Tuesday Things

1. Did you know that you can tell a lot by the number found on produce stickers?

produce stickers on apples and pears

  • Organic produce will be labeled with five numbers, always beginning with the number 9. For example, the apples above are labeled 94139, confirming that they are organic.
  • Conventional produce will always have four numbers, usually beginning with numbers 3 or 4. The pears above, labeled 4414, are conventionally grown with pesticides.
  • Genetically modified produce will be labeled with five numbers, beginning with the number 8.

This little trick has saved me tons of time at the grocery store, especially when the produce section isn’t always clearly organized. Simply looking for a “9” at the beginning of the produce stickers makes finding organic produce a breeze! I haven’t noticed many produce labels starting with the number “8,” but now I know to steer clear of those, too!

2. Another interesting difference at the grocery store? Pasture-raised eggs vs. Cage-free eggs.

comparing organic pasture-raised eggs and organic cage-free eggs

Since learning about the benefits of pasture-raised eggs, I’ve made an effort to buy them whenever they’re available. Unfortunately, the pasture-raised eggs are often sold out! For one of my meals last week, I cooked my last pasture-raised egg along side a cage-free egg (both organic), and I was surprised to see such a difference in the color of the yolks! See how the pasture-raised yolk is a darker, orange color? The darker the yolk, the more nutritious the egg is assumed to be, because it’s a sign of a more varied diet and nutrient consumption.

It’s actually kind of nice to see the comparison, considering that the pasture-raised eggs are more expensive. If they looked the same, I’d feel ripped off!

3. I’ve made another upgrade in my kitchen, switching to wooden cooking utensils!

wooden cooking utensilsI had been cooking with traditional silicone spatulas, but lately I felt like I could “taste” the silicone leaching into my cooked food! I immediately made the switch to these organic bamboo utensils (from Crate & Barrel), fearing that they wouldn’t work as well as my flexible spatulas, but I have been pleasantly surprised!

No unpleasant tastes have leached into my food, and they don’t scratch my pans! Win, win.

4. I’ve also added another kitchen gadget to my counter top.

nespresso milk frother

This Nespresso Milk Frother was a Christmas gift, and I am amazed at how much I love it. I had always used my Vitamix to blend up a “foam” for my almond milk drinks, and I thought that was good enough, but after using this little gadget, I will never go back! It makes AMAZING, thick foam simply using homemade almond milk! It’s truly impressive. I’ve been enjoying a warm cup of frothed almond milk as dessert each night, and it’s so comforting!

Plus, if you mix a bit of cocoa powder and maple syrup into the almond milk, it makes the perfect, frothy hot chocolate– in just about one minute! My evenings are so much better, thanks to this machine.

5. I wish you all could see how many recipe attempts don’t make it onto this blog.

cauliflower alfredo sauce on top of spaghetti squash noodlesThis was my second attempt at making a creamy cauliflower “Alfredo” sauce, but it’s just not good enough to share yet. It tastes too much like… cauliflower.

I guess there are more Alfredo experiments in my future!

Reader Feedback: What are you up to this week? Anything new you’ve tried lately?

 

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Comments

Audrey

I grew up with a lot of chickens wondering around in our yard and pasture. We’d occasionally stumble upon a nest and collect the eggs. The yolks were always a deep, dark orange, as compared to the yellow yolks of store bought eggs! I always thought it was a sign of a happy hen ๐Ÿ™‚

Teresinha

Thank you for your tips! I am new organic veggie person and I a trying to improve and learn everyday!

Erin @ Axell's Kitchen

Every day for breakfast and lunch I drink a huge green smoothie and had tried quite a bit of different types of greens in them…and then I tried turnip greens. EWW. It seriously tasted like I was drinking straight turnip greens..soo bad!!

Thanks for the organic number info..I did not know that!

Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness

Love that organic number tip! I use it all the time when I shop too! I didn’t know that about pasture raised eggs. I’m going to have to keep my eye out for them now!

Sam

I read about that # trick in a womens magazine a little while ago. I cut it out because i thought it was so handy ๐Ÿ™‚ I never wanna be buying #8 vegetables! Pastured eggs are sold out at my grocery store too sometimes! I’m taking it as a good sign that more and more people are waking up! It can only mean good things ๐Ÿ™‚ It does suck when they are on sale and you can’t get any though.

Cami

This makes me want to swith to pasture raised eggs! I’ve always made alfredo sauce using cashews and water blended as a base, but using cauliflower sounds so interesting ๐Ÿ™‚

the delicate place

i knew about the 5 number tip but not about the GMO number, yikes! i visually know an egg is amazing but how bright and/or deep the yolk color happens to be. i swear though, in europe the eggs just taste better haha!

Shauna

I tried making chocolate “pudding” with cocoa powder, avocados, banana, etc. Itwas surprisingly good and will remain in my rotation!

Ashley

Do you use the wooden utensils on stainless steel?

    Megan

    Yes, I’ve used them on stainless steel and cast iron so far.

Shira

For the sauce, maybe mix in white beans from the food processor? I use that for my bechamel sauce…

    Megan

    That would be a great idea for a vegan cream sauce!

Marie

I tried this cauliflower alfredo recently when I saw it on foodbuzz and it was really tasty http://www.oatmealwithafork.com/2012/10/29/creamy-cauliflower-alfredo/

    Megan

    Thanks for sharing! Her recipe looks similar to what I tried, and I think it just tastes too much like cauliflower… but perhaps if I served it over real fettuccine noodles, rather than spaghetti squash, it wouldn’t be so noticeable. Try, try again! ๐Ÿ™‚

Mia

What brand of almond milk do you buy/ suggest?

Jen @ Existential Evolution

I notice a big difference in egg yolks when we purchase eggs from our local farmer during farmers market season. The yolks are a beautiful, dark golden color like no other. Only 3 more months to farmers market season! Whoo hoo!

Michelle R

great info!! Thanks for ALL you are doing ~ enjoying your recipes and words!!

Felicia

our chickens have that deep dark orange color, and the taste doesn’t compare to other eggs not pasture raised! obviously not everyone can have backyard chickens, but paying the extra few $ for pasture raised is definitely worth it!

Kristen @ The Balanced Bowl

Thank you SO much for sharing the produce numbering system. That will be very helpful- my local grocers aren’t so great at marking organic items. Appreciate this!

Nicole

Thanks for the helpful tip on the produce numbers and the eggs!

Devann

I had seen about the numbered GMO produce in the sat but I had though to read that there is no regulation on requiring companies to use the number starting with 8? I hope I misread or missed an update to this!?!!

Carolyn

The “Crazy 8” designation for GMO produce is deceptive, because food industry lobbyists have successfully fought to have their GMO products lumped in with “conventionally” grown numbers that start with 3 or 4. In the 5 years I’ve known about this, I’ve actively looked for foods stickered with the crazy 8 number. Most corn is GMO, but I have only found it stickered with 3 or 4.

lareen

Thank you for all the great tips!

Jen

Hi Megan!
Great info. I did not know that about the “8” for GMO’s I don’t think I have ever come across that, but like you said, now I know.
Love your side by side of the eggs. Sadly, I don’t eat them very often as my body does not seem to like them! However when I did, I got them organic, paster- raised from the farmer’s market. The price tag was a bit more but wow what a difference in taste and color. The color was a beautiful golden orange.
Love the bamboo utensils, I have been thinking of switching over as well and I think you have just made the decision for me.
Thanks!
Jen

Pia

Hi Megan, unfortunately I don’t share your enthusiasm for bamboo spoons & spatulas. The one I bought broke down almost immediately. I had more success with other wooden utensils made locally out of olive wood or from a New Zealand tree, I picked up while traveling there.I have some melanine utensils that I bought many years ago and they’re still working great. I’m also on the fence about the silicone, although, my husband who is chemist, says that they’re safe.

Susanne

You’ve got to try this caulifredo sauce!! It’s amazingly good! And super easy to make in a Vitamix or blender. I’ve been making it all the time and put it on quinoa, steamed broccoli and sometimes roasted chicken. http://cupcakesomg.blogspot.com/2012/08/caulif-redo-sauce-aka-paleo-alfredo.html

Lauren

Interesting about the eggs–we sometimes get eggs from a local gal who raises them and they are SO dark and SO good. You can see and taste the difference immediately.

Rebecca

Comparing one pasture-raised egg with one cage-free egg is really not a thorough test. You really should compare more eggs than a one-to-one comparison. I raised all my chickens as free range chickens. Their yolks could be any variation of color. The color of the yolk can depend on the age of the chicken, the health of the chicken, even the air temperature (too hot or too cold) can make a difference. Just thought you’d like to know. Thanks for all your great resources.

Connie

This is my first time on your blog…it’s love at first sight! I will stay tuned as you try to develop a “clean” Alfredo sauce.

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