Composting starts in the kitchen

compost bin

To compost or not to compost…..

**This post contains affiliate links

Having a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies, I am always looking for ways to help the environment, and to avoid GMO’s. I discovered GMO’s while in grad school and the more I learned about them, the more mad I became. They are so bad for us, so I decided to start my own garden last summer. Wow, did I have a lot to learn!

I planted a lot of different heirloom seeds with high hopes. There were 4 different types of tomatoes, spaghetti squash, cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, and 10 different types of hot peppers. Well, my spaghetti squash took off like crazy, but I had to hand pollinate tons of flowers in order to get fruit to grow. I discovered there weren’t any honey bees around to pollinate for me (watch for a future article on the disappearance of bees).

Adding a kitchen compost bin makes a great addition to your garden Click To Tweet

How a compost bin fits into your kitchen

One thing I realized was that I should have used compost. I invested in a kitchen countertop compost bin, so that I could start saving kitchen scraps to add to an outside compost bin. I bought this compost bin (affiliate link) and love it. It sits on my counter, so it’s easy to add my egg shells or coffee grinds. Even my husband uses it. It doesn’t smell, which was a something I was concerned about when I first got it. It comes with filters, and I added these biodegradable bags (affiliate link). Just empty it once a week, and you won’t have any problems. If I can compost, then so can you!

Here is my compost bin on my counter (and the bags I use).

Happy composting!!

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It’s been a while….

I’m back! It’s been a few years since I’ve posted anything on here. I’m getting my blog back up and running, concentrating on the environment and food safety, including green products that I love. Thanks for following and hope you enjoy my new and improved blog!

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How bottled water is destroying our environment…..

Everywhere you look, you can see people carrying plastic water bottles. They have become a staple of our lives, but unfortunately they are not safe for humans or the environment. The US consumes 30 million bottles a year, out of 50 million worldwide. That equals 60% of bottled water by only 4.5% of the world population. Another scary fact is 1500 bottles are consumed every second.

First off, bottled water is not tested or treated like the water that comes out of our faucet. So you don’t know what you are drinking, and it could make you sick. Secondly, the process to make the plastic bottles is wasting water. It takes 3 times the water inside one bottle to make one plastic bottle, and that water is contaminated with chemicals and is no longer usable. Most people don’t realize that plastic bottles are made with petroleum, and it takes 17 million barrels every year to produce them. Add to that the transportation and refrigeration of bottled water increases the yearly oil consumption to 50 million barrels. It takes 40,000 18-wheelers to just deliver bottled water to your store.

**affiliate link**

And lastly, our environment is being destroyed by plastic bottles that are not discarded of properly. Water bottles are made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, but they don’t biodegrade. They just break down into smaller pieces over time, but those pieces absorb toxins that continue to make animals sick, pollute our water, and contaminate the soil our food is grown in. These plastic bottles contain BPA which is known to poison people. The damage to the animals is dangerous. Whales eat those bottles, thinking they are food. 10% of plastic made ends up in the ocean, where it will never break down or degrade.

We need to implement more recycling programs, starting with the kids. When they learn at an early age to recycle, it becomes 2nd nature and they will continue to do so as adults.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/norm-schriever/post_5218_b_3613577.html

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Social issues ARE at the root of our environmental problems-part 2-US gov’t not protecting its citizens

In part 1, I spoke about the lack of community as a contributing factor to the deterioration of our environment and planet. To continue on that path, why has the public lost interest in protecting the environment? Most people get their information, most of it misguided and wrong, from their local news. The news gets their information from our government. Ahhh, there lies the problem.

Contaminated US government

The EPA, USDA, and FDA were all created years ago to protect the citizens of our country. The EPA is suppose to protect human health and the environment, USDA watches over our food and agriculture, and the FDA’s job is to protect our food supply and medicine, making sure they are safe for people to consume. However, over the years, the leaders of these agencies have come from one of the worst companies in our history…Monsanto.

 

 monsanto-gov

 

As you can see, the list is long. It’s a sad reminder of just how much of a stronghold Monsanto has on our own government. Here is another article that covers it beautifully…

http://www.globalresearch.ca/monsanto-controls-both-the-white-house-and-the-us-congress/5336422

Monsanto is a multinational agricultural biotechnology company. Besides being the one of the biggest manufacturers of chemicals (like Round Up), they also own over 11,000 patents on seeds. Yes, a chemical company is in charge of the food we eat. I will go into more about how Monsanto is ruining our food supply and poisoning the American citizens, all while our government watches from the sideline, at a later date.

We are not doomed!

Despite the fact that it looks like we are doomed, we aren’t. So many people, many in grassroots organizations, are standing up and fighting back against Monsanto. They are telling our government that we are fed up with this and won’t stand by as our food kills us.

Right now, the government isn’t even protecting us. The EPA, USDA, and FDA have gotten so corrupt from the infiltration of former Monsanto supporters that they are only protecting their stocks in Monsanto. Why would anyone in their right mind want to knowingly poison people with their own food supply? The officials running these agencies don’t have a conscious and are only in it for the money.

We must continue our fight against our own government, to get them to stand up to corrupt corporations and start protecting the American citizens. Our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves….

Have a wonderful, GMO-free day J

 

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Social issues ARE at the root of our environmental problems-part 1-no more sense of community

Why don’t people care anymore?

I want to concentrate my posts on this blog in the environmental area, especially because this is where my passion is, and it’s also my area of expertise with my Master’s degree. In my last post, I wrote about bullies, both adults and kids, and how they feel the need to exert their power over others. Bullying is a major social problem, and some would say that our environmental problems stem from social issues.

No more sense of community

I agree. If you look at our social problems, they all result in people not caring about their surroundings. For instance, a bully doesn’t care if he hurts others, therefore he doesn’t care about his surroundings. I see small acts around me that show defiance toward others. So many drivers here in Texas don’t want to obey the speed limit and drive faster. This shows that they don’t care about the law and will do what ever they want. Also here in Texas, I see so many cars NOT slowing down while going through school zones with flashing lights. This may seem like something small and not important, but all these small defiant acts add up, hurting everyone.

Why? What happened over the years that lead to people not caring? What caused the shift in our thinking that is now destroying our environment and our planet?

By people making the conscious decision to not care, it has a detrimental effect on the environment that affects everyone, not just them. We have lost that sense of ‘community’ where everyone looked out for everyone else.

Social class is another factor. Many times, the division between classes has a negative effect on the environment. In many instances, lower class populations don’t take care of their surroundings due to several factors, like being poor and not seeing how protecting the environment would benefit them. Underdeveloped countries, for example, don’t have the same advantages and resources as first world countries, and can’t picture how conservation would help them or their country. Unfortunately, these third world countries are not the worst polluting countries…it’s the first world.

Food for thought….

“The domination of nature by man stems from the very real domination of human by human”

‘The Ecology of Freedom’, page 1. Murray Bookchin

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White distilled vinegar is made with corn

I saw on the internet that white distilled vinegar is distilled with corn. WHAT???? Corn is GMO, so that means that the vinegar I use contains the Bt toxin. This toxin rips apart the stomach of the bugs that eat it, and we know that toxins aren’t made to kill bugs only.

Here is a blog post I found that talks more about vinegar:

http://www.happy-mothering.com/01/household/is-your-white-vinegar-made-from-petroleum/

Cindi

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GMO’s are more dangerous to humans than just weight gain

Hi everyone,

One of my family members sent me a newsletter they received from the Mediterranean diet book. It suggests avoiding GMO’s because they make you gain weight. After reading this sad attempt at educating people on GMO’s, I contacted Enrico and Valerie to explain how they could have done a better job. They are in Italy, so they don’t have to worry about GMO’s like those of us in the US. The main goal of this newsletter is to sell more books, because it contained 2 links.

In my response, I gave a little insight into the dangers of GMO’s, not just the fact they might contribute to weight gain. I also attached a paper I wrote in the beginning of my grad school education. I’ve also attached it here…

ENS 552-final paper-Cindi Stickle

GMO’s are created when foreign DNA is forced into the DNA of a seed. That DNA contains the Bt toxin (to kill pests), Round Up weed killer (to kill weeds), or other virus killers. These are dangerous to humans and should not be consumed. The Bt toxin, for instance, rips open the stomach of bugs when they eat the crops. Do people at Monsanto think that when humans eat the Bt corn (sold at Wal-Mart stores) their stomachs will be fine??? The same thing happens to people, just look at the increased amount of GI problems in the US.

I’m disappointed that people that sell diets aren’t educated enough to do so. If they are going to start a topic of discussion, they need all the facts, or at least more than were offered in the attached email I received.

Ignorance kills.

Cindi

 

Attached email I received:

“Subject: Avoid These GMOs That Make You Gain Weight

Reply-To: support@mediterraneanbook.com

Hello,



As you probably already know, the Mediterranean diet (Click Here to Get The 28 Day Meal Plan Now!) is a whole foods diet with no presence of GMOs. That’s why it’s the gold standard in healthy eating, and it’s the most effective and easy way to lose weight and keep it off.



A weed killer sprayed on 80 % of genetically modified foods could be linked to obesity, digestive diseases, and other chronic disorders, according to a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) paper published in the journal Entropy.


Without genetic modification, herbicides would damage crops, making them susceptible to insects and disease. To solve this issue, genes have been tweaked to be tolerant of the herbicide. The downside, according to the study, is that the herbicides used to protect the plants are harmful to humans.


Common ingredients to specifically watch out for include some of the obvious ones like high-fructose corn syrup and soybean oil. But several others you will want to be aware of include many common food texturizing agents, flavor enhancers, thickeners, sweeteners, and fortifiers. 



Some of the common offenders include ingredients like xanthan gum, citric acid, maltodextrin, lactic acid, dextrose, caramel color, baking powder, malt syrup, modified food starch, mono and diglycerides, sorbitol, stearic acid, and triglycerides.



If you live in the U.S., produce items you will want to specifically and always avoid are those bearing a five-digit PLU (Price look-up code) beginning with the number “8,” as these are GMOs *. 



Now Click Here to Get The New 28 Day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan! 

(100+ Recipes Cookbook and Weekly Shopping Lists Included!)




Thanks for reading.



Ciao


Enrico and Valerie
”

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How to prevent another West, TX tragedy

Living only 50 miles away from West, TX, the plant explosion is constantly in the news, and the news is not good. The more the investigators dig into what happened, the more they find out about lack of regulation enforcement. West Chemical and Fertilizer tried to obtain an exemption from OSHA inspections, allowing less regulations for companies that sell more than half of their product to end users. However, OSHA doesn’t follow up with these companies, and in fact, had not inspected the plant in West since 1985.

How can this be fixed? For starters, OSHA can perform inspections like they are suppose to, no matter the size or exemption of the company. If OSHA and the EPA don’t enforce laws, companies are going to continue to get away with anything and everything they can.

Which is exactly what the plant in West did. Not only were they not inspected, they built the town right up against the plant. Why? Texas has minimal rules and regulations when it comes to protecting its citizens. But citizens don’t have to sit back and let it happen to them. There are so many grass roots efforts that have made big changes in our policies. Sadly, 15 people died for no reason in West, TX, and hopefully it never happens again. People are not going to sit around and let another apartment building, retirement home, or school be built within 500 feet of a fertilizer plant, ever again.

The one positive thing we can all take away from this tragedy is that we can prevent it in the future. It may be an uphill battle, especially here in Texas, but it can be fixed. We just have to make sure the government officials in Austin follow the laws to protect the citizens of Texas.

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