ever feel like you need a vacation?
April 29, 2007 at 6:28 pm
wow!! I do. even though driving from nyc to nola is not exactly the most relaxing way to journey down south, I am in desperate need of this trip. the chance to reconnect with one of my amazing girlfriends on the drive down, and then another long lost friend during the trip is (bio) fueling my excitement.
I am also in need of some of my mom’s famous gumbo and sarcasm, my granny’s fried chicken and yattitude, and a crawfish boil that my dad will put all his magic touches on. yeah, this trip is very food related. but how could it not be? I am from new orleans. we spend lunch thinking about dinner, and our family conversations are played around long, lingering meals.
I will definitely be adhering more to a local food mindset during this trip, as most of my comfort foods are not among the organic variety. so that leads me to the burning question– which is better for sustainability?
local or organic??
on the one hand, organic is better for the planet and it’s people because it means no pesticides, less toxins in the environment, land and food. water quality is maintained at a higher level, small farmers are kept in business, organic farms preserve biodiversity, and help to keep our rural lands healthier.
now, the local food movement strives to preserve foods indigenous to the region, locally farmed and produced, with less transport and less use of petroleum fueled vehicles to get it from farm to table. this not only sustains quality of product and absolute freshness, but it also minimizes the impact and reliance on oil. most local producers are typically in search of an organic certification, but they have not fully realized the criteria for certification.
I have been an organic foodie for most of my life, so I see the need to keep things pure, simple and untainted; however, I know that getting trout from my dad’s day of fishing a few miles down the road, simply just taste better than the organic ones flown in from china. and the mirlitons (chayote to everyone else in the universe) that my granny grew in the back yard are far superior to the mexican ones in the store.
I have really been fixed on this issue lately and I would love to hear your opinions in the matter. I feel a healthy balance is necessary, but I find that I purchase organic 9 times out of 10. so organic feels healthier for me, but what about for the planet?
see what I mean?? I need a long roadtrip just to figure this one out.
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zero footprint roadtrip?
at 5:39 pm
sure, in theory it sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? well, I am out to prove that I can have a sustainable travel experience. right now I am gearing up for a trip back home to New Orleans.
I have spent the last week making preparations. while I usually do not revel in driving for 24 hours straight with toddler in tow, I am highly anticipating this trip for several reasons. I will be making the journey with a dear friend that I have reconnected with following katrina, and she is an excellent roadtrip companion. we made the trip to new orleans together one halloween, and I can’t wait to experience jazz fest with her.
I have also readied the car. tire pressure? check. oil change? check. packing light? check. I know, driving 2600 miles is hard enough on the drivers, what does it do for the environment? well, I have thought of that. I renewed my cool driver offsets which fund wind power. since this is also arbor day, I have also donated to trees water people and the arbor day foundation’s trees for katrina. so between my wind (excuse me) and trees- I have the carbon emissions from the honda element covered.
I currently still have honda care on my little ellie (yes, I named the car), so I didn’t sign up for better world auto club, but I will be joining in around 18,000 miles.
next on the checklist is grub. obviously, we are going to need to eat on this trip. and organic, free range, fair trade, local options aren’t always available at all night diners and gas stations. so, packing a small cooler with yummies is a must. energy boosting snacks are also necessary. organic nuts and dried fruits and organic, fair trade chocolate covered espresso beans? check. of course we will have our sigg bottles, Imorganic coffee cups and reusable food containers to be as waste free as possible at the pit stops.
my little guy usually sleeps through most of our roadtrips, but nevertheless– toddlers do get messy!!
I will be taking my hankettes wet wipes and hanky so that I don’t have to deal with paper towels, napkins or disposable baby wipes during the drive. bamboo flatware? check. microfiber cleaning cloth for accidents? check. and yes, I am even bringing along my 100% recycled toilet paper. of course, it all gets loaded into my eco-spun tote bag made from recycled plastic bottles.
while I am in New Orleans, I will be volunteering with habitat for humanity and the green project. I have also contacted replant new orleans and global green, but I haven’t heard back. I will be photo-documenting my entire trip, with lots of green wonders to follow. did someone say digital camera? check.
so, it looks like I am all set……. did I miss anything?
got any green, organic travel suggestions?? I would love to hear them.
more posts from the road!
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April 26, 2007 at 1:33 am
“Mom, my stomach hurts”.
Being a mom of 5, I’ve had more than one ailment that required Dr. Mom’s attention. “Where does it hurt?” “Let me feel your head.” I ask questions until I can tell if we need to rush off to a doctor or if I can do something at home.
If it’s not necessary to see a doctor, I go to my “medicine cabinet”. Our medicine cabinet has a variety of odd sounding concoctions that have proven to be effective over the years. Things like Stomach Soothing Complex, Calendula Cream, Defend and Resist, and Rescue Remedy are staples. I’m careful to purchase supplies from places that test their herbs for potency and purity.
Doing your homework on any herbal remedy is important. Two resources that I’ve used over the years are from Duke University and the Rodale Institute. Duke University has both written publications and an online herbal directory . This site is very thorough and includes drug interactions that might occur with herbs. I’ve also used Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs as a reference book.
Now, how about some ginger tea for that tummy ache?
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Um, where did you put the VanGogh?
April 23, 2007 at 2:58 am
I had to grocery shop today, a chore that I’ve come to dread. Trying to find organic foods that my family will eat can really be a challenge. Here in our small town we don’t have many stores that sell organic foods. In the summer I can grow and put up some of what we eat. The rest of our food has to come from a grocery store. At least today I have some coupons for organic products thanks to the Go Organic! for Earth Day campaign. (You can order the coupon book for free at 866-446-6742 or go to organicearthday.org and click on “contact us”)
Today I’ve traveled to the grocery store that has the largest variety of organic foods (By this I mean they’re not all located in one aisle on five shelves). But still, shopping for me becomes a “museum-like” experience. I wheel my cart towards a shelf and stand staring…a long time….at all the jars or cans of every color, just hoping one of them might be both organic and something my kids will eat. I stare; people quietly pass me. Some stop for a while to stare with me. It’s just like the museum, except there’s no guard nearby waiting to clear his throat the moment I lean too close or try to touch something. Instead, I have to touch something. I reach out and take an item, looking at the ingredients (wishing I’d brought reading glasses) trying to ferret out any unsavory chemicals or additives.
When I find a product with the USDA organic seal, I can be a bit more at ease. At least I know that the product has to meet some standards for being organic. It doesn’t meant that all the ingredients are organic (there needs to be over 70% organic ingredients to bear the label). Unfortunately, some companies will try to get around the USDA requirements and there are some who are asking the USDA to “water down” its’ standards. Therefore, I am still reading labels and articles that might alert me to companies that are less than honest. I would dearly love to have a local store that sold only organic foods.
In the meantime I will continue to stare and read my way through the grocery store. Maybe the store could hire a guard that would stand near me and clear his throat every time I reach for something that is not organic. Oh well…hey, are those organic Oreos I see?
Have a great Earth Day (every day),
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HAPPY EARTH DAY!!
April 22, 2007 at 2:50 pm
I always look forward to Earth Day. Many people see New Year’s Day as the time to reflect and make impacting change in their lives, I see the coming of spring and the love of our planet as the perfect time to be introspective.
One of my biggest questions is :
WHY JUST ONE DAY?
I mean we have month long celebrations throughout the year, yet the planet that has sustained us without so much as a hiccup, gets one measley day??
How balanced is that? I do personally strive to make April a non-stop earth love month, but hey—I don’t exactly get to pass that legislation on for the rest of us.
It seems a little on the ungrateful side for us to devote just a brief 24 hour period to our home planet. I just don’t get it— how do Fresh Florida Tomatoes get a full month??
Not that I don’t enjoy fresh Florida tomatoes just as much as the next organic salsa-loving girl, but come on! April also happens to be a month for kites, dog lyme disease, couple appreciation, preparing your home to be sold, and my personal fave- southern belles.
How do southern belles get an entire month, and lil ol’ planet earth gets one lil ol’ day?
“As the earth is my witness, I shall never go hungry again!!”
Seems like we may be in serious need of a reevaluation of our priorities, people.
But, I’m just saying….
have a namaste!
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Featuring: “Food For Thought”
April 20, 2007 at 9:19 pm
During 6 years traveling and living in the developing world engaging in human relief work, Timothy Young, President of Food For Thought, became intimately acquainted with the impoverishing economic regime that exists to supply the first world with food from less developed nations. Awareness of the true costs of having year-round access to coffee, pea pods and bananas changed his view of the world convincing him to pursue a life path that did not support that global food system.
As a result, Food For Thought, founded in 1996, was started in his recycled green built home on a 1901 Detroit Jewel stove crafting organic preserves in a copper kettle. His wife, Kathleen, soon joined and 11 years later the business is housed in a green building he built next to their home with 10 very devoted staff members, two children, enviable compost piles, solar panels and much larger copper kettles.
This little company nestled on an organic farm in northern Michigan is now proud to announce that they are launching their line of gourmet organic preserves as the first in the nation certified Fair Trade. Check out Food For Thought’s revolutionary products!
My Story so far…
at 2:42 am
Hello, my new organic friends, my name is Christal White, a new addition to the imorganic.com blog family and I’d love to take this opportunity to introduce myself.
As a little girl growing up in New Orleans, I wrote & read incessantly. I had such an insatiable appetite for the love of the written that I would ask for journals and stationery for gifts. One year I asked for and received the ultimate gift for any young writer- it was my IBM selectric II typewriter. With it I published my own newspapers, magazines, stories and poems and dreamed of one day having my words read by the world.
As a teenager fighting to assert my autonomy and independent thought, inspired by a well read copy of Frances Moore Lappe’s Diet for a Small Planet- I found my way to the conclusion that an organic lifestyle centered on vegetarianism would be my small way to make changes for the sake of the environment. I spent many a thanksgiving explaining my decision to forego the turkey and stick with the veggies instead.
As an adult with a toddler of my own, I watched with the rest of the world in horror as my city, my newly rebuilt home and everything I had ever collected was literally washed away before my eyes with a one-two punch named Katrina and Rita. It was in the days immediately following the storms, that I realized first and foremost- I am a global citizen, and that all of our actions have an equal part in the nurturing of nature. The images of how the storms ravaged my heart’s home, and all those in distress, still haunt me. Permeated into my psyche, they remind me that each small change I make, has a great and lasting impact. We can all be a part of that positive energy.
It is here that three paths of my life form one unique circle. My writing. My organic/green lifestyle. My post-Katrina epiphanies. All converge. I hope that you will take the journey with me. Share with me your thoughts and questions. Inspire me with your suggestions. Have some laughs at my expense. We’ll evolve together. My life is a open book and a work in progress, with so much left unwritten.
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Hi, I’m Debbie from PA…
April 18, 2007 at 6:28 pm
I wake up in the morning, not to the smell of coffee, but to the sound of beeping hair irons and the various bumpings and thumpings of my three teenagers and husband getting ready for the day. This is just the start to a typical day for our family here in Western Pennsylvania. Just like many other US families, we rush around to school, work, and a variety of other activities. And, like some other families, we are making an effort to live in a way that is more in harmony with nature.
My name is Debbie and I am a Pennsylvania native. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to be involved with the Imorganic family. As the idea of being “green” becomes more mainstream, I am hoping that we’ll see more choices for people wanting to live organically.
Here’s just a little personal introduction. I grew up in a rural area, moved to a small city as a young adult, and back to the country when I married. I have 5 children and one daughter in law. Our family also consists of a dog, two cats, and three goats. If you were to cut me, I would almost certainly bleed green. Most of my activities involve being outdoors with my family; track, 4-H, boy scouts, orienteering, and hiking take up a lot of our time. And in all of this, I struggle to help my family live in a way that balances our needs with the environment, not always an easy task with three teenagers at home (note to self: it is not cool to serve organic salsa and chips at sleepovers, next time hide the bag).
“Harmony with the land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left.” Aldo Leopold
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