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Archive for February, 2014

Photo: The “fruits” (and vegetables) of Community Supported Agriculture

Photo: Community participation on a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm

Photo: CSA members share in harvests
ALL Photos provided by Plan B Organic Farms.

Buy local, direct from farms–and farmers? That’s what environmentalists recommend. The ‘why’ is obvious–fewer trips to grocery stores means fewer carbon emissions, reduced shipping costs, and a smaller carbon footprint.

‘How’ comes with a plan: BUYING the farm! Not the WHOLE farm, of course–just shares in the harvest, shares in local farmers’ crops. The plan is called Community Supported Agriculture, and more and more people worldwide are investing in just that.

For roughly $500 a season, you can have your very own farmer provide fruits and vegetables, Summer and Fall, for your family. You can do this by buying shares in a Community Supported Agriculture program, or CSA.

For $500–$600 paid to a local farmer, a family can receive ONE box/week of fruits and vegetables throughout Summer and Fall. Typically ONE box will feed three or four people for a week. For individuals or couples some farms offer half-shares, and of course, half as many vegetables and fruits per week.

Membership in Community Supported Agriculture is worldwide–and growing.  For Canadian Community Supported Agriculture programs, see Biodynamics. For the US, see Community Supported Agriculture.

[For a quick overview of Community Supported Agriculture, click on this delightful (and musical) YouTube video: “Talkin’ Bout Makin’ Culture.”]

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Photo: They Draw & Cook header for Save It Sunday recipe party/contest

They Draw & Cook and Glad are throwing a party, a $5,000 Illustrated Recipe Party! We’re all invited invited!

The party’s called Save It Sunday. Save what, why? Save food, and eliminate food waste!  According to the sponsor of this party–Glad–almost twenty-five percent of all the food we buy goes bad before we even have a chance to eat it. Bad planning, on all our parts, for sure!

So, Glad–and They Draw and Cook—want to expand imaginations. The Save It Sunday campaign/party invites anyone and everyone to “illustrate how to prepare ONE ingredient THREE different ways”. Reduce waste with creativity!

If They Draw and Cook picks your recipe illustration as best, you win $2,500 US. Second place prizes for 5 other contributors are $500/each.

[For more details, deadlines, rules and examples, visit They Draw and Cook.]

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Video: Cornucopia Institute highlights “cereal crimes,” how “natural” label claims mislead consumers

This video is a “head’s up” to the often meaningless AND misleading hype called “natural.”

“Natural” claims for cereals and granola intentionally mislead consumers!  New research from The Cornucopia Institute reveals that the “natural” claim is mostly meaningless marketing hype. This contrasts with USDA Certified Organic label that reliably guarantees food produced WITHOUT genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or toxic pesticides.

Cornucopia and USDA research finds GMOs and toxic pesticide residues in “natural” cereal ingredients. To add insult to injury, many “natural” brands are often priced higher than equivalent organic products. So, head’s up!

[To more information, see “Cereal Crimes” on the Cornucopia website.]

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Video: ‘Eat’ Restaurant in Brooklyn, New York ‘Silent Sundays’

Video: Comedic version of ‘No Talking Allowed’ Silent Sundays at Eat Restaurant

Shhhhh! No talking is allowed in this trendy Greenpoint neighborhood New York restaurant: Eat! Two Sunday evenings a  month Eat Restaurant serves a four-course organic only, locally-sourced meal. No chit-chat, please!

Even ‘Yum’ and ‘OM’ can only be imagined–not sounded! The Restaurant’s chef Nicholas Nauman says inspiration for these twice monthly ‘No Talking’ events was Buddhist monks in India. The monks there celebrate EVERY breakfast in silence. That silence allows eaters a better chance to fully experience the food. At Eat Restaurant, it’s all organic and locally sourced food, worthy of attention!

[For more, see NYC restaurant boasts silent dining experience.]

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Photo: Pope Francis, chocolate version

Pope Francis, say “hello” to Pope Francis! Pope Francis met his ‘dark side’ recently–and it’s 100 percent chocolate! No mention whether or not the chocolate is organic!

The chocolate Pontiff is the creation of Italian chocolate artist Mirco Della Vecchia, an instructor at the Accademia de Maestri Cioccolatieri in Italy, and  20 of his students. A full 30 days was required to complete the project. Pope Francis’ ‘dark side’ is made from a 1.5 ton block of dark chocolate from Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

No Easter Bunny will EVER be able to lift this!

[For more information, see Pope Francis meets life-sized chocolate replica of himself.]

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Photo: “Netherlands Orange Festival” sculpture


Beware!
These ‘real food’ sculptures are made entirely from oranges! I’m guessing ‘glue’ is involved, as I sometimes find getting ONE orange off a pile in the grocery (without dumping the whole pile) a challenge!   

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Photo: “Netherlands Orange Festival” sculpture

Sitting under THIS “toad stool” is definitely ONLY for the brave!

How to tell if these oranges are “organic”? That’s simple. Check the numbers on the fruit stickers (those small round, numbered ID labels stuck on every piece of fruit). Here’s the secret, by the numbers:

 

Sticker label numbers tell you HOW a fruit was grown. ‘Conventionally grown’ fruit has four digits; ORGANIC, five which start with a nine. Genetically Engineered (GE) or Genetically Modified (GMO) fruit has five numbers which start with an eight.” [For more, see READ THE NUMBERS.]

 

Or, here’s a little memory ditty from a recent Access Hollywood:

I hate 8 (GMO fruit). 4 is a bore (NOT organic). 9 is fine (organic).” Think of that every time you read the labels in the grocery. 9 is FINE! That’s ORGANIC!

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