I’ve always loved food. And after learning how to be a pretty good cook, I thought, how cool would it be to work with food everyday. So for most of my adult life, I’ve been working in the food industry in one form or fashion. It’s this experience that lead me to write my book, FAT PROFITS. Now while FAT PROFITS tells the story about a corrupt food company, I can honestly say that company does not exist. That said, I’ve seen some disturbing trends in the food industry over the past 20 years, and I’m passionate about trying to improve the quality of the food we eat. After all, if the old adage “you are what you eat” is true, these days we can’t even pronounce each other’s name. If that doesn’t make sense to you, start reading some ingredient labels. I guarantee if you’re eating like most Americans, they read more like a lab experiment than something that’s truly good for you. Please, do yourself a favor and check your labels out.
One of the best decisions I’ve made as a parent has been regularly cooking with my son. I was very fortunate—my dad set a great example. He wasn’t one of those men who dismissed cooking as women’s work. While the burden of daily cooking still fell on my mom’s shoulders, my father always cooked on the weekends and was a great role model that real men cook!
Six Reasons Why Cooking With Your Kids Is Important:
But in this day of fast food and busy schedules, the issue of Dad’s cooking with their kids is more than just one of gender roles. Here are just a few reasons why I think you’re missing the boat if you’re not cooking with your kids:
6 Reasons Why Cooking With Your Kids Is Important
Bruce Bradley shares his thoughts on CSAs, how they can help change your food habits, and how to find a great, local farm.
How My CSA Changed My Life
I discovered red velvet cake many years ago when I lived in the South. As a displaced yankee living in North Carolina I looked on with horror when it was served and couldn’t help but ask, “what makes this cake so red?” … only to be further stunned by the nonchalant reply, “a bottle of red food coloring.” Even though the concept of REAL food had never crossed my mind back then, I remembered hearing about the dangers of red food coloring. “Red” had even disappeared from bags of M&M’s for a while. So I couldn’t help but wonder, “could this dessert kill me?” (more…)
Red Velvet: The Latest Fashion Trend in Food
So many delicious foods begin with a flavorful broth. But are all broths created equal? Not really, and this is especially true in the world of vegetable broths.
Swanson, a brand owned by the Campbell Soup Company, is the market leader when in comes to all different kinds of soup broths including vegetable. But if you haven’t looked at their label in a while, you might be surprised with what you find: (more…)
Kick the Can … Swanson Vegetable Broth
“What is cheese?” Seems like a pretty easy question, right? Unfortunately it may be much more difficult to answer than you might think since over the years a lot of changes have happened to what’s called cheese.
Although the exact origins of cheese are unknown, the process is believed to date back more than 4,000 years ago. Like many discoveries cheesemaking is believed to be the result of an accident that occurred when an Arabian merchant stored milk in a pouch made from a sheep’s stomach. When the rennet (an enzyme produced in the stomach of ruminant animals) combined with the milk and the warmth from the sun, violà—cheese was created. (more…)
The Evolution of Cheese: Real Progress or Profits At All Cost?
What’s the one healthy habit you never hear food companies talk about? It’s the power of vegetables and other plants in our diets. Don’t believe me? To help illustrate this point I took a quick look at advertising spending for the past several years, and do you want to guess what percent of spending supported healthy, minimally processed fruits, vegetables, nuts, or other plants? Less than 0.1%!
Think about it. Despite all the weight loss and “healthy food” ads on television, how often do you see one for vegetables? Recently I’ve seen a couple for Bird’s Eye and Green Giant sauced-up vegetables, but in the big scheme of things, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes get the short end of the stick. To make matters worse these days you’re more likely to find companies advertising that their highly processed junk food is as good as if not better than real fruits and vegetables, something that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s just one example of this strategy brought to life by FiberOne’s Oat and Chocolate Chewy Bars:
Eating Vegetables: The One Healthy Eating Habit Big Food Never Talks About And Why
Is your holiday shopping complete? I’ve almost got mine “wrapped” up. But if you’re not so lucky, here are several simple gifts that are not only thoughtful, but might also share a subtle REAL food message with your friend or loved one!
Your favorite REAL food recipe and a dish to serve it in:
When I got married one of our wedding presents was a wonderful recipe for a hot cheese dip with a serving dish to prepare it in. Over twenty years later I still remember the gift and who gave it to us. Why? The gift was personal, the recipe was delicious (I’ll probably share it on the blog sometime soon), and the idea was totally unique.
So if you’ve a got a simple, family-favorite REAL food recipe, write it down and wrap it up with a serving dish. My guess is it will be a gift that’s remembered for years to come! (more…)
4 Simple Last Minute REAL FOOD Gift Ideas
Over the years Cranberry Quick Bread has become a festive, holiday classic. In fact when I ran Pillsbury’s dessert and baking mix business, Cranberry Quick Bread sales were so important that they were a big part of making our profit goals in November and December. And part of the marketing strategy behind these mixes was to portray them as a fresh, home-baked alternative to scratch baking. But when you take a closer look at what’s really in them, you might want to “beware of the box” and make a REAL, homemade recipe instead. (more…)
Recipe: Crazy Good Cranberry Orange Quick Bread
One of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving is all the amazing meals you can make with turkey leftovers. But without a doubt my absolute, all-time favorite post-Thanksgiving recipe is Turkey a la King. In fact I think it’s so popular in our family that everyone looks forward to it as much if not more than the actual Thanksgiving meal!
However, like a lot of our holiday traditions, the original Turkey a la King recipe has undergone several revisions over the past five years as our food values have evolved. Here are just a few of the updates we’ve made:
- More veggies since that’s our top goal!
- White, all-purpose flour has been eliminated and replaced it with whole wheat pastry flour.
- Organic and pastured dairy products are now our preference since most of the regular butter and milk in grocery stores comes from cows raised on GMO feed, pumped up with growth hormones, and oftentimes raised in CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations).
- We now use organic, whole wheat toast cups or other whole wheat bread options to serve the Turkey a la King on. We’ve replaced those Pepperidge Farm pastry shells that contain white flour, hydrogenated oils, and other highly processed ingredients.
Recipe: Turkey a la King
I don’t eat dessert very often, but when I do, it’s gotta be something I love. I’m a huge fan of pies … especially fruit pies. Perhaps it’s because I think the fruit makes them a tiny bit healthier, but they’re still SO VERY delicious…especially with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. YUM!!!
Apple pie is one of my go-to favorites, and my recipe uses all real, unprocessed ingredients (okay, there’s a little bit of sugar in it, but I’ve got some suggested swaps-outs in the recipe). In my opinion it’s hard to beat its taste, and I love the way our kitchen smells when I’m baking one in the oven. (more…)
Recipe: My Classic Apple Pie
There’s a myth about pie crusts, and I’m not sure where it comes from. For some reason, people think pie crusts are hard to make. I’m here to tell you that isn’t true. While I’ll admit it can take a little practice to get them looking perfect, the only thing you should be scared of when talking about pie crusts is some of the ingredients in those store-bought versions.
Here’s a quick rundown of some reasons I like to avoid those refrigerated pie crusts: (more…)
Recipe: 100% Delicious Whole Wheat Pie Crust
Have you ever seen that holiday commercial where two brothers “fight” over the last crescent roll. If they only knew what was in those rolls their fights might end for good.
Although the exact ingredients may vary slightly by manufacturer, here’s a run down of what’s in the average can of refrigerated crescent rolls:
Recipe: Refrigerator Whole Wheat Rolls