Food Friday – Understanding Food Labels

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Reading food labels is easy right? We think we are making healthy choices by buying “low” this, or “free of” that, but are they always the best choice? Some food companies know that we aren’t quite sure what these mean and will label their food to make us feel good about buying their product. Today’s blog is all about these labels. It’s time we learn what these labels mean and make educated choices.

 

1. All Natural
USDA recognized claim for products that are minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients, including but not limited to artificial colors or flavors. The label must explain the use of the term “natural,” such as, “No added colorings or artificial ingredients.” No third-party certifier exists, but producers must be able to show evidence that their product meets the claim.

2. Biodynamic
Products are certified by third party as grown using biodynamic principals. www.demeter-usa.org

3. Cage Free
“Cage Free” is generally applied to egg cartons; chickens are not kept in a cage, but they don’t necessarily have access to the outdoors. No third-party certifier exists, but producers must be able to show evidence that their birds are not caged.

4. Certified Humane
Meat sold under this label must come from animals must be treated in a humane manner. Under the program, growth hormones are prohibited and animals are raised on a diet without antibiotics, but antibiotics can be used in the treatment of sick animals. www.certifiedhumane.org

5. Fair Trade
The Fair Trade label is primarily applied to imported agricultural products that meet strict labor and sustainability standards. Certification ensures that farmers and workers are fairly compensated for their products. www.fairtradeusa.org

6. Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council is a third-party-certified sustainable-forestry program. Certification ensures forests are being managed to the highest environmental and social standards according to 10 FSC principles. www.fscus.org

7. Free Range
Generally applied to egg cartons and chicken products, the “Free Range” label indicates that birds have some access to the outdoors but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have access to pasture. No third-party certifier exists, but producers must be able to show evidence that their birds are allowed access to the outdoors.

8. Fresh Poultry
The term “fresh” on the labeling of raw poultry products means that the carcass has never been frozen or reduced to an internal temperature below 26 degrees F. No third-party certifier exists, but producers must be able to show evidence that their birds are sold fresh.

9. Grassfed
Producers using a grassfed label will need to meet third-party certification standards as governed by the USDA. However, the American Grassfed Association’s (www.americangrassfed.org) American Grassfed label applies even stricter requirements, including that animals must have regular access to pasture appropriate to the species. Under the USDA-approved label, animals can be fed silage.

10. Heart Check Symbol
The Heart Check Symbol is a label made and certified by the American Heart Association; producers who meet AHA guidelines and participate in their certification program may use the heart-check symbol on their labels.

11. Kosher
Products may only be labeled as kosher if prepared under Rabbinical supervision. No third-party certifier exists, but producers must be able to show evidence that their products meet the Kosher rule.

12. Leaping Bunny
The Leaping Bunny label is used on cosmetics to indicate that products were not tested on animals. This label is granted by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics. www.leapingbunny.org

13. Local or State Identifiers
Many states allow producers to apply for the right to label their products with a local or state-grown label. Contact your state’s department of agriculture to learn about such programs in your area.

14. Predator Friendly
Producers who are certified as Predator Friendly have made a commitment not to allow any lethal control (shooting, trapping, poisoning) to protect their sheep and cattle from native predators.www.predatorfriendly.com

15. Salmon Safe
Certified products from Salmon-Safe, a nonprofit in the Pacific Northwest recognizing fish-friendly farms and products that keep salmon running the rivers, mean the farm or facilities used to process the product use practices that protect water quality and restore habitat. www.salmonsafe.org

16. USDA Organic
All products now labeled as organic must meet USDA requirements and be certified by one of the third-party certifying organizations around the country. www.ams.usda.gov/nop

 

For more information on how to read labels, visit the FDA.

Happy Shopping!

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Thrifty Thursday – Free Nursing Pillow!

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Are you expecting? Maybe you have a baby shower coming up? We just found this great offer from A Thrifty Mom that you won’t want to miss. Right now you can get a nursing pillow from Nursing Pillows.com for just the cost of the shipping and handling. Thats a $40 value for only $12.95. Swing on over to A Thrifty Mom for your offer code.

Happy Shopping

-Brought to you by bizzy babee, Inc. Predictable nursing covers for those unpredictable moments

Tip Tuesday – Fresh Flowers

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Did you get flowers for Valentine’s Day? Lucky you! We’ve got a a great tip to keep those flowers lasting as long as possible. First we should note that if your flowers came with a freshness packet, you should go ahead and use that. If your flowers did not come with a packet or your water has gone bad, here’s what you need to do.

1. Use fresh room temperature water.

2. Add a small cap full of bleach to your water. Yes you read right! The bleach prevents bacteria which is what kills your flowers.

3. Make sure your stems are freshly cut and immediately placed into the water.
We’ve seen flowers last a month with this treatment!

 

-Brought to you by bizzy babee, Inc. Predictable nursing covers for those unpredictable moments

 

Yummy Crockpot Tortellini

tortillini
Crockpot Tortellini with Spinach:
This is an easy, fairly healthy and delicious meal that will just sit in your crockpot for a few hours while you are doing important things in your day rather than sitting in your kitchen!  Bon Appetit!
Ingredients:
1 (19oz) bag of frozen cheese tortellini
1 small bag of fresh spinach (I used about half of a 5 oz package, but more is better!)
2 (14.5 oz) cans of Italian style diced tomatoes, drained
1 block (8 oz) of cream cheese (softened in microwave)
1 lb. of ground sausage (fully cooked before adding to crockpot)
3-4 cups of chicken broth (start with 3, add 1 more if it looks like it needs it)Brown the sausage and put all ingredients in crockpot,
chunking up the cream cheese.
Cook on low for 4-6 hrs.Serves 4-6

*Keep an eye on your tortellini, it may be done sooner.
*If still soupy, leave lid off for the last half hour or so of cooking.
*For a vegetarian version, omit sausage and use vegetable broth instead.

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Thrifty Thursdays- Easy Money Savings Plan

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Saving money isn’t always easy…. Or is it?

It’s hard to slide a little money over when you are trying to pay bills. Sometimes we need small measurable goals that have little impact on the bill paying stress. We’re sure you’ve seen this helpful tool floating the internet, but we thought we would share one with our Bizzybabee friends.  Try using this same method with your kids. Change the $1 starting point to $.25 and your child will end the year with $344.50. It’s a great way to get the entire family involved in money saving goals.

Good Luck!

-Brought to you by bizzy babee, Inc. Predictable nursing covers for those unpredictable moments

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Thrifty Thursdays – Garlic Bread Savings

garlic bread

What’s better than garlic bread???? It’s a great side to pasta, soup, salad or even for a sandwich. Next time you need a quick side for your meal make sure to stay away from the pre-made, easy ready or frozen options. They may seem easy, but they can be costly and take just as much time as a loaf of french bread. A fresh loaf of french bread is about $.99-$1.99 at your local grocery store. Sliced thick, your loaf should make about 12 pieces vs the 8 that comes in the Texas toast frozen section. You can use leftover pieces for french toast the next morning! Making it yourself also allows for a fun variety. Make a couple with butter and garlic, a few with parmesan cheese or try a blue cheese or sharp cheddar. Make dessert slices with honey butter and cinnamon.

Have the kids help with seasoning!

Happy eating…..and saving

-Brought to you by bizzy babee, Inc. Predictable nursing covers for those unpredictable moments

Words of Wisdom Wednesday – Michael Jordan

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I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

-Michael Jordan

 

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