Hey, did you know?

Did you know that you can recycle those plastic shopping bags? Even Walmart has places where you can bring in your plastic bags and recycle them.

Next time you go shopping, start a place in your kitchen where you can store the plastic bags. Once you get a bunch of them, tie them together in one bag and bring them to your local Walmart. There’ll be a green box near the entrance where you can just toss the bags in and recycle them.

Try it, you’ll feel good about it, I promise!!

r

March 27, 2009 at 9:43 am Leave a comment

Verterra – Plates made from fallen leaves

If you’re like me, you probably want to sustain the planet as much as possible and therefore want to limit all of the junk you toss in the garbage and consequently into landfills. I have one way that you can improve your waste footprint and help Mother Earth: Verterra.

It’s kinda fun to say and you know what, it’s fun to use, too! Verterra puts out a line of plates, bowls and trays that are formed using fallen leaves. The plates and bowls are reuseable as long as you rinse them by hand and are not constantly using the plates or bowls for liquids. Things like tomato sauce or intensly colored soups tend to stain the leaves. But guess what! When you can’t use them any more, you can just toss them in your compost pile! They’re biodegradable, of course, because they’re made of leaves. These plates and bowls are made with minimal processing, no bleach or any other chemicals to alter the state of the material. The leaves are pressed with steam to form them into the shape of bowls and plates.

I can’t wait to start using my Verterra plates and bowls. I know I’ll be ordering some of these. I’m just in love with the idea of eating off of a plate like this. I feel terrible when I’m at picnics and I have to use styrofoam or plastic plates that are going to end up in a landfill somewhere. I like the feeling that I can limit the trash that I produce and help this planet get back to the way it once was.

March 25, 2009 at 7:51 am 1 comment

Daily Juice – Cafe Review

If you live in Austin and you’re looking for a really neat place to enjoy a living foods meal, head over to Daily Juice, STAT!

My Hubs and I enjoyed a delicious smoothie as a multi-part date that we enjoyed last week. I was blown away by the place! I had no idea that there were places like this in Austin. I’m new to the city, having only moved here about 4 months ago. Before I moved in, I thought that it was going to be all rodeos and monters truck rallies. Turns out I was wrong. Dead wrong. Austin is one of the most hip places that I’ve ever had the pleasure of living. While Savannah is deep-fried and greasy, Austin is natural and delicious.

Daily Juice is a living foods cafe, which means that none of the food that you get will have been cooked or exceeded 190F in temperature. All of the cheese are made using sunflower sprouts, “bread” is not bread at all, as that would require baking, but instead made with Chia seed. They feature a plethora of wonderful and delectable smoothies as well as a menu of Kombucha. Head over to the site to check out nutritional info and directions.

Zach and I went to the cafe on Duval and 45th. They even have this really cool room where you can take off your shoes and enjoy your food while seated on pillows.

March 23, 2009 at 12:36 am Leave a comment

POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice —Yum!

A couple of weeks back I got an email from a very nice Janny Chou over at the POM Wonderful company. She mentioned Pomegranate juice. I was hooked. She offered to send me a sampling of the company’s product for me to try and enjoy. I jumped at the opporitunity and about 5 days later, I recieved this box of POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice.

hpim6958

I have to admit, I thought it might have been a scam. I was worried that instead of a box of POM, I’d get a box of anthrax. Turns out, you can actually trust some of the people that you encounter on the internet. Who knew! Well, needless to say, it only took me about 30 seconds to pop open one of the cute little bottles of POM juice and try a sip: What’s the verdict, you ask? I’ll tell you.

(image found at POMWonderful.com)

(image found at POMWonderful.com)

Well, the advertisers of this juice were spot on when they decided to call it “wonderful.” I will agree and give this product an A! Pomegranate juice, I believe, may be an acquired taste. When you first drink it, you get this sweet, intense flavor of the bright red fruit. After you swallow, you get the bitterness that I personally love. If you love the bitterness of straight-up grapefruit juice, you’ll LOVE this juice.

Here are some facts about POM Wonderful:

– It’s 100% Authentic – the only brand of Pomegranate juice that contains 100% authentic pomegranate juice! Funny– If you actually read the ingredients in the juices that you buy in the stores, you’ll find out that most of the juices that *seem* to be only one kind of juice are really a blend of apple juice, grape juice and pear juice mixed with traces of the flavor that the label says it contains. The POM Wonderful company also has complete control over the processing of the juice, so there are no unnecessary steps. They grow the fruit, pick it, juice it and bottle it in the bottles that they make on their own premises.
– Pomegranate Juice is PACKED with Antioxidants – One 8oz serving of POM is more Anti-oxidant potent than red wine, grape juice, acai juice, vitamin c, vitamin e and even blueberry juice!
– POM has been shown to improve cardiovascular health – With heart disease being the #1 killer of Americans, this is important! LDL (lousy cholesterol) has been shown to decrease, blood flow to the heart increases, arterial plaque buildup in patients with atherosclerosis has decreased in 30% of the test group and lastly, POM juice inhibited ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) by 36% after only two weeks of daily ingestion.
-The bottle is soo darned cute. I wanted to keep them and use them for everything… That is until my hubby brought out his trusty newspaper clipping detailing the fact that I shouldn’t re-use plastic one-time use bottles. Drat!

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POM also sent me some information on POMx pills. Taking one POMx pill is the equivalent of drinking an 8oz serving. That’s good news! For those of us who want to cut the calories of the juice (150 cals for 8 oz) out of our day, we can still enjoy the benefits of POM Wonderful by taking one of these pills each day.

For more info, please feel free to head over to the POM Wonderful homepage.

March 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm 3 comments

Weekly Roundup! 3.14

wprThe featured products are as follows, from left to right, top to bottom: Palmiers, Pithivier, Chaussons, Mille Feuille, Brie En Croute, Tarte Tatin, Lobster Newberg, Salmon En Croute, Band Aux Fruits

March 21, 2009 at 12:31 pm Leave a comment

Hidden Antibiotics

Ever wonder what really goes on at the factory farms where meat is processed. It’s gruesome and horrifying to even a meat-lover. For someone like me who’s hopelessly devoted to animal life, you can imagine what I would think. Quite a few times in the last week, I’ve felt sick to my stomach because of the things that I’ve learned about Factory Farming. I’ve been reading this book called “Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm” it highlights the treatment of the animals in the farms from birth to slaughter and details the wonderful practices that we’ve developed to produce mass quantities of meat for Americans to consume daily. Needless to say, I’m more glad than ever that I don’t eat meat.

Some of those around me have been asking why the heck I’m reading this book that makes my skin crawl and my stomach turn. Well, I’d like to know the truth, even if it truth is terrible. I’d rather really know what’s going on and be well-informed about the food that I am (or am not) eating. I think that everyone should know where their food comes from. Food sustains you, feeds you, pleases you, de-stresses you. Food is an essential part of ALL of our lives. Not a single person in this world can live without it and most couldn’t imagine a world without the foods that they enjoy day to day.

So why shouldn’t you know what happens to that food from conception to the time it touches your plate? I want to know the ingredients in things that I eat. I choose foods based on the ingredients that they have in them; my cereal only has whole wheat in it, as does my bread.  I choose produce that is fresh and beautiful and ripe. I drink juices that are wholesome and do not contain any funny ingredients… But for some foods, there is no ingredient list. In beef, we assume that what we’re getting is PURE beef. Chicken and pork, too. We assume that when we eat it, we’re being given the pure chicken/steer/pig and not anything funny.

Ethics aside, people who are concerned with what goes in their mouths, should really pay attention to the things that go into these animals before they eat them. This is just another reason that I’m glad that I don’t ingest these animals.

We live in homes that are uncluttered, with enough room to sleep and eat and relax comfortably. Animals in factory farm settings are not relaxed. They are packed into cages, most of the time without room to move one step forward or backwards. Sometimes they cannot sit. Most of the time, there isn’t enough room for them to remain clean in their cages, so they are forced to eat, sleep and defecate in the same small space.  Sounds like a dirty lifestyle, right?

Now try to remember how many antibiotics you’ve taken in your life. As a child, we take many medicines to help rid us of sickness. Us, the comfortable humans in clean homes. We now face the problem of having taken so many antibiotics that the sicknesses that we catch are growing tolerant of the antibiotics that we take. Now, try to imagine how sick these farm animals get. Now, the amount of antibiotics that they might receive as a result of being constantly bombarded by other animals and unable to separate their living space from their foul, excrement ridden space. How many antibiotic do you think that they might receive if we only treated them for every sickness that manifested.

Farmers are inclined, however, to inject these animals full of antibiotics as a preventative measure, to try and keep the animals from becoming sick. In order to do this, they have to inject these animals with quite a bit of medicine, constantly and sometimes multiple antibiotics to combat illnesses that have developed tolerance to the primary medicine or may not by affected by it naturally.

When you eat that animal, you’re eating all those delicious antibiotics that have been constantly injected into these animals. It might not sound so bad, right? You’re getting medicine from eating chicken  Tastes a whole lot better than the liquid stuff… but think of this. They pump these animals full of antibiotics, sometimes just enough to keep them looking healthy before they’re sent to slaughter. Not only are you eating all those antibiotics, you’re also eating all the illnesses in the animals that are still present because they’ve become tolerant of the antibiotics overused in these farms. When you contract this illness, it’s already tolerant to treatments, and so the antibiotics that your doctor might give you prove to be ineffective. Still think it sounds delicious?

And there’s your food for thought. Yum.

r

March 16, 2009 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

Why is honey not vegan-friendly?

My husband asked me that exact question lastnight. I told him that I would find out.

Yes,yes, I know that honey is an animal product but I simply couldn’t get it through my head that honey wasn’t cruelty-free. I mean, how could these honey bees be harmed in the making of honey? How could we harm such small creatures?
 
First let’s talk about Bees. Most people argue that a honeybee is not intelligent, therefore, it’s okay to take the honey from them. Well, if intelligence was what denoted whether we should eat something or not, quite a few humans would have a problem on their hands. Honeybees are, in some ways, intelligent. When trying to find the perfect place to gather nectar from flowers, a couple of bees will scout out an area and then come back to the hive. The bees that came from the places that had a good amount of nectar would be well recieved, while those who came back from a place without nectar would not. The bees would then follow the bee that had been in the nectar-rich area and all benefit from his findings. So, in some way, they communicate and understand one another.
 
And what exactly is honey? Well, honey is created by honeybees eating, partially digesting and then regurgitating nectar from flowers. Each time they do this (about 50 times for fully developed honey) they sweeten the nectar by breaking down the sugars into more simpler forms and then spreading it around the hive, allowing the heat from sunlight to evaporate the water. Now, just thinking about honey is making me sick to my stomach. I feel like I’m eating sweetened bee spit.
 
How are these honeybees treated, you ask? Interesting that you should ask that! When I thought of honey farming before today, I thought of a couple bee hives off in the distance from a home, a gentle hum of honeybees and the smell of honey radiating from it. Then I thought about all of those bottles of honey in the stores I go to. Woah, how the heck do they get all that honey from those few, well-tended bee hives?! And the answer is: they don’t. Honeybees are farms exactly like other factory farm animals. They’re placed in tight confinement with thousands of other bees, sedated when needs be, seperated from the hive when needs be and most terrible of all, the queen bee, the mother of all the other bees, is killed off in order to assert control over the hive. How wonderful…
 
Still feel like eating honey? I know!! It’s just so darned sweet and delicious. And they’re just *REALLY* *REALLY* small animals. Ehh… I can’t live with that. I vowed not to harm any animals, and if eating honey is promoting the pain of the honeybees (even if I’m allergic to them) then I dont know if I can continue to enjoy it as I always have.
 
r

March 11, 2009 at 12:00 am 26 comments

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