Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why "Going Organic" is more Important for Children than for Any Other Age Group

Choosing organic foods over conventional foods benefits any age group.  However, for children, it is exceedingly important.  Organic foods are produced without using genetically modified organisms or pesticides.  Most pesticides and herbicides are in fact neurotoxins, which is why they successfully kill insects  Because children's nervous systems are in development, they are especially vulnerable to their effects. 

Presently, more than 20% of the pesticides currently registered in the U.S. are linked to cancer, birth defects, developmental harm, or central nervous system damage.  (Others may have side effects that are yet to be discovered.  Pesticides are generally not tested for their long term, cumulative health consequences- or the effect they have in the combinations consumed today.)  Cancer rates steadily rising among children have also been correlated with the increase in the use of pesticides, herbicides, and genetically engineered foods.  Cancer is now the second leading cause of death among children under 15.  Most children, unless their parents' happen to shop at co-ops or health food stores, are heavily exposed to these unnatural substances:  More than half of the food on the typical grocery store shelves contains genetically engineered ingredients, for example, and nearly 100% of it contains pesticide residues. 

One of the most eye-opening studies of the result of pesticide exposure on children was done on preschool children in Mexico and published in Environmental Health Perspectives.  The study compared the development of children heavily exposed to pesticides to children who were not exposed.  The children exposed to elevated levels of pesticides:

- engaged in cooperative (group) play less frequently
- appeared less creative in their play
- exhibited more aggressive behavior
- became more easily upset or angry with minor corrective comments from parents
- tested lower on memorization skills
- showed less physical stamina
- had decreased hand-eye coordination

(In both areas where children were studied, mothers were generally home on a full-time basis and showed interest in their children, indicating that other factors were not a major cause of difference between the two groups.)

Research investigating the link between pesticide exposure and common health issues in children today has also shown promise for the power of organic foods as an aid in reversing damage caused by "chemical overload."  According to Gabriel Cousens, MD, "Some research has shown that when [hyperactive and attention deficit diagnosed] children are put on an organic diet there is a 50% cure rate, without doing anything else." Beyond that, he says, there are supplements and superfoods that can assist with nourishing and restoring brain and nervous system functioning to normal.  Detoxification of heavy metals and chemicals stored in tissues of the body of affected children, according the Cousens, also assists in helping their bodies to heal. 

Children have a higher need for nutrition because they are growing.  The USDA periodically publishes data on the nutritional content of food.  Since the 1940's, along with the increase in chemical farming methods, the average nutritional content of fresh fruits and vegetables and other foods has been steadily declining.  Thus, it is not only the presence of pesticides that makes conventional produce less desirable, it is also the distinct lack of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants in conventional produce that children require for optimal growth and development.  Organic produce tests significantly higher in all four of these categories.  All things considered, naturally grown food is a more nourishing choice for our next generation. 


Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine by Gabriel Cousens, M.D.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blueberry Corn Cake and Maca Almond Mylk

I was looking for a way to use some local organic corn meal I obtained at a Vermont Co-op when I stumbled upon a recipe for corn cake from Bob's Red Mill.  I adapted a little bit and added some blueberries to it to add some additional flavor and antioxidants.

Corn is a very interesting, nourishing grain in its organic, natural state (much of today's corn is genetically modified).  According to Paul Pitchford's Healing with Whole Foods, corn:

  • Nourishes the physical heart
  • Influences the stomach, improving appetite 
  • Regulates digestion
  • Promotes healthy teeth and gums
  • Tonifies the kidneys and helps to increase a low libido
Did you know that corn is the only commonly used native grain of the Western Hemisphere?  According to Macrobiotic theory, food that is grown in your local area (and even mores so, indigenous to your local area) is especially balancing and strengthening.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Corn Cake
makes 18 servings

1 c. organic corn flour
1 c. brown rice flour
4 T. palm (coconut) sugar or whole cane sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt or himalayan salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. xanthan gum
4 T. flax seeds mixed with 5 T. water
1/2 c. rice milk or water
2 T. melted ghee or coconut oil
about 8 oz. fresh or frozen blueberries, preferably wild!


1- Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl, and then add the remaining ingredients.
2- Pour batter into two greased 9-inch square pans.
3- Fold in blueberries.
4- Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Maca Almond Mylk

1 c. almonds
spring water
2 T. raw honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 generous pinches of dry ginger powder
2T. tocotrienols (rice bran solubles)
2 tsp. maca powder
one pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp. raw vanilla bean powder
2 T. coconut oil


1- Place the almonds in a blender.
2- Fill the blender up with water to the 4 c. mark.
3- Blend until creamy and then pour the liquid through a nut milk bag or a fine strainer.
4- Return the strained liquid to the blender and add in the additional ingredients.
5- Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Add probiotics to almond mylk to add friendly, healing flora to your drink and to make it last longer in the fridge. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sweet & Sour Vegetarian Kabocha Sandwich

This sandwich is a seemingly unusual combination of ingredients, however, the sweet taste of the kabocha squash is a perfect foil to the sour taste of the sauerkraut... Together they make sandwich magic happen!


Steamed Kabocha Squash
Raw Sauerkraut
Wilderness Family Naturals Mayo (or another natural brand of your choice)
Sami's Bakery Sourdough Millet Bread


1.  Toast the bread and spread mayo on it.
2.  Mush the kabocha squash in a thick layer on one slice.
3.  Add a few slices of avocado.
4.  Add the raw sauerkraut (which is full of enzymes that aid digestion and friendly probiotics!).

5.  Enjoy!