Tuesday, March 29, 2011


My sister in law Katy sent me this article about Toxins in our diet from one of my favorite shows, the biggest loser. Julian Michael's says we should avoid certain plastics that have BPA in them.

The biggest no no is to warm up food in plastic with BPA in it. If you still have plastic tuperware that you are using to store your leftovers in, then consider getting a set of glass storage containers. You can find a nice set from Costco for only $15.

Update! My sister Julie went and bought a set yesterday and it was $30, but sometimes they have a coupon for $5 off. See her comments below. Still worth it!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Annie's Mac and Cheese on sale this week at Smith's!

If you live around a Smith's food and Drug, then you need to know about the great sale they have this week. About 4 different varieties of the Annie's Mac and cheese are only .49 cents each when you buy 10! They are usually $1.99 each, but they are on sale for .99 cents each and then when you buy 10 of them you get $5 off when you check out.

I have been feeding my kids annies for sometime now because they don't have any food coloring or hydrogenated fats in them. They also are made with organic pasta. This is really the best deal I have found on them.

Sale goes through Tuesday March 29th, 2011!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

UPDATE on McDonald's Hamburgers . . . Good Science vs. Bad Science

So do you remember that post I did about the McDonalds hamburger that was almost a year old and still looked the same? Well my daughter Amanda needed a science fair project, so I gave her that idea, and she was really excited about it.

The main difference between her experiment and the McDonald's hamburger that stayed the same is that she used a control . . . a homemade hamburger! If you don't have a control, then it is all hype and NOT GOOD SCIENCE!

This is what she did . . . Took a plain McDonald's 1/4 pounder hamburger, and put it in a zip lock bag with a couple of slits in it (the thought of a hamburger rotting in the open grossed me out). Then she took and then a homemade 1/4 pound patty on a homemade hamburger bun and put that in a gallon zip lock bag with a couple slits in it. She then let them sit on top of our cupboards for 6 weeks and took pictures each week to see the change. I wrote the date on the bags with a permanent marker so we knew when each picture was taken.


After about 2 weeks, mold appeared on both hamburgers. Black mold on the homemade hamburger, and green and white mold on the McDonald's hamburger. More mold was on the homemade hamburger.


Mold needs moister to grow, so by putting the hamburgers in ziplock bags, there was enough moister to allow the mold to grow.

When we were trying to figure out why our McD's burger got mold, but this other one did not, we came across this great website that took about 9 different hamburgers and put them under different environments. Some where kept in a container, and some in the open air. They came to the conclusion that the McDonald's hamburger's moister evaporated so quickly, that the mold didn't have a chance to grow. Click here to see the blog post.

We also found out that a McD's bun has a ton of preservatives in it. That is probably why the black mold (one of the most common molds) didn't grow on the McDonald's burger.
Here is the ingredients list of the bun:
Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, enzymes), water, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, yeast,soybean oil and/or partially hydrogenated soybean oil, contains 2% or less of the following: salt, calcium sulfate, calcium carbonate, wheat gluten, ammonium sulfate, ammonium chloride, dough conditioners (sodium stearoyl lactylate, datem, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated monoglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, enzymes, guar gum, calcium peroxide, soy flour), calcium propionate and sodium propionate (preservatives), soy lecithin.

I explained to Amanda that mold spores are literally everywhere! But, if they don't have the right environment (moister, heat, and sometime the right light, or darkness), then the mold will not grow. I remember learning about this in a biology class I had in college, and it grossed me out for weeks. They showed us a video of mold spores in slow motion.

Such a fun experiment. She won first prize too! Great science Amanda!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Simply Fruit

We love jam in my family. We go through about 1 jar a week. We eat lots of PB&J sandwiches, have toast in the morning, and jam on a piece of bread is a great snack. It is really hard to find jam with no High-Fructose Corn Syrup in it (HFCS).

It is really fast to look on the back of the jar on the ingredients list to see if your jar has HFCS in it. Jam really only has 3 ingredients, 1. fruit, 2. sugar, 3. pectin.

My favorite jam is the simply fruit brand by smuckers. This kind is sweetened with fruit juice instead of sugar. Walmart has the best price on this jam. I always stock up when I go there.

If it says "organic" on it, then it shouldn't have HFCS in it.

Costco has organic strawberry jam, and they have another kind of berry jam that is free from HFCS.

So if you are looking for a jam that is free of HFCS, look for simply fruit at Walmart, shop at Costco, or buy organic!

Thanks James for being my model for the Simply Fruit Jam!