Archive for the ‘Eating Well’ Category

Sensing The Change Of Seasons

September 30, 2015

The last two weeks in September are guaranteed to bring a string of changes. A gentle, friendly, fall wind woke me one morning and I heard the flutter of leaves that are beginning to change their song to the fall tune. Chipmunks are chattering up a storm as they chase around putting food by for winter.

The rare pair of yellow warblers I saw a couple of weeks ago have headed south but chicadees still buzz me. Mice are checking out my attic. I don’t like to kill them and found a neat way to turn them off a few years ago. I was doing a grandma stint with my daughter’s cat, Mack, who refused to leave the house for the duration of his visit. But he did make use of the litter box I set out. When it was time to change the box, minus the feces but fragrant with urine, I sprinkled the contents outside along the wall of the house where the mice usually enter. For two years, with Mack’s regular visits and litter deposits, no mice elected to visit. I missed visit time with him this year and definitely need to invite him back for another symbiotic adventure.

We continue to need to take precautions when cleaning out sheds, attics. Rodents are typically drawn to our storage spaces. Be aware that rodents are carriers of viruses, some of which are deadly, and if we inhale dust from their saliva, urine or scat that they leave behind, we can contract a virus. While some rodents, like the white-footed mouse, have been identified as carriers here in the Northeast, they are all potential carriers of viruses and bacteria.

A few precautions are in order. Wear rubber gloves or cover hands with plastic bags to avoid touching what we clean up, and double bag it for the dump. Avoid touching dead rodents or birds. Special attention must be given to children who are often fascinated by dead wildlife and need to be forewarned as they explore the wonders of our area.

Be aware that most of us normally touch our hands to our faces several times an hour (check it out!) Thus, depending on our attention to hand-washing, we risk inhaling organisms that spell trouble.

On a brighter side, fall is also a time to put the gardens to bed for winter, spread that last layer of mulch to keep the worms warm, time to gather seeds, plant cover crops, set out the bulbs, make hearty soups and apple everything. It’s a time to enjoy the flood of color that fills our mountains with our friends and families, a time to give thanks.


Sleuthing Food Labels for Health

July 16, 2015

News that Whole Foods overcharged customers by mislabeling product weights brought groans from folks who thought they could shop with confidence at Whole Foods Markets. Over 20 years ago, I had a brief stint working the cash register at a Bread and Circus recently converted to a Whole Foods Market. Even then, I found that I was better off shopping the perimeter. Foods in the center aisles of the store: cereals, soups, salad dressings, canned goods, frozen foods, etc. all contained multiple forms of sugar, guaranteed to stimulate an appetite for more food, bigger servings, and insatiable appetites. Such foods reliably create health problems when consumed regularly.

When health food stores first opened, they offered mostly whole foods stored in bins. Produce came from local sources. Co-ops weekly sent a truck to the nearest bulk supplier. As demand rose for quality foods, suppliers began to deliver directly to health food stores and co-ops. At the same time, boxed, bottled and canned foods made their entrance with over 30 different forms of sugar added.

As a cashier, I noticed that many people came through with a cart full of junk food, sometimes not one whole food, just lots of boxes, cans and bottles. Invariably they would beam gratitude that they could shop at such a wonderful place for their family, even though they had to struggle financially to do it. Everything on the shelves at Whole Foods was the best food money could buy. I was in no position to advise them otherwise.

Today, wherever we shop, we must check labels. This week, I realized that the delicious peanut butter I have trustingly bought at natural food stores and snacked on by the spoonful for years, contains sugar. Sleuthing, I found only one brand that is just made of ground peanuts.

Food guru, Michael Pollan, cautions us to avoid packaged foods with more than 5 ingredients listed on their labels. Chances are, anything more will include extra sugars and chemicals we don’t need. This year, supermarkets rearranged their shelves to sandwich organic foods in with everything else. This means that people must slowly shop over the whole store and may, on impulse, buy foods they normally avoid. Stores try to market eye level products more heavily. Better choices are on top and bottom shelves.

The good news is that Farmers Markets and farm stands are in full swing. We now have many opportunities to enjoy the flavor of fresh berries, a mess o’ peas, and a choice array of vegetables and home grown produce free of additives. Best of all, the farmer will be there to field our questions.

High Fructose Corn Syrup vs. Sugar

February 26, 2015

For years, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) producers have tried to classify HFCS as Sugar without success. Here’s why: HFCS molecules and Sugar molecules are not the same chemical structure at all and they are absorbed by our bodies at different rates with different effects.

Regular cane or beet sugar molecules consist of 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose in a tight chemical bond. They need to be gradually broken down to small enough particles by our body’s enzymes before they can be absorbed through the wall of the small intestine. We absorb sugar slowly, like a time-released capsule.

High Fructose Corn Syrup molecules consist of 45 percent glucose and 55 percent fructose and they are unbound. Fructose is also much sweeter than glucose. Because HFCS is chemically unbound, the fructose and glucose are rapidly absorbed with no need of enzymes. They go straight to the liver where fructose produces fats like triglycerides and cholesterol that set in motion the condition called fatty liver. The liver then sends out fatty deposits to line our arteries. At the same time, rapid absorption of glucose increases spikes of insulin.

When sugar is absorbed, it stimulates the production of leptin, a neurotransmitter that signals when we are full. HFCS does not stimulate leptin production and can lead to overeating.

Corn syrup is cheap due to heavy subsidies we all pay for. This is a classic example of how we in the US have been led astray. This is why sodas and other HCFS sweetened drinks are sold cheaply and in gargantuan containers. They are not cheap when we consider the health dues we then pay for conditions they stimulate: Cardiovascular Disease, Liver Disease, Cancer, Arthritis, Diabetes and more. It’s not the fructose itself that is the cause, it is the massive doses.

Short of a mass organized protest of this blatant misuse of our taxes, what can we do as individuals right now to take control of our health?
1. Check labels and avoid products sweetened with HFCS.
2. Eat whole fruit, not fruit juice that lacks pulp nutrients and may be sweetened with HCFS.
3. Buy fresh produce and learn to cook it.

Change rarely happens overnight, but it usually begins with the first step.

What’s This About Tritan, the new ‘BPA-Free” Plastic?

March 5, 2014

This week we learned that Tritan, the new plastic being used in commercial products, including the new bins Whole Foods is renovating their stores with, is more estrogenic than BPA (Bisphenol-A), the plastic we have been trying to avoid. Now, we learn that Tritan, produced by Eastman Chemicals, is not being regulated by the EPA due to slick maneuvering reminiscent of the Tobacco industry’s saga which claimed that tobacco smoke was not a health hazard.

Mariah Blake‘s piece in the March/April issue of Mother Jones, “The Scarey New Evidence on BPA-free Plastics: And the Big Tobacco-style campaign to bury it,” sounds an alarm for us. We learn that the BPA-free Nalgene, Camelback, Evenflo, Tupperware, Rubbermaid, and Cuisinart products we thought were safe, all contain Tritan, without warning labels for us.

Plastic water bottles have also been found to be estrogenic, with increasing amounts of the chemicals released into water when exposed to UV waves, left in the car, sitting on grocery shelves, or run through the dishwasher. There is a long list of estrogenic health problems, including brain and organ development in utero, cancer, diabetes, obesity, problems with bone growth, ovulation, heart function, and more.

When George Bittner, professor of neurobiology at U Texas-Austin released a research paper he coauthored in the NIH (National Institutes of Health) journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, stating that virtually all commercially available plastics were estrogenic, he was successfully sued by Eastman Chemicals. How is this possible? Simple: for their research tests, Eastman used Charles River Sprague Dawley Lab Rats, which are insensitive to estrogens and can stand a 100x higher dose than can humans without effect. The jury did not grasp the significance of this ploy. Of course, their results were negative.

The above tactics, combined with well-oiled rhetoric in the court proceedings that snowed the jury, mean that our health effects were jeopardized again, just as in the tobacco years.

According to Blake, “The EPA quietly withdrew a request for White House approval to add some endocrine disrupting chemicals- among them BPA [and others] to its ‘chemicals of concern’ list because it found that they may present an unreasonable risk to human health. This would require chemical makers to share safe-testing data with federal regulators.” This despite the 1996 law passed by congress requiring the EPA to screen 80,000 chemicals for endocrine-disrupting effects and report back by 2000. That report has not been forthcoming.

Meantime, for our own safety, we need to consider storing foods in glass jars, give tap water the respect it deserves, check out stainless containers for our packs, and look to whole foods a meal at a time, as we create safety measures that give us some control over our health.


Pandora’s Box of Processed Food

July 11, 2013

In this information age, what isn’t on the Internet is often available through Inter-Library Loan. Such is the case with Melanie Warner’s book, Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal. It’s the story of how the food industry has attempted to replicate foods by “advancing them through science.”

Unless we shop the perimeter of food stores, we don’t find much food in its original form. Additives in the form of sweeteners, shelf life chemical extenders, thickeners, cellulose de-clumpers, imitation flavors, hormones, antibiotics, and the rest of the scary list make up what’s sold as “food.”

I took a closer look at the Parmesan cheese I brought home and found that it was made up of pasteurized part-skim milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes and powdered cellulose to prevent caking. Only 5 ingredients, so it went into my basket at the store. When I topped my gourmet home-made spaghetti sauce with it at dinner, I found the cheese absolutely tasteless! $5.99 down the drain!

With Warner’s book  still joggling my mind, I decided to look up Parmesan Cheese on the Internet. Come to find out, Parmesan cheese is made from milk produced in the Parma/Reggio region of Italy and there is less than 20 hours from cow to cheese, according to columnist, Larry Olmsted. There are no antibiotics, steroids or growth hormones in the milk. The cows  are not fed silage; they are fed primarily vegetation grown in the Parma/Reggio region. The only ingredients in real Parmesan cheese are milk, salt and rennet (a natural enzyme from calf intestine.) Clearly, what I bought was no relation, yet it could legally call itself Parmesan in the US.

I  wondered  whether food companies count on us to be distracted enough with conversation or rushing to get to some meeting, that we aren’t even aware of what we are eating whether it’s loaded up with sugar, spices, or other flavor instigators, or not.

At the same time, Khalid Hosseni’s  new book,  And The Mountains Echo, paints the picture of  how we are shaped and, in turn,  shape others through the bonds we create. Hosseni’s  gifted storytelling of life in an Afghan village compels us to see ourselves in many of his characters, yet stirs us to break out of our own molds and mindsets.

It’s tempting to rail against the food companies and lobby for labeling but our responsibilities go beyond there. We have much more power than we realize. Given that processed foods have questionable nutritional value and threaten our health, despite what the package says, we can choose to slowly wean ourselves from them with whole foods we grow ourselves or find at local farmers’ markets,  produce,  and pick-your-own stands.

Cooked Food: Our Ancestor’s Legacy of Transformation

June 7, 2013

Michael Pollan obviously had fun writing his latest book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. Pollan takes us through his hilarious travels to discover the essence of how the use of fire, water, air and the earth rendered humans a dominant species. He’s concerned about our growing distance from direct, physical engagement in transforming raw stuff into cooked food and the nourishment such food provides as opposed to opening a package that has been processed elsewhere.

Discovery of fire and an inadvertently cooked carcass drew early humans in with its pleasant aroma and eventual preferred taste and started this whole business of cooked food. Most animals and birds spend their entire day chewing in order to survive. But, cooked food is more tender and easily digested, so it cuts down chewing time and frees humans to dream up other things to do with their time. Squirrels have to bury their nuts and wait to season them and make them digestible. Bunches of tree seedlings we find in the spring attest to a forgotten stash. Fermentation is practiced by many species, including food that sits in the craw of birds, readying it for digestion.

Pollan goes to North Carolina to learn the fine art of pig roasting by apprenticing himself to the experts. Whether you ever decide to roast a pig yourself, you’ll learn a lot about the value of different wood, and the transformative power of carefully controlled fire in the smoke of “ritual sacrifice that shadow us, however faintly, whenever we cook a piece of meat over a fire.”

Next, he hired a gourmet cook to teach him how to make pot dishes as he walks us through the water element via French, Italian, Spanish, Indian, Greek and more variations, adding vegetables, seaweeds, mushrooms, spices, and sauces. Guaranteed, you’ll want to try some new variations yourself.

He did the same with bread making (air element), apprenticed himself to fine bakers and takes us through the art of making starter, a sponge, and all the shenanigans in between. When we bake with whole grains, we reduce the risk of chronic diseases, weigh less, and live longer than those who don’t.

Finally, Pollan takes us through the earth element, the microbes that render food more digestible, and release valuable nutrients, vitamins, minerals. He has a whole saga for making sauerkraut and other fermented foods, including beer.

As we move into summer, we have the opportunity to celebrate with outdoor picnics, favorite dishes, and ritual gatherings, mindful of  how we honor and use the elements of fire, water, air and earth in the foods we prepare to share with others. Farmer’s Markets and  roadside produce stands provide us with new and familiar choices to continue our exciting, and often hilarious, human evolution. Here’s to celebrating our evolving art!

Spring check for what happens when….

April 6, 2013

Spring sets off a bunch of questions about what to plant, what new foods to try, what to look out for, and what really works to keep us healthy. We’re on Daylight Saving Time again.  It’s mud season. Bulbs are poking up. Road cleanup is on the to do list. It’s time to take wreaths down and put up the egg tree. We can micro-spike familiar trails and watch our favorite waterways magically slide their multi-mineral colored ice drapes from high banks back into the brooks. Citrus is in and we’re thinking more fruits….

 We’ve had the winter to soak up the latest trends researchers have come up with to bring about a health spurt and it’s tempting to try some new diet. Now, there’s an upsurge of energy to recharge our bodies. Which is why most of us need to pay special attention to the signals our bodies send out if we want to claim our drive to be well. What we eat isn’t nearly as important as noticing what happens AFTER we eat.

 Some foods get a nourishing boost if eaten with good friends or family, whether grazed through at a party that includes lots of hilarity, or savored with a friend, whether it’s a piece of delectable venison, or an amazing multi-course meal.  What we eat, with whom we eat, the ambiance of where we eat, and what else is going on in our life, all collectively generate how we feel AFTER we eat.

What we’re looking at is renewable, sustainable energy for our bodies that we can access and control. Food is just the part that gets the most notoriety for health. Exercise also plays an important role, whether we hike, work out at a gym or intentionally hit the stairs several times a day. Every move we make sends our blood circulating whatever nutrients we’ve taken in. When we make our exhalation as full as possible, like blowing out a hundred candles, this automatically assures that we’ll then inhale a full blast of fresh air through the nose to wake up our lungs and keep the oxygen exchange going. What we choose to do for exercise isn’t as important as how we feel AFTER we exercise.

 Noticing what happens when… joggles our consciousness and helps us to choose sustenance and exercise that generate robust health, regardless of whatever current researchers come up with. Here’s to enjoying all aftereffects!


Cholesterol Revisited

February 28, 2013

In response to my column on “The Cholesterol Sting”, a reader was kind enough to recommend that I update my references with two important books. Both books were the result of over 40 years of research, neither of which was funded by food and drug companies. They were funded by US taxpayers and results are openly available to us.

 The first is The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Cornell University nutritionist, and co-authored by his physician son, Thomas M. Campbell II. Campbell includes 750 peer reviewed studies to back up his finding that cholesterol levels in fact do cause heart disease and other illnesses. This was true even if the cholesterol levels were high in HDL (High Density Lipoproteins), the so- called  “good cholesterol.”

 The reason China was an important country to study is that their plant-based, dairy-free diet kept the incidence of heart disease and breast cancer at bay in China. Also, when Chinese people emigrated to the US and adopted our diet, they also developed heart disease, breast cancer, and auto-immune diseases. Campbell established that diet, not genes, is the most significant stimulant of conditions.

 The second book is by Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., MD, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. Esselstyn is a surgeon who wanted to find a way to prevent women from needing disfiguring breast surgery, and heart disease patients from undergoing such invasive and life threatening procedures. He found that when he was able to convince patients to adopt a plant-based, dairy-free, fat and oil free diet, they usually did not need surgery: hence, the title of his book.

 He asked doctors to refer to him their heart patients who had exhausted their by-pass and stint procedures and had been essentially told, “we can do no more for you.” When they came into his program, all who accepted the diet plan improved and/or reversed the damage to their coronary arteries.

 Here’s what they had to say about cholesterol that jolted my education. First, total body cholesterol IS an important marker, even if HDL, the good cholesterol, is high. For optimum health the total level needs to be 150mg/dL  or less (not 300, which the USDA recommends or 200, which the American Heart Association recommends.)

 We do need cholesterol but excessive amounts of it end up blocking our arteries. The amounts the USDA recommends appear to be causing more harm and expensive treatments.

 There is so much money to be made by radical surgery and treatment for breast and other cancers and heart disease that there is little incentive for doctors to focus on preventing the diseases. Esselstyn had a long uphill struggle to get referrals from cardiologists but once the word got out that people who went through his program regained their health, people began looking him up.

 Significantly, both Campbell and Esselstyn walk their talk. Esselstyn’s family made the transition when their children were young. They all enjoy robust health. Campbell grew up on a dairy farm. Esselstyn grew up on a cattle farm, but their search for what makes people well superseded  preconceived notions about diet.

 President Clinton attributes both his weight loss and improved health to this diet which he continues to maintain.

 The good news is that there is a growing number of physicians who are committed to keeping people well. That goal supersedes making a lot of money with preventable surgeries. Both books are available at your local library or through Inter-Library-Loan.

 Campbell’s book covers research on a broad spectrum of diet-caused conditions. Esselstyn’s deals mainly with heart and breast cancer and has a long section on the diet itself and recipes to transition for those interested. YouTube has an informative talk by T. Colin Campbell, “Lessons from the China Project.”

 Bottom line is, we can’t lower cholesterol with the American diet, which relies heavily on meat and fat. And, equally important, changes need to be made gradually to be sustainable.


The Wonder of Glucose

January 18, 2013

Media hype doesn’t warn people to avoid refined sugar if they want to prevent or recover from flu. The media does promote flu vaccine and handwashing. There are even bigger production plans for vaccine to meet anticipated needs for next year. Bear in mind that vaccine production means big profits for pharmaceutical companies. Gels for handwashing also make a profit. Sugar laced drinks bring in massive profits. However, the only people who benefit financially by reducing or eliminating refined sugar to stop the flu are people like you and me. 

 It is no accident that we don’t hear about sugar research on the radio or TV. The food and pharmaceutical industries bought them out long ago. Lest anyone think that there is no difference between our bodies’ use of natural as opposed to refined sugar, read on.

 It’s not as though research has not been done. Weston Price, an Ohio dentist, was curious as to what caused dental cavities. He traveled the world in search of the healthiest people so he could learn from them. He found them in several pockets of the world. Their one common denominator was that they ate natural, unrefined food from their own locale. His book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, came out in 1939.

 William Dufty traced the history of the sugar industry in his best-selling, Sugar Blues (1967), including the industry’s suppression of any research on the harmful effects of refined sugar consumption. Significantly, as far back as 1665, the Bubonic Plague hit only the wealthiest in London. The poor could not afford sugar then and didn’t get sick, but the wealthy overindulged to their own demise.

 Our bodies do need glucose; every cell uses it. Natural sugar found in the fruits and vegetables we eat is absorbed slowly along with the vitamins and minerals also present. These are the main nutrients we need for energy, general functioning of muscles, organs, blood, etc, and repairs (robust health.) We can’t overdose on the sugar eaten this way.

 Refined sugar has been stripped of all nutrients and is so concentrated that it stresses every place it goes. Our digestive tracts were designed for natural sugar that would be slowly absorbed in the small intestine. Salivary enzymes in the mouth are there to begin breaking down complex carbohydrates. When refined sugar is taken in, by sheer quantity, it is so acidic that it eats away at tooth enamel. In the stomach, it stimulates the satiety index’ desire to eat. The pancreas senses overload and shoots  insulin into the duodenum to tone down sugar’s absorption rate, and on the sugar goes through the intestine to the liver. The liver converts an overload of sugar to fat and stores it all over the body. Sometimes the liver becomes swollen with the overload. When this onslaught happens too regularly, people develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Unchecked, this condition moves on to diabetes when the pancreas can no longer supply the necessary insulin. The GI tract begins to deteriorate and other diseases start manifesting themselves. We become susceptible to everything that comes down the pike. Every organ is affected. It becomes harder to concentrate. Sugar then becomes a full fledged addiction.

 The language of addiction then reflects shame, anger and blaming of others. It’s really about loss of power and control and the need for more euphoria. The fact that sugar is not identified in the news is an indicator of the sugar industry’s current hold on its consumers who will continue to claim that refined sugar’s no different than natural as far as our bodies are concerned.

 The sugar industry opposes food labeling, contributed most to defeating the bill in California. The industry continues to hide sugar in foods as dextrose, maltose, dextrin, corn syrup, maltodextrin, saccharose, sucrose, sorghum, fruit juice concentrate, barley malt syrup, and many more. The order in which ingredients are listed is important. Greatest quantities are listed first. If you have several sugars listed in a product, they add up.

 Bottom line is: What kind of health do you experience? Do you eat simply enough to know the difference? For most of us, it’s a matter of starting over, and over again. Hopefully, we will encourage each other for all efforts.


The Cholesterol Sting About ‘Bad’ and ‘Good’

January 2, 2013

A few years ago I received a call from a clinic technician telling me that my cholesterol level was high, over 200. She advised me to make a follow-up appointment. I asked, “What’s over 200, my LDL or HDL?” The technician replied that they only tested for total cholesterol.

 A red flag went up and I decided to find a provider who looked more astutely at the big picture. There, I learned that my “high” cholesterol came from an HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) that was even higher than my LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) count. Of course, this meant another appointment and blood test at my expense to learn that, cholesterolwise, I was pretty healthy. So, what’s all this banter about cholesterol?

 Cholesterol is a vital ingredient in every cell in our bodies, including our brains. We can’t make estrogen, testosterone, cortisone and other hormones, Vitamin D, and bile enzymes to digest fat, without cholesterol. It’s vital for nerve function and more.

 The ‘good’ and ‘bad’ myth got created when health professionals learned how to measure cholesterol levels in the blood. In 2004, the National Cholesterol Education Program Panel came up with guidelines on cholesterol management. At the time, USA Today reported that eight of the nine doctors on the panel who developed the guidelines had been making money from the drug companies that manufacture statin cholesterol-lowering drugs. The ten page report is available on line through NIH. The following year, the Annals of Internal Medicine published a 10 page review that found insufficient research evidence to support the treatment outlined in the panel’s report. Today, nine years later, there is still no evidence to support keeping cholesterol levels low.

 Here’s what happens when cholesterol levels are too low. We aren’t able to use the sun to generate needed levels of Vitamin D. Statin drugs work by inhibiting an enzyme that our liver needs to produce cholesterol for body repairs. Cholesterol has the ability to heal scar tissue that may have formed in our arteries or elsewhere. Statins also deplete us of CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10), which supports heart health and muscles generally. Without enough CoQ10, we’re subject to fatigue, muscle weakness, and possible heart failure.

As far back as 1985, when the fat scare began, institutions began cutting down on nutritious fats (cattle were fed corn instead of grass; farmed fish were fed grain instead of marine diet). Stores began offering fat-free crackers, dips, frozen dinners and you-name-it. People began eating twice as much grain, vegetable oils and high-fructose corn syrup to satisfy their appetites with the automatic rise in obesity and diabetes. The sedentary lifestyle that followed caused more general inflammation and cell breakdown with not enough cholesterol to repair the damage caused by scar tissue.

 It has taken us all the years in between to finally get to the point of realizing that a natural diet, free of processed foods and sugared drinks, when coupled with plenty of exercise is a simple, affordable road to robust health. Cholesterol does not cause heart problems. Cholesterol levels may rise when there is already damage because it has a job to do, like repairing scar tissue in existing vessels and muscles that could result in heart disease. Reports that promote statin drugs and preoccupation with cholesterol levels without explaining cholesterol’s beneficial effects are suspect. Their charts and numbers serve to confuse the issue and keep pharmaceutical companies happy.

 A simpler route is to be sure we’re getting enough high-quality, nutritious fat from grass-fed animals and wild fish, enough raw fruits and vegetables, organic dairy products, raw nuts and seeds, and eggs from hens that walk the earth, to keep up a healthy supply of cholesterol. We can simply drink plenty of tap water for easy transport of whatever we eat through our digestive tracts. And we can be sure we’re getting plenty of exercise to keep all these nutrients circulating to repair and energize us.

 A fringe benefit in taking small steps to find quality foods is that we can get to know the farmers and grocers right here in NH who are making such foods possible for us. We can support them in our communities, grateful for the privilege.