The Lettuce Inn

Where Lucy discovers the truth about food...and other stuff too!

31 July 2012




I recently watched a talk by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) called The 10 Americans. The EWG tested the umbilical cord blood of 10 newborn babies and found nearly 300 chemicals, including BPA, fire retardants, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides that were banned more than 30 years ago.

As a mum with two boys, and a baby on the way, this topic is very close to my heart.

I do my best to reduce the amount of chemicals coming into our home and our bodies and am always looking for ways to do more, through the food we eat and the other household products we use, but despite my best efforts, my children and my unborn baby are already full of chemicals. So many kids these days are sick with food allergies and intolerances, cancer, eczema and asthma, learning difficulties and behaviour problems as a result of harmful chemicals.

I used to think that if something was sold in a shop then it would have to be safe. Surely the government wouldn’t allow companies to sell products containing ingredients that could make us sick? I have since discovered that many of the food and household products used and consumed every day are toxic and making us sick. A law that was supposed to protect us, the Toxic Substances Control Act, passed in 1976, failed with no authority to ensure the safety of chemicals before they are added to products. As a result, the chemical industry has continued to add more and more chemicals into our products each year. 
Contamination from toxic chemicals is everywhere. On our couches, lotions, household cleaners, toys, building materials, canned foods and more contain chemicals known to harm human health.

Infants and children are more vulnerable to the toxins from pesticide residues and environmental chemicals. This is because of their larger intake of food per kilo of body weight. Also, as their bodies and critical organs are still in developmental stages, they are more susceptible to pesticide toxicity. 
If we can reduce the amount of toxic chemicals we use on and in our bodies and our homes, we and our children will be happier and healthier and future generations will thank us for stopping this vicious cycle which is destroying our bodies and our planet.

Take the time to watch this 20 minute talk now:

What can you do:

  • Sign the EWG's petition to demand that Congress take action to make chemicals in consumer products kid-safe

  • The EWG has put together some great resources on how to keep you and your family safe from harmful chemicals

  • Connect with other like minded people and share your tips and ideas for creating a healthy home and your recipes for growing healthy bodies

12 July 2012



My kids and I all have varying degrees of lactose intolerance and we spend a lot of money buying rice milk each week. A few years ago I started making my own rice milk from brown rice, but it was time consuming as I had to simmer brown rice for 2.5 hours. 
A friend of mine recently starting making rice milk using brown rice in her cheap imitation thermomix machine. I don't have one of these magic machines, but she gave me the recipe to try at home.

I have experimented and modified my friend's recipe to come up with some very easy alternatives to making rice milk with brown rice.

Whenever I make this milk, my toddler will have about 2 glasses of it freshly made, he loves it.

Brown rice is rich in the bone-building mineral magnesium, the immune-boosting antioxidant selenium, and manganese which is a mineral important for keeping up the body’s natural defences.  Almonds adds flavour as well as calcium and many other healthy nutrients. You could also add some sesame seeds for extra calcium.

This recipe makes 1 litre of milk - to make 2 litres at a time, just double everything except the water and follow as per recipe; then after whizzing it up, strain into a large jug and add another litre of water and stir.

½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup raw almonds
1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or other oil - for creaminess)
1 Tablespoon honey (for sweetness - optional)
pinch of salt
1 litre of water

I usually put the almonds and 1/3 of the water in the blender first just to break up the almonds. Then add the rest of the ingredients, adding the water last, and blend. I have a powerful blender, but if you don't you can always use almond meal instead.

I don't strain mine, but if you don't like “bits” in your milk you can use a fine mesh strainer or nut milk bag.

I have also made this using cooked brown rice instead of the brown rice flour and this worked just as well. On another occasion I needed a cup of milk for a recipe but had none in the fridge, so I just got a cup of water and added 1 tablespoon of brown rice flour and it worked fine.

My next task is to try and grind brown rice in my blender or food processor to make my own brown rice flour, but if that doesn't work I am going to borrow my friend's imitation thermomix to see if it can do it. That way I can buy organic brown rice and have brown rice flour on the ready for all my recipes.

Coconut Milk
If you have ever wanted to make your own coconut milk, try this recipe:

1 cup raw coconut flakes
1 litre of purified water

Blend. There is no need to strain. Will store in refrigerator for a least a week.