Wednesday, 25 July 2012

local fresh and tasty!

Hi everyone :) how is everyone today?
Today was a legendary day, it was the day I got my first real taste of local and fresh produce. 
     I finished my 2nd ballet class and I was supposed to have contemporary class but recently I've had a strange lump on my foot that hurts whenever I do much continuous movement; so I decided not to do the class. Now, I've been dying to go to one of my local farmers markets but every time I end up with somewhere else to be. So here I was with lots of extra time and I thought: "I should hit a farmers market!" so I googled my local farmers markets hoping there was one open on Wednesdays and turns out there was! So I went to an ATM, pulled out $20 (this turned out to be very difficult and embarrassing as it was my first time using one of those things and the guy kept having to help me :-/ I'm glad none of you saw me!) and hopped on the bus that took me to the Market. Turned out it didn't open till 3 so I read my book (Real Food, you should read it its really informing and interesting) in the park it was situated at, which just so happens to be filled with drug addicts and homeless people; people were looking at me a bit strange but you know. Finally it opened though and I started making my way along the aisle looking at all the fresh produce. Everything from cabbage and beets to blueberries and currants. In the end after much contemplation (keep in mind I only had $20 with me) I ended buying some local peaches, apricots, sweet raspberries, and pink currants. I'd read in my book that industrial peaches were incomparable to local ecologically grown peaches so I figured I'd put her words of advice to the test. Under usual circumstances I find peaches (supposedly ripe ones) not all that tastefull or sweet. Well. My friends. That was the absolute juiciest, sweetest, tastiest peach I have ever had in my ENTIRE life! I just HAD to blog about it. It just so happens that I had already eaten a peach today (an industrial one) that was pretty good and enhanced my view on peaches but thinking back, that peach was not nearly as good as the local one i got from the farmer's market. It was primarily the juiciness that was so different although the flavor was also much sweeter and better all around. 
     The difference between industrial and local, fresh produce is that industrial produce is not picked ripe because it would never survive the journey to it's far away market. This downgrades the taste and texture as well as the nutritional content. In fact most of industrial produce is picked green and ripened artificially. For example, tomatoes are picked hard and green and the ripened with ethylene gas. This is why industrial produce does not develop the same complex taste and luscious texture. Whereas fresh and locally grown fruits and vegetables are picked during their prime state of ripeness allowing their flavors and other traits to fully develop to create the ideal, most vitamin rich fruit or vegetable the plant can give us. 
     There is also the difference in soil and breeds of plants and how it is grown that makes industrial produce inferior also in terms of nutritional content. Fresh and mostly organic produce is grown on healthy, nutrient rich, fertile soil which gives the fruit more vitamins and antioxidants (who wouldve thought?!); whereas industrial crops are grown on sterile soil and sprayed with pesticides which are not only poisonous, but damage the antioxidants and vitamins in the crops.
     This is all why I've decided to try eating more fresh and local crops. I learned most of this from that book I mentioned before: Real Food by Nina Planck. I really do recommend you read it because it is actually pretty interesting despite my presumptions. Anyways, make sure you hit your local farmer's market sometime soon, I promise you won't regret it!

bye for now :)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Like they haven't had enough... animal testing :(

     Hey guys, so I know I haven't posted anything for a looooong time... sorry :-/ Don't worry! Im back now. For now... :P
In any event, I was out with my friend a few days ago and we were having greek wraps downtown. we got to talking about animal cruelty and now I'm sort of depressed... The reason? Because now I have to buy expensive makeup and hair stuff!!! She told me about how makeup and hair products and whatnot is tested on animals. Don't think I'm stupid, I knew a lot of things were tested on animals but I thought it was just along the lines of you put some blush on a bunny and if it gets a rash you know you did something wrong. Am I the only one who made this assumption? My guess is not. Either way I am sorry to inform you that that is completely WRONG. 

     Ex: The draize test (tests for eye irritation)for shampoo:
In order to test whether or not a shampoo will damage your eyes, a producer will strap down an albino bunny (albinos are apparently good for this purpose since they dont blink that much), clamp it's eyes open and squeeze shampoo in the bunny's eye. Ouch, we all know how much getting soap in our eyes hurts. Is it done? No. They leave the bunny there writhing in pain (as much as it can since it is strapped down) for about 2 weeks. Sometimes the poor bunny snaps it's neck from trying to break loose. The bunny's eyes crust over and it eventually dies. 
What is even the point of this? I honestly have no idea. The things our species does makes me feel sick sometimes. I don't know how people like this sleep at night, I honestly don't; knowing they're responsible for the pain and death of so many animals.

Here's a few links for more info:

A few extremely sad pictures...

Animal Experimentation Rabbit Draize Eye Irritacy test

Fortunately (unlike meat), they're are many companies that are animal testing free; and although they're more expensive I think that all of us should make that sacrifice (come on its probably only a starbucks drink's worth of money extra!) to promote these companies that actually have a conscious.

A few animal testing free (GOOD! buy them!) companies are:
Crabtree and Evelyn
St. Ives
Kiss My Face
Tommy Hilfiger
Victoria's Secret
Burt's Bees

Ones that Do test on animals (BAAADD!!! stop buying themm!!):
Cover Girl 

Max Factor 
Johnson and Johnson
Sally Hansen
Clairol (includes aussie, herbal essences, daily defense)

Yes that list is depressing... those happen to include practically ALL the products I use... next time i buy makeup though I'll be going cruelty free! I hope you guys will too.

Oh and by the way, household products do the same thing... Arm and hammer, colgate, you name it.

till next time