Sauerkraut – how to make it yourself

Submitted by Kristin Urdiales of naturehaditfirst.com

Raw fermented sauerkraut is one of those foods that once you have it in your life you don’t want to live without it. As a powerful digestive tonic, it is the go to in our house for hiccups, upset tummies, indigestion, and a myriad of other ailments. With anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, sauerkraut juice is the first medicine I give my kids in times of diarrhea and vomiting.

We have taken it to the Dominican Republic, because going on vacation without it is unimaginable. For our upcoming family trip to Florida, my mother-in-law has already requested that I bring 4 jars, enough to get the entire family through a week of consuming uncommon fare.

It is also one of those foods that if you have it bought from the store, you may not agree with a word I have just said. Store bought raw sauerkraut is often not organic, expensive, mushy, and a faint caricature of the powerful medicine I am talking about. Continue reading

Locavore – A Documentary

Locavore is a documentary about local food. It is a documentary everyone should see. A locavore is someone who eats locally. It is more than a trend, it is the future of a sustainable food system. What we eat is the building block for every cell in our body. In addition to the health benefits, local food is also a solution to our global environmental issues and food crisis. As illustrated in Locavore, for thousands of years, the human diet was whole organic, local food. In the last 60 years our food has become highly processed, genetically modified, with mass produced food components – deconstructed and stripped then re-animated for consumption.

Locavore begins with the excitement of kids picking their own food to great folk music. Then the documentary urges the viewer to ask the question, where does your food come from and is it safe? Our great grandparents (and some of our grandparents) ate fruits and veggies that came from their community or personal gardens. We simply don’t. As one interviewee states, “the food in the grocery store isn’t food, it only looks like food.” Locavore also explores the questions: Where did food grown locally disappear to? Where is the local butcher and why can’t we eat like our ancestors?

Local food tastes better, is better for you, it is better for the planet and better for your community. A hard hitting point in this documentary is that organic soil is full of life, with millions of organisms. Flavour is a sign of nutrients and life in the soil. Sadly, the current mass-produced food system degrades the soil through pesticides, herbicides mono cropping and soil erosion…we are killing the very life in the soil. This is a problem because plants harvests micro nutrients and trace minerals out of the ground which gives food its health value. Instead of eating food grown in healthy soil, we have created a soil that is a dead medium just pumped up on nitrogen, potassium and prosperous. Flavour is an indicator of health. Dead soil has much less flavour and less health benefits. Sadly, many people don’t know how much better their food should taste, because they do not eat locally or grow their own. Continue reading

Sunscreen for Your Little Ones

By Breanna Rothe from sustainablemommy.ca, Photo: Tricia Hong

“A consumer advocacy group has a warning for parents who think they‘re protecting  their family with sunscreen: You may be getting burned. The Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based nonprofit, has released an investigation of nearly 1,000 brand-name sunscreens that says four out of five don‘t adequately protect consumers and may contain harmful chemicals.” (Mercola)

With so many different sunscreens on the Market it is hard to decide which one is  right for your little ones. Beyond deciding on the brand and SPF, there are some other important factors to consider, such as the fact that many new studies such as the one mentioned above, have concluded that most of the ingredients in popular drugstore brands of sunscreen, contain chemicals that can be very harmful to your health, potentially cancer causing, and therefore not something you want to put on a baby or young child. Two main ingredients to avoid when purchasing a sunscreen for your family is anything containing Oxybenzone and Retinyl Palmitate. Continue reading