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“100 Days of Real Food” Pledge

A little over a year ago, our family made a bold move by pledging to follow strict “real food” rules for 100 long days. A few of these rules included no white flour, no sugar, and nothing out of a package with more than five ingredients. And there were no exceptions whether we were traveling, out to eat, at a birthday party or with friends. We started this little experiment of ours simply to draw attention to how dependent Americans have become on highly processed food.

Just a few months prior, we ourselves had been relying on the very same factory-made junk and the scary part was we didn’t even realize we were doing anything wrong. So, after our little wake up call, thanks to Michael Pollan and Food, Inc., we didn’t think it was good enough to just make the appropriate changes within our own family. We felt compelled to share the shocking news we’d learned with others and “blow the whistle,” so to speak, on what Americans were really eating.

Once our fairly typical family in the suburbs of Charlotte, N.C. took on this extreme and sudden “real food” pledge, it led to quite a few interesting and surprising experiences. Here are some highlights: Read more

Greening Your Kitchen: Forget Free-Range, Buy Pasture-Raised Eggs From a Local Farm

A reader recently asked me if I could expand the post I did last year on “choosing the right milk” to include eggs, another food for which there a lot of confusing buying options. Although there are more details below, the short answer is that you should look for eggs that are “pasture-raised” from a farm near you. Pasture-raised is pretty much what it sounds like — they are eggs laid by hens that are raised with open access to pasture where they can scratch, peck, bask in the sun, eat and run around to their hearts content.

Unfortunately, “organic”, “cage-free”, and “free-range” classifications/certifications do not guarantee that the birds are fed a natural diet or that they live the life of a normal chicken, complete with keeping their beaks (egg-laying hens raised in factory farms routinely have their beaks cut off–a truly horrible practice that is done to prevent them from hurting each other in their extremely close living quarters), having enough room not just to turn around but also to run around in, as well as unlimited access to the real outdoors and all the sunlight, yummy grass, and nutritious bugs they desire. Read more