Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Genetic Roulette Movie Review

Genetic Roulette Movie Review  –  A Must See Documentary

Jeffrey Smith just released an incredible new documentary called Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives.  It’s narrated by Lisa Oz (daughter of Dr. Oz) and features interviews with physicians, scientists, farmers, dieticians, chefs and educators all discussing the problems with genetically engineered foods.

Americans get sick more often then Europeans and people in other industrial countries and we’re getting sicker.  Since the mid 1990’s when Genetically Modified Organisms (Genetically Engineered Foods) when our food supply was taken over, without our knowledge or our consent.  The number of Americans suffering at least three chronic illnesses nearly doubled.  Why is this taking place?

We’ve had an epidemic increase in cancer, obesity, allergies, autism, diabetes, asthma, and intestinal disorders.  These are the same conditions that animals eating genetically engineered foods develop in the lab.  It seems like we, and our children, are the guinea pigs of the biotech industry. And contrary to what ‘industry’ states, there are NO long-term safety studies.

Genetic Roulette covers everything from the basics, What is a GMO? How are GMOs made? It also has a number of sections on the possible connection of GMOs to Allergies, Autism, Intestinal Damage and Birth Defects.

There’s also a great section on the California Ballot Initiative – Yes on Prop 37 -that with the support of millions of Californians, will hopefully win in November.

There’s a second bonus disk with three other short documentaries: Seeds of Freedom (narrated by Jeremy Irons), The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, The Politics of GMOs and 12 short Public Service announcements.

If you eat food this is a must see movie. Share it with everyone you know and lets get GMOs out of our food supply.  Highly Recommended!

Here’s the link to buy the DVD:

You can watch the trailer here:

Read more, great Monday Mania posts here:

Read more, great Fat Tuesday posts here:

Read more, great Real Food Wednesday posts here:


Building Projects for Backyard Farmers and Home Gardeners Book Review

So many great projects

I’ve gardened for a number of years now and have had chickens for three years as well. We are always looking for projects to make things nicer on our little suburban homestead.

Mr. Gleason’s book is a wealth of great ideas and has twenty-one different building projects that you can make to use around your yard and garden.

I thought the variety of projects was wonderful, everything from a simple raised bed, to a green house using recycled windows. You can also make a worm bin, a potato planter, and there are a number of different types of trellises for peas, squash, grapes and a really cool tiered lettuce rack, that will be my first project!  There are also instructions for building a green house, top bar beehive and a rabbit hutch.

The instructions are step-by-step, including photographs and material lists.  The author also includes some profiles of his local backyard gardeners and farmers, telling about what they are doing, which was really interesting.

I do not have much building experience but I would feel comfortable trying many of these project – and plan to do just that over the next few years.

A great book if you’re looking to make some handmade additions for your backyard homestead. Highly recommended!

Click the image below to go to the Amazon page (affiliate link)

Read more great Fat Tuesday posts here:




Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Fantastic Grassfed Barbecue

It’s been just over two years since I first started using Mr. Fishman’s previous book, Tender Grassfed Meat. I still use it all the time and every recipe I have tried has been wonderful. To me this shows an author who truly tests their recipes and takes the best ones for their book.

I was so excited to get this new book and see what new recipes there were to try.  Cooking grassfed meat is very different then cooking corn fed meat. It’s much better for us and for the animals and the taste is truly wonderful, but learning to cook it can be challenging at first. Once you learn the methods it’s easy but you do need to learn the differences.

This book is broken into three sections. The first section is an overview of the benefits of traditional foods and traditional barbecue methods. There have been article about how it’s unhealthy to barbecue meat, and this book gives you how to barbecue healthfully, using real food ingredients.

In the second section there’s a great section on barbecue cookers, equipment and fuel – I learned a lot from this one. How to use indirecting cooking and traditional barbecue flavors and ingredients. There’s also a section on types of grassfed and pastured meat, how to prepare and finding and using grassfed and healthy fats.

The third and largest section is the recipes and there are a lot. Recipes for broth, Beef, Bison, Lamb and Pork. Also a section on Baste, Raw Vegetable Condiments and two sections on side dishes, one of them specifically for low carb side dishes. I’ve made a few recipes so far, the Shashlik Shoulder Roast, Basil Lamb burgers and the Chimichurri Sauce. They were all delicious and there are many more recipes I plan to try.

This book is great for everyone who wants to barbecue healthfully. If you are eating Low carb, Paleo, Primal/ Real Food it’ll give you many, new healthful recipes for you and your family. Highly recommended!

Click the image below to take you to the Amazon page:

Read more, great Monday Mania posts here:

Read more, great Fat Tuesday posts here:

Read more, great Real Food Wednesday posts here:

Read more, great Simple Lives Thursday posts here:

Read more, great Pennywise Platter Thursday posts here:

Farmageddon Movie Review

Farmageddon – A MUST See Movie

We saw Farmageddon – The Unseen War on American Family Farms last week.  It’s produced and directed by Kristin Canty, a mom of four, who couldn’t understand why the healthy food she wanted to buy for her family, was so hard to find.

Kristin said, about why she made this film, “I decided I needed to tell this story. My goal was to let these honest farmers using centuries old farming practices tell their side of the stories. So, I set out to make a film. Farmageddon is in no way meant to convince anyone to drink raw milk, or eat grass fed beef, but rather an argument to allow those that want to make those choices to do so. It is simply about freedom of food choice. The government needs to stop harassing small farmers, private food buying clubs and co- ops without food freedom…. we are not free.”

From the movie’s website, “Americans’ right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.”


“Farmageddon highlights the urgency of food freedom, encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve individuals’ rights to access food of their choice and farmers’ rights to produce these foods safely and free from unreasonably burdensome regulations. The film serves to put policymakers and regulators on notice that there is a growing movement of people aware that their freedom to choose the foods they want is in danger, a movement that is taking action with its dollars and its voting power to protect and preserve the dwindling number of family farms that are struggling to survive.”

I knew the basic premise of the movie before we went to see it as I had seen the trailer and have been impatiently waiting for it to come to a theater near me. It’s such a travesty of justice that our small farmers are under fire, most times with no just cause. There are cases of food and animals being seized, hundreds of thousands of dollars of livestock, and equipment seized, for no reason.  No complaints had been filed, no one had gotten sick. There have been raids of private food clubs, guns drawn on young children. It’s not just isolated instanced. Google “farmers raided” and you will see too many examples. There are more examples on my post of last year,

This is not the American Way!

I thought Farmageddon was brilliantly directed. Where it could have just been a very depressing story, there’s hope here too.  It’s about the growing real food movement and how more and more people are looking to buy their food directly from their local farmers.

It’s time for all of us to stand up for food freedom. For the freedom to choose real food for our families and for the choice to not have our food contaminated by GMOs. I am starting to wonder if it’s going to take acts of civil disobedience – nonviolent resistance – and becoming vocal to the point where the FDA, USDA and our government understand that we are not going to put up with our small farmers being harassed and raided for good no reason.  It’s time to stand up for ourselved and our farmers!

This is a film that everyone should see. It’s only in a few theaters now, but if you are near anywhere there is a showing, it’s an incredible film.  Below is the link to the website. There you can watch the trailer and see or arrange a screening.  Highly recommended!

Read more, great Fight Back Friday posts here:

Read more, great Pennywise Platter Thursday posts here:

Read more, great Simple Lives Thursday posts here:

Read more, great Real Food Wednesday posts here:

Read more, great Monday Mania posts here:

Cute Coop ideas

We’ve had backyard chickens for two years now. It’s been so wonderful to have pastured, organic eggs, right from our own backyard. I love my chickens and as I’d like to have more in the next few years, researching coop ideas has become a hobby for me. I was very happy to be able to review this book.

Art of the Chicken Coop by Chris Gleason has seven different coop ideas. Four of them are for flocks of six chickens or less, which is a great size for a back yard flock. We get on average five eggs per week from each of our chickens; this gives us enough for our family, as well as some to share occasionally.

If you are planning on keep more chickens, three of the coop designs are for larger coops, if you’d like to have twelve to fifteen chickens. Also included are some guidelines on how to increase the size of any coops in the book. There’s even instructions for a coop made out of salvaged materials.

This is also a great book for the beginning chicken owner, because not only are there coop designs but there are a lot of chicken keeping tips through out the book and explanations for what you need to have in your coop and why.

The book includes a completely supply list, step-by-step pictures – which I love – and some great egg recipes as well. There is also a section on the popular backyard breeds with pictures and a bit on info on each.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book was that it called for chicken wire in the coops. From my research I have learned that you need to use hardware cloth in your coop building as the holes in chicken wire are too big, and raccoons and other predators can get through it. Also I would have loved more then one movable coop idea. Other then that, I thought this book was just great.

I do not have much building experience but I would feel confident trying to build any of the coops in this book. Recommended!

Read more, great Pennywise Platter Thursday posts here:

Read more, great Simple Lives Thursday posts here:

Read more, great Real Food Wednesday posts here:

Read more, great Monday Mania posts here:


Food Fight Documentary Review

Food Fight is a great new documentary that we watched over the holidays.  It’s a bit different than some of the other documentaries that we’ve reviewed in that it shows the history of food production in our country and gives detailed answers about what is wrong with our food supply and how we can fix it.

There are a number of wonderful interviews with Alice Waters, Michael Pollan & Marion Nestle, among others.

One quote from Michael Pollan says, “The industrial food system is not doing what a food system is supposed to do – which is to keep a population healthy. Our food system is making us sick”

The original farm bills were created to help feed the hungry and when women went into the workplace during World War 2, they wanted convenient ways to prepare foods and so the start of processed foods was born.

The goal of farms used to be feeding people with good food at a reasonable price. When Earl Butz became head of the USDA his goal changed to profit and creating cheap food. “Grow as much food as you can”, he said, “We’ll sell it.” Then food production changed to quantity, instead of quality.

Our farmers did not benefit from the subsidies, the buyers do.  The big corporations who buy the corn and soy cheaply and use it to make the processed food that’s destroying people’s health and well-being. Fruits and vegetables –  that we need for good health are considered specialty crops. Those are the farmers we need to subsidize, corn and soy are not what we should be eating and don’t support us being healthy.

During the early 1970’s Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse and through her restaurant she supported a network of local and organic farmers.  She set a whole new food economy into motion, because she found that local and organic food just tasted better.

We have of course since learned that aside from taste it’s better for our health, our farmers health, and the environment as well.  The movie really brings home how the choices we make every day for every meal really make a difference in our food supply.

This is a great movie, interesting and informative too.

Before you prepare your next meal – watch this movie!  

        Sheri – Moms for Safe

You can find out more, or buy the movie here:

Read more great, Fight Back Friday posts here:

Read more great, Pennywise Platter Thursday posts here:

Read more great, Real Food Wednesday posts here:

Tender Grassfed Meat Cookbook Review

One of my new favorite cookbooks!

About 5 years ago, as I started to learn more about how factory farms were treating animals in this country, I started looking into buying grassfed meat.  Grassfed meat is raised on pasture, not on feedlots. They eat and are raised as nature intended eating grass. Cows, bison and lambs are herbivores and are not supposed to be eating grain, it makes them sick.

So we started buying grassfed beef, lamb and bison. Everyone in the family loved it but it was challenging to cook as it’s not as fatty as feedlot beef, but it’s much healthier, and tastier so we kept experimenting. I wish we had this cookbook then. It’s a wonderful cookbook about cooking healthfully and has many recipes for beef, bison, lamb as well as marinades and side dishes. We base a lot of our cooking on the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig (also highly recommended) and this book is a wonderful companion book. The same principles are used and the recipes we’ve tried have been delicious. I learned new techniques that have made a big difference, especially for cooking bison.

The recipes are broken up into easy to find sections. Part one is all the basics, from why grassfed is so good for you, to ingredients, to equipment and techniques. There’s a lot of detailed information here that makes the recipes even easier.

Part two is the wonderful recipes. There’s a broth chapter (we love broth!:), chapters for each grassfed meat; Beef, Bison and Lamb. A chapter on how to sneak healthy food such and liver into your meals, and then marinades and a great chapter on side dishes which include potatoes, vegetables and eggs. We’ve already made the Bone in Bison Rib Steak, and the Swiss Chard Potatoes which were both fantastic. There are many more recipes I can’t wait to try.

And lastly, there’s a terrific index with sources for grassfed meat so you can cook your own healthy and delicious meals. I highly recommended this cookbook if you are looking for great healthy recipes for you and your family.

Read more great Fight Back Friday posts here,

Food Matters Review

We watched Food Matters for the second time this weekend. It’s a very informative movie about how food and nutrients can heal us from so many common and serious ailments and how important it is.

The movie has a number of well know and knowledgeable speakers including, Charlotte Gerson, Andrew Saul, David Wolfe, Philip Day, Dr. Dan Rodgers and more.  I have to say, I’ve been involved in alternative healing and nutrition for over 30 years and there were some new things I learned from this movie.

Here’s just a small sampling of information from the movie:

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the amount needed to prevent disease, not the amount needed for good health.

Medical professionals treat disease with medicine. They treat symptoms but don’t know a lot about curing disease.  Food and nutrition is about cures.

The drug companies don’t want nutrients and diet to be the cure it will put them out of business.  “Good health makes a lot of sense but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars”.

Our Society has long term malnutrition, that is leading to many health problems. Much of this has to do with the quality of our food; it being genetically modified, full of pesticides, our soil being depleted and our food not being fresh. Supermarket produce is on average at least a week old when you buy it. All these factors leads to deficiencies.

There’s also a lot of information about high dose vitamin therapy, such as vitamin C. Vitamin C as a cure for viruses, (swine flu?) have been documented by doctors since the 1940’s.  It’s an impressive and important body of knowledge that’s being ignored and pushed under the carpet by physicians and the drug companies. Less then 6% of M.D.’s have any nutrition education.

In the UK – and I would guess that the number are similar here – 3x more people are killed by adverse drug reaction, then by car accidents. And these are for people taking the drug as directed, not overdoses or accidents.

There are 2 dozen nutrients, that are responsible for countless thousands of chemical reactions in our body so vitamin deficiencies can cause many diseases.  “You nourish the body and the body heals”

One of my favorite quotes was by Andrew Saul, “What if they gave everyone in America free health care [which they should!], but nobody needed it?”

This movie has lots of information about teaching people for be healthy and responsible for their own health care. “Education not medication”

The movie contains lots of vital information, presented in an educational, yet entertaining way.

The filmmakers website is here,

Read more, great, Real Food Wednesday posts here:

Book review of Mom, Will This Chicken Give Me Man Boobs?

Book review of Mom, Will This Chicken Give Me Man Boobs? My Confused, Guilt-ridden, and Stressful Struggle to Raise A Green Family by Robyn Harding

As I’ve aged/”grown up”, I’ve been finding myself more and more aware of environmental issues. I’m becoming more conscious not only of my carbon footprint but I’m also gaining a greater understanding of how products I may be putting in or on my body (or in and on the bodies of my children) could be affecting our health and well-being. As I hear more about such things it just makes me want to know more. In a sense I’m finding that my learning more and doing more about environmental issues is just another way for me to be looking out for my children. My reading choices lately have been reflecting this growing interest and my latest read not only gave me some additional food for thought (and even more references to check out) but Mom, Will This Chicken Give Me Man Boobs? also gave me a down to earth picture of one woman’s quest to not only become more green herself but also to raise her family in a greener lifestyle.

I fully admit one of the things that caught my attention with this book was not the subject matter, but the title. The title hooked me and was an indicator that while getting a bit of an education, I would also be getting a dose of Robyn Harding’s sense of humour (something I’ve enjoyed in her fiction and was pleased to see present in her non-fiction work as well.) I know it’s a serious subject being dealt with, but for me, her use of humor and poking fun at herself just made it all so much more enjoyable to read and was balanced out with some great information.

Ms. Harding is currently living in Vancouver, BC (only an hour away from me) so I found some of her information even more relevant. Throughout her book Ms. Harding mentions various books and websites, which I’ll be checking out. She also makes general references to local businesses that I have made note of. As I was reading this book I found myself connecting with Ms. Harding, especially as she dealt with questions/concerns from her children. My daughter is at an age where she is becoming more aware of the world around her and has been picking up some basic ideas where she can do her part (ex. turning off lights, knowing what can be put in recycling, and wow, is she a watchdog when someone might be wasting water!) I love this awareness and I’m hoping it continues to grow as she does.

Reading this book, I was impressed by how much Ms. Harding does in her quest to be greener, and how guilty she feels when she knows she could do more – I swear she feels so much guilt, there’s enough for many, many people. There was so much I enjoyed with this book and I found myself reading passages aloud to my husband, some because they were funny, some because they reminded me of things that had happened to us, and some because there was just really good information. One of my favourite quotes from Ms. Harding’s book though was more a final conclusion, and it so perfectly summed up some of my feelings that I had to include it in this review.

Quote: So maybe I hadn’t become the deep-dark-green goddess I’d hoped to be. But still, I was going to do my best; I was going to bother. I would bother to do all the small things I could in my own life to be low impact, sustainable, and environmentally friendly… And the most important thing I would do for the environment was to raise two kids who cared about trees and animals and people and the earth. (pg. 207)

Book reviewed by Crystal  (Thanks Crystal, for this great review!)

Read more great, Fight Back Friday posts here,

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Review

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is the story of author Barbara Kingsolver and her family and their quest to eat locally and in season for one year.

She packed up with her husband and two daughters and moved from Arizona to their farm in VA where they’d been spending their summer for many years. This time they were planning on staying and spending a year eating what they could find locally and grow for themselves.

The book reminded me of how much we take for granted with our mass produced food.  Winter tomatoes are not a local food – and you can tell by the taste!  Having to wait for the fruits and vegetables of summer was both an adventure and a challenge to the author and her family, and it’s one she shares with us.  The book is full of funny and touching stories of their trials along the way.  Daughter Lily’s plans, and how they changed, about going into the egg business, the first tomatoes and cherries of the season, the abundance of tomatoes and what to do with them.

There are also mouthwatering recipes throughout the book, many of which have already been added to my own.  This book is chock full of information about farming, food and cooking too.

I loved this quote, as it really does seem to relate to what’s going on with our own food supply these days, “When centralization collapses on itself, as it inevitably does, back we go to the family farm. The Roman Empire grew fat on the fruits of huge, corporate, slave-driven agriculture operations, tot eh near exclusion of any small farms by the end of the era. But when Rome crashed and burned, its urbanized citizenry scurried out to every nook and cranny of Italy’s mountains and valleys, returning once again to the work of feeding themselves and their families”

I first listened to this on audio-book, read by the authors and I really enjoyed their reading.  As wonderful a writer as Barbara is, she is that great of a reader too. As is her husband Steven and daughter Camille.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a terrific book for anyone interested in real food, cooking, gardening and stories of home. A wonderful book, highly recommended in any format.

You can read more great posts about real food, on Fight Back Friday here,

Click picture to buy the book.