Posted in All things food, Homeschooling

Yet Another Reason to Homeschool

or yarths for short, which has a great piratey sound, doncha think?

http://health.msn.com/kids-health/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100244850&GT1=31036

This is an entertainingly written but ultimately chilling  piece on the 20 worst fast foods for children.  It starts by pointing out that the average family spends more on eating out than on books and educational materials, music, movies, and video games combined.

In the ensuing discussion, one poster points out that school dinners are just as bad and suggests that Emeril, Rachel Ray, and Martha Stewart should be tapped to do something about it.  In England Jamie Oliver had a series, Jamie’s School Dinners, where he worked with kids in one school to get them to try healthier alternatives.   The difference was that the kids were bringing their own packed lunches and he was trying to get fresher/healthier stuff packed by the parents.

Families who are able to homeschool can teach their children to cook from scratch, can eat lunch at home usually, and dinner can be made as part of the daily routine instead of exhausted parents getting takeout or going out because they’re too frazzled after a hard day’s work to cook from scratch.

Posted in Uncategorized

Pet Food Paranoia

Our cats (Cookie above and Chloe, left) are doing so well that the vet asked what we feed them — the friend who could no longer keep Chloe turned us on to Eagle Pack and they started on the kitten food and moved up to the adult cat formula, supplemented with Feline Greenies and occasional treats like chicken, crab, or tuna (never a whole meal though!)

These cats are healthy and also well behaved, unlike other cats in my past who would push wrapped food off the table to check out if it might just be cat food, even if it was chocolate cake! I think it’s because they are not missing any trace elements.

As the current news story grew in the media and more and more companies were recalling their products, I checked out both Eagle Pack http://www.eaglepack.com/ and www.FelineGreenies.com, neither of them have been recalled.

My firstborn, ever the marketer, is going “Where’s their press releases? Why aren’t they getting the good news out?”

The man at Tempe Feed & Tack said none of the products they carry have been recalled, which is pretty impressive.

This reminded me of the two months I spent in England in 2005. No, I wasn’t eating cat food! But there was a scare re Sudan One red dye in chili powder that had been imported and sold to food processors, where it proceeded to turn up in Worcester sauce, baked beans, frozen shepher’s pie, and hundreds of other goodies, you name it! I mean, how many times do we see “spices and flavorings” at the tail end of the ingredient list.

We just found out that Fritos and Doritos contain pork enzymes in the cheese flavored products. I have a nasty suspicion that other brands would too but we just KNOW about Fritos and we don’t know about the others.

Then there’s the cheery message on the Japanese pickled ginger we were inhaling with the sushi an enterprising family member made by hand:

“Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccharine which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals.”

And saccharine is the second ingredient, after ginger and before water!

Well, at least the cats stuck with the crab. Wonder how hard it would be to pickle our own ginger?