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Lou Bendrick's Posts

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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The grass isn't always greener

The straight dope on local, organic weed

Editor's note: This is an April Fools' Day post. 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 Girl: Is it better to buy locally grown marijuana which may have been fed with chemicals, or organic hooch from far away? Sincerely, Erik Dear Erik, As you probably know, industrial marijuana, aka "Big Pot," has its problems. (In my house, big pot is useful only for boiling a big pound of pasta.) Marijuana from large-scale growing …

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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 …

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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 …

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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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Lean, green eating machine

How to maintain a green, healthy diet on a budget

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, With the economic crunch, how is it going to be possible to afford healthy foods for my family, especially organics? It's not like I can go foraging in the medians of the major roadways. Karl from Southern California Take the fast lane to organic.   Dear Karl, I'm not going to lie to you: Sticking to your budget while eating organically is going to take …

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Iffy pop

Why conventional popcorn sucks, and what you can do about it

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, What about popcorn? Is it safe, healthy, and free of pesticides? What exactly is in the artificial butter flavor? Thanks,Greenee Trailer Trash from Mississippi A healthy snack? Lou pops off and finds a kernel of truth. Dear Greenee, You might be sorry you asked. When I'm done here, there won't be much left to enjoy in your average batch of conventionally-grown and processed popcorn. But …

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Say (artisanal) cheese!

Not all fermented dairy products are created equal

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. Blessed are the cheese makers. Dear Checkout Line, In our search to eat local, we've uncovered some lovingly handmade local cheeses. They certainly have more variety -- sheep, goat, wallaby (well, maybe not wallaby) -- and are definitely lots more expensive than the shrink-wrapped yellow plastic squares of cheddar. But are they actually any better for you? Isn't one half-pound hunk of hard fat just about the same …

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