Monday, May 11, 2009

Do You Know About GMO's?

Here's another food topic that caught my interest - GMO's.

GMO means "genetically modified organism", and it refers to an organism which has had its genetic material altered by genetic engineering. The largest application for this technology is in our food supply...many crops are grown which contain genetic modifications to make the plants resistant to herbicides and to make them produce pesticidal proteins.

The use of GMO's in our food chain is very controversial. Some say they're safe and others say they're not. The interesting thing is that the U.S. does not require labeling of any food products which are GMO's, so it's difficult to know what you are eating.

If I have a choice, I'd rather eat something that has not been genetically modified...many non-GMO's are labelled as such, but they can be hard to find. Health food stores, such as Whole Foods, and the "green" section of your local supermarkets, would be good places to look for non-GMO foods. For example, my Publix has a great buttery spread called "Earth Balance", which labels itself as non-GMO. Also, if you have a garden, be sure to shop for non-GMO seeds to make sure you know what you're growing.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

All Decafs are not Created Equal

I had discussed this on my first blog, but this was such a great discovery for us, that I wanted to share it with everyone. (I'm like Oprah that way :oP )

DH has to drink decaf, due to a scary incident with atrial flutter a couple of years ago. When he made the switch, he found that decaf upset his stomach, so he quit coffee altogether, but he really missed it.

Now, that just didn't make sense to me - if all you do is take the caffeine out of coffee, why should what is left upset your stomach if it didn't before? After I did a little research, I found that all decaffeination processeses are not created equal - many companies use chemicals to extract the caffeine from the coffee beans.

However, there is a process called the Swiss Water Process, that uses water and a carbon filtration system to remove caffeine. At the time that I did my research, there was one facility in the world that did this process (it's in Canada), and I think there are a number of different brands who market coffee with beans decaffeinated this way. You can check the can or bag labeling to see if it has the Swiss Water Process trademark.

DH's brand is Cafe Altura Dark Roast Decaf, which we buy locally at the Whole Foods store. It is so yummy - more pricey than regular coffee, but it is one of our few indulgences and we can make one can go a long way! Check out

Friday, May 8, 2009

Joining the Blogging World

Well, after several false starts, I 've decided to give blogging another try. I enjoy reading other blogs, and felt like I was missing out, so here goes!

My previous attempts were so narrow in focus that I quickly ran out of ideas to talk about. I'm very interested in healthy foods, so the first blog was called FOODFAQs...after a few posts on decaf coffee, whole foods and a couple of other things, that blog was kaput! My next blog was about sweepstakes, because I love to enter them, and have won a few cool prizes over the years. However, I discovered TONS of other web sites with info re: sweepstakes, so that one bit the dust pretty quickly.

Then I finally hit upon a brilliant idea - why don't I just blog about WHATEVER I want? WHAT A CONCEPT! Hopefully I won't run out of ideas - that would be a sad thing :o)

I had an interesting shopping experience tonight - I FINALLY took my new eyeglass prescriptions to Lenscrafters (I've had them since August - I'm not a procrastinator or anything). I knew it had been a long time since I'd gotten new glasses, but I couldn't believe it when they checked their computer and said my last visit was in 2002!! No wonder my current glasses drive me nuts.

I picked out 2 new frames, one for a pair of progressive lenses, and one for a pair of computer glasses. These are my new regular pair...they match my gray hair really well!
I just about choked when I saw the bill total - over $800!! And that was with a 30% AARP discount! I guess it will be another 7 years before I get new ones :o)