Monday, December 13, 2010

Tea: Alfalfa

When the Arabians noted that feeding alfalfa to their prized horses made the animals swift and strong, they began consuming alfalfa themselves.  This legume, which is indigenous to Arabia, has been called The Father of All Foods.  Packed with vitamins and minerals, this super food can be used as a natural tonic, for fitness and weight control and to restore the body's ability to produce vitamin K.

As a tonic, alfalfa will provide eight essential amino acids, vitamins A, E, K, B and D, phosphorus, iron, potassium, chlorine, sodium, silicon, magnesium, and beta carotene.

Alfalfa is a natural laxitive and diuretic and will ease water retention, provide a system cleanse, improve digestion, and maintain your intestinal tract in it's top condition.

Alfalfa is also a great source of vitamin K, which is required for blood clotting, carbohydrate storage, and liver vitality.  Frequent use of aspirin, alcohol, or drugs can destroy your vitamin K supply and antibiotics can deminish vitamin K supply as well as destroy the healthy flora needed for it's production.  Normally vitamin K is manufactured in the intestinal flora as a by-product of digestion, but with introduction of these toxins into the system, the production of this vitamin is hampered.

Caution: Alfalfa is not recommended for people with autoimmune disorders.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Whole Wheat Honey Flax PIZZA CRUST!

The other night, per the hub's request, I made pizza.  I set out to create a yummy whole wheat honey flax crust recipe to bring a little healthy to our pizza.  It took me a couple nights of pizza making to create a crust I'm excited about.  This crust is a thin crust, crispy, whole grain crust, and I love it!

Here's how you can make this yummy dough at your home!

What You'll Need

1 .25 oz package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (around 110 degrees)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed meal
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon honey
Spices of your choice (keep toppings in mind), used to your taste - example: Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Paprika, Crushed Red Pepper, Garlic
Another option is to embed cloves of fresh garlic in the crust after you've flattened it out (YUM)

What You'll Do

Preheat oven to 425-450 degrees F.  If you use a pizza stone, don't forget to toss it in the oven and preheat it.

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl combine flour, flax meal, sea salt and spices. Make a dip in the  in the middle and add honey and yeast mixture into center. Knead together until well combined.

Cover and set in a warm place to rise for an hour or so.  The dough doesn't need to double, it's more about the ingredients mingling to bring out each others flavors.

You can also make this dough ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge, covered.  Then, about an hour before you're ready to make your pizza, take it out of the fridge and let it sit and warm to room temperature.  I like to do this while Ava is taking her morning or early afternoon nap, then when she's up while I'm making dinner, there is one less step to do!  

Roll or press dough on a floured or lightly oiled pizza pan or cookie sheet and poke a few holes in it with a fork.  Leave on pan or sheet and allow to rise another 5-10 minutes.  You can roll it a little further after this if you want thin crust, or just leave it.  It can be helpful to cook pizza on parchment paper to transfer to another surface before cutting.  The parchment paper is extremely helpful if you're going to transfer "raw" pizza to the pizza stone before baking.  Yikes, the pizza would be tricky to transfer without the paper, lest you have pizza that resembles roadkill.

Add toppings!

I like Prosciutto, Dried Black Mission Figs, Goat Cheese, Garlic Cloves and Fresh Basil. Sometimes I add fresh Mozerella, sometimes not.

If you're going to transfer it to a hot pizza stone, do so now. (Remember, this is easier to do with Parchment paper underneath the dough).

Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.  Crust is done when you can lift it from the edge of the pizza and the entire pizza lifts up without any soft or saggy parts.

 And don't forget a salad to get some greens in!  We enjoyed a romaine, apple, bacon salad with homemade citrus raspberry vinaigrette!  Mmmm

Buono Apetite!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ava Opens her First Christmas Present (a bit early!) - What FUN!

Yesterday, Ava's first Christmas present arrived in the mail.  It was beautifully wrapped in red metallic paper and a big, beautiful red bow!  How tempting for a 7 month old, especially one who has a thing for ribbons!

Since it's our first Christmas as parents, and we too are excited by the beautiful paper and big red bow on this package, we decided it wouldn't hurt to let the little bit open her package a bit early ;)

And as usual, we try to see how much Ava can do before we jump in for assistance.  We try to encourage her to explore and try things for herself (as long as it's safe!), so we waited to see how much she could unwrap on her own.  What fun she had, pulling at the ribbon, tugging at the paper, mouthing it a bit and tugging again.  This kept her occupied for a while, exploring, learning and figuring out there was something WAY COOLER on the inside!  Thanks to my cousin Kirsten, Ava has a new favorite toy!

 Oh my goodness!  Look what's inside!

She's been crawling with the flower in her hand!  Her favorite piece from her new toy!

Warm Cozies, A Saturday Morning

As the rain drums on the roof and tree branches drip with glistening drops, our house is warm on this gray morning.  I feel so snugly with the little bit while we're in bed, buried under the covers.  But my slippers await me and Ava wants her morning sampling of solids.

This morning, I'm excited to get up and make buckwheat, buttermilk, banana, blueberry, coconut pancakes!  And furthermore, I'm encouraged after yesterday's lunch with the girls, that maybe Ava can pick up and eat a few TINY (like half a pea sized) nibblets of pancake (she did it with bread yesterday).  So, I whip together the batter (as the baby crawls over and pulls out all the pots and pans to play with on the floor) and make a couple cakes for myself and one tiny little one for the little one.  I leave the rest as batter as papa bear is still in bed... sleeping in (jealous)... I'll cook his cakes when he wanders out to our kitchen.

The pancakes turn out amazingly good.  I enjoy mine with a touch of dark amber maple syrup.  Ava enjoys hers with some yogurt.  Actually, Ava pretty much just enjoyed the yogurt.  The pancake was too sticky and I was afraid she might choke, so after a few tries, I decided to nix the pancake-baby idea.  She did get a little mushy fruit out of the pancakes though, and next time, I'll probably just reserve some of the mushy fruit before it goes into the batter for her.

What You'll Need - All Purpose Pancake Mix (This makes a bunch of pancake mix, from which you'll use a portion and save the rest in a container in your pantry).

I'll add that I have borrowed this pancake mix recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, "Feeding the Whole Family".

2 cups Barley Flour
2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 cup Buckwheat Flour
1 cup Blue Cornmeal (which I couldn't find last time I went to the store, so I used yellow cornmeal)
3 tablespoons  Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

What You'll Do

Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container.  (I like to shake them in the container to mix them.  EASY!)
The author also includes a Glutten-Free Pancake Mix (this one's for you Lindsay! xo)

Substitute 2 1/3 cups Rice Flour, 1 cup Potato Starch, 2/3 cup Tapioca Flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum for the 2 cups barley and 2 cups whole wheat flours.  Hope this turns out well for you!

What You'll Need - Buckwheat, Buttermilk, Banana, Blueberry, Coconut Pancakes
I adapted this recipe from that book too.

1 Egg, separated
1 1/2 cups Pancake Mix (from above)
1 cup Buttermilk (sometimes I make it with Unsweetened Almond Milk if that's what I've got... use what you've got!)
1/2 cup Water
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 cup Frozen blueberries
1/4 cup Dried Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
Oil for griddle 

What You'll Do
In a large bowl, combine egg yolk, pancake mix, buttermilk and water. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.

In separate bowl, combine egg white, mashed banana, blueberries and coconut shred.

Gently fold into batter.

Ladle onto pre-heated, oiled griddle and cook on medium high heat. Pancake is ready to flip when you see the bubbles on top (although, these pancakes don't bubble quite as much as others I've made, so keep peaking underneath to help you determine when to flip).

Repeat with remainder of the batter.

Other Tasty Additions 
It would be yummy to add semi-sweet chocolate chips for a splurge!  Some added cinnamon would be lovely.  Raspberries, strawberries or any other berry or fruit, even peaches!

You know when you're driving on a gray, cold day and you see a warm glow coming from other homes' windows?  When I see this, I imagine there are families inside enjoying a cozy morning together like we had. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bacon Spinach Red Pepper Potato Gruyere Whole Wheat Quiche... and it's EASY!


I like to make a whole wheat crust for this recipe (and many others).  It's crisper and heartier than a crust made with all-purpose flour.  Perfect for this savory delight!

What You'll Need

1 1/4 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup ice water
Spices to compliment the quiche
A pinch or two of ground flax seed meal
What You'll Do

In a large bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a cohesive ball.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Roll dough flat and fit it into a 9 inch pie plate, pressing it into the bottom and sides.

What You'll Need
4 Slices Bacon
1 Onion, chopped
Red Bell Pepper, cored and chopped into thin strips
1 red potato, chopped into small cubes
2 Cups Fresh Spinach (I didn't add it last time I made this recipe, and I missed the greens!)
4 Eggs
1/2 Cup of Milk
Gruyere Cheese
Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper
Basil, Oregano, Crushed Red Pepper

What You'll Do
Fry bacon, set aside but leave grease in pan.  Using grease, saute onion until transparent, then add potato, cover and reduce heat.  Cook until potatoes are softening, but not completely done.  Next, add bell pepper and spinach.  Saute together until all veggies are soft.  Pour off excess bacon grease.

Meanwhile, beat eggs and milk and stir in 1/2 shredded Gruyere.  Add veggies and spices to egg mix and pour into crust.  Top with remaining cheese.  Bake 45 minutes until golden brown.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tea: Lavender

For thousands of years, tea has been considered both a drink for medicinal purposes and for pleasure.  As many of you, I've enjoyed it in both it's lovely forms.  Tea has soothed my scratchy throat, helped relieve my sinuses, calmed my tummy and warmed me when chilled.  It's one of the ways Mother Nature shows off her abilities to nurture us naturally.  A warm cup of tea is her way of tucking us in with warm covers when we're not feeling so hot.

But we need not be sick to enjoy the herbal pleasures of tea.  And furthermore, enjoying tea regularly can even support prevention of illness!  I try to enjoy a cup a day.

Recently, I began having a deeper wonder for the role of individual herbs in these tea blends I was buying, so I bought a book.  The goal, to learn about and try a new herb a week (our Whole Foods has a marvelous bulk herb section) and as I become more confident in my knowledge of individual herbs, I will start to make my own blends.

Last night, I had the joy of drinking Lavender Tea! It was delicious!  Even Todd enjoyed it.  And it was simple to make.  I steeped about 1 Tablespoon of dried Lavender flowers in about 12 oz of hot water for about 5 minutes.  (For loose leaf teas, you'll need a wire mesh strainer to strain your tea, or use one of those mesh tea strainer balls).

I chose lavender because of how familiar an herb it is, but how little I actually knew of it's specific benefits! 

Use Lavender Tea for:
  • Anxiety, Tension, Headaches, Nerves on Edge -Lavender is calming. *
  • Infectious Diseases and Fevers -Lavender is said to reduce fevers, detoxify the body and induces sweating (I didn't notice any sweating last night, but maybe I just didn't drink enough?) to eliminate toxins.  It's  a potent antiseptic and historically was used to treat diphtheria, typhoid, streptococcus and pneumonia.*
  • Mouth and Throat -You can gargle this tea as well as drink it.  Nice for sore throats and laryngitis. *
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea -A nice tea for a travel kit.  Try it when you have stomach flu. *

    Use a Lavender Wash or Steam for:
    • A Facial Treatment (Steam) -This just sounds lovely.
    • Lice -Lavender tea can be used as a scalp wash to kill lice. *
    • Wounds -Lavender tea is an antiseptic water that can be used as a cleansing rinse for wounds. *
    *I am not attempting to provide medical care.  Please use your best judgment to determine if you need to visit your hospital or doctor.

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Rachel's Rantings in Rio

    Rachel and I grew up together in San Diego.  I believe we met in Middle School.  She's always been delightfully outspoken and funny.  I enjoy her blog, particularily this post

    What a beautiful way to look at motherhood and our little babies growing up so fast.

    If Rice Flakes Grew in the Patties...

    then I'd feed my baby rice cereal.

    To me it just doesn't make sense.  Those little flakes that come in the boxes that say, just add water or breast milk must be pretty processed.  I mean, I can't just toss a pinch of rice grains into a dish, squirt some breast milk on it and voila, have edible rice!

    What does go on when food manufacturers make "rice cereal?"  From what I've read, the grain is being refined (naughty word), the germ and bran (along with other nutrients) are being stripped out to promote longer shelf life (bye bye naturally occurring nutrients), then fortified (nutrients are added to the rice to provide our infants with iron, which is very poorly absorbed when provided in this cereal, zinc and vitamins, source below), and it's being pre-cooked, dehydrated and flaked.  (hum, kinda reminds me of some adult breakfast cereals, doesn't it?)


    Then I ask, would *I* eat it?  Heck NO!

    We moms are supposed to bring boxes of this stuff into our homes and add our liquid of choice, breast milk or water, and serve this mush to our infants?  While convient and over emphasized as the thing to do, I found it equally as convient and acceptable to feed Ava fresh fruits and vegetables first, followed quickly there after by meat.

    "There is no medical need to start baby out with cereals; unless your pediatrician has indicated your baby may need extra iron due to less than overall good health or due to being pre-term. In this instance, you should use a fortified commercial infant cereal and consult with your pediatrician on the best foods to offer as "first" foods; you may be surprised to hear your pediatrician recommend adding meat to baby's diet!" Wholesome Baby Food

    "Rice cereal is a less than perfect choice for the first complementary food given to infants. Rice cereal is low in protein and high in carbohydrates. It is often mixed with varying amounts of breast milk or formula. Although most brands of formula now have added iron, zinc, and vitamins, iron is poorly absorbed—only about 7.8% of intake is incorporated into red blood cells." Wholesome Baby Food Site (Great Site)

    I'm not saying this is the way to go for everyone, but I had to follow my heart (which was also backed up by plenty of reading).  And I've never had to bring anything extra into my home to feed my child.  It's simple for me, cost effective and I can also attest to it being wholesome and nutritious.

    If starting your baby on grains is important to you, I found some recipes for making brown rice cereal in our homes.  Sounds easy enough, but I'll confess, I've never tried it.

    The choice is completely personal.  Research seems to support mothers either way, whether you go with grains first, or fruits and veggies, even meat.

     Since I've been asked a number of times by friends what I've done with Ava, I did fruits, veggies, with meat following very closely behind.  I do puree, either single items or tasty mixtures and freeze them in ice cubes trays and reheat on the stove only.  I often serve items with whole milk yogurt (which I am excited to start making on my own at home!  ooh, future post) or butter to boost fat content.  I've also added flax seeds to boost fat, but watch out, because this boosts fiber and some babies can really poop after a meal with flax!  And you can bet I'm adding plenty of meat stock to her foods as well (who needs to add water to the blender?!). 

    I've never added my breast milk to her solid foods and she's never turned me down.  She LOVES eating meals with us and hasn't refused anything I've given her.  In fact, she's VERY enthusiastic!  And we still nurse with just about the same regularity as always.

    I'd love to hear what other moms have included in their homemade baby foods!  Any tasty recipes?

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Enchiladas Recipe with Chicken Stock

    So, you've made your chicken stock and you're tired of eating soup, soup, soup. What else do you do with it? You can freeze it into small containers and use it in cup sized quantities in your recipes (often boiling it down like I do in this recipe). Or, freeze it into ice cube trays and add a cube at a time to a recipe that would seem to accept a little lift from the stock.

    The following recipe I came up with because I love Mexican food, especially when I can make it at home, have it taste amazing and be nutritious for me and my family. Also, I wanted to create something other than soup with my chicken stock and left over chicken. So, this is what I came up with! My husband and I both really enjoyed it... for 3 days in a row!

    What you'll need

    12 corn Tortillas
    Oil that can withstand high heat, or saved bacon grease
    2 cups of chicken stock
    Light and Dark Chicken Meat
    Spices such as Cumin, Paprika, Cayenne, Oregano, Salt, Garlic, Celery Seed
    Veggies like Corn Kernels, Carrots Chopped into Small Pieces, a bit of chopped spinach
    1 Onion, chopped, divided
    Couple Cloves of Garlic
    1 cup Salsa
    3 Tablespoons Tomato paste
    1 cup water
    1 can crushed Fire Roasted Tomatoes
    1 lb Jack Cheese

    How you'll do it
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    In a pot, place stock and chicken together and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down to rolling simmer and allow liquid to simmer out.   Season with spices listed to personal taste while there is still enough liquid to easily disperse spices and add veggies plus a few Tablespoons of the chopped onion (save the rest for the sauce). 

    Continue to boil down.  Chicken should shred on it's own during this process (especially is you've used frozen chicken pieces left over from the chicken you've roasted for your stock), but if they haven't shredded, give them a nudge in the right direction with a fork.  If there is left over liquid in pot, you may add this to the sauce in the next steps.

    In a large frying pan at med-high heat add 3 Tbsp of oil or grease. Add a tortilla to the pan. Cook for 2-3 seconds, lift up the tortilla with a spatula, add another tortilla underneath. Cook for 2-3 seconds, lift again, both tortillas, and add another tortilla underneath. Repeat the process with all the tortillas, adding a little more oil if needed. You do this process to develop the flavor of the tortillas and soften them so they behave for you as you roll your enchiladas.

    Saute the chopped onion until translucent then toss in garlic and cook for a few seconds longer (don't want to burn garlic, as it burns easily), then turn off the heat. Add 1 cup of salsa. Dissolve 3 Tbsp of tomato paste into 1 cup of water, add to pan. Add 1 cup of crushed fire roasted canned tomatoes.

    Oil the bottom of a large casserole pan. Take a tortilla, cover 2/3 of it lightly with the shredded cheese and chicken veggie mixture and roll up the tortilla and place it in the casserole pan.

    Continue until all tortillas are filled and rolled.

    Add the sauce to the top of the tortillas in the the casserole pan.  This should cover the tortillas and fill the dish.

    Cover with the rest of the grated cheese.

    Put the dish in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.

    Suggestions for serving: sour cream, guacamole, cilantro, lettuce...


    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    The most AMAZING cookies, AND there's no sugar?

    I don't want the little bit growing up eating GOBS of white sugar, I also don't care to be the mom who restricts foods, causing them to become taboo and even more alluring.  So, I've been on a quest to create more nutritious sweets that taste great and that I won't mind letting her eat.  Responsibly of course.  The hubs and I also don't need all the extra white, refined, bleached of all things nutritious, chlorinated, empty calorie crash and burn sugar so yay, let's enjoy a cookie!

    1 cup Whole Grain Spelt Flour
    1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
    2 tsp Baking Powder
    1 tsp Baking Soda
    1/2 tsp Sea Salt
    1/4 cup Sucanat *

    2 tsp Vanilla Extract
    1 tsp Almond Extract
    1/2 cup Coconut Oil
    1/4 cup Maple Syrup
    1/4 cup Raw Honey
    1 Banana Mashed

    1/2 cup Walnut Halves
    6 squares SUNSPIRE dark baking chocolate **

    *Sucanat is a whole cane sugar that hasn't been separated or blended, it's not chlorinated and bleached like white sugar
    ** I used a baking chocolate, as to not add more sugars to the recipe.  Semi Sweet chips would taste so excellent too!

    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

    Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.

    Mix wet ingredients in a mixer.

    Add dry ingredients to wet and mix.

    Blend walnuts and 1/4 of the chocolate in a blender to make a walnut chocolate meal.  Remove from blender.  Now blend remaining chocolate until it's in small chunks (think chip sized).  Mix walnut and chocolate meal and chocolate chunks into dough.

    Yields 30 cookies.

    Bake 12-15 minutes on cookies sheets.


    So, yeah, there are sugars in these cookies, but no white, refined sugar.  Maple syrup is rich in trace minerals (it's brought up from below the ground, from the trees roots).  Unfortunately, many comercial brands use formaldehyde during production, so check out Coombs Vermont Gourmet... they get the thumbs up.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    "Good Broth Resurrects the Dead" - South American Proverb

    A homemade, hearty broth will do wonders for your family, from relieving a stomach flu to improving overall digestion.  This is why it's so unfortunate that in our hurry up and go lifestyle, very few people still make stock in their homes.  Especially when it's so simple to do!  And the benefits of consuming the minerals and gelatin that steep into the broth are certainly worth the effort!

    "Properly prepared, meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate.  Acidic wine or vinegar added during cooking helps to draw minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium, into the broth.  Dr. Francis Pottenger, author of the famous cat studies as well as articles on the benefits of gelatin in broth, taught that the stockpot was the most important piece of equipment to have in the kitchen." Excerpt from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

    The French were the leaders in gelatin research, which continued up to the 1950s. Gelatin was found to be useful in the treatment of a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer. Babies had fewer digestive problems when gelatin was added to their milk. The American researcher Francis Pottenger pointed out that as gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, which means that it attracts and holds liquids, it facilitates digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut. Even the epicures recognized that broth-based soup did more than please the taste buds. “Soup is a healthy, light, nourishing food” said Brillant-Savarin, “good for all of humanity; it pleases the stomach, stimulates the appetite and prepares the digestion.” Excerpt from Broth is Beautiful by Sally Fallon Morell.

    Bones from 1 Whole Free Range, Organic Chicken  (Roast and Carve the chicken for a meal, chop up meat to use in soups, freeze meat for later use, make a casserole, go nuts! so many things to do with roasted chicken meat!) **See below for reasons why I use Whole Free Range, Organic Chicken
    Chicken Neck and Organ Meats (found inside bag, chop up neck - Mine still had the head on!  Eek! But all good stuff!)
    Feet (Kinda creepy, but lots of gelatin in these bad boys... very nutritious!)
    Enough Cold Filtered Water to Cover Bones
    2 Tablespoons of Vinegar (I like Apple Cider Vinegar)
    1 Large Onion, coarsely chopped
    2 Carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
    3 Ribs of Celery, well cleaned and coarsely chopped
    1 Bunch Parsley

    I like to use a pot that has a colander that fits inside the pot for easy straining of the big pieces once the stock is done.

    Toss all the bones, gizzards, meats, feet into the pot.  Pour enough cold filtered water into pot just to cover the bones.  Add Vinegar and vegetables, but withhold the parsley.

    Bring to a boil.

    Reduce heat to simmer and cover pot.

    Let simmer 4 hours (longer is fine if you want to leave it and forget about it a while).

    Throw in Parsley and let simmer 10 more minutes.

    Strain liquid from Pot and store in tight lidded jars or containers.

    Freeze in small, glass, serving sized containers and reheat on stove top (place glass container in sauce pan with 1-2 cups of water around it - enough to cover up to an inch and a half of the bottom of the glass container - and let the water boil around the container to loosen the block of ice broth.  Then toss into your recipe, either completely dethawed or still partially icy, once you're able to remove from storage container).

    ** Whole Organic, Free Range Chicken: It's another casualty of this hurry up and go lifestyle.  It's also a casualty of the effects that growing industry has had on our food.  At this time, 80%+ of the chickens in our grocery stores are being supplied by 4 mega companies, the biggest of these being Tyson.  While they place images on their lables of farms and talk about their happy chickens, this is so far from the truth.  These chickens have been steered genetically to grow almost twice as big in half the time on diets that aren't natural to their diet (feed that has been modified and processed itself) and in environments that are dark and jam packed with chickens (poor buddies).  Since they live on top of each other, wade through each others feces and breath unclean air all day, they are fed antibiotics (which don't disappear from their "meat" when we eat them... hum, what do you think that does to us?).  But it sure is cheap to raise them this way, and boy do these companies rake in the profits (while these "farmers" stay poor might I add, making around $18,000/year).

    So, one may say it's "too expensive" to buy organic, free range poultry, but isn't this the cost of the chicken?  And what the average consumer is paying for is the discounted, mass produced, industrial "meat"?

    While we're at it, research "battery chickens" and find out why I only buy organic, free range eggs!