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A Busy Summer for Sustainable Food and Health




This past summer there have been some important decisions going on in the legal world having to do with public health, organic labeling, and factory farming that I want to share with you. Here are some highlights.


In New York, an appeals court affirmed and overturned Mayor Bloomberg’s Soda Ban.

  •  What’s Next? The mayor has indicated that he will bring the case to the court of appeals, but for now, it has been put down. But he should act before the upcoming Mayoral elections, since we don’t know how our future Mayor will view this issue


The USDA has issued final interim rules restricting junk food in schools.

  •  What’s Next? Since the rule is “interim,” the USDA has 120 days to make any changes, and you can count on various lobbying groups to do their best to change this piece of legislation as much as possible.  


A California judge postponed proceedings in response to a proposed class action against Gruma Corp for advertising GMO tortilla chips as “all natural,” so that the FDA can answer the age-old question of whether non-organic food can be classified as natural.

  •  What’s Next? The FDA’s compliance has many implications; if its guidance surrounding trans fat proves informative, then its decision might not be enough.


Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (CALM) struck a deal to pay $28 million to settle antitrust claims when Sodexo Inc. filed suit against them (and a number of other egg companies) alleging that they conspired to produce fewer eggs—by killing off more hens—in order to fix prices.

  •  What’s Next? These companies were able to use this scheme to create  a more “humane” facility for the remaining animals. Just goes to show that there is more to “humane” and “cage-free” than meets the eye.


Jarrod Barney Juarez was convicted of one count of animal cruelty following a trial this week for abusing a piglet at a factory farm that was supplying pigs to Tyson Foods. Juarez was sentenced to a fine, court costs, a suspended 30 day jail sentence, and six months of probation.

  •  What’s Next? Juarez’s guilty plea is one of many that comes from a series of undercover investigations undergone by the Humane Society. Hopefully, more of these individuals’ crimes will come to light.


That’s all for now. Make sure to follow future posts to stay informed!


Mom’s no-Marinara Pasta


me 4

Happy New Year! I just came back from spending the New Years with my family. Eating with my family is a big activity, and big, bold, flavors are a must. Fortunately, my mother is an amazing chef, and has found ways to make dishes that appeal to everyone–including my meat-eating relatives. Whenever my mom makes this dish, everybody devours it within minutes. This year I helped her make her famous pasta, which is delicious with or without marinara sauce. In addition, it is chock full of vegetables and free of added sugars, animal products, and gluten!

Ingredients (serves 6)

1 package of mushrooms, sliced

1 bundle of asparagus, cut into fourths

2 whole broccoli florets, cut

2 red peppers, chopped

2 green peppers, chopped

2 handfuls of sundried tomatoes, chopped

2 onions, chopped

olive oil or coconut oil

2 cloves of garlic, diced

adobo seasoning (try the frontier brand–no preservatives)


(Optional) marinara sauce  (I like Don Bruno’s)



onions cooking

Heat oil, garlic, and onions in a skillet at medium heat for about 10 minutes or until golden

Add in peppers and sundried tomatoes

garlic onions red peppers sundried cooked


Cover and keep at medium to low heat for about 10 minutes or until slightly soggy

Add in tomato and mushrooms–It is important that these come last so that it creates a sauce-like juice

mushrooms in


Add in adobo seasoning and oregano to taste

Keep mushrooms covered at medium heat for 15-20 minutes (stirring in between)

Add in broccoli and asparagus

asparagus in  broccoli

keep covered and cooked for 15 minutes at medium heat

Stir in with 1 and ½ package of quinoa pasta

quinoa pasta



Happy Birthday To Me! Vegan and Gluten-Free Splurges in NYC


Vegan, gluten-free, raw agave sweetened cupcakes from Babycakes

Last week was my birthday and I had an absolutely fabulous day! Living in New York is really a luxury because there’s a treat for everyone here. So as a gift to myself, I decided to explore a ton of amazing vegan and gluten-free places in the city. I don’t go out to vegetarian/gluten free places too often, mostly because they are pretty expensive and I tend to eat…a little bit too much ;) .  But, hey, it was my birthday! Here are some of the places I checked out.

Maimonides of Brooklyn (MOB), 525 Atlantic Ave.

This was definitely my favorite place. I had a birthday dinner here with some close friends (only two other vegetarians) and everyone loved it. Instead of greeting you with several helpings of starchy, gluten-filled bread, they provided kale chips. And even my carnivorous friends thought the kale chips were DELICIOUS. I had a quinoa salad with scallion, mint, and pumpkin seeds along with a gluten free flatbread (they call it the signature “MOB”). Yum yum yum….

The restaurant also had a really welcoming vibe. They have a DJ who places reggae-style music, high ceilings decorated with musical instruments and magazines that you can read if you want, and service that is warm and friendly. I definitely will be back!


Siggy’s Good Food, 76 Henry Street

I’ve been going to this place for awhile (it’s super close to where I go to school) and I always enjoy whatever I eat. I love that they have a full juice bar—I always get the “megagreens” with green leaves, cucumber, celery, and lemon. My friend Priya and I each had one of these during lunch. They also have some amazing gluten-free veggie burgers, quinoa cakes, and salads. And if you feel like treating yourself—which of course, I did ;)—they have a full bakery with some gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan options.


V-Note, 1522 First Ave.

I ventured way out to the Upper East Side for this one, and it was worth it. I ate here with my family; they’re all meat-eaters, but even they were pleased. We started out with some organic wine. If I ever drink alcohol, I make sure that I am drinking wine because although it is high in sugar, it has a ton of antioxidants that help prevent heart disease.  I had the barbeque tempeh with the organic avocado southwest salad. It was delicious!


Babycakes, 248 Broome Street

A birthday with no cake? NEVER! Babycakes came to the rescue with vegan, gluten-free, raw agave sweetened cupcakes. I don’t eat agave too often because it is made up of concentrated fructose, which coverts to fat if eaten in excess. If it’s a special occasion, however, an agave-sweetened cupcake is much better than a white-sugar cupcake, especially if the agave is raw and unrefined because less of it is needed to make it taste sweet. I had a red-velvet cupcake and it was creamy, sweet, and decadent. Felt like I was eating the real thing!

My brother (above) and I went out for drinks with friends after dinner at an awesome outdoor/arcade bar in Brooklyn called Cherry Tree. We stayed out till 3AM! Guess that’s what you can do with the abundant energy that delicious food gives you….

Overall, I had an amazing day. I may have splurged a little bit though, so it’s time to start cooking for myself for awhile. But don’t worry, that won’t stop me from posting in the “Eating Out” Series!  :)