Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Monday, 4 October 2010
The photo above has been extensively passed around today, and for good reason: it's a peak into the rarely-seen world of mechanically separated meat, or Advanced Meat Recovery (AMR).
Someone figured out in the 1960s that meat processors can eek out a few more percent of profit from chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cows by scraping the bones 100% clean of meat. This is done by machines, not humans, by passing bones leftover after the initial cutting through a high pressure sieve. The paste you see in the picture above is the result.
There's more: because it's crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaked in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color.
The resulting paste goes on to become the main ingredient in many of America's favorite mass-produced and processed meat-like foods and snacks: bologna, hot dogs, salami, pepperoni, Slim Jim-like jerkys, and of course the ever-polarizing Chicken McNugget, where the paste from the photo above was likely destined.
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Here is the invitation with web and call-in details for the September 21st Health Care Call with President Obama. We hope that many in your networks are able to join the call. Please feel free to forward this widely to your members, allies and partners. There will be no limit on callers via internet and phone combined. We want to encourage those with internet access to listen online.
You are Invited to a
HEALTH CARE CONFERENCE CALL WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA
Linking Community and Faith Leaders to Information about New Benefits
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Time: 4 PM Eastern, 3 PM Central, 2 PM Mountain, 1 PM Pacific
Dial in information:
For those with internet access, please join the call online at: http://hhs.granicus.com/live
For those without internet access, please dial: 1-888-455-6860 or 1-866-844-9416
A Conference Call for Faith and Community Leaders with the President of the United States
You are invited to join President Obama for a conference call to discuss key new benefits under the Affordable Care Act. We want to ensure that community leaders like you have the most up-to-date information and resources about these new benefits to share with your communities and congregations.
On September 23rd, the six month anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, several new health care benefits begin to apply: eligible young people up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ health plan, key prevention benefits are covered without co-pays or deductibles in new plans, and insurance companies may no longer deny coverage to kids because of pre-existing conditions or drop someone from coverage because of a paperwork mistake.
President Obama will speak about how consumers and communities are already benefiting from the new law. HHS officials will provide an update on how the Affordable Care Act is being implemented, highlight new outreach resources, and answer questions from community and faith leaders. Community and faith leaders will also share their efforts to bring the benefits of health care reform home to communities.
Please forward this invitation to your members and partners.
You do not need to RSVP for this call. If you have questions, email email@example.com
Hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Monday, 13 September 2010
SAVE THE DATE!
HEALTH CARE CONFERENCE CALL WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA
Linking Community and Faith Leaders to New Benefits and Information
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Time: 4 PM Eastern, 3pm Central, 2pm Mountain, 1pm Pacific
A Conference call for Faith and Community Leaders with the President of the United States
You are invited to join President Obama for a conference call to discuss key new benefits of the Affordable Care Act. As community leaders, we want to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information and resources about these new benefits to share with your communities and congregations.
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Time: 4 pm EDT/3 pm Central/2 pm Mountain/1 pm Pacific
On September 23rd, the six month anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, several new health care benefits begin to apply: young people up to age 26 can stay on their parents plan, key prevention benefits are covered without co-pays or deductibles, insurance companies can no longer discriminate against kids with pre-existing conditions or drop people from coverage when they become sick and need it most. HHS and the White House want to make sure that you have information at your fingertips to help your community members access the benefits of health care reform.
HHS officials will provide an update on the Affordable Care Act, highlight new outreach resources, and answer questions from community and faith leaders. Leaders will also share their efforts to bring the benefits of health care reform home to communities. President Obama will speak to key issues related to health reform implementation.
Please forward this invitation to your members and partners. We will provide dial-in information next week. For more information, write firstname.lastname@example.org
Hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
Alexia Kelley, Director
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of the Secretary
Sunday, 12 September 2010
Winner of the Academy Award® Winner for Best Documentary of 2009 and the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, The Cove follows a high-tech dive team on a mission to discover the truth about the international dolphin capture trade as practiced in Taiji, Japan. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide.
The Cove exposes not only the tragedy of dolphin slaughtering in Japan, but also the dangerously high levels of mercury in dolphin meat and seafood, the cruelty in capturing dolphins for entertainment, and the depletion of our ocean’s fisheries by worldwide seafood consumption. We also see how the mandate of the International Whaling Commission has been manipulated by the Japanese Fisheries Agency for its benefit and its subsequent effect on the rest of the world.
Friday, 10 September 2010
but i always have to learn things by experience/experiment. so i had a control study to identify the best fat to use when making chocolate cookies. well, i only used two different kinds of fats: butter (obvio) & bacon grease.
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Sunday, 29 August 2010
Saturday, 28 August 2010
if you want to get a little taste:
When she isn't on stage, Rupa Marya is a doctor of internal medicine on faculty at UCSF, and often draws ideas for songs from her patients' stories. She was able to take advantage of a flexible residency track designed for female doctors who may be expecting children, which allows her to spend six months working and the other half of the year touring.
"And so after my first year of internship, I went into my program director and said, 'Listen, I'll be a terrible doctor if I'm not an artist, and I'll be a terrible artist if I'm not a doctor," Marya says. "'And I need to find a way to do these things.'"
Sunday, 22 August 2010
i'm pretty sure i acquired my taste for mayo at my grandma's house. i would spend much of my summers with her and she taught me to garden, make bread, make mayo, potato sausage, wine, you name it. my grandma really could make anything. we also sat around a played cards and drank coffee together. it was great fun.
i thought everyone made their own mayo for awhile, but then realized we bought ours. it was a totally different condiment. it didn't have much flavor. a few years ago i asked my grandma for her recipe and started making my own.
truth is, most the time i buy mayo, but when i run out and am in a crunch, or i just want it to be extra awesome, i make my own.
i made my own recently and thought i would share both the recipe and a short testimonial of how easy it is to make, and much cheaper . . . plus you never have that yucky feeling of wanting a sandwich but being out of mayo.
her recipe is a bit more complicated than what i'm posting. i don't know that it would work in my super intense blendtec home . . . so, if you have a vitamix or blendtec, don't fear . . . i've made the adjustments.
the recipe is basically:
1 raw egg (at room temp)let me know if you do it and it works for you. i'd like to know if people like this better than regular store bought.
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup oil (any type...corn, vegetable, canola)
helping of "salad herbs"
dash cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar (I like it with vinegar better)
Place egg, mustard, salt, cayenne pepper and 1/4 c. oil in blender and blend on low.
While the machine is blending, SLOWLY pour in another 1/2 c. oil. This is KEY because if you just dump it in, it just turns into liquid.
You may have to stop and scrape down the mayo. Add the lemon juice/vinegar and the remaining 1/2 c. oil. Blend until well combined.
Store in refrigerator, tightly covered.
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Monday, 16 August 2010
i had never seen them nor heard of anyone having them until the night before i left for colombia. that's when i discovered that i had bed bugs and had been letting them bite me for awhile. this made for a few nights without sleep . . . i was just SO creeped out!
had i not journeyed into hardcore denialville, i would have known 3 weeks earlier when i first noticed little pin-head sized blood spots on my sheets and the odd, itchy string of bites on my arms.
during my denial phase, Aly (who is a fellow that worked with me for the last 6 months AND who study with a bed bug specialist at Harvard) said, "i wonder if you have bed bugs" after i showed her the strange set of bites on my arm. i just laughed. i thought, how could i have bed bugs, i'm clean . . . plus i didn't think that they existed anymore. i had seen a red bug the size of a pin head on my bed, but just figured it was some weird dc thing.
without denial, i would have look at photos of bed bugs and tried to figure out if i had them. instead i avoid the topic of bed bugs like the plague. i often do that. sometimes, when a task is daunting or it is new territory i can procrastinate or deny reality with the best of them. this is a testimony to me of the power of denial. it was so obvious that i had bed bugs, but i did not want to believe it, so i kept my head in the sand for a LONG time. once i actually saw the bugs crawling on my bed that night, the denial cracked open, and i realized i had them for a LONG time.
denial is powerful!
i figure i should share my bed bug epiphany with all of my readers (all 10 of you). . . there is a bed bug infestation taking place in the US. some are calling it an epidemic, but that word is for illnesses, bugs infest! NYC is super infested and it is moving throughout the eastern seaboard. all 50 states and the territories have reported bed bugs. calls to exterminators for bed bugs have increased about 70% across the US.
we are a people on the move, and we are taking our bed bugs with us. they travel in our clothes and suitcases and can hibernate for a really long time.
it is important to check any hotel bed you are going to sleep in for bed bugs before you lay down. i will explain how:
signs of bed bugs:
- pin head sized brown or red spots on your sheets. (they bite you at night and then they poop the rest of the day.
- brown spots or casings of bed bugs in the folds of your mattress, box springs or along the wooden walls near your bed.
- bites on uncovered parts of your body. the bites are usually in a string or circle of bites
some people won't react for 14 days or more. so check your sheets, that will be the best way to know if you have them.
during the day bed bugs hide themselves in the folds of your mattress. they need to feel hidden. they often will all glob together to hide (they aren't the smartest bugs). just so long as 2/3 of their body is covered they think they are hidden. they will usually be near where their food sleeps (you are their food), so look under your sheets, bed skirt, mattress, and box springs near the side of the bed you sleep on.
this is post-extermination
this is the underside of my box spring
each female bed bug will lay 6 eggs a day. this is not a typo. from an op-ed in the NYT last week:
Because the female bedbug has no genital opening, the male inseminates her by using his hardened, sharpened genitalia to punch a hole through her abdomen. With no elaborate courtship ritual, males in a frenzied pursuit of sexual congress often blunder into and puncture the bodies of other males, occasionally inflicting fatal wounds.this rate of reproduction is staggering when you consider just how long it could take to be completely infested. when they are young they are so small they just look like little red dots moving. below is the life cycle of a bed bug:
the adults are about the size of a lady bug, but flat and not cute at all!
if you want more info on this, check out this bed bug site
i can't look at it for long without getting the creeps and feeling itchy all over.
you can also tell that you have bed bugs by the "sweet musky" smell of their oderants -- which is how they communicate. if you are smelling this sweet musky smell, you probably have a bunch of bed bugs.
bed bugs mutate incredibly fast, which makes complete eradication tricky. NYC has been battling bed bugs for over 5 years. the city, they believe, is infested. fancy hotels and shops along park avenue have been shut down because of bed bugs. some believe that NYC's environmental policies are making it impossible to kill the bed bugs off. because they mutate so quickly, it is important that if you use pesticide, you do at least two treatments and change the mixture of insecticide so that they don't become immune.
having bed bugs doesn't mean anything about the cleanliness of your house or office. though bed bugs do like to hide in clutter and prefer paper and other wood products to any other substance. so i had a bunch of books next to my bed and some bookbinding papers under my bed. they were living in them. in a raging fit of lazy i had also shoved my winter down comforter under my bed -- i didn't want to have to find a bag to put it in before storing it in the attic -- they were in it too.
bed bugs can't survive extreme temperatures. the best way to kill them is to expose them to really cold or hot. i ended up washing just about every piece of cloth i owned in a extra hot cycle in my washing machine.
you can also freeze them to death, which might be a cool way of killing them in the winter.
i put all my books in a garbage bag and sprayed insecticide on the books and in the bag and sealed it. gary, my exterminator, said that would for sure kill all of them.
you can also suffocate/starve them. this is time consuming. a bed bug can live for up to a year without food. so, the stuff that wasn't super important is in the attic waiting for a year to come back down. i may end up just throwing it away, because if i don't need it for a full year, i probably don't need it.
michigan has provide its citizens with this super helpful guide: don't let the bed bugs bite if you are looking for more information.