Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Hello all! Here's a real pick-me up! (Not really.)
Just doing a little research about the American contribution to global warming and food shortages because of meat consumption, from the Worldwatch Institute and the New York Times, and basically it looks like there are really three big bummers from the huge meat consumption of the Western world (apparently Americans eat about half a pound of meat per day to consume an average of 200 lbs. of meat per year:
1. People are starving and having to compete with cattle for grain.
2. Meat causes global warming from methane gas.
3. Pollution of water supplies from vast quantities of animal waste.
Some random quotes:
"Each kilo of meat represents several kilos of grain, either corn or wheat, that could be consumed directly by humans. If the 670 million tons of the world's grain used for feed were reduced by just 10 percent, this would free up 67 million tons of grain, enough to sustain 225 million people or keep up with world population growth for the next three years. If each American reduced his or her meat consumption by only 5 percent, roughly equivalent to eating one less dish of meat each weak, 7.5 million tons of grain would be saved, enough to feed 25 million people-roughly the number estimated to go hungry in the United States each day.""To put the energy-using demand of meat production into easy-to-understand terms, Gidon Eshel, a geophysicist at the Bard Center, and Pamela A. Martin, an assistant professor of geophysics at the University of Chicago, calculated that if Americans were to reduce meat consumption by just 20 percent it would be as if we all switched from a standard sedan — a Camry, say — to the ultra-efficient Prius. Similarly, a study last year by the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Japan estimated that 2.2 pounds of beef is responsible for the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the average European car every 155 miles, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days."
"The massive quantities of waste produced by livestock and poultry threaten rivers, lakes and other waterways. In the United States, where the waste generated by livestock is 130 times that produced by humans, livestock wastes are implicated in waterway pollution, toxic algal blooms and massive fishkills. And livestock farms are getting larger throughout the world: one 50,000-acre hog farm under construction in Utah will produce more waste than the city of Los Angeles."
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
We were actually smooth sailing until he had to get into hospital pajamas. He didn't see the necessity, and he didn't like that he had to wear no undies underneath. He did offer to wear them over his clothes, but I told him I didn't think that would do it. We watched HOURS of kid tv. First in a crowded waiting room, then in a private curtained "room." You know the day is getting long when you get excited that Barney's coming on (believe me, there's a whole slew of worse shows to pick from). So we mostly watched tv for 4 hours (8:10 to noon). Around 10:30 some woman came in to explain that they'd put a mask on him with laughing gas when he went back, put a tube down his throat after he fell asleep but try to get it out before he woke up, and they'd put an iv in his arm. I think she was honestly about to go into the risks of anesthesia and how there was a small chance he could die during surgery. But after having had her ignore all my quick MmmHmm's and eye contact signals (and Micah curling up into a fetal position) I asked if this conversation could take place somewhere not in front of Micah. So Owen went to sign the CYA papers for the surgery, and Mommy was left to try to comfort Micah after he had gotten an earfull.
Mommy was pretty angry. Mommy had to climb up in the tiny bed with Micah to get him in there since he was (after all that) terrified about what was going to happen to him after he fell asleep. After a while they came to give him "silly syrup" which was supposed to take effect in 10 min. and have him zooed out. 45 min. later Micah was wondering why there were 3 puppets on Barney with only 2 children actors. And he wanted to know if we were just going to stay in the hospital (it sure felt like it). He was definitely a little buzzed perhaps, but way too aware. Thankfully, we had to wait a really long time (aka, "a few minutes," hospital time). By the time they wheeled him off he was too drugged to sit up. After a quick lunch and a cry Owen and I went back up to wait. They called me back right away while Owen got some perspective talking to a dad of a 10 year-old who'd been in and out of the hospital since he'd contracted meningitis at 8 days old. HE told us that there's always a kid worse off than yours to keep you from feeling too bad for yourself. Micah was swollen and completely hysterical when he woke up. But a few minutes and two popsicles later he was a little better. Grandma had us pick up Turtie in the gift shop, so that helped. We watched more tv, then left for home. Then we watched more tv at home. Micah was much more interested in food than they had made it seem like he'd be. Smoothies, soup, frozen banana, apple juice, popsicles. He woke up this morning pretty much himself. Except, of course, that everything stinks!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Maybe after Owen gets home and takes the broom off the hook the mother and wind chime can coexist peaceably.
Anyway, it just goes to show you, you don't have to live on a farm or in the woods to see all kinds of wildlife.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Boil a whole chicken or package of chicken leg/quarters/breasts (though breasts don't taste so great on their own) and then pick the meat off the bone. Put a little of the meat (1/2 cup?) back in the broth if you're making soup. Otherwise, freeze the broth in cups in your freezer (or in ice cube trays if you'd rather). Put the meat (small pieces, no broth) in the ice cube trays in your freezer. When frozen, pop out broth into gallon freezer bag (can reuse the same one indefinitely for this) and the chicken into another bag. When I make a stir-fry or tacos or whatever . . . I just throw a few chicken ice cubes in at the end. That frees up time to cut up yet more veggies to put in dinner. This was the only way I could think of to cook as many veggies as I thought I should be using and still have time to deal with meat. I also cook large amounts of beans from dry and freeze them in ice cubes to add to things like soup or pasta. It really helps make healthy cooking a little easier. Oh, I do it for kale, too. Steam it, blend it, freeze it in ice cubes. Then it's all ready to sneak into spaghetti sauce or black beans or whatever.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I am hostile about blogging, My Space, and Facebook. I just don't get it. However, I had to create a blog account to contact a college friend (I could not figure out any other way to contact them) who had one. Anyway, if there is more than this opening post within 3 weeks, technology wins.