Thursday, April 30, 2009
CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt began slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country Wednesday as a precautionary measure against the spread of swine flu even though no cases have been reported here yet, the Health Ministry said. The move immediately provoked resistance from pig farmers. At one large pig farming center just north of Cairo, farmers refused to cooperate with Health Ministry workers who came to slaughter the animals and the workers left without carrying out the government order. “It has been decided to immediately start slaughtering all the pigs in Egypt using the full capacity of the country’s slaughterhouses,” Health Minister Hatem el-Gabaly told reporters after a Cabinet meeting with President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt’s overwhelmingly Muslim population does not eat pork due to religious restrictions. But the animals are raised and consumed by the Christian minority, which some estimates put at 10 percent of the population.Health Ministry spokesman Abdel Rahman estimated there were between 300,000-350,000 pigs in Egypt. All major news outlets are reporting that it is ok to eat pork and that the virus is not spread through eating pork.
Natural solutions to everyday quandaries + Cleaning = Two of my favorite things!
Who knew baking soda could remove those stubborn tea stains?
1 or 2 green vegetables
Extra virgin olive oil
Rice (or another grain)
Other options: Canned tuna, Firm tofu, Dijon mustard, Plain organic yogurt, Good whole grain bread, Corn tortillas, Nuts (such as walnuts and almonds), Fruit: berries, bananas, citrus, apples
Anything you would add? I'd say some frozen veggies, raisins, dried fruit, and granola. There are lots of other great suggestions in the reader comments too.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
"...people should eat a hamburger only once or twice a week instead of every day, a small steak once a week instead of every other day, and a hot dog every month and a half instead of once a week... Anyone who worries about global well-being has yet another reason to consume less red meat. Dr. Popkin said that a reduced dependence on livestock for food could help to save the planet from the ravaging effects of environmental pollution, global warming and the depletion of potable water... “In the United States,” Dr. Popkin wrote, “livestock production accounts for 55 percent of the erosion process, 37 percent of pesticides applied, 50 percent of antibiotics consumed, and a third of total discharge of nitrogen and phosphorus to surface water.”
Learn more here and here.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Today's forecast: High of 92 degrees Fahrenheit. If we reach it, that would be a record high, according to marylandweather.com. What is the "normal" high, you ask? 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Just saying.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
1.) Go vegetarian - even if only just for today.
2.) Become a member of the Arbor Day Foundation, receive ten trees, and plant 'em!
3.) Support emissions reduction initiatives with a donation to offset your carbon footprint.
4.) Help an endangered species. Two of my faves: AmphibianArk.org and WWF Adoption/Gift Center.
5.) And an oldie but goodie: If you see a piece of litter, pick it up.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
*Note to Mom: The Onion is a "fake news" organization. They aren't really suggesting that we use an innocent canary to detect carbon monoxide in the basement. Just saying. Read all about it on their wikipedia page.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
As for the "gas guzzler," well, let's just say I'm looking to trade it in.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Jennifer Lee, for the NY Times' City Room, offers a great overview of the latest research and talks to leading researchers involved with the Growing Up Healthy in East Harlem" study in her latest post:
...The chemicals in question are called phthalates, which are used to to make plastics pliable and in personal care products. Phthalates, which are absorbed into the body, are a type of endocrine disruptor — chemicals that affect glands and hormones that regulate many bodily functions. They have raised concerns as possible carcinogens for more than a decade, but attention over their role in obesity is relatively recent...
...The findings may presage a new approach to thinking about obesity — drawing environmental factors into a central part of the equation. “Most people think childhood obesity is an imbalance between how much they eat and how much they play,” Dr. Landrigan said. But he thinks the impact of endocrine disruptors on obesity could be more significant than many people believe. “Most people think it’s marginal,” he said, paling in comparison with diet and exercise...
These phthalates are EVERYWHERE, folks. From vinyl siding to perfume. Ugh.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The Rodenator. Very, very bad news for squirrels. Especially in Spokane, Washington. This machine pumps propane and oxygen into tunnels used by burrowing animals and then sends an electric spark AND THE TUNNEL AND ANY CREATURES INSIDE IT EXPLODE.
"The shock waves kill the squirrels and collapse their tunnels - but in a humane way."
"There's nowhere to run... and nowhere to hide from the Rodenator Pro."
Oh. My. God.
While realtors and home builders aren't thrilled about the bill, environmentalists certainly are. The best news is that the state even has about $18 million in grants to aid voluntary septic upgrades.
Next on the agenda: farm fertilizer and sewage treatment plants.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Sun and rain produce the best land-lubber crops, but for seaweed foraging, the intense storms and high winds of April offer the greatest bounty: seaweed varieties in the spring are especially tender and flavorful. Search any exposed shoreline after a particularly high tide or a stout gale. Recently detached seaweed will be strewn across the sand.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Pretty cool, if you ask me.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
"You take these bats away, there are a lot of unknowns," Kunz said. "What are these insects going to do that aren't being eaten? They can cause serious damage to crops, gardens and forests, further upsetting both the natural and human-altered ecosystems."
In one study of eight Texas counties, Kunz said, researchers found that if bats disappeared, farmers would have to spend as much as $1.2 million more on pesticides each year. That means more-expensive food, more chemicals in the food supply and the environment, and who knows what other cascading effects on the animals that depend on bats as a source of food or their guano for nutrition. "Eventually, there's a threshold that's going to be reached," Kunz said. "That's not going to recover."
Friday, April 10, 2009
The co-authors propose that taxing beverages containing HFCS and sugar, i.e. increasing the cost of these drinks, will decrease the demand for and the consumption of them, which encourages consumers to switch to more healthful beverages and reduce caloric intake.
I think I'm on board with this. Why shouldn't the government step in? But then again, I don't drink soda. If folks start blaming Peanut MnMs... well... that's another story.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Raising Kids & Tomatoes, published back in 1998 by The Baltimore Sun, is a collection of columnist Rob Kasper's musings about food and family. It's delightfully sprinkled with recipes, food-lore, and all things Maryland (think crab cakes and ducks). Most stories/columns are less than three pages long so it is an easy book to explore at your leisure.
And although I am not a beer drinker, if you are, I highly recommend stopping by Rob's blog, Kasper on Tap.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
It took a few samples before I discovered the legend on the back of the package and I'm not sure what's worse, eating a yellowish jelly bean thinking it will have some hint of lemon but instead tasting butter and salt? or knowing from the start that you are about to eat a gummy ball of HFCS that somehow tastes like buttered popcorn? Possibly one of the creepiest sensations I've ever experienced. But then again, I haven't tried peanut butter or jalapeno. I would love to meet the folks who participated in those focus groups.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The pier in St. Mary's County Maryland upon which I enjoyed early morning yoga, late evening sunsets, a fun photo shoot with family members near and dear to me, and an absolutely priceless sense of peace.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
**UPDATE** I stand corrected. This little fellow is actually a Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta). See comments for more details. Thnx, filatore.