Immunity is Yours this Fall – FOND’s Fire Cider Giveaway

Last spring, I discovered what I now refer to as ‘My Secret Weapon’.
This fall, I’m giving it to you.

“Here’s to feeling good, All the time.” — Fire Cider

While in Africa this past March, I exposed my body to a slew of immunity threats by visiting the slums of Johannesburg, working with kids at orphanages in Alex, going on a down-and-dirty safari in Zimbabwe and running a 35 mile Ultramarathon through harsh wind and rain in Capetown. Though I managed to stay healthy the entire trip, all of that adventure combined with the 19 hour flight home left me feeling pretty ragged and beginning to succumb to the grips of a nasty head cold.

Within 24 hours of my return home, that cold was full-on but I had a ton of work to do and could not afford to be laid up. Out on Long Island for a client meeting, I decided to stop by Naturally Good, a favorite health foods and juice shop in Montauk to see what kind of magic I could find to get my body back on track.

Determined to get back in the swing of things without taking any gross over the counter cold meds, I commiserated with Emma, the adorable girl who works the counter and asked her what juice was best for immunity. She offered a green juice but also insisted that I had to try Fire Cider , THE cure-all that all of the local surfers and fisherman used fight off colds and flues throughout the exceptionally harsh winter season. (Hurricane Sandy, remember?) I took her word for it and downed the $4 a shot concoction.

BAM! One potent mouthful of tangy, vinegary goodness later and I knew I’d just done something very good for my body. Immunity was mine!

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As shocking as the taste was, it went down smooth with a sweet honey aftertaste that made my entire body just say, ‘ahhhh’. Our bodies know what is good for us and a shot of this rare brew seemed to alert all those feel-good senses — waking up my immune system and instantly jolting me from suffering mode to battle mode. I could feel a difference in my head right away – eyes opened up, my throat was clear and smooth and my sinuses dilated allowing me to breathe normally again. It’s hard to explain but the best analogy I can think of is that it’s literally like punching a cold in the face. TKO.

The flavor filled Fire Cider elixir is based in apple cider vinegar and jam packed with powerful natural immunity boosting agents including  garlic, honey, citrus fruits, ginger, hot peppers, turmeric and onions. Many of these ingredients are not-so-surprisingly also found in the age old remedy of homemade chicken soup though Fire Cider is a whole lot faster, more potent and doesn’t involve the use of animal products for those who are averse. What’s more, you don’t have to shoot it straight, it works just as well if used in other foods such as salad dressings, sauces, even cocktails. (We snuck in a couple snapshots of recipes from the prize pack below).

It isn’t like other immunity boosters I have tried such as Vitamin C or Echinacea in that you don’t take it and then sit back and wait to see if it makes a difference.  You feel the difference right away.  It’s a mix that fires like a bolt of lightening – immediately helping to clear the head, soothe the throat and bring dulled senses back to normal again. I’m sure I sound a bit like an infomercial here but this stuff really is the goods.  I was so impressed by my experience with Fire Cider that I immediately bought a couple bottles – one for the remainder of that cold and one to keep on hand should any other germs decide to wreak havoc.

In addition to actually really working to keep sickness as bay, the Massachusetts based makers of Fire Cider employ a very conscientious approach to its production to ensure there are plenty of other reasons to love the stuff. It comes in a beautiful and reusable bottle with hand drawn art and cartoons as well as the charming handwritten history behind the brew. Fire cider is also crafted with organic and local ingredients so It’s pure and you know exactly what you are putting in to your body and why the ingredients are good for you. Best of all, there are no side effects except feeling better. How many other effective cold treatments can say that?

Since then, I have gifted a number of bottles to friends and struck up a conversation with Amy Huebner, one of the company’s founders to see how I can help spread the word. Cue Giveaway! Fire Cider generously offered to give away a prize pack for a lucky FOND reader and I am thrilled to be able to share out ‘My Secret Weapon’ with everyone. After all, the healthier you all are – the healthier I am!

Whether you win it or buy it, it is certainly worth the investment ($12 for 8oz.) to keep a bottle of this magical stuff on hand as we get into cold and flu season. Oh, and rumor has it, it’s a miracle hangover cure as well so maybe hang on to a bottle as holidays (and inlaws) roll around.

With Fire Cider, be well.

ENTER TO WIN BELOW!

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ENTER HERE to win a Fire Cider Prize Pack Including:

  • 8 oz bottle of Fire Cider
  • Fire Cider Signature Shot Glass
  • Fire Cider Original Recipe Book
  • Fire Cider T-Shirt (we will ask your size when you win)

WE’RE SORRY, THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED AND THE WINNER IS BEING NOTIFIED. PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR OTHER GIVEAWAYS OR SIGN UP HERE to JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST AND GET NOTIFIED OF FUTURE AWESOME POSTS!

RECIPES!

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THE GOODS

"Here's to feeling good, All the time."

“Here’s to feeling good, All the time.”

IMG_6124 IMG_6137 Fire Cider Cook Book

Kauai’s Struggle for Health by Amanda Brower

Health and the environment have become the number one issue with GMO operations on Kauai. 

FOND NOTE: During my stay on Kauai, I was presented with an onslaught of information regarding the GMO debate and much of it was downright shocking . What had seemed like a straightforward argument between Chemicals/Genetic Engineering versus No Chemicals/No Genetic Engineering was anything but.  There were and are layers upon layers of history, loyalty, information, misinformation, politics, employment issues and tradition factoring in to the debates taking place on beautiful Kauai.  As I did some digging (which I will elaborate on in a future post), a friend shared the below summary with me of the local issues specific to Kauai – arguably the US capital of GMO industry. I am still doing my own research (as I encourage you to do) but this post by Andrea Brower, originally run on Civilbeat.com on July, 17, does a great job of covering the key issues. Mahalo to Richard Diamond for allowing me to share and Andrea Brower for authoring. — Nicole Delma

By Amanda Brower

Born, raised and educated on Kauai, I was brought up with an ethic of care for this land, its future, and the people of this aina. I was also taught that we have kuleana to stand-up for what is right, just, and in the service of the common good — and that sometimes we must struggle for what is pono.

The movement on Kauai to protect our land, water and communities from the impacts of the agrochemical-GMO industry is reflective of this deep sense of responsibility that my generation feels for our home and one another. We know that the decisions being made today will shape our future and that of many generations to follow.

Despite what they would like us to believe, the global agrochemical-GMO industry — corporate giants Pioneer DuPont, Syngenta, Monsanto, Dow, BASF — did not show up in Hawaii merely because we have a year-round growing season. They came because they saw us as an exploitable community, left with an economic void when the sugar plantations exited, and challenged to think outside of the box of plantation agriculture after 150 years of it.

They saw a community of mostly working-class people, already conditioned to accept an industry that exports all of its profits and leaves behind nothing but pollution, health bills and unsafe, low-paying jobs. They came because, despite our enlightened state motto and constitutional mandate to protect the environment, we allow them to get away with doing things that they wouldn’t be allowed to do in other places.

Since GMO testing began in Hawaii, over 3,000 permits have been granted for open-air field trials, more than in any other state in the nation. In 2012 alone, there were 160 such permits issued on 740 sites.

Kauai has the highest number of these experimental sites, which are associated with the use of 22 restricted-use pesticides in the amount of 18 tons of concentrate each year. Syngenta, BASF, Pioneer DuPont and Dow occupy nearly all of the leased agricultural lands on the westside of Kauai — over 12,000 acres in close proximity to schools, residences, churches, and hospitals.

Kauai residents currently do not have the right to know what is happening on these agricultural lands, or how these activities are affecting our common air and water. We do not know which pesticides are being used where, in what amounts, and what their cumulative impacts might be. We also know nothing about the experimental GMO crops being tested. Even when the federal government determines that new pesticide-GMO crop combos significantly affect the quality of the human environment, as the USDA did in the recent case of 2,4-D and Dicamba resistant crops, we have no way of knowing whether they were tested here and what their impacts might have been.

Kauai County Council Bill 2491 on pesticides and GMOs seeks to correct this obvious oversight. It is a highly reasonable bill that is applicable only to the five corporations who use tremendous amounts of restricted-use pesticides each year.

The bill establishes people’s right to know about the chemicals that are being used, and sets up a buffer zone between the spraying and schools, hospitals, residential areas and waterways. It also requires that the county conduct an EIS so we can better understand the impacts of the agrochemical-GMO operations on our island, and in the meantime puts a moratorium on new operations. And it mandates that experimental pesticides and GMOs be tested in containment rather than in the open-air.

The pesticides this bill pertains to are not the type you purchase at Ace Hardware. They are “restricted-use” pesticides because they are recognized as extremely dangerous to human health and the environment. Chemicals such as Atrazine (Syngenta), banned in the EU and known to cause birth defects, cancer and reproductive issues, and to contaminate ground-water. Lorsban (Dow), known to cause impaired brain and nervous system functions in children and fetuses, even in minute amounts. Other pesticides being used are shown to affect brain cancer, autism, and heart and liver problems.

Pioneer employees who were bussed by DuPont County Council meeting for hearing on Bill 2491 to regulate GMO company pesticide use on Kauai Photo by Juan Wilson.

Pioneer employees who were bussed by DuPont County Council meeting for hearing on Bill 2491 to regulate GMO company pesticide use on Kauai Photo by Juan Wilson.

Atrazine, chlorpyrifos (Lorsban) and bifenthrin have made it inside Waimea Canyon Middle School, almost certainly the result of drift from the chemical-GMO operations around the school, which is a violation of federal law. Bill 2491 is about our right to know where these highly-dangerous pesticides are coming from so we can determine how they might be affecting human health and the environment. It has nothing to do with whether we are for or against the science and technology of GMOs.

While it would be great if we could count on the state and federal governments to adequately regulate, the fact is that they haven’t. And this issue cannot wait. People are sick now. We need to know now. Our state and federal governments have spent the last decades putting the interests of these transnational corporations over the interests of the common good.

The US government’s own Accountability Office concluded that the EPA is severely lacking in its implementation of laws relating to pesticides. It is up to us on Kauai, the people who have direct experience of the industry’s impacts, to take the necessary action. This bill has been reviewed by many local and national attorneys, and we at the county level have the right to protect our health, safety and environment.

Rather than be responsive to reasonable concerns, the chemical-GMO companies are doing everything they can to fight this bill. They are some of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world, and infamous for their fierce opposition to any kind of disclosure and regulation. This is not a matter of “bad” people doing bad things. These corporations are legally mandated to make profit for their shareholders at other expenses.

Beyond the rhetoric of their well-paid marketing, they do not care about the places where they operate. They may have a few friendly and concerned managers who live locally, but the economic structure that they operate within does not prioritize environmental and human health. That is why this issue requires a structural response — actual policy that will limit these corporation’s ability to externalize their costs onto us.

The industry is using the unfortunate tactic of threatening workers that if this bill passes, their jobs will be lost. While the claim of these incredibly wealthy corporations that they can’t afford to be more responsible in their chemical usage seems exaggerated, if not absurd, we need to be compassionate and sensitive to the position workers are being put in.

If in fact the industry does decide to leave simply because we’ve asked them to be transparent and responsible, then we must generate new agricultural jobs that are higher-paying, less hazardous and long-term. Jobs that express who we are and are integral to our local economy rather than those dependent on the whims of transnational corporations who can get up and leave at anytime.

As an island dependent on barges coming from at least 2500 miles away for 85% of our food, one obvious place for job generation is in developing our sustainable agriculture industry. There are huge possibilities. Half of the lands used by the agrochemical-GMO industry on Kauai are state lands, which could be made more easily available to real farmers. Water that is currently being hoarded by the private chemical industry could be returned to streams and agricultural users, in line with state water law. Subsidy support and research could be consistently put towards sustainable and locally-appropriate agriculture.

By privileging the chemical-GMO companies’ use of our resources over local agriculture, we are paying the high costs of missed opportunities. Sustainable agriculture to service local needs would generate local revenues and stimulate the economic multiplier effect, plug economic leakages, support a wide variety of other small businesses, employ far more people, insure food security, add to the resilience of our economy, distribute benefits more equitably, and be a real draw to tourists.

While we do face structural challenges to building our local agricultural industry, some of which are national or global, there are innumerable creative and immediate solutions. These include a variety of socially responsible enterprises, cooperatives, food hubs, land trusts and ag parks, land use policy in favor of local ag, farmer training, and research funding for sustainable ag. The public will to proactively create and support these solutions keeps growing. Young people especially are looking for opportunities to farm, to be stewards of the aina and feed their communities.

By regulating these transnational corporations, we are supporting the possibility of local agriculture and food security. By protecting our fragile, limited and precious resources, we protect the possibility of real agriculture (that actually feeds us) thriving in the long-term. This is a turning point in the island’s history, one which will determine the type of path we will take.

On Kauai we take pride in our values of care and responsibility for one another and the aina. Now is our moment to lead the state and show the nation how a small community can stand-up for what is obviously moral — putting people and nature’s rights ahead of corporate profits. When it comes to the health of our population and environment, we must demand self-determination. The world is watching, and we will send a clear message, one way or the other.

Andrea BrowerAndrea Brower is doing a PhD on the politics and economics of food and agriculture. She has a Masters degree in Science and International Development from the University of Sussex.

Please visit Civilbeat.com to view the original article and browse more great content.

Fresher Farm to Table

GETTING THE ROOT OF FRESH AND HOW TO GET IT IN THE CITY

Living in NYC, it is surprisingly hard to find impeccably fresh produce. I’d insert the word ‘local’ here too but recent schooling has taught me that ‘local’ is rapidly becoming the new ‘organic’ when it comes to overuse and lack of meaning in terms of describing the quality of our food. You see, we can call anything ‘local’ but how far does that mean…this block, zipcode, state? To be determined.

When it comes to organic, it can be even trickier. In a recent conversation with Long Island microgreens grower, Brendan Davison,  I was educated on the some of the misnomers surrounding organic and natural food labeling. Davison shocked me when he told me that one of my very favorite ‘organic’ producers actually only operated one single acre of truly chemical-free farmland and for the rest of its thousand or so acres, it was full-fledged pesticide-laden business as usual. And yet, they were legally able to maintain their USDA Certified Organic classification on their packaging. News to me.

So, for now, I’ll settle on ‘fresh’ as the key quality I am looking for in my food and with that, I mean I want it to be picked within the last 10 hours and to have come into contact with as few chemicals as possible in the course of its life. This food not only tastes the best but it offers the highest amount of nutrients and critical enzymes our body needs to nourish itself. I treat my body like a science experiment and I can vouch for the difference I feel in energy, mood, sleep quality with the right supply of fresh wholesome foods.

In my search for fresh in the city, I tried out so many different options in the last year and was painfully disappointed with many of them. The major at-home grocery delivery chain brings its organic bananas wrapped in bubble wrap and then styrofoam and then packaged in an industrial sized cardboard box (carrying cockroaches if you are lucky).  The semi-prepped food services are slow to disclose the source of their food suppliers and fail to provide a good value. Farmers markets do provide good options but are not exactly convenient for someone like me who juices daily and moves through 20lbs of produce in a week (though be sure to still ask questions about the food they are selling because it doesn’t all come from where you think).

After much digging and wishing for a ‘local’ and ‘organic’ (bear with me) service that would bring me products from places that I could go and visit without an airplane that had been cut from the vine only hours before, I finally landed at RusticRootsDelivery.com through the introduction of a friend/grower. What killed me is that I didn’t find them in all my google searching. There must be other people who want this type of service. A few conversations with the delightful couple (Emer and Jeff) who run the operation and  I was committed to helping them get the word out digitally…which is how you now see them listed under the FOND umbrella. The work Emer and Jeff do to get all of this fresh food into the city isn’t easy – a complex  distribution chain with  over 40 local growers and farmers is not something anyone can come in and master. One taste though and you will see why it is well worth the effort.

Mark my words though – THIS IS THE BEST VALUE I have found in healthful, real food anywhere in the city.  The fact that a real live farmer shows up at your door to drop the goods off is just the icing on the cake.  I wasn’t home for my delivery today at the beach and they put the items away in the fridge for me and then sent me a note to tell me where everything was. Items arrive in neat coolers that are reusable, not cardboard boxes. They follow-up with recipes via emails to help those of us along who don’t have a clue what to do with swiss chard or rhubarb. In one month, I’ve made rhubarb preserves, brocolli rabe, wild ramps for god’s sake! These are not items I would have ever bought or considered adding to my diet but I’m so glad I did.

In addition to fruit and juice baskets (my dermatologist asked what I was using on my skin today because its glowing BTW), they offer local farm fresh eggs, milk in the bottle, goats milk, yogurt, micgrogreens, meat, cheese, honeys and syrups and are adding more each day. Minimum order is $50, delivery $10, no subscription and pick and choose what you want and when you want it. For more, see their FAQ’s.

No one paid me to write this. I simply love these guys and think they are doing a good thing and it is improving the quality of life for a lot of people. Check it out and let me know what you think at nicole@fondgroup.com.

Use code FOND and they’ll knock 10% off your first two orders. Delivering to Long Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
(And thank your farmer when they drop your food off – farmers rock.)

RusticRootsDelivery.com

To your health-

Nicole

Here are some of the highlights from my last several months in farm fresh heaven:

Breakfast Salad - a runners secret weapon. pumped up with extra nutritious kale Microgreens from @goodwaterfarms and toast with fresh avo and homemade rhubarb preserves

Breakfast Salad – a runners secret weapon. pumped up with extra nutritious kale Microgreens from @goodwaterfarms and toast with fresh avo and homemade rhubarb preserves.

Fresh bottled milk from Ronnybrook farms. You forget how good real milk tastes.

Fresh bottled milk from Ronnybrook farms. You forget how good real milk tastes.

Juicing every morning is easy with RRD's juicing basket.

Juicing every morning is easy with RRD’s juicing basket. Skin, hair, joints, (my brain!) have never been better.

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Seeing Microgreen

FOND was first introduced to Brendan Davison, founder of Good Water Farms back in November through a mutual friend who knew it would be immediate kismet. Since first sampling the sweet and unfathomably nutritious Microgreens superfood that Davison grows on his land in Long Island, we were hooked. Since then, Davison has been expanding rapidly and now supplies multiple Whole Foods and Gourmet Garage locations in the NY area. You can also order his delicious greens from organic home delivery service Rustic Roots Delivery (use code FOND to save 10% off your first two orders).

In spite of his busy schedule, Davison still makes time to give back to the community and we caught up with him this past weekend out at Rockaway Beach. Davison was posted up at Rockaway Beach’s 96th Street Relief Center where he spent the day offering educational microgreens demos in support of the building of a new community garden. Good Water Farms was at the event along with other local green business owners and artisans to help raise awareness for the garden build as well as educate locals on urban farming and the importance of sustainable food, fashion and other eco friendly products.

We were lucky enough to witness the excitement around the uber ladybug freeing (they are pollinators for the greens) as well as take home our own Sunflower microgreens pot which will begin producing the delicious edible greens in just a few days from the comfort of our NY apartments.

Read more about Brendan’s amazing story and his awesome path from Shaman to becoming a microgreens farmer on NPR. 

After demoing how to germinate and sprout the sunflower microgreens, Davison gifted Delma with her own take home pot of micgrogreens.

After demoing how to germinate and sprout the sunflower microgreens, Davison gifted Delma with her own take home pot of micgrogreens.

FOND headed out to Rockaway Beach to say hello to Good Water Farms and check out the festivities surrounding the build of the 96th Street Community Garden.
FOND headed out to Rockaway Beach to say hello to Good Water Farms and check out the festivities surrounding the build of the 96th Street Community Garden.

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