Summer Loves

inner eco

 

What happened to summer being for relaxing? Between clerkship applications, interning, and doing some extra legal work on the side, there’s been little room for play this summer. As a result, my blogging has fallen super behind—I’m sorry, guys. Remember though, if you like my facebook page, you’ll get more updates on what I’m eating and interesting food news, even when I’m not posting here. But enough with the excuses. Now I want to talk about shopping — FOOD SHOPPING that is. I’ve discovered a few great products these past few weeks that I want to share with you. I’ve been pretty stressed out, so these products have kept my body from going completely out of whack under pressure.

(Please note that I am not being paid to market any of these…I’ve just been using the little spare time I have for experimentation and wanted to share with you)

 

CocoYo and Coconut Kefir 

cocoyo6 =

 

Ever since eating at Sun in Bloom in Park Slope, I’ve been dying to have coconut yogurt at home that isn’t full of sugar or preservatives. After searching pretty much every Whole Foods and health food store in NYC, I finally searched online and found this stuff. It’s delicious! It tastes like yogurt, with a little bit of a tangy flavor, and is made of coconut meat, coconut water, and stevia. I like it because it’s a great way to get tons of probiotics without taking a supplement. Between that and the liquid Coconut Kefir Water that I’ve been drinking, I haven’t had to take probiotics.

 

Yellow Dockroot Powder

yellow dockroot

A friend recommended that I take this as a good blood cleanser, and I love it. Yellow dockroot is an herb that acts as a liver protector and antioxidant. It has a bit of a grassy taste, but it’s also very earthy, which I find comforting right before bed. I’ve been putting about a teaspoon in hot water every night and it gives me a feeling of grounding and calm.

 

Black Rice

black-rice

 

OK, I might be a little late on the black rice train, but this stuff is delicious! It has a bit of a nuttier flavor than brown rice, and it’s much more filling than quinoa or millet. Not only is black rice delicious, it also has as many antioxidants as blueberries and acai. I’ve been eating it with steamed broccoli, a little bit of coconut oil, and sea salt. YUMMY.

 

Alright it’s time for me to drink some tea and get some shut eye.

Mint-chocolate Breakfast Smoothie

mint smoothie

Today is the first day of my big 2L summer internship. For those of you who are not in the law school bubble, this is kind of a big scary deal! How I perform at the firm this summer is crucial–as it could determine whether or not I have a job offer post-graduation. But I’ll be OK–I’ve got my mint chocolate goodness here to keep me fueled and focused. This lovely smoothie tastes like a mint-chocolate girl scout cookie (without the GMOs or artificial ingredients) and has been doing a great job of waking me up in the mornings. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Ingredients:

1 large fistful of mint leaves

1 tablespoon of carob or cacao powder

5 ice cubes

1 cup of coconut milk

1 teaspoon of coconut nectar (optional–you can also use 1-2 dates or a teaspoon of honey)

1 tablespoon of chia seeds (optional)

Blend together on high speed. Garnish with a mint leaf. Enjoy!

 

A Strip of Vegan Heaven on the LES

photo-84

If you’re a newbie to eating cleanly, I highly suggest heading on over to East 10th street between 1st and Avenue A–where you will find two amazing little spots that make you forget that you’re not eating junk food, in addition to some exercise studios and juice bars. Today I went to Quintessence for lunch–a mostly raw, vegan, restaurant in the lower east side. And as always, it was delicious! I split a quinoa pilaf and scallion nori rolls, in addition to a a “tiramisu” that tasted better than the real thing. This restaurant has always been one of my faves, and never ceases to satisfy.

But the surprise that I found while on this wonderful strip was the recently opened Jennifer’s Way Bakery next door, a gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, soy free, peanut free bakery. I’ve been looking for one of these for so long; most vegan bakeries usually have tons of gluten or agave but this shop sweetens everything with coconut sugar or maple sugar. They also have a cute ingredients book in the front, which has a handwritten list of everything used to make each product. Talk about transparency! On top of it all, they try to source a large amount of their ingredients from GMO-free sources. I went and had a banana chocolate chip muffin, and it was delicious. I can’t wait to go back and try their bagels and artisanal bread.

Needless to say, I’m stuffed. And happily so. Happy Sunday!

 

 

What You Need to Know About the “Monsanto Protection Act”

poar03_monsanto0805 

The “Monsanto Protection Act” is what many food activists have coined Section 735 of the Farmer’s Assurance Provision, and has many organic advocates and organizations up in arms. And for good reason. This bill completely contradicts President Obama’s campaign promise to label genetically modified organisms, and gives Monsanto and the USDA power to entirely ignore judicial oversight.

 

What it Changes

 

Prior to the passage of this provision, the USDA’s testing of new GMO crops was subject to judicial oversight. The law previously required the USDA to complete environmental impact statements (EIS) before allowing for the sale and planting of GMO crops. These environmental impact statements were subject to judicial review. For example, in 2010, the Center for Food Safety initiated a lawsuit against the USDA, requesting a temporary restraining order to prevent Monsanto from planting GMO sugar beets since the USDA failed to file a proper EIS. The court ruled for the plaintiff, reversing USDA approval of GMO sugar beets.

 

The new provision, however, undermines this process, and would have allowed for the USDA to ignore the court’s ruling on GMO sugar beats. In relevant part, the Act states:

 

“In the event that a determination of non-regulated status made pursuant to section 411 of the Plant Protection Act is or has been invalidated or vacated, the Secretary of Agriculture shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon request by a farmer, grower, farm operator, or producer, immediately grant temporary permit(s) or temporary deregulation in part, subject to necessary and appropriate conditions consistent with section 411(a) or 412(c) of the Plant Protection Act, which interim conditions shall authorize the movement, introduction, continued cultivation, commercialization and other specifically enumerated activities and requirements. . . “

 

Basically, this throws the whole process of judicial review straight down the garbage can. Instead of providing a check for the USDA’s determination, the USDA can ignore the court system and makes its own determinations on GMO crops. And although the provision would only last for 6 months, there’s no telling what legal precedent it could set.

 

Who’s Behind It

The provision was supposedly written by Senator Roy Blunt, in conjunction with Monsanto, a publicly trade agricultural corporation who leads in the production of genetically engineered crops. Talk about conflict of interest! The Center for Food Safety also reported that several democrats were completely unaware of the provision’s inclusion, as it was slipped into the bill last minute.

 

 What you Can Do  

Despite adamant public protest, Obama signed the bill, allowing the law to take effect. Despite Obama’s poor history on US food policy, I’ve always had faith that his policies would improve this term, despite the fact that he appointed Tom Vilsack, former Monsanto lawyer, as the secretary of agriculture. After all, he had healthcare and re-election to worry about first term, and he could only spread his political clout so thin. And while he still has very important civil rights issues on his plate at the moment, this is his last chance to make the more radical policies he promised—to make steps towards labeling GMOs– not to allow more of them to go unchecked. As supporters, we must demonstrate that we are no longer OK with food policy taking a back seat, and that we want him to pursue the policy of labeling GMO’s, as he said he would in 2007.

For more information, check out these links:

Obama Signs Monsanto Protection Act

Congress Teams Up with Monsanto to Shred the Constitution

‘Monsanto Protection Act': 5 Terrifying Things To Know About The HR 933 Provision

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