Posted by: TTCLauren | March 15, 2012

Food that lasts forever…it’s almost here

I recently read an article in TIME Magazine while in a doctor’s waiting room.  It was about the strides that scientists are taking in order to extend the shelf life of food, feeling that more sophisticated methods of food preservation are needed to feed the global population which is currently approaching 7 billion, and still growing.

Considering that I market a line of all natural cooking products which have NO preservatives, I read this article with great interest. I read about the new generation of food preservation technology.  It likened this process to that which makes MREs (meals, ready to eat), the rations sent to military troops, and used in long term space missions, which have never been famous for tasting good. 

After Hurricane Katrina, many gulf coast residents subsisted on MREs provided by the military. They feed victims from earthquakes, blizzards, and drought.

We are already seeing signs of this process in stores – tuna in vacuum sealed pouches is said to taste fresher than canned tuna and can last on the shelf (either in the store, or in your pantry) for 2-1/2  years.   The most talked about “imperishable” food (if it really IS food) is Spam.   Although not what you think of when you think about a fresh tasting meal, Spam is sold with an expiration date 2 years in the future, however research at Hormel says that a well-sealed case of Spam would remain edible for 12-15 years, if not longer.  In their depicted timeline of food shelf life, Spam was at the ‘end’ of the list, with the caption “No everyday food lasts longer than this icon.”  Yikes!

Interviewed in the article was Lauren Oleksyk, leader of the food processing, engineering, and technology team at the US Depatment of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate.  She told how in 2002, she and her collegagues introduced an “indestructible” sandwich.  It was a bread envelope, stuffed with pepperoni or barbequed chicken, designed to last three to five years without refrigeration at standard room temperature.

Making food with a long life span poses challenges such as controlling moisture, controlling atmosphere, and controlling micro-organisms (from bacteria to mold).  The “indestructible” sandwich used glycerol and sorbitol in the filling to keep liquid/moisture from the meat from seeping into the bread.  They also used fine, edible polymer films which are said to be undetectible in the mouth.  The packaging had layers of heat resistant polypropylene and metal foil to keep oxygen out.

NASA has reported that it has come up with a bread pudding that can last for 4 years.  At the Pentagon, there is a pound cake said to remain springy for up to 5 years.   Scientists predict that as these foods become more mainstream, in the future we may only need to go to the grocery store once a month, and will rarely, if ever, have to toss food because it has gone bad.  They hope that if fruit and vegetables can be better preserved, they will become less expensive.  Oleksyk’s goal is to create meals that can last up to 10 years.  She says, (and this one really scares me!)  “They (consumers) wouldn’t have any idea of how old it actually was.”

In the Journal of Food Science, they revealed a study conducted by a food scientist at Johnson Space Center.  The report was based on a three year study of 13 foods including three bean salad, pork chops, a vegetable omelette, and tuna casserole.  Once processed and packaged, the foods were stored at the Space Center and tasted on a regular basis over the next 3 years.  They remained edible for a surprising length of time, although there was some visible aging such as darker colors and changing texture.  In the tuna casserole, the pasta got soft, but the tuna held up.  The agency calculated that grilled pork chops could remain edible nearly 7 years, and tuna & salmon for closer to 8 years.

John Floros, head of the food-science department at Penn State, says that we lose too much food to rot and decay, and that frozen and refrigerated sections in grocery stores are expensive to run and maintain, therefore, without good food preservation, at some point we could fall short of meeting the needs of a global population. 

So, it will be interesting to see if consumers “bite” on this new technology.  I for one, will stick to my natural, non GMO, non irradiated, non preserved food!


Posted by: TTCLauren | February 5, 2012

Fresh produce ~ how to crack the codes

In shopping for fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) it might not be as easy as you think to know what you’re getting.      The answers you need may NOT be on the “sign” but they ARE on the sticker/label!   Just about every piece of fruit has a little PLU (product look-up) sticker on it that cashiers use to ring up your purchase, and every vegetable has a scanning label associated with it. The numbers on that sticker are code for the way the produce is grown.

 If the item doesn’t have a sticker on it, look at the sign for a 4 or 5 digit item number.

For example:

  • If the number is 4 digits,  (the 4 digits begin with 3 or 4) the product is conventionally grown with chemical pesticides and fertilizers, but not genetically modified
  • If the number is 5 digits, starting with an 8, it is genetically modified
  • If the number is 5 digits starting with a 9, it is organically grown

So, a Kiwi bearing the sticker “4030” means it is not organic, but conventionally grown. It is NOT genetically modified.

The same is true for the melon with the number: “4317”

If an apple sticker said “96584” it would have been grown organically.   An apple with “86584” would be genetically altered.

A customer (who is also a dietician) saw a sign in the grocery store advertising organic tomatoes at a phenomenal deal…or so she thought!    However,  the sticker on the product was only 4 digits, which should mean commercially grown with pesticides.      Did not compute!    When she inquired of an employee, it was determined to be an error on the sign, and the code (4 digits) was correct, but the description (organic tomatoes) was wrong.   The employee apologized for the error, but I wonder how many customers bought those tomatoes believing they were purchasing organic when in reality they were far from it?

I read once about a customer who used a little rhyme to remember the difference…”4 is a bore– 8 I hate– 9 is mine.”

You won’t be fooled if you just remember to crack  the “code.”

Posted by: TTCLauren | January 29, 2012

Wood Pulp for Dinner….and it’s FDA approved!

Did you hear about the class action suit brought against Taco Bell about their use of Cellulose Fiber in their products?

Cellulose is a form of wood pulp.   You may see it on food labels in many forms such as cellulose gum, powdered cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose.  The FDA, which regulates food industry products, lists cellulose as safe for human consumption.  Even more interesting, the government does not set any limit on the amount of cellulose that can be used in food products.  However, the USDA (who regulates meats) limits cellulose fiber in meat to 3.5%.

Cellulose extends the shelf life of processed food.  It is found in everything from crackers and ice cream to pudding and baked goods.  But until now, no one knew what they were actually paying for (and consuming).  

With food manufacturers looking to cut costs wherever possible, cellulose is becoming more in demand.  It’s cheaper than other fiber sources, allowing the manufacturer to save upwards of 30% in ingredient costs.  

Just as there are those who say High Fructose Corn Syrup is simply ‘corn’ and isn’t bad for you, there are cellulose proponents who boast that they can remove as much as 50% of fat from bakery goods (cakes, brownies, cookies, biscuits, breads, pizza crust, pancakes, muffins) and even scrambled eggs and mashed potato mixes, by substituting powdered cellulose without impacting taste or appearance.   Then they promote it to customers as low fat and high fiber.  Which it is, I guess.  But to me, it’s still wood pulp.

J.Rettenmaier USA, is a company which supplies “organic” cellulose fiber to processed food and meat manufacturers.  They sell food for both human and pet consumption.  These companies also use cellulose for detergents, welding electrodes, pet litter, auto brake pads, glue, roof coating, asphalt, and more. 

Some reports say that Humans are unable to properly digest cellulose, and don’t have the necessary enzymes to break it down.  But it hasn’t stopped the food manufacturers from promoting it to us in items such as:

  • General Mills “Fiber One Ready to Eat Muffins,”
  • Kellogg Eggo Nutrigrain waffles
  • Cinnabon pancakes and snack bars
  • MorningStar Farms chicken patties and veggie wings
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken’s popcorn chicken and Cornbread Muffin
  • Kraft Thick & Creamy Mac & Cheese, and also Three Cheese shells
  •  Wheat Thins
  • McDonalds Fish Filet, McRib, Caesar Salad, Strawberry Sundae, McFlurry
  • Nestle Hot Cocoa Mixes
  • Aunt Jemima Syrup and Frozen blueberry pancakes
  • Pizza Hut Yum! brands
  • Sara Lee/Jimmy Dean frozen breakfast bowls
  • Sonic blast, ice cream, and banana split
  • Taco Bell corn tortilla, southwest chicken, caramel apple empanada, enchilada rice, nacho chips
  • Weight Watchers Vanilla Ice cream sandwich, English Toffee Crunch ice cream bar, cookies & cream ice cream bar
  • Wendy’s/Arby’s fat free french dressing, blue cheese crumbles, frosty shake, and 1% low fat chocolate milk

And the list goes on….happy label reading!   Enjoy your low fat, high fiber processed foods…but just watch out for “splinters!”

Posted by: TTCLauren | November 24, 2011

Whole grain in children’s cereals? But whole grain with WHAT?

Whole grain and…?

I recently read the following cereal comparison in a newsletter I receive about feeding children with ADHD, Autism, and behavioral issues. I can always pick up some new tidbits or read some new studies that I can use in my Wildtree business to help my customers.

 Since I have many customers with young children, (with AND without health issues or diet restrictions) I thought it was worth sharing.  You know how much I love to dissect food labels and find the “NON truths in labeling!”  If your children are begging for the newest cereal craze, or they excitedly show you the endless commercials targeted to kids, or their eyes light up in the grocery store when you hit that cereal aisle full of brightly colored, cartoon-laden boxes boasting “free prize inside” and other “buy me” marketing tactics, check this out. 

Halloween may be over, but it’s still trick ‘n treat at the cereal companies. Emblazoned across the top of cereal boxes, General Mills shouts “Whole Grain Guaranteed” with a big check mark. So what can be wrong with whole grain cereal? Let’s look at a few of them.

Count Chocula – billed as a “chocolatey cereal,” it isn’t really very full of chocolate, but does have some cocoa as the sixth ingredient, right above salt. The ingredient list begins with whole grain corn, followed by several sugars, and includes Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6, Blue 1, artificial flavor and BHT. The judicious mix of red, yellow, and blue colorings is what surely gives it a “chocolate” color, and the artificial flavor is probably some sort of artificial chocolate flavoring chemical, so nobody will notice there is barely any real chocolate in there.

Lucky Charms starts out with whole grain oats, followed by sugars, and the same red, yellow, and blue artificial colorings, and artificial flavor. In this case, the colors are not mixed to make a brown, but are used in the blue, yellow, pink, and green marshmallow pieces. 

Trix is a fruit-flavored cereal that also starts out with whole grain corn, adding the same old Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1, artificial flavor & BHT … oh – and no fruit at all.

So, how confident are you in “truth in advertising” now?  
If you are ready to find some tasty but HEALTHY breakfast alternatives for your kids, check out my website, for some great dye-free and chemical-free jams, muffins (including gluten-free versions), scones, crepes, yogurt seasonings, granola mix, whole grain, buttermilk, or pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin/banana breads, whole grain cranberry orange bread, flax seed beer bread (just substitute ginger ale and use the loaf for french toast or in the toaster) and a host of other NUTRITIONALLY DENSE whole foods (a health benefit in every delicious bite!)  Get some new seasonings for your omelettes and scrambled eggs, easy bagel spreads, home fries seasoning, and even a butter flavored (non dairy) grapeseed oil to cook with, or our new smoky bacon (vegetarian) version, both of which contain NO sodium, NO cholesterol, and NO transfats! 
There is also an extensive recipe section to give you some great new ideas.  Let me know if I can help you restock your cabinets and pantry with better grocery choices ABSOLUTELY FREE!


Posted by: TTCLauren | August 4, 2011

Cancer and Nutrition

What we eat daily can affect our health and quality of life.  Although cancer can affect many different parts of the body, the foods that prevent cancer and deter cancer growth are generally the same.   For example:

  • Fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes all have important nutrients. 
  • Phytochemicals are said to be a cancer-fighting substance.
  • Pectin is known to boost the immune system and and pro-actively destroy cancer-causing substances.

Research reports that people who eat a diet free of animal products, high in plant foods, and low in fat have a much lower risk of developing cancer.  So vegeterians typically have a stronger immune system.

As oxygen (which we need to live) is used in the body, some of the molecules become unstable. These unstable oxygen molecules, called free radicals, can attack cell membranes and even damage the DNA  in the cell. Damage to DNA is the beginning of cancer.

Fortunately, the foods we eat can help protect our bodies. Antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, and others, can neutralize the damaging effects of oxygen. These powerful, natural chemicals come to us in vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans. People who include fruits and vegetables in their daily diets have lower rates of many forms of cancer.

Smokers have provided dramatic demonstrations of the power of vegetables and fruits. A 55-year-old male smoker whose diet is low in vitamin C has a one-in-four risk of dying of lung cancer in the next 25 years. But if the smoker has a high intake of vitamin C, either through diet or supplements, his risk drops to 7 percent.   (Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, article “Essential micronutrients in relation to carcinogenesis”)

Effects of antioxidants have even been seen in childhood. When children with brain tumors were studied, it was found that their mothers consumed less vitamin C during pregnancy, compared to other women.  (Source:  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, article “Epidemiologic evidence regarding vitamin C and cancer”)

Like it or not, we are all exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. We are all exposed to chemicals in the air, in water, in food, and in household products, not to mention the carcinogens produced within our bodies as a part of our metabolic processes. While trying to minimize our exposure to carcinogens, we can also shore up our defenses against these assaults by including generous amounts of vegetables and fruits in our diet. A plant-based diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and unprocessed cereals is associated with a decreased risk of cancer. (Source:  Recommendations from the American Institute for Cancer Research as written by A. Chavez  article “Diet that prevents cancer.”)

Healthy diet choices are within YOUR control.  Wildtree’s all natural cooking products are nutritionally dense whole foods–meaning that beyond great taste, our ingredients offer a specific health benefit in every delicious bite!   Our products can add endless variety of flavors to your vegetables, chicken, seafood and other protein… even kids can learn healthy habits while they will love choosing their favorite spice blend for their chicken, or to season their veggies!    Some of my personal healthy (and easy) favorites to make with my Wildtree pantry products are:

  • Lemon grapeseed oil and dill blend on my steamed carrots; 
  • Rancher steak rub (a monterey style seasoning without the MSG) on my sauteed sliced zucchini & summer squash; 
  • 5 calorie (and 10 minute) chicken picatta
  • Chipotle Lime Rub on baked Tilapia
  • Garlic & Herb blend in mashed potatoes
  • Smoked Tomato & Mozzarella blend filling for celery sticks
  • Smoked Tomato & Mozzarella mixed with spinach & feta to make stuffed boneless chicken breasts
  • Smoky Bacon flavor (vegeterian) grapeseed oil (no sodium, no cholesterol, no trans fat) instead of butter, to scramble eggs
  • Apple cranberry jam  (45 calories) as a glaze for baked chicken
  • Pacific fusion sauce (no MSG, great kick) as a substitute for “A1” sauce on my chicken or steaktips
  • Pacific fusion as a substitute for soy sauce in my Wildtree meatloaf mix (that has no added gluten)

Anyway, you get the idea!   Have fun with your food!  Eat more veggies!  If you need more ideas for using your Wildtree faves, just let me know!  Bon Appetit!

To your health,


How often do you think you are eating bugs?   Did you know that most candy coatings are actually made out from secretions that came out of a bug?

The shiny coating is known as Shellac, an ingredient that is used in many candies and pharmaceuticals.

Technically Shellac is recognized as GRAS under the FDA or Generally Recognized As Safe for human consumption.

Many people are shocked and a little disgusted when they find out that the source of shellac is from the rear end of a beetle-like bug.   The other name for shellac, confectioner’s glaze, sounds much sweeter than dried beetle juice.

They say that Eating Bugs Is Good For You…I’m not so sure I agree with that one!

It takes about 100,000 lac bugs to make 500 g of shellac flakes. This means that every time you eat those sweet candies you are really consuming parts from thousands of beetles.  Hmmm, wonder what that means for the vegetarian community?  Do bugs count ?

What products contain shellac?

As a general rule, any hard-coated, shiny candy contains a shellac coating or glaze (M&Ms™ is one exception–thank goodness! LOL) Shellac may appear on the label under different names. The two most common ones in use today are “resinous glaze” or “confectioner’s glaze.” In general, all Easter candy (eggs and jelly beans) are coated. Halloween candy (candy corn) is as well.

Other Confections Reported to Contain Shellac:

• Hershey’s Whopper’s Malted Milk Balls™
• Hershey’s Milk Duds™
• Nestle’s Raisinettes™
• Nestle’s Goober’s™
• Tootsie Roll Industry’s Junior Mints™ (NOT Tootsie Rolls)
• Tootsie Roll Industry’s Sugar Babies™
• Jelly Belly™ jelly beans, mint crèmes
• Godiva’s™ Dark Chocolate Almond Bar; Dark Chocolate Cherries; Milk Chocolate Cashews; White Chocolate Pearls; Milk Chocolate Pearls.
• Gertrude Hawk’s™ chocolate-covered nuts and raisins; cupcake sprinkles; decorative cake pieces
• Russell Stover’s™ jelly beans; NOT in their chocolate-covered cherries or mint patties
• Skittles™ and Starburst™: no shellac, but they do contain gelatin (an animal-derived ingredient)

Hungry?   Or not so much?

Posted by: TTCLauren | July 23, 2011

Genetically modified foods….are they safe?

On Monday I returned from Wildtree’s national conference in St Louis.  In addition to launching our new fall product line (including an officially stamped “gluten free” collection), one of the days offered numerous ‘break out sessions’ for training in various topics of our choice. There were six slots in which we could take any of roughly 15 different sessions. It is impossible to take them all, but the one I always make sure to attend is the newest “food facts” seminar– the presentation of the most timely and important developments in the food industry– as the speaker is always freshly returned from the Institute of Food Technologists conference.

This year, the hot topic was GMO’s (Genetically modified foods).  I knew what GMO stood for, and I knew that Wildtree products did NOT contain any GMO’s, but beyond that,  I didn’t truly understand the magnitude of the debate until now.  All I can say is…WOW!  It will take several blog posts to share it all, but here’s a start…

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) reported that “several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The AAEM asked physicians to advise patients to avoid GM foods.  Unlike safety evaluations for drugs, there are no human clinical trials of GM foods.

Before the FDA decided to allow GMOs into food without labeling, FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged long-term safety studies, but were ignored.   For example, Russian and Austrian tests showed that:

  • o   Mice eating GM corn for the long term had fewer, and smaller, babies
  • o   More than half the babies of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks, and were smaller
  • o   By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies
  • o   Rodents fed GM corn and soy showed immune system responses and signs of toxicity

 Although the most famous studies were done in other countries, their effects are bourne out here in the US as well.  For example, central Iowa Farmer Jerry Rosman also had trouble with pigs and cows becoming sterile. Some of his pigs even had false pregnancies or gave birth to bags of water. After months of investigations and testing, he finally traced the problem to GM corn feed.

Though the FDA decided in 1992 not to require labeling genetically altered foods, polls suggest that Americans support it. Last fall, a bill was introduced to Congress that would require labeling of these foods. But market forces may beat Congress to the punch. As Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman told Newsweek: “I’m not going to mandate [food labeling] from a national governmental level, but I believe that more and more companies are going to find that some sort of labeling is in their own best interest.

While the biotech industry estimates that 60 percent of processed foods in this country already contain genetically modified ingredients, consumers in England and France refuse to eat the stuff.   American exporters are finding markets for genetically altered corn and soy shrinking dramatically. The Boston Globe reported that sales of US corn to Spain and Portugal dropped from 1.8 million tons to 133,000 “based on concerns about the genetically modified adulteration of US grains.

Opposition that first caused food processors in Europe to remove genetically modified ingredients has rippled worldwide. Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia have enacted labeling laws. In July, Heinz and Gerber bowed to consumer pressure and pledged to remove these ingredients from their baby foods. In September, ADM told suppliers to segregate their genetically modified crops from conventional ones in deference to their overseas buyers.

After reading the results of these studies, one of the scientists was bold enough to voice that ” maybe the GM soy will solve the over population problem!”    Ouch!  But, there are more and more cases of food allergies, infertility, birth defects, and other problems being on the RISE not the decline.   Hmmmm. 

As I read, “we can only speculate about the relationship between the introduction of genetically modified foods in 1996, and the corresponding upsurge in low birth weight babies, infertility, and other problems among the US population. But many scientists, physicians, and concerned citizens don’t think that the public should remain the lab animals for the biotech industry’s massive uncontrolled experiment.”

At this point, I can’t help but agree with them!

Posted by: TTCLauren | July 3, 2011

Are there duck feathers and human hair in your food?

A friend of mine turned me on to the show “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”,  knowing how much I love to decipher food labels and mystery ingredients.  My husband and I have watched several episodes and are in total amazement at what we’ve learned.   One of the most enlightening episodes was where Jamie visited a Culinary Arts classroom at a Los Angeles prep school and did a hands on demonstration using a summer favorite…ice cream sundaes.   After putting out ice cream, bowls, and an array of traditional toppings such as cookie crumbs, M&Ms, sprinkles, and such, and letting the students create their own sundae and begin eating, he dropped the bomb!   In a very eye opening way.  He took a trifle dish and began layering it with duck feathers, human hair, shellac, beetles, and other assorted ingredients and let the students know that the toppings in their bowl most likely contained some of those exact ingredients!

One of the ones that stuck with me was L-Cysteine.   I’ve seen the word, but never paid much attention to what it was.  But after seeing that,  I will now!  Let me share with you what I’ve found…

The non-essential amino acid L-cysteine is a derivative of human hair that is commonly used in food production as a dough softener, flavor enhancer, and sometimes as a dietary supplement.   L-cysteine is found in the majority of pizza doughs, cookies, pastas, pastries and fast food buns.

How is L-cysteine produced?

Ten years ago the most way to obtain L-cysteine on industrial scale was through hydrolysis of human hair found on the floors of Chinese barbershops. Today, approximately 80% of it is derived from duck feathers.

At least two forms of synthetic L-cysteine have been produced.  One is made with non-animal enzymes and the other is made using corn sugar as the growth medium. Since both forms are expensive, they are not commonly used.

Restaurant Chains and Foods containing L-cysteine:

From what I read, McDonald’s uses L-cysteine derived from duck feathers is in their Honey Wheat Roll, the Deluxe Warm Cinnamon Roll, and the Baked Apple Pie.

Wendy’s uses L-cysteine in their Premium Sandwich Buns and their tortillas

Dunkin’ Donuts listed several items using L-cysteine derived from duck feathers.

Burger King said that it “could not guarantee” the source of L-cysteine in its products.

On the other hand, Subway announced in March 2007 that it has removed the L-cysteine from its otherwise animal product-free Carb Conscious Wrap.

Domino’s Pizza said that their L-cysteine is “microbially derived” or synthetic in its Hand-Tossed Crust and informed us that the L-cysteine in Domino’s Breadsticks, Cheesy Bread, and Cinna Stix is “vegetable-derived.”

Most people initial reactions when finding out that their cookie dough ice cream contains by-products of human hair or duck feathers is one of disgust.  However, L-cysteine is still a non-essential amino acid that is produced in the human body. Some people even take it as a supplement to improve hair and nail growth.

L-cysteine is considered a substance that is “generally regarded as safe” by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). It must be labeled by its “common and usual name, L-cysteine, on food packages.   

Next time, we’ll talk about the candy coating on your sweets that comes from the rear end of a beetle!  Stay tuned!

Posted by: TTCLauren | June 4, 2011

The doctor or the “clown?”

The growing rate of diet-related illness, especially among children is staggering. Mounting evidence points to the correlation between predatory marketing and the rise in diet-related illness among children and young people.  And thanks to diets high in fast-food it’s estimated that ONE IN THREE American newborns will develop Type II Diabetes in their lifetime.

Last year Corporate Accountability International called on fast food giant McDonald’s to retire its icon Ronald McDonald and halt junk food marketing to kids, including “happy meals.”   Instead, this year the company pursued a “nutriwashing” strategy: introducing oatmeal with nutritional value no better than Snickers, and strawberry lemonade containing more sugar than Coca-Cola.

Health professionals on the frontlines of the crisis to protect public health are undermined by junk food promotions. The collective leadership of clinicians and the public health community is critical in urging McDonald’s to change course.  In May, more than 550 health professionals and institutions had already signed an Open Letter to McDonalds and their stockholders initiated by Boston-Based organization “Corporate Accountability.”  In this letter, published in major newspapers, the doctors describe the epidemic that alarms them: A full third of American kids are obese.

Their letter coincides with a McDonald’s shareholder meeting in Chicago where 14 institutional investors introduced the first resolution ever to call on a major corporation to deal with its public health impacts as well as shareholder liabilities for these impact could carry.  

Corporate Accountability International is a membership organization that has for 34 years protected people by effectively challenging irresponsible and dangerous corporate actions around the globe.

Their successes include

  • the Nestlé Boycott, causing changes in the food corporation’s aggressive marketing of infant formula,
  • the Send Joe Camel Packing initiative (including the development of the World Health Organization’s global tobacco treaty. In 2010
  • a New York and San Francisco policy that sets basic nutritional standards for the use of toy giveaways in children’s meals. 
Corporate Accountability group is working to reverse the epidemic of diet-related disease, mobilizing tens of thousands of people across the country in calling on the fast food industry to:
  • Stop fast food marketing, promotion, and sponsorship that appeals to children and teenagers
  • Stop manipulating public health policy and nutrition science
  • Provide complete, accurate, and non-promotional information about the health risks of fast food

The White House and the Federal Trade Commission are both recommending an end to junk food advertising to children, with the FTC preparing new voluntary guidelines for the nutritional quality of food that’s marketed to children.  McDonald’s committed to reducing junk food marketing to kids five years ago.  But the doctor’s letter shows that they aren’t seeing it.  It actually appears the opposite…

In 2006 fast food companies spent an estimated $2.3 billion marketing specifically to children, with McDonald’s alone spending $400 million.  In recent years, McDonald’s has apparently extended, not cut back, its reach into children’s minds and mouths. A study found that in 2009, small children were exposed to up to 25 percent more McDonald’s ads than in 2007.

Unlike doctors, McDonald’s hasn’t had to swear the Hippocratic Oath. 

So, who will you be taking your health advice from?  The doctor? Or the clown?

Posted by: TTCLauren | May 15, 2011

Fire up the grill with these delicious recipes!

I’m told that MAY is National Burger Month!  And I was grilling Rodeo burgers today and didn’t even know!  (smile)    If you’re looking for some yummy alternatives to the traditional (and sometimes boring) cheeseburger, check these out.   If there are any ingredients you need for your Wildtree pantry, just let me know!   Bon Appetit!
Rodeo Burgers
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 TBSP Rodeo Rub
Leslie’s Smoky Burger & Rib Sauce
(optional:  Diced onion–a must in my house!)

In a large bowl, combine ground beef and Leslie’s Burger sauce (and onion if desired) and mix only until incorporated. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, form into patties. Pat Rodeo rub on one side.   Grill burgers over medium-high heat, 5-6 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Serve on kaiser or bulkie rolls with Leslie’s Smoky Burger & Rib Sauce and a slice of cheese!  These are a favorite in my house–so moist that you don’t even need condiments!


Falafel Veggie Burgers

1 package Wildtree’s Own Falafel Mix
1/4 cup corn
1/4 cup black beans
1/4 cup small diced red bell pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
2 TBSP Wildtree Natural Grapeseed Oil
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
4 slices cheese (optional)
Prepare falafel according to package directions and add corn, beans, and red bell pepper. Form into four patties. Heat the grapeseed oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry patties until brown and crispy. If desired, place cheese on patty 1 minute before it is finished cooking. Place on hamburger bun and serve

Portobello Mushroom Burger
4 hamburger buns or sandwich rolls
4 portobello mushrooms
4 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise
4 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon Wildtree Natural Grapeseed Oil
1 serving Wildtree Basil Pesto 

Heat a well-oiled grill to medium-high heat. Brush Grapeseed oil on the mushrooms and zucchini and grill until slightly softened.  Lightly oil the insides of the buns or rolls and briefly place them on the grill to heat through and give them a light crunch. Prepare Basil Pesto as instructed on package and combine with cream cheese. Spread Basil Pesto/cream cheese mix on buns or rolls. Add the vegetables to the buns and cover with the tops.

Turkey Burger with Cheddar & Onion Spread

1 TBSP Wildtree Natural Grapeseed Oil
4 fresh or frozen 1/3 pound turkey burgers
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
4 crusty rolls, split and toasted if desired
½ cup Wildtree Sweet Onion Spread
Romaine lettuce
Sliced tomatoes
Heat Grapeseed Oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add burgers and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side. Place a cheddar slice on each patty in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Place burgers on rolls, top with onion spread, and lettuce and tomato, if desired.
Tex Mex Sliders
1 pound ground beef, 85% lean
1 tablespoon Wildtree Hickory Smoked Grilling Grapeseed Oil
2 teaspoons Wildtree California Style Garlic Pepper Blend
4 slices cheddar cheese, halved
8 mini burger bun

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, Hickory Oil and Garlic Pepper Blend. Mix well and form into 8 mini patties. Grill meat to desired doneness. Add the half slice of cheese and arrange on the buns. You can also top the burgers with Wildtree’s Guacamole, Fiesta Salsa, baby arugula and red onion.

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