Tag Archives: point4counterpoint

environmentally friendly … is your member of Congress participating?

PlasticbagsrecycleHave you started reclaiming, reusing, recycling, repurposing and or reducing items from your life that will cut the amount of material going into landfills or buying locally to hopefully reduce your eco-footprint as well? I’m in; even PBO alluded to a big change being needed for the next generation.

Now, well, lets say again we all need to worry about the fishing in our oceans, lakes and seas which sadly is on a path toward collapse as overfishing, polluters. plastics and the corporate fishing industry need a refresher on regulatory rules least we remind them to protect our wild and marine life for the next generation

It’s a rant

Unfortunately, Congress, is under Republican control in both chambers, the House, where legislative purse strings are under stress and if you listen closely, they sound like they had different school books, syllabus and teachers, so, the path

aquabountysalmonto sustainable 21st Century living was is going to be a struggle.

Though after NAFTA the struggle for American workers was bad it also made most us all rely on goods made in foreign lands with questionable ingredients and on the cheap; I for one have looked at my clothes and sighed after finding brands that once sold mostly “made in the USA”   went to the dark side. I guess cheap really is not only addictive, cheap labor and cheap material affects and effects the quality of our lives UCScleanairactpix


Addictive, but the question is –  will authorities at the top recognize that NAFTA needs reforming due to an increase of carbon foot-print,  allowed foreign companies to possibly use toxic chemicals, use less than 100% organic and in some cases, let our children play with toys made with excessive amounts of lead.  We need a quick acceptance an apology and a big change implemented in every state regulating not just what comes into the US of A, but how, what is dumped, recycled and where; it makes sense on so many levels given what we now know about pollution, climate change, landfills and the effects on Americans …and our at risk population, whether folks want to admit it or not a reality check is needed.  Washington State, along with a few others decided they are all in on banning plastic bags though the effort needs to be much more vigorous as cooperation from big corporations who do not always implement the process fast enough, but we have to start somewhere right.


However, it is obvious that as those at the top debate and delay changes in our man-made and natural global warming experiences, they are leaving minorities and the poor out of the conversation of sustainable living, let alone offer up alternatives or commit to viable restorations of communities most impacted by bad urban planning. frackingWe have all heard or know that certain populations are definitely unable to control the negative impact that some big corporations are having on their communities or environments as more and more cases are revealed, aired and reported. It is disturbing to know that some cases are over twenty – thirty years old or older, the sad truth that there were are too many middle class, minority and poor communities built on or near freeways,  landfills, gas lines, ex-chemical plants, manufacturer plants or smokestacks with dirty air while providing jobs at those same facilities though the people had no idea that they and the lives of their families could be negatively affected and life in some cases probably cut short. The abuse of land in rural and or urban settings is not just offensive it is still unchecked and just one more thing the EPA needs to revisit.Deforestation-Amazon-1024x667_1_460x230


The idea of sustainable living is not new, yet, it means something different depending on what State you live in and how your officials deal with the agencies we are supposed to trust whether the issue is about fracking, housing,ground water, GMO ,salmonella etc. or bird flu.  Most people I know love all kinds of food and are careful about at home preparation, but I do believe that the way food is inspected, accepted and processed is still suspect and an update in federal laws regarding food inspection are overdue.  I hope we all agree that our food should not be considered a state’s rights issue; it is a keep the American population safe& healthy issue. I come from a fishing based family that believed in staying away from so-called store freshly caught and to always smell the fish, ask if wild or hatchery and if it’s wrapped in plastic question it all because it may look like the real deal but … I will admit I remember when most if not all seafood caught,  was “bought and sold fresh” and or” wild” but not farmed because my family preferred to buy at the market or buy at the pier, but mostly from my family fishing for it. When farm fisheries started popping up my family felt it might be a good way to keep wild off the endangered list, but unfortunately some collateral damage was created when some reports of  nasty toxic developments at some not all farmed hatcheries were found .


folks did not know in the early stages the influx of farmed fish to grocery stores and restaurants meant insufficient labeling or the profound lack of available information for consumers to make independent and or intelligent decisions by leaving out info whether it’s about fish, beef, chicken, clothes or toys they are selling comes from the most “environmentally friendly” way possible instead of taking risks that could hurt liveschickenofthesea

written 2/1/2013

Bertolli … 5 Tips for Cooking with Garlic and Onion

 5 Tips for Cooking with Garlic and Onion

Nearly every savory Italian recipe starts with the dynamism of garlic and onion. Whether you are slicing onions thin to caramelize them for a pizza or peeling a whole garlic clove to add a touch of flavor to crunchy toasted crostini, this powerhouse produce combo enlivens cuisine from all regions of Italy.

Whether you are an avid cook or a weekend kitchen warrior, you know that they are not the easiest things to work with. Here are five tips for making sure your cooking with garlic and onion is successful and tear free.

  • 1
  • Does cooking with onion and garlic leave your hands or cutting board a little odoriferous for days? By rubbing your hands and work surface with a fresh lemon cut in half, you will naturally disinfect whatever the vegetables have touched and eliminate the smell. For a bonus, cut the used lemon into small pieces and pulse in your garbage disposal for a burst of citrusy-fresh blades.
  • 2
  • What causes the dreaded tearing up we experience while cutting vegetables in the onion family, known as alliums? They emit a sulfur product called a lacrimator that escapes into the air when we chop an onion and then breaks down into sulfuric acid, an irritant that stimulates your eye to release tears to flush out the foreign substance. The best way to prevent tearing up is to rinse cut onions, leeks or shallots in cold water, or let them sit in chilled water, for a full 30 to 60 minutes before cutting.
  • 3
  • The water method works for more than just keeping oniony tears at bay. If you are adding onions to a recipe in which they will be eaten raw, let the chopped onions soak in water for roughly an hour and a half. This will reduce their bitterness. (If you don’t have that much time, a hearty rinse in a sieve under cold water will help.)
  • 4
  • When sautéing garlic and onion together, the garlic will always cook first. To prevent undue browning (which makes onions taste sweeter but makes garlic bitter and harsh), start your sautéing in a cold pan with a little olive oil and butter combined. The oil-butter mixture keeps the butter from burning, and the slow increase in the pan’s heat will balance the difference between the two vegetables’ cook times.
  • 5
  • If you love serving garlicky food but fear the after-burn on your breath, try eating an apple. A component in garlic stays active in the digestive system a full 6 to 18 hours after eating, which is when it peaks in our mouths; but the same enzymes that cause fruit to brown will counteract the potent garlic and keep it from sneaking back into your breath.

Deodorant Ingredients to Avoid

photo ~John Foxx/Getty DCL

by Megan Winkler

With ingredients that have been linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, hormonal imbalance and neurological issues, I think it’s time we start looking a little more closely at what’s going into our deodorant. I’m pretty horrified at the information I dredged up on the topic. I know this isn’t a glamorous topic, but it’s an important one. So important, in fact, that I’m going to try a natural deodorant recipe out this week. But before I get to the recipe, let’s talk about what we’re applying to our armpits on a daily basis.


Yeah, we’ll start off with a big one. Aluminum—as in the metal—is used to block pores from releasing sweat. The problem is, aluminum has been linked to breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men and an increased chance of Alzheimer’s. Now to be fair, the Food and Drug Administration has never said it’s a carcinogen, but there is definitely a case for drawing a correlation between the two. It might be something to look out for.


Parabens are synthetic preservatives that are sometimes present in health and beauty products. There are two interesting bits of information that I’d like for us to consider with regards to this ingredient. The first is that the Centers for Disease Control conducted a study to see how many of us have parabens in our system. Of 100 subjects tested, 100 percent—each and every one of them—showed paraben presence in their urine. This research told scientists a lot about how easily chemicals enter our body via the skin. The other bit of information is that parabens have been linked to hormonal imbalance in early puberty. Food for thought.


The petroleum-based ingredient propylene glycol is present in many antiperspirants and deodorants. It’s the ingredient that gives deodorant a slick consistency so we can slather it on our skin. Bad news is that in large quantities it can do damage to the central nervous system, the heart and the liver. To be fair, this is like saying that broccoli in large doses is lethal, but no one would ever eat that much anyway, so it’s a moot point. The amount of propylene glycol used in the average stick of deodorant is probably completely safe, but it’s worth mentioning.


Phthalates help ingredients to dissolve, and because of this they are sometimes found in deodorant. Unfortunately, phthalates are also linked to birth defects and the disruption of hormone receptors in the body. Yuck!


After finding out that triclosan was classified as a pesticide by the FDA and as a probable carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency, most companies that produce deodorants and antiperspirants have removed this ingredient from their formulas. It’s still a good idea to read the product label just to make sure triclosan isn’t hiding inside.


I did some research to see if I could talk about some great mainstream companies that have eliminated these ingredients from their products, but with the exception of Old Spice, none of the companies I investigated even go so far as to display the ingredients for their deodorants online.

There are a few all-natural deodorants on the market, but I found a couple of homemade recipes via Wellness Mama that are supposed to be amazing, assuming the above information doesn’t sit well with you either. Using coconut oil, baking soda, shea butter, and some optional arrowroot and essential oils, you can make your own quite easily. Simply melt the coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler and add the other ingredients to create an all-natural alternative that really works. Another option is to combine coconut oil, baking soda and cornstarch in a small glass jar. Neither recipe requires refrigeration, which is nice.