Tag Archives: Dee’s. Organic

Borsch Soup (beetroot soup) with Dee’s traditional vegan sausages

21 Aug

I have a lot of Ukrainian friends in the USA. Each and every one of them has a mum, granny, or sister who has the absolute best recipe for Borsch. It is traditionally made with beef or sausage cooked in stock until the meat is tender. Other ingredients are then added, and it is finished off with ‘smetana’ – Russian for sour cream.

Here is my meat-free or vegan version. I’ve tried to keep it as close to the original idea as possible, using Dee’s traditional vegan sausages.

Your will need:

2-3 tablespoon of olive oil

1 diced onion

1 diced carrots

1/3 of a dutch/white cabbage – shredded

2 fresh beetroots, peeled and grated

4-5 cloves garlic – chopped

2-3 pints of stock

200-300g of potatoes – cut into big cubes

25-30g of dill

Dee’s traditional vegan sausages

1-2 tomatoes diced or 1 can of chopped tomatoes (optional)

1 pepper diced (optional)

salt/pepper to taste

Method

1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion and brown. Add cabbage, carrots and cook for 5 min on low.

2. Add garlic, salt/pepper, stock, grated beetroot, peppers and tomatoes (add more stock if required). Cook for 30 min on low.

3. Add potatoes. Cook till soft. Add dill and more salt if needed. Cook for 5 min.

4. Cook sausages according to instruction. When cooked and cooled cut in to pieces and serve on or in the soup.

Serve with homemade vegan brown bread for a hearty meal.

Tips

When peeling and working with fresh beetroot use gloves and wear old clothes. Use a glass chopping board or plate. The red from the beetroot colours you skin and clothes and will stain your chopping board.

The sausages are best put in just before you serve.

Over consumption of beetroot can turn your urine a bright red blood like colour. The red pigment in beetroot is pretty strong and used to be used as a dye. Don’t say we didn’t warn you! 🙂

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Comment on 7 Foods to Avoid – source FoxNews

30 Jan

There is an article floating around in cyberspace that I said I would comment on from an Irish perspective.  It is important to note that the food industry in Ireland is strictly monitored and controlled and sometimes these articles filtering in from the USA can cause somewhat of a panic in people not altogether familiar with the  different regulations etc.

I have pasted in the article with a link to the source and my comments also.

Health Freedoms 

I try to eat cleanly whenever possible – that is avoiding foods that contain additives that’s why we go to great lengths to keep Dee’s Wholefoods Organic Burgers and “Real Meals” 100% additive free.  This article is a comment on  http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/12/01/7-foods-should-never-eat/?test=faces   with an Irish take on it.

1. The Endocrinologist Won’t Eat: Canned Tomatoes Fredrick Vom Saal, is an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A.

The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”

The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Roma or own brand.  You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe’s and Pomi.

Budget tip: If your recipe allows, substitute bottled pasta sauce for canned tomatoes. Look for pasta sauces with low sodium and few added ingredients, or you may have to adjust the recipe.

If we look and take notice that all baby food (which is highly regulated) comes in glass jars and not tins, that says something.   In the Summertime look our for farmer’s markets that have a glut of tomatoes and stock up your freezer with your own homemade passata.

2. The Farmer Won’t Eat: Corn-Fed Beef Joel Salatin is co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming.

The problem: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. But more money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. “We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure,” says Salatin.

The solution: Buy grass-fed beef, which can be found at specialty grocers, farmers’ markets, and nationally at Whole Foods. It’s usually labeled because it demands a premium, but if you don’t see it, ask your butcher.

Budget tip: Cuts on the bone are cheaper because processors charge extra for deboning. You can also buy direct from a local farmer, which can be as cheap as $5 per pound. To find a farmer near you, search eatwild.com.

We are lucky here in Ireland to have such sustainable agriculture systems and if you are a part-time meat-eater beef in Ireland is mostly grass fed.

3. The Toxicologist Won’t Eat: Microwave Popcorn Olga Naidenko, is a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group. The problem: Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize–and migrate into your popcorn. “They stay in your body for years and accumulate there,” says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.

The solution: Pop natural kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix.

Budget tip: Popping your own popcorn is dirt cheap

Invest in an air-popping pop-corn machine if you want fast popcorn without the oil. But it only takes seconds pop them in a saucepan also, use donegal rapeseed oil, which has a higher smoke point than olive oil for instance, so the oil gets hot but without the smoke of heating olive oil to popping temperature.    I’m not sure if Irish brands have this chemical in the lining of their bags but I will email to find out.

4. The Farm Director Won’t Eat: Nonorganic Potatoes Jeffrey Moyer is the chair of the National Organic Standards Board.The problem: Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes–the nation’s most popular vegetable–they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting. “Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won’t,” says Moyer, who is also farm director of the Rodale Institute (also owned by Rodale Inc., the publisher of Prevention). “I’ve talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.”The solution: Buy organic potatoes. Washing isn’t good enough if you’re trying to remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh.

Budget tip: Organic potatoes are only slightly more expensive than conventional spuds.

It’s Easy to grow your own potatoes in pots out the back garden or balcony have a look at GIY Ireland www.giyireland.com

 

5. The Fisheries Expert Won’t Eat: Farmed SalmonDr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany, published a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish.

The problem: Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. “You could eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer,” says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. “It’s that bad.” Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.

The solution: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon. Budget tip: Canned salmon, almost exclusively from wild catch, can be found for as little as $3 a can.

Again Ireland is lucky in that we have fantastic Irish Salmon that is farmed organically and the discounters sell this at a good price. Without all those horrible additives and contaminants – if you don’t believe me – have a look here http://www.burrensmokehouse.ie/blog/about/life-cycle-of-the-wild-salmon/organic-salmon

 

6. The Cancer Researcher Won’t Drink: Milk Produced With Artificial Hormones Rick North is project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility and former CEO of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society.The problem: Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. “When the government approved rBGH, it was thought that IGF-1 from milk would be broken down in the human digestive tract,” says North. As it turns out, the casein in milk protects most of it, according to several independent studies. “There’s not 100 percent proof that this is increasing cancer in humans,” admits North. “However, it’s banned in most industrialized countries.”

The solution: Check labels for rBGH-free, rBST-free, produced without artificial hormones, or organic milk. These phrases indicate rBGH-free products.

Budget tip: Try Wal-Mart’s Great Value label, which does not use rBGH.

Again, THIS HORMONE IS BANNED IN IRELAND

7. The Organic-Foods Expert Won’t Eat: Conventional Apples Mark Kastel, a former executive for agribusiness, is codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods.

The problem: If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it’s just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples. “Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers,” he says. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides (from all sources) with Parkinson’s disease.

The solution: Buy organic apples.

Budget tip: If you can’t afford organic, be sure to wash and peel them. But Kastel personally refuses to compromise. “I would rather see the trade-off being that I don’t buy that expensive electronic gadget,” he says. “Just a few of these decisions will accommodate an organic diet for a family.”

 Again, lots of organic apples available in Ireland – http://www.highbankorchards.com/products/   most houses in the country have apple trees and would be only too glad to let you pick them for free.   They are never sprayed and just come back year on year.  With the correct storage they last for months.   If you put a shop bought apple in boiling water for the most part it will turn kind of white due to the waxy coating on them.  If you don’t want to eat the wax, wash it off or peel the apple.  Or if you can’t do that and are on the move – rub off the wax with a napkin or even a jumper sleeve!

Source:

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/12/01/7-foods-should-never-eat/?test=faces

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