Organic vs. Natural What does it mean?

Organic meat comes from animals whose bodies and food are never treated with pesticides, herbicides, antibiotic and hormones. Animals must have access to exercise, sunlight and time to graze in pastures rather than a feedlot.  The animals food must be certified organic with no genetic modifications or animal by-products.

Farmers that sell organic go through a stringent process of certification regularly. It is expensive. Farmers do this to provide people with  guaranteed organic food. Organic food has made a huge difference in my husband’s and my life.

Natural-This label is everywhere. Please DO NOT confuse it with organic. Natural means: contains no artificial ingredients or artificial coloring. When we use the term processed food, natural food is minimally processed. It is still processed food. Natural food and milk have no regulatory definitions-not certified.

Sources: USDA, FDA

Organic vs. Nat

Our latest organic bounty

A bumper to bumper commute 50+ miles yielded us this lovely bounty.

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Head steamed for 30 minutes, done!

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delicieux!

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Steamed 22 minutes in my bamboo steamer.

We don’t add butter, cheese or spices to any of our organic veggies. Though we used to use plenty of  butter and spices we don’t need to anymore. We much prefer the actual real taste of our veggies now instead of trying to cover up the bitter taste of the non-organic ones.

Even if you can’t afford organic at least stay away from canned vegetables. They’ve been boiled or blanched so hard that the nutritional value has been washed down the sink. We stopped eating canned vegetables almost eight years ago. We then began buying frozen vegetables that were advertised as flash frozen as soon as they are picked. We steam most of our vegetables including the frozen ones.

 

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These lovely yellow beans are on tomorrow nights menu. Neither my husband or I like yellow beans but we refuse to waste them. With these I may need to add a dab of butter.We will have to see.

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7# of produce this trip. And some lovely currants for our Christmas ham glaze, socked away in our freezer for now.

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Organic beans, corn and red lettuce

Tonight’s dinner was organic green beans, sweet corn and natural turkey hamburgers. We switched about three months ago from ground beef  to natural turkey as of yet we have not found organic meat we like. The turkey has quite a bit more taste, no grease and far less calories. Price wise per pound we spend about fifty cents more. The brand we buy is Jennie-o and we both agree that is very good. The lovely green beans were from the Dane County Farmer’s Market in Madison, the corn is from a veggie stand here in town.

 

Green Beans

Green Beans-cook on medium for 15 minutes, warm up butter (olive oil is good too) lightly drizzle and sprinkle garlic salt lightly.  I also like them with sauteed red onion and olive oil. Either way- Delicious.

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Fresh Corn-Yum

red lettuce

Wash well, pat dry. Good in salads with green frilly lettuce or even all alone. We are currently looking into different salad dressings to compliment this great lettuce. Every delicious organic sandwich we make gets two pieces of frilly red lettuce.

Last but not least- dessert

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A peach from California. Perfectly ripe and mouth watering good at $2.99/lb

Bon Appetit!!

Summertime and Salsa

tomato salsa

Source

Summertime

Officially, according to most, summer is half over. But I’m an optimistic kind of gal and I feel like it’s just beginning. There’s a lot of summer left in the Midwest, lots of time to go swimming, kick a ball around, have a picnic, even pick some tomatoes fresh from the vine.

That’s what I’m doing this week, and I’m making salsa, sauce, and soup from them.  I am a month out from my foot surgery, and though it is slow going for one toe, the Franken toe (very scary looking one) is almost fully healed and looks brand new. The toe that needed to be fixed, thanks to my last podiatrist’s careless neglect, is still healing and bothering me.  It’s time though to start canning tomatoes and freezing some of this year’s harvest for winter.

My husband and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary as a couple.   It seems like just yesterday that we were working side by side in a nursing home and yours truly ( a famous flirt) finally got up the courage to ask a guy out for the first time. He said yes without hesitation, lucky me, and the rest, as they say, is history.  What a difference the right person in your life makes towards your happiness and well -being.   To celebrate we got together with some friends and had a wonderful party, filled with good food and lots of fun. We grilled chicken and lots of steaks for the meat eaters and ate veggies straight from the garden. Our patio flowers are coming along, though a few went south and were turned into mulch. A favorite this summer is our lovely petunias.  A couple of weekends ago my husband planted miniature pumpkins and lavender in the empty pots. I cannot wait to see if the mini pumpkins work out.

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I’ll share the salsa recipe and wish you all a fantastic rest of the summer..

Ingredients:

  • 10 pounds tomatoes
  • 3 large sweet onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sweet red peppers, finely choppedi
  • 2 medium green peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 4-1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 2-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canning salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups water to a boil. Add tomatoes, a
  • few at a time; boil for 30 seconds. Drain and immediately place
  • tomatoes in ice water. Drain and pat dry; peel and finely chop.
  • Place in a stockpot. Add onions and peppers.
  • Place mustard and celery seed on a double thickness of cheesecloth;
  • bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag. Add
  • spice bag and the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 60-75 minutes or until
  • slightly thickened. Discard spice bag.
  • Carefully ladle relish into hot 1-pint jars, leaving 1/2-in.

Source