Slinks

WebMD has a list of the 15 Best Diet Tips Ever. I thought they were right on the money.

Cate found this resource through the Ideal Bite Newsletter which reports on the safety of popular health and beauty items. I haven’t had a chance to peruse it yet, and frankly, I’m a little scared of what I might find! Yikes!

The Good Human talks about 10 tips to keep a healthy home. Also check out David’s series about spring cleaning the eco way.

And Treehugger has a good list of resources for growing your own food.

Speaking of which, our little garden is plugging along. We got a new digital camera this weekend, so I will post some photos soon!

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Newsy Bits

Some noteworthy news items from Cate and the NY Times:

  • Farmers to Plant Largest Amount of Corn Since ’44 “Growers intend to plant more than 90 million acres in an effort to meet demands for ethanol, food and feed.”
  • Cuba: Castro Criticizes U.S. Biofuel Policysaid that if the United States and other wealthy nations decided to import huge amounts of traditional crops like corn from poorer countries to help meet their energy needs, ‘you will see how many people among the hungry masses of our planet will no longer consume corn.’”

I’m feeling a little weird that I agree with Castro on this issue…

Eat (Local) Food

100-Mile Diet

The 100-Mile Diet is simple. It’s a living experiment in local eating that will reconnect you with your food, your local farmers, the seasons, and the landscape you live in.

After all the great talk yesterday about the benefits of local versus just organic, I thought today would be a good time to post some of the resources I’ve been collecting on eating locally.

Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon decided to try an experiment: they would eat nothing that was not grown within a 100 mile radius of their home in Vancouver. For a whole year.

From those humble beginnings, a grass roots movement has sprung. The creators have written a book and started a very cool website that looks to have lots of nice features once completed including a section on local resources.

While a strict 100 mile diet might not be for everyone (Do they grow sugar cane in your neck of the woods? Coffee? Chocolate?), the idea is sound, and the 100 Mile Diet website lists 13 reasons to eat locally––my favorite being, “A friend of ours has a theory that a night spent making jam–or in his case, perogies–with friends will always be better a time than the latest Hollywood blockbuster. We’re convinced.” (And the one about food and sex.)

Slow Food

Complimentary in nature, the Slow Food movement has been around for years, espousing simply good, clean, fair food. The movement has chapters all over the world linked through their extensive website. I found out that Slow Food Boulder holds events, hosts a foodie book club, and provides a list of local vendors who support the Slow Food agenda.

Other Resources

If you have local food resources I haven’t mentioned, I’d love to hear about them!

Faux Foods

This a great article about processed food from one of my new favorite websites/magazines, eatingwell.com:

“People are so used to foods lasting forever,” says Slavin. “I think from a consumer standpoint, for people to say, ‘Well, I don’t want processed foods,’ they’re going to have to learn how to cook, be willing to shop regularly, learn how to store foods. It’s going to be this huge paradigm shift before we can get away from the processing that everybody is used to. As long as convenience is such a leading force in people’s lives, processed foods have to be there. People expect it, they want it. Are they willing to put more time and more money into less-processed foods? It’s a big decision.”

“Local Is the New Organic”

Wow, I’m gone for a few days and the world of organics explodes into controversy over this Time Magazine article about the benefits of local versus organic foods:

Nearly a quarter of American shoppers now buy organic products once a week, up from 17% in 2000. But for food purists, “local” is the new “organic,” the new ideal that promises healthier bodies and a healthier planet.

Read the article? Have an opinion? Which is better, the organic apple trucked in from across the country, or the conventional apple grown in your own state?

little bits of green

Hi all – I’m Lacy’s friend, Cate, the minx who sent her a copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma in order to have some company, raging at the world. A couple of weeks ago, Lacy and I had the following conversation:

Lacy: You should guest blog!
Cate: . . . about what?
Lacy: I dunno! . . . stuff!
Cate: . . . uh . . . .

And here I am!

Since I, like Lacy, am trying to go green(er) and to think more constructively about what I eat, I thought I’d keep a photo log of little things I’ve been doing to be more green:

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Green Thing #1: Supplies! I bought green supplies at the store this morning – washable dishcloths so that I can stop using paper towels, and clothes pegs so that I can hang my laundry outside. Today was the first warm day we’ve had in forever in my corner of the midwest, so I was crazy excited to hang laundry. I know, I know, the things that amuse . . .

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Green Thing #2: Biodegradable laundry detergent. Not only are there fewer bad chemicals in Method products, the detergent is concentrated, so this one bottle has lasted me three months. It’s still going strong. (Please ignore the fact that my washer is in the basement and apparently quite mucky when exposed to the light of my camera’s flash. *scrubs with all new dishcloth*)

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Green Thing #3: Air-dried laundry! As a kid I loved the smell of sheets dried in the open air, but then I grew up and discovered dryers and thought they were the greatest invention known to humankind. Now I’ve come full circle, with my washing line, my cooperative midwestern spring, and my brand new clothes pegs.

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Green Thing #4: Organic, unprocessed food, like this tasty pear and handful of walnuts . . .

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. . . eaten with plain, unsweetened yogurt. By eating organic I avoid supporting the pollution of the environment with fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, and by eating unprocessed food, I avoid supporting industry that uses massive amounts of fossil fuel to make my snack food of choice.

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For the same reasons, I’ve taken to making a lot more of my own food. These are the raw ingredients for the muffin of the day – apple raisin. I’m slowly replacing my old groceries with organic versions, and I’m nearly all the way there – only the butter and raisins aren’t organic in this set up. Wanna see me make muffins?

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Here are all my ingredients, ready to be mixed up into:

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. . . this. Yeah, it looks a little suspect, huh? But! . . .

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. . . in the muffin cups it looks far tastier.

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And they’re tastier still when they come out of the oven. These whole twelve muffins only use 1 cup of sugar and 1 stick of butter. Compare that to how much fat and sugar you’ll find in the muffins at a chain coffeeshop – these are WAY better.

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And the last Green Thing of the Day: refilling water bottles. I used to buy water bottles by the crate (quite literally) but then realized I was being horrible wasteful, even when I recycled. So now, I refill one of my old bottles with water that’s gone through my Brita filter. Less wasteful, and a lot cheaper than buying bottles at the store.

Did You Know?

Some grocery stores offer incentives for bringing your own bags.  Trader Joe’s will give you a raffle ticket towards free groceries every time you bring your own bags.  Whole Foods will knock 25 cents off your grocery bill for each bag you bring, and Wild Oats will either give you five cents back per bag, or the equivalent in wooden nickles that you can then place in receptacles to donate that amount to the charity of your choice.

All good reasons to make your answer to the age-old question, “Paper or plastic?” “Neither!”