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.

Seedy business

Beyond the compost heap: what to do with fruit and veggie seeds?

So many seeds … so many uses? 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,At Halloween we look forward to the pumpkin seeds as much as anything, but lots of other fruits–watermelons, squash, avocados–are full of beautiful seeds and it seems a shame to throw them away. Are they edible, and can anything be done with them?Debbie from Ohio Dear Debbie, Not only do seeds symbolize hope, opportunity and potential, but, as embryonic plants, …

A mighty wind

Of cow burps, beef, and methane

My climate for a cow fart? Dear Checkout Line, I read recently that meat is a huge emitter of greenhouse gas–more than even cars! It got me to wondering–does that mean all meat, or just from animals grown on factory farms? For example, I know that cow farts and burps contribute lots of methane. But don’t grass-fed cows burp and fart, too? I guess my bottom-line question is, is any beef really sustainable, in greenhouse gas terms? Thanks, Beef-loving Ed Dear Beefy Ed, Count your blessings! If we blamed global warming on human flatulence, beer and Mexican food would be …

Larder starter

The non-survivalist’s guide to stocking up for hard times

Dear Lou,As a resident of South Mississippi, I think it is officially time to stock my swine flu/tornado/hurricane/foreign invasion pantry. How do I do this without filling it with a bunch of processed crap, but still manage to stock away flavorful and nutritious staples? Kelly S. Dear Kelly,This particular swine flu pandemic–which may or may not be linked to factory farms–doesn’t appear to pose much of a public-health menace. But it reminds us of an old lesson: chaos happens. Regarding pandemics, our very own government advises people to keep two weeks’ worth of supplies on hand, which is truly the …

Not milk?

Navigating the non-dairy ‘milk’ aisle

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,I went to pick up some milk at our local mom-and-pop shop and noticed they had soy milk.  Since it seems a lot of our friends have switched to soy milk, I thought I would try some. Oh, the choices!  Not only were there three different organic soy milks, there were three rice milks and two hemp milks! Totally confused, I stuck with the organic milk from …

Sweetness and light

The lowdown on agave nectar and other ‘natural’ sweeteners

Agave: not just for tequila anymoreDear Checkout Line,What’s the skinny on sweeteners? I use agave nectar, but I’m wondering if the same thing that makes tequila can be good for me and my six-year old!  Is sucanat just another word for “sugar”? And what about Stevia? Liquid or powder, fair trade, organic — it’s all making me woozy. Or maybe that’s just my blood sugar. Thanks for checking it out,Sweetie Dear Sweetie,Your point on agave nectar is well-taken: Can the same plant that produces a drink that yields only hazy memories of crazy dancing, Miranda rights, and a Vegas wedding …

The grass isn't always greener

The straight dope on local, organic weed

Is it better to buy locally grown marijuana which may have been fed with chemicals, or organic hooch from far away?

Jellyfish and chips?

The case for — and against — eating those suddenly pervasive, stinging sea creatures

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. Beach menace — or dinner?   Dear Checkout Line, I’ve heard that jellyfish are plentiful and that we should eat them. I want to avoid mercury and eat sustainable seafood, but I have to admit that this sounds gross and I worry they are poisonous. I was a fan of How to Eat Fried Worms when I was a kid, but this seems like too much. Are there …

Organic chemistry

Why isn’t ‘organic pesticide’ an oxymoron?

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. Ms. Bendrick, I have a question about pesticides and organic food. I buy organic both to encourage the right kind of farming and to avoid eating nasty chemicals. I was listening to the Food Chain Radio podcast (MP3) and suffice it to say that this show’s guest expert questioned whether the pesticides organic growers are allowed to use (!) are any better for us than the ones conventional …

Dime bag

Ten reader food quandaries solved!

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 Checkout Line readers, You know how those languishing items on your to-do list start to gnaw at you like — I don’t know, like something that gnaws? Well, my backlog of Checkout Line reader questions is really bugging me, especially as it becomes clearer that I won’t be able to respond to each and every one of you (especially you) who was kind enough to write …

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