Friday, February 19, 2010

King Corn

DH and I watched the documentary King Corn yesterday.  I highly recommend it.  The movie was entertaining and very educational about how we developed such a glut of corn and how it is in almost everything we eat (beef, bread, crackers, etc).  They connect the dots of the redone Farm Bill in 1973 to the rise of high fructose corn syrup, obesity, diabetes, and declining life expectancy.  It makes me wonder how far we could go in stemming the explosion of health care costs if we just stopped subsidizing corn so that empty calories weren't the cheapest.  And here's a far out idea - if we want to support farmers, we could subsidize local, organic farming such that healthy foods became cheaper.  What would happen to our nation's weight if a fresh salad from the local market were cheaper than a fast food burger and soda?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dare-Me Diet Deal Day 8 of (54), no 52

I'm now on Day 8 of my Vita-Mix deal diet.  Since I've lost 2 pounds, I'm committed to a mere 52 total days now.  I've been experimenting with different smoothies for breakfast.  Some include my homemade yogurt which is a great way to dress it up.  Other favorites include humus, hash browns, and "ice cream."  A big plus is that it is way easier to clean than a normal blender and it can handle textures that would otherwise not work.  Today I even got out the grinder blades to make wild rice flour for pancakes and amaranth flour for tortillas (the latter were good and worthy of repeating.)  I also like that it makes it easier to consume greens more regularly.  The biggest minus is time.  I already run around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to keep my duckies safe, occupied, fed, and happy.  Preparing food from even more basic ingredients than I already do is time-consuming.  And I soooo miss chocolate and ice cream.  If I ever get some time I'll post some favorite recipes.

Garden Update

This weekend we got around to a number of garden projects.  In addition to weeding, since we've actually had rain lately, we did some planting.  I planted about 4.25 pounds of red and gold potatoes into various pots and boxes.  Also, I planted TONS of seeds to start indoors.  Basil, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes (6 types - Black Krim, Brandywine, Yellow Pear, Cherokee Purple, Mortgage Lifter and Pineapple), cucumbers (lemon and gherkin), chard, squash (pattypan, portofino, zucchini - oops, no yellow crookneck?), lettuces and marigolds.  In the past, I've had spotty success transplanting outside the puny seedlings that I start indoors.  Now I've got them in a different window, so I hope they'll get more sun and be more robust.  We'll see.

We are still eating pounds and pounds of oranges from our trees.  The sugar snap peas are blooming and producing nicely, although I wish it were more.  When we are out in the garden, the kids snack on the peas constantly.  Almost none make it into the house!  We've harvested a lot of parsley lately and made pesto.  I'd prefer basil but none is ready.  I only started 8 basils - perhaps I'd better do more.  Although if all these seeds actually take, where on Earth am I going to plant them all?