Good Thursday morning, Everyone. It looked very foggy in the news/weather pictures of Chicago. They say we should get clearing skies and sun later. I am rethinking the notion of 'winter' sowing. I haven't seen a high temperature forecast below 35F for the next week. I may just put the cover on the mini-green house earlier than planned. The whole reason for winter sowing seems to be to allow the freeze/thaw cycle to work to crack the seed cover and then the seed will sprout when the temperature gets warm enough. I remember reading that some seed need exposure to cold to sprout. I don't have to worry about that because between seasons I store my seeds in the refrigerator. Oh, well--one needs to be flexible.
I agree with you totally, Nicola. We have become much more cautious of what we eat. We began reducing the number of prepared foods drastically. We are often amazed by the amount of salt and sugar in the foods followed by the number of chemicals whose sole purpose is to extend the shelf life. Yesterday we had a beef pot pie for supper but it wasn't a name brand from the supermarket. We got it from our local meat market and they prepare it from scratch. We prepare our cakes and pies from scratch and have done so after becoming very dissatisfied with the mixes. More and more we find that the industrial food system fails on every level--taste, health, and (surprisingly) convenience.
The news media have focused on Mitt Romney's very callous dismissal of the 'very poor' while claiming that he focuses on the middle class who 'are hurting.' As though the middle class isn't dropping into the 'very poor' category in increasing numbers. As though somehow the pains of the middle class are worse than the pains of the very poor. But I remember quipping when GW Bush proclaimed himself a 'compassionate conservative' that the phrase was an oxymoron. And, as if we really need any reminder, John Boehner was cited in this story as opposing the new Administration programs to help underwater homeowners refinance. They used to talk about a 'throw away' society in terms of the things we discarded. Now, it seems to me, we have to talk about our 'throw away' society in terms of the people we are discarding--elderly, poor, workers, the sick.
To pick up the nutrition thread again--the news this morning featured a segment on a new study in which the authors claim that 'added sugars' in the American diet are as destructive of health and as addictive as alcohol and should be taxed. This BBC story provides more details. I put quotation marks around the phrase because it isn't entirely clear who is adding the sugars to the food. The reporter interviewing their medical expert asked for clarification on that part. Most people do add a lot of sugar to their foods but a lot more is incorporated into the prepared foods by the manufacturers. The advice: start by eliminating sodas, sports drinks, and limiting your juice to one glass per day. I also noticed that the report doesn't distinguish between sugars. The food industry has for the past couple of decades been adding high fructose corn syrup--which the industry wants to relabel as 'corn sugar.' Recent studies have indicated that this sugar is far more dangerous than other sugars. My prescription: more label reading.
They keep telling us that the economy is getting better but stories like this make me wonder. Over the last five years I have been reading a constant stream of similar stories. However, this takes the story to incredible new lows in thievery.
I absolutely love the old girls (if they are old and girls--there was some question of that a couple of years ago) at Margaret and Helen. I agree with Helen on all three points in today's post . Mitt and Newt are getting boring. That W.Va. state senator is wonderful. We got a kick out of her amendment to the pre-abortion ultrasound bill. And I agree on the Susan G. Komen issue as well. I haven't walked in their Race For The Cure myself but one of my nieces has and I have supported her. No longer.
The folks at Rural Revolution has this cute anecdote which should tickle all you animal lovers out there. I loved it.