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The Best of 2012: Food Renegade’s Year in Review

Food Renegade Best of 2012

As one day slips into another, it’s hard to remember that any individual day can mark milestones. But days are all about remembrance.

We use them to mark the monumental, to build a cairn in our mind’s eye. You remember the day you named your son, the first time you held your daughter in your arms, the moment your loved one journeyed from life into death. You celebrate anniversaries, holy days, and new years.

Tomorrow marks a new year. Before I begin it, I want to be properly thankful for what has passed. Thus, I am sharing with you The Best of 2012, a series of awards acknowledging this year’s milestones for Food Renegade. Hope you enjoy!


The Most Popular Post Published in 2012

The post that saw the most traffic this year (at 236,445 views) is the same post that saw the most traffic last year and the year before. So, to keep from repeating myself, and to be sure to highlight the best of this year, I opted to limit the scope of these winners to posts published in 2012.

Your Extra Virgin Olive Oil is FakeThis year’s most popular new post is Your Extra Virgin Olive Oil is Fake, weighing in at a hefty 76,540 views!

Turns out, according to numerous studies and a recently published book, that upwards of 70% of all extra-virgin olive oil sold in the U.S. is adulterated by mafia middle men on its way into the country. It’s cut with cheaper oils, then chemically-treated or dyed to so that it can mimic the flavor profile of real olive oil.

The Most Popular New Recipe of 2012

broccoli bitesAmassing a total of 37,985 views, the most viewed new recipe published in 2012 was this fabulous Broccoli Bites Recipe.

Broccoli bites double as a crowd-pleasing appetizer or a kid-friendly lunch. Really, they’re quite clever. Who doesn’t love broccoli surrounded by melted cheese? Broccoli bites serve up both broccoli and cheese, but packaged as a finger food! Paired with a maple-dijon dipping sauce, they quickly become a favorite.

The Most Controversial Post of 2012

biggest fermentation mistakesAfter the fermenting world worked itself into a tizzy about whether or not mason jar ferments are safe, one intrepid blogger decided to actually do a test and find out!

She summarized her results in a guest post here at Food Renegade called The 3 Biggest Fermenting Mistakes You’re Already Making. More than fourteen thousand readers saw that post, and many of them left challenging comments disbelieving the results.

Is a layer of olive oil over a vegetable ferment really safe? How can you say a used, upcycled salsa jar can be as air tight as an expensive Fido jar? Things got quite heated! But Lea was ever the patient guest-blogger, and she answered each and every question with a lot of grace.

The Post That I Wished More People Read

your honey isn't honeyThis post generated some great Facebook discussion and had a surprising number of readers. But I still wanted it to be more!

Titled Your Honey Isn’t Honey, it documents the laundering of fake and adulterated cheap Chinese honey through other countries before it arrives here in the U.S.

I feel like this post deserved at least as much attention as the olive oil post above. I’m not saying that the 26,623 views and 120 blog comments it garnered were shabby, just that I was surprised this story didn’t take off the same way. After all, doesn’t every body eat honey? (Maybe they don’t. LOL.)

The Post With A Recipe I Wish I’d Discovered Earlier

grain free apple pancake ringsIt’s not often that I’m wowed by my own recipes. I tend to take them for granted. But these Grain-Free Apple Pancake Rings completely stole the show as the new breakfast of choice in our home.

They’re genius! Who wouldn’t love thinly sliced apples dipped in pancake batter and pan fried? Serve them up like pancakes, but with a kick. Any pancake batter will do the trick, but I shared how I make mine using coconut flour.

The Post I Had The Most Fun Writing

president can seize control of food supplyI think it’s the part of me that likes to be ornery — the part of me that likes to walk in the run lane. I enjoyed writing this post on how the President Can Now Seize Control of All U.S. Food Production.

I know it’s not the most jolly of subjects, but it was a blast to get to toot my libertarian horn for once. I seldom, if ever, mention personal politics or religion on this site.

That’s because I’ve found I’ve got readers from every stripe! It’s always struck me as ironic that all my liberal readers think they’re the only ones who care about sustainable agriculture and real food, when really there’s a whole movement of conservative thinkers out there promoting it, too.

The Post I Expected To Be Controversial, But Wasn’t!

Is Pressure Coking HealthyI must confess that I spent days combing through academic journals trying to answer a simple question: Is Pressure Cooking Healthy? I followed that up by spending more than 12 hours writing the post. (To put this in perspective, I usually write a post in anywhere from one to three hours.)

Why did I give it so much thought? Because I was certain you’d all disagree with me! I was so sure that my friends in the traditional food community would attack me for my stance that I spent hours thinking of every conceivable argument against pressure cooking I’d ever heard discussed. Then I went and crafted counter arguments.

But you know what happened? A whole bunch of nothing! Out of the hundreds of comments about this post both on the blog and on Facebook, only a few were mildly critical. And no one — I mean positively no one — had any counter arguments.

I expected you to be up in arms against me, but instead you breathed a collective sigh of relief. You whipped out your shelved pressure cookers and started using them again. Or you begged your loved ones to buy you a pressure cooker for Christmas! It was great.

Thank you for being such a positive group of readers! You really ended my year on a happy note with all your affirmation and encouragement.

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.

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13 Responses to The Best of 2012: Food Renegade’s Year in Review
  1. Dawn @ peelingbacktheonionlayers.com
    December 31, 2012 | 10:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing these! I just shared the ferment post (how did I miss that one!!!) and remembered that I had that apple pancake recipe on my list of things to try. I don’t think anyone could have argued with the pressure cooker post. It was too well researched! Even I have taken the pressure out again. It is no longer banned from my kitchen!

    • KristenM
      December 31, 2012 | 11:02 pm

      Well, that’s quite the compliment! Thanks.

  2. Carol Guenzel
    December 31, 2012 | 10:39 pm

    I have enjoyed reading your posts. Thanks for some great input and recipes! Happy New Year!

    • KristenM
      December 31, 2012 | 11:01 pm

      Thank you! Happy New Year to you, too.

  3. Kelly @ The Nourishing Home
    January 1, 2013 | 12:47 am

    Thank you for being such a great resource to all of us who strive to live a real food lifestyle! Just wanted to take a minute to let you know that I truly appreciate all of the time and wisdom you share here! Lots of blessings to you and your family for a very Happy & Healthy New Year, Kelly

    • KristenM
      January 1, 2013 | 1:02 am

      Thank you! I’m wishing you and yours a Happy New Year as well.

  4. GiGi Eats Celebrities
    January 1, 2013 | 1:17 am

    This is so cool, I love looking back and seeing what worked and what didn’t, you learn from it :) I personally love your blog as a WHOLE and cannot single out just one thing! Happy New Year!

  5. sammi
    January 1, 2013 | 11:36 am

    Thank you so much for your blog. It is hands down my fave on the web. God Bless….

  6. warbaby
    January 1, 2013 | 11:52 am

    This is a great time out to come too. Your work is greatly appreciated. I have learned soooo much. Thanks for all your hard work. Have a blessed New Year.

  7. Shannon
    January 2, 2013 | 2:46 am

    Thanks to you and your blog, I now feel like I have a better understanding of what I need to do to be healthier. My husband and 14 year old son are also hooked on what you have to say. My son has become an avid label reader, and can often be heard saying in the grocery store “I’m not eating that, there are ingredients in that I can’t pronounce.” lol

  8. Amy
    January 4, 2013 | 4:50 pm

    Enjoyed this post! I have been following your blog for several years now. There are many, many food bloggers out there and I have subscribed to some but after a short time I unsubscribe. What keeps me reading Food Renegade time and again is that your articles are not sensationalized, your articles are always well researched, you are always down to earth, and you are kind to your readers. Also, I really appreciate that you respond when people ask questions in the comments. Keep up the good work!

    • KristenM
      January 4, 2013 | 4:56 pm

      Sweet! Thank you for the good words.

  9. Starre
    January 10, 2013 | 12:56 pm

    Yep I was really happy about the pressure cooker post. I want to make more bone broth and think this is the best way to cook it. Thanks for helping me dust off my beauty of a pressure cooker. Loved the fermented food post too. You are AWESOME

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.