Posts Tagged ‘plastic’

Make you Fink on Friday

It’s a book review, but it’s pertinent.

toxic-overloadToxic Overload.

Don’t Let Everyday Chemicals Destroy Your Health. Environmental Health Specialist Dr. Paula Baillie-Hamilton Explains How Chemicals In Pesticides, Plastics, Cosmetics, Cleaning Solvents, And Many Other Common Products Build Up To Toxic Levels In Our Bodies And Break Down Our Natural Defenses Against Disease. Toxic Surcharge Reveals The Scientific Evidence That Links Chemicals To A Host Of Chronic Illnesses And Offers A Three-step Program To Battle This Toxic Poisoning, Including: – A 7-day De-sludge Diet That Shows You Which Foods Resolution Reduce Your Intake Of Dangerous Toxins – A Body-cleansing Supplement Program To Strengthen Privilege And Reverse The Damaging Effects Of Toxic Chemicals – Home Detoxification Tips That Reveal Where Dangerous Toxins Lurk In The Home And How To Implement Chemical-free Products Into Your Life

Source: The Limbic Brain

Nearly every nook and cranny of our everyday lives killing us, slowly but surely killing us.

I posted this simply to make you think, I am not promoting the book, nor have I received any payment.

Just the review should be enough to make you sit up and listen, enough to make you wake up and smell the coffee.

 

Simple Green Ideas

.Who doesn’t throw away a ton of these?
milbottlerepurpose1

Can be adapted for any craft supplies.

Source: Make Craft

Make you Fink on Friday

Margarine v butter: are synthetic spreads toast?

Sales of margarine are in decline, due to a combination of reformulated recipes, price, health and taste. Do you defend marge, or is butter simply better?

Margarine: makes wonderfully crisp shortcrust pastry. Photograph: David Sillitoe for the Guardian

Butter v marg: it’s a fight that has gone on for decades. On one side, there’s butter – rich, creamy, defiantly full-fat and made for millennia by churning the milk or cream from cattle. On the other, there’s margarine: the arriviste spread invented in the 1860s. It might not taste delicious, and it doesn’t sink into your toast like butter, but for decades margarine has ridden a wave of success as the “healthy” alternative.

No longer. Sales of margarine have plummeted in the last year, according to Kantar, with “health” spreads dropping 7.4% in sales. Flora has been particularly badly hit, losing £24m in sales, partly due to reformulating its recipe.

Meanwhile, butter is back in vogue. Brits bought 8.7% more blocks of butter last year, and 6% more spreadable tubs. This is partly due to the “narrowing price gap between butter and margarine,” Tim Eales of IRI told The Grocer, but also to the home baking revival led by Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood and co. We’re all sticking unsalted butter in our sponges these days.

A yen for natural, unprocessed produce could also be a factor. “Since all the food scandals of the last 10 years, people are thinking about where their food comes from – butter is perceived as ‘pure’,” says food writer Signe Johansen. But is marg really out for the count? Big brands are owned by powerful multinationals such as Unilever, with huge marketing budgets. Don’t rule spreads out just yet.

Margarine was invented in 1869 by a French food scientist, Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès, who responded to a challenge by Napoleon III. Napoleon wanted to find a long-life alternative to butter to feed troops in the Franco-Prussian war. Mège-Mouriès mixed skimmed milk, water and beef fat to create a substance similar to butter in texture, if not in taste. He called it “oleomargarine” after margarites, the Greek word for pearls – a reference to its pearly sheen. In 1871 he sold the patent to Jurgens, a Dutch firm now part of Unilever.

Beef fat was soon replaced by cheaper hydrogenated and non-hydrogenated vegetable oils. “Margarine gained a foothold during the first world war,” says food writer and historian Bee Wilson. “George Orwell wrote of the ‘great war’ that what he remembered most was not all the deaths but all the margarine. But at this stage people recognised it was an inferior substitute for butter: an ersatz food, like drinking chicory instead of coffee.”

In the second world war, British margarine brands were legally required to add vitamins to their recipes. “The move in status to margarine as a health food, marketing itself as a superior alternative, happened after the war,” says Wilson. Added “healthy” extras – vitamins, omega-3s, unpronounceables that lower your cholesterol – are still a mainstay of the market.

But while margarine has spent decades fighting butter on the health front, what about taste? “Margarine has never been able to replicate the flavour of true butter,” says Johansen. This despite the fact many brands add milk and cream to their spreads. “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”? Really? I can.

Unsurprisingly, it’s hard to find a defendant of margarine among food writers and chefs. One of the few exceptions is Marguerite Patten, who a fan of baking with Stork. Indeed, Stork does make for wonderfully crisp shortcrust pastry.

Margarine has taken a bashing on the health front in recent years, too. Negative press about trans fats in the 00s saw many brands remove hydrogenated fats from their spreads and reformulate their recipes. Growing suspicion of processed foods has led many consumers to return to butter. As Johansen puts it: “If you want a healthy heart, eat more vegetables.”

And yet, and yet. I’m looking at a tub of Pure Dairy-Free Soya Spread. It contains 14g saturated fat per 100g, compared to butter’s 54%. For many consumers, such stats still outweigh taste when it comes to deciding what’s on their toast. And what about vegans, and those with lactose intolerance? Margarine can fulfil needs that butter can’t.

It will never win any taste awards, but there is still a place for margarine on the supermarket shelves – even if there isn’t one for it in most food lovers’ fridges.

000theGuardianLogo

Opinion:

I have heard it said… or did I read it? That margarine is one molecule short of being plastic. Which just begs the question; would you melt your Tupperware to spread on your toast?

Whether that is true or not, I can’t remember the reference, the fact is that butter and margarine are from different planets.

I have both in the house. Principally, I use butter, but the marg comes in handy if I run out of soft butter. In a typical month I would use 7x250gm packs of butter, whereas a 250gm pot of marg lasts the whole month, and into the next.

Don’t even think about suggesting that I soften the butter in the microwave! I wouldn’t have one of those in the house; I have even thrown a new one out of a restaurant kitchen. Microwave ovens are pure evil!

“In the mid-1970s Russia banned microwaves. Now you may think that is pretty silly, until you look at the latest reports on how they f**k-up food beyond all recognition. More recent studies have shown that microwave ovens totally alter the structure of food, so much so, that it isn’t food anymore.

Yes, Russia made a good move.

Microwaves should be banned globally, but of course that’ll never happen. The microwave oven market is big. Corporations like this because there’s a lot of profit. Because the corporations run America, America will continue to have microwave ovens and obesity, yes, microwave ovens are a part of the obesity problem.” – From a Make you Fink on Friday post a year ago; feel free to take your microwave to the scrap-metal yard.

The evils of butter vs the benefits or margarine were touted by the margarine manufacturers who suppressed all evidence that didn’t fit their claims.

The same happened to natural dripping and lard vs vegetable cooking oils. The same happened to milk vs pateurised milk; I have drunk pure unpasteurised milk throughout much of my life and have never suffered the maladies as claimed.

No consideration was ever given to your health. Oh, they said so, because that’s what you wanted to hear. Nobody ever challenged it.

But people are beginning to see through this veil of secrecy, food scandals are more frequently being brought to the fore and people are stopping to think.

When are you going to stop and fink?

The Enemy – Plastic

Yes, the modern day enemy of the environment is plastic.

But we are lumbered with it, so what can be done?

Have a look at these videos and see what people are doing.

The recycling technology being embraced by manufacturers

More and more of us are recycling our waste at home in a bid to save resources – but could manufacturers do more themselves, by using recycled products as their raw materials in the first place?

The BBC’s Up Next team have taken a look at three very different products that in their own ways, do just that.

Check out the video clip on BBC (It’s not embeddable)

How To Recycle HDPE Plastic (High Density Polyethylene)

You can reduce polystyrene or styrofoam…

There’s plenty of information and videos on YouTube, go have a look, you just might find something that interests you.

Change the World Wednesday – 22nd May

You could of course extrapolate that to “Go green!” and Let’s go green!” and then it has a lot of meaning for the whole process of CTWW. The people who participate in CTWW challenges are leaders. The ‘goers’ are the politicians. The leaders get things done, the politicians wait for things to be done.

So, stealing Small’s thunder for a bit; let’s get more things done!

atorre

My torre serving more as a liquor cabinet

Moving along…

My torre arrived and is installed; as predicted it came wrapped in plastic and had some thin polystyrene pieces protecting the layers. The main package was cardboard, so the pollutant waste was less than I had thought.

On Thursday, I bought a new coffee table. I won’t bore you here with the whole story, should you feel the need to be bored click on the link for the full saga; I can assure you that the first half of that post is less than boring, you may be shocked or indeed it may pique your interest.

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Having got this far… I need more coffee.

BRB

acaffeineloadingOut of yesterday’s coffee for a quick fix; have to brew some more.

Oh, so you’re just going to have to sit there and wait.

If you think I am going to write something of interest before the coffee is ready, then you’re wrong; with a capital WR!

I don’t care, it’s just the way things are.

If you try to get anything tangible from me at this point, you are wasting your time and placing your life in danger.

And, don’t start with that “you’re addicted to coffee routine” again… I am NOT!

The crisis has been averted, coffee is ready, resume your places everybody, the post can continue.

*as if nothing untoward happened*

220px-Energiesparlampe_01_retouchedYesterday, I bought one of those economic lightbulb thingies. Basically, it was in a fit of pique because my last incandescent burned out in less than two months. I also gave a fleeting thought to economising.

It wasn’t one of those squiggly ones, they are terrible; everytime I see one, I want to reach for another bottle of wine.

Gone is the soft warm glow of my 60w incandescent. Instead, this post is being brought to you by the harsh white glare of austerity; I feel like a Greek… maybe I could get an EU bailout, they seems to be all the fashion.

Click on the banner for the full post

This week’s CTWW.

Level 1 (The Green Novice) – This week, for at least one full day, disconnect from the Internet except as needed for work (this includes hand-held devices).

 

OR …
Level 2 (The Advanced Greenie) – Disconnect from the Internet, except for work, for the entire week.
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There are more Levels, but in the need to economise, you’ll have to click on the banner to see them, that is should you feel the need to seek a higher plane than us lowly beings down here.

atommorrow

A blathering wreck

This one is terrible. In 24 hours I would be a blathering wreck without even considering the consequences of a whole wekk. (Typo left to show how nervous I am) I would feel like Oklahoma, devastated. I don’t want to look like Hilary Clinton!

Seriously, my PC is 24/7, even when I am sleeping my PC is working. How else am I going to pirate English textbooks like a responsible teacher? Of course, I can do without the movies and music, but my pursuit of perfecting the English language is my greatest virtue… in fact, it is my only virtue.

I am going to have to claim ‘work’, not because of the overnight downloads, but because of my blogs. I drink coffee, I am a serious blogger. Many of you may/may not be aware that I have eight blogs and they take a lot of work to maintain my target of a daily post on them all; as it is I don’t always achieve my tally.

Probably more important is the high possibility of a systems failure if I switch the PC off; sometimes it restarts good, but other times I have a bitch of a job. You see my PC is a girl and suffers from PMT = PC mental tantrums.

Not Lixo, but you get the idea

Not Lixo, but you get the idea

I do, however, switch off the monitor physically overnight because Lixo can’t sleep; he sits up all night in my chair trying to catch the status bars on the downloads as the creep across the screen.

Then he spends all day sleeping on my clean shirts. He says he is ironing them, but I don’t believe it, because an iron doesn’t leave cat hairs over the black one.

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Some of this post has been serious, some parts not so serious. That’s what happens when you overcaffeinate.

Targeting Plastic

Source: Huffington Post Read more

Make you Fink on Friday

Just what the hell are we doing to this planet?

5117275-earth-tree

We should be nurturing our planet, it’s the only one we’ve got!

Spanish sperm whale death linked to UK supermarket supplier’s plastic

Sperm whale on Spanish southern coast had swallowed 17kg of plastic waste dumped by greenhouses supplying produce to UK

Marine biologists examine a sperm whale on the Spanish coast south of Granada. The animal died after swallowing 17kg of plastic dumped by greenhouses that supply UK supermarkets. Photograph: AFP/Getty

A dead sperm whale that washed up on Spain’s south coast had swallowed 17kg of plastic waste dumped into the sea by farmers tending greenhouses that produce tomatoes and other vegetables for British supermarkets.

Scientists were amazed to find the 4.5 tonne whale had swallowed 59 different bits of plastic – most of it thick transparent sheeting used to build greenhouses in southern Almeria and Granada. A clothes hanger, an ice-cream tub and bits of mattress were also found.

The plastic had eventually blocked the animal’s stomach and killed it, according to researchers from the Doñana national park research centre in Andalusia.

Researchers at first found it hard to believe that the 10-metre animal had swallowed the vast amount of plastic they found protruding through a tear in its stomach.

In all the whale’s stomach contained two dozen pieces of transparent plastic, some plastic bags, nine metres of rope, two stretches of hosepipe, two small flower pots and a plastic spray canister.

Read more

Read more

Opinion:

With the amount of pollution we have discarded in the oceans, how often is this played out on deserted coastlines that we don’t see or hear about?

How many more animals need to suffer?

When are we going to take responsibility for these tragedies?

When will it be our turn to suffer the hunger pangs because we have destroyed a major food source?

We all sit idly by inured from all this, comfortably safe in our own backyards surrounded by all the mod cons of modern living, while we produce more waste, throw away more plastic and choke more fish and sea life; destroying our chance for survival.

 

 

Just Wash the Damn Dishes!

oiltospoon

Make you Fink on Friday

What a waste: Turning poo into plastic

Would you drink from water bottle made from raw sewage?

That rather unappetising image may soon be a reality, thanks to the rise of bioplastics.

These biodegradable materials may soon offer a realistic – and cost effective – alternative to plastics derived from oil.

They are part of a movement to better utilise the ever increasing mountains of waste created by humans.

Saima Mohsin  travels to Sacramento, California, to visit a company that is using some of the  seven million tonnes of dry solid human waste produced in the US every year, to create useful products.

Opinion:

And to think of all the poo we have been wasting…

Make you Fink on Friday

It would appear to be an environmentalist’s dream come true.

Fungi Discovered In The Amazon Will Eat Your Plastic

Mushrooms (not Pestalotiopsis microspora)

Polyurethane seemed like it couldn’t interact with the earth’s normal processes of breaking down and recycling material. That’s just because it hadn’t met the right mushroom yet.

The Amazon is home to more species than almost anywhere else on earth. One of them, carried home recently by a group from Yale University, appears to be quite happy eating plastic in airless landfills.

The group of students, part of Yale’s annual Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory with molecular biochemistry professor Scott Strobel, ventured to the jungles of Ecuador. The mission was to allow “students to experience the scientific inquiry process in a comprehensive and creative way.” The group searched for plants, and then cultured the microorganisms within the plant tissue. As it turns out, they brought back a fungus new to science with a voracious appetite for a global waste problem: polyurethane.

The common plastic is used for everything from garden hoses to shoes and truck seats. Once it gets into the trash stream, it persists for generations. Anyone alive today is assured that their old garden hoses and other polyurethane trash will still be here to greet his or her great, great grandchildren. Unless something eats it.

Source: co.Exist Read more

Opinion:

Now I ask myself, if millions of tons of plastic can be eaten by mushrooms, we will have millions of tons of mushrooms, what good are the mushrooms?

Monster Mushrooms

There is no indication that they are edible, maybe they can be composted, maybe they will mutate and we’ll have monster mushrooms invading the planet.

At least, I guess they are compostable

Will Monsanto try to GM them? That’s a scary thought.

Pestalotiopsis microspora

This is the actual fungi involved.

I’m not the expert, and don’t understand how this relates to a mushroom, but it doesn’t stop me from wondering about the results of our meddling.

Wondering what happens when we change the diet of these mushrooms to pure plastic. What happens to the cellular structure. If they prove edible, are the mutant changes going to be passed on to the eaters?

What by-products, residue or effluent are left after the mushrooms have devoured the plastic? Are they going to produce some equally hazardous gas/es like methane and turn our planet into a warmer version of Neptune which, I believe, has a frozen methane atmosphere?

Irradescent Mushrooms

Or, maybe they’ll just glow in the dark and we’ll have pretty blue mushrooms everywhere.

So many questions.

Let’s face it, we have jumped the gun before on many issues, only to find them eventually detrimental.

It all sounds wonderful, too good to be true, but I am left with nagging doubts.

How about you?

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