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June 27th, 2003

We bought some collard greens from the Farmer’s Market. Did you know a serving of collard greens have as much calcium as a glass of milk? It’s a form of calcium more readily absorbed by your body, too. (Just doing my part to dispel the dairy myth, lol)

This recipe is quite tasty.

RecipeSource: Kenyan-Style Collard Greens with Lemon

Posted by Claire at 11:18 PM | Good Eats | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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Look, how timely! Common Dreams has published an article by Ruth Rosen of the San Francisco Chronicle, detailing why some 200 communities across the nation have chosen to say “No!” to Wal-Mart. You can read it here

Here’s a quick summary of some of the statistics:

“In making its decision, the board cited a study done by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. It found that an influx of big-box stores into San Diego would result in an annual decline in wages and benefits between $105 million and $221 million, and an increase of $9 million in public health costs. SDCTA also estimated that the region would lose pensions and retirement benefits valued between $89 million and $170 million per year and that even increased sales and property tax revenues would not cover the extra costs of necessary public services. “‘Good jobs, good pay, and good benefits should be the goal of an economy,” SDCTA concluded, “and supercenters are not consistent with that objective.’”

So… just say no to big-box superstores.

Posted by Claire at 08:27 AM | Activism | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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Sniff This

Boy howdy, I didn’t manage to come up with anything interesting to post about today… and now it’s after midnight. Oops.

I’ve been kicking around new scent ideas for my soaps. I really want to branch out more into essential oils and cut down on my fragrance oil scents (essential oils are basically “natural” products from plants/organic matter, whereas fragrance oils are usually synthetics or synthetic/EO combos). However, eo’s are frequently more expensive (or at least they are to buy in any quantity). But, you can usually use less, or you can combine them with fo’s to make some nice scents. So, I want to branch out–especially since Liberty Natural is here in Portland and they have really good prices, AND they carry eo’s produced right here in Oregon.

This is a big deal for me, once again, on that whole “buy local” bit I’m obsessed with. Why buy peppermint eo from elsewhere when peppermint is a BIG local product? Some other nice eo’s from Oregon are lavender (who knew?), and Port Orford cedar. Now, I probably won’t buy the lavender, because it’s just TOO expensive, but I might get a smidge to offer as a special Oregon thing (and charge appropriately for it). But the cedar and peppermint are DEFINITELY on my list next time I’m shopping.

I’m also looking at trying to source as many of the eo’s from North America–not always possible with things that have to grow in the tropics, but for many things this IS possible. Not that I have it in for Europe, but I just don’t see the point in buying things that have to be shipped over both an ocean and a continent to get to me, when there are products available from closer to home (well, at least cutting the Atlantic out of the equation).

I don’t know if this is actually going to pan out, financially, for a while, but I want to move in this direction. It just seems to make sense to me, in an environmental sense.

Posted by Claire at 12:51 AM | Soap Habit | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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June 25th, 2003
Speaking of…

…shopping locally…

I liked this post about the social costs of Wal-mart. While I don’t necessarily agree that you can blame rising health costs on the uninsured (this is probably someone who hasn’t had to pay out-of-pocket for an emergency room visit lately. I was told that it’s the uninsured who pay a higher dollar amount, because hospitals have lower-cost contracts with insurance companies–thus it’s the uninsured who shoulder the difference), I do agree with the other social costs. People who work should be paid a living wage. This means if you work two part-time jobs, or one full-time job, you should earn enough money to feed, clothe, and house yourself etc., comfortably.

Stop shopping at big chain stores. It might cost a little bit more, but the cost of those cheap, imported consumer goods is not reflected in the sticker price.

Visit Wal-Mart Watch for more.

Posted by Claire at 08:12 PM | Activism | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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Veggies Galore!

Ooh!! We went to the Portland Farmer’s Market today. It’s in the south Park blocks, one block over and down from me. Could that be any cooler? I think not! I bought a HUGE bunch of fresh basil (mmm, can you say “Pesto”?) and some gawgeous tomatoes, some collard greens, and some delectable salsa. We also had sausages for lunch, which were very tasty.

I really like purchasing my produce (and meat too, there was a booth selling lamb) directly from the people who grow it. It supports the local economy, and most of them are organic farmers. Plus, there is the added benefit of actually TALKING to the people who grew the food. I like that, for the same reason I like talking to my customers at Saturday Market. It provides a valuable link to the goods you buy, the human factor. Reject empty consumerism–your purchases can be meaningful when you are directly supporting the folks who grow or make the things you need.

Posted by Claire at 07:05 PM | Days Go By | Comments (3) | Tweet This Post

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