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Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery: Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle with Non-GMO Products

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          Although Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery is located in Abbotsford, BC, its real roots can be traced to the Silver Hills Guest House wellness resort in the Okanagan Valley of BC. The Silver Hills Guest House purports the benefits of a vegan-friendly diet as a means of achieving a healthy and holistic lifestyle. Not long after the wellness resort opened in 1989, the resort staff discovered that they were unable to find wholesome, all-natural bread that fit their vegan dietary values. Brad Brousson, who was on the wellness resort staff at the time and who later became co-founder of Silver Hills Bakery, recalled a way of baking bread that his mother had taught him using sprouted grains. Silver Hills decided to make its own unique sprouted bread; the demand for the Silver Hills sprouted bread grew; and Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery was born.

        The process of sprouting grains consists of cleaning, rinsing, and soaking the grains in water until they begin to sprout. This process allows the grains to release their valuable nutrients. Silver Hills Bakery then mashes the sprouted grains into dough that is used to make their specialty sprouted bread.

        Silver Hills’ bread is healthy in a number of ways: The bakery’s products are organic, vegan, gluten-free and free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). The Silver Hills production facility is certified organic by QAI (Quality Assurance International), an independent regulatory agency. Also, the Silver Hills staff regularly tests all ingredients for GMO contamination, which means that the customer can be certain that no GMO ingredients will ever be used in Silver Hills products or sold in their retail store outlet.silverhillsbread

        In order to understand what makes a product non-GMO, general knowledge of what makes a product a genetically modified organism is required. GMOs are plants and animal species created through gene splicing or biotechnology (also referred to as genetic engineering). Most genetically modified plants were created to be resistant to pesticides and extreme temperature ranges (such as drought) for the purposes of improving nutrition and producing higher crop yields. Advocates for the GMO movement declare that GMO crops are more nutritious than non-GMO crops. Moreover, they argue that GMO crops are environmentally beneficial and aid in addressing world hunger. In many cases, however, GMO crops have demonstrated the opposite of these intended effects; they have instead raised many questions about consumer and environmental safety. In the United States and in Canada, governments have approved GMOs for use based primarily on studies conducted by the companies that created the GMOs (companies that will, subsequently, obtain profits from their ongoing sale and distribution).

       A number of crop strains are deemed to be at risk of being GMO (because they have, at some point, been bio-engineered). These include alfalfa, canola, corn, papaya, flax, rice, oil, yellow summer squash, soy, zucchini, and sugar beets. The bread-making industry often uses ingredients derived from these risk crops, such as citric acid, flavorings, sucrose, amino acids, sugar, yeast products, vitamins, and vegetable oil. Animal byproducts such as meat, eggs, milk, honey, and other bee products are at risk as well due to potential contamination from feed and other input factors. Wheat itself wasn’t considered an at-risk crop until the discovery of GMO wheat in an Oregon field in May 2013.

     As a part of its mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle, Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery joined the non-GMO movement. Silver Hills uses only non-GMO ingredients. These include amaranth, apples, barley, buckwheat, hemp, khorasan wheat, oats, millet, pumpkin seeds, rye, quinoa, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, whole grains, and spelt (a grain that is higher in protein than wheat).

To visit the Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery website, click here.

To learn more about GMOs and the non-GMO movement, and to read a list of companies that have joined the non-GMO movement, click here.

Food Injustice: The Revolution Starts In The Garden

Many low-income communities around the country are located in what policy makers, activists and media refer to as “food deserts” — places where there is an abundance of cheap, processed food and an absence of healthy, fresh, affordable food. In a food desert food options range from a variety of fast food chains to “food” sold at local corner stores, liquor stores, pharmacies, etc. I live in South Central Los Angeles and it is undoubtedly a food desert. But I do not call it that. I call it a food prison. And if our communities do not take the necessary steps to break out of this prison we will remain trapped by the immobilizing confines of our zip code.

From Chicago to Philadelphia to New Orleans, the new epidemic in African American communities and other low-income neighborhoods is a result of the food prison. This epidemic is one of preventable diseases: hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and so on. In these prisons the green grocer has been replaced by the dialysis center, the drive-thrus have become more deadly than the drive-bys, the rate of malnourished children is on par with the rate of the failing schools and teenagers are having heart attacks. As this epidemic is starting to gain the attention of the general public it is important that we frame it in terms of food injustice so as not to disguise what is really going on. Click here for more.EMA's "Yes To Carrots Garden Challenge"

Global Food Waste Now At Shamefully High Levels

WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – The world loses or wastes a staggering 25 percent to 33 percent of the food it produces for consumption, losses that can mean the difference between an adequate diet and malnutrition in many countries, the World Bank said in a report released on Thursday.

“The amount of food wasted and lost globally is shameful,” said Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank.

“Millions of people around the world go to bed hungry every night, and yet millions of tonnes of food end up in trash cans or spoiled on the way to market.”

In regions where undernourishment is common, such as Africa and South Asia, the food losses translate to 400 to 500 calories per person, per day. In the developed world, the losses can be more like 750 to 1,500 per day. Click here for more information.n-FOOD-WASTE-large

Freshair Boutique: Winnipeg’s First Certified Green Salon

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After Freshair Boutique owner Praise Okwumabua had two children, she began to notice just how badly the hair industry affected the environment. She established Freshair Boutique in 2010 with the goal of putting “the best you together, while doing the least damage possible to the earth and ourselves.” She recognized that there were ways her business could help the environment while helping customers with their beauty concerns.

Shortly after opening Freshair, Praise was able to get a green business certification for her business. She managed to do so by using environmentally conscious products that are sourced and manufactured in Winnipeg. All of Freshair’s shampoos and conditioners are free of harmful chemicals like parabens and sulphates, and most of its products are made with 100% natural ingredients. Freshair also offers recycling programs to its clients.

 The motto Praise adopted for the boutique was: “Reclaim your beauty, restore your individuality, rejuvinate your perspective.” The Freshair philosophy is that looking good is a large part of feeling good and that taking care of yourself physically and being aware of the environment that you live in should, and can, work together.

 To visit the Freshair Boutique website, click here.

 To read more about Freshair from Yelp’s business review, click here.

Monsanto Ad Parody Says What We’re All Thinking

This spoof of Monsanto, the company that seems to have a stranglehold on agricultural seed production, doesn’t pull any punches. It casts the company as proudly at odds with both nature and God, picking up where both leave off. “At Monsanto our fruits and vegetables, much like Spider-Man, are genetically engineered to withstand nature’s Hitler-esque assault on our food.” The spoof was created as part of HLG Studios rejected Super Bowl Commercials. Click here for more information. s-MONSANTO-PARODY-large300

California Legalized Selling Food Made At Home And Created Over A Thousand Local Businesses

A government official appears at a man’s door.  The man has been breaking the law: He has sold bread baked at home. This isn’t a page from Kafka—it happened to Mark Stambler in Los Angeles.For decades, Stambler has followed traditional methods to bake loaves of French bread.  The ingredients are simple: distilled water, sea salt, wild yeast and organic grains.  Stambler even mills the grain himself.  To make it easier to steam loaves, he built a wood-fired oven in his own backyard.  Stambler’s loaves came in first place at the Los Angeles County Fair and the California State Fair. Soon after that, Stambler got the idea to expand his hobby into a home business, which became Pagnol Boulanger.  Word of mouth spread.  In June 2011, The Los Angeles Times  profiled Stambler and his bread in a full-page feature. Click here for more information.

Chicken From China? Why You Should Be Worried

In March 2012 I launched on The Lunch Tray a Change.org petition  seeking to remove lean, finely textured beef (“LFTB,” more widely known as “pink slime”) from the ground beef procured by the USDA for the National School Lunch Program.  The petition garnered over a quarter of a million signatures in just a few days and ultimately led the USDA to change its policy, allowing school districts for the first time to opt out of receiving beef containing LFTB.

Though I’ve since been asked by activists and concerned readers to start petitions on other food-related issues, I didn’t want to exhaust your goodwill by urging you take action on one issue after another, no matter how important each individual cause might be.  But in the past few months I’ve been learning about a particular food safety issue and believe that an online petition is urgently needed to address it.  Earlier this week I launched that petition on Change.org , along with two respected food activists, Nancu Hehnergarth and Barbara Kowalcyk. Click here for more information.

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Five Foods That Are Killing the Planet

Spoiler alert: Stop reading now if you can’t live without Quarter Pounders,  packaged pastries, or expensive sushi. —Avital AndrewsWe’ll let Pulitzer Prize–winning food critic Jonathan Gold get on his soapbox for this one: “People need to stop eating BLUEFIN TUNA. Period. It’ll be difficult because bluefin is uncommonly delicious and tends to be served at high-end sushi bars, where the fashion is to say ‘omakase‘ and submit to the chef’s will. But the numbers of these magnificent fish are dropping fast. If we don’t stop eating them now, we’ll stop in a few years anyway because there won’t be any more.” Carl Safina, who founded the Blue Ocean Institute, adds, “Because they’re long-lived, bluefin populations don’t stand up well to heavy fishing pressure—that’s why they’re so depleted. It’s just too sad to eat them. Plus, big fish are high in mercury.” To rein in your share of the overfishing disaster currently unfolding—bluefin stock is down by more than 96 percent from unfished levels—order a vegetarian roll instead. Click here for more information.imagesCA8B3SPW

New Year Resolution for Cravings

According to a recent article in the New York Times, “Food Corporations Turn to Chefs in a Quest for Healthy Flavor”, Big Food companies like PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, and even fast food giants like Taco Bell are changing their ways in response to the increasing public demand for healthier food options. To improve their image as healthy food manufacturers, Big Food corporations have called upon top chefs to help them create healthy menu makeovers, infusing real, fresh, whole food into old recipe favorites.

 

Why is this happening now? Intense pressure brought on by politicians and their constituents (you and me!) has given these food manufacturers no choice but to respond to the public outcry for healthier food. It’s no longer enough for these companies to earn a profit by selling food that tastes good. People are beginning to use the power of the pocketbook to show these companies that the food they sell must also be nutritious. Click here for more information.

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These Oatmeal Recipes Are Worth Waking Up For

When it comes to breakfast rankings, oatmeal is pretty much at the bottom of the totem pole. Very few people actually want to eat oatmeal — especially when pancakes and bacon are an option. It’s just boring. But we eat it since it’s good for our health. Lucky for your health and palate, this is one problem you can easily fix with some creative oatmeal recipes. Put a fried egg on your oats and double up on protein. Or add a little bit of dark chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth (and it’s good for us too). Make it with quinoa to get in your daily dose of protein. Check out the oatmeal recipes below, and never eat a boring bowl again. Click here for some great recipes.slide_328101_3183961_free