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Inquiring minds want to know! What healthy suggestions are on the list today? Stop by frequently for the lastest listing of healthy tips, ideas and resources.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

A Modest Proposal for Sustainable Eating

Slow Food USA is a program that envisions a future food system that is based on the principles of high quality and taste, environmental sustainability, and social justice – in essence, a food system that is good, clean and fair.

They seek to catalyze a broad cultural shift away from the destructive effects of an industrial food system and fast life; toward the regenerative cultural, social and economic benefits of a sustainable food system, regional food traditions, the pleasures of the table, and a slower and more harmonious rhythm of life. Belwo are their 10 Point Suggestions for a healtier life


1. Know what you're eating.
Find out where it comes from and what's in it. Think about what's in season now - what's ripe, not just fresh. A lot of these foods will turn out to be local.

2. Get cooking.
And try making things from scratch. You'll save money and rediscover skills you forgot you had.

3. Plant something.
It could be an herb pot on your kitchen counter or, if you have space at home, a small kitchen garden, or a communal plot in your neighborhood that you tend with family and friends. (The Victory Garden on Civic Center Plaza is a landscape of ideas, staffed by experts who can guide your hands to the soil.)

4. Pack a bag lunch.

5. Drink tap water.
It's healthier for you, and it's free.

6. Learn about and celebrate the food traditions your family still possesses.
These are like seeds, long stored and just waiting to be planted.

7. Invite someone to share a meal.
Strengthen the bonds of friendship and community by cooking and eating together.

8. Learn about endangered foods and how we can bring them back to our tables.

9. Conserve, compost and recycle.

10. Vote with your fork.

Well I certainly can appreciate this list! It contains steps that are easy to implement without making huge shifts and jumps all at once in the way one lives. Some of the things I am doing already and some I do some of the time, and some I need to make a much more concentrated, focused effort to do on a regular basis. What are your thoughts?

Go to A Modest Proposal for Sustainable Eating to read the entire article

. And here is the rest of it.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Growing Foods From Scraps

Maybe now is not the time to be talking about this, because we are still into the summer growing season and so much can be grown outdoors. BUT, as I was driving my daughter to field hockey practice this morning I was thinking about our garden. I just love this time of the year!

Go outside and pluck some fresh grape tomatoes, or pick a large beefy one for a sandwich, along the way, pick a few cucumbers, hot peppers, and fresh basil for a yummy tomato salad. Nothing could be fresher or healthier than this!

Then my mind fast forwards to mid September, early October, depending on the weather conditions. The fresh produce begins to slow down and the juicy, succulent red tomato is just a lingering memory. If we are lucky, we can find a handful of hardy ones that will make it up through the end of October.

That is when I started thinking, this year I should grow more indoors other than houseplants. In the past I have attempted some herbs for indoors but had not been so successful, but now I am ready to try it again. As I was thinking about it and researching what to do, I came across this article on growing foods from scraps in the kitchen. It seems simple enough and fool proof!

1. Plant a few garlic cloves with pointed tip facing up in a pot with loamy organic soil.

2. Place the pot on a sunny windowsill and water regularly like a houseplant.

3. Green garlicky shoots emerge in a week or so. Harvest with a scissors to using in cooking or as a tasty garnish for soups, salads and baked potatoes.

Green Onions:
1. Use green onions with healthy, white roots attached to the bulb. Snip off green tops for cooking with a scissors. Leave a little green top on the onion bulb.

2. Plant the entire onion while leaving the short top above ground in a small pot filled with a loamy, organic potting soil. Make sure your container has drainage holes. Put in a sunny windowsill and water once a week or when soil feels dry to the touch.

3. Harvest new green shoots with scissors to use for cooking or as a tasty garnish. Continue to leave the onion in the soil. With each new growth the onion will taste more potent. After each harvest of onion tops, dress the topsoil with organic compost. Enjoy green onion tops in stir-fries, omelets, and in sandwiches all winter long

1. Indoor pineapple plants rarely produce flowers and fruit, but their striking foliage adds a touch of exotic to any houseplant collection. All you need to grow one is the green top you cut off when you eat the pineapple. For best results, use a pineapple that has fresh center leaves at the crown. Lob off the top, right where the crown meets the fruit. Peel off the bottom leaves and clean off the leftover fruit. Let the top rest a day before planting.

2. Fill a shallow pot with rich, loamy organic soil mixed with a few tablespoons of well-rinsed coffee grounds. Pineapple grows best in an acidic soil. Plant the pineapple top so the soil is even with the bottom of the crown.

3. Water well and mist the leaves and crown with a diluted, organic liquid fertilizer. As a member of the Bromeliaceae family, which also includes air plants, pineapple plants take much of their nourishment not from the soil but from nutrients in the moist air.

1. For best results use only a ripe avocado. Carefully halve the fruit and rinse the pit. Pat dry and let sit overnight in a warm, dry spot. The next day, peel off any of the parchment-like skin from the pit.

2. Place the pit with the base (the wider end) toward the bottom in a 7-inch pot full of loamy, rich organic soil. Make sure the tip is above the soil, exposed to light for proper germination. Water thoroughly.

3. If your apartment is dry, place a clear plastic cup over the exposed seed tip to serve as a mini-greenhouse. Though the plant does not need direct light to germinate, placing the pot on a sunny windowsill will speed growth.

4. Continue to water every week and make sure the soil doesn't dry out completely. The pit may take over a month to germinate so be patient.

5. When the sprout emerges and grows to about 4 inches, add another layer of organic soil to cover the pit completely. This not only protects the seed, but also any roots that may poke through the soil in search of nourishment.

6. Once the plant starts growing, it may remind you of the story "Jack and the Beanstalk." You can watch the plant grow tall for a year (supported with a wooden rod) and let it branch on its own, or make a decision to prune it and force it to branch, making a sturdier plant. If you choose to prune, it's best to trim with a diagonal cut 2 inches from the top. Be careful as you prune not to cut the main stem more than 1/3 of its height.

7. Continue to add organic compost to fertilize the soil with each pruning and water as you would a houseplant. Only repot the fast-growing plant when it is 6 times taller than the diameter of the pot.

8. Though avocado plants do not bear fruit if grown indoors, you can plant multiple avocado pits at various times in the same pot for a more interesting arrangement.


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