Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Food Inc.

Last week I finished reading Food Inc.  This of course means I now need to watch the documentary; strange how the movie came before the book.  I really enjoyed reading this one, it was much easier to follow than Fast Food Nation thanks in part to it's organization and shorter chapters.  Here are 6 of the things I learned or liked:

1. The food industry likes to sue people.  Don't get caught saying anything negative about a food company or they will come after you.  It's affectionately called "veggie libel."

2. Biodiesel is dirtier than regular diesel.  I kind of knew this already, but the chapter on it really clarified things for me.  Just the other morning the news was touting how GA is going to start using peanuts to make biodiesel...because it's cleaner burning... I now believe it is wrong to use food as car/truck/tractor fuel.

3.  For every one person who does care about our food industry and it's impact on the world, there are several more who do not.  But change always starts with a minority, and it always starts with little steps.  So I'm going to try and do what I can to be a little greener and little more earth/animal friendly.

4. This book doesn't just spew a lot of information and leave you wondering "what can I do."  There is an entire chapter on how to start a community garden,  as well as stories about what people have done to make changes in their communities and businesses.

5. The chapter on childhood obesity was great.  Most of the information I already knew, but for those parents who want to feed their children well, and maybe even change their school food system this will give them some great ideas on where to start.

6.  Buy grass fed beef and organic/free range chickens.  Happy, healthy animals are better for us and better for the planet.

At the end of the book there are 3 recipes.  I made the cauliflower with red onions, chilies, and garlic the other night along with Giada De Laurentiis' turkey meatloaf.  My sister gave me her newest cookbook as a wedding present.  She even had it signed by Giada, I was pretty excited(See picture below).  Both recipes are FABULOUS!

Cauliflower with Red Onions, Chilies, and Garlic
Created by Preston Maring

Prep: Cut 2-3 small heads of cauliflower or broccoli into 1/2" florets.  Mince 4 large cloves of garlic.  Thinly slice 1/3 of a large red onion.

Heat 3Tbs of olive oil in a large skillet.  Saute' the cauliflower until it starts to soften.  Add the red onion and 2 large pinches of crushed red chili flakes.  Continue to cook until the cauliflower starts to brown a little.  Remove from heat.  Toss with the garlic.  Add a splash of red wine vinegar and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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