Lou Bendrick

Lou Bendrick is a former contributor to the High Country News Writers on the Range syndication service whose freelance work now appears in various publications.

Are you faux real?

A tasting of four meatless “turkeys” for the holiday table

Can such a “turkey” make your holiday feast soar?Photo courtesy of Jason HoustonGiven the ire I provoked in last year’s turkey column, it’s high time that this Grist columnist acknowledges that: A. Meat-centric holidays such as Thanksgiving can be challenging for vegetarians and evoke all kinds of emotions — including, but not limited to, extreme irritation toward carnivores. B. These carnivores are likely to get very defensive, harrassed by the guilty knowledge that even a heritage-breed, biodynamic, locally raised, and gently killed bird probably isn’t as environmentally or morally justifiable as a plant-based meal — even if that plant-based meal …

Buzzkill

Heat makes honey toxic, and other myths of the hive

Dear Lou, I heard a rumor that honey is toxic when placed in hot water. Is that true? Doesn’t the whole world drink honey in hot tea? Also wondering about the harvesting of honey — is it harmful to the bees and their sustainability? Honey Lover from Vermont Dearest Honey Lover from Vermont, I didn’t find any convincing studies on the toxicity of honey in water, but I did find this most interesting quote through an Internet search on the topic: According to ayurveda, honey shoud [sic] should never to be used heated directly or indirectly internally is it devolopes …

You glow, girl

Thoughts on irradiated food

In Checkout Line, Lou Bendrick cooks up answers to reader questions about how to green their food choices and other diet-related quandaries. Lettuce know what food worries keep you up at night. Dear Lou, Is food irradiation good enough that we could theoretically go back to having rare hamburgers, soft-boiled eggs and unpasteurized milk? I miss all of those! Carla Dear Carla, Let’s bond: I miss the hollandaise sauce at breakfast buffets, homemade mayonnaise, and eggnog made from scratch. Oh, and I miss raw chocolate chip cookie dough like the deserts miss the rain.  The short answer to your question …

Mercury rising

To change your tuna, consider the sardine

In Checkout Line, Lou Bendrick cooks up answers to reader questions about how to green their food choices and other diet-related quandaries. Lettuce know what food worries keep you up at night. Hi there, I am desperate for a tuna melt with some chips on the side, but am living in fear for my insides with the possibility of mercury in the fish.  I see “tongol” tuna in cans at my local high-end market and at the local co-op, so I’d like to make the assumption that this is somehow better for me, but I know that you will enlighten …

Sweaty palms

Palm oil, healthy rainforests, and your kitchen

In Checkout Line, Lou Bendrick cooks up answers to reader questions about how to green their food choices and other diet-related quandaries. Lettuce know what food worries keep you up at night. Just get rid of all this annoying rainforest stuff, and you can have all cookie shortening you want.Hi there,I keep hearing that the increasing demand for palm oil and products with palm oil (hello, Newman-Os!) is leading to rainforest destruction in a serious way. As a baker with a big ol’ tub of palm oil shortening in the cupboard in a quest to go au naturel and avoid …

Cat(fish) fight

What’s the dish on farm-raised catfish?

In Checkout Line, Lou Bendrick cooks up answers to reader questions about how to green their food choices and other diet-related quandaries. Lettuce know what food worries keep you up at night. ————- What’s up, cat?Dear Lou,My wife and I enjoy fish and like to eat a variety of types of fish. Living in Minnesota we have access to locally caught walleye but have to be careful not to eat too much because of mercury content in MN lakes. I’ve been a big fan of catfish (bottom feeders) and am curious as to the pros and cons of farm-raised catfish. …

Triclosan or treat?

Saying goodbye to a common–and toxic–antimicrobial chemical

Triclosan: a toxic chemical that shows up in the damndest placesIn Checkout Line, Lou Bendrick cooks up answers to reader questions about how to green their food choices and other diet-related quandaries. Lettuce know what food worries keep you up at night. ——————— Dear Grist,I have been getting contradictory information about triclosan. Organic Consumers Association says danger, beware, don’t use. Other sources say no problem. I trust you. Precautionary principle says don’t use. What do you say?Love,Steve Dear Steve,I say, the good old precautionary principle has a point this time. In fact, I’d make like a teenager looking to impress …

The Root of the Matter

A tasting of nine “natural” root beers yields surprising results

Nothing hits the spot on a hot day like an icy glass of all-American root beer. (Okay, if you want to split hairs: Nothing hits the spot on a hot day like an icy glass of all-American root beer when you must stay sober.) The problem is that when you take your wilting self to the cool respite of the beverage aisle, you discover that nothing in this life is simple. Perhaps, like me, you go with the simple criterion of avoiding anything produced by Big Soda and loaded with high-fructose corn syrup. Ha! If only it were this straightforward. …

Going bananas

Can we be ‘green’ and eat tropical products, too?

In Checkout Line, Lou Bendrick cooks up answers to reader questions about how to green their food choices and other diet-related quandaries. Lettuce know what food worries keep you up at night. ———————- Is your green cred slipping? Dear Checkout Line,We try to buy local food whenever we can. Some things just seem doomed to have air miles on them, though. Is there anywhere in the U.S. that can grow bananas? Or coffee and tea?Best,Pat Dear Pat,Personal confession: If frequent-flyer miles were assigned to my coffee habit, I could probably commute from New England to Tibet for free. After doing …

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