Change the World Wednesday – 29th Aug

I have never done this before, honest.

It wasn’t until I opened Eco to follow my link to Reduce Footprints that I realised I have not posted here for a whole week.

I have never done that before, I have never been so lazy, forgetful, inconsiderate, etc before (despite what my ex-wife says).

Now I am on my first coffee of the morning, but I still feel mortified that I had nothing to Fink about on Friday, no Saturday Satire, nothing to moan about on Monday. It’s not at all like me. And, to top it all off, I had my best day ever on the blog, 144 visitors; I’ve never broken 100 before and I did it in style.

Enough of the self-flagellation, today is my birthday, and I get to share it with you nice people. Sixty-one today; you can read my thoughts about it on Closer to Extinction, yesterday’s late night post on Life is a Labyrinth.

Last week’s CTWW post was an eye-opener. I was fully aware that we are often conned by the labels and ingredients on food, but to find the list of ingredients on a simple deodorant spray so extensive, did shock me; especially when I took up the Up the Ante and explored them.

Acerola berries – Crapemyrtle

A little side trip. Here I go off on my tangent. A couple of weeks ago, I was in my ‘new’ supermarket (I have changed for the bulk of my buying) and I spied a bottle of Orange & Acerola syrup, now I love Orange & Acerola combination. So a quick scan to make sure it didn’t have aspartame, and into the trolly. I might add that the label was surprisingly like another brand that I buy and trust; it wasn’t that brand on closer inspection at home. I made a jug. OMG, it was disgusting. It was only then that I put my glasses on and inspected the ingredients. Colour this, flavour that, preservatives, stabilisers… there wasn’t a single natural ingredient, it was just a chemical cocktail. Result, down the drain; lesson learned.

I used to have a large acerola bush in my yard producing fruit year-round, but I changed yards. I now have a small sprout growing from a seed that I found on the street.

On with this weeks CTWW:

This week share ideas on eating locally during the winter months. While “eating locally” may include meats, dairy, etc., for the purposes of this challenge we’re primarily talking about plant-based foods.

 

And then …

Come up with a plan, for your household, to eat locally throughout the year. This might include preserving produce which is currently available in your area, talking to farmers to see if they offer (or would be willing to offer) items during the winter, or growing a winter garden of your own.

This has always been a problem for me. Mainly because of the cost of getting to places where I can buy local produce. One of the very few times I miss having a car.

To top it off, my efforts to produce my own in my little backyard this year have not been as successful as the last season. However, I do have some little green tomatoes ripening, which is good because tomatoes are more than R$6 a kilo at the moment. So expensive, they have simply been off the menu. Now, USD1.50/lb may not sound expensive to you guys, but the normal price is USD0.25 – 0.40/lb. So I will have tomatoes in about two weeks. I still have dried cayenne peppers from my good year, and I have mint and ginger growing as well. Passionfruit will be good this coming year, a dead loss last year. My mamão trees (papaya) died.

So that’s it for this week. I am off to work, then I have a BBQ to prepare.

 

 

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16 responses to this post.

  1. Happy Birthday a little late & yes….reading glasses are essential to noting the small fine print in any ingredients…I hope you saved your receipt and went back to the store for a refund. 🙂 Anita

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    • >AYS, thanks, sorry about the delay, I’ve been resting. Yes, I have tried to take my glasses, but I forget. I have a pair at work, and a pair for home, so they are never in my pocket. Receipt, hmmm, no; but I wouldn’t try to get refund on that basis here in Brazil. I just dumped the crap and put it down to a R$4.00 lesson. Thanks for the visit and comment.

      AV

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  2. Posted by Alex Jones on August 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    If it is any consolation, I also did not post for a week.
    Happy Birthday. I also totally support buying local.

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  3. Posted by smallftprints on August 29, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR FRIEND! And here’s wishing you many, many more years of happiness and Eco-blogging. 🙂 Ahh, sometimes it just goes like that … the brain shuts down and says no more blogging. I’m often ready to bag the works but then someone says something nice and I think … okay, I’ll keep it up. 🙂 You were missed last week … I checked in a couple of times … and just thought that you had better things to do. But I’m glad you’re back!

    I love this challenge but I have to admit, it’s going to be a tough one for me. I have fresh produce all summer long, most of which I grow. But we eat it (we vegetarians eat a lot of fresh veggies). Luckily I have a farmer’s market nearby but, in this tiny apartment, I don’t have room to store canned food. I’ve recently seen some articles on small-batch canning that I might investigate. I will also admit that I’m a bit afraid of canning. When I was kid, my mom canned everything … but when she did, we had to stay well away from the kitchen because she said things might blow up. Well, that “unfounded” fear has stuck with me and I’m a little afraid of handling bottles. But … I really would love to have great tasting, nutritious vegges in the winter. Stay tuned!

    Hey Friend … ENJOY YOUR SPECIAL DAY!

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    • >SF, thanks for the Happy B/day, I hope there are many more to come. By my reckoning about another 19 should make me a happy boy, if I get to 80, I figure I’m doing okay; as long as I have my faculties. No, I didn’t shut down, it was more a case of procrastinating combined with not seeing something in the news that warranted attention. Do you call ‘canning’ what we call ‘bottling’? My Mum used to bottle all year, we never had such dire warnings of explosions. She used to bottle fruit, make jams, chutneys and relish, not so much on the veges though. Because Dad had a green thumb and we always had fresh ‘something’ in the garden.

      Day was enjoyed. There will be a report later on my Life blog.

      AV

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  4. Posted by Clare Delaney - EcoFriendlyLink on August 30, 2012 at 4:56 am

    Belated happy birthday – I hope it was a great one! And here’s to your continued eco blogging!
    Definitely not an easy challenge this week. Admittedly slightly easier for me – on my little tropical island, when food is out of season, it’s out of season. Finished. Nada. Gone. It makes for an interesting life!
    I look forward to reading your thoughts on the challenge!

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    • >Clare, belated is not important. I am back to blogging. I have eight blogs and while it takes a bit to keep up with the posts, sometimes one or the other gets overlooked. Hmmm, tropical island, sounds idyllic.

      AV

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  5. Happy birthday a little late! Hope you had a good one.
    I’ll be patiently waiting for your further posts: always informative, often funny, and good & feisty.

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    • >CelloMom, late, belated, not important. Thanks for the b/day wishes. Yes, my cynical side shines through a bit in my posts; I do try to keep it in check, but when you have perfected something, it’s hard not to do it. I blame it on the coffee… 🙂

      AV

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  6. Happy Birthday, AV! If it makes you feel any better, I don’t aspire to posting more than once a week, and for most of this summer haven’t even done that.

    Yes, the no-car thing posts its own problems. We don’t have one either, but live in one of the very few places in the States (near a large metropolitan city) where that is possible.

    I like your cynical side. If Philip Marlowe were a greenie, he’d sound like you.

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    • >Nancy, I had to look up Philip Marlowe… Thanks for the b/day wishes. Re the car, I live in an outlying suburb of Rio de Janeiro, my problem is getting into the country to find the source of local produce. The local street markets here are supplied by the cooperatives and are not necessarily ‘local.’

      AV

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  7. I feel compelled to follow up: the definition of “Local” for food runs anywhere from 100 to 250m miles, depending on whom you ask. I’m not sure why, but I get the impression that your definition of “local” is much more strict?

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  8. Nice work AV – loving the tomato tale as my dad has been growing his own ever since I can remember and always has a bumper crop in his greenhouse. He used to grow a lot more but as he has got older her tends to grow less and less which is a shame.

    Shame about the papaya tree dying, do you know what caused it?

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    • >Steve, thanks. My Dad also grew tomatoes, and about every other vege that we used at home as kids. He was a real ‘green thumb.’ The papaya tree succumbed to too much water, it was a period of a lot of rain. I suspect that the can I had them in didn’t have adequate drainage. I had big ones go west in my last garden as well, but at least they fruited first.

      AV

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