1. HFCS Free: Maine Root Ginger Brew

    Posted on February 26, 2010 by Guest


    The following is a guest post from Howling Hill.  If you’re interested in guest posting on The Greenists, e-mail Courtney at thegreenists dot com for details.

    Back when I worked as an EMT in Massachusetts I had this one partner named Gary. He was an awesome partner to have. He was motivated, smart, educated, and funny as hell.

    While there may be a fairly large Jamaican population in Lynn (or, at least there was a decade ago. I don’t know if there is one now) there weren’t a lot of places for Jamaicans to shop for Jamaican food nor were there many Jamaican restaurants. There was, however, this one place in Lynn which Gary used to go to regularly, when he was missing home something fierce. At the time I was a vegetarian so I didn’t sample too much of the cuisine because it was mostly meat based. I did try goat though (it wasn’t bad) and ginger beer. I came away from our partnership with a lifelong love of ginger beer.

    Ginger beer gave me such a hassle though. Finding it in white suburban Boston wasn’t easy and when I did it, it was expensive — finding it in rural New Hampshire was damned near impossible. Certainly I found Goya but it didn’t fit my criteria to ingest. That is, as I got more ingredient savvy I realized how unhealthy ginger beer could be: lots of sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It became a treat I didn’t get very often because of the expense and the HFCS.

    Over the last decade I’ve tried to find ginger beer without HFCS and, while I was successful, they tasted awful or, worse, bland. Ginger beer, you see, needs to burn on the way down. It’s the best that way! So the organic ones I found were either to bland or just yucky and the non-organic were filled with HFCS. I was sad.

    I was sad until last weekend when Melissa stopped by and brought some ginger beer. It’s good. It burns.* It has no HFCS and, AND it’s local. How could I get any luckier? Maine Root is the name. It’s a microbrew, if you will, that uses organic cane sweetener and bio-diesel to deliver its product. How effing cool is that?

    So if you love ginger beer (or root beer, or sarsaparilla, or orange, or lemon lime, or blueberry) give Maine Root your business. If your local place doesn’t carry it ask them to or buy online. You palate won’t be sorry!

    *It could burn a smidge more! Just a smidge though.

    Howling Hill blogs from central New Hampshire where she dreams of living on a farm raising meat,vegetables, and fruit to feed the community. She had no idea to be progressive she had to become very regressive. She’s becoming adept at knitting, canning, and generally be more greenly self sufficient.

  2. HFCS-Free – Two Meal Replacement Shakes

    Posted on March 26, 2009 by Allie

    I have often said that if there were a pill I could take to get all my nutritional needs met without actually having to eat, I totally would.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy good food, it’s just that I find the whole constant process of shopping for (or otherwise procuring), preparing, eating, and cleaning up after food to be tedious.

    I also have a habit of getting so caught up in my writing that I forget to eat.  When I break out of my writing haze, I’m so hungry I could eat my arm.  And since we don’t make a habit of keeping a lot of prepackaged food around, I end up stuffing my face with weird foods instead of taking the time to make an actual meal.  Half a can of olives, an amount of pickles that puts me over my recommended salt intake for the next decade, hunks of cheese – these things in moderation aren’t bad, but they don’t add up to a balanced meal or snack.

    I’m not dieting, and I’m not kidding myself into thinking that meal replacement shakes are the healthiest way to go all the time, but having a quick meal solution on hand, keeps me from eating weird stuff, and is a nice, calorie-controlled option.

    Problem?  Many meal replacement shakes are full of High Fructose Corn Syrup as well as many other icky ingredients.

    But I’ve found two options that are pretty darn good. Read more…

  3. Sharkies Kids Sports Chews

    Posted on March 16, 2009 by Allie

    I’ve always loved gummy candies.  In trying to eat healthy, cutting out little treats like spice drops and sour fruit candies is the hardest thing for me.  But the last time I considered buying a few sour chewy candies from the bulk section of the grocery store, I was beyond appalled by the ingredients.  In addition to High Fructose Corn Syrup, and Palm Oil, they contained Talc!  Gross!

    The last time I was at Target, there was a sale on Sharkies and I decided to give the Citrus Sour Power flavor a try, even though they’re branded as a kids snack. Read more…

  4. Another Reason Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup

    Posted on January 28, 2009 by Allie

    According to the Washington Post:

    Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies.

    And, according to the article, Americans eat 12 teaspoons of HFCS a day (teens eat 80% more). Scary, huh?

    Read labels.  Make some changes.  It may seem like HFCS is in everything, but there are alternatives out there.  E-mail me at alliesanswers at gmail dot com. if you can’t find an HFCS alternative to your favorite food and I try to find one for you.

    Also, check out some past HFCS-Free posts to see if I’ve already found the HFCS-Free food you’ve been looking for.

  5. HFCS-Free – Soy Creamer

    Posted on December 8, 2008 by Allie

    Over the summer we made a lot of frozen yogurt/ice cream, and had a big carton of half & half in the fridge more often than not.  I got in the bad habit of using it in my coffee.  When we stopped buying it, I found that skim milk really didn’t cut it anymore, but since my cholesterol levels are not ideal, this was a habit I really needed to break.  Read more…

  6. HFCS Free – Bread & Butter Pickles

    Posted on November 7, 2008 by Allie

    I love pickles.  I can sit down with a little bowl full of sliced pickles and call it a snack.  My favorite sandwich growing up was pickles and cheese and nothing else.  But since I started reading labels more closely, I’ve realized there are two ingredients in many brands of pickles that I’m not happy about. Read more…

  7. It’s Not What It Looks Like

    Posted on October 24, 2008 by Allie

    Well, I suppose that depends on what it looks like to you.

    Read more…

  8. HFCS Free – Cereal Bars

    Posted on August 28, 2008 by Allie


    Terri wrote:


    I have trouble finding cereal and granola bars/cereal bars we have already cut out the hydrogenated oils, and colors which doesn’t leave many to choose from, then on top of that my son has severe peanut/tree nut allergies so alot of times that eliminates alot of the organic or alternatives that would normally work. If you have any ideas that would be great!

    Thanks so much, Teri

    Read more…

  9. HFCS Free – Kid’s Snacks

    Posted on August 7, 2008 by Allie


    There has to be a middle ground.

    Waste-free lunches are a great way to be green, but what if you don’t have the time or kitchen skills to put together a completely waste-free, homemade lunch for your kids?  Or what if your kids are picky eaters, or are just begging for additions to their lunch that are more like what their friends are eating.

    As someone who brought some pretty weird natural foods to school in her lunch box, and was ridiculed for them (In second grade, a kid in my class told the teacher I was eating puke at snack time.  It was hummus.), I can certainly appreciate that a little conventional looking pre-packaged food can go a long way in boosting a kid’s ego at lunch.  But it doesn’t have to be make-you-own or just cave in and send your kids to school with snack cakes full of partially hydrogenated oils and “fruit” snacks in neon colors.  There’s a good middle ground.

    Read more…

  10. HFCS Free – Granola Bars

    Posted on July 24, 2008 by Allie


    My husband was looking for an afternoon snack to help him fuel up for his bike ride home, but a lot of the options in the grocery aisle didn’t pass my label reading test.

    I did a little research, and here’s what I bought him on my last trip to the store.
    Read more…

Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It


According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.

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