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1:30 a.m. Rio gets out of bed, goes to the bathroom, and puts herself back to bed. She needed no adult interaction; if I’d been sleeping I would not have even known. I happened to notice because I was up stupid late doing some paperwork.

My first thought was one of intense pride: my little girl, finally able to manage her own potty needs at night!

My second thought: I wonder how often she does this?

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This was going to be a response to ‘s thoughtful post about feeding her family less meat, but enough people have asked me about this sort of thing that I thought I’d post it to my own journal.

The Background

Industrial chemicals posing as food! World of Ick!

from : Here’s the article exposing the Pizza Hut cheesy business.

Turns out the PDMS is there in small amounts (0.1%), not to replace the “cheese” (actually the “cheese” is mostly starch and water…), but to  prevent bubbles from forming on the cheese when the pizza cooks. Still, PDMS is not approved even by the FDA for any food products.  They do allow trace amounts as leftover in food from earlier processing (it’s an  antifoaming and anticaking agent); the pizza hut cheese contained about 100x that trace amount.  Apparently Pizza Hut doesn’t use that anymore, though they never denied using it in the past…  

One more case of “let’s poison ourselves so that things *look good*”

Wow.

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Garden Gnome!, originally uploaded by MzMuze.

As a follow-up to my earlier post about food and sustainability, this week became all about a garden.

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I just read Michael Pollan’s amazing article in Sunday’s NYT. *

It’s a long article, mostly devoted to challenging what he calls the “cheap-energy mind”, and what Starhawk has called the politics of disconnection. Briefly, they are both talking about the tendency in our culture to seek answers outside of ourselves to the problems we create.

Most Witches embrace some version of the charge of the Goddess, which says “And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.”

Pollan is basically saying this with less poetry and more facts. His point is that we cannot expect to change the world without changing our lives, and that many of the mechanisms for “going green” – buying carbon offsets or “green” gear, giving to environmental organizations, voting for “green” candidates – are fundamentally external solutions. We’re waiting for someone else to fix the problem of our consumption.

He offers up a frightening challenge: to make one change in each of our lives that does not involve giving, shopping or voting, and that reduces our impact on the planet.

His three wonderful suggestions:
– give up eating meat
– observe the Sabbath: take one day a week in which you do not drive, do not shop and do not use electronics
– plant a garden to produce some of your own food

personal thoughts

(this is worth reading because the punchline is so hilarious, in a dadist way)

A few days ago, Rio and I were driving and she started making lists of her friends ages. She came up with three friends who are four and four friends who are three. For giggles, I asked her how many total kids that was and she right away said, “Seven”

Tonight she wanted to play that game again, making various sets of people and adding the sets (moms and dads, toddlers and babies, five year olds and teenagers, one year olds plus two year olds plus infants, etc). She counted on her fingers (or mine) and nailed every problem she set herself. Then she wanted to show off for her dad, who was downstairs chatting with our dinner guests.

“He can bring his friends up here,” she said. Rio at this point was lounging in the water, leaning against one wall with her feet propped up on the opposite edge, arms spread out along the rim of the tub. A rubber duck sat on the tub ledge between us, leftover from some previous bath. I was taking up about all the available floorspace outside the tub, because our bathroom is tiny.

“I don’t think they would all fit,” I assured her. We counted the number of people who would be in the bathroom if brought our four guests up. Seven.

“Seven people won’t fit in this tiny bathroom,” I said.

“Seven people will fit,” she said.

“Maybe we could fit seven cats in here,” I countered.

“Or seven dogs,” she suggested.

“I think even seven dogs would be a tight fit, but we could do seven ducks.”

“No,” said Rio flatly.

“No? Those ducks really like their personal space, huh?”

“Yep. Especially this one,” she deadpanned, moving one foot slightly to send the rubber duck hurtling to the floor outside the tub. “Now seven people will fit in this bath.”

Can anyone recommend a farm share we could still sign on for this year?

As a follow-up, I took

I posted this poll a few months back, about what people re-use and what they throw away. I didn’t have a big green agenda about it, I was just curious, but the results made me realize I’m not as green as I think.

I was already planning this follow-up post for today, after an awesome day of grocery shopping with 15 cloth tote bags and doing three loads of laundry, but I am also sort of responding to who asked in her LJ what her readers are doing to limit their planetary impact.

washing more, tossing less

…for the win:

Me, serving up a blueberry pancake Rio has just made herself from her own cookbook: Do you want syrup on this?

Rio: No, I’ve had enough sugar. I had syrup on the last one.

Flickr Photos

A little bird told me…

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