Friday, February 14, 2014

Shoe soles, sawdust, human hair, beaver glands, yep, all natural

  This has been an eye opening week, and maybe I would like it to have been less so. It's just incredible the junk that is put in our foods, and yes, it can be labeled "all natural."  Jamie Oliver, a chef who helps us feed our families better foods, verified this week that ice cream  can be flavored with beaver anal glands. If you are a label reader,  it is listed as castoreum.  Might want to read a little more carefully.  And Subway, can you believe they have admitted to using  material used to make shoe soles and floor mats in their bread, to improve the texture? They are going to take it out, but when?  And when those two blew my little mind, I went searching for other "natural"  additives. It's frightening. Here are a few:  Fish bladders give beer its color, Wendy's chili contains sand, called silicon dioxide, Jello is made from pig skin, gum has sheep secretions, which are also used in sunscreen and baby products. Bread can be made with duck feathers and human hair, and many potato chips contain ingredients found in toilet bowl cleaner.  In case you think I stretch the truth, check out this website, there are even more wake ups: Glad I can grow a good percent of what I eat. And of course you know by now, if you are eating the yogurts with fruit, the color comes from crushed bugs. Buy the plain, one ingredient kind, organic milk. I like Fage, Chobani got off my list when they were called for having mold in their yogurt.  The fewer ingredients, the better, and just things you know and can pronounce. I shop the produce aisle for the most part, organic when possible. Making stuff from scratch sounds daunting but after you do it a while, the taste of canned and boxed processed stuff is yuck.  If you don't like plain yogurt, add honey and vanilla or your own fresh fruit. I am lucky enough to have lots of strawberries, and hopefully the blueberry bushes will start bearing this year. I do buy pomegranates and freeze the seeds, love those. They have a thick skin so are safe enough.
  Recipe for this week, Tub and Shower cleaner. Heat  1/2 cup white vinegar in microwave 90 seconds, add 1/2 cup blue Dawn. . Put in spray bottle. Spray tub, shower, sink etc and let set 30 minutes. Wipe or rinse off. Clean, shiny and disinfected. No chemicals, and cheap. It's just amazing what can be done with vinegar, baking soda, peroxide and other household items.
  Our area has had a wild ride weather wise lately. GA has seen ice that really crippled their area. We had snow instead, woke up yesterday to about 7 inches. More than we have had for some time, weather man said since 1996.  More due tonight, but only small amounts. Which is good, as this will take a while to melt off. And they now say by this time next week, 70's.  Our weather seems to be more and more extreme, last summer we had so much rain our gardens molded. Our church is having a mold problem in the basement because of all the moisture.  Most likely we will hit a dry year soon to make up for it, and wish we had a little rain. We can only take what the Good Lord sends and be grateful. I am so looking forward to getting outside again, seems like a very long winter already. Sit here looking out the window at white as far as I can see up the mountain.
  My oldest son and his wife both have birthdays this last week, she is a Valentine.  They shared supper last night, did an easy, not too bad main dish. Cut mushrooms in slices, and a red onion in wedges, seasoned with pepper, and thyme, laid pieces of chicken(thighs, boneless, skinless) on top, sprinkled a little olive oil and more thyme over the top and baked for 40 minutes in a 450 degree oven, Not too bad. Had oven roasted Yukon potatoes and a side of fresh broccoli and carrots. And pumpkin pie for dessert.  Watch a few cooking shows these days, can't believe it took me nearly 70 years to learn to prebake pie shells for 7 minutes before filling. What a difference. Pot pie too..
  Maybe by next week we will have less ice and snow, hope you are staying warm. Happy Valentine's day!

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