Garden, Plant, Cook!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

There's Rosemary For Remembrance..Pray, Love, Remember --- 9/11

Dear Folks,

Most people are familiar with Ophelia's sad statement.  I have thought it was particularly appropriate following 9/11 and I still do.

I think if I had hoped for anything more 10 years later that there would a universally greater tolerance and understanding between cultures.  Is there?  To be sure there is so much kindness shown every day in many, many small ways, but if you listen to political and social commentary I wonder if the people we listen to, learned anything except 'lock the gates'.

Just my musings on a day of sad memorials honoring the fallen and the heroic along with the American spirit.

The link to my post from 2009 is still valid and still informational.

A few notes from that post:

I come from a family of many firefighters and Deane is a retired EMT, so they have always held a special place in my heart, even more so after 9/11 -- and what the rescue workers and police had to do.
Find the fire station and police station in your neighborhood and mail or drop off a thank you card. They put their boots on every morning never knowing what the day will bring, that is a hero in my book.

If you are in the area of the gas station owned by the family of Balbir Singh Sodhi, consider placing flowers on the memorial. That is part of my neighborhood.  Mr. Sodhi was known in the neighborhood for his kindness and generosity. A memorial page was dedicated to him on Sikh cultural site, click here to see the page - it has not been updated for a while but gives the story of the murder and the community support.

Plant rosemary for remembrance -- at the foot of your flagpole or anywhere it works for you.

And, finally, never forget our soldiers.  Send a card free through Xerox's special site

Be kind to yourselves by being kind to others,

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Hesterman: The Cost Of Unfair Food.

Dear Folks,

A question to ponder -- What is the real cost of food choices?

The above is an article about the questions raised by Oran Hesterman the author of Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All.

I have not read the book, however the question gave me an opportunity to think about the long-term as well as short-term collateral issues of food choices.

In this article, Hesterman, briefly, discusses the potential future problems with what he terms "unfair" food choices eventually causing more environmental damage in addition to the growing (no pun intended) obesity problem in America.

Why should you care what someone else chooses to eat?  Because eventually you may be paying the cost to either treat the issues down the road through reduced viable crop land and health care costs rising even higher because of diseases related to obesity.

Before anyone gets worked up about targeting the people struggling with weight, the point I'm making is about YOUR choices, not someone else.

The more people who choose locally and naturally grown food, the less factory farming which contributes to 'dead zones' in the gulf from fertilizer and pesticide runoff,.and the less Oil we need.

How does oil fit in here?  Have you seen the oil industries commercials touting all the jobs etc. the industry provides.  There is a little side note, with visual, highlighting the use of oil in fertilizers and pesticides.

Besides 'un-natural' fertilizers and pesticides, did you know oil is used to make alcohols which are then processed to create food items such as distilled vinegar and food flavors and colorings?  A "natural" product, oil, in my opinion, has absolutely no place in our food system. What do you think?

Choices that people make about lifestyles including food, can have long-term consequences that impact the rest of society as well as themselves in the 'fall-out' from those choices.

I had an interesting conversation with a young friend several months ago.  I was remarking on the inevitable hearing problems young people will have listening to their music with earphones and in cars with the volume turned up so loud.  What my young friends said, just dropped my jaw -- "they are not really worried about their hearing - they just figure by the time it becomes an issue, medicine will have found a treatment or remedy."

And who would pay for that is the question that rolled around in my mind for weeks after.  We can kid ourselves that a premium for insurance pays for our rights under the policy, but the benefits and costs are directly tied to what the insurance company finds is a common and customary need and cost.

In an un-fair scenario any individual who has a condition or disease directly associated with poor choices on their part would have to pay for the real value of the cost of treatment.  There is no way to cover, fund or single out such an option and no way to fairly apply it.

There are currently calls to 'sin-taxes' on things like sodas and junk foods.. Whether those ever become reality the point is there are some who think that is a great idea and others who feel it a private choice of food and not someone else's business and then "that" point gets embroiled in down-the-road health costs, and on, and on, and on.

So I choose to make better food choices because in the long run I believe it will benefit me and my family and society as a whole, as an extension of a single individuals choices, multiplied by the estimated millions of people choosing to spend some of their food budget on organic or naturally (really naturally) grown foods.

Statistics for 2010 on organic food purchases:  " fruits and vegetables, now representing over 11 percent of all U.S. fruit and vegetable sales."  Source: Organic Trade Association’s 2011 Organic Industry Survey 

Think about food choices as a "Now" kind of choice and a "later" consequences choice.

By the way, no one is perfect and no one should point fingers at someone because they want the occasional 'guilty pleasure' - think of it as making better choices most of the time or at least aiming in that direction.

Some of the people my family has lost, could perhaps have had longer and healthier lives if they had made better choices.  Something to ponder.

Be kind to yourselves,

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady