The quest to avoid GMO foods means you need to have new toys to help you adjust to this new lifestyle to make food interesting. These things are not cheap, (juicer, dehydrator, Vitamix). My turn. I bought the cheapest one first - a Sprya-Gyra. I went by memory from a course I was on. I wanted to make the sweet potato pesto salad that was so great on the course I attended.
Peel sweet potato, insert into machine, start turning the handle. Sweet potato immediately flies out of the machine and falls apart. Take potato out, examine machine to make sure this is all put together right, try again. Potato breaks into pieces and goes everywhere. Take potato out, put in a different blade. Put potato back in and turn - slightly better but still a huge mess happening. Get to end of potato, and it just stops. Big door stop piece stays in the machine.
This can't be right. Stop process, head for Youtube for instructions. The video makes it looks really easy of course. Look how clean her workbench stays. Try again. Slightly better results and get some "pasta" out. Two potatoes only made this much though :
Mm, what to do with these big chunks and bits.....?
I know! Dehydrate them! Sliced them thinly as I could and put them onto foil. Seeing as I don't have that toy yet, into the oven they go at 40 degrees. Will see how they turn out in 12 hours or so. (Only second attempt ever at dehydrating in my oven. Kale chips made this week, blog to follow).
In the meantime, add pesto to sweet potato "pasta", and voila! Done. Had to add some olive oil cos it was a bit dry. Pop mixture into fridge to chill and think about life.
It's definitely not as easy as it looks and is going to take some practice. Food needs to be in the exactly right shape or position or all hell breaks loose. You need a plan B for all the leftovers that disintegrate from it, dehydrate, recycle them, chop them up and add them to the dish.
The latest hoohaa about horses, donkeys, goats and buffalo in our food has got people up in arms all over the show - headline news everywhere. "It's disgusting what they're putting in our food!" Personally, I'd take horse and donkey any day over the other stuff they're putting in our food that you don't even realize.
Have you even heard of genetically modified food? Any concept of what that means? Believe me, a bit of horse is the least of your worries.
Haven't you ever wondered why so many people nowadays get cancer, organ damage, diabetes, obesity, have digestive tract dysfunctions, allergies to food, reproductive failure, allergies to antibiotics? Do you honestly think its because "they're just not eating right and are just fat, unhealthy bastards". You've got it wrong. And worse, none of this is an accident, none of it.
You think you have freedom of choice going into the supermarket when in actual fact all the produce you see is owned by a small handful of evil giants.
If you knew someone was putting arsenic into your food, would you eat it? Genetically modified food is poison to humans! Do you realise you are feeding it to your children? Animals won't touch the stuff given a choice. YOU have a choice too. Our governments are not protecting us, we have to protect ourselves! GM crops have been in South Africa for 10 years and they never told us about it! :( A decade they have been poisoning us.
Please, start reading up on GMO's. What you will learn will terrify you but it's not too late to change and you have alternatives. I know you're too busy, and too tired, and just got too much to worry about - but this is something you can control right now. And if you want longevity, you are going to need to change what you eat.
The top 10 GM foods to avoid : corn, soy, sugar, aspartame, papayas, canola, cotton, diary, zucchini, yellow squash.
Read labels! Just about everything on the shelf contains corn and it's fed to cows. And don't even get me started on what it does to the environment, and the plan the evil giants put in place to dominate the world's food, like own all the seeds. Over my dead body...
Have you heard of Zeitgeist? It's a movement of people determined to expose the truth about how we're being controlled who want to live a better way. You can watch the videos on the Waking Up page on this website.
There is a global event called ZDay at which like-minded people get together to discuss issues of alternative economies, alternative energy, how the banking system works, dangers of GMO's, sustainable farming and living, etc etc.
Johannesburg will have it's first ZDay on 16 March 2013. Register here.
If you have ever had a thought that there has to be a better way to live, this event is for you. It is a very casual get-together at a lovely restaurant called Leafy Greens which makes all their own organic food onsite - and it is delicious!
The event is free to attend, but you need to pay for your own lunch at the venue. They also have an awesome organic shop, so bring those credit cards in case! ;-)
This is the first event of it's kind for Joburg, so we don't know exactly how it will go down. Come with an open mind, hungry tummy, and business cards. If nothing else you will meet really interesting people and learn something you did not know before.
Have you ever heard of Midway Atoll? I hadn't either till today. It's an island in the north Pacific that's 2000 miles from the nearest continent. It's covered in sea birds - and plastic. As they say in one of the clips; can we really deny the negative impact we're having on the planet when creatures so far away from mainlands are subjected to this? There are some people on the island now making a difference and trying to help these birds.
View all their videos.
It's been 3 weeks since I started my no GMO eating drive and organic shopping. I haven't stepped into a mall once, until today.
First stop, Bryanston Organic Market. The only place I shop now as there is very little I can't get there. When you go to a market, you don't just go in, buy and get out. The journey includes lingering over stalls, tasting new produce, chatting to the stall owners, comparing notes with other visitors, sharing ideas. I've learnt all kinds of things about recycling, cheeses, breads and flour, vegetables, seeds, chickens, goats, toothpastes, creams, smoothies, you name it. You're outside all the time getting some sun on your skin, a breeze on your face. You're surrounded by plants and trees. People bring their little doggies for a walk who all love to be patted; the dogs, not the owners ;-). It's very relaxed and everyone is friendly, courteous and mindful of getting in each other's way. You don't need to whip out money at every stall, just gather your slips and pay at the end. Each stall owner is happy to store your stuff while you go about your business. Even though the actual shopping took about 15 minutes, I spent a full hour there catching up with people I only met 3 weeks ago. I love the atmosphere in the place, there's good energy you know? There is not one bit of advertising for junk / plastic food and products. I'm always smiling and singing on the way home from BOM, (my nickname for it, Bryanston Organic Market is just too long). What's not to like?
Next stop, Checkers in Northgate Mall. And this is where the culture shock hit. Why did I live like this for so long?? Walking through the mall you're surrounded by hassled mothers, bored fathers, irritable kids all stomping their way past you doing their best to avoid all contact with anyone near them. I know, I've been doing this my whole life too. Walk into Checkers and the first thing you see is this :
I actually just felt ill. I totally reject all the commercialism of all these "days" and this just reminded me why. The whole thing just made me feel sad and angry at the same time. Why won't people wake up?? We don't have to live like this. I decided to come here for some goodies suggested by the 10 Day Real Food Pledge like wholewheat flour, one ingredient peanut butter, etc. First step, read every single label before I buy anything. I refuse to buy anything anymore that is genetically modified or that is full of chemicals. The pledge says never buy anything that has more than 5 ingredients. I had a list of 25 items to get - and came home with 3. All the rest - all of them - were packed full of chemicals. Where is the food? The one thing I was glad to see was labelling appearing mentioning GM potential. Don't be fooled, "may" means "does".
All it means is another trip back to BOM for me. You can truly amaze yourself if you want to. But how many people want to?
After much inspiration from various Facebook pages, I decided to make my own living wall. The unit in my complex is surrounded by trees which means lots of shade. You need full sun to grow your own food. Solution? Grow on the balcony upstairs.
I've planted coriander, parsley, mint, rosemary, rocket, chives, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, strawberries, gooseberries, sage, thyme and basil.
Planter Tips :
1. Those units on the wall are available in different colours from good nurseries. There are a couple of variations on this design. I like this one because water travels into the hole below it to reduce waste. These were purchased from Lifestyle Nursery in Beyers Naude Drive, Jhb.
2. Put pots on the ground underneath them to catch overflow water.
3. It's how you prepare the soil that counts the most. These only contain peat moss which retains a lot of water. It's mixed with an organic seedling food from Talborne Organics, and topped with a centimetre of earthworm castings. I topped off all exposed soil with coconut husks to help retain moisture.
4. The holes at the back of the planters were too small of the screws that went into the wall. We took a drill and widened the hole - problem solved. The planter units are all separate and just clip into each other and onto the wall. That makes them easy to take off to reposition or replant.
5. It takes ALOT of peat moss to fill these babies. I bought 10 bags, got one left. Push the peat moss in so the seedling roots feel secure.
6. Plant the seedlings before you put the unit on the wall, you need manouvre space.
7. Place the units on the wall from the bottom up.
8. On the last top unit, you have extra planting space. I used them to put some pretty flowers for now while I wait for the food to grow. Over time they will be replaced with edible goodies once the rest have grown up.
9. The only wall I have available is West facing - it gets extremely hot throughout summer. Check the seedlings every day to see if they need water. I have a watering can upstairs that I keep full, as well as a spray bottle to cool the babies down.
10. If you don't have the strength to plant yet, it would make an awesome living wall cooler box for a party - 1 x beer garden! Put ice on the inside and stick the beers in the holes! ;-)
The production line...
It’s all a little overwhelming isn't it? When you start researching how we’re being systematically poisoned to death, it gets really hard to know what to do. We get frozen like a rabbit in headlights. We risk doing nothing because it all seems too much and so big that we think we can’t possibly make a difference anymore - and that it simpl
But we can. One person can make a difference. You can make a difference.
It starts with small changes. It starts with educating yourself on what’s happening and opening your eyes.
The dangers of fizzy drinks are rife across the web. A small change would be to never again drink Coke or Coke Light, or similar products. Drink these amazing waters instead.
Small, consistent steps in the right direction = great change.
In the meantime, I’m sticking to beer. ;-)
Four weeks leave over December after a very stressful year in the IT industry. I had to find something to do or risk not resting one minute during my leave.
Random web surfing lead me to earth-friendly home building called cobbing! I fell in love immediately. Why are we not building all our houses like this? It appealed to my inner hobbit! A new hobby was discovered.
A month later down the proverbial rabbit hole, I gathered a ton of research on everything from earth houses, to perma-culture, to wildlife management. I figured that if I wanted to know things like this, there must surely be others wanting to know it. So this website and this blog was born! Who knows where it will lead to.