28 April 2013

Weekend Update

Friday Night :: Origami
Japanese Brocade

Saturday Morning and Afternoon :: Earth Fair
Super fun artwork!

Saturday Night :: Vegan Cooking Adventure
Vegan (organic) Dinner

Sunday Morning :: Origami
Productive Meditation

I've spent the rest of the day doing chores. Boooring.

Listening to: The Intelligence - Little Town Flirt

25 April 2013

Ingredients ≠ Warnings

I'm amazed at how much of an interest I've taken in food, growing food, the chemicals in our Frankenfoods and trying to understand what I'm eating and what's happening inside me when I eat and drink things. I've strayed far from my junketarian roots. I highly recommend listening to Radiolab's Guts. And reading Twinkie, Deconstructed. I'll admit that book is difficult to read cover to cover, but it's worth it to pick up a copy at your library and peruse its contents. Or just click on one of the many links I've provided (those links are the very reason why you aren't going to visit your library. Hmpf).

Tonight as I perused the web from my phone, I came across a few more things I need to eliminate from my diet, 13 Banned Foods Still Allowed in the US. It always freaks me out to read what the US embraces as food but other countries outlaw.

The 13 Ingredients?

(It is advisable to clink the link above and read the full article.)

No, no, no. I mean, yes, one of those ingredients are on the list, but the photo is totally unrelated to this article. I took it a few days ago while on a recon mission for Kelly. And seriously, how did Ammonium Sulfate not make the cut? Among other things.

Before you read the list, take out a piece of paper and write down a few of the ingredients you've never heard of. Research one of those. And by research, I mean: Go to google.com and type in or copy/paste the ingredient you'd like to investigate. Click at least one link on the first page of the search results. Skim the article.

1-4. Coloring Agents (Blue 1, Blue 2, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6)
Found In: Cake, candy, macaroni and cheese, medicines, sport drinks, soda, pet food, and cheese

5.  Olestra (a.k.a. Olean)
Found In: Fat-free potato chips

6.  Brominated Vegetable Oil (a.k.a. BVO)
Found In: Sports drinks and citrus-flavored sodas

7. Potassium Bromate (a.k.a. Brominated Flour)
Found In: Rolls, wraps, flatbread, bread crumbs, and bagel chips

8. Azodicarbonamide
Found In: Breads, frozen dinners, boxed pasta mixes, and packaged baked goods

9-10. BHA, BHT
Found In: Cereal, nut mixes, gum, butter, meat, dehydrated potatoes, and beer

11-12. Synthetic Hormones (rBGH and rBST
Found In: Milk and dairy products

13. Arsenic
Found In: Poultry

Listening to: Arrested Development ... amping up for 26 May

20 April 2013

Surprise! We're on the air in four minutes

Jodi invited me to Recycled Records to shop for Record Store Day. Sounded fun, so we met up before 3 and when I said, "I think I'm ready to take off," she looked so sad and asked, "You aren't going to get on the air with me?" I had no idea she was asking me down there to cohost a Rock N Roll Armageddon show!

Uuuuhhh. Tune into 88.3.

The equipment was all wonky and there was an eight-second delay and every time someone went in or out of the building the transmission got all jacked up and part of our instructions nonchalantly included, "if you touch this cabinet and the doorway at the same time, you'll get quite a jolt." Noted.

But the chaos was a lot of fun and I especially liked that we had to share a microphone so we were close-talking between songs. And W00t! Pangea is going to be at the Firebird with Detroit Cobras at the end of next month!

Listening to: Pangea - Night of the Living Dummy

15 April 2013

Share and Share Alike

If I understand the privacy settings correctly, all of my flickr photos are okay for anyone to use as long as they link back to me. It makes me happy to find they're useful to others, even if the caption above one of my photos says "Monkey Do." Yep. Others are "Sleek and Smart" or "Retro Hair" or even "Messy Side Ponytail" ... mine is called the "Monkey Do."

I was surprised my broken heart found its way onto a page dedicated to helping children after divorce. And I get a few visitors from a page about WyoTech, but I could never really find exactly where the link was coming from.

But the most awesome of all was finding it used for an article, GMOs: An Unexpected Dinner Guest. Specifically, it provides a backdrop for tips on avoiding GMOs.

I took this picture on an Amtrak ride from Chicago back to Springfield two days after my 34th birthday. I grew up very near a major rail yard and a train's engine is rather large; those silos dwarf the train.

The amount of corn in today's silos boggles my mind.

These things.

All the more reason to grow my own foods.

Seeds started

05 April 2013

Why buy organic?

The search box on Answers.com prompted me with "Ask us anything," so I entered Organic Produce. The first two sentences of the first article I clicked on drove me into such a fit that I am actually typing a blog post.

Why Buy Organic Produce? begins with
Long ago, the organic produce section of the grocery store used to be a small space tucked into the corner of the store that went barely noticed by mainstream grocery shoppers. Things have changed and now the organic section of the grocery store takes up a considerable amount of floor space.
I think it would be better to say 

Up until the 1940s, all produce was organic. 

Things changed after World War II.

Food Fantasies

This page sums it up best:

When World War II started, the government constructed 10 new plants to produce ammonia for munitions. .... When the nitrogen was no longer needed for bombs, what were they going to do with all this capacity? The answer was, use the nitrogen-rich ammonia for fertilizing the nation's crops. 
Seriously, take a moment to read the full text from which the above quote was taken. The type of fertilizers referred to are not good old-fashioned manure, but instead "chemically synthesized inorganic fertilizers" - originally intended to be ammunition. World War II also triggered the widespread use of pesticides. Yes, these technologies were in the works long before WWII, but the war was the catalyst for our agricultural system to rapidly become an agrochemical system.

In any case, so much of our food is sprayed with intensely toxic chemicals (and sometimes genetically engineered to survive these chemical baths while everything else around it dies), that it's hard to find something to eat that hasn't been poisoned or genetically modified.
So we label those foods as organic. 

Back to the original question, "Why buy organic produce?" 

It doesn't seem like a good idea, to me, to eat a food that was sprayed with, say, an organophosphate pesticide. Explained by the US Environmental Protection Agency,
These pesticides affect the nervous system by disrupting the enzyme that regulates acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. Most organophosphates are insecticides. ....their effects on insects, are similar to their effects on humans.... they were used in World War II as nerve agents.
I probably don't need to ingest that stuff.

But if you're not convinced, you can read more about organophosphates via Pesticide Action Network, keeping in mind that this is merely one type of chemical sprayed on our food. (PAN has a great Pesticides 101 info page.) The more I read about our food supply, the more motivated I am to buy organic and grow my own food.
Oh, and we should probably label GMO foods as well.

I'm sure it's no coincidence these former military bunkers are next to a #monsanto. I believe ammunition was manufactured here during WWII. #Monsanto. So odd to me they transformed their business into chemical-industrialized-agriculture.

I'm sure it's no coincidence these former military bunkers are next to a Monsanto. 
Ammunition was manufactured here during WWII.

Listening to: Crass - So What
I'm just a person, a human being.
You're a part our machine because we want you to be.
We've got you now and you'll never be free.


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