Category Archives: real food

How our meat is grown, and why it’s killing us.

Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food – TIME
Read this and be scared.

The U.S. agricultural industry can now produce unlimited quantities of meat and grains at remarkably cheap prices. But it does so at a high cost to the environment, animals and humans. Those hidden prices are the creeping erosion of our fertile farmland, cages for egg-laying chickens so packed that the birds can’t even raise their wings and the scary rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria among farm animals. Add to the price tag the acceleration of global warming — our energy-intensive food system uses 19% of U.S. fossil fuels, more than any other sector of the economy.

And perhaps worst of all, our food is increasingly bad for us, even dangerous. A series of recalls involving contaminated foods this year — including an outbreak of salmonella from tainted peanuts that killed at least eight people and sickened 600 — has consumers rightly worried about the safety of their meals. A food system — from seed to 7?Eleven — that generates cheap, filling food at the literal expense of healthier produce is also a principal cause of America’s obesity epidemic. At a time when the nation is close to a civil war over health-care reform, obesity adds $147 billion a year to our doctor bills. “The way we farm now is destructive of the soil, the environment and us,” says Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist with the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Then check out Food, Inc

and King Corn (if you have Netflix you can get it there)

More maple Sugaring

Pictures by request:

Here's my pitiful setup.
Here's my pitiful setup. The 2x4 is to weigh the lid down.

Another view (Yes, the kitty litter container was cleaned out real good before using it for this.)
Another view (Yes, the kitty litter container was cleaned out real good before using it for this.)

A blurry view of the tap setuo
A blurry view of the tap setuo

My container.  It's about half full.  I'll probably start boiling sap tomorrow. WOOT!
My container. It's about half full. I'll probably start boiling sap tomorrow. WOOT!

Maple Sugaring

That’s the technical term for collecting sap, and making syrup out of it. We have one maple on our property, and I thought I’d experiment with making syrup this year. I bought a tap and some tubing (to go to the bucket) today for $2 and change. The bucket was free (something I already had), and I’m storing the sap in a plastic tote until I get enough to boil down. I’m going to use the gas burner on my gas grill for that. We’ll see how it goes. I think it’ll be fun, and cheaper than buying real maple syrup at the store but more expensive than fake maple flavored syrup.
I’ll get back to you all on how it goes.
Here’s a tutorial on it.
And the book Maple Sugaring by Helen and Scott Nearing