Mar 18 2013

Hello there, Peep Patriots! Thanks for following this latest turn of organic food events. Last Wednesday, I awoke to an e-mail call for action from the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) at

Last Monday night, two riders had been placed deep with the Continuing Resolution, CR, bill coming to a vote in the Senate.

As explained on “The first provision is the “Monsanto rider” that destroys the few protections that currently exist against the planting of new genetically engineered crops.  It is intended to force USDA to grant temporary permits and deregulations of GMO crops even if a Federal court rules that USDA hadn’t adequately considered the environmental or economic risks to farmers — as has been the case.  This would negate any meaningful judicial review of USDA’s decisions to allow commercialization of GMO crops.

The second provision will allow giant Agribusiness companies to continue abusive and deceptive practices that hurt livestock and poultry farmers.”

Organic farms are under attack by agri-giants.

Dr. Weston A. Price was a Dentist in the 1930’s who astutely observed many of the problems we have with our teeth here in the United States are due to our diets and toxic chemicals. To document his hypothesis, Dr. Price traveled the world meeting with indigenous peoples on traditional diets.

Dr. Price determined naturally occurring minimally processed foods are far superior. He advised diets of fresh whole milk with its enzymes intact, unpasteurized cheese, free range poultry and grass fed, pastured meats were the healthy throwbacks modern societies were lacking. He also recognized that most of the world consumed daily quantities of fermented foods such as Kim-chee and sauerkraut which provide pro-biotic bacteria to aid in digestion.

So, having followed the Weston A. Price diet since 2008, I was at the ready to spread the word about the Rider to protect GMO foods. The vote was supposed to be that day or the next, Wednesday or Thursday, so I copy/pasted the WAPF e-mail to a BlogHer post and started Tweeting anyone who might be like-minded.

On Thursday, March 14, 2013, another WAPF e-mail arrived. It announced that like John Wayne riding in to save the day, Senator Jon Tester, (D-MT) had introduced two different amendments to strike BOTH of these riders. Senator Tester is a generational organic farmer, the only one in the Senate.


 Section 735, or the “Monsanto Rider,” of this proposed Continuing Resolution is a rider that would strip federal courts of authority to stop plantings of illegal transgenic crops.

Amendment 74 is the proposed Tester Amendment to fix the biotech rider.

Section 742 of this proposed Continuing Resolution would eliminate the final GIPSA rule. This rule, which went into effect in 2012, provides basic contract fairness protections to livestock growers.

Amendment 75 is the proposed Tester Amendment to fix the GIPSA rider.

Here’s a good site to sign on On-Line petition: Click here to sign

We are not alone! Support for the two Tester Amendments: Food Democracy NOW!; The Great States of North Carolina and South Carolina;;; TheNorthwestFoodFight; Center for Food Safety; Environmental Working Group and many, many more.

Choose the format that feels most comfortable. Write at the above sites or call your Senators here by finding their phone numbers here.

Stop the two riders that were anonymously and maliciously placed on the Continuing Resolution bill. These riders would strip federal courts of their authority to halt the sale and planting of an illegal, potentially hazardous genetically engineered crop. It would compel the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow continued planting of that same crop upon request. And, in addition, giant agribusiness would be enabled to continue abusive and deceptive practices that hurt livestock and poultry farmers.”

Please tell the Senator to vote for two amendments to the Continuing Resolution introduced by Senator Jon Tester of Montana that protect family farmers from abuses by the meat industry and support review of biotechnology products.  These two amendments will stand up for family farmers, ensure that independent producers have a fair chance in the livestock market, and ensure that courts can review biotechnology products.


CALL and WRITE your two Senators TODAY!

VOTE is imminent!

ASK them to support the Tester amendments

To enlarge, click here:  Fed Government/Monsanto Overlap (Stephanie Herman, / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

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Filed under: Food,Health,Uncategorized — admin @ 7:48 am Comments (0)
Jan 27 2013

How sublime. Meeting a friend in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., for afternoon tea at a popular Chinese tea house, called Ching Ching Cha.

It was a cold, crisp Saturday morning here in Maryland. Running errands before heading into the City heightened our appetite for good food and restful warmth. Following a great suggestion, we met on Wisconsin Avenue, between M Street and the C&O Canal at Ching Ching Cha, a Tea House carefully appointed in true Chinese Tea House style.

A bit of heavenly China in Washington, D.C.

Cha is the Chinese word for tea, and as the web site shares, the founder of Ching Ching Cha is named “Ching Ching.” It was easy to settle in and relax with gracious service setting off a warm earth toned ambiance. There are many reviews that state Ching Ching Cha is just like the tea houses in China. I found a number of YouTube videos showing that to be true.

Sky lights, rosewood and Chinese art compliment the tea.

What a sanctuary we found in the middle of Saturday errands. Ching Ching Cha serves more than seventy teas, each one a high quality loose leaf tea prepared to order.  We noticed the more tea we drank , the more relaxed we felt, so having had a hard week, we decided we were going to stay a while.

The teas we selected had brewing techniques similar to these.

Each type of tea seems to require special brewing techniques along with individual serving vessels. The rituals and associated vessels, cups, pots and trays create a fascinating interplay for each guest. The tea preparations encourage total focus on enjoying the beverage. We became totally absorbed with the preparation of and sipping of hot tea.

A central pot, the source of our hot water, for making our teas.

Concentrating on tea preparation relieves the mind of other worries. Good conversation along with the quiet, music free atmosphere of the tea house insulated us from outside cares. Soon the warm, delightfully fragrant beverage was ready to be enjoyed and our minds were calm, ready to be delighted.

Lacquered trays held Tea Meals of meat and freshly steamed vegetables.

We really had a good time. We decided to stay all afternoon, enjoying more than one Tea Meal, several Tea Snacks and all three of Ching Ching Cha’s tasty desserts: Coconut Tarts, Almond Cookies and Lotus Seed Puff Pastries. The time went quickly. Even though we eventually had to go back out into our hectic lives, when we left, we carried a bit of the Chinese Tea House with us.

We began serenely driving back onto the Washington, D.C., I-495 Beltway, to go home alert and refreshed.

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Nov 27 2012

On June 29, 2012, our area of the east coast was hit with 65-75 mile an hour winds and much damage from fallen trees.

Power was out for days with half a million residents in Montgomery County, Maryland affected. We were only out three days and our freezers held so we had no loss of food and besides, we didn’t leave town. But, some of our neighbors did leave, rather than live in the dark. When they returned, they complained about having to throw away food, many hundreds of dollars worth. At the time, I didn’t know there was anything else to do.

If severe weather threatens, donate your perishable foods.

I didn’t realize, and never had thought about donating food that might spoil to foodbanks before leaving town. After reading an article in the newspaper, though, I realized that many of the food banks have powerful electrical generators and can easily store food otherwise left to spoil as one leaves for safer areas.

In June, 40,000 lbs of food were saved to feed the hungry.

An article, “Power Outage Leads to Spike in Food Donations,” in the Gaithersburg Gazette, explained that less fortunate families were able to gain from other’s losses. Thousands of pounds of additional food were donated as a result of the storm. Rather than leave their food to spoil, residents aware of the food banks’ capabilities for generator storage, donated food before they left town, before it defrosted and was lost.

What a great idea and proactive way to handle the crisis of frozen food otherwise being spoiled. The Manna Food Center, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting hunger in Montgomery County, was able to save 40,000 pounds of food during the June 29th storm and its after effects.

I was glad the article caught my eye and wanted to pass the idea along to my community conscious BlogHer friends. Don’t be left in the dark about how to donate to your local food bank if threatening weather occurs.

Find the “Manna” in your area and see what their generator capabilities allow.

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Nov 25 2012

Aye! Blackstrap Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce, an original recipe by SunbonnetSmart to be shared tomorrow, if ye be good and read what’s below!

Fit for a pirate king, this gingerbread recipe scoffs at modern sweeteners and honey. It takes after the only common sweetener known up until the end of the 19th century, blackstrap molasses. Without refrigeration, foods were preserved with high sugar and salt contents, but refined sugar like we know it was expensive and only available to the very wealthy. Most colonial kitchens, and really, those up through the Civil War and after, would have used blackstrap molasses for sweetener.

Blackstrap Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce and
vanilla ice cream. All organic and nutritionally
dense food. Good to eat and good for you.

A good thing, too, because blackstrap molasses is nutrient dense, a good source of iron and many minerals and vitamins. While refined sugar provides calories and not many nutrients, older more traditional foods like molasses were the nutritional powerhouses that helped sail the seas of exploration and discovery. Traditional foodstuffs are sorely needed today, when people are waking up to realize processed modern diets of the last hundred years are responsible for many illnesses and chronic diseases. Traditional nutrient foods are espoused on the website which shares the following:

“Dr. Weston A. Price (1870-1948), a Cleveland dentist, has been called the “Isaac Newton of Nutrition.” In his search for the causes of dental decay and physical degeneration that he observed in his dental practice, he turned from test tubes and microscopes to unstudied evidence among human beings. Dr. Price sought the factors responsible for fine teeth among the people who had them–isolated non-industrialized people. The world became his laboratory. As he traveled, his findings led him to the belief that dental caries and deformed dental arches resulting in crowded, crooked teeth and unattractive appearance were merely a sign of physical degeneration, resulting from what he had suspected–nutritional deficiencies.”

Eating gingerbread and molasses cookies, and other recipes adapted for blackstrap molasses, can provide nutritive, guilt-free sweets. Can you imagine having your cake and benefiting from it as well? Yes, it’s true! When one eats nutrient dense foods, one eats less before feeling full and satisfied. Most obsessive, compulsive eating is a result of the body being malnourished and trying to get enough nutrients.

The United States is no longer number one in health and longevity in the world.Not by a long shot. Our processed eating and sedentary lifestyles have taken us down to number thirty-seven. It’s time to return to the only diets available to our ancestors. Old style, organic, traditional foods are the way to health, along with exercise, fresh air and sunlight.

Tomorrrow: The recipe for Blackstrap Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce

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Nov 19 2012

Afternoon tea is a big deal at our house. I figure if it’s good enough for the Queen of England, it’s good enough for me.

Somehow the moment to just sit down, do nothing and say, “Miller Time” is very restorative. With that, and my afternoon nap, I figure I can get in two full eight hours days of work. And, if others are home to share the moment, so much the better. There is something about the ritual of preparing the tea pot that allows anticipation, while encouraging contact among the participants.

But, surely everyone has enjoyed a pot of tea and the experience surrounding it. This isn’t necessarily news. What is it I want to share?

I have to let you know about the latest tea wrinkle I’ve found. Tea flowers. The TeaPosy or tied bundles of fine teas that are drawn up into packets to blossom in a clear glass pot of boiling water.


The music, the vistas and the tea. Ah-h-h-h!

We happened upon them in a gift shop on vacation about five years ago and have been fascinated with them ever since. Not only is the tea delicious, but the visual appeal is a show stopper. I can’t think of anything else so elegant, unless it is a silver tray full of baby eclairs and petit fours to go along with the tea.

If you like the possibility of this sublime distraction as much as I do, go to visit the TeaPosy web site by clicking here.


 Glass blowers create pots to show off each TeaPosy

With the holidays almost here, mail ordering these works of art might be a good idea. I am always amazed at the relatively low prices, especially when one watches the videos to see all of the perfection required to produce each tea flower and glass pot.

Now, having afternoon tea is an unfolding display for all the senses.  


Filed under: Food,Health — admin @ 3:30 am Comments (2)
Nov 16 2012

Laine, Elaine S. Griffin, from Elaine Griffin Designs, and I should really do a commercial for Wegman’s.

She lives in New York State like I used to and New York is the land of Wegman’s. Or at least it was. There was a long time that Wegman’s was only in  New York, but now they have branched out to spread their goodness over six states including, New York Pennsylvania Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

I have been doing a happy dance for about a year, ever since Wegman’s arrived in Maryland because they are just the best grocery store I have ever seen. From their fresh bountiful vegetables to their fresh seafood department, each area is a store in itself, it is so large. And, the prices! Wegman’s has the best prices and quality of any grocery store around.

We went to Wegman’s in Frederick, MD on Thursday, November 15, 2012, shopped and had lunch. Not only do they have a real sit down restaurant in Wegman’s, but also all sorts of buffets and a big dinning area where you’re free to bring your purchases, sit on the comfy couches and enjoy your food.

And they blog! Woo-Woo! Their extensive web site includes a blog area where they feature all of the writers that contribute to their newsletters and blog.

With Wegman’s it’s not all window dressing. They are committed to health and consumer well being. They have an amazing selection of organic products, having whole green house full of the organic vegetables they grow and distribute.

And, lets not forget the Wegman’s YouTube Channel which can be found on their web site as well. Professional videos, expertly done with state of the art information to improve every family’s lives. Why, here are two examples:

Wegman’s is up to date with their nutritional information
 promoting eggs, grass fed beef and potatoes.

Wegman’s encourages Nourishing Traditions using
healthy foods as preventative medicines.

With some women it’s furs, with others, it’s diamonds, but with me, it’s Wegman’s. There is nothing I like better than going to Frederick for our shopping trips to get the best food at the best prices. And I’m glad they’re in Maryland and we don’t have to drive for eight hours up I-81 to shop in New York like we used to twice a year, just to visit Wegman’s.

That’s why, whenever I go to Wegman’s, I send out a bunch of Instagram photos because I’m so happy to be there.

I want to document the good times rolling out at the best grocery store in the world. Eh, Laine?

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Feb 16 2012

Health food stores have been around for a long time, at least for fifty years that I can remember. Consumer demand has steady empowered the health food and supplement industry to spiral upward. When I was a teenager in the 1960s, health food stores consisted of mainly vitamin shops. Now health food stores are full service department food stores with rows of organic products, meats and seafood in addition to their vitamin selections.

We love Applegate Hot Dogs. They are real
hot dogs made with good cuts of organic beef
without preservatives

The old ideas of health foods tasting bland and of cardboard have dropped out of existence. Thank goodness the misnomer that if things are “good for you,” they must taste bad has been replaced. Now there are many fully organic products allowing tasty GMO-free, pesticide free foods to be included in healthy diets.

Remember that most corn and wheat are genetically modified, the components of which do not metabolize properly and then accumulate in the kidneys and liver. Be sure, therefore, that your breads, cookies, cakes and hot dog rolls are organic, which also means they cannot contain GMO ingredients.

It is possible to have organic hot dogs that
actually taste MUCH BETTER than the ones most
of us had as children.

As your body gets healthier and rids itself of toxic poisons, you will eventually want to be more and more careful that your organic foods are really organic and by reputable companies. When first starting to get well, however, don’t try to make massive changes all at once. Odds are, the foods labeled organic are still better than what you have been eating everyday in the processed and restaurant food world.

Organic condiments insure a
satisfying hot dog lunch.

Once you really, REALLY get on the path to wellness, you will be making your own condiments from recipes in Nourishing Traditions, the back to basic health recipe book by Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price Foundation. The best condiments are fermented like they used to be and provide natural probiotics for a healthy gut and digestion. But, until then, use organic products that will get you on your way.

Boy, I hope these look good to you.  I thought they
looked good when I took the photo, but tonight, maybe
I’m just tired…I think I could have made them a
little more appealing. They tasted GREAT, though!
…lights, camera, ACTION!


NaBloPoMo February 2012

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Filed under: Food,Health — admin @ 6:49 pm Comments (0)
Dec 31 2011

Cleaniness is next to Godliness, but
aseptic is only good during surgery.

Bacteria. The mere mention of the word causes awkward knee-jerk reactions. Why? Because the world is prejudice against bacteria. Ranting and raving, squirting anti-bacterial hand soaps while vigorously wiping down shopping cart handles with calloused abandon, bacterial bigots prey on all species of bacteria, not just the ones that cause disease. And this is a problem, because wiping out both good and bad bacteria is causing a burden to our immune systems, creating drug resistant stains and allowing the proliferation of bad bacteria in our bodies.

Wreaking havoc with their antiseptic behavior, insensitive bacterial haters blindly kill all bacteria because they don’t understand good bacteria protect us from bad. It is essential to restructure bigoted bacterial thinking, because if we kill the good bacteria so the bad have no competition, the bad are more likely to flourish.

Competition between microscopic organisms creates a profound balance between bacteria species that in turn promotes wellness in animals, including the animals known as human beings. This balance has been in place for thousands of years, and is how we got to where we are today, helping to stimulate and develop our immune systems. But, the disruption of the balance is encouraged by casually implementing unnecessary drugs and chemicals, many of which are dangerous in the long term.

Antibacterial products are falsely marketed for flues
and colds which are actually caused by viruses.

You see, we have all become too clean.  We’ve upset the balance between health and illness not only by killing good bacteria, but by over exposing bad bacteria to the few killing means we have. By bad bacteria being over exposed to antibiotics, antibacterials and antiseptics, the best artillery we have against them, they have had more opportunity to mutate and, by chance, develop resistant strains.

In effect, we are losing the war with bacteria, because we are showing them our hand too often.  We expose them to the substances that kill them so often, we make it easy for their sheer numbers to mutate in such a way that a resistant strain develops.  It is by sheer chance that this resistant strain develops, but because mutations are a numbers game, the more bad bacteria are exposed to our killing techniques, the more likely a resistant strain will be developed.

These are big problems, in fact they are big, big problems. Every time someone uses antibacterial hand cleaner, the possibility that a mutant strain will develop rises. It is also important to realize that the hand cleaner benefits do not warrant such exposure. Not only are the chemicals that are rubbed into the skin not healthy, but the antibacterial soaps and creams are not nearly as effective as the mechanical action of rubbing hands vigorously together under hot water and towel drying.  On top of it all, company marketing indicates these antibacterial creams and soaps lower the risk of flues and colds, which is impossible and flues and colds are caused by viruses, not bacteria.

Unlike this little boy in the 1930s, we’ve all become too clean.

We come from a time where wondrous advances in science and technology have improved our lives giving us more leisure time for friends and family, but one will always have to be careful of chemicals that are put on or into the body. Using chemicals to fight a perceived threat must be weighed against the long term effects on metabolic systems. Many times, the danger from the chemicals is greater than anything resulting from the perceived threat.


FDA Acknowledges Potential Harmful Effects of Antibacterial Chemicals

NRDC, Rep. Ed Markey, Urge Agency To Take Further Action to Protect Public

WASHINGTON – April 8, 2010 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration acknowledged today the antibacterial chemical triclosan is no more effective than regular soap and water at preventing infections. The agency also expressed concern about the development of antibiotic resistance from using antibacterial products and triclosan’s potential long-term health effects. Today’s announcement stems from correspondence earlier this year between the agency and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).

“It’s about time FDA has finally stated its concerns about antibacterial chemicals like triclosan,” said Sarah Janssen, a medical doctor and staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The public deserves to know that these so-called antibacterial products are no more effective in preventing infections than regular soap and water and may, in fact, be dangerous to their health in the long run.”

According to the FDA, the majority of consumer soaps contain the chemicals triclosan or triclocarban. These chemicals are also found in some body washes, shaving creams, powders, makeup, toothpastes and other products. Animal studies have shown that both of these chemicals can interfere with hormones critical for normal development and function of the brain and reproductive system. Such interference could result in altered behavior, learning disabilities or infertility.

Triclocarban is particularly concerning because it has been shown to artificially amplify the effects of sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, which could promote the growth of breast and prostate cancers, according to health experts at NRDC.

“It took three decades to get us here, but at least the FDA has finally taken a step in the right direction,” said Mae Wu, an NRDC attorney in Washington, D.C. “Now it needs to take the next important step and remove triclosan and triclocarban from consumer products. Let’s hope it doesn’t take the agency another 30 years to do it.”

FDA first proposed a rule that would have removed these chemicals from soaps in 1978. Until this rule is finalized, these chemicals are allowed to be widely used with no regulatory oversight. The growing use of triclosan in products has led to widespread residues in the environment and in people; nearly three-quarters of the U.S. population carries residues of this hormone-disrupting chemical in their bodies.

FDA has said it will be moving forward on additional regulatory action in the future. Markey also has made a number of strong recommendations including a ban on triclosan in personal care products. NRDC supports this recommendation and also wants triclocarban to be banned from personal care products because of its similar widespread use, lack of effectiveness and concerns for hormone disrupting effects.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.


Are you guilty of overkill?

Experts warn that if we don’t stop overusing antibiotics and antibacterial products now , we will shoulder the blame for creating a warrior class of drug-resistant supergerms that will threaten not only our children but their children and beyond. Hard evidence exists that the crisis has already begun. But understanding the long-term effects of antibiotic abuse is one thing, and taking responsibility for our own health day after day, year after year, is another. Or is it?

In this timely and thought-provoking reference, Dr. Kimberly M. Thompson tells you exactly what you need to do to protect and promote your family’s good health without endangering their future. Because, let’s face it–there is no real comfort in winning the battle against germs if we are destined to lose the war.If you have an interest in “Overkill,” hover your mouse over this link:

Overkill: Repairing the Damage Caused by Our Unhealthy Obsession with Germs, Antibiotics, and Antibacterial Products


NaBloPoMo 2011

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Filed under: Food,Health — admin @ 5:07 pm Comments (0)
Jun 02 2011

I absolutely love this woman and her series of videos on baby nurturing. She seems so grounded with common sense, it oozes from every pore. Her treatise on feeding also exonerates me as a mother because I never believed in regimenting babies to a feeding schedule. And when I was in the family way, I was not the norm and had to listen to lots of free advice about how my children would suffer because their little bodies weren’t regimented by an outside hand, so to speak.  Well, their little bodies WERE regimented, but it was to what they needed as decreed by Mother Nature.



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Jan 15 2011




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NaBloPoMo November 2012