Sunday, August 31, 2008
Man: I'm gonna run out and get somethin' to eat. Want anything?
Woman: (sounding tired) I just went to bed, like, two hours ago...
Man: I'm going to McDonald's... (he says in a "tempting" voice)
Woman: Alright... (she concedes) Bring me some fries then.
Song: Do do doo do doo... I'm lovin' it.
Announcer: Open 'til one AM or later... feed your late night cravings...
Really? I mean, REALLY?? I guess I shouldn't be surprised since I've heard all the "Eat great, even late" Wendy's ads before. And I think Taco Bell actually made up a name for a fourth meal. AND McDonald's has those snack size sandwiches for mid-morning or mid-afternoon or watching sports or something.
Perhaps this isn't a new thing for McDonald's to encourage folks to wake up in the middle of the night and eat fries and I just haven't been awake after 11pm in a while? Or I've mastered the art of avoiding these silly marketing messages? Or I'm still subscribed to the marketing message that if I am up late and craving something it is because I am pregnant, hormonal, or going through a break-up and the clear fix is a pint of ice cream, likely something with a catchy name like Chunky Monkey? Or maybe I'm just old fashioned and still think late night cravings are a private moment of weakness - a rare guilty pleasure - as opposed to a nationwide nightly occurrence.
Friday, August 29, 2008
The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos Ranchers
4. Steak Tartare
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
10. Baba ghanoush
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
60. Carob chips
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
79. Lapsang souchong
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
90. Criollo chocolate
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
A study conducted by Aramark Higher Education Food Services revealed that college students utilizing the dining hall on campus waste 25 to 30 percent less food when trays aren't available. During last years drought, Georgia Tech went tray-less and estimates say they saved about 3000 gallons of water a day doing so.
So nationwide, colleges that want to go green are starting in their cafeterias. By eliminating trays, dining halls save 1/3 to 1/2 a gallon of water for each tray they don't have to wash.
Food service company, Sodexo, expects 230 of the 600 colleges they serve to eliminate trays from their dining halls. Do you think companies and fast-food restaurants will follow suit?
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The gym is working on ways to capture excess energy from the elliptical machines.
The facility itself is, of course, also green. Solar panels on top (generating over 3 Kilowatts per hour) and recycled rubber, marmoleum, and eco-friendly cork flooring. EnergyStar ceiling fans and compact fluorescent lights are member controlled. LCD televisions use less electricity than plasma screens. And in the locker room: double flush toilets, non-toxic soaps and cleaning supplies, paper towels and seat covers made from recycled content.
Locally owned and designed by Adam Boesel (generating electricity in the photo), the gym offers members a way to help themselves and help the environment without sacrificing any amenities. From the website:
"By generating electricity and conserving space and energy, The Green Microgym will be one of the only fitness facilities in the world running on its own power. We're starting a gym in Portland, Oregon that uses a combination of solar and human power and is just as comfortable and effective as any other gym."
For more info about this gym and their equipment, visit:
Not surprisingly, the equipment is pricey right now. Hopefully some big chains will integrate practices like these in the near future. I think I'd work a lot harder on the bike if I were contributing to something bigger than myself.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
There's a good amount of the meat mentioned in the article. I'm not a meat-eater myself, mainly for environmental reasons though, so I am pleased to read that this kind of interactive approach to that portion of a meal is catching on... like people are earning their share of meat instead of it arriving from who-knows-where, perfectly cut, seasoned and cooked on a plate. (Why do I have the feeling my sister and bro-in-law are going to make me regret typing that last sentence?? Meatatarians.)
Check out the article:
Dining & Wine
By MELENA RYZIK
Published: August 27, 2008
Nye started talking about the billions and billions of eggs that we consume, the chickens that they come from, and the overwhelming amount of nitrogen output by chickens kept in massive containment in order maximise egg production. While plenty of nitrogen can be great for soil quality, the run-off reeks havoc in nearby waters: creating dead zones. So what's the solution? When buying poultry products (chicken, eggs) you want to be sure they are from, or are, free range chickens. Purchasing from these massive output-focused establishments means supporting not only inhumane treatment of chickens, but also it worsens the growing problem of dead zones.
I understand the "Breakfast" episode also examines coffee. Paul Roberts gives a detailed explanation of the pitfalls of the coffee trade over the past few decades in his latest, The End of Food. This is huge topic that I hope to explore in depth in the future. For now, as with poultry, a good rule of thumb is to look for the word "free" as in "free trade" when purchasing coffee.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The study looked at the link between MSG use in home cooking and obesity in some three villages in southern China. I've never thought to use MSG in my own cooking but I found myself wondering a little more about it and thought I'd share.
Here is a little background about the "anti-appetite-suppressant" from MSGTruth.org. Check it out:
Why do food companies add MSG to foods?
There are several reasons:
MSG tricks your tongue into making you think a certain food is high in protein and thus nutritious. It is not a "meat tenderizer". It is not a "preservative". The food industry is trying to confuse the issue by focusing on the "fifth" taste sense they call umami. Free glutamic acid is detected by the taste buds as a simple way to signal the presence of protein in a food, just as there are fat receptors to detect fats and receptors that sense carbohydrate or sweet flavors. The purpose is to help us discern real food from inedible matter. It changes your perception of not simply taste but the nutritious qualities of what you put into your mouth. However, and here is the main problem with free glutamic acid - It is the very same neurotransmitter that your brain and many organs including your ears, eyes, nervous system and pancreas in your body use to initiate certain processes in your body.
MSG stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin. So many diets these days are concerned about the Glycemic Index of foods and yet none of them address the fact that MSG and free glutamic acid stimulate the pancreas to release insulin when there doesn't even have to be carbohydrates in the food for that insulin to act on. The food industry has found their own "anti-appetite suppressant". It's a convenient way to keep consumers coming back for more. The blood sugar drops because of the insulin flood. And you are hungry an hour later. Sound familiar? The body changes excess glutamate to GABA. GABA may be addictive. It is calming and affects the same receptors in the brain as valium.
Cost. The illusion created by adding MSG to a food product enables the food processor to add LESS real food. The illusion of more protein in a food allows the food producer to put LESS protein in it. The consumer perceives the product - say chicken soup - to have more chicken in it than is actually there.
As always, I am reminded of something Michael Pollan wrote. Something about the U.S. being a nation full of over-fed and under-nourished people. Excluding the Olson twins, of course.
If you want to try and avoid MSG, here are a few foods to steer clean of at restaurants: Chicken, Sausage, Ranch, Parmesan, Gravy, Dipping sauces, Soy sauce... for a comprehensive list check out http://www.msgtruth.org/avoid.htm
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The idea for the air extraction or "air capture" technology in these synthetic trees came to Lackner while working on his daughter, Claire, on her middle school science project.
Here is an excerpt from a fairly recent interview Lackner gave to Breakthrough Institute:
How did you first become interested in air capture technology?
My daughter Claire's school science fair project in 1999 helped me quantify a few things I had been wondering about air capture. She wanted to see if she could scrub carbon dioxide out of the air. So we went to the pet store, bought at aquarium pump, and bubbled air through a solution of calcium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide, and let it bubble all through the night. In the morning she poured acid in and measured the amount carbon dioxide that would come off. It turned out she'd collected about half the carbon dioxide that had passed through the pump.
From there, you went on to develop the first successful air capture prototype. Is this something that's ready to be commercialized?
We developed a pre-prototype that shows that all the pieces of this system work. Within two to four years it should be ready to be commercialized. The first time around it's always too expensive, but every time you do it, it gets a little cheaper. I think in the long term, the cost of capturing carbon dioxide from air will not be terribly different from conventional flue gas scrubbing, about $30 per ton of carbon dioxide, which corresponds to about 25 cents on the gallon.
Word on the street is that critics find it to be too labor intensive and costly, but if you ask me, you can't put a price on offsetting almost all of our carbon footprints. I hope Lackner and Claire keep working on it.
For more from Lackner, check out another interview with npr here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10621219#share
Saturday, August 23, 2008
In order for a plant to survive in nature it has to stand up to pests and protect itself. In order for a plant to survive an prosper in the US food market, it has to be palatable - sweet even. By over-fertilizing, creating monoculture farms and over-producing certain plants, over time we have diminished the nutritional value (antioxidants etc) by doing for spinach, lettuce, and many others, what weeds do for themselves, thus making the manufactured produce more susceptible to disease and leaving self-sustaining plants far richer in nutritional value than the mass produced, widely-shipped varieties we find at the grocer.
What I am getting at here, is that the nutritional value of the produce most Americans consume (i.e. not from local farms) is already low and this latest news about FDA approval for zapping produce with radiation in order to kill/manage dangerous micro-organisms like Salmonella and E. coli sounds like treating a symptom of a much larger problem. Not to mention, the process lowers nutritional value even more and, well, it sort of freaks me out.
Read about the irradiation of produce in the NY Times:
Health / Health Care Policy
F.D.A. Allows Irradiation of Some Produce
By GARDINER HARRIS
Published: August 22, 2008
The change in policy for fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce marks the first time the F.D.A. has allowed any produce to be irradiated at levels needed to protect against illness.
However, I should also point out that there are good arguments in favor of this irradiation. Check out here: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/22/tossed-food-is-also-lost-water/
Friday, August 22, 2008
Did you know that you shouldn't tease the jaws of a Venus flytrap beacause each jaw can only close a few times before dying? And the title fact about the jellyfish? And that most hoofed herbivores (from horses to giraffes) sleep standing up? Amazing facts here, folks. Amazing.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I wish I had gotten a better look to see if the tail had been absorbed yet but I will tell you this, he was small, slippery, and clearly breathing with his lungs. I am definitely looking for him tomorrow morning. So cute!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Read the article here: http://www.citypaper.com/news/story.asp?id=16177
It is a shame that CEO Zell has little grasp of the magnitude of journalistic expertise lost with the departure of Sun reporters Doug Donovan, John Woestendiek, John Fritze, Jonathan Bor and so many others. I remember Jonathan Bor's visible disappointment as I sat with him during Zell's visit. An analyst at The Sun took Jim Collins' book "Good To Great" to Zell after the meeting and asked if he had read it. If you haven't read it, the message of the book is that the worst strategy during a time of industry-wide struggle is to cut critical jobs (like journalists). Zell had the nerve to say, "Read it? I live by it."
In light of the changing economy of food and the growing percentage of overweight and obese children and adults in Asia, I feel like this pizza epitomizes the steady (and unfortunate) shift towards western eating habits in the Far East.
Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart Disease, what many call "western diseases" can't be far behind double roll, pepperoni/hot-dog-tots/hamburger/peas pizza. Yuck.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Internationally travelled photojournalist Justin Merriman has documented his firsthand experiences with some devastating events and shared insights and photos through his blog. Most recently, he documents the service and sadly the funeral of Sgt Ryan Baughmann, of Great Mills, MD, recently killed in Afghanistan.
Attempts to paraphrase Merriman or describe the photos fall short. While the posts center on Sgt Baughmann's life as a service member, the visceral images of the ceremony at Arlington and the out pour from the community remind us of the lives service members have outside of their uniforms and the incredible amount of courage it takes to put all that on the line for something bigger than one's self.
Visit the blog here: http://www.justinmerriman.blogspot.com/
Monday, August 18, 2008
Ebeling grew up making tea from herbs picked in his grandmother's backyard and is now the CEO of Eastern Isles Tea, his own organic tea company. $1.00 from each sale is put towards the companies $1 million dollar goal for the Eastern Isles Global Initiative, a huge donation towards global warming research. Ebeling strongly believes that partnering social change with business is a great way to raise awareness. And just saying... he is only 23 years old. He started his business in college. Love it!
To order the tea and learn about harvesting techniques and what makes these teas unique, visit http://www.easternisles.com/
I'm about to order the Penglai Darjeeling Organic: "Considered the champagne of teas, this Darjeeling is aromatic with sweet, fruity, muscatel notes. Enjoy each smooth, golden cup either hot or as a cool refresher."
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The little guy squeezed in when the feeder was less than half-full, ate too much (hence the chubby cheeks) and found himself trapped. In order to prevent having a chipmunk fatality on my conscience, I take care to keep the seed level above the highest possible chipmunk entryway. This was working just fine until an acrobatic squirrel entered the picture. As you can hopefully see (below) this little bugger is part possum, part Olympian. And while I admire his seed-stealing skill, he's shaking things up quite a bit and spilling all the seeds - which leads us right back to the chipmunk trap.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The NY Times reports:
"The main culprit, scientists say, is nitrogen-rich nutrients from crop fertilizers that spill into coastal waters by way of rivers and streams... Scientists attribute dead zones to a process that begins when nitrogen from agricultural runoff and sewage stimulates the growth of photosynthetic plankton on the surface of coastal waters. As the organisms decay and sink to the bottom, they are decomposed by microbes that consume large amounts of oxygen. As oxygen levels drop, most animals that live at the bottom cannot survive."
Apart from the marine life itself, the commercial fishing and shellfish industries are the hardest hit. Not only are these "dead zones" occurring in prime fishing zones (like Baltimore's own Chesapeake Bay), they are very hard to reverse. Population growth, changes in eating habits and of course industrialization - basically human activity - seem to blame. Just saying.
Please read Bina Venkataraman's more eloquent explanation here
Friday, August 15, 2008
By JAMES C. McKINLEY JR
Published: August 15, 2008
Beyond the debate about what to do with the elephant lies a larger struggle between zoos and animal rights groups who would rather see a world without elephant exhibits.
I said, over my reusable bottle filled with tap water, "You don't drink bottled water, do you?!" A spirited conversation about the luxury of living in an area with such clean tap water followed. But, if in a crunch, we both admitted to grabbing the occasional Evian or Dasani water from a vending machine, at an outdoor festival, or a convenience store. Ah... convenience... the root of all things eco-unfriendly.
So this morning I've consulted my practical guide to making eco-smart choices: Green Greener Greenest, by Lori Bongiorno.
Minimize consumption of bottles water. This will save you money too.
Always drink tap water at home (if you have access to clean municipal sources)(which I am pretty certain you do if you are online reading a blog).
Eliminate ALL bottled water. Purchase a reusable bottle and fill up from the tap or water fountain. If you are weary of the tap at work, think about lobbying to have a filtration system installed in your office.
My personal reusable bottle recommendation is definitely the Sigg. I know Nalgene has long been the leader in the industry and I still use one at work, but for travel or anything outdoors, the light-weight aluminum of the Sigg is unbeatable. Not to mention the fact that you have so many options as far as the cap/spout is concerned as well as design-wise.
Look for one at your local REI, Whole Foods or sporting goods store. If you want to personalize your Sigg, check out http://www.mysigg.com/
I'm proud to say that I fit somewhere between the Greener and Greenest line. Most of my friends and family do as well. Let's keep it up y'all!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
- Americans consume some 16 billion quarts of corn. That’s 54 quarts per man, woman, and child.
- There are two basic popcorn shapes: snowflake and mushroom. Snowflake is used in movie theaters and ballparks because it looks and pops bigger. Mushroom is used for candy confections because it doesn't crumble.
- If you made a trail of popcorn from New York City to Los Angeles, you would need more than 352,028,160 popped kernels.
- “Popability” is popcorn lingo that refers to the percentage of kernels that pop.
- Popcorn was used by the Native Americans not only as a staple in their diet, but for decoration. Sixteenth century Aztec Indians used popcorn in their ceremonies; young women danced a “popcorn dance” and wore garlands of popcorn in their hair.
- In 1945, an engineer named Percy Spencer accidentally discovered that microwave radio signals could be used to cook foods. His following experiments with popcorn led, in part, to the development of the microwave oven.
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda10 cups freshly popped popcorn
1 package (10 1/2 oz.) miniature marshmallows
2 cups mini graham cookies (teddy bears)
1 cup chocolate chips
Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in medium saucepan. Cook over high heat for 5 minutes; remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Combine popcorn and marshmallows in large bowl. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn to coat. Gently stir in graham cookies and chocolate chips. Spread mixture evenly into greased 15 x 10 inch pan. Let cool completely. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 20 pieces
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
In response to this growing appreciation of the problems of ploughing, Theodor Friedrich from the Food and Agriculture Organisation, is trying to champion a new style of farming called “conservation agriculture,” which revolves around a no-till system. There are three principles involved: minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations. But of course such an approach means that herbicides are needed to reduce weeds.
Read the rest of the column here: http://www.economist.com/daily/columns/greenview/displayStory.cfm?story_id=11911706
From the article:
"She favors what she terms a bioplan, reforesting cities and rural areas with trees according to the medicinal, environmental, nutritional, pesticidal and herbicidal properties she claims for them, which she calls ecofunctions.
Wafer ash, for example, could be used in organic farming, she said, planted in hedgerows to attract butterflies away from crops. Black walnut and honey locusts could be planted along roads to absorb pollutants, she said."
Read it here
While walking the dog this morning, I saw what appeared to be a young blade of grass flung up by a lawnmower and now stuck to dew on a black lamp post. Perhaps because it was at eye level, the grass clearly hadn't been mowed recently, and it was a brighter green than I would expect a severed blade to be, the bright green sliver caught my attention.
Then it moved.
Had it been a few feet closer to the earth, it would have gone completely unnoticed. Pretty clever disguise for the manicured landscapes of the suburbs if you ask me.
Too far away from home (i.e. the camera) and too much of a nature lover to pick the little guy up and remove him from his habitat, I returned home and searched entomology databases for "walking grass," because it seemed so similar to a "walking stick" bug. The closest image I could find is above (thanks to NicksSpiders.com/insects). So far, all I have deduced that the bug is of the order Exopterygota or Plasmida or both but that doesn't mean a whole lot to me.
Perhaps it is just a young "walking stick" bug and, like a new branch on a tree, it begins life this bright color? But the little creature I saw, and the one pictured above, both seem to have only four legs, where walking sticks have six. Not to mention, the mystery lamp post bug was less than half of the size of the one pictured above and no thicker than a blade of grass.
Can anyone identify this mystery bug?
Just received information from my brother-in-law, who has studied entomology, and he seems to have solved the mystery. Check out his response to my query:
"You were correct in thinking of a "Walking Stick" - at least that's my guess. I immediately thought of the order Phasmatodea (Walking Sticks). The only thing that worried me was your description of only having two pair of legs. One of the major characteristics of an insect being a true insect is having 3 pair of legs (i.e. 6 total). Then I remembered these little things tend to extend their front legs forwards sometimes and can be tricky to see. They can sometimes be confused for antennae. Let me know what you think. Happy hunting!"
Monday, August 11, 2008
Check it out here
He addresses the fact that genetic modification (GM for short) research is focused on "Western cash crops," corn and soy, instead of crops that are truly relevant to global food security. Also addressed: seed saving, the expense of the GM seeds and the technology required to develop them, the politics involved, and other global and public concerns.
Right now, Kohl's has solar panels on 43 stores and plans to add them to an additional 85 in the coming months. Macy's currently has 18 installed and 40 on the way. Wal-Mart is tesing the technology in 17 stores. Safeway and Whole Foods are also supporting these energy-saving initiatives.
From Stephanie Rosenbloom for NY Times:
"If Wal-Mart eventually covered the roofs of all its Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart locations with solar panels, figures from the company show that the resulting solar acreage would roughly equal the size of Manhattan, an island of 23 square miles."
Check it out here
Read the entire article here
Organic and Certified Organic
The term "organic" suggests that a botanical product was grown in an environment free of chemicals, fertilizer and pesticides. Chemical products are replaced by natural ones making the organic item bio-compatible with our bodies, more readily absorbed. The final product must be at least 95% organic in order for it to receive the Certified Organic stamp of approval. The Certified Organic label also assures that the producer passes regular inspections of their facilities, ingredients and practices as well as pays a fee for the certification. Some products will boast that they are "made with organic ingredients." This means that at least 70% of the material used is organic. The other 30% (or 5%) may or may not include additives and preservatives.
Now it gets complicated. Products labeled "natural" ensure that the final product is made solely from botanical resources without any use of additives or preservatives. We often see the term natural used in regards to meat and poultry. This means that the livestock was raised without the use of sub-therapeutic levels of antibiotics, growth stimulants, etc. The USDA says:
"...the term 'natural' may be applied only to products that contain no artificial ingredients, coloring ingredients, or chemical preservatives; and the product and its ingredients are not more than minimally processed. Minimally processed products that do not contain these types of ingredients, such as fresh meat and poultry, will automatically qualify for the use of the term 'natural' on product labeling."
Look for the certified organic seal of approval on produce and anything packaged. When it comes to meat, which it's my my understanding should be consumed sparingly, opt for natural or free range. For more information, look around on http://www.organic.org/
Friday, August 8, 2008
Mira Kamdar for Slate writes
"The farmers... realized they were caught in a vicious cycle requiring them to buy more fertilizer and more pesticides, to invest more money in getting water while they watched pests become even more voracious and their soil fertility decline. Seeds were also becoming more expensive. The farmers paid dearly for new hybrids that promised ever-greater yields. They paid even more for the new genetically engineered seeds whose very DNA was copyrighted, making it illegal for farmers to do what farmers have done since the dawn of agriculture: save seeds from one year to plant the next."
Dubbed "India's new nonviolent revolution," Punjabi farmers embracing natural farming techniques and attending Umendra Dutt's workshop are taking back land, health, and freedom. Kamdar writes about the workshop that educates farmers on natural and effective solutions to the two main hurdles in Punjab agriculture: water scarcity and pesticide poisoning. Keep your eye on this revolution folks.
Mira Kamdar for Slate writes:
"Punjab is a microcosm of the success and the failure of industrial agriculture in the developing world. There is no doubt that, with enough water and enough chemicals, privileging production above all else can boost yields dramatically. But the damage to the land and the people that make that production possible is profound. It is a model that is not sustainable, as a report published this spring by the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, a joint effort of the World Bank and various U.N. agencies, so strongly argued. Ultimately, it will fail. It is failing now, just as the world is desperate to find a way to feed a growing population in a time of climate uncertainty and resource scarcity.
After my trip to Punjab, I came to believe that Umendra Dutt is right: Farmers who switch to natural farming techniques are engaging in a truly revolutionary act. Instead of Bhagat Singh's pistol, they are wielding plowshares, with no less profound consequences for the future of India than the shaking off of British imperialism decades ago. India's new nonviolent revolution, against incredible odds, is in agriculture. It bears watching."
Read more from Kamdar here
Thursday, August 7, 2008
For some more information, check out Martha Rose Shulman's suggestions here for preparation and other helpful hints about "the new spinach."
*Orthorexia - From the greek "ortho" (right and correct) and "exia" (appetite) . American physician Steven Bratman first proposed the term in 1996 and while it is not yet an eating disorder recognized by DSM but, all of this according to Michael Pollan in In Defense of Food, an academic investigation is underway.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of the fast food industry (thanks to Fast Food Nation, among others), I'm just wondering if this is the best approach to help control the obesity epidemic or if the LA City Council members are a little high on protein and perfection.
Of course the bigger hope is, like in Concord, Massachusetts a few years back, that such restrictions will boost traffic and sales at local grocers, diminish truancy, decrease pollution and improve these communities but I guess, well, I can't help but picture Britney Spears chaining herself to the local Sonic (I know I know, "leave Britney alone"). What I am trying to say is, obesity is a symptom of a much larger problem: the industrialization of food gone wild. Another symptom on the opposite end of the spectrum: famine and starvation in other parts of the world.
Oh Lord... am I an orthorexic?
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Framing and Planet Friendly Resource Use At Metropolitan Gallery in Arlington, VA:
We now have eco-friendly picture frames, made from renewable-resource bamboo. This is a significant development since its use can reduce the pressure on rain-forest environments and South American, Phillipine and other de-forestation susceptible locales. Providing low carbon impact, these frames are finished in natural stains; (they are NOT available in gold or silver or other metallics which require use ot toxic metals and environmentally-unfriendly chemicals in their finishes).
We are trying to source recycled mat board material also, but our primary concern is preservation and safety of all materials used in our framing. Currrently our matting material is made either from purified wood-pulp materials or cotton fiber which is annually renewable. To achieve maximum safety and preservation we have selected proprietary-technology Artcare products made by Nielsen-Bainbridge Corp, a leader in museum preservation technology.
Artcare provides matting and mounting products that are the next generation in museum-quality conservation. They are so advanced, they redefine the field. For the first time in history, conservation framing has moved from the passive protection of the past— which, simply, does no harm—to the active protection of the future: Artcare proactively traps and neutralizes pollutants and acid by-products that damage’ artwork. The patented technology is engineered into the very fibers of Artcare products, and offers a level of conservation for treasured artwork beyond any other mounting or matting product.
Metropolitan Gallery/Claren Court Studio
Eric Jacobsen (Did I mention Metro sells awesome original oils?)
So what's the solution? Is there a convenient way to eat local and organic produce and meat? Well, when I talked to the extraordinarily eco-conscious Eli Halliwell, CEO of Jurilique - a cosmetic company using only natural ingredients grown on a biodynamic farm in Australia, he gave me some suggestions and insight into Coops, Farmers Markets and most of all: Sustainability. I did a little research and it turns out there is a pretty convenient way to locate and endorse an eco-friendly farm near you. It's as easy as... typing in your zip below:
I'm interested in everything and I find that the best way to learn is to research and study a subject so much that you are comfortable writing about it, and therefore teaching it to others. Right now, I'd say I'm just getting started. Here are some links to writing I've done so far: