Should You Pay a Premium for Organic Produce?

May 8, 2015 Permalink 0

organic produceAs a Western Kansas farm girl (born and raised), I’m very passionate about agriculture. With that said, it’s difficult for me to even consider agricultural practices that I’m not very familiar with, one of these being organic produce.

Recently, Aaron wrote an article about how he was going to continue eating (mostly) organic produce, but that he found the delivery fee for his groceries to be much too high for his liking.

“All are organic and all tasted great, though the lettuce was a little wilted. Quantity and the delivery price, not quality, was where it failed for me.”

This got me thinking about if it’s even worth it to spend extra money on organic produce vs non-organic fruits and vegetables, especially if you are trying to get out of debt like I am. After all, the more I spend on living expenses, like food, the less I can put toward debt and the longer I’ll be paying astronomical interest rates for my past over-spending.

With these things in mind, I decided to do a little more research about organic produces and the benefits of it vs. non-organic fruits and vegetables. After all, the best way to decide something like this is to be educated on both sides of the debate before making a decision.

What’s the Difference Between Organic Produce and Non-Organic Produce?

Typically those who choose to consume organic produce decide to do so for health-related reasons. The idea is that organic produce is healthier for you and more nutritious because it’s grown without pesticides and other chemicals. But there has been conflicting research over the past few years about how true this really is.

Whenever one scientific journal comes out with a new study in favor of the health benefits of organic produce, another one is published with the opposite opinion. This is primarily because of the high percentage of organic produce that comes in to contact with non-organic produce, thus it becomes cross-contaminated.

3 Delicious and Healthy Foods to Make in a Snap

April 10, 2015 Permalink 0

There is nothing like popping open a bag of chips and shoveling the salty, crunchy tastiness into your mouth while watching a movie.

Or is it? Imagine the satisfaction of preparing some really delicious things with your own hands and watching your loved ones melt with satisfaction while making the whole thing disappear in no time, begging you to make more! This will not be an article about healthy eating, but about the satisfaction of creating something truly delicious, which will make your heart melt.

1. Veggies tempura

Tempura is a Japanese dish of seafood and vegetables, that is best known for being as fluffy and crunchy as it can get. The secret is in the batter — it’s a mixture of cold water, cake or pastry flour, eggs, spices and some other ingredients (there are several recipes circulating online).

A friend of mine (working at the kitchen of a five star luxury hotel) always adds sparkling water and potato flakes (you know, the ones sold as “instant mashed potatos”) to the batter to make it extra fluffy. Mix them up, dip the veggies in the batter and deep fry them in hot vegetable oil (usually around 320-356 F) until ready. Depending on how meaty and thick your veggie slices are, frying can take between a few seconds and a few minutes.

2. Veggie & Potato Chips

Have you ever tried making potato chips at home? It is simpler than you imagine — all you need is a potato, sliced thin and fried until crispy in vegetable oil. But have you tried making chips out of other vegetables? They can be even more tasty. And mixing them all up will offer you a delicious and unique experience.

What I have tried were celery (excellent), carrots (excellent), zucchini (a bit soggy, but incredibly tasty) and other roots with a variable success. Experiment at home – don’t worry, if you are not lucky, you will only have to deal with some soggy fried vegetable slices which you can use in a sandwich. It’s not like losing at the mobile casinos in Australia.

3. Hamburgers

There is an incredible variety of hamburger recipes out there, some with a long list of ingredients that will make your head hurt. There is one, though, that is considered by many the best hamburger you can ever try — and one of the hardest to digest.

The list of ingredients is extremely short: it needs two-thirds of lean ground beef, one-third of tallow (beef fat), salt and pepper to taste. As a basic rule, it has to be fried over hot coals.

Some of my gourmet friends (like the above mentioned five-star chef) consider this the tastiest hamburger they can think of — and love the way the fat sprays out of the meat when you take a bite. This is what makes it one of the least healthy hamburgers out there, but one with an incredible taste and consistency.

Don’t Be Deceived by Appearance

April 2, 2015 Permalink 0

181803503_fe3d430f5b_zOne of the reasons that keeping up with the Jones family down the street is so tempting is because, from the outside at least, they often give off the appearance that they are healthy and wealthy. They have shiny new, or at least gently used, cars in their garage. They have a nicely kept big house with a pristine, manicured lawn. The inside of their home looks like it just came out of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine issue, and the whole family is always dressed to the nines in the latest fashions.

I’m sure after reading that description you can think of at least one individual or family that fits the mold.

Have they every evoked feelings of jealous deep inside you? Have you ever wanted to be as successful as their appearance makes them out to be?

It’s okay to admit it, I think we’ve all been there at one point or another, but we need to keep in mind that underneath all that exterior armor that they put up so they may appear to the outside eye to be “making it”, lots of these families are struggling financially to keep up the appearance that they’ve created.