One Million More

Have you seen the food documentaries Food, Inc or King Corn? Both of these films were instrumental in raising my awareness and concern around the issues of genetically engineered food in our country.

Currently, genetically modified food is not labeled in our grocery stores, and it is estimated that approximately 70% of the food sold contains GMO’s as opposed to only 5% in Europe. The FDA has not required any long-term studies of the effects of this food on humans.  I don’t know about you, but as a mom of a toddler, those statistics are a bit alarming.

I recently became aware of the Proposition 37 in California, which would require food sold in CA to be labeled whether or not it contains GMOs.

What are GMO’s?

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is an organism whose genetic material has been artificially altered.  Approximately 85% of the corn grown in the US is genetically modified, and then used in countless processed foods, including cereals, chips, crackers, and even baby food.

Why should we be concerned?

First of all, we have a right to know what is in our food. If these products were labeled, consumers who wanted to avoid them could do so. Even more importantly, we have no idea what the long term health implications of GMO’s may be.

The FDA has not required any long term studies, and research is beginning to link GMOs to a number of health concerns.

In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) stated that,“Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified (GM) food,” which may include infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. According to the this article, the AAEM has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid GM foods.

What does is Proposition 37?

This initiative in California would require food to be labeled if it is genetically engineered or if it contains genetically engineered ingredients.  It is intended to have no cost impact on consumers or producers.

Why should we care if we don’t live in CA?

Fifty countries with approximately 40% of the world’s population are already requiring GMO’s to be labeled in food. Getting this passed in California would open the doors for change to spread across the US.

It took one million votes to get the initiative on the California ballot, and it will take a million more to vote, donate, and spread the word to get the initiative passed.

How can you help?

There are many levels at which you can help make a difference.

  1. If you are a blogger, and would like to help spread the word, you can sign up here.
  2. Join us for a Twitter chat on Friday, August 10th at 7pm PST/ 10pm EST
  3. Tweet about the initiative using the hashtags #CARighttoknow & #LabelGMOs, here’s two sample tweets you can copy and paste:

“Yes on Prop 37! Consumers have the right to know about #GMOs. #CARightToKnow #LabelGMOs #YesOn37

OR “Are u passionate about labeling #GMO? Join the Official LabelGMOs Blogger Team! #labelgmos #carighttoknow”

More interesting reading:

My family is not perfect in our food purchasing and consuming, but I am passionate about knowing where my food is coming from.  I’m hopeful that if we can begin labeling all products with GMO information, more and more companies will feel the pressure to stop using genetically-engineered food in their products.

Do GMO’s concern you? Did you know CA has this initiative on their ballot?

Dark Chocolate Crunch bars

I got a dvd in the mail yesterday, so I’m been watching a lot of this guy…

Remember when I was considering signing up for a spinning certification? I decided to go for it, and the course is next weekend, one week away.

I’ve already been told which tracks I’ll be expected to present on day two, so I’m starting to familiarize myself with the music and choreography as much as I can.  It makes nice background music for tower building with blocks.

But I’d be lying if I said I’m not nervous.  Facing some fears and excited for the challenge!

I also promised the mock kashi granola bar recipe.  I often use Kashi or other high fiber cereal to top plain yogurt or toss it with dried fruit, nuts and chocolate for a yummy trail mix.  I found it makes a great granola bar, too.

Our favorite granola bar is great for toddlers or adults, but I wanted to make one for myself that had chocolate involved.  This may be a bit closer to a dessert than a healthy snack, but I chose ingredients that I eat most days that are also nutrient rich:

  • nut butter (protein, good fats, Vitamin E, magnesium)
  • honey (antioxidants, Vitamin B6, calcium, iron, zinc)
  • kashi or other high fiber, high protein cereal (protein, fiber, whole grains, low in sugar)
  • dark chocolate (antioxidants, theobromine, potassium, copper, magnesium)
  • raisins (resveratrol (another antioxidant), calcium, iron, potassium)

So here’s the recipe!

Dark Chocolate PB Crunch Bars

by Mommy, Run Fast


  • 2/3 c. creamy peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c. kashi or other high fiber/ high protein cereal
  • 1/2 c. raisins (optional)
  • dark chocolate bar or chocolate chips


Mix the nut butter, honey and vanilla together. Stir in the cereal until well coated and add the raisins, if desired. Line an 8×8 pan with wax paper, and spread cereal mixture in pan. Press firmly, using more wax paper to spread it out if needed. Melt desired amount of chocolate and spread on top. Chill and cut into bars. Store in refrigerator for best consistency.

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I love how flexible these are- you can use any kind of nut butter or sticky sweetener you have. Raisins are optional, but I love to throw them in for extra sweetness.  You could try it with other cereals, or brown rice puffs.  Or mix in coconut or dark chocolate chips.

What’s your favorite granola or protein bar?


Our Family’s Food Philosophy

One of my passions is feeding my family well. It can be challenging to find nutritious recipes that our whole family likes.  I’m always looking for ideas, and love checking out the great recipes on other blogs.  I look forward to sharing some of our family favorites and experiments as we go along.

A lot of people talk about “eating clean” and this can mean different things to different people.  Here’s a summary of what it means for me:  whole and natural foods, fresh and local when possible, no pesticides or hormones, and food with ingredients we can pronounce and identify.  I believe the way we fuel our bodies and where we buy our food has a profound impact on our health, our environment, and our world.

I have been a vegetarian off and on for over ten years, for health reasons as well as for sustainability and environmental reasons.  Family dinners are important to me, and we’ve found that everyone is happy if we include meat and dairy in small amounts.  (We probably eat meat 1-2 times per week.)

We try to include a balance of:                                                                                        Whole grains: brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, couscous, millet, barley, etc;                Protein: beans, lentils, split peas, raw nuts, tofu, eggs and meat*;                               Fruits and Vegetables: as many colors and varieties as we can, emphasizing seasonal  Dairy: yogurt, cheese, milk, limited butter**

*We do our best to purchase sustainable meat

**I am undecided on the saturated fat debate (you can read one argument for saturated fat here), as I realize that farmers have lived for thousands of years on these products without all of the health issues we have today.  I also like this article about the nutritional benefits of organic butter, in small amounts.  Currently, we buy low-fat plain organic yogurt and milk, but full fat cheese.

I think the biggest challenge is avoiding processed foods (chips, crackers, etc) and finding on-the-go toddler snacks that aren’t goldfish and animal crackers.  We do our best to limit sugar.  (The older my daughter gets, the less control we have in this area!)

Thankfully, my husband and daughter are very tolerant of my experiments and whole food pursuits.  We don’t stick to this perfectly, and not every meal is a success, but in the process we are finding many things we all enjoy eating.

Do you try to “eat clean”? Is your partner or family on the same page?