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Archive for July, 2011

UPDATE: The contest is now over (congratulations to Angie our winner). Stay tuned for future giveaways.  ‘Like’ us on Facebook or submit your info on our stay informed page, you will automatically be notified of new contests.

Premium Ensaymada “Brioche”

We came upon this ‘Premium Ensaymada Brioche’ at a Filipino bakery (Goldilocks) and were surprised at the number of ingredients it contained. So we bought it and have turned it into a contest! Simply write a comment below to guess how many ingredients are in this sweet bread roll with cheese on top. The person that gets the closest will win five of our hand-stamped, reusable, muslin produce bags! Contest starts Monday morning; see details below. We’ll post the ingredient list and winner on Wednesday. Let the games begin!

How to Enter the Contest:

  1. Enter to win by leaving a comment on this blog post with your guess as to how many ingredients are in this food.
  2. For simplicity, we will count all the ingredients on the label, even if some appear more than once.
  3. Contest runs 8/1/11 – 8/3/11 at 10am PT
  4. One entry per person
  5. We can only ship to a United States shipping address (unless you’d like to pay for international shipping)
  6. Winner will be selected and contacted on August 3.  Reusable produce bags will be shipped soon after.

The check arrived after a decent Chinese dinner of Egg Foo Young and Stir Fry Vegetables. As is customary these days, the paper check was buried under a pile of individually wrapped fortune cookies.  My 3-year old’s eyes greatly enlarged as she realized the noisy packages were filled with dessert. I let her select her cookie and explained why there was an itty bitty piece of paper inside. This was my fortune:

You will take a chance in something in the near future.
Daily Numbers 0, 3, 9.  Lotto Six #’s 22, 43, 11, 13, 4, 27

As I crumbled up the wrapper, I noticed that the ingredients were listed in small red lettering.

INGREDIENTS: Flour, Sugar, Water, Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening, Margarine, Corn Starch, FD&C Yellow 5 & 6, FD&C Red #40, Citric Acid and Preserved with Sodium Benzoate.

I know it’s dessert, but this cookie barely has one redeeming ingredient to it’s name. It’s really just refined white flour mixed with sugar, trans fats, colors and preservatives. It’s funny to me that they have to add 3 different types of artificial colorings to achieve that “baked brown” look. I wonder what color the cookie would be without it.

My fortune is quite amusing and accurate. I’m taking a chance with my health just by eating the cookie! In fairness, one fortune cookie is not going to kill you, but understand you’re eating crap, even if it does come in a decorative package with lotto number suggestions.

Image: Ksayer1 via Flickr

Photo by: H. Loren Au Jr. with the Orange County Register

Be Food Smart was featured in the Orange County Register yesterday! We receive amazing feedback from people in Orange County who read the article and visited our site. Click on this link for a PDF of the print story or the link below to go directly to the OC Register:

Site satisfies hunger for info about additives

Orange County Register

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

By: Courtney Perkes

The article was also picked up by MSNBC’s Orange County news feed (click here to see). Many thanks to Courtney Perkes for spending the afternoon interviewing us and writing this great piece on our company. Also, thank you to H. Loren Au Jr. for the 10 entertaining pictures and to Ananda Dalidd (aka Dad) for making it happen.

Photo by: H. Loren Au Jr. with the Orange County Register

I love ice cream. I love Cold Stone’s Signature Creation, Mud Pie Mojo (coffee ice cream, Oreos, peanut butter, roasted almonds and fudge). There is something about those two spades mushing up my gooey concoction on a freezing marble slab that makes me happy.  I’m a label-reading-freak and yet I somehow seem to turn a blind eye when out for an after-dinner treat. Just a quick look at this “creation” tells me that I’ll be eating a boatload of sugar along with a highly likely dose of hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. But what about the ice cream itself?
Continue reading…

Pamm Larry woke up one morning to a true ah-ha moment. She realized that instead of being depressed about the ever increasing presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food supply, she could actually do something about it. This is how the Label GMOs – A 2012 Ballot Initiative Campaign was born.

The Label GMOs – A 2012 Ballot Initiative Campaign is “a grassroots movement to get an initiative that would require mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods and the factory farmed animals reared on them” in California. Pamm Larry came to Santa Barbara today to spread the word and coordinate an effort in our county. She already has teams in action in Northern California, San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles and is trying to fill in the gaps by setting up teams in the remaining counties.
Continue reading…

One of my daughter’s favorite smoothies is my banana, peanut butter, chocolate smoothie. I know, you’re shocked, right? Tonight we had breakfast for dinner so I decided to go all out and whip up this smoothie too. The recipe has been rather fluid over the years. It started with bananas and chocolate protein powder. There was a brief stint with chocolate syrup, but I never liked the fake syrup flavor. My newest rendition replaces protein powder and chocolate syrup with unsweetened cocoa powder. The result? Purer ingredients, less added sugar, and amazing taste. I haven’t met too many people who don’t love this stuff.

After my blender broke, my immersion blender became my best friend. If fact, I love it so much, I haven’t even replaced my blender. For all my smoothies, I use an immersion “stick” blender and the tall beakers that came with it. A tall measuring cup, large plastic drinking glass or pitcher can work too if you are sans beaker. If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a your blender, but remember to wash immediately after use to avoid a nightmare clean up.

If you try it, please post your pics on our Facebook page!

Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

3 ripe bananas

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1/4 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup ice

Peel bananas, break in half and place in beaker. Spoon out peanut butter (approximate amount is fine) and place on top of the bananas. Pour milk over the bananas and peanut butter and blend until well incorporated. Add cocoa powder and blend at highest speed until frothy. Pour in a little ice at a time and blend on a lower speed. I like one final blast on high to add some bubbles, pour into 2 glasses and serve immediately.

For this smoothie I used organic bananas (please buy fair trade bananas whenever possible), Trader Joe’s organic peanut butter, Organic Pastures raw whole milk, and Trader Joe’s unsweetened cocoa powder. If peanut butter is not your thing, try almond butter. Serving as a treat? Add fresh whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings.

Jeremy Seifert and his friends eat trash on a regular basis. They are not homeless. They’re 30-something, Angelenos, who rescue enormous amounts of foods from Los Angeles’ supermarket dumpsters and eat it. Sound crazy? It is. But the crazy part is not Seifert, it’s the 96 BILLION pounds of food that we waste in America every year.

“…we’re feeding our landfills as much as our country…Why is all this food being thrown out and not given to people who need it?”

Seifert saw first hand how much food grocery stores threw away. He learned that half of all the food prepared in the US and Europe never gets eating. Seifert decided that this underbelly of our society needed to be exposed and he created a documentary appropriately named, Dive! Below is the 2-minute trailer for the film which has been showing nationwide at film festivals and private screenings since 2009.
Continue reading…