Author Archives: Ginny Marie

Simply Put, I Trust Our U.S. Farmers

Apparently Chipotle has had a carnitas shortage, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune business section today. Even though carnitas, otherwise known as pork, is my burrito filling of choice, I haven’t noticed. I haven’t been too fond of Chipotle’s marketing strategies lately and haven’t eaten there for a while. Chipotle is now using a British pork supplier to provide their customers with carnitas. According to the article, Chipotle founder and co-CEO Steve Ellis states that it’s been Chipotle’s preference to source meats domestically, but the quality of pork that meets their standards is not available right now.


When Chipotle used domestic suppliers of pork, they insisted that their pork be raised antibiotic and hormone free. Just to clarify, all pork sold must be from pigs who have not had antibiotics in their systems for a number of weeks, so our meat does not have antibiotics in it. Many conventional farmers, such as the pork producers I visited last year, only use antibiotics to treat sick pigs. And hormones? They are not used in pork production AT ALL. A pig goes to market in just six short months, and using hormones isn’t practical or worthwhile.

Plenty of pork suppliers in the U.S. would be able to meet Chipotle’s demands, but instead they have chosen a pork producer in the U.K., which also allows antibiotic use for the health of pigs. This choice seems hypocritical to me!

two piglets

As I’ve stated before, we’re fortunate that we have so many choices when it comes to buying our food. Having visited a pork producer right here in Illinois, I’m confident in the quality of U.S. pork. Here is one of my favorite pork recipes!

Slow Cooker Carolina BBQ Pulled Pork

2 onions, quartered
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (4 to 6 pound) boneless pork butt or shoulder roast
3/4 cup cider vinegar
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Hamburger buns

Place onions in slow cooker. Combine brown sugar, paprika, salt and pepper; rub over roast. Place roast on top of onions.

Combine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, sugar, mustard, garlic powder and cayenne; stir to mix well. Drizzle about one third vinegar mixture over roast; cover and refrigerate remaining vinegar mixture.

Cover slow cooker and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours (HIGH 4 to 6 hours.) Drizzle about one third reserved vinegar mixture over roast during last half hour of cooking. Remove meat and onions. Drain if desired. Chop or shred meat and chop onions. Serve meat and onions on buns. Use remaining vinegar mixture to drizzle over sandwiches. Delicious!

Field Mom Ambassador




Read discussions about Chipotle’s pork decisions for yourself.

Dear Chipotle, What Do You Have Against U.S. Pig Farmers?
Chipotle caught in pork hypocrisy
American Pig Farmers Call Out Chipotle and Its British Pork Supplier
Chipotle goes across the pond for pork; allows antibiotics use
Why Buy Pork From Across the Pond, Chipotle?

Junk Food Jamboree #TuesdayTen

Junk food: so bad for you and yet so tempting! Today just happens to be National Junk Food Day, and here are 10 foods I could live off of if calories and nutrition didn’t matter. (I actually think if I ate just these foods for one day, I’d be craving a big, green leafy salad!)

It seems like my favorite junk food comes from two food groups: Vegetable and Dairy. The “-itos food group,” of course, come from corn:

Cheetos vs carrots
The potato food group, I believe, also falls under the vegetable category:

  • French Fries
  • Jays Potato Chips
  • Tater Tots

The ice cream food group is not just for dessert! It’s dairy, of course!

  • Klondike bars
  • ice cream sandwiches
  • just a big ol’ bowl of vanilla

And the cheese food group is one of my favorites:

  • Cheetos
  • Cheese with crackers
  • Cheese with wine
  • Cheese with macaroni

Many years ago, I went on a shopping trip and bought all junk food; nothing healthy was put into my cart. I had decided that there was a need for comfort food. My family was hanging out in my grandparents’ apartment, and we were waiting, together.  Now, this isn’t meant to become a sad and serious post, but sometimes comfort food is just what is needed. We were waiting for my grandfather’s call to go up to heaven. He was 96 and ready to go. We hung out in the dining room, snacking on the chocolate and chips that covered the table. The most beautiful thing about all waiting together was that we were around his bedside when it was time for Grandpa to leave us. Remembering that table piled with junk food and the family being together on that day makes the memory joyful instead of sad, just like my joke-loving Grampa would want it to be!


The Golden Spoons

What’s your favorite junk food? Do you have a memory tied to eating junk food?


The Spin Cycle Is On Vacation!

For the next two weeks, there will be no Spin Cycle link up. Instead, I will be washing about billion pool towels after the girls’ swim conference this week and then catching up on all the laundry that didn’t get washed because I’ve been washing pool towels and swim suits for 7 weeks straight.

Emmy waits for the whistle to swim a 25 yard breaststroke.

Be sure to look for new Spin Cycle prompts starting on Monday, August 3!

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Trekkie or Trekker? And Other Geekiness.

Even though my sister and I refer to ourselves as “Trekkies,” we are actually “Trekkers.” Why, yes, there is a difference! Trekkies have the reputation of being slightly off-balance in their devotion to Star Trek, while Trekkers are more rational and just have fun with their Star Trek fandom.

Our devotion to Star Trek began back in the 70’s and can be blamed on our father. I remember watching countless episodes of the original series with Dad. They were all reruns, of course, and it was so exciting to see a rerun airing on TV that was rarely shown!

flip phone or communicator? Beam me up, Scotty!
Flip phone or communicator? Beam me up, Scotty!

We’ve never attended a Star Trek Convention or put on pointy ears. But we have played Star Trek Trivia and have bought Dad all the Star Trek spaceship Christmas tree ornaments, much to the dismay of our mother!

Of course, I also watched every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Voyager, but I never got into Deep Space Nine or Enterprise. Even though I’m a die hard original Star Trek fan, however, I really enjoyed the newest Star Trek movies. Chris Pine plays Captain Kirk brilliantly!

Alas, I have not spread my enjoyment of Star Trek to my children. I have the original Star Wars movies on video tape, and they enjoy watching Princess Leia stare down Darth Vader. I’m okay with that.

Emmy is more of a Star Wars fan.
Emmy is more of a Star Wars fan.

So that takes care of my T.V. show inner geek, but I am actually even geekier when it comes to books. I also blame this on my father! There was a huge bookshelf packed full of Dad’s books in our house when we were growing up. Most of the books did not look interesting to me, but the ones I did grab off the shelf soon became favorites. Growing up in a small town meant that we didn’t have access to a public library, and our school library was very small. Dad and Mom helped us build our own collection of books, buying us the Little House on the Prairie and Nancy Drew series one book at a time. My sister and I cherished those books, and reread them over and over. In 6th grade, I developed a new book obsession; I grabbed my dad’s copy of The Lord of the Rings. It must have taken me forever to read, and I’m sure I didn’t understand some of what Tolkien wrote, but I was hooked! I found that when I reread those books, I discovered new points to the plot that I had missed before. On my last rereading, about a year ago, I made sure to actually read the words to all the songs and poems that I had always skipped over when I was younger. You know that question that asks what book would you bring with you to a deserted island? My answer has always been The Lord of the Rings. (This may be cheating a little bit, since it’s actually three books, but that’s my final answer!)

What brings out your inner geek? Is it a television show or a movie? What book would you bring if you were stranded on a deserted island? Share your inner geek here!

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Bring Out the Inner Geek

Do you remember the T.V. show Freaks and Geeks? It always sounded like a good show to me, since I would have been able to relate to being a freak and/or a geek in high school, but by the time it was on T.V. I had been out of high school for a long time.

My friend A.J. Cattapan just admitted to being a Star Wars geek on her Facebook page, and so I’ll credit her with the idea for this prompt!

Not only that, but I just discovered that today is Embrace Your Geekness Day! And so embrace it we shall! What are you “geeky” about?

Share your inner geek with us on The Spin Cycle this week!

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