Julie Morris is a Los Angeles-based writer and graphic designer, established primarily within the natural food industry. Whether advertising organic nutrition, growing her own edibles, creating recipes for green companies, or simply enjoying the strength of beautiful food, she is dedicated to promoting the art and energy in everyday natural living.
Crammed amongst a long but patient line outside of the Nuart Theater in Los Angeles, we stood and waited to view the new documentary FOOD, INC. I was excited to see a film chronicling the business-side of the food industry, and its relationship with the true benefit of what ends up on the fork.
My dear Food, Inc: you do not disappoint.
Tackling some familiar concerning concepts — the inhumanity of factory farming, the danger of pesticides, the fears about genetically modified seeds — Food, Inc. connects all the dots: composing a compelling narrative regarding the loss of Americana agronomics through the introduction of corrupt business, and its consequence of destroying our health for the sake of profit. But doom and gloom is not the only message here, and the film also does an excellent job in offering simple solutions, which can promote positive change in food safety, personal health, industry economics and environmental security.
Since its opening, the film has quickly become the darling of news outlets across the US — one after another praising the message as exceptionally relevant and compelling, while packaged in a well organized, researched, and grounded medium. Food, Inc. speaks our language: It’s pretty clear we want change. It’s pretty clear we want to feel good. And we obviously want to do the right thing. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
I grew up on broccoli with cheese – my mother made it once a week. Such a delicious combo! Over the years I’ve turned her family classic into an even more eco-friendly and healthy modern dish . . . without sacrificing any of the flavor. This dairy-free and cholesterol-free version brims with calcium, iron and protein, while also complimented by all the wonderful antioxidants and polyphenols from the broccoli.
I like to serve this recipe “as is” (uncooked), enjoying the maximum nutritional potential of these great superfoods. If you’re craving a warm dish though, no worries — simply steam the florets lightly for a few minutes, then combine with the sauce. Either way, the delicious cheesy flavor and addictive broccoli crunch will have you coming back for a healthy second round every time.
Asian Carrot Avocado Salad and Dressing(vegan, raw) Recipe by Julie Morris
Julie Morris is one of our contributing authors and now she has started making her own food videos. So, we decided it would actually be nice to see some of the writers, so we have posting this very entertaining and beautiful recipe video for an Asian Carrot Avocado Salad with a dressing.
Julie decided to make this salad, to break away from a purely green salad, adding some excitement to her normal eating routine. This is a very quick recipe anyone can make.
It doesn’t take a green thumb to get green — and sprouts are the living proof. If you can take care of a goldfish, you can easily take care of sprouts: they require about 2 minutes a day in terms of maintenance, all in the convenience of your own kitchen. No dirt and no bugs, just beautiful jars and baskets brimming with micro-veggies, bringing your kitchen (and your diet) alive. No patience is required, either — which is a good thing, if you’re like me — as you can go from seed to harvest in just a matter of days. I like to start a new batch a few times a week, to ensure that I always have fresh sprouts to enjoy in salads, wraps, breads and snacks.
Reasons To Eat Your Mini-Greens | Healthy and Cheap
Sprouts are baby plants and vegetables. In many ways, the sprout stage of a plant is its nutritional prime. An incredibly nutrient dense food, sprouts boast copious amounts of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, antioxidants, and even protein. The process of germination dramatically improves the nutritional profile of the dormant seed — multiplying the seed’s nutrition benefit anywhere from 300 to 1,200 percent! And many sprouts reign nutritionally supreme when compared to their corresponding adult plants, too. As listed in Sprouts: The Miracle Food by Steve Meyerowitz, 100 mg of radish sprouts contain almost twice the calcium, and thirty-nine times the Vitamin A of an equal amount of mature radish. Sprouts are condensed nutrition at its finest.
There are a lot of bars out there. Food bars, energy bars, protein bars, nutrition bars, diet bars, fiber bars, raw bars… bars bars bars and more bars!
A quick search on Amazon yields 2,759 different varieties. Think about it: 2,759 different kinds of neatly packaged little edible rectangles. It’s like space food… except on earth. (I think half of them are chocolate peanut flavor, too.)
Obviously not all food bars are created equal. So, what makes a good one?
Since reality TV does such a good job of selecting “winners,” we’ll just call our selection process Dancing with the Bars. Nifty, eh? In this case, the bars are the dancers, and we’re the expert judges. Oh, and just so you know: I’m totally wearing my fuchsia sequined flamenco mini dress with 4” heels and a tiara — not necessary for judging bars, but always a good touch.
It’s always possible there’s a corporate conspiracy at work, but all of a sudden it seems like everyone is avoiding gluten. And while the wheat industry may be stocking up on tissues, the rest of the food industry has forged ahead. If you look around, you’ll find the marketplace is flooded with thousands of gluten-free goodies — everything from gluten-free breads to gluten-free cake mix to gluten-free salad dressings. Retailers have dedicated entire sections of their stores to “gluten-free zones,” and according to the marketing research firm Packaged Facts, sales of gluten-free products have increased from $210 million in 2001 to just shy of $700 million in 2006. That’s a lot of not-gluten.
But here’s my question: why are we supposed to avoid gluten?
By definition, gluten is just a fancy name for a protein mixture found in wheat. It’s used very broadly in foods because it acts like a thickening agent or glue to help ingredients stick together (like in bread dough). Gluten occurs naturally in all forms of wheat, and can be found in trace elements in other grains like barley and rye due to the grains being processed on the same machines as their gluten-ridden counterparts. In the processed food world especially, gluten is ubiquitous: cereals, soups, ice cream, candy, pasta, pastries… McDonalds even admitted recently that their french fries had gluten in the flavoring.
We’ve all heard the magical claims of “raw food equals weight loss”. And personally speaking, I’ve shed a few pounds eating raw foods. But I’ve also gained a couple eating raw foods. This isn’t because I’m a crappy magician. It’s because raw foods don’t have any mystic qualities that simply make the pounds just go poof and disappear. While that would be nice, the truth is, there is no easy fix. Weight loss doesn’t work like that.
Before you give me the evil eye, let me be the first to say that I LOVE raw foods. Any diet that incorporates copious amounts of fresh vegetables and fruit is going to be a superfantastic one in my book. And when practiced in a balanced matter, raw foods are a terrific contribution to abundant health.
You don’t have to be a hardcore green foodie to know the culinary power of a good oil. But in terms of nutritional reputation, some oils have had it worse than others. Cue the tropical oils: palm and coconut. There’s no denying they taste great, but man, those guys have had it tough. In the 1980’s, critics claimed the high level of saturated fat found in tropical oils was harmful: a message largely campaigned by the wonderful folks that brought you trans-fats.
Of course now that it’s trans-fats that are on the chopping block, new studies are looking back to the tropical oils, only this time as a healthy dietary addition. It seems the plant-based, cholesterol-free tropical oils not only pose no health threats, but actually contain many health-giving properties. Palm oil is considered one of the best oils for high heat cooking applications, as its fatty acid chains remain safely stable under the higher temperatures. It is also extremely high in bioavailable antioxidants, and is known, in fact, to be one of the richest sources of cartinoids — more than 30 times what is contained in carrots. Take into account the high amounts of vitamin E, as well as the ability to help with cardiovascular disease, and it’s easy to see why palm oil is a respected oil in the nutritional world. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
I’m pretty sure the first human to try eating a durian was either clinically insane, starving to death, or my buddy from college (seriously — that guy would eat ANYTHING). After all, a durian is a massive fruit (weighing up to ten pounds) that has an outside shell completely covered in unfriendly spikes — spikes which kill several unlucky people a year…after a piece of the fruit falls on their head.
The inside of a durian isn’t much more inviting either, containing a collection of slimy pulpy pillows that look a lot like gelatinous scrambled eggs. And then, of course, there’s the durian smell that’s so outrageously in-your-face strong (resembling a mixture of tropical perfume and rotting garbage) that the fruit is banned — by law — from many indoor public spaces in the durian’s native Southeast Asia.
Mmm… corn. How wonderful does a great, big, sweet, freshly barbequed yellow ear of corn sound to ya (especially one spliced with virus genes, and genetically engineered to include a little bit of insecticide in every kernel)? What? You don’t like virus genes? Oh, and come on — you really can’t even TASTE the Roundup residue. Okay, okay. So, maybe that’s not so wonderful. But regardless of wonderful, that’s exactly what 75% of the corn grown in the United States is: Genetically Modified (GMO). I’ll say it again: 75% percent. Out with the kitchen apron and in with the lab coat. And the worst part is, though you may have heard of GMOs, knowing whether or not you’re eating them is a different story, since the U.S. currently has no labeling requirements on food crafted from biotechnology.
Corn, soy, canola and cotton — these are the big four to remember. Aside from being the largest crops grown on American soil, they’re also the crops most frequently grown using Genetically Modified Seeds. Referred to as GE (Genetically Engineered) and GM or GMO (Genetically Modified), these new “plants” are made up of DNA that’s been spliced with all kinds of different genes in the hope of making the crop hardier and more profitable. “Potatoes may be spliced with chicken genes, tomatoes spliced with fish genes, corn spliced with ‘virus’ genes, pigs spliced with human genes… bacteria, insect and animal combinations, and various plant combinations [are] produced.” (via Safe 2 Use)
It’s that time of year again. Just as all the trees burst forth with flowers and brilliantly colored buds open wide to catch the warm sun, I, in turn, blossom into a sneezing, watery-eyed, allergic phlegm-ball. Nature can be so cruel.
Seasonal allergies are the result of excessive immune response to substances that are not normally harmful — like pollen. Daniel Gagnon, the medicinal herbalist for Herbs Etc., puts it well: “Think of it as having a fly in the house. Instead of using a fly swatter to get rid of it, a shotgun is used to dispose of the intruder. You may get rid of the fly, but the damage to the room will be extensive.” The damage Daniel is referring to is the unfortunate result of a stressed out immune system, often leading to compromised immunity and weakened adrenal glands. Annoying sniffles aside, fighting allergies often leaves the body tired and more exposed to new allergies as well as illness.