It seems like every time I thought about throwing in the towel on blogging, the universe intervened with a reason why I needed to stay in the ring.
Let's be honest. Blogging's tough. There's a huge time commitment (and financial investment) that goes into running a blog. For those that blog, the Return on Investment is often nil, so at times I've questioned where my time is going and if it can go to better use.
About a year ago, I wondered if anyone was even reading my stinking blogs...
The universe answered back. The first was with a nod from a blogger named Outlaw Omnivore. I had just written,Dear Vegan, Please Don't Hate Me, in which I addressed how a diet that incorporates animal products may be better in the grand scheme of sustainability. He messaged that he liked my blog (yay!) and was writing a chapter about THE SAME THING in his new book. When you're feeling down in the dumps, there's nothing quite like an internet celebrity giving you some praise to bring your spirits back up. So I continued on.
Shortly thereafter, I ran into strangers who said they read my blog and loved it. They even quoted parts to me (because I guess my incredulous look demanded proof). While I do have analytics in place, I suppose that because our readership is for the most part anonymous, it can feel to us bloggers like we're casting our work out into a void - what I learned from these two experiences is that there are readers out there in that void and if they like our work, we won't necessarily know it.
Through the years, I've had some lapses in my writing. It's been one of those things whereby the more time that passed in between blog posts, the more anxiety I'd have about writing, and the less excited I'd be to write.
But I took a really, REALLY long hiatus this year. Too long. Embarrassingly long. So long that I didn't even bother to renew my domain name and when I learned it expired, I didn't hurry to do anything about it.
It was on this most recent break that I noticed a Facebook post from a friend which lamented that certain "Organic" products were actually owned by bigger companies guilty of making products that are likely contributing to obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. These companies aren't just guilty of making shitty products, but engage in unethical practices in multiple domains. If you have yet to see the interview with Nestle's CEO, I highly recommend it. It was so inspirational that I vowed to never, ever, ever buy anything from this company again. And I'm sticking that promise.
You can't win, my friend's post seemed to indicate.
But as I looked at some of the smaller brands, I realized that they were shit products, too. Some are green washed and sold at big grocery stores in a certain aisle and placed at eye level with big, persuasive marketing campaigns. In short, they ain't that great.
I told this to my friend and suggested that she shop more independent brands. Those, she said, we're likely out of her price point.
Maybe.... but maybe not. While I am guilty of indulging on some high end nutrition, like cacao nibs, I've also become a savvy organic shopper. There's a way to live this lifestyle on the cheap.
For example, Trader Joes repackages some products from some pretty legit brands. Because I wrote a story about Wildbrine sauerkraut, I learned that some of Trader Joe's sauerkraut is sourced from Wildbrine. At whole foods, a jar of the fancy stuff will run you about $5.99, but a jar at Trader Joes is $2.99. It's the same stuff. IT'S THE SAME STUFF, just with a different label. While I prefer not to buy fruits and veggies from Trader Joes because it's trucked up from Mexico and I just cannot justify the carbon footprint on those kinds of tomatoes, Wildbrine sauerkraut is local to me and about as eco friendly as it can get in that regard.
These are the kinds of things I tell people about. When I find a great product, I just can't help but shout it from the rooftops. When I learned about Sustain Condoms, I just about lost my mind. For years I had been scouring the aisles of pharmacies reading the labels of these intimate purchases, always disappointed with the options available to me. So when I found Sustain, fair trade condoms without crazy chemicals that hurt delicate vaginas, I couldn't help but pass out packs to my friends, some of whom had been going condom-free for lack of better options.
And the great thing is that they also have lube made with aloe (and no petroleum - yay!) and healthy menstrual accouterments. This. All of this.
Finding these gems is what I'm good at. It's what I do.
And it's because of these realizations that I decided not to quit blogging, but to rebrand.
So, good bye Accidental Blogger. My blog is no longer a series of serendipitous opportunities and happenstance. I know what I'm doing now (kind of). I have focus. I have purpose.
Good bye Accidental Blogger; Hello Easy Organic Chick. It just fits.
What started as a hobby and a charitable deed turned into a full-fledged business…
About six years ago Rick Goldberg (the now co-founder of Wildbrine) was volunteering at Ceres Kitchen in Sebastopol, CA. The Ceres Community Project is basically what I wished I had the opportunity to be a part of when I was a kid:
Teenagers are mentored by local chefs in the arts of cooking – but not just any meals – they cook with nutrient-rich, healthy foods.
And what do they do with the bounty of their labor? They deliver it to local cancer patients (about a week’s worth of meals per delivery).
The sauerkraut is a hot commodity because, as I learned, those going through chemo have altered taste buds, but the kraut is a tasty treat.
Two original Ceres recipes became Wildbrine staples. Arame & Ginger Organic Kraut and Dill & Garlic.Arame is a Japanese sea vegetable packed full of nutritious elements like iron and iodine. The idea of designing each kraut mixture for both taste and nutrition has become the basis of Wildbrine product development.
Wildbrine loves to develop new products but a few products that had a cult following over the years have petered out. So while some new products (like fermented Sriracha) are about to hit the shelves, other products (like fermented pickles) are, for now… shelved.
I'm the kind of gal who likes to ready my labels so I had some questions for Wildbrine....
Q: What’s the difference between home fermenting and commercial fermenting?
There’s not too much difference between at home and commercial fermenting – still made with wholesome fresh ingredients - just more cabbage and bigger vessels!
While home fermenters can let their batch go for as little as three days, commercial fermenters are held to a safety standard requiring a certain PH.
This longer ferment results in a stronger tasting kraut (and in my mind, the more sour the better!)
Q: What’s the difference between the “Organic” product line and the standard product line?
There are currently 4 certified organic products. While the other products aren’t labeled “organic” it doesn’t mean they don’t contain organic ingredients.
Furthermore, cabbage is not on the dirty dozen list; it’s on the clean 15 list.
Personally, as I’ve stood in the aisles of my health food grocer reading labels, I’ve wondered this. I’ve wondered if I should pay a bit more for the “organic” kraut and what the health considerations are. Now I know…
I’ve personally tasted a good portion of the product line. Here’s my order of preference...
Living an organic lifestyle doesn't have to be expensive or hard. I mean, it can be, but there are easier ways...
I'm the chick that promotes the best products with the biggest bang for your buck - products that are good for your body and have the least impact on the environment (and they're tasty, too!).
I'm the chick that makes organic DIY easy-peasy.
And there's some cool stuff coming up on this site. You like Giveaways? Whoop Whoop! Follow me my new friends...
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