Pandora’s Lunchbox (Catchy Title!)

This is a MUST READ, especially for anyone who controls a lunchbox – for yourself or a spouse or a kid (I find processed foods wind up there first).pandora-bc2

By the way, this is the sort of thing you’ll get notified about first if you “Like” my Facebook Page – see that little box on the right over there? Go click it!

Grist

You’ve heard of pink slime. You know trans fats are cardiovascular atrocities. You’re well aware that store-bought orange juice is essentially a scam. But, no matter how great of a processed-food sleuth you are, chances are you’ve never set food inside a processing plant to see how many of these products are actually made.

Writer Melanie Warner, whose new exposé-on-the-world-of-processed-foods book, Pandora’s Lunchbox, is out this week, spent the past year and a half doing exactly that. In her quest to explore the murky and convoluted world of soybean oil, milk protein concentrates (a key ingredient in processed cheese), and petroleum-based artificial dyes, she spoke to food scientists, uncovered disturbing regulatory loopholes in food law, and learned just how little we know about many of the food products on supermarket shelves.

After reading Pandora’s Lunchbox, I sent Melanie some burning questions via email. Here is what she…

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A Cruelty-Free Easter

I thought about titling this post “The Only Cruelty on Easter Should Be the Cross,” but that was a little long and not exactly liturgically accurate, seeing how Christ wasn’t crucified on Easter per se.

Pain to chocolate bunnies notwithstanding (but check out this cool slide show of fair trade, vegan, and organic candy options!), let’s consider a few ways to make this a more friendly holiday for all.

If you’ll be dyeing eggs this season, consider their source. This article lists some ways to find a humanely-produced egg.

Consider also the cruelty to your own body (or your kids’!) that comes of using artificial dyes that seep through the porous shell. Look here for a great tutorial on naturally coloring your eggs.

Finally, for Easter dinner, may I remind you of the succulent and healthful benefits of locally and sustainably raised meats from your friendly neighborhood rancher, or the abundance of delightful spring vegetables available at this time of year at your farmer’s market?

Easter celebrates new life. Let’s not taint it with cruelty and ugliness towards the earth, animals, or our fellow human beings.