The Cost of Ending Pink Slime

By now you must have heard about the “pink slime” controversy.  The social media outrage has halted the use of finely textured beef trimmings in a majority of all ground beef, a practice that has been taking place since the early 1990.  Mother’s have taken arms against this product being served in their children’s school lunches, and many grocery chains and fast food companies have suspended their contract with Beef Products Inc. (BPI) before they feel the heat.

Now that the American Housewife has gotten the slime out of their beef, is she ready for the consequences?  According to a USA Today article on the subject, finely textured beef trimmings made up 15% of all hamburger served in the US.  We are going to have to make up that difference somewhere.  The article also notes that the price of beef is already up 25% since 2010 and could jump another 3-25 cents per pound with this new supply change.  Are you ready to pay the difference?

Along with the rising prices of beef, BPI has had to suspend production in three out of its four plants.  That equals a lot of people out of work.  I see this turning out similar to the American auto shut down, but this time there will be no government bailout.

This debate is going to get interesting.  We tend to get very angry over rising food prices and job loss is not good for economic recovery.  It is definitely something to watch and see how Suzy Homemaker will react when her summer grilling patties cost twice as much.  Will she rethink her decision to protest the or will she swallow the costs?

My personal view on the subject: Buy your meat from a local farmer.  Make sure it is grass-fed and humanely treated.  Eat less meat in general.  Less meat consumption means lower demand for filler.  I feel bad for the works that are not stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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Thing Are (Finally) Happening

Big things are happening over here at the Warner household!

After about a year of trying, I am finally leaving my job at the State.  I love the people I work with, and they are the reason I stayed and waited patiently as long as I did.  I probably have the best boss ever.  Nonetheless, it was time for me to leave.  I have become more focused on natural food and helping people to see how important their diet’s are to their overall well being.

I have already talked about starting school at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition TM, but I am also taking it one step further and joining a team of organic grocers in Maryland.  I am shifting my career to work for an awesome company called, MOMs Organic Market.  They are still focused on the environment, which was original passion, but they also are passionate about the organic food system and sustainable practices.  They don’t even sell plastic water bottles in their stores to cut down on the massive amounts of plastic entering our global system every day.

This was not an easy leap for me, and I have to credit my amazing husband for giving me the confidence and security to move forward with following my dream.  I would not be able to take this position without him because whenever anyone changes careers, they usually have to start at the bottom.  Being unhappy in your career effects your entire life both personal and social.  I am only 28 and this is the time for change.  The only place to go from the bottom is up!

I am so excited for these two new adventures in my life!


Birthday Week

Last week was my birthday week!  N and I went out to dinner at a local place called Jackie’s and then stopped by the ice cream shop for a couple of scoops to enjoy on our walk home.  It was so nice to actually be able to get out and enjoy this nice weather with a walk to dinner.IMG_1514

My mom came and visited this past weekend and we made a day of it in DC.

Sissy really liked that her shoes were there while we were out.

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Over the course of the day we covered 6 miles of walking and my feet could feel it.  Funny how sometimes 6 miles of running seems a lot easier than 6 miles of walk.  I think it is the time spent on your feet!  We were upright from about 11:30am-4:30pm.

We visited Sweetgreen near Capital Hill and then walked down to visit some of the Smithsonian Museums.IMG_8673

We spent time in the Native American, Natural History, and American History Museums. IMG_1517

After getting tussled around by lots of school children, we headed down to another crowd at the Tidal Basin.  The cherry trees are in full force!  Why are they not pink?!?!

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I feel bad for those coming to visit within the next two weeks.  They are peaking super early due to this amazing weather we have been having.IMG_1521

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From the cherry trees we walked up 17th street to our dinner destination.  At this point we both really wanted a cold beer!

We dined at Founding Farmers.  I want to say that the food was amazing and the service was stellar, but as my mom put it, “the drinks were the best part”.  This restaurant prides itself on being farm to table, organic, fresh, sustainable, and all things natural.  I had been craving a street hot dog from the vendors all day and when I saw them on the menu, I got excited.  Unfortunately I found out that their hot dog contain nitrates!  Nitrates are an extremely harmful carcinogen and I was sad to hear they were in my dinner choice.  I scrambled and got the shrimp and grits because I had never had it before.

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I tried not to think about the fact that my shrimp were probably from China and my sausage had nitrates as well…you live and you learn and we both agreed we need to make a trip up to Baltimore to our beloved Woodberry Kitchen instead of Founding Farmers.

This trip wasn’t about the food anyway, it was about the company!  I was so glad to have my mom here for a birthday weekend of fun and even angel food cake SmileIMG_8671


Back in the News

Soda is back in the news.  Shocker.  This time, thanks to California law, Coke and Pepsi are changing their caramel coloring formula to eliminate the pesky carcinogen 4-MI.  This carcinogen is on California’s new list of cancer causing chemicals and thus must be given a warning label to be legally sold in the state of California.  No company wants to be slapped with the Surgeon Generals warning like cigs and booze have so now things are changing.

With this formula change comes many questions, how many sodas will REALLY actually hurt me?  According to the FDA about 1,000 a day, but don’t forget who pays their salaries.  There are other studies about how soda can negatively effect your health other than cancer such as, heart attacks, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.

I know that Coke and Pepsi are not changing because of the questionable health issues, it is more of a consumer pressure issues like we saw with trans fat, but at least we will be eliminating one chemical from this highly addictive substance.  My questions is, now that Coke and Pepsi products will be “safer” do you think people will drink more?  Do you think they are counting on it?

In my opinion, which I have expressed here before, drinking soda is like going out in the sun without sun block.  You may not get cancer from one day of exposure but over time your chances of developing health problems will increase so why put yourself at risk?

No one is perfect, we all drink a soda now and then, but maybe seriously cutting back from 2 liters a day would be a good idea for some.


Adventures In Juicing!

Nick got a juicer for his birthday so of course  I was the first one to use it Smile  You snooze you lose!

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It was a little loud and I was worried the pulp was going to get all over me, but I got out of it without a drop of beet juice on me!  I juiced 2 small apples, 6 carrots, and 2 small beets to make one large glass of juice.IMG_1500

So pretty and delicious!!!IMG_1502

I know there is debate about juicing in terms of cost/clean-up/missing the fiber, but I thought this was better than any other juice I have gotten from a juice bar.

Now what can I do with the pulp?!?!IMG_1503

Where are those chickens when I need them?


Weeknight Meal

Usually huevos rancheros are made for breakfast.  In fact I had them for breakfast when we were in Costa Rica!

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I am STILL trying to figure out exactly how to make those beans!

Last night we re-visited these flavors for dinner.  Super simple and quick, perfect for a weeknight meal.

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Huevos Ranchero – Serves 2

  • 4 tortillas
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup uncooked beans cooked with 1 jalapeño, 1/2 onion, and 1 clove garlic (or 1 cup cooked)
  • cilantro
  • scallions
  • avocado
  • salsa of choice

Jess, please forgive me for using split pitas, the store was out of tortillas!  I made the beans in the slow cooker with onion, garlic, and jalapeño while I was at work (you could totally used canned but I am trying to never use them again).  Once I got home from yoga, I  slapped the pita (tortilla) with some beans and cheese and threw it under the broiler.  I cooked our eggs to order, pulled out the beans, topped with egg, avocado, cilantro, scallions, and salsa.

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Delicious drippy farm yoke flavors the beans and cool avocado with the fresh herbs!IMG_1496

Amazing and easy any day of the week!

Have a great weekend!


Other Than Food Politics

Mainly for the family, here is a little summary about life so far in Silver Spring, MD outside of food politics.

  • I am running again after about a year break due to knee issues
  • I went to my first run club last night in Bethesda, and I met some great people
  • I wish we could afford to live in Bethesda
  • I joined a book club that is meeting at the end of the month
  • I still have more than half the book to read…
  • I love living so close to Rock Creek Park
  • I still have no gotten on the metro!
  • We have a year round farmer’s market and I cannot express how amazing it is to have farm fresh eggs all year round
  • I still really want chickens, but I realize this could be many years off
  • We will hopefully find out about our garden plot soon – I really hope we get one
  • I start The Institute for Integrative Nutrition™ on the 26th and I cannot wait!

Huevos Rancheros tonight!  I’ll post about them if they are good!