Archive for April, 2013

Is Your Sweet Natural?

I have given up on common white sugar. I have it in the house for guests should they not want to try my sugars.

I prefer ‘Natural’ sugar, what we in the western world would refer to as raw or demerara sugar.

The other sugar I use is organic sugar being similar in appearance, but. according to the company blurb is made from sugarcane that meets international standards of ‘organic’ cultivation and displays the stamps on the pack.

Images: União Cia

Now, I don’t know if this is healthier, or not. There is a lot of conflicting evidence, good and bad, about these sugars as opposed to white refined sugar.

Sugars; clockwise from top left: White refined, unrefined, brown, unprocessed cane – Wikipedia

There is also conflicting evidence about which stage of the sugar refining process produces these sugars.

Some say these sugars are before the white stage, others say they are after the white stage with molasses added again.

The image on the right shows, white sugar, unrefined (raw or demerara), brown sugar, and unprocessed (which I suspect is Muscovado or Barbados sugar).

I do know that the flavour of these brown sugars is much better than white sugar. Natural sugar has a definite hint of molasses, while organic is more honeyed, therefore lighter.

Have you experimented? Or even thought of experimenting?

Or are you of the opinion, we’ve always had white sugar and never considered the possible health benefits.

Look for it, try it, who knows, you may like it!

Monday Moaning

In some respects, I am a cynic.

I have grave doubts, no, I am almost certain that 100% of the food products you buy in supermarkets and other retail outlets are poisoned, polluted or contaminated in some form. There is nothing on a supermarket shelf that is healthy.

I would hazard a guess and say the only product on these shelves safe to eat is the blue stuff on the right, but even that is almost guaranteed to have been chlorinated.

I would hazard a guess and say the only product on these shelves safe to eat is the blue stuff on the right, but even that is almost guaranteed to have been chlorinated/bleached.

I want you to take a hard look at this… And bear in mind that this is just drinks!

7 Beverages To Stop Consuming Today

Lately I’ve been focusing on all the foods we should stop consuming, but what about beverages which can account for up to 30 percent of our daily calorie intake? Many of us take for granted all those calorie-laden lattes, soft drinks and other sweetened beverages, however the real problem is not related to calories, but something much worse.


Here are 7 beverages you should avoid consuming at any time, for your health and your waist line:

1. Soft Drinks (soda, pop, carbonated beverages, fizzy drinks, etc.)

There isn’t enough bad things to say about soft drinks of any kind. Soft drinks account for more than a quarter of all drinks consumed in the United States. That works out to at least one 12-ounce can per day for every man, woman and child. They are estimated to be at least one-third of the problem related to child obesity. Carbonated soda pop provides more added sugar in a typical 2-year-old toddler’s diet than cookies, candies and ice cream combined.

Many sodas and diet soft drinks approach the pH level of battery acid in terms of corrosiveness and erosion of tooth enamel.

Besides the fact that diet soda causes dehydration, weight gain, mineral depletion, diabetes and caffeine addiction, research shows they’re also responsible for an increased risk of vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death.

Artificially sweetened soft drinks are marketed as healthier alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages, due to their lack of calories. However, past research has shown very serious long-term health consequences due to highly toxic additives and artificial sweeteners such as sodium benzoate, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose and high-fructose corn syrup.

Men who drink just one 300ml can of soda per day are much more likely to require treatment for a serious form of cancer than those who never consumed the drink. One soda a day can raise aggressive cancer risk by 40 percent.

One study of more than 66,000 women found those who drank artificially sweetened drinks were more 60 percent more likely to develop diabetes than those who indulged in regular versions of the same beverage.

Another recent study published in the journal Respirology revealed that soft drink consumption is associated with lung and breathing disorders including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Reblogged from:

Now, do you want to read No. 2 Tap water?

Then there’s pasteurised milk, sweetners, fruit juice, sports drinks and speciality coffee.

Just in liquids the average poison has been poisoned, now add foodstuffs.

It’s scary!

Nature Ramble

This week we’re going to look at South America again, Brazil, in fact.


Tumucumaque is a national park established ten years ago in the state of Amapa in the northeast of Brazil.

I had never heard of it before last night when Globo Reporter excelled itself and produced a phenomenal programme, which is a rarity for Brazilian TV.

One of the amazing inhabitants

An amazing place, parts have never seen the footprints of man. During the reportage, just a few days, one biologist identified 70 new species of spider.

“The importance is in fact that all this together make the Guiana Shield one of the best protected and largest ecological corridor of tropical rainforests in the world. It is an uninhabited region and is of high ecological value: most of its animal species, mainly fish and aquatic birds, are not found in any other place in the world.”Wikipedia

Tretioscincus agilis

Tretioscincus agilis – image ebah

Perhaps a new species of frog from the Dendrobates family – image: MongaBay

New species of grasshopper – image: Cantinho da Francicleide

Just a few samples of the fauna. This area is so rarely visited, that there are not many examples of images to be found.

Let’s keep it this way.


Satireday on Eco-Crap


Make you Fink on Friday

Cooking from the Compost!

So for years I have been a scavenger, scrounger penny pincher when it comes to food. So what it has a blemish. If I don’t have to pay full price, it’s cool with me! For years, i worked at an organic market, in the produce department, that holds high standards for the quality of their produce which means a lot gets thrown away! What a wasteful place America is. At least where I work they compost it. Meaning there are bins where they take the bagged rejects out to for people to use as compost. A perk for working in the department is first dibs on the rejects! Awesome!! Free organics?!? Um, YES!

throw aways!

I’ve been cooking out of the trash for years and I thought I would start sharing some meals with you. Here is a grilled veggie pizza I made the other night.

Reblogged from: Grace Alley Treasures, you want to see the pizza, then roll on over there.

I have posted on this before.

We don’t need to have perfect veges and produce.

aFruits & Veges

The supermarket lines them all up with nary a blemish

Your fruit and vege don’t need to be perfect. If you shop for perfection then you are one of the ones responsible for food wastage and shortage.

Your apple doesn’t need to be perfect.


It can have a spot or blemish…


Cut out the blemish, it tastes just fine.

You too can eat well from fruit and vege destined for the compost heap.



Simple Green Ideas

Here’s one that’s a little more complicated, but still a great idea for recycling, or repurposing as some call it.

Back in February I posted an idea for old pianos, Got an Old Piano?

Well, here’s the same blurb  with another idea.

Got an Old Piano?

Well have you?

Can’t sell it, nobody wants pianos these days.

And you don’t know what to do with it…

Think outside the box:


Makes a great hideaway bar with a bit of ingenuity.

Change the world Wednesday – 24th

nobeefApril is nearly done, less than a week to go. My commitment to eat no beef for two weeks every month (1st & 3rd) has been successful.

I will continue with this as it has certainly not harmed my diet, although I do love my beef. I have instead turned more consciously to pork, chicken and fish, which all featured in my diet as much as beef.

Quite frankly, I haven’t missed it.

One thing, it has made me more conscious when organising my shopping. Actually, I don’t organise it, I hate lists. I just go along to the supermarket with the idea of essentials and things I know that I am running out of, and make up my menu as I go along the aisles.

smart_bacon_packageIt has made me aware of things like “Smart Bacon”.

If a bacon was smart, it wouldn’t end up as bacon in the first place.

Have you ever heard of this? It’s stupid. It looks terrible, it certainly looks unappetising.

Why is it smart, because there’s no fat. Actually it isn’t even bacon, it’s vege protein. People have this aversion to fat; fat makes you fat. Generally that’s bullshit!

Looks absolutely hideous

Looks absolutely hideous

Animal fat is natural in modest quantities. It’s where the flavour of meat is.

The people who have created the myth that animal fat makes you fat are the companies that sell cooking oil, vege cooking lard, margarine, etc. It has nothing to do with reality, but everything to do with making money.

It’s the same as the myth about cholesterol. Every cell in your body needs cholesterol to reproduce. The doctors who tell you that you must reduce your cholesterol are doing the dictates of the BigPharma companies who make and sell drugs to reduce cholesterol. Sure you can accumulate too much, but the levels that the doctors use are well below what you need. So many people are scared into taking these drugs needlessly.

I did meet last week’s CTWW, not a paper towel, nor serviette used.

Click on the banner for the full post

On with this week’s CTWW.

We’re visiting the toilet again.

I call it a toilet, some countries euphemistically refer to it as the ‘bathroom’ or a ‘restroom’. To call it by its real name offends their warped sensibilities; they are to afraid to refer to anything that promotes/suggests certain body parts or bodily functions. I wonder who these paranoid people are?

A restroom, for pities sake! I have never rested in one yet.

This week, use less toilet paper. Rather than just pull it off the roll, count out no more than 6 sheets per use. If you accepted this challenge the last time we ran it, and did well, see how low you can go.


OR …

If you are already a toilet paper conservationist or have switched to cloth (oh yeah, some use cloth toilet paper), please share other ways that we can conserve paper.

A bidet

A bidet

Well, the first part is easy.

I have long adopted the European/South American bidet-style of washing my bum after an initial wipe with two pieces of toilet paper. to get rid of the ‘dags’*.

Sprays the nether regions with warm water

Sprays the nether regions with warm water

I don’t actually have a bidet, but my shower has a hose with a rosette nozzle that does the job fine.

You can get kits to attach to your cistern, but that is a cold water job.

The cost of such a kit, would soon be offset by the saving in toilet paper.

Washing your bum is certainly a lot more hygienic than smearing faeces across you skin then wiping hard using a lot of paper to make them disappear.


A bad case of dags

*dags – the crap encrusted wool that dangles behind a sheep.

Hence the phrase, “Rattle your dags” when you want someone to hurry up. Because when a sheep so endowed runs, sometimes the hardened dags actually rattle.

Tuesday Go Ponder: The Environmental Effect of the Internet

This is a reblog from EcoGrrl

Tuesday Go Ponder: The Environmental Effect of the Internet

Earth Day had me working in the garden, riding my bicycle, doing my yoga practice, and…working, using the internet for a good 6-7 hours talking to candidates, sourcing, communicating with hiring teams, writing for clients, and other work that just happens online.  My core work is in hiring for tech startups and a key part of my career coaching involves using GoogleDocs to collaborate with my clients, so I admit, my livelihood is dependent on the internet.

We’re sucking up an unbelievable amount of energy here, y’all. 10M+ data centers in the US and growing. Spammers not just annoying us, but violently affecting the environment for no good reason. And we’re all indoors…away from the earth that gave us life.

Read HERE to learn more about data centers that allow us to go online, send emails, interact with people all over the world.  All that spam, all those useless emails, all those games, all that wasted time on Facebook…they do have consequences.  And remember, doing it on our smartphones doesn’t make it any less of an energy sucker.

The data we’re using online goes somewhere, and these “server farms” are using MASSIVE amounts of energy, heavily impacting the energy availability to consumers in the regions they are built in (check out last fall’s article in the Oregonian for an example: Data centers proliferate in Oregon, and power planners raise a red flag).  All the big tech companies brag about how green they are, but seriously, compared to what?

Here is a powerful infographic to help you understand more about how our use of the internet is massively impacting our environment.

Tuesday Go Ponder: The Environmental Effect of the Internet.

Check the link for the infographic.

Monday Moaning

We have known for 75 years, and still we do NOTHING!

Yes, we knew in 1938!

How the burning of fossil fuels was linked to a warming world in 1938

This month marks the 75th anniversary of Guy Callendar’s landmark scientific paper on anthropogenic climate change

English engineer Guy Stewart Callendar who expanded on the work Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius and developed the theory called Callendar effect that linked rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere to global temperature. Photograph: University of East Anglia Archives

Seventy-five years ago this month an amateur weather-watcher from West Sussex published a landmark paper in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society directly linking the burning of fossil fuels to the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Guy Callendar was a successful steam engineer by trade, but in his spare time he was a keen meteorologist. In April 1938, his paper, “The artificial production of carbon dioxide and its influence on temperature”, which built on the earlier work of John Tyndall and Svante Arrhenius, was published with little fanfare or impact. It was only in the proceeding decades that the true significance of his conclusions would be heralded.

To mark the anniversary, two modern-day climatologists have published a co-authored paper (pdf) in the same journal celebrating not just his legacy, but also illustrating with modern techniques and data just how accurate Callendar’s calculations proved to be.

Dr Ed Hawkins of the University of Reading’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science, who co-authored the paper with Prof Phil Jones at the University of East Anglia, describes why Callendar is so significant to the development of climate science:

In hindsight, Callendar’s contribution was fundamental. He is still relatively unknown, but in terms of the history of climate science, his paper is a classic. He was the first scientist to discover that the planet had warmed by collating temperature measurements from around the globe, and suggested that this warming was partly related to man-made carbon dioxide emissions…People were sceptical about some of Callendar’s results, partly because the build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere was not very well known and because his estimates for the warming caused by CO2 were quite simplistic by modern standards. It was only in the 1950s, when improved instruments showed more precisely how water and CO2 absorbed radiation, that we reached a better understanding of its importance. Scientists at the time also couldn’t really believe that humans could impact such a large system as the climate – a problem that climate science still encounters from some people today, despite the compelling evidence to the contrary.

Hawkins has also written a blog post about his new Callendar paper, which delves deeper into why Callendar’s findings were not immediately acted upon, or even discussed until decades later:

Doubts in the role of CO2 remained, partly because the world did not warm further – in fact land temperatures fell slightly until around 1975, before the warming resumed. This temperature plateau is very likely due to increased levels of particulates (or ‘aerosols’) in the atmosphere reflecting solar radiation back into space. Ironically, these aerosols are also the product of fossil fuel burning and strict regulations were imposed in the developed world on their emissions in the 1960s and 1970s which allowed the warming from carbon dioxide to emerge again. Aerosol emissions from the developing world may also have played a role in the temperature plateau since around 2000.

Here is the illustration produced by Hawkins and Jones to show how Callendar’s findings, published in 1938 and updated in 1961, match a modern-day temperature reconstruction (CRUTEM4) of global land temperatures for the period 1850-2010.

Comparing historical reconstructions of near-global land temperatures using CRUTEM4 (black, Jones et al. 2012) with Callendar (1938) (red) and Callendar (1961) (blue), using a reference period of 1880-1935. The CRUTEM4 estimates are for 60◦S-60◦N (to accord with Callendar’s series), with grey shading representing the 95% uncertainty. Image: Ed Hawkins and Phil D. Jones

Callendar’s original paper can be read in full online. Of particular interest – beyond his workings, of course – is the peer-review “discussion” at the end between various professors and Callendar. You really get the sense that Callendar was viewed as a naïve amateur in this field, which possibly contributed to why his conclusions weren’t fully absorbed until the 1960s.



Read more

Read more

It just goes to show that governments don’t care! Or, are completely in cahoots with corporations.

Until there is a dramatic change in political circles, nothing will change.

It is up to each and every one of you to make your votes count, get these corrupt bastards out of government.

If you vote Republican or Democrat, you are to blame for this procrastination!


Nature Ramble

Off to Florida this week.

This is a part reblog from Anita by the Sea

“So anyways, in an attempt to reduce the current state of negativity, I decided to nix the post and take a different approach. Below is a short essay that I recently wrote about the uniqueness of the Indian River Lagoon.  I’ve been going back and forth about what to do with it, so I figured I would just post it here. Hopefully anyone who reads this will be encouraged to take pride in their local ecosystems and do what’s in their power to protect them:)”

Indian River Lagoon

“I live along a stretch of the east coast of Florida that is like no other. As the bird flies, from east to west, you move from ocean, to Barrier Island, to estuary, to upland Florida scrubland, all in a matter of 2 to 3 miles. Each of these ecosystems is unique, and in other regions they independently occupy miles of terrain. Here, their close proximity to one another results in a collision of ecosystems, where organisms meet and interact in ways that are as unique as this area...”

Click on the link above to continue reading.

We all live near an Eco-system. It doesn’t matter if you live near a beach, a forest, a swamp or lagoon, or even in the city local parks are an Eco-system.

I think Anita’s story about Indian River Lagoon bears an important message to us all.

Just where is Indian River…



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