The Food Revolution Continues….
April 13, 2010

Go green...eat more meat..wheeeeeee!!!

I thought this supermarket ad in the newspaper was amusing…celebrate Earth Day by buying even more meat! Yeah, except that if you really want to do the Earth a favor, it would be consuming LESS meat, not more(a 2006 U.N. report found the meat industry creates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined) . I’ve made efforts in that direction, avoiding meat for a couple of nights a week. I might do black bean soup with avocado on top, or something like that. I really enjoy it, but it’s a whole different mindset not planning a meal around the protein…know what I mean?

Tonight I’m going to hear Michael Pollan speak at Goucher College( full disclosure… I got the invite from my Chesapeake Foodie friend Elise who got the tickets…I didn’t even know he was in town, duh)…He’s written In Defense of Food, and other books, about the science and art of simply eating well…he believes that the health care crisis we have on our hands is due in no small part to what and how we eat. Here, here…so he has now written Food Rules.  It’s a book of simple everyday rules about how to eat better…and it all ties in with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution..(I just signed his petition today, here’s a link! Nothing crazy really….eat  real food, not too much of it, more plants than meat. How hard is that? Hey, it’s not, but it takes thought and planning. Pollan says this about Food Rules…” I set out to collect and formulate some straightforward, memorable, everyday rules for eating, a set of personal policies that would, taken together or even separately, nudge people onto a healthier and happier path.”

I was telling my baby sister about the Jamie Oliver tv show trying to get schools to serve healthier, real food to their kids, and with the resistance he’s met. She is a kindergarten teacher at a rural private school in Alabama….and was surprised that the only milk they offer is whole milk. Not 2%, Not 1% or skim, but good ole full fat milk…which NO kid needs to be drinking, and some kind of sugary fruit drink…ditto. “Oh, that’s all they’ll drink“, or “They don’t like low fat milk“….hogwash, I say. Sure they will, if that’s what you put out. Or start with 2%, and them switch to 1%, and then maybe make the switch to skim. Her pleas fell on deaf ears for a while….then they put out lower fat milk, but have now switched back to whole. Sigh. What is it in this country…such nutritional ignorance… that we poison our kids with foods and drinks they shouldn’t have?? What? Where a serving a French fries count as a vegetable? Laughable. Disgraceful. I like French fries too but they’re a treat, not served on the lunch line every day. This is not new by the way, but much worse today. When I was a kid, I complained to my Mom about not liking the hotdog buns(mmm, healthy) served one day a week at school. She asked why, and I told her they were greasy. So she went to school where the lunch ladies explained they had all this free butter from the government and they had to use to somehow, so they put it on the hotdogs buns. “Hey, lets add a couple of hundred calories to all these kids hotgdogs! Grab the butter, lots of it!” They stopped, btw, afte she complained. And shouldn’t we parents be doing more of that? Finding out what schools serve(like sodas-come on!), and making our voices heard.

So I’ll be anxious to hear what Mr. Pollan has to say tonight…he’ll be preaching to the choir of course. Most of us there are already converts to good eating. Still, I’d like to learn more about the whole issue. And maybe you too will think about removing meat from the table a night or two a week…for your health and for the planet.

Oh, and here are a couple of his rules for you to think about…..#36 Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk. #19 If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t. And here’s my fav: #39 Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself. As he says, once you start cooking those fries yourself….you won’t eat them as often! What used to be treats like pastries and cakes and fries are now cheap, readily available everyday foods….and that’s just not good for us.

Earth Hour….It’s show time, baby!
March 26, 2010

It's almost time to turn out the lights!!!!

OK, if you didn’t know…and honestly I haven’t heard much about it this year either…Saturday March 27th, tomorrow btw…is Earth Hour. Uh-huh, that’s right…if you want to see why many of us choose to take part and more people do each year….watch this…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVtJJBz_t4w&feature=player_embedded 

And here’s the great thing…all you have to do is turn out your lights that night for one lousy hour…from 8:30 to 9:30 PM. Who can’t do that? Why should you is another question…but it will happen all over the world to bring attention to climate change. The Earth Hour movement began in Sydney, Australia in 2007….the next year 400 cities took part…and in 2009, 4000 cities and millions of people voted with their light switches. I joined the Earth Hour movement, about which you can find out more, on this link. The Eiffel Tower will go dark, as will the Sydney Opera House and the Pyramids in Egypt and the Domino Sugar Sign in B-town….also here in Maryland, Baltimore City Hall and 6 other public buildings will hit the off switch, as will the State House and Governor’s Mansion in Annapolis. Care to join in? 

The countdown is on...just reach for the light switch...

 I will break out the candles tomorrow evening( not hard for me as I do that pretty often anyway), but what I don’t do often  is turn out all the lights.  I hereby  grant dispensation to all of you who need to/want to/have to  watch the big March Madness game tomorrow night, I get it….just turn off the lights.  Explain to your kids why you’re doing it…..you’ll set a good example and save a little moolah in the process…a win-win! 

Join Jamie's revolution!

Update: I forgot to add that a terrific show comes on tonight from which many many many Americans could benefit….Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution at 9 on ABC. It’s all about relearning how to eat in this country…real honest genuine food, that is cooked at home, not heated in a microwave, and that doesn’t have tons of  additives and salt and fat. The cooking that most of grew up on, and need to go back to. Jamie says, and it is true…we are killing our children whom we supposedly love, feeding them crap. Watch the show…it will inspire you to get reacquainted with your stove and pots and pans, and change your thinking about food. I love his recipes.  Ok, over and out…have a great weekend, and come home safe..and play nice!

Weekend Wrapup….Jazz, Twilight and Pork Bellies
November 23, 2009

Darryl Harper playing smooth tunes onstage at Creative Alliance

Let’s see….did something I’ve never done before Friday night. Went to a jazz concert at the Creative Alliance, just east of Patterson Park on Eastern Avenue, to see jazz clarinetist Darryl Harper. What a talent he is….he had gathered some great local jazz guys in for a concert and the music was smooth, smokey…very blues. Darryl’s latest album is Stories in Real Time….you can hear  some selection by clicking here…and the Creative Alliance has many unique offerings… for music lovers, film lovers, classes for adults and children, including a 4 week Saturday session of running away to join the circus…”Admit it–your child is amazingly gifted and you’ve dreamt of creating a circus act together. Now’s your chance! Aerial superstar Lizzie Lyra introduces parents and kids to the circus arts: acrobatics, partner balancing, hooping, trapeze.” Come on people! You don’t see that everyday….

OK…saw Twilight…I’m in…all in.  And now I’m ready for New Moon….maybe over the holiday weekend. But I also want to see Precious….I’ve heard it is simply amazing….and Blind Side….also supposed to be just wonderful. It could be a good movie marathon weekend!  I love doing double features with a snack in between. Time to get my movie on. 

Oh, and I made some mean pork belly for dinner one night..(which is the new foie gras, or some people say). Not that I was  foie gras eater…I wasn’t, but I do love properly prepared pork belly. I used a variation of  Jamie Oliver recipe that I found on someone else’s blog….thank you very much….and it was luscious. Just absolutely fantastic. Still have some leftover in the frig. Wait for me…no matter where you are, I will find you!