.

Still, US farm policy solidly supports chemical-dependent agriculture. Farm programs in America provide billions of dollars in annual subsidies for farmers who grow staples such as corn, soy, and wheat, encouraging industrial-scale monocropping, and facilitating the use of synthetic fertilizers and insecticide-coated seeds, along with the use of weed killers sprayed directly over the tops of genetically altered crops that tolerate herbicide treatments. Government subsidies provide comparatively very little for farmers who are pursuing the more diverse and environmentally sustainable practices of crop rotation, cover cropping, and pesticide-free farming.

There are signs the governments position is starting to change, however, as the science about the benefits of practices like cover-cropping has become undeniable.

Farmers are learning that cover crops help increase the productivity of their soil, by improving organic matter, nutrient availability, infiltration, and protecting soil from erosion, states the US Department of Agricultures Natural Resources Conservation Service (NCRS). NCRS has started providing financial incentives for farmers to use cover crops.

The connection between sustainable farming practices and climate change is also increasingly being recognized as an issue before US lawmakers as backers of regenerative agriculture lobby for more supportive policies, such increased payments to farmers for use of soil-conserving strategies, increased federal funding for organic research, and the establishment of paid on-farm trials to encourage innovation around improving soil health.

In a May 2019 statement to members of Congress, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition said this: It is essential that any national climate policy recognize the role that agriculture can and must play in avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, increasing soil health and carbon sequestration, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

* * *

As one of the newest members of the IDEA Network, Hagenbuch has been reaching out frequently to other members for guidance on his work transitioning 67.5 acres of the 1,100-acre spread run by his father and uncle. This fall marked the end of year one of Hagenbuchs work to gain organic certification for this acreage, a process that will take until November 2021 if he is successful.

And even though he is starting slowly, he found the first year to be anything but easy. Heavy rainfall through the spring and summer soaked the soybean plants he had carefully seeded and spurred the sprouting of aggressive weeds throughout his field. Despite the use of a cultivator to turn up the soil and break up weeds, Hagenbuch was forced to address the problem by hand. He put together a crew of high school kids and spent days bean-walking the field with hoes to remove the weeds.

Because he works as a full-time banker out of his home in Mendota, Illinois, Hagenbuch has to carve out evenings and weekends and use vacation days to do his farming on the family land about 15 miles outside of town. But he has high hopes for what he can achieve, both for his familys future and its finances.

Even though his soybeans are not eligible for organic certification and wont be until 2021 due to a requirement that fields remain chemical-free for three years, non-GMO soybeans command a premium price over GMO beans of roughly $1.50 a bushel, Hagenbuch has calculated. The gains in price help offset the costs of the hand weeding and cultivating.

His plan for the long term is to follow his soybean harvests with the planting of winter wheat and then a cover crop such as red clover. He is intrigued by the success other IDEA farmers have had planting and crimping rye as a weed-blocking ground cover and thinks he might experiment with that in the future. He has decided hell use chicken litter or hog manure on the field to help fertilize and prepare the land for what he intends to be his first field of organic corn. Organic corn can bring roughly $9 a bushel compared to $4 a bushel for non-organic, which makes up for a slightly smaller yield and the headaches of weed management, he says.

In addition to participating in the IDEA network, Hagenbuch also has been taking part in a farmer-to-farmer mentoring program coordinated through the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service, affectionately dubbed MOSES by participants. He is paired with mentor Dave Campbell who operates 156 acres of certified organic corn, soybeans, wheat, and other crops 50 miles west of Chicago to learn the tricks of the business. Additionally, Hagenbuch is one of more than 700 farmers who attended MOSES field events in 2018 for instruction in business planning, food safety, organic certification, and other matters that are key to putting in place profitable organic operations.

So far, the senior members of the Hagenbuch family farm business seem content to keep farming the way they have for years. But once he can show them the benefits he knows are attainable, Hagenbuch hopes to convince his father and uncle to allow him to convert more of the family acreage to organic.

Im not a guy who says that organic is the end-all, Hagenbuch says. I just think it is a step in the right direction.

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Midwestern Farm Network Is Leading the Way to Chemical-Free, Sustainable Farming - Truthout

What Is Ube And Why Is This Purple Sweet Potato So Trendy? – Women’s Health

Jan, 27th 2020 8:47 am, Article Recommended by Dr. J. Smith

Carlina TeterisGetty Images

Is it just me, or is Instagram chock-full of bright purple potatoesand all sorts of desserts made from themright now?

The trendy Willy Wonka-hued veggie is actually called ube. Thanks to the plant-based diet movement (and increasing access to fruits and vegetables from other parts of the world), the unique eat has made its way onto many a plate (and newsfeed).

Since there's only so much broccoli you can eat, adding funky new vegetables, like ube, to your diet makes getting your daily dose of the good stuff so much easier,

Including a variety of fruits and vegetables makes meals more colorful and flavorful and provides all of the antioxidants and phytonutrients your body needs to thrive, says Stephanie McKercher, RDN, dietitian and plant-based food blogger at Grateful Grazer.

Trying new foods is one of the best ways to keep boredom at bay and make healthy eating a regular part of your day-to-day lifestyle, she adds.

Ready to meet your new purple bestie and step up your veggie game? Heres what you need to know about ube.

Pronounced "ooh-bae," ube is a purple spud related to the orange sweet potatoes you probably already eat on the reg. Though similar to sweet taters in shape and size, ube has darker skin and deep purple flesh.

Though ube is originally native to the Philippines, its recently become an international sensation for its unique color and sweet, starchy flavor.

Ube's dark purple hue is definitely a fun and playful color to use in cooking and baking, says dietitian Alanna Cabrero, RDN. Ive heard it defined as colorful meets functional and I agree.

Nutritionally, ube is pretty similar to other sweet potatoes. Both are great sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and rich in antioxidants, which help protect against cellular damage in the body, says McKercher.

Heres what you get in one serving (3.5 ounces) of cooked ube, per the USDA Nutrient Database:

In addition to that, you also score 12 milligrams of vitamin C (that's 16 percent of the RDA for women), plus small amounts of calcium, iron, and vitamin A.

One of the main differences between sweet potatoes and ube are the type of antioxidants associated with their color," says Cabrero. While the orange hue of sweet potatoes signals a rich carotenoid content, the purple hue of ube indicates lots of anthocyanins.

Anthocyanins, which are also responsible for the deep red and purple hues in berries, have been shown to help the body fight inflammation.

The purple yam is also a good source of complex carbohydrates, particularly resistant starch. Resistant starch can act as a great prebiotic fiber," says Cabrero. "Prebiotics help healthy bacteria in the gut flourish and protect our immune system.

Ultimately, both ube's antioxidant profile and fiber content make it a great addition to an anti-inflammatory diet, Cabrero says.

Ube isnt quite as over-the-top sweet as your regular old sweet potato. (It also doesn't have as moist and soft a texture when cooked.)

According to McKercher, ube has a more of a mellow, nutty, vanilla-like flavor. Others, meanwhile, have described is as creamy and almost coconut-like.

Perhaps you've heard of another purple root vegetable of Asian descent called taro that seems awfully similar to ube?

You wouldn't be the only one to confuse the two. Though ube and taro can look somewhat similar on the outside, theyre definitely not the same thing.

While taro can take on a light purple hue, its typically mostly white or beige in color, says McKercher. Plus, because it has a more neutral taste, taro is more commonly used in savory dishes. Ube, with its sweet and nutty flavor, meanwhile, is more suited for desserts.

Unlike sweet potatoes, you may have to hunt a little bit to find ube at the store. Though you may find the purple yams at your local organic market and health food stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, your best bet for finding whole ube (and ube products, like ube powder or extract) is to check out an Asian grocery store.

Once you've got your hands on some ube, its sweet flavor and creamy texture makes it a natural choice for treats like baked goods. (Its often used in Filipino desserts, including muffins, cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, ice cream, and bubble tea.) Your recipe is pretty much guaranteed to reach Instagram star status.

If you can't find ube powder or jam, you can often use steamed and pureed ube in its place.

Cabrero recommends adding pureed ube to pancake or waffle batters and quick bread recipes. It also works well in pretty much any recipe that calls for pumpkin puree. (Baby food, too!)

Ube isnt only good for satisfying your sweet tooth, though. Of course, you can also bake, roast, and mash them, just like you would regular potatoes or sweet potatoes. (Check out this Mashed Purple Yams With Sesame Brown Butter recipe from The Endless Meal.)

Want to keep it super simple? Cabrero suggests roasting ube with avocado oil and pumpkin seeds or making ube fries in the air-fryer.

The bottom line: Ube (a.k.a. purple sweet potato) is a versatile, flavorful, and healthy root veggie you can eat on its own or add to all sorts of baked goods.

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What Is Ube And Why Is This Purple Sweet Potato So Trendy? - Women's Health

Egg Carton Labels: Here’s What All Those Terms Really Mean – HuffPost

Jan, 27th 2020 8:47 am, Article Recommended by Dr. J. Smith

The egg shelves at the supermarket can be tricky to navigate, since you have to choose between labels and claims like free-range, cage-free and pasture-raised (oh my). And then considering organic designations and various welfare certifications can be overwhelming, leaving you to just go with the cheapest option.

While the demand for cage-free eggs is on the rise, conventional (read: caged) hens still supply the vast majority of eggs in the U.S., with 81.6% (or 275.4 million laying hens) housed in conventional cage environments as of March 2019.

That statistic may come as a surprise, as its rare that a producer will proudly proclaim that their eggs come from caged chickens. Terms like farm fresh, natural or vegetarian may be used to hide caged eggs in plain sight, as they have nothing to do with how the hens are raised. (You could pick up some vegetarian eggs from the supermarket without realizing you bought a carton of caged eggs.)

Which eggs you should buy depends on what you prioritize in your food sources but the experts HuffPost consulted all agreed that as far as animal welfare is concerned, caged is a no-go.

To Josh Balk, vice president of farm animal protection at the Humane Society of the United States, the differences between cage-free, free-range, pasture-raised and organic are minute compared to the vast difference in hens quality of life between any of these options and caged. He said that if you dont see any of those four labels on a carton, youre looking at caged eggs, one of the cruelest products ever offered in our food system.

For Jim Hauskey, director of marketing at Happy Egg Co., free-range is the base standard for how hens need to be treated.

To help you make better decisions about buying eggs and more confidently decode their cartons, weve defined common terms you may encounter below.

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Caged eggs come from hens that spend their egg-laying lives in a cage, the majority of which are so small that the hens cant spread their wings. The United Egg Producers guidelines for cage production systems list a minimum of 67 square inches per hen, which is smaller than a standard 8.5 inch by 11 inch sheet of paper.

Theyre unable to do very basic behaviors, Balk told HuffPost. They cant spread their wings, stand on solid ground, perch, scratch, dust bathe, or lay eggs in a nesting area. These are critical behaviors that chickens have to be able to engage in in order to have some type of decent life and they cant engage in any of them inside one of these cages.

Allen J. Schaben via Getty Images


As the label suggests, cage-free eggs come from hens that dont live their lives confined to cages. According to Department of Agriculture guidelines, eggs labeled cage-free must be produced by hens housed in a building, room or enclosed area that allows for unlimited access to food, water and provides the freedom to roam within the area during the laying cycle.

Its important to note that this definition doesnt specify how much space each hen has or whether they ever see the outdoors. Cage-free is a broad term that encompasses indoor housing systems; systems that offer access to the outdoors; and systems that are outdoor-centric. American Humane Certified welfare standards stipulate that all hens must have sufficient freedom of movement to be able to stand normally, turn around and stretch their wings without difficulty. They must have sufficient space to be able to perch or sit quietly without repeated disturbance. Additionally, these hens must have access to a well-maintained litter or scratch area where they can dust bathe, and nest boxes with curtains or dividers for privacy.

Boston Globe via Getty Images


Free-range eggs come from hens that have continuous access to the outdoors during their laying cycle, according to the USDA, which further stipulates that the outdoor area may be fenced and/or covered with netting-like material. This broad definition encompasses everything from just a few small doors leading to an unappealing screened-in porch to barns with multiple large openings and several acres for hens to forage, perch and exhibit other typical hen behaviors.

Like cage-free, additional welfare certifications can offer enhanced insights on what free-range actually means for the life of egg-laying hens. Happy Egg Co., for example, is certified by American Humane, a distinction that means more than just additional space for hens to roam (1 acre of outdoor space for every 2,000 hens; 21.8 square feet per bird).

Theres 200 or more other standards that our farms have to follow to make sure the hens are treated right, said Hauskey from Happy Egg Co. Everywhere from the air quality to water quality and the amount of water, the space and number of doors to the feed quality and source.


Pasture-raised, which is a relatively new term used to describe eggs, is not explicitly defined by the USDA. If you see pasture-raised on an egg carton, its important to look for additional certifications from independent agencies like Certified Humane and American Humane, which have outlined specific definitions for the term.

Certified Humane pasture-raised eggs require 2.5 acres for every 1,000 birds (108 square feet per bird). According to its standards, The hens must be outdoors year-round, with mobile or fixed housing where the hens can go inside at night to protect themselves from predators, or for up to two weeks out of the year due only to very inclement weather.


In order to be considered organic by the USDA, a food item must meet certain standards. These include year-round access to the outdoors (with temporary confinement permitted for environmental or health reasons) and 100% organic feed. In other words, organic eggs come from free-range hens that are fed an organic diet free from synthetic pesticides.


This term is confusing because chickens are omnivores by nature. Vegetarian indicates the feed given to the chickens did not contain any meat or animal byproducts. At farms where chickens are allowed to roam the outdoors, hens have the opportunity to supplement their feed by foraging for worms and insects. The label vegetarian feed can appear on product packaging for these hens eggs in this instance, as long as the feed theyre given is meat-free.

Regarding the free-range eggs sold by Happy Egg Co. (where hens are fed an all-natural, vegetarian feed and allowed to forage during the day), Hauskey said, People can feel good about how the hens are treated, and knowing that some of their diet comes from the range adds a little bit of authenticity and naturalness to what comes out in the end, which is a beautiful egg.

Omega-3 enriched

Like vegetarian, omega-3 enriched is a label that doesnt relate to hen welfare. It typically means some flax seed was mixed into their feed, leading to higher omega-3 fatty acid levels in the resulting egg.

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Egg Carton Labels: Here's What All Those Terms Really Mean - HuffPost

I dithered over veganism for years until a friends simple message convinced me – The Guardian

Jan, 27th 2020 8:47 am, Article Recommended by Dr. J. Smith

If you had asked me three years ago if I would ever go vegan, the answer would have been a polite but firm no. I would have told you how I could never give up cheese and how I worried about a vegan diet being healthy. I knew that they werent the strongest nor the most informed of reasons, so I would have added that I only bought meat when I could afford to buy organic and British, and always bought free-range eggs. I would have wanted you to know I was informed about what was good or bad farming practice, and I shopped accordingly.

I had been a vegetarian on and off since I was a teenager, and cared deeply about the planet. I recycled diligently, carried a reusable water bottle, signed petitions to address the climate disaster and joined protests. I bought cruelty-free makeup, was fervently against animal testing. I was a conscious and conscientious shopper and consumer: I considered the planet when I made choices.

For almost my whole life I had been concerned about the planet. As a child, Id lecture my hairspray-wielding nan about CFCs; in primary school I held a bake sale to raise money for the RSPB, the British bird-protection charity, after the Shetland oil disaster in 1993. I was mindful of the environment, and proud of it.

Just not mindful enough to make a huge lifestyle change that would be disruptive. Even these days, veganism is frequently inconvenient in that you are always having to check packaging (items you think are safe may have changed their ingredients), trust other people when they are preparing food for you and check everywhere you go in advance for vegan options.

So how did I end up a vegan? It all started when I met my friend Sophies partner, Rey. We were having a barbecue in Burgess park in south London, and Sophie and I had to wait to eat because Rey and his friends wanted to cook first as they were vegan. They werent righteous or aggressive about our food choices, and we didnt roll our eyes or make jokes about theirs. We had a nice day out.

When Sophie and Rey announced they were expecting a baby, she told me she was going vegan, and would raise their child as a vegan. Im embarrassed about it now, but I was concerned all my knowledge of veganism came from random snippets of internet lore. What about calcium? What about protein? What about vitamins? Wasnt it dangerous? Sophie very patiently told me what she knew, and directed me to look things up for myself.

So, I did; visiting websites, reading leaflets, watching documentaries and filling in the gaps of my knowledge. What I learned started to stick: I became vegetarian again, lapsed and then went back to it. I couldnt reconcile what I had learned about the realities of the meat and dairy industries with the person I believed myself to be. I asked Sophie for the first time why she decided to become a vegan. She wasnt like me, a so-called advocate for the planet and animal rights. In fact, she was probably the last person Id expect to become a vegan. Because I dont need to eat meat, eggs or dairy, she told me. Things dont have to suffer or die for me to live well.

I love experimenting and finding ways of 'veganising' food I used to eat.

That was the moment it clicked. Consuming meat and dairy was admitting I was OK with animals suffering and dying for my pleasure/convenience/survival. But I could choose something different. So I did.

I became vegan two years ago. Of course, I am in a position where being a vegan is easy: no food allergies or relevant health issues, enough money to buy speciality vegan ingredients to liven things up, no dependents, time to cook. The impact that it has had on me has been huge. I have seen an improvement in my overall health an unexpected benefit; tighter friendships with vegan friends (its the new smoking in terms of social connection). Before I became vegan, I was never much of a cook, but now it has become a hobby. I love experimenting and finding ways of veganising food I used to eat.

More than that, it has begun to change every aspect of how I live as I try to always minimise suffering, and do my best for the planet. I am lucky to live in a town with eco-friendly refill shops. I have started making my own body moisturiser, cleaning spray, laundry detergent and toilet fizzers to cut down on disposable plastics and chemicals. I question where things I buy come from: who made them? How did they get here? How long will they last? I am trying to be a better consumer, even if it is inconvenient sometimes.

In the end, what it came down to was having the courage of my convictions to embrace veganism. Now I am proud to be walking the walk.

Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury is published by Scholastic in March (7.99). To buy a copy for 7.03 with free UK p&p for orders over 20, visit or call 0203 176 3837

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I dithered over veganism for years until a friends simple message convinced me - The Guardian

Trends at the 2020 Winter Fancy Food Show – Food Business News

Jan, 27th 2020 8:47 am, Article Recommended by Dr. J. Smith

SAN FRANCISCO Functional teas, instant noodles and global sauces were among emerging trends spotted at the Winter Fancy Food Show. The event, held Jan. 19-21 in San Francisco, featured more than 80,000 products on display from 1,400 exhibitors.

As the specialty food industry hits a record year of growth with $148.7 billion in sales, were seeing that health benefits and sustainability concerns will continue to drive more food and beverage trends in 2020, said Denise Purcell, head of content at the Specialty Food Association. But theres also room for fun, whether in the form of canned cocktails or global condiments.

In its 45th year, the Winter Fancy Food Show is busting at the seams, said Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association, which produces the event.

Weve come a long way in just three years, Mr. Kafarakis said. We were kind of outside the mainstream of food but now we intend for the food industry to recognize us as the place where you shape the future of food.

Nearly three in four consumers purchase specialty food products, which may be defined as premium, produced in small batches or featuring authentic recipes and high-quality ingredients, according to research from the Specialty Food Association and Mintel.

Beverages, snacks and plant-based foods are drivers of specialty segment sales, according to Mintel. Products positioned around diet claims, including low-sugar or high-protein, also draw interest.

Many of the products on display at the Winter Fancy Food Show from hot sauce to hotdog buns were developed to appeal to followers of the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet. Snack mixes, baking mixes, frozen desserts, nutritional bars, confections, spreads and coffee creamers prominently featured keto claims.

Oat milk continues to gain steam, starring in new non-dairy products where formulations based on almonds, coconut or cashews previously have dominated.

Brooklyn, N.Y.-based ice cream company Van Leeuwen unveiled a range of oat milk frozen desserts in flavors including caramel cookie, mocha latte, brown sugar chunk and dark chocolate peanut butter swirl. Planet Oat, a brand of non-dairy milk by dairy processor HP Hood L.L.C., Lynnfield, Mass., highlighted an expansion into oat milk-based frozen desserts at the show.

Califia Farms, Los Angeles, added oat-based creamers in unsweetened, vanilla and hazelnut varieties. Elmhurst Milked, L.L.C., Elma, N.Y., introduced single-serve oat milk in chocolate, vanilla and blueberry flavors and oat-based creamers in unsweetened, hazelnut, vanilla and chai spice varieties.

Miyokos Creamery, Sonoma, Calif., has added a first-of-its-kind spreadable cultured oat milk butter. From Rucksack Foods, Washington, Oatzarella is a dairy-free cheese alternative made from steel-cut oats and extra virgin olive oil.

Endangered Species Chocolate, Indianapolis, is launching oat milk chocolate bars. Varieties include dark chocolate, dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds, and dark chocolate with rice crisp.

Our consumers really dictate where we take our new product lines, said Whitney Bembenick, director of innovation at Endangered Species Chocolate. We saw the growing trend of milk alternative products available, and we knew we needed to respond to market demand. We looked at all of the options from almond to coconut milk but nothing compared to the smooth, creamy taste that oat milk brought to the table. With a taste closest to cows milk combined with the health benefits of oat milk, we knew we hit on something that was going to check off all the boxes for a healthier and tastier plant-based milk chocolate bar.

An Irish tomato relish and a Korean kimchi aioli were among globally inspired condiments launched at the show. Also featured were elevated ramen and instant noodles in the style of Indonesian and Singaporean cuisines.

The trend of global cuisines with a regional focus definitely continues, Ms. Purcell said. Were seeing products that are inspired by or made from traditional foods in the Caribbean and southwestern Asia, especially.

Persian flavors and ingredients appeared in trail mix form by Niloofar, a Chicago start-up, combining ingredients such as white mulberries, figs, golden berries and pistachios. The company debuted Persian-style almonds flavored with ingredients such as sumac, saffron and Persian shallots. Oyna Natural Foods, a Bay Area start-up, offered kuku, a Persian-style frittata made with herbs, vegetables, organic eggs and garbanzo flour.

Burmese cuisine a fusion of Chinese, Laotian, Indian and Thai flavors is at the heart of San Francisco-based Burma Love Foods portfolio. Products include spicy fermented tea leaf dressing, Burmese crunchy mix and a fermented tea leaf aioli.

Global sauces and seasonings from different regions are showing up a lot, especially from places like Cambodia and Burma, Ms. Purcell said.

Specialty snacks showcased at Winter Fancy Food included lotus root chips, popped water lily seeds, avocado puffs and tomato jerky.

Plant-based is taking some different directions, Ms. Purcell said. Our Trendspotter Panel is predicting a move away from lab-grown meat alternatives to refocusing on fruits and vegetables and whole foods themselves.

Adding convenience and customization to the category, several brands presented shelf-stable plant-based meal starters and mixes that may be combined with water or vegetables to create patties or crumbles. Great Life by Lucinda, Depoe Bay, Ore., offers just-add-water plant-based burger mixes containing brown rice, oats, lentils, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, vegetables, garbanzo flour and spices. The shelf-stable plant-based crumbles from Longeve, Los Angeles, contain only texturized pea protein. Urban Accents, Chicago, developed soy-based Ground Veggie Meatless Mixes in three globally-inspired flavors: sweet black garlic Korean barbecue, honey barbecue sloppy joe and chipotle street taco.

Urban Cheesecraft, San Francisco, produces dairy-free cheese and sauce mixes that may be customized with a base of nuts, seeds, vegetables or white beans.

Were seeing either new protein sources or pumping up proteins with vegetables or legumes in unexpected ways, Ms. Purcell said.

An example from The Daily Crave, Folsom, Calif., are grain-free churro-style treats made with black beans, red lentils, potato and cassava. Outstanding Foods, Santa Monica, Calif., launched Pig Out Pigless Pork Rinds made with pea protein, and Beanfields, Los Angeles, debuted Vegan Cracklins formulated with beans, cassava flour and chickpea protein. Flavors include chile lime and spicy nacho.

At Beanfields were trailblazing and creating new sub-segments in food and snack along the way, said Arnulfo Ventura, chief executive officer of Beanfields. Vegan Cracklins signify our first venture outside of chips, and we couldnt be more excited to share the news.

Environmentally friendly packaging for ice cream pints, tea and confections, as well as edible cutlery, were highlighted by brands at the show. Several companies demonstrated regenerative agriculture and sustainable sourcing and manufacturing practices.

Were seeing more and more sustainability-driven product development, Ms. Purcell said. That can mean plant-based, upcycled foods or packaging.

Products featuring upcycled ingredients included a new brownie mix from Renewal Mill, San Francisco, made with okara, the leftover pulp from soymilk and tofu production. Claire Schlemme, co-founder and c.e.o., said the company plans to work with manufacturers of oat milk to transform the byproduct into a nutritious and functional ingredient.

Planetarians, Palo Alto, Calif., uses defatted sunflower seeds, the byproduct of vegetable oil extraction, in protein- and fiber-rich snacks.

Ugly Pickle Co., San Mateo, Calif., uses misshapen or bruised cucumbers, squash and carrots to make pickles or condiments.

Bagged, leaf and ready-to-drink teas introduced at the show tap into health and tradition. Examples included Egyptian hibiscus tea, Thai tea concentrate and South African rooibos tea. A range of bottled teas feature mamaki, Hawaiian grown leaves harvested from volcanic soil.

Tea is a mature category, but there are a lot of different takes on tea functional, sparkling, some authentic global recipes, Ms. Purcell said.

Vegan Robs, a Sea Cliff, N.Y., maker of puffed snacks, introduced a line of functional bagged teas featuring ingredients such as ashwagandha, ginseng, kava root and hemp. The products are positioned to provide relief from anxiety and depression.

Numi Organic Tea, Oakland, Calif., unveiled Sweet Slumber tea blend of valerian root, chamomile, hop, lavender and lemon balm leaf.

Ingredients like valerian root, lavender and chamomile continue to trend and grow in popularity given their natural, effective relief from stress, anxiety and insomnia, said Ahmed Rahim, c.e.o. and co-founder of Numi Organic Tea. Thats why weve included these ingredients in Sweet Slumber, which can help people to calm down and sleep soundly at the end of the day.

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Trends at the 2020 Winter Fancy Food Show - Food Business News

Lightness of being – India Today

Jan, 27th 2020 8:47 am, Article Recommended by Dr. J. Smith

Plant-based, vegan diet is going to be one of the most popular diets this year

The last week of the years first month opens in the city on a healthy note. Imperfecto Shor Caf, one of Delhis few 24/7 cafs is hosting a nutrition camp at the restaurant with nutritionist Kavita Devgan, chef Neha Deepak Shah alongwith the restaurants chef Akanksha Dean.

This perhaps goes a long way to show how health is becoming paramount for not just nutritionist and a handful of health freaks but is slowly but surely becoming everyones agenda. Explains why a majority of millenials are constantly on a 'diet'. Elaborates nutritionist and dietician Kavita Devgan, Actually the word dieting has been given a wrong connotation; according to me the word diet does not mean giving up food, it just means replacing bad with the good. Chef Dean says, "At Imperfecto Shor we use healthy cooking methods like steaming, boiling, poaching, grilling, broiling etc. We also use seasonal ingredients that are freshly available in the market. We believe in using local organic produce and promoting local farmers as well."

Whats trending

According to the prominent clinical nutritionist Ishi Khosla, diet trends this year are heavily towards veganism and following a gluten-free diet. "I dont go into fads but I feel food sensitivities are increasing thats why people feel better on a vegan diet because it takes away the dairy. Essentially weve lost tolerance to modern wheat. Agricultural practices have changed rapidly in the 50 years and were now using hexaploid wheat compared to diploid wheat in the ancient times." She says good health is 80 percent diet and 20 percent other factors and suggests, "use alternative grains, rotate your grains, do millets, quinoa, rice of different kinds. We need to understand and the baggage of nutritional deficiencies which are almost with everyone today." Devgan too feels this year is going to see a clear move towards plants. She says, "This will be the year of the rise of part time vegetarians, that is people who consciously cut down on the amount of animal products they consume, and focus on including more plant based foods in their diet."

Myth check

The world of diets is replete with myths surrounding it. Add to that the overdose of information on the internet and you end up being thoroughly confused. Nutritionist Dr. Deepti Bagree, Head of Department Healthcare Division, RESET-Holistic Living Concepts busts the following myths.

Afaaf Shaikh, Nutritionist at Digestive Health Institute by Dr. Muffi lists the following.


By Delnaaz T Chand, Chief Dietician, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre

A BAD diet is one that is super low in nutrients which would hamper the functioning of the body. The signs of a bad diet are not overt and drastic because the body adapts.

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Lightness of being - India Today