Have you ever had one of those meals that every bite makes you happier than the one that came before it? The type of meal that leaves you feeling profoundly content afterwards. I’m talking about the type of meal that can make a horrendous day seem all worth it because it is simply that damn good. If you do not have a meal coming to mind as I am explaining this or you simply think I am over-exaggerating, I feel kind of bad for you because that means you have never experienced food euphoria. However, you are in luck! You are in luck because this meal is that exact type of meal. Make this meal, and you will surely have your first food euphoria experience. If you don’t, then you must not love food as much I do, and that is a little disheartening.
Being that I have spent this past week preparing for Stevie’s 1st birthday party and then had the party at my house this weekend, to say that this whole week has been chaotic is an understatement. Who would have thought throwing your child’s 1st birthday party would actually cause you to become uncomfortably close to having a nervous breakdown? After cleaning up the post-party aftermath the past couple of days, I am nearing exhaustion. After a tiring couple of days, the last thing I felt like doing today was cooking. Then, I remembered this pesto recipe which takes minimal effort to prepare. Did I mention it will put you directly into food euphoria which I desperately needed today? It is the perfect summer pasta dish, too; it is wonderfully light and refreshing. Above all, it is glyphosate-free! You may be wondering what in the world is glyphosate? You are not alone, so don’t worry.
Although the majority of the population is not familiar with the term glyphosate, it is something that most ingest on a daily basis. Glyphosate is the active chemical ingredient found in the most widely-used pesticide in the world, RoundUp. Not only is it the most commonly sprayed on crops, but it is the active ingredient found in the main GMO crops. Not to get sidetracked, but most people hear all about GMOs and are not exactly sure what GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) means. To put it simply, the GMO seeds which are used to grow crops which are used for our food have the pesticides implanted directly inside of the seed. When the crop grows, it has the pesticide inside of it. This pesticide is where the glyphosate comes into play. Therefore, when you are eating GMO crops, you are basically eating glyphosate. GROSS! Who wants to eat food laced with chemicals? The two main GMO crops are corn and soy. Sadly, all processed foods and really the majority of your typical food products contain some sort of corn or soy product. If you aren’t overly disturbed by the thought of your food being laced with chemicals, it gets worse. This chemical can actual have some pretty harmful effects on your health. Studies have found that glyphosate is “probably” linked to many of the serious health conditions that are so prevalent today which can be seen on the table below.
|Parkinson’s disease||Multiple sclerosis||ALS and more|
I encourage you to read the article in which I discovered this table here.
When I first stumbled upon all of this information, I wondered how in the world this is allowed in our food! I became curiouser and curiouser. Yes, that was an Alice in Wonderland reference. It was the theme of my daughter’s birthday party so give me a break! Either way, it seems as though many other countries are finally recognizing and/or admitting the negative effects of glyphosate and taking action. There are several countries that have actually banned glyphosate altogether. Furthermore, there are over 30 countries that have at least banned GMOs completely. If you actually took the time to click on those links, you would have seen that United States is not listed on either list. Although California recently ruled to list Monsanto weed killer as cancer causing, the rest of the country does not seem to acknowledge the harmful effects of the Monsanto product. Another quick side note, everyone should become familiar with the name Monsanto. Monsanto is the agro-chemical, satanic company that produces RoundUp, the glyphosate-filled pesticide; they have been poisoning our food since the 1970s. To make matters worse, they recently merged with the largest big-pharma company, Bayer. This means that the same company growing your food is also the company supplying your medicine. It’s like they are hoping to poison you to cause a sickness that you then have to buy their medicine to treat. SICK! Okay, that may be a little far-fetched, but it is frighteningly close enough to the truth. Anyways, it seems as though, with the exception of California, our country is turning a blind-eye towards the fact that our food is knowingly being poisoned. Unlike the government of many other countries around the world, our government does not even bring this harmful chemical up for discussion. Actually, our government has defended the use of this chemical for quite some time. Is it because of Monsanto lobbyists? Yes. Is it because they do not want to anger anyone and lose out on money? Yes. Even though there is an array of pending lawsuits filed against Monsanto alleging their weed killer causes cancer, our government continues to defend this product. After the World Health Organization first publicized their findings that glyphosate is likely to cause cancer, our country’s FDA finally agreed to test food for glyphosate levels in food. However, soon after they announced they would begin testing, Monsanto somehow was able to discredit the studies done by the World Health Organization. It was later found out through court documents that one of our country’s own Environmental Protection Agency workers gave Monsanto the inside scoop before these findings were released which left Monsanto with enough time to create a counter-claim. It’s fairly easy to discredit findings when you have ghostwriters working for your company to write research that supports your product. Yes, you read that correctly. It has been found that Monsanto actually had people working for them to write false studies to falsely show the safety of glyphosate. So, the week the FDA was to begin testing for glyphosate, the USDA announced they were randomly dropping the plan to test for glyphosate. Is our government nervous to out Monsanto? Does Monsanto have some hold over our own government? To me, it truly seems as though our government is afraid to release any negative information regarding Monsanto’s product due to the millions of dollars donated through lobbyists. This seems all too familiar. Remember when it was first brought to the public’s attention that cigarettes may cause cancer? The huge tobacco companies continuously defended their product, discredited studies, and it even took an extended amount of time for our government to put aside the lobbyists and finally admit the truth. Interesting comparison, to say the least.
If the agencies of our own government that are supposed to ensure the safety of our food are not actively doing their job, we all need to take a stand in our own way to make sure the food we are eating is safe to ingest for ourselves and for future generations. It is for this reason that I choose to eat organic, non-GMO food, and why I try to get as much as my food as I possibly can from small, local farms. So many people feel the need to inform me of the fact that organic food is still sprayed with chemicals. To them I always feel like responding with, “No shit Sherlock!” However, organic food does not use pesticides that include glyphosate. Sadly, glyphosate is so highly used that residue can travel to organic crops through the rain and air, but at least organic crops would have a staggering less amount of glyphosate than non-organic. This is another matter that is causing lawsuits to pop-up like wildfire. Also, non-GMO means the seeds do not have glyphosate embedded inside of them. I prefer not to eat food with chemicals inside of the plants it is made from, what about you? More importantly, each time a person buys food from local farms or when someone makes an organic purchase, it is as though you are taking a stand against the big corporations and even our government. I refuse to support any company that uses glyphosate-laced products which is the majority of the large food corporations, both restaurants and major food brands. The more people that begin to buy organic, buy local, and show less support for the major food corporations, the clearer the message will become that we will not stand by and let our food be poisoned. Sorry this is seeming to get so politically charged. It may be shocking that food choices are actually a way you can become an activist, but it is the truth. Each time a consumer makes a purchase, it is like they are voting. My dad always used to say you vote with your dollar, and it totally makes sense to me now.
So, go buy some food from a small, local vendor or go buy some organic produce, make this delicious, summery pasta recipe and stick it to the man! Okay, I need to calm down. Maybe I should be telling you to go pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy this astounding pesto instead. Is that better?
Lemon Pistachio Pesto with Shrimp
1/4 cup, plus 5 tablespoons olive oil
1 – 1 1/2 cup fresh basil, plus more for serving (I like less basil because I like my pesto less potent)
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, plus more for serving
3 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
16-20 wild-caught shrimp, cleaned/deveined
1 pound whole wheat pasta of your choice (I prefer thin spaghetti.)
1 cup pasta water, if needed
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.
- While waiting for the water to boil, place basil, mint, cheese, garlic, pistachios, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a food processor. Pulse together. With the motor running, add in 1/4 cup olive oil slowly until the pesto becomes creamy. It may be more or less olive oil depending on how creamy you prefer your pesto.
- Add pasta to boiling water. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water as you may need it for the pesto later. Return pasta to pot.
- While the pasta is cooking, pour remaining olive oil in a large pan. Place zucchini in pan and toss with salt and pepper. Sauté until tender. Remove from pan and set aside. Next, add shrimp to pan. Add salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Sauté shrimp for 3-4 minutes or until the shrimp becomes totally pink and opaque.
- Add the zucchini, shrimp, and pesto to the pasta and toss. Be sure to mix well and coat all ingredients with the pesto; add as much of the reserved pasta water as needed until you reach your desired creaminess. I have even had the burner on low while tossing just to keep the dish nice and hot.
- Serve in bowls and top with as much basil, Parmesan cheese, and pistachios as you prefer! (I also top with red pepper flakes as I am addicted to spice!)
(Recipe adapted from here)
**Bonus: Leave out the shrimp, and you will have a meatless meal! I have done this many of times, and it is equally as delicious. Remember, eat less meat and save the planet!**
That’s all there is to it! Now, go get yourself a glass of wine (or a non-alcoholic beverage of your choice) and enjoy this delicious, summery pasta dish. Ricky and I literally ate the entire meal tonight, meaning one whole pound of pasta in one sitting. As you can tell, we love this meal. We may also have an over-indulgence problem, but that is beside the point. I’m just really hoping you love this meal as much as we do. I’m also really hoping you join in the fight for the safety of our food, but that may be a little intense for right now? So, just enjoy the meal! As always, let me know your thoughts. I love hearing your feedback!
Peace, Love, and Honest Food,