Mango- Jalapeno Ribs with Monterey- Bacon Hasselbeck Potatoes and Fiesta Corn

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Recently, my children and I decided to work together on a Fourth of July dinner. The apartment complex I was living in didn’t allow grilling (shame); however, there is always an option. Slow Roasting is always the best second option when it comes to ribs for me, and the relatively low heat used didn’t heat the apartment up too much. All in all, this was an awesome meal… and now I am sharing the recipe with you! Enjoy!

Slow Roasted St. Louis Style Ribs

One 3 – 4 pound rack of St. Louis Style Ribs

Your favorite barbecue rub

Preheat the oven to 250˚.

Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. This is easily done by loosening an end with a knife and then grabbing the piece with a clean paper towel and pulling it off.

ribs

Place the ribs on a large rimmed baking sheet. Rub a generous amount of the barbecue rub on both sides of the rack.

With the ribs bone-side down, put the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast for 2 hours.

Turn the ribs over and roast for another hour.

Turn the ribs over so they are again bone-side down and roast for one more hour, basting with barbeque sauce (in this case Mango Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce), or until the ribs are fork-tender and practically falling off the bone. (Total roasting time will be 4 – 4½ hours.)

Mango- Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce

 

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)

1 Red pepper, diced (about 1 cup)

3 Cloves garlic coarsely chopped

1 tsp. Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup Red wine vinegar

3 Tbsp. Honey

2 Tbsp.  Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp.  Lime juice

1/4 cup Tomato sauce

2 Mangoes, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)

2 to 3 Jalapenos, minced

Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the red peppers, garlic, mango, jalapenos, salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes more. Stir in the vinegar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice and tomato sauce and simmer for 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture into a bender. Blend until smooth.

Monterey –Bacon Hasselbeck Potatoes

4 Large baking potatoes

1 Stick of butter

3 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Sliced Monterey Jack cheese

Bacon Bits for topping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Wash the potatoes well. Cut a thin side off each potato so that it makes it easier hold them straight on the table, and slice them. The slices should be about 3 to 4 mm in thickness; do not cut all the way through, only about 4/5 of the way.Slice the butter into thin slices and add the butter in between slices of potato. You can also add a bit more olive oil if you prefer. Bake for 45 minutes, then cover with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 15 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through. At this point, I carefully inserted small slices of cheese in the cuts and returned to the oven for 5-6 minutes to melt the cheese. Top with crispy bacon bits.

Fiesta Corn

2 Cups fresh corn

½ Cup of green bell pepper, diced

½ Cup of red bell pepper, diced

½ Cup of water

1 Tbsp. of butter

½ tsp of cumin

½ tsp. of chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a pan to medium heat. Add butter and saute’ the red and green bell pepper until just soft, 1-2 minutes. Add corn to the pan and sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes. Add cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper, and cook for an additional minute. Add the water and cover, simmering until corn is tender.

 

Asian-Style Pork Crepes with Jicama-Asian Pear Slaw

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The more I cook, the more I find similarities between different styles of cuisine, and the more I realize that we all basically think alike when it comes to food. Even as far away as Mexico is from Thailand, the predominanance of chilis and cilantro/coriander provides enough of a connection to explore; and in Chinese cuisine, jian bingcan be likened to the tortillas of Mexico.

As a chef, I developed an affinity for portable foods. Always being busy, having to eat on my feet, and never having much time to sit down, all fostered the creation of many impromptu tacos, sandwiches, and wraps. This is one of my favorite creations, combining succulent pulled pork in a salty, sweet ,sticky sauce with the sweetness, acidity, and texture of jicama and Asian pear. Wrap it up in a Peking-style crepe,and have something special.

Asian-Style Pork Crepes with Jicama-Asian Pear Slaw

Pork

2.5 lb Pork shoulder

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

2 Tablespoons canola oil

Rinse pork shoulder and pat dry. Season all sides liberally with kosher salt. In a dutch oven, heat the canola and sesame oil on medium high. Fry pork on all sides until cripsy brown, fill the dutch over 1/3 of the way full with water, and place in a 350 degree oven for 3 hours. Remove from oven when the meat pulls away from the bone and allow to rest for 1 hour before shredding into long strips.

Sauce

1/4 Cup of soy sauce

1/4 Cup braising liquid from the pork

3 Garlic cloves. minced

1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 Star anise pod

2 Cloves

1/4 Brown sugar

3 Sezchuan pppercorns

1 Tablespoon corn starch mixed in 2 Tablespoons water.

1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

In a medium saucepan heat sesame oil over medium heat.  Add garlic, ginger and spices and cook gently for 2-3 minutes. Add soy sauce, braising liquid and sugar and reduce heat to very low. Steep until ready to mix with shredded pork, then strain and thicken with cornstarch and water slurry. Mix with shredded pork.

Asian Pear and Jicama Slaw

1/4 Red bell pepper, jullienned

1/2 Yellow bell pepper,julienned

1 Large jalapeno,seeded and  julienned

1/2 Yellow onion, julliened

1 Cup Asian pear, peeled and jullienned

1 Cup  jicama, peeled and julliened

1/2 Cup carrot, peeled and julienned

Juice of lime

1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour

Peking crepes

1/2 Cup plain flour

2 Tablespoons cornflour

1/4 Cup water

1/4 Cup milk

2 Eggs

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Combine flour, cornflour, water, milk, eggs and half the butter in a food processor. Process until batter is smooth. Pour into a jug. Cover and stand for 15 minutes.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Brush with remaining butter. Pour a tablespoonful of batter into frying pan. Spread to form a thin pancake, about 16cm in diameter. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn and cook for a further 1 minute. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter.

Fill crepes with shedded pork and a bit of the Asian slaw, and roll. Serve immediately with white rice.

Blackberry Cream Scones

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I have hoarded the recipe for these entirely too long. Here it is and I hope you enoy it. They came out ridiculously good, and I’m finally sharing them with you …

Blackberry Scones

2 Cups all-purpose flour

1/4 Cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 Cup butter, chilled

3/4 Cup  heavy cream or half and half

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Cup blackberries, fresh or frozen

1 Tbsp coarse sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into smaller pieces and add to flour mixture, tossing to coat. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until mixture is sandy and butter is well distributed, with no pieces larger than a big pea. Combine cream and vanilla extract and pout into flour mixture. Stir until dough comes together. Add blackberries and gently knead into the dough. It is okay if some berries get slightly crushed. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and flatten dough into a disc about 3/4-inch thick. Use a knife to divide disc into six triangles. Place scones on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with coarse sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, or until scones are golden brown.

Brown Sugar Glaze

1/3 Cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/3 Cup sugar

1/3 Cup whipping cream

Combine first 4 ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and boil 1 minute. Cool slightly and drizzle over the scones.

Pork Bolognese

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I have a strong love for all Mediterranean Foods – Spanish, Greek, and Italian. One of my absolute favorite sauces of all time is Bolognese. Combine that with my passion for pork and things can begin to get very exciting, even sexy, very quickly. I invite you to try my spin on an old classic. This sauce respects the tradition, while bringing a bit of my own personality to the table. Truly an awesome remix …

Pork Bolognese

1 ½ Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 Cups onion, finely diced

½ Cup carrot, finely diced

½ Cup celery, finely diced

½ Cup green bell pepper, finely diced

4-6 Cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 Bay leaf

IPpound of cooked, shredded pork

2 Ounces of bacon or pancetta, finely diced

¼ Cup tomato paste

1- 15 Ounce can of tomato puree

1-15 Ounce can of crushed tomatoes

1 ½ Cups pork stock

1 Cup red wine

1/8 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg

1 6-Inch sprig of fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 Cup chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf to pan; cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add bacon or pancetta and 1/4 teaspoon salt; sauté 6-8 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Stir in shredded pork and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato puree, crushed tomatoes and next 4 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Discard bay leaf and rosemary sprig; stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Serve with your favorite pasta and top with pecorino romano and parsley.

Espresso Blackout Mini Cakes with Caramel Glaze, Toasted Almonds and Vanilla Creme Anglaise

Just like everyone who bakes cakes, I have been on a mission to find the perfect chocolate cake for what seems like my whole life. This cake recipe is pretty close to perfect for what I like in my cake. Moist, dark, and chocolatey. Not too dense and not too light. I found the cake recipe at The Toque and Apron.  I added some espresso powder because I feel it enhances the chocolate flavor.One problem though – I’m not found of traditional icing. So I made a caramel glaze and topped the cakes with chopped, toasted almonds. I added a bit of Vanilla Creme Anglaise, and the was a perfect dessert … at least for me …

Heat oven to 350 degrees F

Sift together

2 Cups all-purpose flour

2 Cups sugar

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 Cup Hershey’s Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder

2 Tablespoons of finely ground espresso

Add in this order:

1 Cup vegetable oil

2 Cups hot water

2 Eggs, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pour into large size cupcake or muffin tin, bake for 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Caramel glaze

1/2 Cup butter

1/2 Cup dark drown sugar, packed

1/2 Cup sugar

1/3 Cup of heavy cream or half and half.

1/2 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in a small saucepan and add sugars. Add cream and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat and then remove from burner … as it cools, it will begin to thicken. At this point I dipped the cakes in the glaze, and then in the toasted almonds. I love the flavor and texture of almonds, but you can just as easily omit them if you wish.

Vanilla Creme Anglaise

6 Extra-large eggs

½ Cup sugar

2 Cups milk

1½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Fill a large bowl with ice-water and keep it nearby.

Separate the eggs. We only use the yolks for making creme anglaise. You can save the whites for other recipes, like making an egg-white omelet.

Beat the egg yolks with a whisk for a minute or two, until they’re very smooth.

Add the sugar and whisk for about 2 more minutes, or until the the sugar is fully incorporated and the yolks are a pale shade of yellow.

Heat the milk in a double-boiler until it is not quite simmering. Don’t let it boil. You want to heat the milk until it reaches 180°F as measured with an instant-read thermometer.

Very slowly pour the hot milk into the egg and sugar mixture while whisking constantly. Don’t add the milk too fast or the eggs will cook, and you really don’t want that.

Return the custard to the double-boiler and gently heat, stirring continuously, until it reaches 185°F. The creme anglaise will be thick but still pourable.

Now set the top-part of your double-boiler into the bowl of ice-water to cool the creme anglaise. Stir in the vanilla. Stir the creme anglaise once in a while until it is fully cooled.

Now that you have all of the components made, you can plate them in a fun way that suits your own personality. I put the anglaise under the cake so you get some in every bite .I added a bit of chocolate ganache’ too, but that’s just me. Enjoy!

Pulled Pork Spring Rolls

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Making a dish with several components isn’t just about having more parts. Each component needs to elevate and accentuate the others, or there is no point. Making the components sing together is always the final goal, and each should add a favor or texture point that the others do not, by themselves, have. This particular rendition of Spring Rolls is far from traditional, but its sure to be ‘a crowd pleaser’. Sweet, hot, creamy, tangy and crispy all come together in a symphony of deliciousness.

Honey-Ginger Barbeque Sauce

 2 Cups tomato puree

1 Cup tomato sauce

1/4 Cup organic honey

1/4 Cup red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

2 Tbsp. chili powder

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

½ Red onion, diced finely

Juice of 1 lime

3 Garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp.  Black pepper

½ tsp.  Dijon mustard

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and blend well. Place over medium heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally

Pickled Red Onions

 1 ½ Cups hot water

1 Cup distilled white vinegar

3 Tbsp. sugar

1 Red onion, halved, thinly sliced

¼ tsp. smoked Serrano sea salt

1/8 tsp. dried crushed red pepper

Combine hot water, vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in non-reactive bowl. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add onions, salt, and crushed red pepper. Stir to blend. Cover and chill overnight.

Mango Salsa

1 Mango, peeled and diced

1 Tbsp finely chopped red jalapeno

1/3 Cup diced red onion

1 Tbsp lime juice

1/3 Cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves

1/3 Cup green bell pepper, diced

Salt and pepper

Combine the mango, bell pepper, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice and cilantro leaves and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chili-Lime Aioli

3 Tbsp. Lime juice

I Egg yolk

1/3 Cup olive oil

1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped

2 Roasted green jalapenos, seeded and stemmed.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Place the egg yolk and lime juice into a blender and pulse a few times until the mixture becomes a pale yellow. Then blend on medium speed while drizzling in olive oil, just a few drops at first, and then in a very slow, steady stream as it begins to thicken. Add the roasted jalapenos and oregano while continuing to blend and, when all oil is added, add a bit of salt and pepper; then taste and adjust seasonings.

 

Spring Rolls

10 oz. shredded pork mixed with 1 cup of Honey-Ginger Barbeque sauce

Pickled red onion

8- 10 Vietnamese rice paper spring roll wraps

 Preheat oven to 450 degrees F

Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip one wrapper into the hot water for 5 seconds to soften. Lay wrapper flat. In a row across the center lay a row of the pulled pork, topped by a bit of pickled onion, leaving about 2 inches uncovered on each side. Fold uncovered sides inward, then tightly roll the wrapper. Repeat process until pork is gone.

Brush the spring rolls lightly with oil and arrange on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, turn and bake for another 15 minutes

Albondigas

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This is my spin on a truly classic Spanish dish that can be served as a Tapas, or as an entree. Simple and delicious, there are relatively few ingredients, which is typical of many Mediterranean dishes. No muddled flavors here, and the results are clearly a fabulous experience that will fit in well at a dinner party or a family dinner.+ Provecho

Meatballs

1lb. Ground veal
1lb. Ground pork
2 Slices white bread, soaked in milk, crusts removed
12  Cup onion, finely diced
8 Cloves garlic, minced
2 Eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
Place ground veal and ground pork in a large mixing bowl.  Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper,eggs, garlic, and soaked bread.  Mix thoroughly, but do not over mix; form into 1.5 inch balls.
Heat a large, high-sided pan on medium heat, then add all of the olive oil.  Carefully place meatballs into hot pan, taking care not to overcrowd.  Cook on all sides until done.
Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1-14.5 Ounce can of tomato sauce
6 Cloves garlic, sliced
1 Cup diced onion
1 Cup diced green pepper
1 tsp Oregano
1 Bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a medium saucepan on medium heat.  Add olive oil and sauté onion and green pepper until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.  Add garlic, bay leaf, oregano, salt and pepper and cook for an additional 3 minutes.  Stir in tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 350°F.

Add the cooked meatballs and sauce back into the high sided pan and bake for 20 minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven and serve.

Shrimp and Crab Chilau

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This is based on a classic Cuban/American dish that comes straight out of my childhood. I vividly remember dipping chunks of Cuban bread into the sauce while it was cooking , . and being good naturedly scolded by my Mom while doing so only to be back doing the same thing 20 minutes later. This was always a “celebration dish” for our family, eaten when we had large family gatherings. Eating this today brings to mind those times and how much love we shared as a family.

Shrimp and Crab Chilau

2 Tbsp. Olive oil

2 Medium onions, diced

1 Large green bell pepper, diced

6 Cloves of garlic, diced

16 oz. Can of tomato paste

1- 29 oz. Can of tomato puree

1-14 oz. Can of diced tomatoes

1 Cup of white wine

2 tsp. Dried oregano

3 Bay leaves

2 tsp.Tabasco sauce

2 Tbsp. Fresh oregano, chopped (for garnish)

1 Pound of medium (21-25ct) shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 Pound of lump crab meat

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a stock pot to medium heat.  Add the olive oil, then the onions and peppers and sauté until soft. Add the garlic, oregano, and bay leaves, salt and pepper, and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add the can of tomato paste, and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the wine, tomato puree, and the diced tomatoes. Bring to a slow boil, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. At that point, add the Tabasco and check for seasonings by tasting. Add the lump crab meat and the shrimp and cook till the shrimp just begin to turn pink; then turn off the heat. Serve with white rice and/or Cuban bread.

Crockpot Ropa Vieja

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I always hesitate to mess with classic Cuban dishes, and this one is no exeception. However, replacing the classic flank steak used in this recipe with chuck roast adds both flavor and a richness that you simply cannot obtain otherwise. Sorry, Mom, I hope you understand 😉

CROCK POT ROPE VIEJA

2 Tbsp. olive oil

4 Pounds chuck roast

1 Tbsp. Kosher or sea salt

2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil

1 (8 ounce) Can tomato sauce

1 Medium onion, diced

1 Green bell pepper, diced

6 Cloves garlic, chopped

1 (6 ounce) Can tomato paste

1 tsp. Ground cumin

1 tsp. Chopped fresh cilantro

1 Tbsp. Olive oil

1 Tbsp. White vinegar

2 Bay leaves

½ Tbsp. Salt

¼ Tbsp. of Pepper

Season and brown the roast on all sides over medium to medium high heat. Remove from pan and reserve. Add the olive oil and reduce heat. Add the diced onion and green pepper, salt and pepper and cook for 3 to 4 minutes; then add the chopped garlic and cook for an additional minute. Reduce heat, add the cumin and bay leaf, and cook for three more minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, and bring to a simmer. Transfer the meat and sauce to a crockpot and cook for 6 hours or until easily shredded. Shred beef using two forks and serve with white rice, black beans and fried plantains.

Organics: A New Old Way of Doing Things

A few weeks ago, a fellow blogger asked me to be part of a series of articles on Non-GMO foods and their benefits. Since then, I have done so much reading and research on this subject that it may not be far off the mark to call it a life-changing experience. Indeed, much of my perspective on organics, and food in general, has been forever altered, and I see this as a greater extension of my ‘Cooking My Way Home’ philosophy. I originally intended my first post to be about my visit to my friend Tom’s local apiary, and what I encountered and learned upon my visit there, but I would be remiss going into that without this prologue. It has been said you must crawl before you can walk, my friends, and this remains an irrevocable truth in my perspective, as sure as a seed must sprout before it can grow.

First, I would like to explain that I have been ignorant of many things, and saying this as it pertains to food is not an easy thing for me to admit. Surely, food and my love of it has been a dominant and constant element in my life for as long as I can remember, and the admission that I have left stones unturned along the way is a painful fact. The truth is the truth, however, and although my ego smarts a bit from the revelation of this fact, it is also an undeniable fact that there can be no change without first admitting there is a problem, and there is a problem indeed. In fact, the problem is legion by its very nature, for one thing invariably affects many, much the same way that ripples spread from a single pebble dropped in the middle of a pool. In my heart of hearts, I pray that the damage is not too great to recover from as a species, but we all must take the responsibility for ourselves – this much is evident. I, for one, can no longer claim ignorance and, by the time we are through, neither will you be able.

Organic seemed to me for much of my life to be a word that carried a negative connotation. It was a word that was only for those who had nothing better to worry about. It was not a priority for me, and therefore I could not understand why it was for anyone else. Contempt prior to investigation is, a by its very nature, a crime against intelligence and reason and until recently I was totally complicit.  If even one of you reads this series of articles and begins to make a change for the better, hopefully a bit of that trend will be reversed.

Let us begin with the first issue, the “what” if you will. What is organic? Before any food producer is legally permitted to use the USDA’s designation of ‘organic’ they must go through a series of rigorous testing. The soil used to produce food must be free of chemical exposure for at least three years, there can be no chemical or genetically engineered ingredients used in their processes, and the end product must not have been raised or produced with any drugs, hormones or irradiation involved in any way.  Befriending an organic farmer is the surest way to ensure you are receiving organic food but, aside from that, always look for the USDA (and only the USDA) seal of organic certification.

Now let’s move on the second question, the “why”. Why buy organically? Allow me to quote from a source that I have found and fact-checked and have found to be reliable, http://naturalbias.com/

“Like any other industry, the food industry is primarily concerned about making money. That may sound harsh and hard to believe, but when you think about it, it’s really not. The tobacco and alcohol industries don’t seem too concerned about helping to kill hundreds of thousands of people each year.

“This precedent set by the tobacco and alcohol industries makes it easy for the food industry to prioritize profit in a way that significantly affects our health. However, food is essential for health and survival. Contamination of this basic requirement for life has significant consequences that are far more subtle than those resulting from alcohol and tobacco use.”

Pretty cut and dry, right? I thought so. But it gets worse …

“Scientifically, the thought of genetically altering plants to grow faster, taste better, and be more resistant to disease sounds like an absolutely amazing breakthrough. It is indeed, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. By eating genetically engineered crops, we are introducing DNA into our bodies that we’ve never encountered during our millions of years of evolution. Who do you trust more, science or nature?

“Many well respected scientists are strongly opposed to genetically modified foods because there simply isn’t enough scientific proof that it’s safe. There is also plenty of research surfacing that shows genetically engineered foods to be quite dangerous. Furthermore, there is astounding evidence that the FDA went ahead and prematurely approved the introduction of genetically modified foods despite all of this.

“Many of the foods you buy in the supermarket are genetically modified or have genetically modified ingredients in them, especially soy products. Because food manufacturers are not required to tell you this, you have no way of knowing unless you buy certified organic.”

One more, courtesy of http://naturalbias.com/

“Most conventional farmers do not feed their livestock their natural diets. Cows simply don’t eat grain in nature. They eat grass. Furthermore, the feed is grown with chemicals and sometimes contains fillers such as cardboard, cement dust, and animal carcass to make it cheaper. This results in unhealthy livestock that are routinely fed antibiotics as a preventative measure to keep them from getting sick. Many animals are also fed synthetic hormones to make them grow faster or to increase their production.

“Things get even worse when you consider the conditions these animals are raised in. Hundreds or thousands of them crammed into indoor warehouses, unable to move, forced to live in their own fecal matter, and never seeing natural sunlight.

“Buying certified organic animal products ensures that the animals they came from were raised humanely and were not fed any chemicals, drugs, or hormones. By eating non organic animal products, you are consuming the same chemicals, drugs, and hormones that they did.”

This alone is enough information to chill one to the bone, but there is much, much more. Rather than simply report on the negatives, however, I will give you something much more useful. Over the coming weeks, I will go over the how and the where of this subject. The “how” will pertain to producing some of your own organic food if you are able, and the “where” will contain information on how to find and obtain such products in your area.

Now that we have laid groundwork, I can assure you a much more entertaining and inspiring post next time, courtesy of yours truly and Bee Branch Creek Apiaries.

Until next time, Be Well.