Archive for July, 2007

eric

Make Your Own Tofu

The folks from CoolHunting.com (cool site) have offered up this video on how to make your own tofu. The video is very well done and entertaining. I personally like my tofu a little firmer than this, but squeezing it out more in the cheesecloth and storing it in the fridge should firm it up. I know…you can run down the Trader Joe’s and pick up a pack for a couple of bucks, but why not try to make your own?

eric

Go Vegetarian To Save Money?

lettuce.jpg

I woke up this morning, powered on my computer and found today’s story staring right at me on the MSN homepage (I know, pretty boring of me to have MSN as my homepage, especially because I don’t use anything Microsoft on my home computer…but I like MSN!). It’s rare that this happens. This article from MSN money explores the financial benefits of adopting a vegetarian diet. Even if you adopt it one day a week!

The article explores how much cheaper vegetarian proteins are compared to meat.

Most of the staples of a vegetarian diet are cheap. In fact, most of the world’s people eat a mostly vegetarian diet made up of inexpensive commodities such as beans, rice and corn. If you drop red meat, poultry and fish from your diet, you’ll find plant proteins cheaper than the equivalent amount of animal protein.

Here are a few practical tips on how to save money with a vegetarian or mostly vegetarian diet:

  • If you include an occasional piece of flesh (of whatever kind) in your diet, try to limit yourself to four or five ounces, which is about the size of a deck of cards.
  • If you want to buy private life insurance, wait until you’ve been on a vegetarian diet long enough to improve your key health indicators (body mass index, cholesterol, etc.). It could save you thousands of dollars when an insurer reviews the results of your physical.
  • Buy vegetable protein in bulk. Dried beans, rice, oatmeal and other similar commodities last a long time if properly stored, and they are far cheaper in larger quantities.
  • If you get discouraged by the blandness of a vegetarian diet, buy cookbooks that explore Indian, Malaysian, Chinese or South American cuisines. Mixing novel spices and ingredients may perk up your taste buds and make the transition easier.
  • If you can’t afford or prefer not to buy organic produce, remember that most experts think the nutritional benefits of eating conventionally grown fruits and vegetables outweigh the possible negative effects of pesticide residues.

Read the whole article at MSN Money.

Also on MSN…Is a Vegetarian Diet Healthier?

eric

Compost Those Veggies

Composting your food scraps and yard clippings will produce less waste for the landfill and it also makes great garden soil. Yeah, yeah…”but what if I don’t need compost because I live in an apartment,” (like I do)? Well for one, you can start a small vegetable garden on your deck or window-sill or how about showing some love to the trees and plants in your area by giving them some extra nutrients?

For that “out of sight” compost bin, consider putting it under your kitchen sink. It won’t smell and it’s a convenient place to throw your food scraps (instead of down the disposal). These compost bins can range anywhere from a small Rubbermaid container to a large backyard corral.

Starting a bin is easy and you can find one fit into almost any space you have available. Check out this video for more information. Also, a quick search on a the net will provide some good resources on how to get started.

eric

Veg Product Guide

In the past I’ve featured some of my favorite meat substitues (great for the grill). Today, I discovered this excellent resource that gives alternatives to all kinds of products and food made from animals.  They even include pet food!

Vegan and Vegetarian Products Guide

meatcan.jpg

And the meat recall saga continues. The latest suspect is canned meat- that delicious concoction of parts you might not normally eat, sodium, preservatives, and most recently, botulism.

Castleberry’s Food Co., the culinary artists behind Hot Dog Chili Sauce, Barbecued Beef and Beef Stew in a can, has announced a voluntary recall involving 80 types of stew, chili, hash and other products after two confirmed and two potential botulism cases broke out in the U.S. in consumers having eaten the hot dog chili sauce products.

Symptoms of botulism include difficulty in walking and swallowing and impaired vision and speech. From there it leads to convulsions and paralysis of the respiratory muscles then suffocation and death. Sounds great to me….bring on the canned meat, swallowing is over rated anyway!

Oh, and by the way, watch out for your pets! The recall has been extended to cover four canned Natural Balance pet food products, co-packed by Castleberry’s.

Read (one of the many) full articles: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1645935,00.html

Link to Castleberry’s website: http://www.castleberrys.com/news_productrecall.asp

basf.JPG

This advertisement is ripped out of this week’s Newsweek magazine. Now, is it just me or is this ad just a little creepy? It shows an ear of corn and the company logo/slogan “BASF: The Chemical Company.” The ad proclaims that corn based ethanol is a viable fuel source (of course it’s not…). Corn based ethanol actually needs as much energy to create the fuel as the fuel produces when burned in automobiles. This is a net zero effect.

What’s really happening behind the scenes is that 33% of all government based farm subsidies go toward corn production. We have too much corn in this country, we don’t need to produce more quantity! BASF makes loads of money by increased corn production, from farmers that “farm the system” using government (tax payer) subsidies. They just so happen to also produce the ethanol on the other end. Pretty clever multi-tiered revenue streams. You see…it’s companies like BASF, Monsanto and others that make all the money in agriculture….not farmers.

From the company that brought you…

Ammonia

Bleaching agents

Formaldehyde

Fertilizer

Melamine (our Chinese friend)

Hydroxylamine compounds

Plasticizers

Industrial Coatings

Detergents and Formulators

Superabsorbents Industrial Applications

The list goes on…

They are now happy to introduce, “Food.” (and fuel), but don’t worry, there will be plenty of corn leftover for animal feed, high fructose corn syrup, mayonnaise, soda, apartame, sorbitol, MSG, xanthan gum, etc.

This chemical company creates the genetically modified corn seed, the fertilizers, the pesticides, the herbicides that are the building blocks of our industrial food system. It’s a closed loop, with most of the money coming full circle back to BASF and other chemical companies.

Our food system is one of the biggest lies being ‘fed’ to us today. Let’s get it together and let our government know that this is unacceptable and the system needs real reform! In September, Congress and the Senate will vote on a new food (farm) bill that will be in place for the next five years. We have an opportunity to have our voices heard on this.  The book “Food Fight” by Daniel Imhoff is a great read and resource on the Farm Bill for us regular citizens.

meat_is_murder.jpg

By now we all know that animal agriculture places an enormous strain on our planet. Between greenhouse gases, pollution, deforestion, soil erosion, cruelty, the list goes on…we have a very compelling reason to go vegetarian, even one day a week. Check out this statistic found by Akifumi Ogino of the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Tsukuba, Japan.

A kilogram of (…conventionally farmed…) beef is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution than driving for 3 hours while leaving all the lights on back home.

Now consider the impact of going vegetarian just one day a week. By making this simple change in the way you eat, over the course of a year you will save 15kg (35lbs) of meat. Based on Mr. Ogino’s research, that’s like driving a car for 45 hours and leaving all the lights on in your home at the same time…more time than a standard work week! This is a pretty easy thing to do and our planet (and every living being on it) will appreciate it.

A kilogram of beef is responsible for the equivalent of the amount of CO2 emitted by the average European car every 250 kilometres, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days.

On the days that you choose to eat meat, consider eating grass-fed beef. A 2003 Swedish study showed that organic beef, raised on grass rather than concentrated feed, emits 40 per cent less greenhouse gases and consumes 85 per cent less energy.

For more information, check out the NewScientist article.

eric

Update: Veggie Booty Recall

There is a bit of news on the Veggie Booty recall front. It seems that the “Veggie Seasoning” is the ingredient suspected to contain the salmonella that was discovered. Last month, Veggie Booty caused 61 food-bourne illnesses in 19 states.

Here’s my favorite part.

According to Robert’s American Gourmet, Inc., the makers of Veggie Booty, the Food and Drug Administration ’suggested’ that the company voluntarily pull Veggie Booty from shelves until it was determined what was causing individuals to fall ill

I bet you can’t guess where the “Veggie Seasoning” came from? *Hint* think pet food and toothpaste.

Now, we are not accepting food from China and they are not accepting food from us (yesterday’s story). This is a great way to keep things local, right!? Too bad it takes poisoning the food system to reduce the “food miles” for both countries. Ok, that may be oversimplified, but it’s nice to dream.

Here are a couple of links to the story.

steamed buns

China has decided to block some pig and chicken “products” from entering their country from the United States. This decision doesn’t boad well for the animal factory operators at Cargill and Tyson. China is a huge market for offloading “variety products” that we don’t eat here….such as pigs ears and chicken feet. Losing this market may cause a big blow to the U.S. Pork industry. But never fear, these dubious companies are not going to take this lying down. No sir! They may file a trade dispute to force China to resume purchasing products from them. Not only that, but back in May, President Bush ‘urged’ the Chinese leaders to accept our meat products. You’d better watch out China!

So, what’s all the fuss about? Well, China recently discovered that salmonella-contaminated chicken and other products with growth agents or other additives were being exported from the United States. Growth hormones, eh? Here is what some guy from Cargill had to say about that.

Cargill spokesman Mark Klein said one growth additive in question, ractopamine, was common in the U.S. pork industry and had been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “While it has not been approved for use in China, we understand that steps are underway to get those approvals,” he said in an e-mail message.

It’s good to see that they are taking steps to get these growth hormone approvals underway. I would hate to think that the U.S. wouldn’t be able to share our Salmonella-growth hormone tainted food “products” with the rest of the world. When it comes to things like this we are NOT a selfish country.

China may put plastic filler (melamine) in pet (and people) food and serve cardboard to unsuspecting passersby on the street….but they are not willing to accept some disgusting food from the United States. I guess even China has limits.

Eat It While You Can- because your great-grandchildren won’t. World water supplies are dwindling and that means the water intense animal based diet will eventually become a thing of the past. “It’s going to be almost impossible to feed future generations the kind of diet we have now in western Europe and North America.” (bbc)

Hate Thy Neighbor- If you are a Confined Animal Factory Operation (CAFO) owner and you move your operation to a new community, prepare yourself to be the most hated person in that community. “Can you imagine what it smells like when they burn a pile of rotting pigs for an afternoon or an entire day and night?” a nearby resident said. “The odor is just absurd.” (vernonbroadcaster)

Meats and Sweets = Breast Cancer- A study of Chinese women who adopted a more Western diet that included higher consumption of meat and sweets showed an increase in breast cancer. “The researchers found that overweight, postmenopausal women who ate a western-style diet had a greater than twofold increased risk of estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancers. There was no association between breast cancer risk and a vegetable-soy-fish diet.” (yahoo news)

Have You Hugged a Rat Today?- You should! Rats may be more caring and selfless than their reputation suggests. Or at least they can be very kind to each other, even to rats they have never met before. Ok, so this isn’t vegetarian or food related, but I found it interesting nonetheless. (nytimes)

Slap a Label On It- An overwhelming majoring of folks in the U.S. want to know more about thier food. In fact, 92 percent of Americans want to know which country produced the food they are buying. I hope this has a trickle down effect in create measurable standards for other food labeling initives (e.g. free-range, humane, sustainable), but after seeing what the USDA has done recently to undermine the ‘organic’ standards, I won’t be holding my breath. (msnbc)

Moo Cows Go Poo- I wanted to post this video on wannaveg, but it’s only available on MSN video. This is the PSA I mentioned that was shown at Live Earth last weekend. It encourages people to go vegetarian one day a week. It’s a bit on the gross side, but the message is fantastic! (msn video)

Sheepmower- No need for pesticides or herbicides in this vineyard….also no need for tractors. Some researches are training sheep to clean up vineyard weeds but stay off the grapes. “They don’t use gasoline and keep down weeds — a necessary task to deter pests and keep vines healthy — sans herbicides.” (msnbc)

Next »

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.

Sitemap | Posts