Saturday, January 31, 2009
posted at Treehugger.com by: Kelly Rossiter, Toronto on 01.30.09
The cost of food is a huge issue for most families, but with tough times ahead, feeding your family will only get harder. On the surface of it, vegetarians seem to have an easier time of it. But is this true if you are a vegetarian who lives on, or below the poverty line? The more I read and thought about this topic, the more I realize that, as with many issues surrounding poverty in North America, it is also about race, class and education.
As Michael Pollan points out in his book In Defense of Food, low income families are looking for the biggest caloric bang for their buck. That means canned spaghetti rather than fresh vegetable pasta sauce, boxed macaroni with cheese powder, soda pop rather than milk. The fact is, good fresh produce is expensive for many families. If a .99 box of macaroni is going to feed your kids dinner and a $1.99 bunch of carrots isn't, you can understand the choice. Unfortunately, the no-win choice leads to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
My local "No Frills" store caters to new immigrant and lower income families. The produce department is small by grocery store standards and the choice is pretty limited. There is a large Jamaican population in this neighbourhood, so there is always plantain, cassava and breadfruit available, but not so much local, seasonal vegetables. They are too expensive for this clientele to buy and so cheap, filling produce is shipped from around the world. Buying produce from the two local year round farmers' market is completely out of the question for these low income families. In the film Food Fight, food advocate Will Allen points out that many people in poor neighbourhoods in the United States buy all of their food from a corner store where fresh produce is entirely unavailable.
It is, of course, possible to live quite cheaply and well on a vegetarian diet, but it requires some planning, attention and some knowledge. As with pretty much everything, it comes down to education. Our education system has ignored nutrition for too long, and many people simply don't know how to eat properly. Parents may not know that their children are struggling in school because they are malnourished. They may not know that their kids are better off eating rice and beans than starchy canned pasta. They may not know how to cook at all.
As our economy worsens, many more families will likely need the assistance of food banks. As far as I can tell, there is only one vegetarian food bank in North America, and it is right here in my own city of Toronto. There is a great programme called Plant a Row - Grow a Row where people add extra rows to their vegetable garden and then donate the produce to their local food bank. It's not much, but it's something.
Challenge of the Week: Make a healthy vegetarian donation to your local food bank...
Friday, January 23, 2009
You may have noticed a few changes around Evergreen with the addition of a new workspace in the front lobby and renovations to the previous GWSA office in the administration area. This is all part of a new GWSA services program called "Make Yourself at Home" (MYAH). The new program has come about after nearly one year of work by a steering committee, led by Lynne Briggs, which developed proposals, a business case and strategic plan. Make Yourself at Home is receiving funding from the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (WWLHIN) as part of the Province of Ontario's "Aging at Home" initiative.
The underlying motive for the Aging at Home initiative arose from the need for governments to find alternatives to caring for an aging population within an increasingly complex and costly medical healthcare system. It has been shown that proactive spending which encourages people to stay healthy while aging in their own homes, results in considerably less strain on the public purse than the cost to support the elderly in medical healthcare and long term care systems. The majority of older adults do want to stay in their own homes, as long as possible, provided the proper supports are available. This is where the Make Yourself at Home program comes into the picture, recognized by the WWLHIN as an innovative approach to foster Aging at Home.
Make Yourself at Home will build on the success of the four GWSA service programs which are Feeling Better
(in home and group exercise), Evergreen Action Nutrition, Seniors Offering Support
(senior's telephone support line) and the Outreach Program. Each of the four services has a different focus, but all are founded on a model of healthy aging by addressing the physical, nutritional, social and emotional health concerns of older adults and by breaking down the isolation that can occur as an individual ages and may become less mobile. Make Yourself at Home will link and strengthen the common focus of the four service programs and will provide a new service of peer-to-peer support for seniors who wish to continue to live in their own homes.
The new service offered under Make Yourself at Home will be free of charge. Senior volunteers, supported by the Make Yourself at Home staff team, will provide a home visit to assist clients (and their caregivers) with specific issues. Make Yourself at Home is about enabling older adults to navigate through the social and health care systems to access the appropriate services. The volunteers will be the clients' advocates and coaches as they focus on getting the help required so they can maintain a healthy, independent lifestyle. The peer-to-peer approach has a successful track record, as clients can relate positively to someone of their age. Senior volunteers have a great deal of wisdom on many issues due to their own life experiences and in addition, each of the volunteers will receive ongoing education to work with their clients.
Most recently, program staff have been hired to manage the delivery of the Make Yourself at Home program. Sheila Schuehlein, who has worked for ten years to develop and manage the Feeling Better programs, has been hired as Program Manager and Maryanne Wilford, from Seniors Offering Support, has been hired as Volunteer Manager. A Services Co-ordinator will start work in February. As well, recruitment of volunteers to participate in the first senior peer advocate/coach education session is currently underway. The goal is to have 10 volunteers in place by March of 2009.
For more information on the Make Yourself at Home program, or to inquire about becoming a volunteer with Make Yourself at Home, please do not hesitate to contact either Sheila Schuehlein or Maryanne Wilford at (519) 837-5696.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
"Late lies the wintry Sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again."
–Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94)
Detailed 2009 Long-Range Weather Forecast
for Guelph, Ontario
62 Days until Spring
Next Full Moon February 9
Full Snow Moon Sunrise 7:49 A.M. Sunset 5:13 P.M.
Winter will be slightly milder and noticeably drier than normal, with below-normal snowfall, except in southwest Ontario. The coldest temperatures will occur in mid-December, mid-January, and mid-February. The heaviest snows will fall in early and late December, mid- and late January, and mid-March.
April and May will be slightly warmer and wetter than normal.
Summer will be cooler and drier than normal, with the hottest temperatures in mid- to late June and early and mid-July.
September and October will be cooler and drier than normal.
from the The Old Farmer's Almanac
Friday, January 16, 2009
Tips for Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs
After years of trying to make perfect boiled eggs for Deviled Eggs, and ending up with chunks out of them, I have finally found the answers. Begin by placing your eggs in a single layer in a pan and covering with cold water. Add a wooden toothpick (believe it or not, this will keep the egg shells from cracking while they are cooking). Bring the water to a rolling boil. Boil for one minute, cover and remove from the heat. Allow to cool.
Now for the hard part; peeling them without tearing them. Place a coffee filter in your sink to cover the drain. Turn on the cold water faucet with a slow stream of water. Strike the shell on the counter to crack, then gently press the shell until it is all cracked.
Start at the large end of the egg, and while holding it under the stream of water, start slowly peeling the shell away. Let the shells fall into the coffee filter. The water will drain away, and when the job is finished, gather the filter and egg shells and drop into the trash, Or better yet, add it to your garden compost.
To cut the eggs smoothly into halves, dip your knife in cold water first, To dress up those "Pretty" deviled eggs, sprinkle with Paprika.
By Harlean from Hot Springs, Arkansas
Source: this is an accumulation and trial and error of all the tips I have heard over the years. I have tried them all, but kept the best.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
...My tip is a way to save money and food with lettuce. I am a senior who lives alone. I buy the bagged lettuce because it is hard for me to cut up lettuce. If I didn't eat the bag of lettuce quick enough, I still ended up wasting some of it. I knew this was because of the natural moisture in the bag. One day an idea popped into my head. Moisture can be wiped up with paper towels. So I put a folded sheet of paper towel in the bag before I folded down the top and put a clip on the bag. I cannot eat a lot of lettuce at one time for medical reasons, so only eat a small salad every other day or so. If I notice the towel is getting moist, I put a fresh (dry) piece in the bag. I have had a bag of lettuce last me almost two weeks. Saves money and food. Try it.
...Store lettuce with a paper towel and it will last longer. The paper towel will absorb moisture. If you are storing lettuce in a container, line the bottom of the container with a layer of paper towels.
...Lettuce keeps better if you store it in the refrigerator without washing it. Keep the leaves dry. Wash lettuce the day you are going to use it.
...Most lettuces make excellent hot greens, cook as you would spinach. You have to flavor them a bit with celery salt, nutmeg, pepper & perhaps some garlic, but it can be a fine dish. Also try creamed lettuce, or stuffing lettuce leaves as you would cabbage.
...Don't throw away the coarse outside lettuce leaves. Use them as greens in soups and stews.
...Some finely shredded lettuce is very good added to a vegetable soup shortly before you serve it.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Here are laundering instructions from a time when the only "appliance" was a scrub board.
ADVICE TO A 1912 BRIDE
Years ago a Kentucky grandmother gave a bride the following recipe for washing clothes
...Bild fire in back yard to heet kettle of rainwater.
...Set tubs so smoke won't blow in eyes if wind is pert.
...Shave one hole cake lie soap in billin water.
...Sort things, make three piles. 1 pile white. 1 pile cullord. 1 pile work britches and rags.
...Stur flour in cold water to smooth then thin down with billin water.
...Rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, then bile. Rub cullord but don't bile -- just rench and starch.
...Take white things out of kettle with broom stick handle then rench, blew and starch.
...Spred tee towels on grass.
...Hang old rags on fence.
...Pour rench water in flower bed.
...Scrub porch with hot soapy water.
...Turn tubs upside down.
...Go put on cleen dress, smooth hair with side combs, brew cup of tee -- set and rest a spell and count your blessins.
Hang this above your automatic washer, and when things look bleak, read it again, and count your blessings!
And you thought Mondays were the worst day of the week.....
I'm wondering how many of you made resolutions to eat a healthier diet this year. And how many of you are actually doing it, one week into the new year? For those of you who are taking your first steps toward becoming vegetarian, you may have resolved to eat less meat. Well, how about resolving to eat more vegetables as a corollary.
When my son became a vegetarian a number of years ago, I was a bit concerned because he was never a big vegetable eater. He still doesn't like common vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli or eggplant, but now he'll eat things like celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes and lots of asian greens. Now that he can no longer rely on eating meat, he has become a much more adventurous eater. ... more
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I’ve learned a few things in my ten years of creating webpages catering to online boomers for such things as personal finances, travel, healthcare, and retirement planning:
...Within their online activities, boomers like financial planning, healthcare, and games; only recently do they seem to be warming to social networking.
...Boomers are savvy buyers, but they’ve been fooled enough times in their lives that they are very cautious about advertising. Weather, traditional news, and food sites appeal to boomers.
...Boomers are voracious readers. They definitely like content, be it news and information, do-it-yourself tips, lifestyle planning and travel, or recipes. Boomers are curious but pragmatic.
...Boomers respond to special offers but not gimmicks. They’ve got money, but they’ll wait for a deal rather than be as impulsive as their younger counterparts.
...Boomers, who are living longer, have multiple levels of health concerns for themselves, their aging parents, and their children. Just about all things health and wellness attract boomers.
...While both sexes of boomers use the Internet, women seem more likely to drive a broad variety of actions and purchasing decisions, while men more narrow ones.
...Web developers must recognize that boomers don’t consider themselves seniors, so marketing to boomers has to be different than marketing to seniors.
...Boomers socialize online differently than the 18 to 34 year olds, who socialize just to socialize. Boomers want to connect around common interests and needs.
Frankly, what I like about boomers is they have an attention span greater than 10 seconds. You can actually say something meaningful and appeal to a boomer.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a holder for removing hot pans from the oven; it was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken-coop the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids; and when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled it carried out the hulls. In the fall the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that "old-time apron" that served so many purposes.
"Grandma use to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughter's set theirs on the window sill to thaw."
Friday, January 9, 2009
Whether visitors to the Food Timeline are foodies, or just plain curious,
they will definitely find more information than can be taken in at one
The Food Timeline was developed by a "reference librarian with a
passion for food history," and her dedication is evident in the link near
the top of the page entitled "About Culinary Research". Clicking on this
link is extremely helpful for those researching food, and just plain
interesting for those who are simply curious.
In a nutshell, the author tells the visitor that research on food history is quite difficult and
complex, and gives a bounty of hints on how to approach a particular food
puzzler. She also notes that very few foods have been invented, rather they
have just evolved.
The timeline is smack dab in the middle of the homepage,
and has links galore. It has links to individual ingredients, as well as to
complete dishes and historically important cookbooks. Near the bottom of
the homepage, below the timeline, is a menu of choices that includes:
"Teacher Resources", "Historic Menu Collections", "Digitized Cookbooks", and
"Historic Food Prices".
There is so much on this website visitors might want to grab a snack and a beverage, and let the learning begin.
From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2009.