Thursday, October 28, 2010

Real food....

As my husband just pointed out, the term 'real food' means different things to everyone. To us it means food in it's most purest state. Dr Tickell often talks about the HI factor of food, and recommends that we eat food that has the lowest HI factor possible. HI meaning 'human influence'. For example, food with a low HI would be organically grown fruits and vegetables, and on the flip side, food with a high HI would be something completely processed such as soft drink, or a fast food burger. This kind of food is not appetising to me at all these days! Especially not after watching Food Inc the other night.

Tonight I collected my first Food Connect box, and I am impressed! I opened it and laid it all out on the kitchen bench, and my kids went crazy! Cherry tomatoes, strawberries and pecan nuts disappeared before my eyes, and my oldest son told me that we needed to make sure we bought this 'farm stuff' every week! I tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your children get excited over such wonderful things. This is 'real food', and just as importantly, this 'real food' comes from farms within a five hour radius of Brisbane. This means that not only are we supporting local business, but we are able to eat food that is FRESH! If you care about what goes into your mouth, and into the mouths of your children, you really should check out their website. They don't just supply fruits and veg either. You can buy raw milk (I can't wait to get some of this!), organic sour dough breads, cheeses and an array of other delicious things.

Check out what was in my box tonight. All this for $48. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am pretty certain that you would not get this for the same price in a supermarket!

Awesome, hey?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Together for Humanity

I just watched 7.30 Report on ABC, and feel really hopeful.

The story that warmed my heart was about a not-for-profit organisation called Together for Humanity. They are a group made up primarily of Christians, Muslims, Jews and Indigenous Australians, and their mission is to "teach children and adults to replace prejudice, largely religious and cultural, with mutual respect and cooperation".

They travel throughout the country running school workshops about religious and cultural tolerance, and together they openly answer questions about their beliefs, their faith and their lifestyles. Despite their obvious differences, the workshops focus on the similarities they each share as part of their common humanity, and they have had huge success in reducing things such as bullying and racial conflict. Their aim is to reduce fear, and to replace discrimination with understanding.

How wonderful! And how refreshing it would be to be able to bring up a generation of children whose internal moral compasses have been tuned to tolerance and acceptance!

This is the kind of program I would love to see implemented by all schools, as this, to me, is education of the utmost importance.

What do you think?

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Monday moment....

The concentration and dedication to task, followed by the
satisfaction of doing it 'all by herself'.

Nothing tastes better, does it?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kahlil Gibran on Friendship

I love Kahlil Gibran. I've used his words in my wedding vows and in the namings of all my children, but today I came to him for his words on friendship.

Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind,
nor do you withhold the "ay."
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence,
as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Monday, October 4, 2010

How much food do you waste?

Did you know that Australian's waste about $5.2 billion worth of food in a year? That's more than we spend on electronic equipment such as our much loved flat screen tv's! Aside from the obvious environmental impact this has, think how much fuller our hip pockets would be if we ate what we grew and purchased! Of course, there is also the third world to consider. I've grown up with my grandmother telling me to, 'think of all the starving children in Kampuchea', as I refused to eat what was given to me. Funnily enough, I also remind my own kids of the plight of Africa's children when won't eat their dinner! I've always felt guilty throwing food away.

However, these days I can safely say that my family wastes very, very little when it comes to food. I know this because we use a bokashi bin, and our food waste is in my face on a daily basis. A bokashi bin is the perfect solution for those that want to compost but have no idea where to start. I've been using mine for about three years and can't sing it's praises highly enough.

For me it has a three-fold effect. The first is that I can monitor our food waste. I have a plastic lidded container on the sink and all food waste, including tea bags, egg shells, citrus and meat, go into it. My container is roughly the size of a large loaf of bread and takes about two days, give or take, for me to fill. Once it's full, it gets tipped into the bokashi, sprinkled with the special bokashi mix, and left to ferment.

The second of the three-fold effect is that it has reduced our household waste in general. Our green bin is only ever half full. This makes me feel good! Actually, on that thought, isn't it interesting that the recycling bin is only emptied once a fortnight, and the rubbish bins are emptied once a week? I wonder if we'll ever get to a point where it's the other way round? Hmmmm...

Lastly, the bokashi gives me the best fertiliser! The bokashi mix ferments the food waste rather than breaks it down, and the result of this is some rather smelly liquor, that we like to call 'liquid gold'. We 'juice' our unit at least twice a week and always have an ample supply of fertiliser, that is quite simply mixed one part to a hundred with water, and poured over the garden. When the bokashi is full, it needs to sit for a couple of weeks to ferment entirely (this is where two bins are ideal - one to use, and one to ferment) and then the contents are buried in the garden, where it eventually breaks down into beautiful compost.

There was a point in time where local councils were offering rebates for bokashi bins and other compost containers. If you are interested in purchasing one - and they are now available at Bunnings - keep your receipt and contact your local council. You never know, they might just give you back some money!