Love your Organic Chicken

Love your Organic Chicken

ChickenResearchers from the Netherlands have found that organically fed chickens develop different genes than their conventionally fed counterparts.

This study compared 2 groups of chickens from 2 generations that were each fed the exact same things with the exception of 1 group receiving organic feed and the other conventional feed.  Upon completion, scientists took RMA samples from all the chickens’ intestines in order to compare and contrast gene expression.

Researchers were surprised to discover that simple differences in cultivation methods can have such a drastic outcome in how chickens process their food and express it in their genes.  In fact 49 genes ended up regulating differently in the organic group.  Seven of the different genes are involved in cholesterol biosyntheses.  Since cholesterol is necessary for the production of hormones and is a building block for many other substances, it is unclear to exactly what extent conventional feed is negatively affecting chickens organically is even more important than previously thought.

Amazingly to a 2006 consumer reports study, chicken is one of the most important products to purchase organic.  Organic chicken does not contain the toxic hormones, antibiotics and pesticides that commercially raised birds do.  According to the report even low level s of artificial hormones can increase one’s risk of developing cancer.  Commercial chicken may also be tainted with toxic heavy metals.

Pasture raised, organically fed chickens that are free to peck at grass and bugs are the best birds to buy as their meat will be leaner and more flavourful, has a healthier composition that is higher in vitamins, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids.  Pasture raised chickens also naturally produce rich, healthy eggs that are unmatched by anything sold conventionally.

Which leads me simply to complete this article by adding that when you have food allergies or food intolerances you are now more aware of the foods you consume and how they affect you.  Making organic choices into your diet can help take stress off your body in order for your body to heal and become more efficient for you.


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Get all the Facts about Food

Get all the Facts about Food

food-facts-logoWhat is Food Facts?

Food facts has an amazing website focusing on products in America, but the information available for anyone looking for credible material relating to ingredients and food allergy related issues is invaluable.  (more…)

What Can I eat to take advantage of seasonality in Spring

fruitsI really would love to be growing my own food again, however at the moment it is not possible.  I miss the planning; sowing the seeds and then nurturing them and watching them grow.  Of course the reaping is the most exciting part of the process.  You get to rejoice and enjoy the end result of cooking and eating produce when you know its origin.  When you grow your own produce you are really connected to the seasons.

So, if your journey at the moment is like mine and you are unable to grow your own vegies, knowing what is in season is still important.

My local markets are my general guidepost.  My first stop is the organic stall, as they will quite often only stock what is season.  As I start the day with a nutrient dense vegetable juice, I want it to be organic and seasonal.  This is my insurance so to speak that I am getting the best nutrients into my system at the start of the day. So as winter turns I will focus now on juices that particularly include what is in season for spring.

Price points also can dictate what is in season. Supermarkets source produce from all over the world, if you are prepared to pay they can provide. Produce that is in season locally is cheaper, tastes better and has more nutrients. Fruits and vegetables start to lose nutrients immediately after they are harvested, so the best produce is that which is the freshest. Produce that has been transported over long distances overseas or cross-country can not compete with locally grown produce for freshness, taste and nutritional value.

So what produce should we be focusing on as the season turns from winter to spring:

  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Asparagus
  • Beetroot
  • Cabbage
  • Fennel
  • Leeks
  • Peas
  • Rhubarb
  • Silverbeet
  • Spinach


The best advice is, learn what is in season in your climate – and buy that. Buy local; but most importantly, grow your own if you can!

That is the advantage of a garden, it brings you back to the reality of seasonality.


Kylie Hollonds

Director – GK Gluten Free Foods &



Ph: 0408 067 761

The Spelt Debate

The Spelt Debate

wheatSpelt is a contentious subject and often up for debate in the whole “no wheat” discussion. Some can stomach it, others can’t. Let’s first look at what is spelt and what it contains. Spelt, is also known as dinkel wheat or hulled wheat, it is an ancient species of wheat from the fifth millennium BC. It was an important staple from the Bronze Age to medieval times. Spelt has found a new market as a health food and I can see why. It contains 57.9% carbohydrates, 9.2% fibre and 17% protein, 3% fat, as well as dietary minerals and vitamins. It contains a moderate amount of gluten. Because spelt contains gluten, it is not suitable for people with coeliac disease but because it is an alternative grain to wheat (although closely linked), it can be stomached by some people that follow a wheat-free diet or are wheat intolerant.

Spelt flour is available in most large supermarkets and in health stores. It has a slight nutty taste and is ideal for use in baking, particularly bread and cake. Spelt pasta is also easily available.

Reasons to consider eating spelt:

1)     It has a higher nutritional value than wheat flour.

2)     It can also be grown without fertilisers, pesticides or insecticides.

3)     It is richer in amino acids containing 50% more than wheat and contains more protein.

4)     It is also higher in B vitamins and has higher levels of fibre too which is a natural remedy for digestive disorders and helping to control cholesterol levels.

5)     It is also a gentle food for the whole digestive system and is a powerful agent to strengthen the immune system and nerves.

In summary, spelt is low in gluten and easier on the digestive system than wheat and therefore some people who follow a wheat-free diet can tolerate spelt as it does not seem to cause as much sensitivity. It is higher in nutrition than wheat and a very good alterative grain and is excellent to use in baking too.
Article submitted By Aoife Luykx – Wheatfree Living


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Spring Clean Your Pantry! – It’s time to organise your pantry to make cooking easier!

Spring Clean Your Pantry! – It’s time to organise your pantry to make cooking easier!

pantarySpring cleaning is the perfect time to organise your pantry – and in the process – save money!  According to an Australia Institute survey, the average Australian household dumps $616 worth of food in the bin each year.  That equates to wasting $5.2 billion dollars worth of food each year.  

One of the best pantry organising projects I’ve ever had helped a family save $1200.00 a year!


Step by Step:  How to Organise Your Pantry

  • As you take food out of your pantry:

o    Look for anything that is past its use by date and toss!

o    Group foods into categories that make sense to you (in the first instance), we’ll worry about training the family later!!

  • e.g. canned foods; oils and sauces; baking stuff; sandwich fillings; bread, pasta, rice, tortillas; lunch supplies; snacks; international foods.
  • Pick new homes for items, based on how often you use them:

o    Keep items you use often in easy to access places, while those you use less often at the top and heavy items on the bottom shelves.

o    Use any space you have available – including vertical space or the back of doors! Look for clever organising tools to help you get the most space out of your pantry.  Try expandable shelves, under shelf baskets, Lazy Susans.


  • Put everything back in the pantry in the new categories you’ve created: 

o    Grab a labeler and create labels for the categories you created, (e.g. Breaky Central for breakfast cereals; Snack Central for snacks, The Lunch Box for your lunch supplies etc.).

You can repeat this process in a similar way for your fridge and freezer too.  Creating just that little bit of order can make such a difference to your daily cooking efforts – especially when you cook almost all your foods from scratch!


Article Submitted by Louise D’Allura – Meal Planning Your Way

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Kitchen Favourite’s from Around the Globe

Kitchen Favourite’s from Around the Globe

globeWith winter well and truly upon us, I thought I would share some of the wonderful products from around the globe, I make sure to include in my diet at this time of the year!

Just a note that whilst all of these have origins outside of Australia, I ALWAYS try to buy Australian grown products!

Happy everything!


Product Country Benefit
Turmeric It is thought that turmeric originated from western India and was first valued for its properties as a dye and then later as a condiment and food colouring and substitute for the more expensive saffron. Turmeric is known for being an anti-oxidant, antiseptic and wound healing properties. It is used for healing colds and flus (mixed with honey and warm milk at the first sign) . Turmeric has been used in the treatment of digestive disorders including flatulence and bloating and has also been included in topical ointments for eczema, ulcers and wounds.
Lemons The exact origin of lemons is unclear, but it is suggested that they first grew in Southern India, northern Burma and China. Lemon oil is used in aromatherapy as a mood enhancer and of course it has excellent antibacterial properties. Lemon juice drunk with warm water in the morning alkanises the body as well as kick starting the metabolism.
Chia Chia is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. The chia seeds are high in calcium and have a good amount of dietary fibre and a small amount of protein.  The research on chia is still being undertaken and there are a variety of conflicting reports indicating incredible health benefits and others stating there are very little affect.
Cacao Cacao is native to the Americas and may have originated in the foothills of the Andes. Cacao is considered to be high in antioxidants and is also considered to have beneficial effects on heart health. Of course, it must be consumed in its raw state for the greatest benefit and will have detrimental health effects when consumed as highly processed chocolate. Raw Cacao is also high in magnesium and chromium which helps in blood sugar stabilisation and with cramping.

Submitted By Rebel Black – Traditional Wisdom Warrior – Wholefoods
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