Green Drinks

562Green Drinks is a free, informal monthly meeting of green-thinking government officials, business owners, students, home owners and other people that get together once a month to meet, greet, discuss, share, catch-up, eat, explore and chat all while sharing a drink.

This all started in 1989 at a pub called the Slug and Lettuce in Northern London, Edwin Datschefski was sitting with his green design colleagues Yorick Benjamin and Paul Scott when he noticed an enviro-minded acquaintance at a nearby table. As it turned out, the friend was sitting with a few of his own eco-conscious mates, so they pulled some tables together. And so a movement was born.

All over the world people are gathering for Green Drinks to discuss environmental issues and make new eco-minded friends. The informal atmosphere that surrounds Green Drinks, allows people from all walks of life to mingle in a relaxed atmosphere, sharing ideas both simple and large and getting everyone personally and professionally involved in a sustainable future.

If you are eco-minded and would like to know more about the environmental issues that surround your city, check out Green Drinks in  your area.

For a list of Countries and Cities where Green Drinks is held, click here. If you can’t find a Green Drinks meeting near you, you have the opportunity to set up one in your city. Click here to start your own Green Drinks.

Why You Should Drink Organic Milk

1163228_61960853Milk is comprised of water, lactose, fat, protein and minerals, and is a food rich in calcium, protein, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin and Vitamins A, D, & B12. And when its organic milk from sustainable farms, it ensures a body is receiving these essential nutrients without added hormones.

Most milk contains recombinant Bovine Somatatropin (rBST), also known as recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone(rBGH), which is an artificial stimulant that increases a cow’s milk production by 10-15% and causes undue stress to cows.

Monsanto and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) insist that rBGH milk is indistinguishable from natural milk and safe to cows and consumers. However:

  • rBGH milk is supercharged with high levels of a natural growth factor (IGF-1), excess levels of which have been incriminated as major causes of breast, colon, and prostate cancers.
  • rBGH milk is contaminated by the GE hormone which can be absorbed through the gut and induce immunological effects.
  • rBGH milk is contaminated by pus from mastitis induced by rBGH, and antibiotics used to treat the mastitis.
  • rBGH makes cows sick. Monsanto has been forced to admit to about 20 veterinary health risks on its Posilac label including mastitis and udder inflammation. Taken from Shirley’s Wellness Cafe, What is rBGH.

Organic milk is produced by cows on certified organic farms, fed organic feed, and never treated with antibiotics for rBST. Federal statutes require farms to restrict pest control and receive third party certification in regards to certifying that the milk is organic. Organic dairy farmers also focus on humane and holistic animal treatment.

There has been some controversy on whether or not its worth it to buy organic milk, but with all the research that has been done, its easy to see that organic milk or natural milk that is rBST free are much better for you.

Organic Soda! Is it possible?

377821955_1ca3aa95feOrganic Soda seems to be an oxymoron. How can soda be healthy, much less organic? Can the same substance that’s full of carbonation and leaves your teeth felling grimy be environmentally friendly? After doing some research, its apparent that there are quite a few organic soda companies popping up on the radar. So in case you want to be organically balanced, yet love the taste of soda fizzling in your mouth, here’s some products to check out:

Whole Earth Foods-Their organic cola is a winner, made with the African cola nut and 95% organic ingredients. It’s also suitable for vegans; many may not know that other cola producers (shall we mention Coca-Cola?) use ingredients that are tested on animals or derived from animal by-products like glycerin. This drink is not. It contains about 172 calories per can.

Santa Cruz Soda-With 95% organic ingredients,and 130 calories, it’s not a diet drink. That’s because it’s packed with great juice taste. Try their Orange Mango soda.

Nutrisoda-Produced by Airforce, it comes with names like Renew, Calm, Slender, and Energize. Each drink contains natural ingredients that claim to aid with anxiety, fat burning, and memory loss. And they contain 10-15 calories per 8.4 oz serving (250 mL). You can visit their website for more information, including a look at their ingredient lists.

Maine Root organic soda-A recent phenomenon produced by two brothers, Maine Root sodas are made with organic cane juice, purified water, natural extracts and spices. A favorite is their root beer.

Check these out and let us know what you think!

Your Home Harvests

basket-9If you live in Salem, Oregon and surrounding areas you are fortunate to have the opportunity to have Your Home Harvests create a garden for you. Many of us want to eat organic and would love to have our own gardens but most of us don’t have the time or knowledge to get it started. Your Home Harvests can help.

What makes Your Home Harvest such a great company to work with is that they plant the garden in your own yard and give you the choice of taking it from there or have them do all the hard work. This is great for older folks who can no longer do the physical work or for those business workers who just don’t have the time in the day to keep up with a gardens constant needs. Another option you have is to create your own package to fit your needs.

Price:

Most gardens will cost between $2 and $4 per square foot of growing space. Small gardens start under $300 and there are several garden configurations under $500 installed.

Services:

  • The whole kit & caboodle – They install, maintain and harvest your garden from installation through October.
  • Preparation and ongoing advice – They install your garden beds and prepare the soil, plant what can go in at that time, leave you with some seeds, plants, and a week by week garden calendar. They will track your garden in their system and be available by phone to answer your questions.
  • Just the Preparation – They install your garden beds and prepare the soil, plant what can go in at that time and leave you with some seeds and a garden calendar to help you go it alone.

Phiosophy:

They believe that children and adults should be able to pick a tomato off the vine and eat it without fear, so we use no chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers in our gardens.

If you are interested in having Your Home Harvest start a garden for you, give them a call. Click here for their contact information.

Zevia – Nature’s Answer to Diet Soda

Have you ever wanted to stop drinking diet soda because of all the chemicals and artificial crap, but couldn’t because you are addicted and couldn’t find a better alternative? Well now there is a soda that is all natural with nothing artificial. Zevia, with less than a single calorie, no artificial sweetener, no sodium or fat, is  the worlds only all natural sugar free alternative to diet soda.

Zevia uses Stevia, which is an herb in the sunflower family from the rain forest known as “Sweet Leaf”. Because Stevia has no effect on blood sugar levels, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to people who must control their intake of certain carbohydrates.

zinfo_backZEVIA™ contains none of the chemically processed artificial sugar substitutes found in diet sodas because it is sweetened with natural stevia. Diet sodas also contain artificial flavors and colors. ZEVIA™ does not. With great effort, expense, and painstaking care, Zevia LLC found the healthiest, all natural ingredients available. Many “natural” sodas contain sugar which means calories. Diet sodas are usually sweetened with processed artificial sweeteners which means chemicals. ZEVIA™ with stevia is the only truly all natural diet soda.

Zevia Natural Soda –

  • Is naturally caffeinated with 45 mgs of natural caffeine derived from coffee
  • Contains no sugar
  • No Calories, carbohydrates and no fat
  • Contains nothing artificial
  • Certified Kosher
  • Gluten Free

Zevia offers six different flavors, Root Beer, Twist, Cola, Orange, Black Cherry, and Ginger Ale.

To locate a store near you that carries Zevia, click here.

Into the Trash it Goes – Average Family’s Food Waste

The average family of four wastes 122 pounds of food each month by tossing it into the trash can according to the New York Times.

In the article, One Mans Table Scraps, Another Country’s Meal, The New York Times made this interesting representation of the average Americans monthly waste. Click on the image to view full graphic.

These statistics should sadden you and make you want to change the way we all live and stop abusing the food we are so fortunate to have. People all over this world are starving and we have so much food that its ending up in the garbage? What is that about? Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes–one child every five seconds. And not to mention the environmental impact of wasting food. If we all stop wasting food that could have been eaten, the CO2 impact would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 5 cars off the road.

So what can we do to be better stewards of the wonderful food we have? Here are some easy and practical ways you can stop wasting food.

  1. Use what you’ve got. Try some of the wonderful recipes at LoveFoodHateWaste.com.
  2. Don’t make too much. Check out the Perfect Portion to know the exact amount to make.
  3. Keep the fridge at a cool 35-40 degrees and chilled food will last longer.
  4. Check out these Reviving Tips before you trash it.

For more Storage, Menu and Money saving tips, visit LoveFoodHateWaste.com.

How to Save When Buying Organic

Some people complain that buying organic food is so much more expensive than the non-organic foods. I will be the first to admit that organic food is more expensive to begin with but after reading about the Chemical Food Additives(Chemical Food Additives – Are They Slowly Killing Our Children?) and what they can do to a child’s body, let alone your own body, I see the importance in Organic food.

Here are some ways to cut down on your organic food bill.

Coupons:

Organic Valley

Horizon Organic

Mambosprouts

Organic Granola Recipe

One of the best organic breakfast recipes for busy cooks is organic granola. You can make it ahead of time and store it for weeks.

Start with a base of four to five cups of organic oats (not the instant kind). You’ll need about half a cup of organic honey and half a cup of organic apple juice for sweetness and as a binder. You can use less if you like, or omit the honey if you are vegan.

Add half a cup of any or all of the following:

  • Bran flakes
  • Raisins
  • Coconut
  • Other dried fruit
  • Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or a mixture

For things you might like a little less of in your granola, try a quarter cup instead:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Wheat germ

Mix all ingredients together and put in a thin layer on a cookie sheet. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and cook for about 45 minutes, until the oats are golden brown. Allow to cool and break up to store.

Make friends at the supermarket.

I recently found that the store I frequent has an marked down organic frozen section away from all the other organic items. You wouldn’t know that unless someone pointed it out to you. Typically you will find some items marked down because they are close to date, make sure and ask when things get marked down.

Try Growing Your Own

Verdant.com has a wonderfully set out site with links to help you on your way to growing your own organic vegetables for frugal sustainability.

These are just a few ways to help you get on your way to an organic healthy lifestyle. If you have more tips or great websites for helping people live organically, please share them in the comments below.

How To Make ‘eating at home’ A Sustainable Resolution

In my colleagues recent post, 8 Green New Years Resolutions, the number one resolution is to “Eat at home more often. Time spent with family is time well spent. Sitting around the table discussing the days events and enjoying some great organic, local food is better than any restaurant can offer.”

I enjoyed this post and these resolutions and have to say that eating at home is a new resolution that my wife and I have also made. We ate out way too much in the months leading up to January and are paying for it with extra time at the gym. But January give all of us a chance to turn over new leafs and try new resolutions. But often so many resolutions last only a few weeks or even just a few days. How do you make resolutions sustainable so that long-term changes are made? Are there special tricks or tips to keeping these things a part of your everyday life?

Unfortunately, there’s no magic potion and easy fix to creating a new habit. We ARE creatures of habit and creating new ones is difficult for us humans. But there ARE also some ways that we can attempt to make new changes and keep resolutions going. Here are some suggestions for making eating at home a resolution that will last.

1. Develop a menu: Sit down with the family and plan out an eating schedule of different meals they like, as well as ones they would like to try. This gives you a list to work with when shopping as well and a chance to examine the list of meals to make sure you are making healthy, organic choices.

2. Set a regular meal time and eat together as a family: Having a time during the day to stop all the madness of everyone’s schedule and have a meal together is important for family unity and growth. It also helps make sure that kids are eating healthy for their meals and eating on a regular schedule.

3. Keep Snacks At A Minimum: Limit the amount of snacks available (for you and your kids) around the house throughout the day so that you and your family are looking forward to eating together during meal times, rather than being full from all of the snacks.

These tips can help you make this resolution more sustainable and develop healthy eating and family habits. Let us know what else you are doing to make eating at home at new habit.

Holiday Baking at its Best!

Every holiday I am asked to bake some wonderfully delicious dessert and although I am up for the challenge most of the time, it is a bit overwhelming for me.  Now you may wonder why its overwhelming, well because I know whatever I make this holiday has to be better than the last holiday. So I have been looking at recipes and checking out different web sites for recipes for weeks, trying to find the perfect dessert for Christmas day.

Here are some of the wonderful dessert recipes I have found.

Joy The Baker, one of my favorite bakers on the net, offers many recipes almost daily. Over at Hackalife.com they have a recent post of Delicious Holiday Recipes From Joy The Baker. She has just recently posted a Glazed Lime Cake, Peppermint Meringues, Peanut Butter Fudge Treats and Cranberry Coffee Cake, which I tried and loved!

All Recipes has a section of Christmas Recipes with Christmas Cake, Peppermint Brittle, Icelandic Christmas Cake and many more recipes.

Check out Martha Stewart’s 48 Heavenly Holiday Desserts, from Grand Raspberry Trifle to Gingerbread Linzertorte to a Fig Holiday Roll.

Here is a favorite Holiday dessert recipe that you will surely enjoy!

Paula Deens Holiday Spice Cake

See the next page for the full recipe!

Budget Christmas Cooking Recipes

Christmas doesn’t have to be a stressful, overspending time of year. You CAN have a great Christmas with great food and stay on your budget! Just check out these sites and try out some of the delicious recipes and tips they offer!

Recipe4Living.com has a section with 5 cost-cutting tips for a magnificent Christmas. They have many recipes for the budget conscious, along with lots of ways to save on food during the holiday season.

At Taste.com.au they have a budget section with an array of recipes. Who says deliciously different meals have to be expensive? These cost-conscious dishes will wow your family and please your pocket at the same time. They even have some great tips on how to spend less and eat more as well as a budget-friendly menu plan for six.

AllRecipes.com also has a section on Cooking on a Budget. How can you make your food budget go further and eat well at the same time? Allrecipes can help with tips for smarter shopping and recipes for low-cost, family-pleasing meals. They also have 10 meals for under $10, Budget-Friendly Recipes for ground beef, and a Go Green Save Money section with tips on how to green up the planet and your pocketbook too.

Cheap Cooking – Cheap Cooking is a site that was set up to provide information and resources for people needing—or wanting—to cut back on their expenses. Your source for lots of cheap family recipes.

At RecipeZaar.com you can find 134 recipes in budget cooking.

An interesting website I found and enjoy is Hillbilly Housewife. The focus of Hillbilly Housewife is a low-cost, home-cooking from scratch. The recipes are all tested in a real kitchen with hungry children, stalking cats, begging puppies and a playful husband underfoot. The ingredients are affordable and readily available in most areas. She has tips on shortcuts, cooking secrets, How to make your own convenience foods, Budget Beverage Bargains and much more.