The Down-Low on GMO

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I’ll make this simple, short and sweet. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are bad. Research has shown GMO products are dangerous to our health. The unpretty results have created much controversy and debate regarding the actual dangers. Food companies and agencies are defending their modification process as “genius technology”, while some researchers are saying that GMOs are the single biggest threat to human health. I’ll side with the researchers. Plus, in my experience, anything that doesn’t beat to the tune of nature is usually harmful in one way or another. I also don’t like the idea of my tomato looking and tasting like plastic.

In our savvy tech world, food has become the main experiment. Avoid being a guinea-pig by choosing to buy ORGANIC, especially when buying these top 10 GM foods:

1)  Soy – Yes tofu, is healthy. Yes, soy milk is good for you. But beware, and make sure your products contain soybeans which are organic.

2) Corn – Corn is rich in its taste and in its historical recipe uses. We love corn but it’s better to love organic corn.

3) Tomatoes – Basically the poster image for GMO foods, tomatoes were one of the first products to be modified. Let’s take back our tomatoes. Take them back to real.

4) Papayas – GMO papayas are banned from the European Union, yet marked safe for consumption in North America. If you can can find an organic papaya, you’re lucky there are not many out there!

5) Potatoes – Delicious and filling, but only if they’re not killing. Studies have shown adverse effects on mice consuming genetically modified potatoes. Steer clear and once again, purchase organic.

6) Cotton – For food purposes, the emphasis is on cottonseed oil. Avoid the regular versions and watch out for it as an ingredient in many dressings, baked goods and snack foods.

7) Sugar Beets – Watch your sweet tooth. When it comes to sugar beware and be smart, choose sugar alternatives or buy organic.

8) Canola – Often over-processed and altered for pesticide resistance, canola is another typical ingredient in many foods. Avoid it by reading the labels.

9) Salmon (for all the non-vegans out there!) – GMO salmon was called “monster fish” by some European fishermen, and for good reason. It can survive during any season and grow to full size twice as fast. Fishy business..

10) Zucchini– I love this green cucumber-looking vegetable! It goes so well with so many foods, and it can be used in an variety of recipes! It’s also really good for you…when organic.

Be safe, eat an assortment, and opt for organic, especially when purchasing the products on this list. Value your health and if required, shell out the extra dollar.  Most importantly say “NO!” to GMOs!

Happy GREEN Grocery Shopping!!! 🙂

Elina

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Live Beautiful, Live Clean!

The search for great beauty products is never easy. Some can dry out, others can be too fragrant, some don’t live up to their claims while others are filled with harsh chemicals that are dangerous and sometimes even carcinogenic. So I made the choice to be conscious of my purchases.

However, when I started experimenting with organic and natural products, I often found they didn’t work at all. My blonde hair was washed out and brittle, my hands were always waxy and my soap didn’t foam. But Live Clean products definitely came to the rescue. I first picked up a bottle of their body-wash from a local drugstore as a desperate attempt to avoid the name-brands. The “Green Earth” 600-ml bottle was the only natural option available at Shoppers at the time, but at a mere $5.99, I decided to try it out.

That evening my quickie shower turned into a lathery, 30 minute soak-fest. Quite frankly I was very satisfied with the bubbles, fresh scent and level of cleanliness this body-wash brought me. I also didn’t have to use half the bottle to achieve this result. My skin felt baby soft and totally refreshed. So I jumped to find out more about the brand, and the products that they carry. I discovered that the company is Canadian and that they are quite dedicated on keeping their products affordable and completely sustainable. Almost all of their products contain 98% natural derived ingredients, are completely vegan, and are not tested on animals.

So I must say that ever since that fateful shower, I’ve been addicted to their entire line of products including their super-hydrating shampoos, conditioners and body lotions. These range from yummy berry scents to warm aragon oil(all natural of-course). Lovely ingredients such as Eucalyptus, Aragon oil and Lavender also provide amazing results.

I’ve discovered that Live Clean products are readily available throughout Canada, so if you check out their website you can find out where they sell in your area. Their website also features local “green events” and conservation tips (pretty impressive for a beauty line). I really like these guys, their message and what they are doing! Definitely a thumbs up!

Here is their website: http://live-clean.com/

 

Happy Hydrating and Clean Living!

E

Location, Location, Location!

For the third time within a year I am relocating to a new home. I have learned to deal with the scary and stressful aspects of moving, so it should be easy right? Incorrect. Minus the U-haul cargo vans, expensive moving guys and friends who are tired of helping me lift heavy boxes due to my “vagabond” ways, I am also leaving the hub of everything-green, everything-eco, and everything-organic. Although Kensington market will always be a quick streetcar ride away, it will never be just around the corner. So where’s a girl on the run going to find the perfectly ripe and inexpensive avocado? Panic mode on.

Before I completely sounded the alarm I decided to check out my new hood, just north of Christie Pits. What I discovered about the area, was surprising and utterly satisfying. First, something that may have been obvious to other people, but a discovery to me: Christie Pits wasn’t just a huge baseball diamond, but a great little niche in the middle of the city where dog-walkers, early morning runners, 6 am boot-campers, casual strollers and families took a second to get away from the daily grind.

Secondly I discovered an array of a different stores, cafes and cozy hangout spots, including a vegan restaurant that I cannot wait to try. So here is a basic roundup of everything amazing about my new neighborhood!

1) Fiesta Farms (200 Christie St, between Bloor St and Dupont St) : This place is truly a paradise for everyone who loves everything about organic and natural food, minus the health-store grind where the aisles are tiny and the people are numerous. The supermarket style grocery store and garden center (open seasonally) is perfect for the eco-conscious shopper. They support local farmers, the local community, carry fair-trade products, and have most of the items you’d find in a health store.

Here is their website http://fiestafarms.ca/

2) Live Food Bar (264 Dupont Street- North East corner of Dupont and Spadina): All vegan, 95% organic plus totally sustainable with a menu that will get you salivating (Think sun-dried tomato sesame sunshine wraps, “bacon cheeseburgers” , raw  pizzas and a variety of grain and salad bowls). I only stopped by for a quick tour but a colleague has spoken highly of this place, so I cannot wait to try out how Live does vegan gourmet!

Here is their website: http://livefoodbar.com/

3) The Hub Coffee House and Locavorium (1028 Shaw Street -South of Dupont): Cradled on a residential street, I must have walked by this place at least twice before realizing that it was actually a cafe. This is what makes it so special and unique.  The owners based their name on the term “locavore”. Enough said. They are organic, local, fair-trade. The decor is charming and the menu (although lacking a full vegan selection) is pretty approachable and affordable. I imagine I will be spending many hours on my laptop live from the Hub, and this excites me!

Here is their website: http://www.hubcoffeehouse.com/

4)Hare Krishna Centre (243 Avenue Road -Dupont and Avenue Rd): If you’re into meditation,Kirtan and looking to discover your spiritual side, this may be the place for you. The Hare Krishna Center holds monthly events, weekly gatherings, wellness and mindfulness seminars, Sangas, Bhakti yoga sessions, as well as weekly (and free) Sunday feasts. Excited yet?!

This is their website: http://iskcontoronto.blogspot.ca/

I’m sure this is only the beginning, and as I take my leisurely strolls this summer, I’m sure I will find the existence of many other wonderful hidden gems. So the moral of the story? Toronto is awesome, and a stressful re-location may be the beginning of new discoveries. So this Spring, its out with the old and in with the new! I will still always love Kensington Pedestrian Sundays, but it’s time to MOVE on!

Happy Moving and Rediscovering!!

E