March 2001 Feingold Email Newsletter
Dear Feingold Members & Friends,

It's almost that time of year -- Easter, Passover, and Spring Cleaning!!


[] Spring Cleaning? Refurnishing?
       -- Resources for Cleaning Products

[] Feingold News
      -- Massachusetts: Play Group Forming
      -- Virginia: Workshops
      -- Feingold Conference Info
      -- Conference Feature: "Awakening Brilliance"

[] Beyond Feingold
      -- Executive Function
      -- PBS -- Toxins on TV
      -- If Fragrances Bother You

[] Holiday Treats & Recipe Suggestions
      -- Easter Jelly Beans
      -- Passover Soda
      -- Pie CrustsTo Print
      -- Pie Fillings
      -- PuddingsTo Print
      -- CookiesTo Print
      -- Beet & Greens Side DishTo Print
      -- Chicken SoupTo Print
      -- Matza BallsTo Print



[] SPRING CLEANING? REFURBISHING?


While some acceptable cleaning supplies are available in your local supermarket or discount store, others are hard to find. The following mail order suppliers may be able to fill any vacancies on your cleaning-supply shelf:

These and other resources can be found at http://www.feingold.org/resources.html


Not every item sold or listed in these stores or web-sites is acceptable on the Feingold Program. However, these resources will make it easier for you to find the items listed in our U.S. member product listings (the regional Foodlists) or described in our outline for members outside the U.S.

If you have other products to suggest, feel free to do so -- submit contact information through our Product Submission Form in the Members Section, and our Product Information volunteers will contact them.


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[] FEINGOLD NEWS



Massachusetts: PLAY GROUP FORMING
A support/play group for ADD/ADHD children in the Wellesley, MA, area is forming. More information by calling Jeanne at 781-769-9220.

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Virginia: WORKSHOP
Fun and interesting workshops on the Feingold Program are presented by Jane Hersey, author of Why Can't My Child Behave?

"Happier Kids & Better Grades
-- It All Begins in the Grocery Cart"
If your school is within driving distance of Alexandria, VA, and you would like a workshop at your school, contact Jane at (757) 229-2838.

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FEINGOLD CONFERENCE INFO
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-- Conference Feature: "Awakening Brilliance"
Awakening Brilliance by Pamela Sims One of our special presenters at the Feingold National Conference in October will be Pamela Sims, author of Awakening Brilliance. This book has been called "a gift to the children of the world and those who teach and those who care for them" by Peter Kline, author of The Everyday Genius. See more about her, her book, and a collection of her articles at www.feingold.org/sims.html

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[] BEYOND FEINGOLD


EXECUTIVE FUNCTION
One of our members has a child who was helped by the Feingold Program but still needed to look further. The child did not have all the classic symptoms of ADD or ADHD so it has always been difficult to get appropriate educational services. After researching a number of learning disabilities, the mom asked the school to test her son for "Executive Function". Testing showed it was a perfect fit. Executive Function encompasses all of the "meta-cognitive" functioning of the brain - i.e., the "thinking about thinking". Once properly diagnosed, the school was able to provide more appropriate educational assistance. For more information on Executive Function see the Greenwood Institute

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PBS -- TOXINS ON TV
The Seventh Generation (a resource for non-toxic cleaning products) informs us that on March 26th at 9:00 pm, PBS will air "Trade Secrets: A Moyers Report" (be sure to check your local listings or at the PBS website for your local PBS station date and time). A "massive uncovered archive of secret industry documents that Moyers and producer Sherry Jones say rivals the now legendary "Tobacco Papers" for sheer, appalling shock value," apparently reveals an industry that has put our health and safety at risk in a largely successful effort to hide the truth about pesticides and synthetic fragrances at any cost.

Many Feingold members report sensitivity also to pesticides and fragrances, and a survey in California reveals that over 16% of the population reports sensitivity to such chemicals - in spite of the Medical Board's assurance that such reactions are imaginary. This program should contain valuable information for everyone.

New Feingold members may wish to alert their child's teachers to watch this Moyers Report (or even tape it for them) because it may be a good tool to help convince a reluctant teacher that you mean business when you ask her to avoid wearing perfumes or spraying the desks with fragrant cleaners during school hours. See more information

Relevant to this TV report is a fantastic book by John Stauber called "Toxic Sludge Is Good for You." Find it in our Bookstore under the "Environment-Housekeeping" link. Don't be fooled by the cartoon-like cover -- this is a deadly serious book about a deadly serious topic, and the knowledge gained may make a huge difference in the neurological and physical health of our families.

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IF FRAGRANCES BOTHER YOU --
Many of our members are bothered by synthetic fragrances. Since the less expensive ones (and increasingly the more expensive ones too) are made from petroleum derivatives, as well as from known neurotoxic chemicals, it is not surprising that reactions can be similar to the reactions to artificial colorings - sometimes even more severe, since any chemical entering through the nose is absorbed into the body.

The Environmental Health Network of California has filed a petition with the FDA to have the fragrance Eternity by Calvin Klein declared "misbranded" because there is no warning label stating that the chemicals have not been tested for safety.

This is also your opportunity to tell the FDA that fragrances in general bother you (if they do). See addresses, more information, and a sample letter at Environmental Health Network (the link has been removed)

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[] HOLIDAY TREATS & RECIPE SUGGESTIONS

Don't forget to visit our email newsletter archives for more recipes.


EASTER -- JELLY BEANS & more
Snapple now makes jelly beans** that have been found acceptable by PIC (Product Info Center) inspection and are available in many stores. If you have trouble finding them, the Squirrel's Nest Candy Shop (a mail-order resource for many Feingold-acceptable treats) has informed us that they are now carrying them. You can see their ad on our Home Page under Featured Companies, or visit their website. Be sure to see the other items (bunnies, chicks, eggs, etc.) in their Easter section.

**The Snapple Beans are Stage Two and contain corn syrup (CS, cherries, grapes, peaches, raspberries, strawberries)

If you live near a Trader Joe's, they also carry an acceptable brand of jelly beans*** - the colors are the same as the Snapple, but the taste is quite different, so you may want some of both.

***These are also Stage Two : TRADER JOE'S All Natural Jelly Beans (CS, grapes, raspberries, tangerines)

And, of course, don't forget the Planet Harmony Jelly Beans - they were the forerunners coming out in 2000! They have elderberries, grapes, oranges, and pectin from apples (again Stage Two).

What to put in the Easter baskets is often a problem for new members because their eyes are drawn to the rows of pink, blue, yellow and green confections everywhere. However, here are some ideas:

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PASSOVER SODA and more
NOTE:   While corn syrup is not eliminated on the Feingold Program, many of our members report sensitivity to it, so items containing corn syrup are marked with a (CS) in our Foodlists. If you have been using the Program with limited success, it may be worth your while to leave out the corn syrup for a while and see if there is a difference.

On Passover, corn syrup is not used by Orthodox Ashkenazi Jews (from Eastern Europe), so by looking closely at ingredients on products marked "Kosher for Passover," you may find jellies, candies, and canned fruits that are sweetened with "regular" sugar instead of corn syrup at this time of year. The Season brand has many such items that are acceptable on the Feingold Program also. It's a good time to stock up if you prefer to avoid the corn syrup, or if your family is sensitive to it.

As you may know, Coke and Sprite are not listed in our Foodlist because they won't fill out our forms. However, there is a long history of many members using these sodas with no problem.

Both Coke and Sprite will once again sport yellow caps on their 2-liter bottles this Passover season, which means that they are made without corn syrup (in spite of their ingredient labels which are not changed). HOWEVER, since Coca Cola recently ran a non-Passover special promotion using the yellow caps, I am informed by the Rabbi that you must look closely to make sure that not only does the soda have a yellow cap, but also that the cap has an O-U-P on the side (The O-U symbol is a "U" with an "O" around it, and the "P" means "Kosher for Passover")

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PIE CRUSTS
Somehow holidays are just not complete without some sort of pie. If your family is on the Stage One of the Feingold Program, you may be wondering what to do about an apple pie (apples are on the salicylate list). That one's easy -- use pears the same way you would use apples. You may use firm pears, and add a little more lemon juice to your pie for more of a tart "apple" taste.

And nothing but nothing beats a home-made pie crust for taste.

Almost any oil or shortening-based recipe from any cookbook would be OK, as long as you use acceptable shortening, oil, etc.

For crumb crust pie shells, any acceptable cookie or graham cracker can be used. You can make the crumbs in a blender, a food processor, or crumble them by hand. To hand crumble them, the easiest way is to put them in a paper or plastic bag and then roll over them with a rolling pin or a jar.

You can find quite a list of cookies in your Foodlist under "desserts."

COOKIE CRUMB PIE CRUST


To Print This Recipe
STIR butter or margarine into the crumbs. Put it in a 9 inch pie plate and spread out, pressing onto bottom and sides. Chill an hour OR bake at 375 for 6 - 9 minutes until edges are brown.

Excess crumbs freeze well; you can freeze them in pre-measured 1-1/2 cup portions so the next pie crust will be even easier.

For a gluten-free pie shell, first make gluten-free cookies. There are several acceptable mixes available in the health food store, but making them from scratch is easy. See recipes. If you make drop cookies very close together -- so you basically have a single giant cookie on your cookie sheet -- it will work fine. After all, you are going to crumble them anyway (or at least you will crumb whatever the kids don't eat first).

If you prefer, you can use any crumbed acceptable cereal instead of cookies, and you can make it sweeter, if desired, by substituting 1/4 cup sugar or brown sugar for 1/4 cup of the crumbs.

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PIE FILLING
Again, there are lots of choices, even on Stage One. Besides pears (mentioned above), you can make a pumpkin or sweet potato pie, or a lemon merengue pie. I have not personally tried a kiwi fruit pie, but it should be good -- if any of you out there actually have used kiwi either as pie filling or as the fruit on an upside down cake, please let me know how it turned out and share the recipe (I will post it in the archive). My niece used kiwi for sherbet in a recipe that called for peaches -- it was a pretty green color, and quite good!!

However, if you are like me, you want the easy way. You can bake (or chill) your pie crust, and then fill it with any acceptable prepared or homemade pudding. Slice bananas onto the bottom first, if you like. Of course, you can make your own corn starch, potato starch, or tapioca pudding filling, cheaper, and probably faster than it will take you to run to the store and buy it.

The following pudding recipes are fast and easy, require no baking, and no fussing with eggs. Here they are:

PUDDING


To Print This Recipe
(When measuring corn or potato starch, flatten it into the spoon and smooth off the top with the flat of the knife.)

MEASURE the corn or potato starch and put it in a little bowl.
ADD a little milk and stir with a fork to dissolve it, making a thick paste, and then a little more until it is smooth like cream and can be poured.

PUT the rest of the milk in a sauce pan.
ADD the sugar to the milk in the pan.
HEAT the milk, stirring occasionally, until it looks hot (some steam will be coming off it).

ADD the corn starch/milk mixture while stirring the milk.
CONTINUE to heat the mixture while stirring, until it gets thick and a few bubbles pop at the surface. This may take less than a minute. It will be too thick to "boil."

REMOVE from heat, and add the vanilla.

POUR it into your serving dish or dessert bowls. Depending on the size of your dessert dishes, it should make 3 to 4 servings.

Tips for preventing the "skin" from forming on top usually say to put some plastic wrap on top of the pudding while hot. Since plastic often contains BHT and other chemicals that can be released upon heating, we do not recommend that. Besides, the "skin" is the best part, making the top of the pudding shiny. Why fight it? For filling a pie, let the "skin" form on the pie; and for individual desserts, pour the pudding into individual dishes while still hot, so everybody gets his own "skin." My sister and I used to fight over who got the most "skin."

Variations:

  1. Butterscotch Pudding
    • Use 6 Tb packed brown sugar instead of white sugar
    • Decrease vanilla to 1 Tsp

  2. Chocolate Pudding
    • Add 2 Tb plain cocoa powder to the corn starch
    • Decrease vanilla to 1 Tsp (or leave out)

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PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
To Print This Recipe
These cookies are Kosher for Passover as well as gluten-free since they contain no flour whatsoever. They do, however, contain lots of peanut butter, so if a peanut allergy is a problem, try it with some other nut butter. I found that when using regular Jif Peanut Butter, the cookies were rather saltier than I wanted, so you might be happier with a less salty peanut butter, or perhaps the kind you grind yourself in some stores -- which contains just peanuts.

PREHEAT the oven to 375 degrees
MIX ingredients thoroughly with a spoon.
DROP by teaspoonful onto an UNgreased baking sheet, leaving space for them to spread. (About 3 across on a regular size baking sheet is about the right spacing.)
BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes or until the color is a little more brown than it started out and it has a "set" look. The cookies will be very soft while hot; remove them carefully with a spatula and let cool on a rack.

OK - we have enough desserts. Don't forget to check out other recipes in the archives.

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BEETS & GREENS SIDE DISH
To Print This Recipe
This recipe makes a presentation fancy enough for company, and so pretty even kids who think they don't like beets may eat it.

Buy some fresh beets with nice green tops. About 3 big beets (almost tennis ball size) will fill a large frying pan when combined with the greens. Cut the leaves and root tail off and peel the beets. Rinse, then put them whole in a pan, cover with water, and boil until you can stick a fork through the thick part. (Wipe up any beet juice that gets on your counter because it stains, and don't do this wearing anything fancy.) Meanwhile, wash the greens, throw out any bad parts, and cut them all in strips across their red ribs. Put them in a large frying pan with some water to cover and simmer until they are wilted.

When the greens are soft, drain the water and add some olive (or other) oil to cover the bottom of the pan and coat the leaves (they will get shiny). Gently continue to simmer / saute them in the oil, just keeping them hot. Meanwhile, when the beets are soft, take them out of the water and slice them, cutting the slices so you have 1/2" to 1" cubes.

Transfer the greens into a "ring" around the edges of the pan, or a casserole dish, making a "hole" in the center. Pile the beet cubes up in the center "hole." Sprinkle a little salt (optional) and drizzle a little more olive oil on the beet cubes if you like. Serve.

Don't make this dish ahead because the beets will overpower the greens' color and while they will taste fine, of course, the greens will be "reds" by the next day.

Oh, and save the beet water. When cold, you can add a little lemon juice, a little salt, and a perhaps a spoon of sour cream -- it will be a mild borsht -- and drink it. Traditional borsht has shredded beet in it, so if you have cooked an overabundance of beets just shred one on your large-size grater after it is cooked, and add to the water for later.

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CHICKEN SOUP & KNAIDLACH
Today's commercially-prepared soups are full of flavor enhancers and other artificial ingredients Grandma never used. To fool us into thinking that there is more chicken in the chicken soup, heavy doses of salt and MSG are added. Don't believe that "natural style," "home style," or even "all natural" are really as healthy or good as the real thing.

For those of you who like to see the studies, it has actually been PROVED recently that chicken soup is good for you -- by Rennard et al, "Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis In Vitro" See it here -- and send a copy to Grandma.

Making real chicken soup is very easy, and the aroma may perk up the appetite of even the pickiest eater.

CHICKEN SOUP


To Print This Recipe
Put everything in the pot and simmer it, covered, for about an hour and a half. If you don't cover it, check the water level during cooking, and add more when needed. Older recipes call for "skimming the foam," but nothing happens if you ignore the foam. If there is a lot of "foam" and it bothers you, by all means skim it off.

Optional ingredients that can be cooked in the soup (just a handful of each) include:

When the soup is done, pour it through a colander or big strainer into another pot, and then pick out and put in as much of the cooked vegetables as you like, particularly the carrots and celery, and maybe some of the smaller squash slices .... the veggie pieces are mainly decoration and should not take over the soup. Some people also add pieces of the cooked chicken to the soup.

If you make this soup ahead and refrigerate, the fat will rise to the top and harden so it will be easy to remove.

You can add rice or noodles to the soup, or, if you celebrate Passover, add matza balls before serving.

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MATZA BALLS - KNAIDLACH


To Print This Recipe
On Passover, bread is replaced with matza, an "unleavened bread" made from flour and water with no yeast. The flour itself is carefully watched that no fermentation should have started before it is made into matza. Hundreds of years ago, matza was only eaten dry. While it could be used for sandwiches, it could not be soaked in water to become an ingredient in other foods. Then a great Rabbi ruled that it was OK to soak the matza in water since no fermentation could take place once it had been baked. The matza ball or Knaidle was promptly invented, and today it just isn't Passover without chicken soup with matza balls (knaidlach).

You can follow the recipe on the matza meal box, or try this one, which I learned in Israel:

FILL a big pot 2/3 full of water with 1 or 2 Tb of salt
SET it on stove to boil
PUT fat or oil in a medium saucepan
ADD onion and carrot and heat until soft & wilted
ADD the cup of water and bring to boil
ADD the matza meal all at once and stir to mix.
REMOVE from heat. It will be very thick.
ADD the eggs and mix. You can do this in the same pot, or put it all together in a bowl.
ADD the parsley and mix.

When the water in the big pot is boiling, make balls of the matza meal mixture, dipping your hands in some cold water between each ball, so it will be smooth and not stick to your hands. If the mix is too soft to easily roll the balls, add some more matza meal.

Makes 30 balls about 1-1/2 inches across

Put each ball directly in the boiling water, as you make it, and they will rise to the top as they are done.

Add the balls to hot soup, and eat.

(Some people prefer to cook their matza balls right in the soup, which is OK if you have lots of soup since the balls do absorb some of it while cooking.)

Wishing you a wonderful Holiday,

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