Eight Veggie Kingdoms

I read a recent Burpee Newsletter where they declared this the “Year of the Vegetable” and listed the following eight Kingdoms giving a brief statement about each.

Bulb vegetables are aromatic vegetables that are used to flavor a variety of dishes including, soups, casseroles and stews. Some bulb vegetables are also known for their medicinal uses. Many people store bulb vegetables over the winter months due to their long shelf life.

Fresh fruited vegetables provide you with the satisfaction of growing, picking and eating nutritious garden fresh vegetables. The rich taste of a sun-warmed, vine-ripened tomato or that sweet savory crisp flavor of a pepper are just a couple of the many joys awaiting the home vegetable gardener.

Inflorescent Vegetables are typically clusters of flowers arranged on a stem that is composed of a main branch or a complicated arrangement of branches including flowers, flower buds, and their associated stems and leaves, eaten as vegetables.  Inflorescent vegetables are packed with nutritious value and are often used in casseroles, steamed as a side dish or served raw as an accompaniment on salads.

Leafy Vegetables, also called potherbs, green vegetables, greens, or leafy greens, are easy-to-grow plant leaves that can be prepared raw, cooked or sautéed and eaten as a vegetable.  Although leafy vegetables come from a wide variety of plants, most share a great deal with other leaf vegetables in nutrition and cooking methods.

Podded Vegetables, beans and peas, tend to be a cool season crop grown in many parts of the country; planting can take place from late winter to early summer depending on location.  The podded vegetable may be used fresh, in salads, frozen, as a snack or canned, ready for those winter meals.

Root vegetables such as beets, carrots and radishes, generally store energy in the form of carbohydrates.  They differ in the concentration and the balance between sugars, starches, and other types of carbohydrate. Of particular economic importance are those with a high carbohydrate concentration in the form of starch.  Starchy root vegetables are important staple foods and provide the daily vitamins and nutrition needed in balancing our diets.

Tuberous Vegetables have an enlarged tip or “tuber” which is an underground stem.  The plant uses this tip to store food. Tuber vegetables, like the sweet potato and potato have long served and still serve as a vegetable staple in many cuisines.  Tuberous Vegetables are rich in carbohydrates.

Stalk Vegetables, very simply put, are vegetables with an edible stalk or stem.  Asparagus, Celery, Chard, Rhubarb and Kohlrabi are a few examples of Stalk Vegetables.  These vegetables are typically used for adding flavor to casseroles, stews and meat dishes as well as a steamed side dish.

Here’s a link to an article by George Ball you might enjoy: “We, The Vegetables. . .”


Pesticides and the Food We Eat

More information about Pesticides from Dr. Weil along with a guide to help us make better choices from Foodmatters.  Here are two links for you to find out more about Dr. Weil on EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides

Dr. Weil on EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides


“The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides is a key resource for consumers looking for healthier low toxin diets. Since many shoppers can’t always find or afford organic produce, they can use the Shopper’s Guide to avoid those conventional fruits and vegetables found to be highest in pesticides – the Dirty Dozen – and, instead, choose items from the Clean Fifteen list. The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.

Use the Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides to reduce your exposure as much as possible, because eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all. The Shopper’s Guide will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and so are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide consumption by nearly four-fifths by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and instead eating the least contaminated produce, according to EWG calculations.”

The Obedient Onion

As a reader of the whole food blog I found the following about onions and wanted to share… read the blog here http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2011/03/the-obedient-onion/

The Obedient Onion by Alana Sugar, March 9th, 2011

There are some foods in this world you either love or hate. And then there are some foods that fall into both categories. Take onions, for example. Not too long ago I had a conversation with someone about eating healthier. When I suggested sautéing onions with garlic and adding some leafy greens, they turned up their nose and said, “No way! I hate onions, unless it’s onion rings or bloomin’ with honey mustard; then I love ‘em!”

While onions sometimes get a bad rap — being blamed for everything from crying to bad breath to refrigerator odors — I, for one, would not want to live in an onion-free world. Whether grilled, baked, sautéed or raw, these obedient vegetables will turn a good dish into a great dish! Not only do they complement just about any salad, soup, stew, salsa or savory dish, they are plenty versatile and are packed with flavonoids (a type of polyphenol and antioxidant) that may provide important health benefits. Remember, antioxidants are found abundantly in fruits and veggies; they help support the cells of our body by slowing down the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and preventing free radicals. Like most vegetables, onions are low in calories, fat free, cholesterol free and low in sodium.

When you shop for fresh onions, you’re bound to find a few varieties. That’s because onions are classified as either spring/summer or fall/winter. They are considered either “green” or “dry.” Green onions, such as scallions, are harvested while the shoots are young, tender and green. Dry onions can be red (or purple), white or yellow; they are harvested once their shoots have died and they’ve formed their paper-like skin. Even a shallot is a dry onion of the fall/winter variety. The spring/summer varieties of dry onions, such as Vidalia, Maui or Walla Walla, are sweeter and they don’t keep as long as other dry varieties.

Fresh onions aren’t your only option. You’ll find dehydrated, powdered, granulated and mixed-dried blends that all can add depth of flavor to many dishes.

Here are some favorite ways to use onions:

Fake Chinese organics try to slip into US market

(NaturalNews) There seems to be no shortage of fraud coming out of China these days, with a recent report issued by the non-profit Cornucopia Institute (CI) stating that a certain Chinese agricultural supplier has attempted to export fake organic products into the U.S. The report states that the supplier forged fake organic certification documents in an effort to capitalize on the large and growing U.S. market for organic products.

According to the report, the Chinese agricultural marketer attempted to sneak non-organic products into the U.S. using fake certifications that appeared to be issued by the National Organic Program (NOP), the official USDA certification standard for organics. The supplier also forged the name of a French USDA accredited certifying agency in the documents as well.

“Unfortunately, this incident … serves as a stark reminder that imports from China are fraught with peril,” said Mark A. Kastel, co-director of CI. Charlotte Vallaeys, lead author of the report, added that the incident “illustrates why so many responsible processors and marketers in the organic industry shun organic imports.”

The announcement comes at the same time as another recent media report has been issued concerning Chinese companies mass producing and selling fake, plastic rice and this is all on top of numerous other Chinese cases of melamine contamination of food, fake drugs, and toxic farmed fish that have all made headlines in recent years.

Many are urging the USDA to take a more active approach in ensuring that anything coming from China, especially food products that are supposedly organic, be fully inspected and regulated. Some are even calling for an immediate moratorium on all organic imports from China.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/031378_organics_China.html#ixzz1FTzPiWPH

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