Foods you should always buy organic (a.k.a. The Dirty Dozen)
Foods you don’t necessarily need to buy organic (a.k.a. The Clean Fifteen)
The 10 minutes is a bit misleading. It refers to the type of farro I used: Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Farro. The actual recipe takes about 30 minutes. It’s best if you let it sit for about an hour after you’ve made it just to let the flavors blend. You could chill it or leave it out at room temperature.
1 bag Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Farro
1-1/2 C frozen corn
2 large carrots
1 large sweet onion
2 stalks of celery with leaves
1 green pepper
1 jalapeño pepper
1/4 cup EVOO
6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Coarse salt & fresh ground pepper
1 tsp Herbs de Provence (or other favorite herb blend)
Optional: crumbled feta, avocados, or sliced olives for garnish
Add the bag of farro and 2 cups of water to a pan and turn to high. When it boils turned down to simmer and cover. After 10 minutes remove from heat, add the corn on top, re-cover and let sit for five more minutes.
While farro is cooking, coarsely chop celery, carrot, onion, beet, jalapeno. Add celery and beet pieces to a large bowl. Set the rest aside.
When farro is done, drain and add to the bowl with the beets and celery.
In the same pan in which you cooked the farro, add 2 tablespoons of the oil and turn heat to medium. Sauté the pile of chopped vegetables for about five minutes, then add them to the bowl along with the rest of the oil and vinegar. Season with salt pepper and seasonings and mix well.
Chill in the fridge for about an hour or so and, if desired, top with crumbled feta and olives just prior to serving. Serve with grilled chicken sausages and a side salad. Or omit the sausage and add a can of drained black beans or chickpeas for a wonderful vegetarian meal.
I recently saw this blog post, linked from a friend’s Facebook page.
It reminded me of the movie, “Food, Inc.“, where I learned of that disgusting pink goopy chicken filler that’s used to make fast food chicken nuggets. It’s probably also used in those cheap frozen “Cordon Bleu” two-packs I used to eat before I knew better. I won’t say the brand in case I’m wrong (but I’m probably not), but I’m sure you’ve seen them in the freezer section of your grocery store.
Anyway, the point of this post is that this is exactly why we need to 1) cook for ourselves as much as possible, and 2) buy organic ingredients.
Cook For Yourself
We would never cook a meal made with processed non-meat cow parts that have zero nutritional value. So why does the USDA call it “Safe”? Because it won’t kill you? Neither would eating cardboard. Would the USDA call cardboard a safe thing to eat?
Buy Organic Ingredients
Even though it’s not made out of pure muscle meat, the manufacturer calls this filler “Finely textured beef” which means the USDA does not consider it an additive and therefore it doesn’t have to be identified on the label.
This just illustrates yet another reason to buy organic ingredients as much as possible. The “Organic” label does not just mean that the food was raised without pesticides and hormones. It means a lot more than that, and in this case it means there is no filler added (because the filler is not organic). So if you eat organic meat, you will never have to wonder if it contains non-nutritious animal parts. Yes, organic foods cost more, partly because the food products that include pink slime filler are cheaper to make.
This is not a rant against the USDA. It is what it is and my one blog post won’t change that. What YOU can do is stop buying this crap, and tell the manufacturers WHY you aren’t buying it. Eventually if enough of us stop buying it, they’ll have to stop making it.