Eco-Chique

adventures in learning to be green & finding a green career

Passion April 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — coreyfranks @ 10:13 pm

I just watched Woody Harrelson’s documentary, ‘Go Further’. It’s about his 1,000 mile bike tour promoting SOL – Simple Organic Living. I admire his passion to stop off at colleges to inform the kids about the food they are eating and how destructive it is to their bodies and the planet. However, I am not for being extremist with rhyming chants and learning how to react in a riot situation.

Tonight I felt the need to pose this question. What are you passionate about? If someone was to ask me that today, I would say anything and everything green. However, if you asked me that question a couple of months ago, I probably would have responded saying, “I am passionate about finding a job.” I always try to be funny, but my answer is true. When you are passionate about something you want to share it with everyone you come into contact with. So what do you talk about when you are around others?

Well, two weeks ago I was at Henry’s market and started educating the teenage boy behind me about milk, meat and organic fruits. He probably thought I was random, but maybe it got him to think and possibly research the food he is eating. The power of one really is a magnificent thing. The power of one has been seen in many icons; however, we never really think WE have the power. We get stuck in the small-minded thinking that we are not capable of making an impact.

I wonder what holds us back? What was it that pushed people like Martin Luther and Martin Luther King to do what they did? They didn’t think in the “Can’t” mindset. When I was old enough to vote, I would say, “I can’t make a difference with my vote so I’m not going to.” Except people, including me, don’t just stop with the voting subject. It spreads to other areas of life as well.

Each person is made by God. David says in Psalms that God knits us together in our mother’s womb. We are created with a purpose. Thankfully, our lives do not end with death. I’m looking forward to Heaven. But while I am on this earth, I need to put my life into God’s perspective and not allow my “Can’t” mindset to hold me back.

I am obviously passionate about my faith and being green. So I am taking steps to take that passion and whatever knowledge I have and put it to work.

My ending thought is this: Can passion really be a passive word?

 

How I afford Organic April 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — coreyfranks @ 10:40 pm
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Being that I am unemployed and looking at only 5 weeks left on my unemployment benefits, how am I to afford to live organically? Well, I have made a decision to live this lifestyle without compromising. Honestly, all the groceries I buy are organic; however, I may have the occasional slip up at a pizza joint. I have come upon some useful information when grocery shopping and I want to pass it along to you.

I am a huge fan of coupons. I know some people can’t bring themselves to use them. But my question to those people is why? Is is pride? Do you think you are too rich to use a coupon? If so, your reasoning is far beyond me. If I save a dollar on one product and 50 cents on another, those add up over a month and especially over a year! I am sure that if someone was walking down the street and offered to give you a dollar, you would take it. But when it comes to purchasing groceries you rather give that dollar away for no reason.

Here are some sites that I visit before heading out to the store. I suggest you sign up to be on their lists in order to receive additional coupons and offers.

www.wholefoods.com www.mambosprouts.com www.organicvalley.coop (sign up to be a part of the Mothers of Organics and Farm friends to get additional offers) www.horizondairy.com www.stonyfield.com (sign up for their rewards program by typing in the codes from your yogurt to receive additional coupons and offers)

Also keep your eyes open for coupons at the grocery store. Whole Foods has a flyer placed outside/around their store that contains coupons and recipes. Henry’s market will hang coupons in front of the products. Look closely because it could just be a generic coupon for that brand and not necessarily for the specific product in front of you.

I hope this helps a little bit and I will keep you aware of more deals that I discover. I am off to read Gorgeously Green.

Good Night, Corey

 

Quality worth the price??? April 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — coreyfranks @ 7:30 pm
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Too many days have passed since my last post. I finished Food Inc yesterday and it was very insightful. I took probably 3 pages of notes throughout the movie. I have never been an activist or a fanatic about anything (except for my Christian beliefs). But the more I educate myself on what we are being fed by the few giant corporations that run our food supply, the more I think about what it takes in order for me to be that fist shaker? I can be an activist and influence those I am around. Hopefully, it doesn’t end with my statements, and they will carry it on to those they can influence.

If you haven’t watched the documentary yet, please please please take your brain out of the box you have put it in and open yourself up to an idea other than the fantasy in which you want to exist. I am going to quote a lot from the movie because I believe it needs to be spread.

We buy based on price. Dollar menus are all the craze. I have held a frequent buyer card up until now. In light of ecoli breakouts, do you know that hamburger filler has been cleansed in ammonia to hopefully kill the ecoli that would be in the hamburger meat? The founder of the company that produces this filler states,” food is a marriage of science and technology.” Along with that statement, genetically modified foods are everywhere. We just don’t know it. The “big guys” tell the government that putting genetically modified or meat that came from a cloned animal would raise unnecessary concern. I like how one farmer put it, “farmers are not allowed to make decisions about farming. Those decisions are being made in corporate board rooms.”

There is only one giant in the soybean business and this one giant is a dictator. Their soybean was made in a lab not off of a previous crop. No natural farming allowed and if you do, be prepared to be taken to court. To watch a deposition of a good wholesome farmer just trying to make a living farming pure corn, not corn made in a lab, defend himself against this corporate giant is sad. They win because the farmers can’t afford all the legal fees alone.

So let me ask you. Is the cheap price worth the poor quality of the food you are eating? They interviewed this poor family who does not have the money to eat well. The dad has diabetes and is on expensive medicine. Where do you think their money goes? Instead of breaking the cycle with their kids, they are practically forced to live off of dollar menus because the price of fruit is more than the price of a hamburger. It does break my heart to think about people not being able to eat good food because of money. As stated in the movie, “it costs more to eat better and people don’t have the money. So we need changes at the policy level so carrots are cheaper than chips.”

So what have we learned today? Meat has ammonia in it and a lot of our foods were produced in labs opposed to natural farming methods. We have been trained to think that food is cheap. I thought it was supposed to be, but when you think about what it is you are eating you can see why it is cheaper. It is a mass-produced product not actual food.  A lot of the food we eat and drink is made up of genetically modified corn. They make it ‘faster, fatter, bigger and cheaper.’ That is why our view of food being cheap is skewed and why organic is synonymous with expensive.

Consumers do have the power. We need to demand good food by paying for organic and farm raised. It is not a matter of the farmers being able to keep up with demand. Trust me, if we demand something, we will get it. So are we willing to forgo quality and support the measures corporate America is taking when it comes to our food so we can eat off the dollar menu, drink hormone-infused milk and buy cheap artificial frozen food?

Well I tell you one thing. This unemployed girl is willing to pay more for what is actual food! Lean Cuisine and dollar menus no longer get my business. If I can only afford to live off of organic milk and cereal than so be it, but I can say with a clear conscious that I am supporting the good guys!

I sound like an activist, huh? ;p

 

That’s a lot of beef… April 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — coreyfranks @ 12:54 am
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If you have yet to watch Food, Inc., I really encourage you to. When Fast Food Nation came out a few years ago, I blatantly told people I will not watch that video because I love fast food. I have yet to watch the video, but now it is on the ‘to watch’ list. It’s like we enjoy being naive. We really don’t want to feel guilty or grossed out or scared as to what we are putting into our mouths. Ironic isn’t it? We like to live in ignorance and we are aware of it?!

Well times are a changing my friend and if you are actually reading my blog, you are now not living in ignorance. As stated in my previous blog, if you read this information and choose to do otherwise that is your decision. But remember what I quoted regarding the approval part of your purchases. What you buy is telling the manufacturer you approve of the steps they took to give you the product you hold in your hands. You are telling the farmers to keep on injecting hormones and antibiotics into the animals, that they can lock them up in dark spaces 24 hours a day and saying it is ok to feed cows “food” that is unnatural for their system.

When you think of a cow, you see a black and white cow standing out in the pasture. They are enjoying the sun and eating grass. That was the way it was intended for them live. Like the commercials that show the cows playing kickball and at the end it says, ‘happy cows come from California.’  We have taken something so simple and pure and turned it in to a mass production line. Cows don’t hang out in the pasture, they don’t even get to leave their jail. They don’t eat grass. They are forced to eat corn, grain and remains of their slaughtered friends. (corn will be another topic) They feed them this unnatural food to plump them up. Food Inc. stated 400 cows get slaughtered in an hour. Is that a production line or what!?

I understand that there is supply and demand. Like any business, they want to make the cheapest product, shorten their build process and make the highest return on investment. When it comes to material possessions we can understand and somewhat approve of it. But when it comes to the food we eat day in and day out, do we really want to approve of that process? When will we ever say enough is enough? When will we ever challenge the powerful forces that be? McDonald’s owns the most beef farms in America and you know the quality of meat that makes up your Quaterpounder. Just think that in 1lb of beef there could be up to a 100 cows represented in that package?

I know I am just touching briefly on the animal itself, but just think of all the other resources that get used up in that process. Energy in the form of fossil fuels, water, chemicals, feed. The danger of the manure containing E.coli that the cows stand ankle-deep in. That makes it easy to pass on to the other cows not to mention the run off into the soil. Why do you think veggies have shown evidence of containing E. coli? What a mess we have made of nature and how we do things. The processes we have created to mass produce has also turned into the dangers that have taken lives.

So as stated before, you can never go wrong with USDA Organic. Any other label is trying to condone one practice while highlighting another.

Peace out!