Wednesday, March 23, 2011

joy of luck: day 7


theme { a rainbow }

a “rainbow of risk”

us federal regulators are (finally) reexamining artificial ingredients they have long deemed to be safe, prompted by scientific studies suggesting that color additives might be linked to allergic reactions, hyperactivity and even cancer.

did you know pop tarts sold in the uk are different than pop tarts sold in the us? and fruit loops sold in australia are different than fruit loops sold in the us? manufacturers are producing healthier versions of these popular products (and I’m sure others) with natural food coloring ingredients for other countries because of their “strict food policies”.

prohibit the use of artificial dyes that are known carcinogens?

seems pretty black and white.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

joy of luck: day 6


theme { who is a blessing }

confession: i’ve become an overnight activist for food safety. until legislators and the fda do right by consumers to protect us from unsafe products, i‘ll send letters and emails and (most importantly) vote for pesticide, herbicide and toxin free products with each and every purchase at the grocery store.


Dear Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison,Senator John Cornyn III and Representative Randy Neugebauer,

It is shocking that the FDA has never developed binding federal rules to protect consumers from the food safety risks of genetically engineered foods. Instead, the FDA relies on the very companies that have a financial interest in bringing these biotech crops to market to assess their safety. FDA has stated, "Ultimately, it is the food producer who is responsible for assuring safety" of gene altered foods.

Congress must step up and fill the gaping regulatory hole left by the FDA to protect American consumers by requiring mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

Here in America, we pride ourselves on having choices and making informed decisions. Under current FDA regulations we don't have that choice when it comes to GE ingredients in the foods we purchase and feed our families. Labeling is essential for me to choose whether or not I want to consume genetically engineered foods.

Genetically engineered foods are required to be labeled in the 15 European Union nations, Russia, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries around the world. As an American, I firmly believe I should also have the right to know if my foods have been genetically engineered. If food makers like Kraft and Kellogg's can label the products they sell in these countries, they can certainly do it in the U.S.

A recent poll released by ABC News found that 92 percent of the American public wants the federal government to require mandatory labeling on genetically engineered foods. As ABC News stated, "Such near-unanimity in public opinion is rare."

I hope you will listen to me and the other 92 percent of the American public who want mandatory labeling and show your support for American consumers by supporting and co-sponsoring legislation requiring mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

Monday, March 21, 2011

joy of luck: day 5


theme { what brings me luck }

this combination of sassy and serious (and that man behind the belly) continue to bring me luck, love, tears and joy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

joy of luck: day 4


theme { favorite material things }

every day, over 3,000 tons of paper towel waste is produced in the US alone.

i have been a contributor to that waste in obscene volumes. sadly, this could be one of our toughest transitions thus far. simply because i habitually use used them for almost everything in the kitchen for as long as i can remember being in the kitchen.

peeling an orange? grab a paper towel. making a bottle? grab a paper towel. dribbled on the floor? grab a paper towel. need a spoon rest? grab a paper towel.

but no more.

we’ll be reducing waste and saving money. and i just found and bought several of these (adorable!) reusable cloth PeopleTowels which are organic cotton and machine washable, with eco-friendly dyes. they are a little smaller than expected, but really absorbent and actually the perfect size for messes, meals and a diaper bag.

change is at our hands.


equasion new

Saturday, March 19, 2011

joy of luck: day 3


theme { lucky symbols }

we’ve had two weeks of BEAUTIFUL spring weather which means these lucky clovers (actually oxalis) and dandelions are baaack and spreading like wild fire over our yard and patio.

rather than reaching for the round up (see millions against monsanto campaign) as we’ve done in previous years, i’ve found a few organic weed killing recipes using vinegar or bleach that we’ll have to experiment. in the meantime, i’ll just enjoy the sunshine while pulling those pesky weeds myself.

Friday, March 18, 2011

joy of luck: day 2


theme { green }

green is the symbolic color for newness, beginnings, spring and life...

my organic seed was planted a few year ago, when drew transitioned from formula to milk. at that point, I was only buying organic milk and occasionally organic strawberries if they were available or i made a special trip to central market (when we lived in the metroplex). organics were probably readily available in other categories, but i hadn’t noticed or understood the environmental impact...until now.

and i thought for sure our selection would be very limited our here in the wild wild west without a whole foods or central market, but i’ve been amazed at the variety of products available at United and HEB. and really they aren’t that much more, but a premium i’m learning and willing to accept for chemical free.


good read alert: the president cancer panel released a report a few years ago, reducing environmental cancer risk. below is a thought provoking and disheartening quote from the report regarding our involuntary exposure to chemicals used in agriculture.

“I believe it is time for a new human experiment. The old experiment…is that we have sprayed pesticides which are inherent poisons…throughout our shared environment. They are now in amniotic fluid. They’re in our blood. They’re in our urine. They’re in our exhaled breath. They are in mothers’ milk….What is the burden of cancer that we can attribute to this use of poisons in our agricultural system?...We won’t really know the answer until we do the other experiment, which is to take the poisons out of our food chain, embrace a different kind of agriculture, and see what happens.” ~ SANDRA STEINGRABER, ITHACA COLLEGE

Thursday, March 17, 2011

joy of luck: day 1


theme { gift }

these two are my most precious gifts and daily motivation behind our recent commitment to become more environmentally responsible.

they are my future and I’ll do anything and everything to protect their future...

including leaving voicemails for congressional representatives, and sending emails and letters to fda commissioner hamburg, usda secretary vilsack, epa administrator jackson and president obama regarding food labeling, genetically engineered foods and toxic consumer products.

click here to learn how you can take action.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

oh, the joy…


my Joy of Love photo journey for the month of february (hosted by willette designs) was pretty demanding but encouraging and a lot of fun. so when it was announced that there would be MORE JOY! via another program for march, I couldn’t pass it up.

the Joy of Luck, is only a week long, but intended to celebrate st patricks day and inspire us to document the many blessings in our lives. i’m hoping to connect the imagery to our new eco-challenge with a little educational material thrown in for good measure.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

bait and switch…


100% Organic Apple Juice. Apples are a high-maintenance fruit, needing many pesticides to stave off mold, pests, and diseases. The Environmental Working Group found 47 different kinds of pesticides on apples and deemed them one of the dirtiest produce. I’d previous bought organic juices, but they end up being only 30-40% juice. And the 100% juice I‘d found wasn’t organic.Glad I finally found both and it’s in a recyclable glass jar, rather than non-recyclable juice boxes. Source.

Piggy Paint Nail Polish. A natural, eco-friendly nail polish with a non-toxic, hypoallergenic formula. Originally designed for little piggies, they’ve also released a line of more sophisticated colors for piggies of all ages. And it’s easily removed with an eco-friendly, low odor Piggy Paint nail polish remover. My little miss will need a little pedicure for those summer sandals and non-toxic is the only way to go. Source

Cage free eggs. The crowded, inhuman conditions of the conventional egg industry is the most obvious reason, but most of the eggs currently sold in supermarkets are nutritionally inferior to eggs produced by hens raised on pasture. Testing has found that, compared to official USDA nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain: less cholesterol, less saturated fat, more vitamin A, more omega-3 fatty acids, more vitamin E and more beta carotene. Source.

erica copy

Friday, March 11, 2011

if we all go grün…

we can heal our planet, feed the world and keep us safe. it’s a win win.

and for my six lovely commentors on the inaugural post -- you ALL win win a copy of Organic Manifesto. it’s just that worthy and provoking.

we’re expected to have gorgeous spring weather this weekend, so i’m hoping to win win some time working in the garden. i need to give my new black eyed susan vine (thanks molly!) a home, and i see an organic container herb garden with basil and thyme in my future.



erica copy

Thursday, March 10, 2011

super power: bone building…


unless it comes in the form of homemade banana nut bread, you won’t find me eating this mushy super food anytime soon. however, my kiddos love the B-A-N-A-N-A and i love the fact that it’s the most portable, inexpensive and healthy snack for a toddler whose always on the go.

did you know that walmart sold more bananas last year than any other single item?!

anyway, here are the other super foods featured as “bone builders” according to men’s health magazine (with my unsolicited opinion).

  • alaskan king crab (all you can eat) – zinc
  • dried plums (never tried em) – copper and boron, prevent osteoporosis
  • bok choy (pretty indifferent) – packed with calcium, vitamins A and C, folic acid, iron, beta-carotene and potassium
  • oysters (with a cracker and cocktail sauce) – zinc, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, potassium and selenium
  • kiwis (never see them at the store?) – potassium, vitamin C and lutein, and who knew you could and should eat the skin?
  • broccoli (steamed with cheese or ranch) – calcium, manganese, potassium
  • spinach (yes, please!) – vitamin K, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium
  • leeks (onion hater) – thiamine, riboflavin, calcium and potassium, folic acid
  • artichokes (love ‘em on my pizza) – fiber, magnesium, potassium
  • bananas (bread only) – potassium, tryptophan

sounds like we wouldn’t need a multi-vitamin if we incorporated more of these into our meal planning…

erica copy

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the basics…

Organic produce is labeled organic when it has been grown, raised, harvested and packaged without the use of harmful chemicals, such as fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, growth hormones or antibiotics. Organic also means the produce has not been genetically modified. When we choose organic we not only look after the health of our own body and immune system but also the health of our family, the health of our soil and the health of our planet. So everyone wins. ~


Monday, March 7, 2011

cookies + milk = giveaway

a recipe for comfort cookies and a book GIVEAWAY is the perfect combo to kick off this blog about our journey to learn and live with more environmental responsibility.

first things first, let’s talk about the cookies. while these are not natural or organic, they are semi-homemade and have to be marginally better than the artificial ingredients in the real deal. obviously mine aren’t going to win any presentation awards either, but they sure tasted good with a big o’ glass of organic whole milk.


Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

  • 2 boxes devils food cake mix
  • 4 cage free eggs
  • 2/3 cup organic applesauce
  • 8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the cake mix, eggs, and oil with a mixer. The batter will be very stiff. Pinch of pieces of batter, roll into 1 inch balls, place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets and flatten slightly with fingertips. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove immediately from the cookie sheets and cool on a wire rack.  

In a small glass bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter until completely blended. Gradually add in the sugar and vanilla and mix until the icing is smooth. Spread half of the cookies with icing and top with remaining cookies. Thanks to Green Cattle Beef for posting this yummy recipe!

and, my first ever GIVEAWAY!!

because I’ve been completely engrossed and grossly enlightened in the last two days over the Organic Manifesto by Maria Rodale, I’m giving a copy to one lucky reader!!



“Going organic is the single most critical (and most DOABLE) action we can take right now to stop our climate crisis. Every acre of ground that's farmed organically has the potential to pull thousands of pounds of warming greenhouse gases out of our air. Plus, organic food is healthier for your family!”


Just leave a comment on this post and I’ll announce the winner on Friday, March 11. Open to U.S. residents only.

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

could a book change your life?

Maybe the sleep deprivation is really setting in.

Maybe the timing is just right.

Maybe I’m feeling the need to be more accountable to my little ones and their future.

And maybe my husband just turned three shades of green with all this organic, farming and eco speak.

But after reading Real Food and Organic Manifesto, I’ve been rocked to the core and [it’s about time] inspired to make changes in the way we live. Some easy changes, some not so easy changes and some things we’re not yet willing to change. Regardless, this is a blog about our family’s eco-challenge.

A journey to learn and live with more environmental responsibility.

My hope is this journey will be fulfilling and motivating so that we might all make a small impact to collectively have a big impact.

So here goes…

erica copy


ps. “a heart of green” wasn’t available on blogger, so I’ve continued the Deutsch theme from haus von yarger. thus, a heart of grün is born. danke fürs lesen (thanks for reading)!