Thursday, August 26, 2010

Walk Around The Block Tonight

One, two, three o'clock, four o'clock walk!

My lovely landlady Jean Calhoun found something way cool online today, and I just have to share it: lets you plug in an address, say your work or home address, and it pops up all the eating establishments within a walkable radius of your house!  Check it out below... Just enter your own address into the search box at the bottom of the map. also gives you a "walk score."    Our walk score was only 42%.  It would have been even lower, but the application identified the house of our homeowners association president as an eating establishment.  I'm guessing the programmer has been there for a meeting.  What makes an HOA meeting less painful than food? 

Warning:  The program can be rude and insulting.  It called us "car-dependent."   Ok, I know it's true.  Still, I hated hearing it.  Is there a 12-step plan for car dependency?  The first step to ending an addiction is admitting it, right?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


We're all focused on eggs right now.

Salmonella has been found in thousands of egg cartons across the country. Here, just to get it out of the way, are the carton numbers to avoid: P1026. P1413. P1946. P1720. P1942. If you have any of those, take them back.

Now that that's out of the way, what about them eggs? My fb friend Andrew Murphy shared a really interesting article recently that talks about the way most eggs are harvested - from caged chickens living in an area about the size of a sheet of copy paper. Apparently, though, chickens allowed to forage for bugs and the like - free range chickens - turn out to be much healthier and their eggs are healthier for us, too. Why am I not surprised?

A quote from the article:

"When you put four or five chickens in tiny cages, they can't engage in normal chicken behavior—pecking in the dirt, dusting. If they're in a cage, they can't do any of these things," explains chicken expert Gail Damerow, author of the classic Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens (Storey, 2010). (She hasn't purchased a store-bought egg since 1982.) "The pressure of the wire cages against their feet causes infections, their feathers rub off on the side of the cages. Basically, they're just totally frustrated. They've got nothing to do. They can't run around and eat flies and take dust baths. They just sit and lay eggs—what kind of life is that?" One result of all that stress and cruelty is that confined birds' eggs contain less nutrition than eggs from hens with room to roam."

Charming. But read the article. There's a lot of real information in it too. Well, enough from me. Here's the link:>1=31036.

And, thank you Andrew!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

When You Think United Arab Emirates Do You Think Sustainable?

This video is as good for its creative use of paper as it is for its message. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Making A Really Good Thing Bad for You

Google almonds.

Any discussion about healthful eating includes a recommendation for including a handful of almonds each day.

You'll find almonds listed in:

"Fifteen best foods for runners," 
"Ten nutritional powerhouse foods"
"Top five foods to lower your cholestoral
"Ten best protein sources"
"Ten best foods for flat abs"

The list goes on and on. 

And the most healthy of the healthy is the raw almond.  Studies comparing the nutritional and health benefits of raw to roasted almonds show the nutritional content of raw almonds is negligably better.  Roasted nuts lose a minimal amount of B vitamin and anti-oxidents in the roasting process, and certain roasting procedures can damage the nut's fatty acid content, leaving a rancid flavor.   However, roasted nuts often have added oils (unless dry roasted), salt, sometimes sugars and other additives.  Given almonds' high caloric value, adding calories through oil roasting or added sugars is highly undesirable.

But then there's salmonella.  

Since 2007, the FDA has required raw almonds to be treated for salmonella.  Salmonella is bad, but the treatment itself can be carcinogenic.   Unless you buy organic.

According to Worlds' Healthiest Foods, mandatory pasturization to inhibit salmonella can be handled one of two ways, exposure to steam heat sufficient to raise the almonds' surface temperature high enough to destroy the salmonella, or to fumigate the nuts with propylene oxide gas.

Propylene oxide has demonstrated carcinogenic implications.  Not to mention it is used in motor oils to enhance racing performance!

To make sure you are getting steam-treated almonds rather than propylene oxide treated nuts,  you must buy organic.  Propylene oxide nuts are not allowed to be labeled organic.

More on propylene:
More on the nutritional value of almonds:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Back away quickly...

Soda manufacturers are backing away from high fructose corn syrup - obesity, diabetes, cancer risks!

Shouldn't you back away too?  Check ingredient labels.

From Daily Finance:

"New findings published this month in the journal Cancer Research by University of California Los Angeles researchers could further sour the public's sentiment toward the super-sweet, super-cheap syrup and reduce its use even further. HFCS is 55% fructose and 42% glucose. The study found that pancreatic tumor cells metabolized fructose differently than glucose and that the cancer cells "readily metabolized fructose to increase proliferation." In other words, as the headline reads, "Cancer cells slurp up fructose."

Read the full article from DailyFinance:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Something Wrong With This Picture

Ok, I do not mean to disparage a good cause, and I'm thrilled that Glad is a proud sponsor of Cookies for Kids' Cancer... but...there is something wrong when Glad, purveyor of plastic products that may have toxic effects, promotes unhealthy sugar products, to raise money for cancer. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Inspiration for the American Political Junkie

I'm so inspired!

Hey you, American Political Junkie!  Yes, you!   You gotta pick up this book! 
I'm making it easy for you by putting a link at the bottom of this post.  Notice, the cheapest version is $1.58.  Just do it!

I'm old enough to remember the news photos of people protesting in the streets during the Viet Nam war.  (Not old enough to have joined them!).  Those people were largely young people, staging sit-ins, getting shot at, rallying for their cause.

Today, that generation laments today's young people and their fascination with electronics over politics, calling them uninspired, unpatriotic, and worse.  But Russell Dalton, author of the book "The Good Citizen: How a Younger Generation is Reshaping American Politics" says, "look again." 

Decade by decade, our younger citizenry is becoming better educated and more politically engaged.  It's just that political engagement means something different to these kids.  And the impact of their engagement is reshaping America in important and exciting ways. 

Whether you're young or old, liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, if you're a political junkie like I am, you'll be inspired by this book's message.  Pick up this book and read it. 

An easy read - I read all the really juicy parts and skimmed the rest in about two hours - it will inspire you and give you hope for our future!