Choose good, organic eggs… for the “health” of it!

eggzEggs have been getting a lot of bad press these days, and for good reason.  Two massive egg farms, Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farm (that house 7.5 million(!) egg producing hens kept in cramped, filthy conditions), are to blame for over 1,500 people contracting salmonella poisoning.  I can’t say that I’m surprised.

Research has shown that hens in these farms are more likely to produce contaminated eggs than free-range and organic hens simply due to the horrendous conditions where they are forced to spend their days and the cheap, unnatural grains they are fed, that often include the bi-products of other animals.  Add to that the antibiotic use on these poor hens (that destroys the healthy microflora in their systems) and, you guessed it… even more susceptible to contamination.

We always eat organic, free-range eggs due in part to this exact reason, PLUS when you consider that organic eggs are said to have three times more omega-3 fatty acids, twice as much vitamin E and 40% more vitamin A than non-organic eggs, it seems like a no-brainer, regardless of a little extra expense.chikns

In a previous post I also reviewed all of the confusing terms that go along with egg selection and you can take a look by clicking here!  Eggs are truly an amazing source of protein and vitamin D, but when they’re organic you know that they are produced without antibiotics, steroid and growth hormones too!  Those are certainly some things and I would prefer to keep out of my family’s diet!

So be a “good egg”… buy good eggs, consume good eggs… and yes, I mean the organic kind!

Simple tip: ONE way to make your dryer more efficient!

landry bsktAhh… laundry day.  It’s looming in the MGG household and it happens to be one of my least favorite of mom-duties. (I’m fine with the washing/drying part but I deeply dislike the putting-away part!)

Anyhow, I digress… so, today I just want to share one little tidbit about how to be a bit more energy efficient with the duty, aside from the long list of ways to green your laundry that I’ve shared in the past.

  • Fact:  The average American household spends $150 in energy consumption each year to simply dry their laundry.
  • Fact: ONE SIMPLE way to avoid 30% excess usage of energy – CLEAN YOUR LINT TRAP!

Yes, that’s it! That pesky, yet necessary, lint trap can actually dramatically increase the energy usage of your dryer.  The screen should be checked and cleaned after every load.

lnt trpYou should also occasionally “deep clean” the screen, the trap and the tubing.  Scrub the screen with a soft brush, mild soap and water (because there is build-up, I assure you, even if you’ve removed the fuzzy!).  Use your vacuum cleaner extension tool or long skinny brush to give a good cleaning inside the trap area.  And don’t forget the vent tube… remove it from the back of the dryer and clean out any lint or obstruction.  After you’ve done this, run the dryer on air fluff for about 10 minutes to clear out anything that remains.

You’ll be amazed at the decrease in drying time after you’ve done this simple task… and you will use less energy as a result.  Now, I’ll make you a deal… I’ll do the “task” if you do my laundry!

Does organic food taste better?

Last night while having a family dinner on our back patio (in the middle of a discussion of our pending “kids’-back-to-school dread”) my husband and I had the following conversation:

(Husband:) “This dinner is fantastic!”dinner
(MGG:) “Yea, it’s good!”
(Husband:) “No, really.  It’s fantastic!  Is it all organic?”
(MGG:) “Well, of course, honey.”
(Husband:) “No, seriously.  Never buy anything that isn’t organic again!”
(MGG:) “I try not to.  It is good.”
(Husband:)Honestly, organic food is amazing!”
(MGG:) “I agree!”  (*smile*)

Have you ever found yourself in one of these conversations or at least thought about the same thing yourself?  Well, I have thought about it and, obviously, we’ve discussed it as well, and I couldn’t agree with my husband more.  I DO think it tastes fantastic!

orgnic signI’ve never seen research that would either prove or disprove our belief, but I can’t help believing it is true.  Not so much with organic grains or more processed foods, but especially with fresh fruits, veggies, meats and dairy.

Somehow I can’t help but believe that when pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, steroids and growth hormones are left OFF of and OUT of our foods, they are much more “as nature intended”… unaltered, unmodified and, simply, more natural.

Maybe they aren’t more nutritious, but when they taste better and don’t have harmful additives, aren’t they just… well… better?

In the words of my husband… “Really… seriously… honestly?”… what do YOU think?

Before you get seafood, get “Seafood Watch” first!

seafd wtch logoI’ve really, consciously, tried to put more seafood into regular rotation on our menus around the MGG house… not always easy with little kids, but most of the time they go along with the program!

My biggest concern, however, has always been knowing what to buy.  It’s really not so cut-and-dry and you can’t just memorize all of the do’s and don’ts since it really matters ‘how and where’ it was raised/farmed or caught. Yes, that’s the tricky part.

Luckily, while on vacation, I discovered a fantastic resource that’s the solution to my woes.  My discovery came in the form of a nifty little pocket guide called Seafood Watch, compiled by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The guides are broken down by regions of the country based on the seafood most commonly found in those areas.  The intent is to help us purchase healthy seafood from sustainable sources… and THAT puts my mind at ease.seafd wtch book

They’re really easy to understand too, because there are three categories “Best/Good/Avoid” and they’re color-coded green, yellow or red (obviously for “Go/Caution/Stop”!).  The recommendations are science-based, peer reviewed and use ecosystem-based criteria… again, another sigh of relief!

All you need to do is go to their Pocket Guide page, choose your region, print a copy and put it in your pocket… then voila!… questions answered. And if you happen to be a sushi lover like me, they have a great Sushi Guide too.

So get moving on those lean proteins and omega-3 fatty acids … with a pocket full of information it will taste much better with a side of “peace of mind” too!

Trash bags that actually biodegrade?… it’s “Green Genius”!!!

grn genius logo

Since we’re ‘super recyclers’ around the Mom Goes Green home, we go through trash bags very slowly, but I’ve always been bothered by the idea of anything that does need to be tossed in the trash because sometimes I do feel forced into a plastic trash bag!… blech!

Lately I’ve used Hefty Renew bags (since, at least, they’re made of 65% recycled plastic) but there’s a new bag in town, baby!… thanks to Green Genius I discovered their fantastic BIODEGRADABLE trash bags in a local store and I’m hooked!

They’re made from less recycled plastic (40%), but did you happen to notice I said BIODEGRADABLE?!?  Their tricky little ingredient is called EcoPure (a blend of organic materials) that actually turns the bags into food for microbes in landfills… (loving it!) The EcoPure bonds with the plastic, literally making it consumable for the microbes that break it down into simpler organic matter (loving it more!).  The bag becomes entirely edible, only the simplest organic matter remains and the bag has been biodegraded (total love fest!!!).grn genius bx

Is it affordable, you ask?  Oh yes, my friends… about 20 cents per bag which is completely in line with all of the major brands of regular trash bags. Here is a list of stores, but I’m betting there are more, since my retailer (Discount Drug Mart, found all around Ohio) wasn’t even listed!

Keep your eyes peeled because I’m thinking, before long, this bag will be available everywhere!  And then think about it… hmmm?… a biodegrading bag or, oh… one that lasts an eternity in a landfill(?!)… I think you’ll want to be a “Green Genius” too!!!