Probiotic Kisses

I’m a big fan of eating fermented foods for probiotics instead of taking pure probiotic capsules, so I was pleased to see this post for Valentine’s Day that kissing transfers probiotics from one body to another.

A team of Dutch researchers found that the bacteria on the tongue of each member of the kissing couples was very similar to their partner’s and nothing like the bacteria on a stranger’s tongue. The more they kissed, the more similar it became.

They also did another test where they gave each participants a probiotic yogurt drink with a marker bacteria, then asked the couple to kiss. They found that a single kiss that lasted 10 second can deposit 80 million of the special marker bacteria from one tongue to another.

Apparently even if one half of the couple eats fermented foods, the other half gets the benefits.

Nature must really want our bodies to have probiotics.

Journal of Microbiome

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Huffington Post on Reducing Food Waste

food waste

This month, The Huffington Post launched “Reclaim ” —- a campaign to highlight the scale of food waste in the United States.

There are some pretty interesting stories, which range from recipes for “ugly fruits” to how you can reduce the amount of food waste in your own home.

As part of the campaign, Editorial Fellow Casey Williams spent one week eating only foods that had “expired” or were destined for the trash. His meals included past-date chicken, aging bacon, old eggs, etc. and what did he conclude? Eating food that’s past date probably won’t hurt you.

Casey found that date labels tell shoppers when food is going to lose its freshness NOT when it will become unsafe to eat. Marianne Gravely, technical information specialist at the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, told The Huffington Post, “There is a lot of variety in food labeling, but very few products have a date that indicates the product is unsafe.”

Check out Casey’s experiment here to see how making date labels easier to understand could help save nearly 400,000 tons of food from being sent to landfills each year.

Additional highlights from HuffPost Reclaim include:

Here’s a stylish infographic that shows you “The Magic Parts” of kitchen scraps that allow you to regrow vegetables—free!

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My Idea of 72-hour Emergency Food

72 hour food kit

Last week I received an email promoting a 72-hour emergency food kit that would last 25 years. They were giving them away free to seniors because “everyone needs a 72-hour food supply.”

But look at what’s in these kits (the image above is from a real kit). More carbs than I want to eat. And none of this sounds very appetizing unless it’s heated, which I can guarantee is not possible in an emergency.

It’s hurricane season here in Florida, and every summer we are asked to be hurricane-ready. While we have not been hit directly by a hurricane in here in Clearwater in the fifteen years I’ve lived here, we’ve had a few close calls.

In 2004, when hurricane Charley hit Port Charlotte (about 100 miles south of where I live) my husband and I volunteered to go down and do relief work, which mostly involved distributing free food and water. I will never forget the sight of miles of trailer parks just flattened, whole neighborhoods gone, and people left with nothing.

And so it’s very real to me that I could be in a situation where I might have no food, and not have a place to cook.

But the idea of freeze-dried food sitting on a shelf for years, just waiting for an emergency doesn’t appeal to me at all. Nor do I want to be required to eat whatever free food is being handed out because I wasn’t prepared.

As I started thinking about this, I realized that at any given time I have food supplies that could be packed in a backpack at a moment’s notice, which could sustain me for 72-hours. And it would be fresh organic foods, not food that has been sitting around for years.

Here’s my logic.

1. I always have food on hand. I don’t let my supplies run out. I don’t do this for emergency reasons, I do it because I want to eat the foods that I have determined are healthy for my body, and the best way for me to do that is to keep these foods in my kitchen at all times. I learned years ago that if I don’t have my foods available in my kitchen, it’s too easy to call for a pizza (haven’t done that in years, but it’s because I always have my preferred foods in the house).


super green2. I always have whole food supplements on hand. If need be I could get plenty of nutrients from my whole food supplements, even if I had no other food. Because these are whole organic, non-GMO foods, dehydrated at “raw” temperatures. I have portable capsules and powder to be mixed with water. These whole food supplements could easily keep me going for 72 hours. Touchstone Essentials Wholefood Nutrition


nuts3. I always have nuts and seeds on hand. Nuts and seeds are extremely nutritious and contain everything needed for a plant to reproduce itself. A pound of almonds, for example, would be enough for 72 hours.



artisana tahini4. I always have coconut butter and other coconut products on hand. Coconut oil is very nutritious and the fat is an excellent fuel for your body. I prefer coconut butter to coconut oil for eating—it’s coconut oil mixed with coconut meat. So good. I just eat it out of he jar with a spoon. If you’re going to put this in a backpack, put the jar in a ziplock plastic bag, just in cases it leaks.


That really would be enough for me for 72 hours. No cooking required and if would be fresh food.

I would grab whatever I could from the refrigerator, like cheese, and any homemade crackers I have on hand. I always have frozen ice packs in the freezer, which could help keep perishable fresh for at least a day.

Beef jerky is another good food to have for quick snacks as well as survival food. But be sure to make your own (just cut beef in strips, add seasonings and dehydrate at a low temperature in the oven until it’s dried) or purchase a brand that doesn’t have sugar or preservatives.

I eat a very low-carb diet, but if I didn’t I’d probably have dark chocolate bars to put in the emergency stash or protein bars. Just whatever you like to eat, consider how to rotate supplies so you always have enough on the shelf for an emergency.

My point here is to keep enough food in your home at all times, of the type that can turn into an emergency supply if needed. But eat these foods, don’t stash them away. In this way you can always have your 72-hour emergency supply be fresh.

Now if you want to keep a year’s supply of food, that’s a different issue. But if you think in advance about a short-term food stash—as we do here in the hurricane zone—you’ll be ready at a moment’s notice if you need to be.

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Julia’s Chickens


No recipe today. Instead I want to share with you a video that made a big impression on me. I saw it several years ago when I was devouring Julia Child on videos rented from the public library and I just assumed it wouldn’t be on youtube. But all of a sudden today I searched for it and—voila—there it was!

It’s an episode of The French Chef, with Julia Child, simply called “Chicken.”

At the beginning she has laid out on a counter six chickens, each a different size, age, and weight, each with a different name and use. And she makes note that recipes specifically specify which type of chicken to use.

I didn’t recognize most of these chickens. So I went to my local gourmet food market and they didn’t have any of them! All they had was “chicken”. Boneless skinless chicken filets, wings, legs, and whole chickens, but they were all just “chicken”.

I seem to have this picture in my memory banks of a package of “fryer” chickens from my childhood. Where are fryer chickens today? [Since writing this I asked at my local natural food store and they said all their chickens were “fryers.” Julia notes that “roasters” are the mature chicken with the best flavor. They couldn’t even order one for me.]

What broke my heart was that each of the chickens at different ages were best for a certain uses. Even the old hens. When you have a chicken laying eggs in the barnyard, when she no longer lays eggs, she becomes coq au vin. There was a connection in times past between the lifecycle of the chicken and what you ate. And now that is gone.

We don’t even know these chickens any more.

And so I just want to introduce you to chickens in an entirely different context, one that used to connect humans to surrounding nature through food.

At one point Julia says that it’s hard to find a roaster because there is no demand for it in the market. People no longer roast chickens. But a roast chicken is just the best. You can watch how Julia roasts her chicken in the French manner, but also take a look at how I roast chicken, which is much simpler.

This video is 29 minutes, but the presentation of the chickens is only about five minutes in the beginning. It changed forever how I think of chicken.

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Tea Steeped in Toxics

A new report from Beyond Pesticides gives an inside look into the tea industry, and it’s not a pretty picture.

Over the past few years, numerous reports have been published that point to high levels of toxic and illegal pesticide residues contaminating popular tea brands

Tea Steeped in Toxics reveals a list of pesticides banned in the USA to be imported in tea from other countries, including:


In addition, heavy metal contamination in tea leaves has been documented as a result of proximity to highway and surface dust contamination as well as uptake of lead in soil by the roots of the tea plant. Up to 83% of teas have lead levels considered unsafe for consumption during pregnancy and lactation, as well as excessive levels of manganese and aluminum.

If you are a tea drinker, the solution is to choose organic teas. These are easy to find on the shelves of any natural food store and on the Tea page of Debra’s List.

Organic certification does not allow these pesticides. In addition they are inspected to ensure only organic practices are used.


PureBodyx2-214x300If you are a regular drinker of tea, it’s likely that your body has built up a store of lead, aluminum, and possibly other heavy metals that could be affecting your health.

Once heavy metals enter your body, it is very difficult for your body to remove them.

That’s why I take PureBody Liquid Zeolite every day. This natural mineral is uniquely suited to remove heavy metals. Tiny bits of negatively-charged zeolite act like little magnets to attract positively-charged particles—which include 99.9% of heavy metals, radiation, and organic chemicals–so they can be removed from your body via your kidneys. It’s simple, effective, and affordable.

Learn more about PureBody Liquid Zeolite here…


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FDA Approves GMO Salmon – With NO LABELS!



Yesterday the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared that genetically-engineered salmon is as safe to eat as non GE salmon and has given approval for it to be sold to consumers.

According to the Organic Consumers Association, Alaska is the only state that has a law in place to require labels on GMO salmon.

Read more…

FDA Has Determined That the AquAdvantage Salmon is as Safe to Eat as Non-GE Salmon

New York Times: Genetically Engineered Salmon Approved for Consumption

A Very, Very Dangerous Precedent: FDA Approves Genetically-Engineered Salmon

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