How To Grill Any Vegetable

  This guide serves as both a tool for grilling almost any kind of vegetable and as a template for a gorgeous (and tasty) vegetable tray for any summer cookout.   How Do I Prepare Vegetables for the Grill? The more surface area you give your vegetables for grill marks, the more flavor you’re going to get. This also makes them easier to move around the grill. Here’s how to prepare them: Bell peppers: Seed and quarter. Onions: Peel and quarter through the root. Yellow squash, zucchini, and … [Read more...]

Synthetic vs. Whole Food Vitamins

  The difference between synthetic vitamins and whole food vitamins is, essentially, the difference between something that's living and something that's dead. Don’t be fooled when the word “natural” is used on a label. It has no specific definition other than the substance can be found somewhere in the universe.   The words to look for are “Whole Food Vitamins”. This means vitamins as they are found in food that was delivered by Mother Nature. They are untampered with in any way that would … [Read more...]

Edible Flowers from the Garden

  Nothing brightens up a salad or serves as a better garnish than edible flowers. Who can resist smiling when served a plate complete with the happy faces of some pansies or violas looking up at you? Many restaurants are taking advantage of this phenomenon and including chives, calendulas, clovers, nasturtiums and marigolds in their meals. If you want to truly astonish your guest at your next dinner party, it might be time to include some edible flowers in the menu.   There are actually quite a … [Read more...]

5 Container Gardening Tips to Successfully Grow Produce

  If your yard is not that big, container gardening is a good option! Container gardens can include flowers, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even small trees and shrubs. Here are some tips to get you started on this year's container garden.   Assess Your Sunlight You need to take notes on how much area receives full sunlight and for how long each day. Some plants do better in shade than others. So, you need to know how much exposure your containers are going to receive before you start your seeds … [Read more...]

Smart Gardening with Vegetables in Michigan

  It is the beginning of the vegetable gardening season in Michigan, and one of the questions a new vegetable gardener may ask is, “Can I plant vegetable seeds and transplants in the garden yet?” The answer is not a simple yes or no because several factors need to be considered; however, there are some easy ways to gauge when it is a good time to plant.   To best determine planting times, consider these first: Frost-free dates for your area. (Keep in mind that the last frost dates are averages; … [Read more...]

Hormone-Disrupting Fungicides on Citrus

  The two hormone-disrupting fungicides imazalil and thiabendazole, one of which is also a likely carcinogen, were detected on nearly 90 percent of non-organic citrus fruit samples in tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). More than half of the samples contained both fungicides. Both chemicals disrupt the body’s hormones, or endocrine system, which regulates metabolism, growth and development, and other important functions. They can also harm the reproductive system, and … [Read more...]

2021 Clean Fifteen List

  Whether organic or conventionally grown, fruits and vegetables are critical components of a healthy diet. However, many crops contain potentially harmful pesticides, even after washing, peeling or scrubbing, which the USDA does before testing each item. Since pesticide contamination varies by crop, it is important to understand which items are most or least contaminated. Tests from the Environmental Working Group determined the following items to be the Clean Fifteen for … [Read more...]

2021 Dirty Dozen List

  Nearly 70 percent of the non-organic fresh produce sold in the U.S. contains residues of potentially harmful chemical pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) analysis of the latest test data from the federal Department of Agriculture.   Kale remains in the third spot on the Dirty Dozen list, now joined by collard and mustard greens as being among the produce items with the highest pesticide load. After being tested for the first time since 2012 and 2011, respectively, … [Read more...]

Your Guide to Toxin Free Spring Cleaning

  How to select safe household cleaners   Many cleansers labeled natural or green do not completely disclose their ingredients. Sometimes even going to the manufacturer's website can leave you clueless. Take that as a bad sign and don't use it.   Environmental Working Group (EWG), the producers of annual Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists to help consumers avoid produce that is grown with too much toxic material, also has a section in its website to help consumers with household cleaning … [Read more...]

BPA: Does Calling it Safe Make it So?

  Bisphenol A (BPA): Other than a good if not suggestive acronym, what is it?   If you’re someone who has children or reheats leftovers in Tupperware, then you may be familiar with this synthetic material, as it is widely available and in common use today. For most of us, though, we are only vaguely aware of it as something having to do with plastic, and you probably have an inkling that it is harmful to us in some form or fashion, but that the science concerning this mystery acronym is still … [Read more...]