Posts Tagged ‘beer’

Change the World Wednesday – 23 Oct

food-labelling-and-barcoding

Basic human right, we have the right to know what we are eating and putting on our bodies

Last week’s post was about human rights and the right to know what we are eating through labelling.

I am going to extend that thought with today’s post.

First my weekly update:

Cloro is learning that the kitty litter (sand) box is outside more than inside, she’s getting the meassage.

The second lot of chili peppers have been bottled and the third lot would have been picked today, if exhaustion hadn’t over taken me. Which is the reason I am running late with this post.

This is my beefless week. For those of you who have been following my posts will know that several months ago I decided that the first and third full weeks of any month are ‘beefless’. I have continued with this theme since then. This week so far: Monday, poached sole (halibut) fillets with potatoes in milk and a delicious parsley white sauce. Tuesday, leftovers. Today, chicken breast with the last of the parsley sauce. Tomorrow, curried pork sausages; this will continue until Sunday.

Click on the banner for the full post

On with this week’s CTWW challenge:

The subject is BPA.

This week ban BPA from your life. Need some ideas? Avoid canned foods, including prepared soups, vegetables, sauces, soda and beer. Don’t microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers. Say no to printed receipts; they contain BPA.

 

OR … If you live in a country which bans BPA (Canada and Europe both ban this toxin), then please consider other ways to ensure food safety in your home. For example, defrost food in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature (which encourages the growth of harmful bacteria). Take a look at your pots and pans and make plans to replace any, which may leach chemicals into your food, with safe cookware like cast iron or stainless steel (here’s a hint … any coated pans or “non stick” varieties are unsafe). Avoid packaged, pre-cut produce which may be washed in a solution containing chlorine.

Brazilian canned beer. I don't even buy the first one in bottles, hate it.

Brazilian canned beer. I don’t even buy the first one in bottles, hate it.

Principally, I do this already. I don’t buy canned beer.

I don’t buy soda, period!

I don’t buy prepared veges in a can, and I don’t microwave anything. Remember my thoughts on microwaves is that they should all be consigned to the dump. Search ‘microwave’ on this blog and you will find my thoughts there.

I do, however get printed receipts. I was totally thrown by the fact that they have BPA. I’ll have to look into that. But receipts here in Brazil are required when returning/exchanging purchases.

aspargosGenerally, I buy in glass, doesn’t matter if it is beer or asparagus (can’t get fresh asparagus here). This is acceptable, but they also have insipid white shit, that I have never tried, nor want to.

The only thing that I buy in a can are sardines in olive oil. I’ve never seen them any other way. But I don’t buy tuna nor salmon in a can.

I also shun products in plastic whenever possible. Cheese spread for example, if I can’t find it in glass, I go without. This attitude has been part of my life for years, even before I learned about BPA.

I’ll add a warning here. Many companies have done away with BPA, and say so on their products; they have replaced it with BPS, which is several degrees worse, but the furore hasn’t reached the public yet through companies being super-secretive about the change.

Aluminium saucepans

Aluminium saucepans

In the second part of the challenge, cooking ware is mentioned. One of the most contaminating materials in your kitchen is aluminium (aluminum for our American cousins). Aluminium pots and pans leach the metal into your food and this contamination has been linked to things like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

I have two aluminium pots in my kitchen, they bget used as little as possible, but then at my time of life I am silly enough anyway, a little bit sillier probably isn’t that important. But, for young families with kids, they should be consigned to the scrapyard.

In the main, I use steel or cast iron, although I do have a coated non-tick frying pan which produces the most heavenly fried eggs, which would be even more heavenly if I had a source of farm fresh eggs.

Products packaged with BPA or BPS should be labelled as such.

So, yes, I do participate in this week’s challenge, and in some aspects have done so for years.

Change the World Wednesday – 27th Feb

I got the hint from SF in her CTWW round-up that my beer had less than the required six ingredients…

So assuaging all vestiges of guilt.

Panic attack over, I have no fear of purgatory.

Last night’s dinner was a left over. The previous day I had cooked some chicken pieces in a cream sauce. A simple as recipe:

  • ½kg (1lb) diced chicken
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Chopped Parsley
  • Chicken stock cube
  • Fry that lot off until golden.
  • Add fresh cream (in that it comes in a box)
  • Healthy splash of soya sauce

Done, eat and enjoy.

It makes enough for two, so when cool put the rest in the fridge for a quick reheat like last night when I arrived home at 9pm.

Click image for full post

This week’s CTWW, hmmm, soap?

This week review the body soap you are currently using. Please include such information as how the product performs, how it was packaged and the ingredients. Perhaps do a little research on the ingredients to determine if they are all environmentally and personally safe. You may include the name of the soap or not … your choice. You may also post your review on any platform, including a comment here. The idea is for us to take an honest look at the soap we’re using and share information so that we all learn.

I categorically refuse to buy anything packaged like this

My criteria for buying soap is simple: cheap!

I usually buy what is on special and I have given scant regard as to what’s in it. It’s an area that I have never considered.

The brands are usually Lux or Plamolive; I’m not fussy about brands. Currently they run around R$.89 cents a cake (USD.45c+/-). Anything over R$1 is off limits, I have said that I live frugally, and I refuse to spend a fortune on such things as soap.

My soap comes in a wrapper and I won’t consider these hand dispensers and anything like plastic tubes. They are expensive and a total waste of natural resources. My opinion is that they should be banned.

But what is in my soap?

Good question… next! (My answer to everything my students ask that I don’t have an immediate answer for).

Palmolive_Soap_Original_4x125gWhat are the ingredients for Palmolive Original?

Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Aqua, Sodium Palmate, Parfum, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Titanium Dioxide, Elaeis Guineensis, Olea Europaea, Pentasodium Pentetate, Cellulose Gum, Tetradibutyl Pentaerithrityl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate. – Answers.com

.

OMG, just look at that list!

Sodium Tallowate – is the saponified beef tallow. Saponification: To convert (a fat or oil) into soap. Free Dictionary

Sodium Palm Kernelate This is a natural salt derived from palm kernel oil, which is in turn derived from the kernels (seeds) of the oil palm.

Aqua – I can’t find anything but a band called Aqua. (Music is crap, songs like I’m a Barbie Girl)

Sodium palmitate – Is commonly obtained by saponification of palm oil. To this end, palm oil, rendered from the coconut palm nut.

Parfum – Perfume (non-specific)

Sodium Chloride – Salt

Glycerin – Glycerol

Titanium Dioxide – whitening agent (There are some health concerns)

Elaeis guineensis – is a species of palm commonly called African oil palm or macaw-fat. It is the principal source of palm oil.

Olea Europaea – Olive oil

Pentasodium Pentetate – a chelating agent used in cosmetics and beauty products “prevent various mineral components from binding together and negatively affecting the formulation” (Source).

Cellulose Gum – a stabilising agent (Safe)

Tetradibutyl Pentaerithrityl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate – an anti-oxidant, considered low risk, used in many cosmetics.

So there doesn’t seem to be anything sinister in the soap base that I use; despite some evil sounding names, get a load of that last one, the name is almost a complete sentence.

The most evil aspect is the proliferation of ‘palm oils’ used. The extraction of palm oils is one of the major causes of deforestation in places like Africa and Indonesia.

What is the problem with palm oil?

Palm oil only grows in the tropics, where, if cultivated in an unsustainable way, it can have negative impacts on people and the environment. These include indiscriminate forest clearing, habitat loss for threatened and endangered species, poor air quality from burning forests and peatlands, and threats to the rights and interests of local communities.WWF

I imagine that it would be difficult to find a soap, unless homemade, that doesn’t have palm oil or palm kernel oil.

But the exercise has been enlightening, I am now more aware of what I am washing with.

Change the World Wednesday – 20th Feb

Passionfruit juice, although I usually skip the decanter and serve straight from the blender, the advantage of living alone – image: Green Kitchen Stories

The year is marching on. It does so relentlessly.

The house has returned to normal, the dishes done after three attempts to clear the bench. BBQs do seem to make more than their share of dishes.

My passionfruit vines have produced more fruit. Tons of flowers, but so many failed to be pollinated. But there will be enough for a couple of big juices (2x ingredients- juice & sugar; does ice count as an ingredient?).

So, I had a good fridge clean out.

I must thank Small Footprints for the Monday Moaning post that got selected for mention-in-despatches last week, very much appreciated.

Click for the full post

On with this week’s challenge.

This week, buy only foods with 6 or fewer ingredients. Here’s a tip … shop the perimeter of the store rather than the center isles … you’ll find more options. Want to kick this challenge up even further? Be sure that high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils aren’t in the food you choose … they are really “bad for you” substances. And if you have access to the information, choose non-GMO foods.

I rarely buy prepared foods, sometimes a bottle of ketchup or my beloved Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce, which certainly have more than six ingredients. I have been known to slip the odd frozen lasagne in for the freezer. I like to have one on hand to heat in the oven if I arrive home late from work; who wants to begin cooking at 9pm?

I mainly buy meat, fish, etc and veges and cook them at home in preference to ready made stuff.

I don’t use cooking oil, rather I use banha (lard) and I prefer butter to margarine, although I have both in the house; the latter for convenience is used rarely.

HFCS and GMOs are on mylist of pet hates. It goes without saying that I have no ‘diet’, ‘light’, or ‘low cholesterol’ things in my house, therefore there is no aspartame either. I have in the past bought syrups to make cordial, but I have stopped that, because they have HFCS. The only drink that I buy now is agua com gas (sparkling mineral water). I refuse to buy water without gas, because that is ‘free’ from the tap in the kitchen via the freezer. So drinks like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, etc are also a no-no for me.

I am sure beer has more than six ingredients, but asking to give that up for an entire week would be like purgatory, and I’ve been a good boy, mostly.

Besides the weather here has been so hot and we’ve had no rain for more than a month.

So this challenge is not so much a challenge to me, more like my regular shopping.

Blogging right along, I’ll see you next week.

I got dobbed

I didn’t have a post planned for here today, and I haven’t yet found anything satirish enough to make the grade.

The Sunshine Award

And, lo and behold, I awake after my customary morning nap and there in the mail box is a ray of sunshine.

I got dobbed, ah nominated for a Sunshine Award.

Our Tiny Earth, who is the culprit, ah the nominator says this, “I am nominating you for the Sunshine Award. Your blog inspires me to keep on”

I am an inspiration.

I am suitably humbled, which is inversely measured by my cynicism and stoic superciliousness. I always do this when I am faced with embarrassing situations, it’s a defence mechanism.

The acceptance of this award is, of course, binding on certain rules; tasks, if you like.

The Rules:

1. If you are nominated, you must blog a post linking back to the person/blog that nominated you.

Done

2. You must answer some questions, nominate ten fellow bloggers and link their blogs to the post!

Done

3. You should comment on your nominees’ blogs to let them know you’ve nominated them.

Done – sort of

So, here are the questions:

1. Who is your favorite philosopher?

Does one have a ‘favourite’ philosopher? My life has been measured by an amalgam of philosophers, ancient and contemporary. To say that one was a ‘favourite’ would be to demean the contributions of the others. George Carlin would have to have been the bluntest; he didn’t call a spade a spade, he called it a f***ing shovel!

2. What is your favorite number?

12, because that’s the number of children that I have sired and/or raised beneath my roof and will carry my legacy into the future.

Lixo P. Cat

3. What is your favorite animal?

Cat, I was raised with one in the bassinet. Ironically, my current moggy is the mirror image of him, a ginger tabby named Lixo. Lixo is Portuguese for rubbish, I named him that after he was dumped from a car in our local praça like a piece of rubbish as a kitten. Sometimes, in moments of endearment when he does that cat-thing and stops in front of you when you are walking I called him Fluffy Nuts, simply because he has.

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter URLs?

Twitter:  @whopaysthepiper  Facebook – I don’t FB

5. What is your favorite time of the day?

Any part of the day that involves coffee, or appropriately beer (after the sun has topped the yardarm).

6. What was your favorite vacation?

The year I planned to spend in Europe in 1992. On my way to Madrid, I stopped over in Rio de Janeiro for ten days and have never left. I never got to Europe. Living for twenty years in the 3rd World has shown me that life can be a vacation; something you’ll never realise living in the 1st World.

7. What is your favorite physical activity?

Walking, although the last three years it has involved a walking stick, so I should say, a fast hobble.

8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Iced tea, or Iced coffee, followed by apple juice.

The passion fruit flower

9. What is your favourite flower?

Passion Fruit. One of the most intricate flowers that exist.

10. What is your passion?

Life and its indelible imprint.

10 Deserving Blogs.

Now this is where, I have a problem.

My reply to OTE’s comment advising me of this nomination was, “sadly I will have to think seriously about the 10 bloggers, the last time I did a meme of this nature, not one of my nominees participated leaving me disappointed and disillusioned with the practice. I vowed not to participate further. I have noted a distinct change to the nature of bloggers since I moved to WordPress; Blogspot bloggers were always guaranteed participants. But I thank you for the opportunity; it’s not my intention to demean the gesture.”

I have participated, because I think it would be priggish of me not to do so in light of the generous nature of the award.

The one bloggerette that springs to mind, one that has inspired me, and inspired the creation of this blog, Small Footprints, has already been nominated. I single her out as my inspiration to things ‘green.’ That is not to belittle the efforts of many others.

I would like to throw the award open and invite the bloggers I have linked on my side bar to consider themselves worthy of this handsome award. If I didn’t think them worthy, they wouldn’t be linked. Proof of the pudding, etc. The rules apply, of course.

To Ponder

Recycling Beer

You have to admire talent… and a good bladder.

Boys never really grow up, they just become bigger boys.

Change the World Wednesday – 14th Sep

I loved Blogger, but never again!

This week’s CTWW has caused a headache for Small Footprints. Her Blogger auto save failed and she lost the anticipated post. I feel for her; the number of times Blogger did that to me, posts, comments, etc that had been written lost and rewritten to never be the same. Most frustrating. I must admit that since I have changed recently to WordPress (2+ months) nothing of this nature has happened. I was really reluctant to make the change, and I didn’t do it willingly. I ranted ad nauseum about WP being unfriendly, and yet here I am now extolling its virtues. SF, I’m sorry that you lost your post, I know how hard you work at them and the effort involved.

On with the game…

This week’s Change the World Wednesday is for me.

It is a point that I have been agonising over for more than a year.

Check that your refrigerator is level … the door should automatically swing shut instead of staying open. Check the seal on the door … try closing it on a piece of paper. If you can pull the paper out easily, it’s time to replace the gaskets. Check the back of your refrigerator to be sure that it’s clean … vacuum coils if you have them to ensure that the compressor runs efficiently. How full is your refrigerator? Be sure that it isn’t too full … allow room for cool air to circulate which will keep everything at the right temperature.

Yes, the fridge!

Pretty much like my fridge

My first fridge after my enforced move was a donated run-down cranky thing that defrosted on Rio’s hot days. It is now the cupboards in my yard. I replaced it with one that I bought from a neighbour, it was cheap, made ice and kept the beer cold (it also had some food in it); at the time that was mostly what I was concerned about. It needs to be defrosted about every two weeks, it is not efficient, the seals are bad, the door swings closed on an intermittent basis often needing an exasperating  prod angry shove (with associated vocabulary) once I have reached the stove and realised it didn’t shut. I know that it uses more power than any other appliance in the house (and God knows, I have few).

It would be true to say that my fridge is my nemesis.

(I think we are about the have a power cut – there have been two serious dips in the light and the isolating transformer is performing like crazy…) I am not relying on auto-save I am saving the draft as I write each sentence.

I have a number of things that exceed a new fridge on my list of priorities. I still need a mattress; I have been using a thin camp mattress on my bed for three years. I yearn for the comfort of a real bed. But once these other items are resolved, a new fridge is definitely on the list.

If I time my purchase of a fridge with sales, I should be able to find one for R$799/899 (that’s about $500 on today’s exchange, but that is going down with the current economic climate, the Real R$ is getting stronger which means that prices for appliances will increase). We are now in spring and summer is the target for the new fridge, even if it means sacrificing the mattress.

Dreams

So a perfect challenge for me, perhaps it is the jolt that I needed to change my priorities, because of course a new fridge would should lower my power usage and result in smaller power bills.

I would love my fridge to look like this this summer, but then we all have dreams…

I might even find some space for food.

(Lights are still flickering… but I have managed.)

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