Neat idea

A few weeks ago, I visited a friend's place and noticed he had a basket of scrap fabric next to each sink. When I asked about them, he told me he cuts up old t-shirts that have become too holey to wear into rags to use instead of paper towels. I've usually only had very large rags (when bath towels retire) so the idea of having small ones for small messes was a novel one for me.


Monsanto Math

I read recently in the Daily Mail that part of the problem with the Indian farmers committing suicide is that Monsanto promised higher yields due to lack of pests which simply was not suited to India. In the first place, the cotton wasn't resistant to pests found in India. In the second place, the cotton required twice as much water as normal cotton.

Wait, what? Why would you modify a plant to require more resources? This just gets even more interesting when you walk into the Farragut West metro station in Washinton, DC and see the following ad:

Monsanto ad that reads "How do you squeeze more food from a raindrop?"

Uh...what? That says "How do you squeeze more food from a raindrop?" It's an ad claiming that Monsanto's Genetically Modified plants require fewer resources to grow. The tagline is (laughably) "Producing More, Conserving More, Improving Farmers' Lives."

Now, I've only taken up to Calculus 2, so maybe it's in Calculus 3 that we learn that "twice as much" is the same as "fewer," but I don't think so.


Locally-sourced organic restaurant

This is kind of neat. I just had dinner at a restaurant on U Street in Washington, DC called Coppi's Organic. It's an Italian restaurant that uses only organic ingredients from local farmers. Neat!

While they didn't have much (if anything) on the menu that was already vegan, it was easy enough to customize. We got a half-order of Gnocchi Primaverili with no bacon. I think there may have been a little bit of parmesan on it, but it could also have been garlic. I'm not quite sure. Either way, it was delicious. The flavors of all those vegetables together made a wonderful sauce. We also ordered a large Melanzane pizza, hold the cheese. The crust was nice and soft, and I am now very much in favor of pizzas with eggplant.

Just wanted to share that. Your average restaurant isn't all-organic, let alone all-local.


What's in Your Fridge?

Over on TreeHugger, they've got a post showing what's in the fridge, since you are what you eat. This seems like a good meme to me! So, here's my fridge. Note that I have a roommate, so I'm only going to list the things that are actually mine.

At the top is the freezer. All I've got in there is some minced garlic and a frozen banana. On the first shelf, I have Earth Balance Soy Garden vegan soy butter, bake-at-home rolls, and homemade vegan chili (made last night, recipe is from How It All Vegan, but I added a small zucchini I had on-hand). There's also a piece of fresh ginger I got a the farmers' market. On the middle shelf, there's sprouts (hiding in the back), mushrooms, two kinds of hummus, bell peppers, homemade garlic spread, Sour Supreme vegan sour cream, Teese vegan cheese (tastes a bit more like American cheese than a nice sharp cheddar, but oh well), carrots, and potatoes. On the bottom shelf, I have Almond Breeze almond milk, gyoza dipping sauce, avocados, grape jam, vegan mayonnaise, raspberry vinaigrette, and tomato sauce. Most of it's organic (the majority is from Trader Joe's), though the jam has been in there long enough that it's Welch's.

On the door, I have some lemon juice, taco sauce (on which I need to check the expiration date), and chocolate soy milk. Below that, there's organic sunflower seeds, organic mustard, and organic ketchup. Below that I've got orange juice. Surprisingly, the soy milk is not mine. And over on the side are organic tomatoes and wheat germ.

Not in the fridge:

As you can see, my fridge is teeny tiny, so I have a lot of dried goods as well. In airtight containers on the counter, I have brown rice, green lentils, golden flax seed (whole), whole wheat flour, and barley. Not in airtight containers because I need to get more of them, I've got red kidney beans and garbanzo beans. There's also a head of garlic, 3 or 4 onions, pine nuts, pecans, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, rice, bananas, plums, and polenta.


First, there's a lot of plastic in there. I need to learn to make my own hummus. What would be very cool is if there was someone at Eastern Market with great big tubs of various things like hummus, soy sour cream, soy yogurt, organic sauces and dips, etc. that you could scoop into your own container to buy, instead of having to buy a container with it.

Second, did you notice that everything I named was vegan? I'm not vegan yet, but I'm working on it. And given the damage associated with factory farming, clearing rainforest to raise cattle, and the oft-repeated saying that a vegan Hummer-driver has a smaller footprint than a meat-eater on a bicycle, I figure this goes into the "green" category. By the way, I did find one article stating that if you eat meat, you use twice the fossil fuel (to produce the meat) to get the energy to ride a bicycle as compared to driving.



So here's my first post. It's been a while since I had a "first post" on a blog. I started my other blog nearly 2 years ago.

Well, I'm trying to do the green thing. So I'll be posting here what sort of things I'm finding to do to be a little bit more environmentally friendly. And maybe you (readers that don't exist yet) can follow suit or give suggestions or what have you.