In fact, you need to make EVERYTHING. Not just muesli bars. You absolutely cannot depend on anything you buy from the supermarket being safe for you, or your family. If it's not certified organic, and you've bought muesli or muesli bars from the supermarket, or any kind of rice or grain, chances are you've unwittingly ingested poison. Yay. Big Agriculture's grand, innit?
Bayer, the owner of Monsanto, argues that their studies show Roundup is safe - yet the WHO argue it's "possibly carcinogenic to humans.". Possibly is enough for most of us - and most of us know that weedkillers are dangerous. We don't use them ourselves, and would be mad as hell if our neighbours used them and it drifted over and killed our garden. We know it has ingredients that amplifies toxic effects on human cells - causing pregancy problems with hormone production, abnormal fetal development, low birth weights and miscarriages.
A report this week that found 21 oat-based cereal and snack products contain traces of glyphosate - above what is safe for children in the majority of those products. This is a plea for anyone reading this and buying cereals to check which products they're talking about. Oh, and it's also been found in beer and wine. Eek. Given even small amounts of it has been thought to lead to breast cancer, amongst other cancers, I find it incredible that Big Ag and it's associated industries still use the stuff - oh wait. No I don't. It doesn't suprise me at all. Because money. That old chestnut.
Before you panic about the wine and beer thing (because hey, I can go without cereal), it's worth noting that it's a teeny, almost homepathic amount:
The highest level of glyphosate detected by U.S. PIRG in those twenty wine and beer samples was 51 ppb, or parts per billion, which is a very small amount and well below the EPA tolerance levels which are set at 200 to 400,000 ppb. It’s such a small amount that an adult would have to drink more than 140 glasses of wine or beer daily before causing a real problem, as a spokesperson for the Beer Institute told USA Today. U.S. PIRG also reports finding glyphosate in the organic beer brand, but the amount there was even tinier: 5 ppb. To be clear: that’s a trace of a trace.
But a trace of a trace still terrifies me.
What comforts me is all this stuff in the news again - big time, because of court rulings that ruled that it was a cause of one guys cancer, has created dialogue here in Australia about it again - and there's going to be more research with many, many councils banning it. I'm currently trying to find out what my shire uses - we're kinda okay out here in the sticks and they don't spray round us, but that doesn't mean it's okay.
Not just because it has the potential to cause illness, but because I'm really, really bad at making muesli bars. Sure, I can make sure all the ingredients I buy are organic and hope to hell that they are (and I do buy organic, whereever possible) but that still doesn't solve my muesli bar problem. And we NEED muesli bars, because we're going on a road trip, and having quick, nutritious snacks in the van is important - I can't have the man getting hangry, and we need fuel as much as our wheels do.
So today, as Jamie checks off the list of all the companies that sell products in Australia shores that use ingredients from agriculture that uses Round Up, I'm ignoring him and focussing on what I can do - making a sweet treat that is nutritious, easy to make, and doesn't crumble apart in my hands. I love this recipe because it's just a matter of throwing it all in a pan, waiting for the psyllium to absorb the water, baking it, and you're done. You can slice as you go, or slice and individually wrap them - I'll slice as we go to save on the wrappers, thanks.
So here's my new version of the 'Life Changing Loaf' - sweet, packed full of protein and as organic as I could make it. Hopefully only a trace of a trace of a trace of a trace of glycophosphates. We'll be taking this one on our road trip, to snack on when we go on long beach and bush walks, and to eat on lazy afternoons either before or after hopefully glycophospate free wine.
Life Changing Sweet Loaf
1 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup flax seeds
½ cup pecans and almonds
½ cup hempflour (hello #weedcash, you don't just smoke it)
½ brown rice flour
½ coconut flour
½ cup hemp seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
5 tbsp psyllium seed husks
1 tsp fine grain sea salt
3/4 cup maple syrup or honey (I used maple syrup - you can taste the mix to see if it's sweet enough)
1 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 cup dried fruit (I used cranberries)
½ cacao nibs
3 tbsp melted coconut oil or ghee
1½ cups (350 ml) water
Mix and add to pan lined with baking paper or greased with oil and a sprinkle of seeds.
Leave til set.. usually between 2 and 4 hours. Bake at 200C for about 40 - 60 minutes or until knife exits clean. Wait til cool and slice into muesli bar sized portions. Freezes well.
I'll DEFINITELY be trying different versions of this. Fig and walnut? Pear and chai spice? Orange and dark chocolate? Rhubarb and coconut? I'll let you know!