Horses to be Slaughtered in the US for Meat

Lorie's HorsesThe U.S.D.A. (United States Department of Agriculture) is moving toward approving a horsemeat slaughterhouse in New Mexico within the next two months. This will be the first time equine meat slaughtered in the US will be offered for human consumption since 2007. Horses can be consumed in the US, but not slaughtered here so they have been shipped to Canada and Mexico. If you’re like me you might be shocked, and appalled that people could eat horsemeat in the US. And then, like me, maybe you’re also harkening back to those elementary school years (before I gladly became a vegetarian) thinking, “What was in those school hamburgers?!...Read Full Article on Celsias

Bait and Switch: The Harmful Mislabeling of Fish

If the environmental consequences weren’t enough reason to swear off fish a newly released study by OCEANA found that seafood fraud (the mislabeling of fish) is wide spread.  Of particular concern are fish species the FDA advises against eating, either because of high mercury content or unpleasant digestive side effects.

What kinds of fish were mislabeled? We’re not talking about already questionable fish sticks, which everyone knows are chicken. No, we are talking about over 13 different kinds of fish, from some of the finest dining establishments in New York City. Of the 142 samples taken 56 were mislabeled (39%).  Previous tests in other cities revealed similar numbers: Los Angeles (55%), Boston (48%), Miami (31%).  Samples were taken at random from groceries (both small independents and large chains), restaurants, and sushi bars.

Two of the more disturbing factoids in the study:

“100 percent of the 16 sushi bars tested sold mislabeled fish.”

Read Full Article on Celsias

The Joy of Raw Cuisine with Chef Gum

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing raw/vegan chef Kirsten Gum work her magic at the Gourmandise School of Sweet’s and Savories in Santa Monica, CA.

She made a chocolate pudding using avocado as the base, which I swear on my favorite French recipes, was better than any chocolate pudding I’ve ever had.

And so I began to think that adding more raw and vegan options to my own diet might not be such a bad idea. In fact, it might be enjoyable.  So I quizzed Kirsten a bit about the raw/vegan diet, it’s relationship to the environment, and tips on yummy food choices.

She was kind enough to humor me:

Raegan: The terms "vegan" and "raw" are really scary, even for me and I've been a vegetarian for 16 years. I picture lettuce eating rabbits when I think raw and vegan.  What do you tell people about the diet so that they are willing to try it?

Kirsten: HA, HA!! YES, THE TWO WORDS USUALLY BRING TERROR TO THOSE WHO EAT "S.A.D"raw foods - THE STANDARD AMERICAN DIET, WHICH IS FILLED WITH MEAT AND CHEESE AND LOTS OF PROCESSED FOOD.

I CALL MYSELF A PLANT-BASED CHEF BECAUSE MY GOAL IS NOT TO CONVERT EVERYONE TO RAW, BUT TO RECONNECT PEOPLE TO THEIR FOOD, TO EAT MORE VEGETABLES BY INTRODUCING THEM TO NEW PRODUCE, NEW SKILLS, NEW RECIPES AND VERY WISE AND VALID NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION.

IT'S STARTS WITH GETTING REAL WITH YOURSELF - DO YOU DRINK ENOUGH WATER? DO YOU REALLY ONLY EAT MEAT ONCE A DAY? MOST PEOPLE ARE SO "FUZZY" IN THEIR THINKING - I TRY TO GET THEM TO FOCUS AND CONSCIOUSLY EAT.

MY COMPANY EXPERIENCE RAW IS ABOUT ENRICHING LIVES THROUGH CONSCIOUS CUISINE... NOT ABOUT CONVERTING ANYONE. SUPPORT IS THE BEST WAY OF HELPING, AND GIVING THEM THE INFORMATION THEY NEED TO MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES.

R: What's your favorite raw ingredient?

K: THIS QUESTION IS EASY FOR ME - MACA!!!!  I DISCOVERED MACA WHILE LIVING DOWN IN ECUADOR AND PERU A COUPLE YEARS AGO.  IN THE STATES YOU GET MACA IN POWDERED FORM, BUT I HAD IT GROWING ON MY LAND IN ECUADOR.

IT IS A PERUVIAN ROOT, WHICH LOOKS LIKE A TURNIP OR WHITE CARROT. MANY NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES INCLUDING THE MAYANS AND THE INCANS USED THIS ROOT AS A SOURCE OF ENERGY AND ENDURANCE IN TIMES OF WAR BECAUSE IT GIVES YOU STEADY ENERGY.

raw foodsHERE'S THE KICKER... IT GIVES BOTH MEN AND WOMEN A BOOST IN THEIR LIBIDO. NO JOKE, JUST A COUPLE TABLESPOONS OF MACA IN YOUR MORNING SHAKE WILL KICK-START YOU SEX LIFE. YOU'LL NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE IN JUST A WEEKS TIME. IT HAS THE AMAZING ABILITY TO HELP BALANCE OUT HORMONES. ANYONE SUFFERING FROM PMS, CRAMPS, MENOPAUSE ALL CAN BENEFIT.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE AFTERNOON SNACKS IS A MACA-CHACA SHAKE. 1 FROZEN BANANA, 2 CUPS ALMOND MILK, 2 TBS. MACA, 1/2 RAW CACAO POWDER,AND JUST BLEND!

R: I'm going to ask you the most frequently asked question I get as a vegetarian and one I know you get bombarded with. Maybe people will read this and then we don't have to answer it anymore:  How do you get your protein?

K: PROTEIN EXISTS IN EVERYTHING IN NATURE.  PLANT PROTEIN IS EASILY RECOGNIZABLE TO OUR BODIES. UNLIKE ANIMAL PROTEIN, WHICH IS HARD TO DIGEST AND MAKES THE BODY WORK OVERTIME.

ITS MOSTLY FOUND IN DARK LEAFY GREENS LIKE KALE, NUTS AND SEEDS.  IN THE RAW/VEGAN WORLD THERE'S ONLY 3 SECTIONS TO THE FOOD PYRAMID - FRUITS AT THE TOP, VEGGIES IN THE MIDDLE AND NATURAL FATS AT THE BOTTOM, WHICH INCLUDE NUTS, SEEDS, COCONUTS, AVOCADOS. I ALSO EAT LOTS AND LOTS OF QUINOA, A PERUVIAN GRAIN, WHICH HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST PROTEIN LEVELS PER GRAM.

R: Why no to GMO's?

K: PLAIN AND SIMPLE...  CORPORATIONS ARE MESSING WITH OUR FOOD AND WITH MOTHER NATURE. GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS MEAN THEY ARE ALTERING THE DNA OF CERTAIN PLANTS AND ANIMALS.

I AM FIGHTING WITH MILLIONS OF OTHERS TO MAKE SURE THE GOVERNMENT MAKESraw food IT MADATORY FOR GROCERS TO LABEL WHAT IS GMO. WE SHOULD HAVE THE CHOICE TO EAT A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT, OR SOMETHING IN ITS PURE FORM. THAT'S WHY PROPOSITION 37 [in CA] IS SO IMPORTANT!

R: You said your Kale salad is better than my favorite Kale salad at The Misfit in Santa Monica, CA (which made me start eating Kale in the first place).  Care to share the recipe?  Or tips on making the best Kale salad.

K: HA, HA.. I DON'T REMEMBER SAYING THAT. I MUST GO TRY THE KALE SALAD AT THE MISFIT!

KALE IS A VERY BITTER GREEN AND NEEDS TO BE MASSAGED IN ORDER FOR IT TO RELEASE ITS NATURAL JUICES. MANY PEOPLE FORGET TO MASSAGE THEIR KALE, WHICH LEAVES SOMEONE CHEWING FOR 5-10 MINUTES JUST TO GET IT DOWN.

STRIP THE KALE OFF THE STEM, MASSAGE IT TILL IT TAKES ON A COOKED APPEARANCE, ADD SALT AND LEMON JUICE (THIS HELPS BREAKDOWN CELL WALLS AND MAKES IT SOFTER), ADD A DASH OR TWO OF OLIVE OIL AND YOU HAVE THE PERFECT BASE SALAD. WHAT YOU PUT ON IT AFTER IS UP YOU!

R: Why is a raw diet or at least dedicating part of your diet to raw foods important for the environment?

K: I LOOK AT THE RAW DIET AS THE KINDER/GENTLER WAY OF LIVING.

raw foodsWE MUST GET BACK IN TOUCH WITH OUR PLANTS AND ECO SYSTEM, WHICH THRIVES ON BALANCE. WE ARE SO CLOSELY RELATED TO PLANTS. WE NEED OXYGEN, WHICH THEY GIVE OFF. THEY NEED CARBON DIOXIDE, WHICH WE GIVE OFF.

I COULD GET INTO ALL THE STATISTICS OF THE GASES THESE BIG SLAUTERHOUSES GIVE OFF AND HOW EXPENSIVE IT IS TO COMMERCIALLY FARM ANIMALS FOR US TO EAT, BUT I CHOOSE TO STAY ON THE SHINY SIDE OF LIFE.

R: What's next for you?

K: LOTS  GOING ON. I FEEL MORE PEOPLE ARE READY TO CHANGE UP THEIR EATING STYLES AND START TAKING THEIR HEALTH INTO THEIR OWN HANDS.

I LOVE TRAVELING AND WANT TO BRING RAW/VEGAN KNOWLEDGE TO THOSE AREAS THAT DON'T HAVE EASY ACCESS TO IT. I'LL GO TO ANY TOWN OR CITY IF THERE ARE ENOUGH PEOPLE WHO WANT TO LEARN.

I'M HEADING TO MICHIGAN TO TEACH SOME RAW FOOD CLASSES AND CATER AN ALL RAW DINNER. I ALSO AM CATERING A RETREAT IN ARIZONA IN A FEW WEEKS FOR HEALTH EDUCATOR DAVID WOLFE AND VISIONARY DAVID WILCOCK.

I'M DEVELOPING SOME PRODUCTS TO PACKAGE SO THAT MORE PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO YUMMY PLANT BASED FOOD. I'M ALSO IN THE PROCESS OF FILMING SOME ONLINE COURSES, SO AGAIN, I CAN REACH PEOPLE IN THE FAR CORNERS OF THE WORLD AND HELP THEM, ONE BITE AT A TIME.

I highly recommend visiting Kirsten’s website for tips on Raw/Vegan tips and that yummy chocolate pudding recipe .

Volunteer Journal #78 –Farmers Market Gleaning

Americans throw away 165 billion dollars worth of food a year! What if we could re-route that food to the hungry, or starving.

Food Forward – a Southern California charity that needs to become national and international is doing just that.  They started by picking un-harvested fruit trees and donating the fruit in 2008.  Today they’ve donated over a million pounds of fresh produce to local food banks

Now they’ve moved onto gleaning (collecting) unsold food from 3 farmers markets in the Los Angeles area.

In less than two months Food Forward Farmers Market Recovery Program (started Aug. 15th) has collected and donated 15,000 lbs of fruits & vegetables to those in need.

I loved the sound of this program, so  I had to see how it worked.  Last Wednesday I joined the projects coordinator Mary Baldwin and her group of intrepid and beautiful volunteers at the Santa Monica Farmers Market.

We braved humidity, 50 lbs boxes of produce, baby strollers, and what I can only call food pirates to collect over 1000 lbs. of fruits & veg.

How does it work? First, Mary and her team pass out Food Forward boxes to farmers, who believe they will have leftovers, towards the end of the market.  Mary keeps track of the names and just over an hour later the team runs back through the market to collect the boxes.  The produce is weighed, recorded, and then distributed to the food banks.  In Santa Monica 300 lbs. of food was sent to local charity Step Up on Second and then the rest was taken by van to St. Joseph Center which provides help to the working poor.

This isn’t my first foray into the Food Forward world.  I volunteered on a couple of fruit picks when they were a baby group of volunteers.  I’m thrilled they’re now humongous.  Their programs have helped up the nutrition level of those in need, kept food local, saved over a million of pounds of food from landfills and improved the health of the trees.

If you are interested in joining the FMR Progam Glean Team, which I highly recommend, say hello to mary at fmrecovery@foodforward.org.

So many farmers decide to donate and things are not easy for small family farms, so I'd like to take a minute to mention some of the regulars who feed so many.  If you’re lucky enough to go to a Southern California farmers market look for:

flora bella: http://florabellafarm.com/

fairview gardens: http://www.fairviewgardens.org/

windrose: http://windrosefarm.org/

see canyon: http://www.seecanyonwedding.com/

weiser family farms: http://www.weiserfamilyfarms.com/

yasutomi: http://www.realtimefarms.com/farm/5214035/yasutomi-farms

mud creek ranch: https://www.facebook.com/mudcreeksp

jimenz family farms: http://www.jimenezfamilyfarm.com/

gloria's: http://www.realtimefarms.com/farm/5069057/glorias-fruits-veggies

Fair Hills Apple Farms: http://www.fairhillsapplefarm.com/

And Dave Eakin Citrus Farmer Extraordinaire!

Now, in the spirit of this post, and using local produce, may I recommend my favorite virgin cocktail recipe that involves freshly squeezed juice-

Lavender/Grapefruit Yummy Drink

1 cup fresh grapefruit juice

1/3 cup sparkling water like Pellegrino

1-2 tablespoons (to taste) lavender simple syrup – homemade or Monin.

Pour together – stir or shake - enjoy

Volunteer Journal #73 (UK) – Conservation Volunteers

Not all volunteering can be as glamorous as cleaning snake cages. No, sometimes you have to get dirty. That’s what I set out to do during my stay in London, a place renowned for refinement.

Early on I zeroed in on an organization called The Conservation Volunteers.  They restore woodlands, plant community gardens, and clean up the unsightly. My first attempt to volunteer with them ended with me stuck at a bus stop, in freezing rain, for what felt like the length of that last horrible Twilight movie, because the buses were on strike and I’m an idiot and did not read the morning news.

Daring another trip outside the boundaries of zone 4 on the tube, to a far away land where only buses and horse drawn carriages dare to tread, I made it to Hounslow to help TCV with the Sow Good Community Garden.

As I walked up I noticed that it didn’t look like much of a garden.  Currently, it’s a vacant, unkempt, former local rubbish dump behind a chain link fence, but project leader Anna has big plans.

She guided me around saying, “And over here people will picnic, and they’ll be a path here for kids to run on,” and things of that ilk and I soon started to see the potential.  Strawberries and rhubarb has spread from cuttings the year before.  Two people sized apple trees already produce fruit and lemon balm pushes its way between donated flowering plants.

Yes, donated.  Apparently, they don’t have much funding for this project so all the materials they work with have been donated soil, clippings, and tools.  Seems the odd individual (odd meaning rare not weird ‘kay) will call them up when they are tearing up their flowerbed and donate the plants that would otherwise become rubbish.

That’s what I would be working with today, rubbish plants.

I was to help Anna dig a flowerbed roughly the shape of a boomerang and then fill it with some flower cast offs and lemon balm.

The workout of course is in the digging and jumping/running away from the slugs, worms, and various other creepy crawlers that inhabit the plot.

After the plot is dug I looked for grass roots and threw them in the compost pile.

Then I dug holes for the clippings and castoffs, stuck the new plants in the ground and covered them.

No worries about watering because as sure as I’m a curly headed girl who spends way too much time straightening her locks a torrential English downpour will soak you before the process is finished saving you a step.

The garden is actually the ideal way to promote the idea of conservation.  Plants that would be trash given a place to live and blossom.  It’s going to be a lovely place with heaps of fresh fruit.  Someday I want to come back and see it in it’s full grown glory.

America's Fat Threatens The World

Yet another report confirms what most of the world suspected – Americans’ fat bottoms will be the eventual downfall of humanity. More precisely, if the rest of the world follows the American trend towards fatter bottoms then environmental degradation due to food production threatens the sustainability of our planet. The study from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found that ... Read Full Story

Hugh’s Fish Fight

Between 40 to 60 percent of the fish that are caught in the North Sea are thrown back dead. In 2011 Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall went on a mission to find out why and ended up starting a grass routes movement that is rewriting government policy called Hugh’s Fish Fight .

The fish are discarded because fishermen generally target one species, but they catch fish in mixed fisheries (i.e. different species of fish swim around in the ocean together, they don’t discriminate, they love each other.) Fisherman don’t want to bring in fish they can’t sell because they’ve fallen out of fashion with modern palates, and fish like cod, and haddock have to be thrown back because they are over-quota. Quotas were established to protect certain species of fish from over fishing. Quotas back fire because... Read full article at Celsias

Volunteer Journal #67 –Take a Shower with PETA

Ladies and Gentleman, the following is an account of my weirdest volunteer activity as TheGoodMuse- yet.

I had never volunteered with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), but then I got this email, which said something like...

Come take a shower in the middle of the LA Convention Center to promote water conservation by eating less meat.

Sold. You had me at public nudity.

In all seriousness, I’m a vegetarian. I have been since I was a teen.  It's one of the best decisions I ever made for my health.  I also think it's important for everyone to eat less meat (or no meat/fish) for the environment's sake. Meat production pollutes more than all the vehicles on the road combined and our lust for fish is stripping the ocean bare. To say the least - I was game to support this cause.

And... the PETA shower campaign is mad genius.  People taking a shower in public wrapped in a curtain printed with the factoid: 1 lb. of meat = 6 months of showers. It stops traffic - it literally has stopped traffic on Hollywood and Highland in Los Angeles. As soon as I climbed into the shower, in a little white bikini that no one could see, foot traffic in front of the PETA booth stopped and the other volunteers were able to distribute info.  It was a riot, and I would do this activity again but...

That being said lets break down the problems.

I was on a raised platform and the bar to the top of the shower was about five and a half feet off the ground.  I was told you couldn't see over it.

You couldn't see over it unless you were a male who was... oh... let's say... about six feet tall, slightly perverted, not at all slick, shameless, and you stepped right up to the shower to ask me (with a head tilt and eyes down) why I had become a vegetarian. Lots of men meet all of these requirements.

Sir, I know what your doing. Not cool.

Also not appreciated… The guys who held their cameras aloft, arm fully extended up, to get the full shot.

I'm in a bikini you desperate, sad...

I would have preferred to do this volunteer activity with a male friend in the shower as well.  They could have acted as a bull sh*& shield.  Someone who could give creepy men scary looks.  I tried, but I've been told my "I will kick your ass" look is easily misinterpreted and not at all scary.

PETA should also make sure that there is a volunteer on hand big enough, and forceful enough, to bounce perverts.  I can't believe this is needed, but I felt it was.

Now lets talk temp. The first 30 minutes I was fine, I knew the water was cold but it was like being a little kid at the ocean - too much fun to care about hypothermia. After 30 minutes - goose bumps. By the end of the hour I’m pretty sure the US Geological Survey was registering my body tremors. Oh it was sooooo cold. Ohhhh! I had to take a 45 minute hot shower at home to even begin to thaw. Maybe I get cold too easy.  I know volunteers have done this campaign in the snow. But I feel that both a volunteer's health and safety should be the first priority of any organization.  They are volunteers. They are not being compensated in any other way besides happy feelings. Protect happy feelings.

All that being said I would recommend this volunteer experience to anyone of like mind.  It's one of those once in a lifetime deals you definitely want to tell your grandkids about. You will walk away with killer stories. And I also highly recommend becoming a vegetarian. If not for the environment, or the animals, then do it for your health.

Fish Fight: Update on the Battle to Save the Bluefin

Hope may be on the horizon for the endangered bluefin tuna as a worldwide ban on trade gains momentum.  A number of countries including France, Italy and Australia are considering or implementing bans in the catch and trade of the sushi staple approaching a critical vote during the Convention on International Trade in Endanger Species (CITES) in March. Without limitations or even elimination of bluefin fishing many biologist and environmentalist believe the bluefin population will not recover and could become extinct as early as next year. “Atlantic and Southern bluefin tuna are both listed as endangered by IUCN, with populations of the former reduced 80% since the 1970s. At current fishing rates, which far exceed the official quotas due to rampant illegal fishing, Atlantic bluefin...Read Full Article on Celsias

Food Insecurity and Climate Change

Extreme weather conditions fueled by climate change will increase food insecurity across the globe. Scientists and humanitarian groups point to events like this summer’s record breaking heat in Russia and floods in Pakistan and Canada as examples of how food stocks are likely to be affected in the coming years. "Climate change will lead to different weather patterns, and that is what we are already seeing in many places like Pakistan and Russia. It doesn't rain the way it used to," World Water Week director Jens Berggren told AFP recently . Russia’s hottest summer on record helped fuel 600 wildfires near Moscow, which destroyed almost one-third of the countries buckwheat crop. This crop loss led...Read Full Article

Volunteer Journal #59 – Share Our Strength

I got the call from Share Our Strength on Friday requesting volunteer help on Sunday for the LA Times Celebration of Food and Wine benefit at Paramount. Regardless of the late notice, I got butterflies. Maybe even a bit lightheaded. Some people go weak over movie stars – I lose my mind over gourmet-handcrafted food. To prep for the large amount of yum I would inhale (for charity yada yada yada) I ate nothing but fruit and veggies for two days, lived at the gym, and fasted the last 18 (miserable) hours before the event.

Technically, Share Our Strength had asked me to help sell raffle tickets at their booth, and I totally intended to – once my food obsession had been satiated. I arrived early so my eating would not cut into my volunteering time. Before I type out this entire embarrassing list I want everyone to know this happened over several hours and most of the food was in sample sizes – okay. Alright here goes…

First stop Coolhaus – retro-architectural-gourmet-ice-cream-sandwich-chow-truck – I got peach cobbler ice cream sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies, next the Dosa Truck for a Dosa (Indian crepe) wrapped around spinach, cheese and potato with curry sauce, a Chocolate Chipotle Cake Ball at Delicious Wishes, Aged cheddar samples, spicy potato salad, blueberry lemonade, homemade strawberry buttermilk ice cream, Thai pitas and mung bean pattie (better than sounds), gourmet potato chips, wahoos veggie tacos, chocolate cake muffin, homemade s’more at Madame Chocolat, oh crap almost forgot and then a snickerdoodle cookie at the end. I have no idea how I ate that much it was an awesome feat. Estimated calorie intake 4000 to 5000. Days would have to fast to make up for today-3. Was it worth it for one day of gourmet gluttony?  Yes.

As for the volunteering - I manned the booth with the other volunteers but the best time I had was helping the chefs and restaurant owners set up the VIP area. Though some were a bit snippy (who will remain nameless here). I probably ran across the lot 6 times filling various requests. I ended up invading the Paramount set supplies at one point and snatched some unused black curtains to use as table linens because we had run out. I did this under the eye of a Paramount security guard who saw me taking the curtains and said, “Ma’am, can I help you?” He said it like, “Ma’am can I take you to studio jail?”  So I played dumb, which I hate doing but... [bat eyelashes, flip hair, jut out hip]... I said, “It’s the damn’dest thing I just can’t get these curtains off the metal poles." They were attached to because they were part of a stage. The over accommodating guard said, “Oh let me help you with that.” So children -when stealing act like suppose to be stealing.

Here's the irony in this volunteer assignment and blog.  Share Our Strength helps fight childhood hunger and food insecurity.  Over 17 million children in the United States, that's one in four, faces hunger.  I stuffed myself like a little pig at an event to help children who may not even get one good meal a day.

On a side note (and I do this out of love and with the knowledge that TheGoodMuse’s design is far from perfect) – Share Our Strength has one of the most difficult websites to negotiate of any charity I’ve ever seen. It’s like a word bomb went off on every page. After I was asked to volunteer for the LA Times event I literally had to Google LA Times Food and Wine to find any information because I couldn’t find it on their website. What’s needed? Fewer words. Easier Tabs. Events page with info. General volunteer sign-up - THAT’S EASY TO FIND. More concrete factoids, for example: How exactly does the Great American Dine Out raise money to help stop hunger? What percentage goes to support your programs? On a positive note -The Great American Bake Sale page has improved since last year because of a searchable map.

Bottom-line on the Share Our Strength Website– less pomp more substance. Potential volunteers please don’t get discouraged or frustrated.

Nat Turner, Blair Grocery & the Lower 9 Garden

"No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities - always see them for they're always there." -- Norman Vincent Peale Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans five years ago flooding 80% of the city, destroying homes, stores, schools, churches, and lives. When the levees broke the Lower Nine, one of the poorest areas of the city, found itself under 15 feet of water. The predominately African American community was almost wiped off the map. Even today only one fifth of the original residents have returned and the infrastructure is almost non-existent.

Maybe New Yorker Nat Turner saw an empty canvas instead of abandoned lots when he arrived in the Ninth Ward with $12 in his pocket. A schoolteacher by trade, he first...Read Full Article on Celsias

Vegan Wednesdays-Like Meatless Mondays, Only Better

Meatless Mondays, otherwise known as the one day a week omnivores pat themselves on the back and say, “look how eco-friendly I am,” has always made me jealous.  It’s like a special occasion or holiday.  Omnivores get to call work and say “I’m sorry I can’t write that report today, it’s Meatless Monday, my parents are coming from out of town to help us make the lentil roast.” I want a weekly holiday too! Vegetarians I propose once a week we have Vegan Day – we can even call it Vegan Wednesdays, and if you have a German or Russian accent it will sound like Vegan Vednesday which will make it totally perfect.

On Vegan Day (not to be confused with...Read Full Article on Celsias

Diatribe Against A Leather Couch

200552612-001Attention Bachelors: Stop Buying Leather Couches! Actually check that. I’m talking to anyone who purchases leather furniture. Put your VHS tape of “Coming to America” away, and let’s talk about why leather couches are the most unpleasant piece of furniture that can be purchased. 1. Is your furniture cold or is it just you? One feature of leather that isn’t discussed often on the sales room floor is it’s uncanny ability to absorb and magnify the temperature of the surrounding room. This temperature issue is particularly grating as any man with an air conditioning unit in his apartment or house will jack it down to 60 degrees (I can almost guarantee this. How they expect to get a woman naked in a polar environment can be saved for another discussion, but perhaps they are thinking to apply the “Can I warm you up?” technique. I digress. )

Since his apartment/house is guaranteed to be 60 degrees you can bet your frozen bottom that his premium Italian leather couch will feel like...Read full article on Celsias

Promoting the Veg Lifestyle

vegan-mainstream-logo“Environmentally, meat amazingly causes more emissions than all of transportation combined. Cars, trains, planes, buses, boats – all of them.” –Graham Hill Founder of Treehugger.com No doubt that being a vegetarian or vegan is one of the best environmental moves you can make, but it’s a choice not always glamorized in the press. Vegetarianism is often lauded as the dietary choice of…excuse me…pussies, with vegetarians regularly depicted as skinny, geeky, weak and extremely pale.

Enter Vegan Mainstream ...Read Full Article on Celsias