Hi Girls,

This afternoon I was making soup out of a humongous organic Jarrahdale squash grown in Northern Colorado.  It inspired me to start a category for you on cooking tips from me.  Not that I’m a great cook, which is evident through your frequent requests to have our family meal time at Guadalajara, not withstanding today’s lunch.  I learned today that you are not fans of squash soup, no offense taken.  Like typical children, you love my cooking when it involves chocolate, or sugar, or caramel.

When the ingredients include veggies from our organic vegetable share at Grant Farms, the number of groans multiply.  You do like most, but not all.  I still insist you eat them and find creative ways to get them in your meals.  I will recognize that my definition of creative cooking might be your definition of child abuse, so perhaps I owe you an apology for some of my concoctions.    It’s okay, in time you’ll develop a taste for different things and better appreciate how good they are for you…and hopefully in time I will become a better cook!

It’s important to have fun and enjoy what you are doing, that’s why I love that you girls like helping out in the kitchen so much.  I don’t take cooking all that seriously, but I do have one exception that I am passionate about.  Whenever possible, support your local farmers and use organic/all natural/hormone free ingredients.  That’s really the only thing I strongly urge you to consider when cooking. The ingredients you choose to use make a difference not only in your health, but on the environment for future generations to come after you.  It’s worth the extra money, especially with the growing number of mass produced foods and deregulation of how foods are being grown and distributed.

Let me stand on my soap box for just a minute on this one (because it is imporant for you to know).  There is a fine line with deregulation and regulation, sometimes the government (the very ones who are in control of the regulatory process), are mired with questionable practices. The company Monsanto is a great example of this.  They are the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed.  There is a lot of controversy over this as you’ll gather through research and more discussion the topic.  Given recent evidence that genetically engineered food causes sterility and infant mortality, and the damage Monsanto’s RoundUp is doing, (creating herbicide-resistant super weeds) and ravaging the root systems of “Roundup Ready” plants, our nation’s position on agriculture policy has never been more important.  The senior FDA food safety adviser Michael Taylor also served as the Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto Corp. for four years.  There are many others too, such as Roger Beachy, chief of USDA’s  National Institute of Food and Agriculture who used to be a president of a science center that was Monsanto’s non-profit.  The example of Monsanto staff holding positions of power in the government shows the dangers about the revolving door between the food industry and the government agencies that regulate it.

I struggled reading this article, but wanted to share it with you:  Whole Foods Markets surrenders to Monsanto/GMO Giant.  You can make good choices and you have the ability to impact change every time you shop or if you decide to plant a garden on your own.  I just want to encourage both of you to educate yourselves on important issues because it gives you the opportunity to make better decisions for yourselves and your families.

My first Cooking Tip:

Know where your food is coming from and support your local farmers!

Here are some of my favorite documentaries on the subject, click the title and you can see the trailer:

1) The Future of Food
2) Food, Inc.
3) Fresh
4) Processed People

Here are some great books on the subject:

1) Omnivore’s Dilemma for Kids or the Adult version: Omnivore’s Dilemma
2) In Defense of Food
3) Fast Food Nation

Just in case I’m not here tomorrow, know that I encourage you to support your local farmers and educate yourselves on the choices you make.  Have fun in the kitchen!  Most importantly, know that I love you more than all the chocolate chip cookies in the world!

xoxo, Mom

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