Friday, May 28, 2010

3 A Day Of Dairy - Hold The Artificial Hormone, Please!

Recently, my family and I have moved across country, and while I love my new residence, I was somewhat disappointed when it came time for my first trip to the local grocery store.  It turns out, that most of the brands I'm used to buying aren't available here.  I carefully examined every label of every item of dairy and found very little to work with!  When I consulted some of the employees, they were of little to no help...and I ended up leaving without some of the key items I was shopping for.  Instead I headed home and have found myself glued to the computer screen, in hopes of finding some brands that pledge not to use milk that was produced using artificial hormones, ever since.  I haven't found nearly as much information as I was hoping for, so my search will no doubt continue, but here's what I've come up with so far...

In terms of milk the choices are actually quite abundant.  It seems that in the last couple of years a lot of major brands and grocery stores have hopped on the ban wagon and are now selling milk from cows that have not been treated with rBST.  Here are a few examples -

Safeway (Lucerne)
Food Lion
(The last three also offer heavy whipping cream and half&half)

Next we have yogurt.  At first I was afraid that things weren't looking very good, but then I stumbled across the fact that two huge yogurt companies are now banning artificial hormones due to the increasing demand! From what I have seen, they haven't put anything on their labels yet, but the change is rather recent, so it may still be in the works...never the less, you can feel comfortable buying any of these products-

Brown Cow
Nancy's Cultured Dairy and Soy
Cascade Fresh

I am sad to say, that cheese without rBST seems to be a little harder to find.  A lot of the big brand names don't seem to be on board with the changes yet, but I am hoping that will happen soon!  Kraft is headed in that direction with their first line of natural cheeses.  Look for these specifically -

Kraft Natural Cheese made with 2% Milk
Whole Foods 365
Berner Natural Cheese
Nancy's Cultured Dairy and Soy

Let's not forget about Sour Cream ( one of my daughter's faves!- Hey, you can't have a quesadilla without it!)  We are in luck since some of the most common brands are already going artificial hormone free!

Daisy ( also look for Cottage Cheese)

Another common dairy product is butter. I almost forgot about it in my research (oops!), but at the end I remembered...


Ah, yes, the one I would never forget - Ice Cream! I wish I had more names than I do for this one, but as of right now, this is all I have come up with -

Ben and Jerry's
Lovin' Scoopful

On the upside, all of those ice creams are delicious - when you can find them.  In the mean time, be sure to check your favorite flavor and brand.  If they aren't using milk without artificial hormones to make their ice cream yet, write them!  Tell them that it matters to you. Hey, it worked with the yogurt!

Here's a few extra tidbits that I found interesting - Starbucks is using only rBST free milk in their coffees and Chipotle Mexican Grill has pledged to only serve hormone free sour cream!

I know we still have quite a ways to go, but I really feel that as consumer awareness grows and the demand for healthier products gets greater, the companies supplying our food will have to change and provide us with a product that we are willing to buy and then feed to our families! So, keep checking your labels and don't compromise on what you spend your money on.  We have every right to expect our food to nourish our bodies, not harm them!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Things I've Learned This Week...;)

Well, it's the night before the big Moving Day and I am exhausted! It has been a long and stressful week and I am ready to hit the open road and make my way across country, but before I do..let's review the things I've learned this week -

Dogs, cats and Toddlers all handle the anxiety of moving differently. The dogs ( who are very used to moving and road trips - they've been with us a long time!) saw the boxes and the return of the camper shell on top of the truck bed, loaded up...and pretty much haven't gotten out since. It's been two days and we have had to force them to come in at night, take them with us when we run errands and bring their food and water up to the bed of the truck - THEY WON'T COME OUT! They know we are leaving and they will NOT be left behind!

The cats have taken a very sullen and quiet approach. While you would expect them to play and have a hay day with all the boxes and packing paper, they have instead opted to be very silent and next to non - existent. Usually we would have to watch them around open doors ( indoor cats - outdoor dogs), these days we have had all the doors wide open and the cats just lay there in the middle of the semi-empty rooms, making NO attempt to wander know what they say, curiosity killed the cat...or got it lost right before moving day- well not these guys!

Oh, my sweet little tinker tot. While all the adults have wanted to throw themselves on the floor, kicking and screaming and having an all out fit...she's the only one who's actually been able to get away with it...a lot! I'm giving her a free pass this week...once we get to where we are going, it's another story. Terrible Two's or not, this is BEYOND what I can accept.

Lesson number 2. Craig's List is a wonderful and profitable way to get rid of the stuff you don't want to move! It's also a nice way to increase the amount of spam in your inbox...

Yard Sales, not so wonderful and less was my first go around and I was surprised to find that a steal really is a STEAL! Seriously, $2.00?! That's what people were expecting to pay?! Maybe if I was getting rid of CRAP...but I don't sell crap. I simply throw it out.

On to number 3. There is NO good way to clean a Fridge. Even if you think that you keep it wiped out and fairly clean, you may be surprised to find, that once it has been emptied, the words that come to mind are BIO- HAZARD. There's always something way in the back that never gets used, but somehow causes a spill, which naturally makes its way down to the very bottom of your fridge. That is where it stays and grows things, all the while remaining nicely hidden by the two drawers located at the bottom to keep things like your meats and produce. Mmm, Yummy. Oh, and let's not forget that random bowl of leftovers that started out front and center, where it could be seen and eaten, but then slowly, but surely made it's way to the back bottom corner. Where it remained for weeks ( maybe months) never to be seen or heard of again...until today, that is.

Now, once you have gotten rid of all the yuckies and the totally disgusting, it's time to rinse. Have you ever tried to rinse out the refrigerator drawers in your kitchen sink?! Not an easy task, let me tell ya! Between the awkward shape and size, and the lovely nooks and crannies that are super efficient at collecting water , you are sure to get a bath! Good times!

What could be more fun than that? Well, I decided to bring my diaper bag out of early retirement for this trip. I was horrified to find that after spraying it down and wiping it out with paper towels, washing it in the washer, and re - wiping it with Clorox wipes, I was still able to find remnants of lint and spilled juice...and other possibilities of grossness.

I also learned, that true friends will drive an hour to bring a late night dessert and last minute help with packing and cleaning the night before you leave. They will tell you they love you and toast you with apple cider, wishing you the best of luck on new adventures and exciting journeys. Then, they will leave in a hurry, knowing that every minute spent with them in good times, is another minute late at night finishing up the week's work of moving.

Last, but not least, I can say without doubt, no matter how sure you are that everything is packed, you have at least three more boxes worth of stuff around the house. All the odds and ends that look like nothing and don't really go with anything, will end up being the thing that takes up the most time.  Don't let them be your downfall!!