Set oven to 350 degrees.  This will make two loaves of zucchini bread.  Feel free to add walnuts too but I personally dont like nuts in my bread.  Either way its yummy!

3 organic/free range eggs

1 cup veg oil

2 cups sugar

2 cups grated zucchini

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached white flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup walnuts optional

Beat eggs until foamy.  Beat in oil, sugar, zucchini, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, along with a dash of salt.  Mix well and blend in flour.  Pour into greased bread pans and bake for 1 hour 40 minutes.  Amazing served warm with butter and cream cheese.

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Some days I feel like all my two year old eats is peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat sandwiches.  Easy to bring with you, easy to make, and healthy for them right?  Well if your not buying organic peanut butter then no not really.  You are giving them a healthy dose of chemicals and pesticides that not only causes damage to the farms and wildlife, but possibly your kids.  Here I was worried about buying organic milk and fruit, which is great too but I realized that he was eating peanut butter almost every day.

Peanuts are actually a legume and because of their close contact with the soil and their porous shell they contain many pesticides that are used on the crops.  Peanut crops are one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the US.  On top of that in moist climates they can produce a fungus that gives off a possible cancer causing agent.

Dont get me wrong…peanuts are very healthy if eaten organically.  Many studies prove that peanuts can reduce the risk of  heart disease and lower your risks for getting type 2 diabetes.  They also are a great source of fiber, vitamin E, potassium, folate, zinc and magnesium. 

So I went to the Shoprite by my house and they do carry a store brand organic peanut butter.  As with most of Shoprite’s store brand organics I was pleased.   It tastes good but it is more expensive than regular peanut butter.  I think its well worth the money on the weeks I can afford it to make sure my kids are eating healthy and chemical free.  I just wish I had realized that all alot sooner!

Ok, so this isnt necessarily organic but it can be made with “regular” ingredients that are naturally low in pesticides and it only takes a few minutes to make.   Onions are very low in pesticides and pumpkin isnt listed on the EWG pesticide list but I would assume it would fall into the category of a winter squash and that is low in pesticide as well.  I found the original receipe in Parents magazine but didnt have all the ingredients so  I used what was in my kitchen and tweaked it to my taste.  My son loves this pasta and it has two servings of veggies but dont tell him! 

1 box of whole wheat penne pasta

olive oil

1 small onion finely diced

1 1/2 cups of chicken stock (can use veggie too)

1/4 cup organic milk

a hefty dollop of cream cheese

1 can of pumpkin (15 oz)

dash of cinnamon, salt, and pepper

grated parmesan cheese for serving

cook the pasta as usual.  In saucepan sautee onions with olive oil until tender.  Wisk in broth, milk, pumpkin,  spices, and cream cheese.  Simmer for five minutes stirring occasionally.  Toss with pasta.  Spoon into bowls and add parm cheese on top. 

Enjoy!

Nothing makes me crazier than seeing parents at a restaurant ordering their toddler soda or even worse diet soda.   However, I do understand children asking for it since they see commercials and other kids enjoying it right before their eyes.  My two year old asks for it and has never even tasted it!  So this is my solution to giving him “soda” and let me just say if your pregnant and missing a real cocktail this can be a nice substitute too…just imagine its a mimosa!

  • Take 3/4 of your glass and fill with seltzer water ( i like raspberry flavor or lemon lime but plain works good too)
  • Fill the rest of your glass with orange juice (you can substitute any juice you like)

its sweet and bubbly just like soda so the kids will like it but its tons less sugar and healthier too!  Enjoy!

You may have heard about BPA being a dangerous chemical that is found in plastic baby bottles and many hard plastics.  But there is actually more BPA found in canned foods than many of these items.  This chemical is used to line metal food and drink cans and was found in over half of 97 cans of name brand fruits, veggies, soda, and other common foods in a study done by the Environmental Working Group. 

Amazingly more than 100 studies have found BPA to be toxic at low levels but not a single regulatory agency has updated safety standards to reflect this low-dose toxicity.  The FDA is responsible for ensuring that food packaging chemicals like BPA are safe. In the case of BPA, the agency has deemed the chemical safe even though its own exposure estimates for infants exceed doses shown to permanently harm the developing male reproductive system.

Of all foods tested, chicken soup, infant formula, and ravioli had BPA levels of highest concern. Just one to three servings of foods with these concentrations could expose a woman or child to BPA at levels that caused serious adverse effects in animal tests.   There are some ways to reduce your exposure to BPA in canned goods and make good choices at the grocery store. 

  1. Avoid canned tomato sauce because the acidity in the tomatoes causes the chemical to leach from the lining of the can.  Better to choose tomato sauce in a glass jar. 
  2. Choose fresh or frozen veggies instead of canned.  Not only will they be BPA free but they have better nutritional content over veggie that have been through the canning process.
  3. Canned soda and juice often contain BPA.  Don’t drink soda because its bad for your health anyway!  Choose juice in plastic or glass bottles to be safe.
  4. Use powdered infant formula instead of liquid formula.   Liquid formula can test 8 to 20 times higher than powdered because its more concentrated and not diluted by water. 

This doesnt mean you have to give up all your canned items, just use them in moderation and avoid your children eating them regularly since they are more suseptable to toxicity.  As we usually find its best to eat fresh organic food over any type of food that has been processed.  For more info on this testing please visit www.ewg.org

www.theorganicmommy.org

Here is a bill that I think all parents need to support and be informed about.  The Kid-Safe Chemicals Act is trying to overhaul the nations chemical regulatory laws.  The Toxic Substances Control Act, first passed in 1976, has never been amended to date.  This act declared 62,000 chemicals “safe” with little or no data to support this policy.  Since that time another 20,000 chemicals have been put into commerce in the USA, also with little or no data to support their safety. 

The human race is now polluted with hundreds of industrial chemicals with little understanding of the consequences on our bodies.  Babies are born pre-polluted with as many as 300 chemicals already in their bodies when they enter the world!  Its no wonder that in recent years pollution and toxins have been linked to increasing Cancers, Autism, ADHD, Infertility, and Birth Defects just to name a few.  But even with mounting evidence of a link between toxins and diseases on the rise, our government has almost no authority to protect people from these chemicals on the market. 

Here are some things to think about regarding chemicals and our childrens health:

  • The USA has the highest cancer rates in the world.  One in every three women and one in every two men will develop cancer in their lifetime. 
  • One in six children have a developmental disorder.  The EWG found that 242 chemicals can be linked to brain and nervous system damage.  One in every 150 children is autistic.  One in 15 kids is diagnosed with ADHD.
  • Childhood asthma has doubled in past 20 years.  Auto-immune diseases occur in at least 5-8% of the population.  Type 1 diabetes in children is increasing 5% every year.
  • One in every 8 babies is premature.  EWG has identified 237 chemicals linked to birth defects.  One in 125 baby boys have reproductive deformities. 
  • Infertility is on the rise.  One in ten US couples is infertile.  Girls are entering puberty earlier than ever before.

The campaign to pass the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act will encompass the following items:

  • requires that industrial chemicals be safe for infants and children
  • requires that new chemicals be safety tested before sold
  • requires chemical manufacturers to test and prove that the 62,000 chemicals already on the market be tested for safety in order for them to remain in commerce
  • requires EPA to review chemicals that are found in people to be on an expedited schedule
  • requires monitoring and regular updates of health and safety data
  • provides incentives for manufacturers to further reduce health hazards
  • requires EPA to promote alternatives to animal testing
  • requires information be publicly available

What is not to love about this bill?  Through the kid-safe chemicals act we can give our children a safer and healthier future.  Thanks to the Environmental Working Group for pushing to pass this bill and all parents should sign the petition at the link below. 

To view Kid Safe House Bill 6100 http://www.ewg.org/files/Kid-Safe-HR6100.pdf

To view Kid Safe Senate Bill 3040  http://www.ewg.org/files/Kid-Safe-S3040.pdf

To send a letter to your congressman asking them to support this bill http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/642/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=24973

 

www.theorganicmommy.org

As if there werent enough things that have toxic chemicals in them now it seems that high fructose corn syrup is one more to add to the list.  Now I’m sure many of us try to avoid this anyway seeing that we know sugar isnt that healthy for us but you many not even realize how many foods contain this.  Many condiments, salad dressings, cereals, yogurts, lunch meats, and prepared breads and baked goods contain hfcs as well as sodas and sweets that you might expect.  Aside from healthy eating in general it has now been proven that hfcs tests positive for mercury! 

In a study published by Environmental Health, researchers found that almost half the samples of hfcs had detectable levels of mercury.  Another study found that one in three of 55 brand name foods contained mercury where hfcs is the first or second ingredient.  Mercury in all its forms is toxic and considering how much hfcs some children and teens may be ingesting it could be a significant amount to consider.  The average person takes in about 12 teaspoons of hfcs per day but many teens and consumers may ingest up to 80% more than the average person.

Have you seen the new commercials for hfcs now from the corn refiners association?  They are trying to make it seem that hfcs is just the same as sugar and in moderation its just fine because its made from corn.  Funny how there is no mention of mercury in the process!  The use of mercury containing caustic soda in the process to make hfcs is where the contamination occurs.  The refiners association is quick to say that there are now mercury free versions of this process but the truth is that there are four major plants that still use the older technology and produce hfcs with caustic soda. 

Once again it seems that the FDA is no where to be found when it comes to dangers in our foods.  If there are mercury free alternatives shouldnt there be a mandate that hfcs producers must use these methods?  There is no way to tell which version of hfcs is in products so you wont be able to tell if yours is the contaminated version or not so according to this research you have a 50/50 chance of getting mercury in your food. 

We all know that eating alot of sugar and processed food is not a healthy way to eat but now this is just one more reason to watch what your kids are eating and drinking.  So many “juice” drinks contain hfcs so its important to pay attention to what your buying in the grocery store for your family.  If possible cut down on your consumption of prepared and processed foods and opt for natural ingredients that you can put together yourself. 

www.theorganicmommy.org