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They might be ‘healthy,’ but moderation is still key
The chicken pot pie contains 490 calories.
We’ll start by saying this: the meat products produced by Applegate Farms are undoubtedly healthier than most. Most of their offerings also happen to be delicious. But not all of their products are low in fat and calories, so we tracked down the 10 unhealthiest products they make.
10 Applegate Farms Products You Shouldn't Eat a Lot Of (Slideshow)
Applegate farms got its start about 25 years ago, when founder Stephen McDonnell purchased Jugtown Smokehouse, a business specializing in nitrite-free bacon, and expanded it out. His goal was to produce meat products with ingredients that were not only easy to pronounce but also tasted good. Today, about 1,000 farms supply humanely-raised, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat to the company, which distributes their cold cuts, hot dogs, sausages, bacon, chicken (grilled and nuggets), cheese, burgers, and pot pies all across the country.
When checking out the nutrition labels on Applegate products, you’ll most likely notice that a lot of these offerings are much healthier than those made by more traditional companies. The main reason is the fact that they just don’t pump as much fat into their foods. Burgers contain up to 25 percent fat in some cases, but the ones Applegate offers contain just 7 percent. A classic Oscar Mayer wiener contains 9 grams of fat and 110 calories compared to the popular beef and pork offering from Applegate which contains just 7 grams and 90 calories; not to mention ingredients you can pronounce (no mechanically separated meat or sodium diacetate here).
So while your Applegate Farms sausage might be nitrate-free and lower in fat than the competition, that doesn’t mean that every item they produce is super-healthy for you, either. Before you stock up, have a look at our list of 10 of their unhealthier offerings. While none are outrageously bad for you, most are ones you’ll most likely not want to eat every day.
10 Types of Seafood You Really Shouldn't Eat (and 10 You Should Eat Instead)
It may seem like the ocean is just a bottomless pit of fish sticks and sushi, but the reality is that our supply of seafood is finite. Through rampant overfishing and just generally treating the ocean like a cheap buffet, we've depleted the populations and ruined the habitats of some truly delicious fish.
To find out which species are in the most danger, we spoke with Reid Bogert, sustainability coordinator at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, who in addition to scaring us skate (zing!), offered some tasty alternatives. Read on to learn more about which salmon is safe, which seafood certifications to look for, and why grouper are basically screwed.
Credit: Dan Gentile/Thrillist
Reid says: "The stocks on the East Coast where these are native have just not been managed as well as in Alaska and California, where the salmon are plentiful and healthy."
Another option: "Pacific salmon is only available a few months of the year, but Arctic char is in the same family and is available year-round. It has a similar beautiful pink meat and flavor profile that's rich in fatty acids. They don't require much fish feed, so they have a smaller footprint."
Reid says: "Swordfish is a popular dish all over the world that has been overfished using a certain technique called longline fishing. It puts other wildlife at risk because you can have miles of baited line trailing a boat. All of that fishing line makes other sea life vulnerable. Sea turtles, sharks, even albatross can grab a line and become what's called bycatch."
Another option: "Look for swordfish with a third-party certification from a non-profit, like Marine Stewardship Certification or Best Aquaculture Practices. But you could also go with mahi mahi. It's a smaller fish, which tends to be a bit healthier and reproduces quicker. The meat is similar to swordfish. It's dense and has a wonderfully natural citrus flavor."
Wild-caught sea scallops
Reid says: "In the past you always had to take a big dredge and dig into the bottom of the ocean to get the scallops out. That was disrupting the habitat and making it so the shellfish couldn't reproduce at an acceptable rate. Now you have divers out there collecting them by hand, but it's just a much more involved process."
Another option: "People are often surprised that farmed shellfish are one of the most sustainable seafood types you can find on the market. Scallops, clams, mussels, oysters, anything with a shell can be farmed and harvested sustainably."
Bluefin or bigeye tuna
Reid: "It takes them longer to reach maturity than most fish, and what that really comes down to is the nature of how they reproduce. They also swim in schools, which makes them more vulnerable to very large nets that can catch a lot of fish at once. And there's such a high market demand because it's such a great-tasting fish."
Another option: "Skipjack tuna reproduces more often, grows quickly, and is smaller so there's less of a concern about mercury."
Reid says: "We import something like 90% of our shrimp. Some of the issues are just the way those fisheries are managed. They're often in sensitive habitats that don't regrow after they've been impacted by a shrimp farm, and they'll often use antibiotics and pesticides to manage those fisheries, so you're dealing with chemicals in the water."
Another option: "Here in the Midwest, there's a growing movement of sustainable aquaculture, so there are several farms doing things like tilapia or shrimp that are based on land or produced in systems that are recycling the water, using fewer chemicals, and ensuring the health of those animals and also people on the table side."
Forget the “reel deal”! More and more vegan shrimp dishes are making their way onto restaurant menus. You can also trawl the frozen-food section of your local supermarket or specialty store to find vegan shrimp and dozens of other vegan seafood options.
Take our Pledge to Go Vegan!
If you’re fishing for a heart-smart way of eating that’s fish-friendly and good for the environment, going vegan is the perfect catch. The consumption of vegan foods has been linked to better cardiovascular health as well as a decreased risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!
Cookies are a no-brainer when it comes to using up pantry staples in simple recipes. And you don't need much more than flour and sugar to dress them up to perfection. Grab that jar of peanut butter and the bag of Hershey's kisses from your snack drawer and make these holiday favorites that'll easily be year-round favorites after first bite.
Get our recipe for Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies.
Why it's bad: Caviar from beluga and wild-caught sturgeon are susceptible to overfishing, but the species are also being threatened by an increase in dam building that pollutes the water in which they live. All forms of caviar come from fish that take a long time to mature, which means that it takes a while for populations to rebound&mdashany wild caviar is to be avoided, says Cufone.
Eat this instead: If you really love caviar, opt for fish eggs from American Lake Sturgeon or American Hackleback/Shovelnose Sturgeon caviar from the Mississippi River system check out California Caviar which sources only sustainably harvested fish eggs.
Homemade Deer Repellent Recipe 3 – Clove Spray
Essential oils are very powerful, and they blend well with other ingredients to make potent sprays that have a lingering odor. This is a thicker mixture until you add the water, so you’ll have to shake it a lot before it’s ready to spray. You’ll need:
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- ¼ teaspoon of liquid dish soap
- 20 drops of clove oil
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 gallon jug
- Spray bottle
Add the sour cream, eggs, liquid dish soap, and clove oil to the gallon jug. Slowly pour in the water until you fill the jug. Put the top on and give in a good shake to mix all of your ingredients. Once you mix it, you can pour it into your smaller spray bottle. Give it another shake in the smaller bottle before you spray it around your plants. This mixture will last for several weeks, and it’ll get stronger the longer it sits.
Cloves are extremely hard and difficult to break down, so clove oil is a nice substitute in this recipe.
Cows endure routine mutilations, including branding, castration, and dehorning, that cause excruciating, prolonged pain—all without painkillers. After months on a severely crowded feedlot, they are then shipped without food or water to a slaughterhouse, where a metal rod is shot through their brains, they are hung upside down, and their throats are slit. Because line speeds are so fast, many animals are still conscious throughout the process. Learn more about cows used for food.
Runoff from factory farms and livestock grazing is one of the leading causes of pollution in our rivers and lakes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notes that bacteria and viruses can be carried by the runoff and that groundwater can be contaminated. Numerous studies and government reports have shown higher rates of miscarriages, respiratory problems, and neurological diseases among people who live near factory farms.
11 Healthy Frozen Meals That You'll Actually Want To Eat
Frozen foods continuously can get a bad reputation for being bland and not actually that healthy. Talk of too much sodium or low nutrients keep people out of the frozen aisle. But now, more than ever, foods you can store at home for later use can make or break your weekly meal plan, and running to the grocery store or stopping by a fast food joint might not be possible in the area where you live.
Enter: These healthy frozen meals that you'll actually want to eat. They're the perfect excuse to skip cooking for the night. Think about it: Drinking a glass of wine and relaxing for the evening sounds much better than breaking a sweat cooking, especially after being stuck at home all day. If you still want to feel kinda-sorta productive, we've also included some frozen meal kits with minimal prep time that are super delicious and healthy.
Sweet Earth is a California-based organic food producer that can be considered a nature lover's nirvana. Everything in their line-up is plant-based and delicious. It might not be a household name yet, but with bestsellers like the Vegan Veggie Lover's Pizza, it won't be long 'til you see them in every grocery store frozen aisle.
This pie's made with a plethora of veggie-friendly ingredients that make it high in vitamins and fiber. It's also the perfect solution for a mid-week cooking break.
If you didn't believe in the power of cauliflower, you will now. Created by a mom whose children were born with celiac, every meal from CAULIPOWER is gluten-free and nutritious. Instead of being fried, these chicken tenders are baked in the oven and coated with rice flour and cauliflower. If you're looking for fast food-level taste with a health kick, this is it.
If curious about starting a plant-based diet but don't know where to begin, check out Purple Carrot. The meal kit delivery program prides itself on being 100% plant-based. The great thing about it is that every meal is guaranteed to have flavor. According to Purple Carrot, "There are over 20,000 edible plants on the planet." That leaves you with a ton of really delicious options.
If a company is run by practicing cardiac surgeons, you better believe there will be some healthy food options. This patty is the ultimate burger substitute, made to be vegan and kosher. With more than 100 positive reviews on Amazon, we're confident that this patty will satisfy your worst late-night craving.
If you're cruising the frozen food aisle, it's because you possibly find yourself too busy to cook&mdashand that's okay. Evol's Portobello and Goat Cheese Ravioli Bowl is the perfect quick meal that requires little to no setup but provides tons of health-related benefits.
Did you think we forgot about breakfast? Kashi's Berry Bliss Gluten-Free Frozen Waffles are a fun and easy way to convince your kids they're eating something fun&mdasheven if they don't realize the numerous health benefits attached. The waffles are made with superfoods like quinoa, berries, and beets, which only contain 8 grams of fat. Frozen waffles are usually a compelling way to incorporate nutrient-dense meals into your family's diets.
Non-GMO and absolutely delicious, this butternut squash risotto is the perfect accompaniment any meal. It only has 100 calories, so treat it as a side dish or top it with your favorite protein. It's also ideal as a mid-day snack if you're in the mood.
Since the '80s, Amy's Kitchen has been delivering organic and non-GMO frozen foods. It's considered a standard in gluten-free cooking. Made with organic wheat flour and stuffed with ricotta cheese, this bowl is kosher, vegetarian-friendly, and something the whole family will enjoy.
Sourced from farms where animals are treated with care, Applegate products are non-GMO and come from livestock fed a vegetarian or grass diet that's free of preservatives. Certified gluten-free, these breakfast sausages are a quick way to jazz up breakfast when you're on the go.
Created by two Costa Rican siblings, Veestro is all about the pura vida life outlook. *Pro Tip: pura vida is a way of life that incorporates healthy food and positive mental health practices.* If the creators are throwing good vibes into their diet, we&rsquore all about it. Having sold over two million plant-based delivery subscriptions that usually take less than five minutes to prepare, we think this is one meal kit service you should look into.
Never heard of plant-based crumbles? They are a quick and easy way to incorporate plant-based protein into any meal. Think tacos or spaghetti. With mostly good reviews, this versatile frozen dish is a must-have for any freezer.
Why You Should Salt Scrambled Eggs 10 Minutes Before Cooking Them
Properly cooked scrambled eggs can be a godsend. When they’re soft and creamy with custardy curds they’re a satisfying, healthy breakfast. While egg scrambling technique is paramount, there is another key step that is often overlooked: when you should season eggs. If you use salt, when you salt your eggs can make a world of difference no matter how sound your egg-cooking technique may be. Salt is a magical ingredient that is responsible for a myriad of culinary transformations. And when it comes to cooking scrambled eggs, salt does some pretty cool stuff on a molecular level. Like always, we can look to our food-science overlord Harold McGee for the answers.
Egg proteins have a mostly negative electrical charge, which keeps their proteins separated and untangled. The addition of salt and time allows for the salt to break down into negatively and positively charged ions that essentially negate the charge on the proteins, allowing them to bond more easily when cooked without forming tighter bonds that you𠆝 see if you cooked eggs for an extended period of time. Simply put, salting eggs before cooking them yields more tender eggs.
As with brines and cures, salt takes some time to do its magic. The question is how long? Do you really want to wait half an hour for your morning scrambled eggs? Even if they are the best eggs you can make? Probably not.
For my test, I added salt to scrambled eggs at three different stages: right before cooking, ten minutes before cooking, and during cooking.
The benefits of living with roommates is that I always have taste testers available to make them eat a lot of food in the name of science. While the differences weren’t dramatic, they were very noticeable.
The most tender eggs were definitely those salted ten minutes before cooking. One tester called them “rich and creamy.” A close second were the eggs salted right before cooking. The eggs salted during cooking were far and away the driest of the three. They were called 𠇍ry” and “not creamy.” That&aposs because if salt is added after the proteins have unwound themselves and bonded together, all the salt will do is draw out moisture and make the eggs tough and weep liquid on the plate.
So, if you have time in the morning, definitely pre-salt your eggs ten minutes before cooking them. Maybe cook a few slices of bacon or toast some bread in the meantime to help pass the time.
It Shouldn’t Cost the Farm to Fix a Tractor
The equipment Barry Hovis uses on his small Cape Girardeau, Mo., cattle farm is a lot different from the tractor he learned to drive as a kid. Today’s equipment is chock full of modern technology designed to improve efficiency and increase yields. Those digital features, however, require digital tools to fix—tools that Mr. Hovis can’t buy. Modern tractor makers keep their software in house.
“I consider myself to be a bit of a handyman,” says Mr. Hovis, a Republican member of the Missouri House of Representatives. “When I tried to buy the software tools I needed to do simple things like sync a new part to my tractor, I came up empty. And because independent repair shops get the same treatment from manufacturers, I’m forced to turn to the dealer for repair.”
He isn’t the only frustrated farmer. Many are calling for “right to repair” laws requiring manufacturers to provide easy access to necessary tools, software, parts and documentation.
In a report for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group last month , I detailed how software tools have become instrumental to the repair process. With the proper software, farmers and technicians can identify an issue with a tractor, authorize the repair, and clear the error code generated. Without it, they’re forced to go to the dealer for help or turn to hacking the digital components in the tractor, which some argue violates the license they are required to sign at purchase.
Mr. Hovis can’t tinker himself or ask the local mechanic to come out and fix his tractor like in the old days. Instead he has to contract with one of two nearby dealerships that are authorized by the manufacturer to make the software fixes.