Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

This is my wellness journal from health class last year: (more…)

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I have many favorite breakfast foods. Some might be considered out of the ordinary like this:

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I love smoked salmon on an onion bagel with chive cream cheese. And good coffee of course. What are some of your favorites?

lg310700Here’s proof. I’m reading “The Book of Coffee and Tea” and of course am all excited about coffee now. I have a list of all the best beans in the world and want to try them all. But first I had a bag of Dunkin Donuts whole bean that I had to use first. I know, I know. Definitely not world class coffee. I got it before I read the book. Anyway, I have a french press that my parents gave me when my son was born. But no grinder. So I have this bag of whole beans just sitting there. I tried ye olde mortar and pestle but that took forever. So I decided I needed to buy a grinder but there’s a catch. We joined the Compact this year, which means no buying anything new except for food and safety related things. (there’s other exceptions too but that’s beside the point)

I had a gift card to Wegmans left over from Christmas, so even if the grinder didn’t qualify as food related, I figured I could use my card and the purchase could still be considered “safe.” When We got to the store, my wife started looking at seeds for our vegetable garden while I went in search of a coffee grinder. They only had two models and one was huge, so I was stuck with only one choice, white, or black. With a french press, you need a course grind and this machine didn’t have any grind settings. You just have to eyeball it. So I decided to wait on buying one.

Later that day, after church, we were over at my parents so they could get their baby fix. I told Mom that I needed to find a good coffee grinder while I was looking at hers, out on the counter.

“Why, doesn’t the one we got for you work anymore?” She said.

“What do you mean?” I asked “You only gave me a French Press, not a grinder.”

She looks at me suddenly and holds up her finger. “Wait a minute!” She says. She bends down and reaches under a kitchen counter and comes up with…a brand new coffee grinder, still in the box! Sweet.

So you may say: coincidence, but I say no. God. The very day that I finally decided to buy one, then held off at the last minute, only to recieve one a few hours later for free… That’s God. So thanks, God, for the coffee grinder…and thanks Mom too. MMmmmm coffee.

My family and I will be officially below the poverty line starting next week. My job hours (and hence, pay) were cut in half this morning. This comes as a surprise to me because this morning, I was full-time, salary, with benefits (medical/dental, 401K, 3 weeks vacation) and almost 10 years with the organization. I suppose this is how it feels to most people. They say, “Well, the economy is bad but I still have a good job. It won’t affect me. I can still pay my mortgage every month.” Now it’s time to re-evaluate. The good news is, I still have a job. I did a little figuring and I think I can still pay my bills every month. Maybe. Now that we are officially “poor,” we qualify for food stamps and other things. My wife and I might not have health insurance, but we are usually healthy anyway. We eat well and mostly organic. (that might change though…too expensive) Now we have an incentive to start that Victory Garden in the backyard. Our 9 month old will now qualify for Medicaid too. Maybe we will as well, I’m not sure. My wife was a little shocked when I told her I was going to look at buying an army surplus field suture kit so I wouldn’t have to go to the Emergency Room.

Our situation isn’t as bad as I make it sound. I know that compared to most of the world, we are still very rich. Our car is paid off and I can bike to work if I want to, which most days, I do. We have some debt (house $52,000/student loans $10,000) but we also have some savings, but that has been shrinking by $1,000 every month since my wife stopped working last year to stay home with our new baby. We only have to survive until September when she will start her teaching job again. Our new roof will have to wait.

This is also good timing on God’s part for several reasons:

1) It’s almost spring time so our heating bills will drop from $200 to $40.

2) We only need to hold on for 6 months.

3) Better weather means we can grow our own food. We’ve never done this, and my wife has a notoriously black thumb (meaning she kills plants, no offense to my African American readers) but I think our motivation is high enough that we will see success.

4) We had already decided to join The Compact this year (you can’t buy anything new, except food, health/toiletries etc. You’d be surprised how excited you become when you visit a second-hand bookstore, architectural salvage store, or Thrift store where everything is allowed.) So this won’t be a stretch as far as deprivation is concerned. We already consigned ourselves to not buying much this year. Entertainment is cheap too. It’s called a LIBRARY. you can get books and movies (even recent releases) there for FREE.

So here are my options. I can try and get a second job and struggle with that whole hassle of driving twice as much and being away from my family even more than I am now. This might be cool because I have a chance to start fresh so to speak. For instance, I’ve always thought I would be a good security guard, landscape architect, ninja, or something else. OR

I can stay home. Enjoy this new turn of events, spend more time with my wife and son, finish my novel-get an agent- become a best selling author, have perpetual 3 or even 4 day weekends, etc. We may even qualify for getting our house painted because of the lead program. We always made too much before. We could even get new windows! The thing with this plan is that we really need to focus on saving money. See Compact above. Not too hard. So that’s where I am right now. Poor, but optimistic.

2009 Federal Poverty Guidelines

The 48 Contiguous States and DC
Persons in family Poverty guideline
1 $10,830
2 14,570
3 18,310
4 22,050
5 25,790
6 29,530
7 33,270
8 37,010
For families with more than 8 persons, add $3,740 for each additional person.

wierd egg skin

Posted: February 25, 2009 in Food
Tags: ,

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Ever since my wife ripped out the old cabinets that were in our kitchen, we’ve been looking for something suitable to go in it’s place. We made do with a bookshelf and and small cart, but now we have this. I harvested it off the curb on a sled and it only needed minor repairs to drawers. As my uncle’s friend would say, “If it’s free, I need it.” Well, we did need it. This is definitely helping us save money while our baby is still young. I encouraged everyone to keep an eye out on trash night. Don’t think it’s beneath you to grab something off the curb. Maybe there’s only a few small things wrong with it like this piece, that you can fix that someone else didn’t want to bother with. This is recycling at its best. The Earth wins, your house wins, and your wallet wins. Thank you Emily, for throwing out your dresser. It has a new home in our kitchen.

I also found this a few months ago…from the same house!

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Around the world, the debate over using genetically engineered food is heating up. This is an article from Yahoo and the AP.

“Influential voices around the world are calling for a re-examination of the GM debate,” says C.S. Prakash, a professor of plant molecular genetics at Alabama’s Tuskegee University. “Biotechnology provides such tools to help address food sustainability issues.”

Genetic manipulation to insert desirable genes or accelerate changes traditionally achieved through crossbreeding can help make crops resistant to insects and disease or enable them to tolerate herbicides. Livestock similarly can be altered by inserting a gene from one animal into the DNA of another.”genetically engineered food debate heats up

Your body mass index is a decent indicator of how healthy you are and what you ideal weight should be. It measures your height and weight and puts you on a sliding scale. One exception is that if you have a lot of muscle mass (like me) you may appear heavier or over-weight, even though you aren’t. Using the normal equation, I have a BMI of 24.5, but using a more accurate scale, my BMI is 18.2.

http://www.rush.edu/rumc/page-1108048103230.html

McDonald’s Soccer ad

Posted: August 31, 2008 in Food, Sports
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McDonald’s has an ad out now that I think is hilarious. It shows a fat kid tending goal when he gets scored on and loses the game. The winning team celebrates while the losing team gets happy meals and feels better about themselves. The message of this ad: Only losers eat McDonald’s. And the more you eat, the bigger and slower you get, so the more games you will lose, and the more you will eat to feel better about yourself. Great ad McDonald’s.

First, this post was written to spark conversation (boy, has it!)

Second, this was written by someone (me) who is not a scientist and has not been studying this subject for years. I know there are downsides to GE foods, but I wanted to explore the positive side for once. For further information on my point of view, read my replies to comments below.

A good article on GE food can be found here, at Organic Gardening.

OK, here is the original post:

I don’t see what all the bother is about genetically engineered food.

There, I said it.     

Many people get all up in arms about GE or GMO food but they are usually ignorant of many of the facts. And did you know, food can be organic and GE at the same time? My main reason for saying this is (more…)