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Food for Thought: The Impact of Super Sunday

Warm Your Soul – Chickpea, Tomato, and Spelt Soup

Low-FODMAP Tomato Basil Sauce

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Since 1979, Purity Foods (the creators of VitaSpelt and Nature’s Legacy) has been a worldwide supplier of certified organic food products. With our network of organic growers throughout the U.S. and Canada, and from organic projects overseas, we are an experienced and premiere supplier of organic foods to the marketplace. Our organic flour mill is one of the largest in the industry, and we take pride in supplying the finest quality organic baking flours to bakers throughout North America.

Food for Thought: The Impact of Super Sunday
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Food for Thought: The Impact of Super Sunday

Food for Thought
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Food for Thought: The Impact of Super Sunday

According to the National Chicken Council, Americans will eat 1.25 billion chicken wings while watching the New England Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.  Just let that settle in for a minute, 1.25 BILLION chicken wings.  Enough to “put 572 wings on every seat in all 32 NFL stadiums.”

The fact is, you still need a real live chicken to get a chicken wing and each chicken only has two.  Some simple math will show that comes out to 625 million chickens needed to supply what is essentially a snack for just ONE day.  For a little perspective, the Census Bureau Population Clock puts the current population of the United States at just over 320 million.  We need to double the population of the United States {in chickens} to order provide 1.25 billion chicken wings.

Obesity aside, there are alarming consequences to this type of production and consumption - and these consequences are doing great damage to the earth.

We know about the environmental impact of flying, driving and creating trash.  We know how the lives we lead create a carbon footprint.  What most people don’t realize is that their carbon footprint extends even further.  To the foods we eat.  Growing crops, raising livestock, and growing the crops needed to feed the livestock directly impacts the earth - it uses (and contaminates) our environmental resources.

Brian Walsh, senior writer for TIME magazine covering energy and the environment, states “Livestock production — which includes meat, milk and eggs — contributes 40% of global agricultural gross domestic product, provides income for more than 1.3 billion people and uses one-third of the world’s fresh water.”  This huge, profitable, global, industry has a gigantic environmental impact on one of the most essential needs for human life - “one-third of the world’s fresh water.”

Not only is this industry using and contaminating the earth’s fresh water but it’s contributing to air pollution, soil pollution and, ultimately, global warming.  The waste created by the 625 million chickens needed for the Super Sunday wings (in the form of their excrement) contains hormones and antibiotics used to plump up the chickens, as well as all the pesticides and herbicides used to grow the chicken feed.  And it all has to go somewhere.  It goes in our water, our soil, our earth.

E-Coli, Salmonella and the Avian flu can directly affect humans by the handling and/or consumption of chickens.

Arsenic can commonly be found on chicken meat - at toxic levels.

The National Chicken Council estimates in 2015 the per person consumption of chicken in the US will be 86.6 pounds - in 1965 it was 33.7.   Consumption of meat has nearly tripled over the past 50 years, humans and our planet are aching from the effects.

It’s time we, as a country, rethink not just the way we eat and consume but WHAT we eat and consume.  Simple changes, such as perhaps rethinking your menu for next year’s Super Bowl party, can have a remarkable impact when done together.

Just a little Food for Thought.

 

For further information on this global epidemic, please check out the following resources:

  1. "Comfortably Unaware" by Dr. Richard A. Oppenlander http://www.comfortablyunaware.com/

  2. “The Triple Whopper Environmental Impact of Global Meat Production” by Brian Walsh http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/

  3. AnimalSmart.org http://animalsmart.org/animals-and-the-environment/environmental-impact-of-animal-production

  4. “The Hidden Water Resource Use Behind Meat and Dairy” by Arjen Y. Hoekstra http://www.waterfootprint.org/Reports/Hoekstra-2012-Water-Meat-Dairy.pdf

  5. “Water Requirements of Livestock” from Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs  http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/07-023.htm#6

  
Warm Your Soul - Chickpea, Tomato, and Spelt Soup
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Warm Your Soul - Chickpea, Tomato, and Spelt Soup

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My old, cobalt blue, dutch oven becomes a fixture on my stove every winter as I rely on soups and stews to combat the cold.  It always seems that no matter how many recipes I find on Pinterest, I quickly run out of variations on chicken noodle soup (I’ve been making minestrone since Halloween).  The problem with chicken soup is no matter how tasty it is, it’s never a complete meal in itself.  A loaf of fresh, hearty, crusty bread is required.  I’ll admit it, I don’t often plan my meals for the week so the bread is usually absent.

SpeltSoup2I came across this Chickpea, Tomato, and Spelt Soup from Martha and the spelt drew me in.  It’s vegetarian and everything needed for this soup is a staple from the pantry and (since I deemed it too cold to go to the grocery store the day before) pantry staples were about all I had.  {Spelt berries (or kernels) are something you should make a part of your well stocked pantry, just like a can of beans, lentils or dried pasta.  A bag will last you a while, the cup used in this recipe fills up the soup when it is cooked.}  With my fingers crossed that my husband wouldn’t miss the meat I simmered it up.

Oh goodness, much success with this simple, super healthy soup.  It was so flavorful, so hearty, so satisfying, it warmed me up to the very tips of my toes.  It was a soup that didn’t leave me wanting anything else, the whole grain goodness of the spelt berries made it filling and complete on it’s own.  Click on the recipe name below for a link right to the original recipe.  Normally, I wouldn’t even dare to recommend a variation on Martha's recipe but there are a few so good I just have to share.

Variations on Chickpea, Tomato, and Spelt Soup:

#1 ~

Use cilantro instead of parsley as the garnish. It was all I had on hand and I’m so glad I decided to use it - really picked up on the flavor of the cumin.

#2 ~

Stir in just a dash of apple cider vinegar at the very end.  The sweet acidity will add layers of depth to the paprika and cumin flavors.

#3 ~

Put a little shredded pork in the bottom of the bowl and ladle the soup over it.  I happened to have some pork leftover from tacos the night before and it was an addition that would make any meatless-adverse eater a huge fan of this soup.

#4 ~

Add in a 14 oz can of hominy in place of (or in addition to) the chickpeas.  The corn flavor plays well with the cumin and tomato.

This is a great soup to make on Sundays and portion out for lunches during the week - the flavors just get better and you don’t need to add water to get it back to soup consistency a day or two later.   Give the soup (and a variation or two) a try and let me know what you think.  I’d love to hear if this soup is going to be a staple in your winter soup rotation.

 
Low-FODMAP Tomato Basil Sauce
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Low-FODMAP Tomato Basil Sauce

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This is a simple pasta sauce suitable for people who suffer from IBS and are following a low-FODMAP diet. It is also a wonderful sauce that comes together in about 15 minutes for anyone looking for a delicious and quick meal. The fresh basil really brings this recipe together and won't leave you missing the onion flavor found in traditional red sauces.Spelt pasta is ideal for those suffering from IBS and looking for a pasta low in fructans. Grains that are either gluten-free or made with spelt are allowed on the low-FODMAP diet. However, we believe that you will enjoy both the taste and texture of pastas, breads and other items made with spelt over other low-FODMAP grains. For more information on foods you can eat on the low-FODMAP diet please see this pdf compiled by Stanford University Medical Center.I enjoy the texture of using both crushed and diced tomatoes, however feel free to use only one or the other based on what you have on hand or if you like your red sauce smooth or chunky. Italian sausage pairs nicely with this meal, just double check the sausage ingredients when following a low-FODMAP diet.A note on the garlic cloves: Some IBS sufferers can tolerate a small amount of garlic; others cannot. If you aren't able to tolerate any garlic, or are in an elimination stage of the low-FODMAP diet please skip the step where garlic is toasted in olive oil.

Low-FODMAP Tomato Basil Sauce

 INGREDIENTS[arrow-list][li] 1 box Nature’s Legacy Spelt Pasta [/li][li] 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil [/li][li] 2 cloves of garlic, peeled (only use if you can tolerate a small amount of garlic)[/li][li] 1 16 oz. can crushed tomatoes [/li][li] 1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes [/li][li] pinch of sugar [/li][li] 8 torn fresh basil leaves [/li][/arrow-list]INSTRUCTIONS[arrow-list][li] Coat a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of the oil and warm over medium-low heat. Add the garlic cloves, brown lightly, then discard the cloves. [/li][li] Add the tomatoes and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat up slightly to medium and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. [/li][li] Stir in the basil and the remaining olive oil. Toss with your favorite Nature's Legacy pasta, we like this sauce over 100% Whole Spelt Spaghetti. [/li][/arrow-list]

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