Birke Reports – Don’t Let Cooking Oils Fool You

Thank you for following along with my travels on Facebook… I’ll be back soon, but in the meantime I have a special guest post from one of the most inspirational people I met this year – 13 year old – local food and organic farming advocate – Birke Baehr. If this is the first time you are learning about Birke – you’ve got to check out his TED Talk and his new book “Birke On the Farm” – especially if you have kids. I am super proud to call him one of my friends and who knows he might just become a regular around here…so watch out, he’s a firecracker!

First of all, I’d like to thank Food Babe for inviting me to be a guest on her blog, I’m very excited! We have been talking about working together and I really like hearing about her ideas and recent adventures.

I’d like to start by sharing with you a certain line of products that have popped up in my local “healthy” supermarket. The day after Christmas I was shopping and noticed a large display in the middle of the aisle. Spectrum, a well known brand of organic oils and cooking products has introduced some new products. My family has bought Spectrum coconut oil and some of their other organic oils because they have such an extensive line of organic products. But, what caught my eye that day was this whole new line of products they have introduced. They’re canola oil blends and it seems that they have mixed non-organic canola oil with coconut, peanut, and olive oil just to name a few.


Now for those of you who don’t know canola oil is…

“It is widely recognized as the healthiest salad and cooking oil available to consumers.” (But it is not!) It was developed through hybridization of rapeseed. Rapeseed oil is toxic because it contains significant amounts of a poisonous substance called erucic acid. Although canola oil contains only trace amounts of erucic acid it is also one of the top 4 genetically modified crops. You can read more about the history of canola and how it is a big con here.

Spectrum is owned by Hain-Celestial Group; which probably has the largest conglomerate of well known organic brands such as: Arrowhead Mills, Celestial Seasonings, Rice, Soy, and Almond Dream, and the Garden of Eatin’ just to name a few. In 1999 the H.J. Heinz Corporation bought 19.5% of the company but then sold their stock in 2005.
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Surprise Spring Rolls

Spring has sprung…and another food babe! Not to be confused with THE Food Babe of course ;)

Hey everyone! Spring is full of beautiful surprises and I’m proud to be one them! This beautiful weather has made me crazy for collards, but before I get on to my recipe I suppose I should introduce myself…


My name is Mary Beth Arthur. I’m 22 years old and this year I will be starting school at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition so I can become a holistic health coach! Some of you may recognize me from Luna’s Living Kitchen since I had the AMAZING opportunity of working there for several months. Honestly, I could make a post all about that experience (hey! maybe I will) and how awesome it was to work in that kind of environment. If you haven’t been there yet – GO! Like right now!!! Aside from being around some of the most delicious vegan food on planet and working with some of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my whole life, I also had the chance to meet all kinds of awesome people that came in there to eat. Among those incredible people was Vani a.k.a. Food Babe! If there’s one thing we have in common, it is our love of food. And talking. And talking people’s ears off about food. :) Long story short, we were having lunch together about a month ago and she asked me to do a guest post… so here I am!

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Spring is here!!!!! YAY! It is my favorite time of the whole year for a few reasons: fresh produce, sunshine, and my birthday! I love eating with the seasons and I love all the delicious fruits and vegetables that are in season this time of year. Another great thing about warm weather is that it’s so refreshing to eat your raw foods! I absolutely CRAVE them in this weather. One of my favorite ways to eat my raw foods is to make collard wraps. Raw collards are so amazing for your body and most people cook them to death! For the record, I do looove some good southern cooked greens. How could I not? I was raised on soul food! However, most of the collards (and other greens that I eat) I prefer to leave uncooked. Gotta stock up on enzymes so I have energy to go hiking, swimming, and biking in this beautiful weather! So anyway, I was messing around in the kitchen a few days ago and came up with this recipe. And it was GOOD. So good that I had to share!

Mary Beth’s Keeping it Fresh Spring Rolls
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1
  • 1 tablespoon ginger chili sauce (I picked up the one made by The Ginger People, but I’m working on a homemade version)
  • ¼ avocado
  • ¼ cup peeled and grated carrots
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 handful of fresh greens (I chose a spinach and romaine blend)
  • 1 splash of nama shoyu (regular soy sauce would also be fine)
  1. Place all ingredients into the collard wrap, garnish with sesame seeds and roll it up
***Please buy all organic ingredients if possible***



Hope you all enjoy this recipe and all bounty that Spring has to offer!

– Mary Beth


Thank you Mary Beth for sharing this refreshing and delicious recipe with us. This is the perfect kind of recipe to make coming off a juice fast – These will be in my belly today and can’t wait!

What’s your favorite food in the Spring?


Food Babe