The boy scout motto to leave it cleaner than how you found it, or the movement to up one piece of litter a day are nice sentiments, but not highly enough practiced.
According to The New Plastics Economy report there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050.
When most people go to the beach, they take in the mid-day sun and the sunset views. For me, I take a bag and fill it up. And then I keep filling it up. Soda bottles, a rogue flip flop, a child's plastic bucket, straws, and tiny pieces of plastic assortments fill up my bag. And no matter how much I pick up there always seems more work to do, because of the hundreds of people who visit a beach in a day, they all seem to leave a few things behind. And that adds up.
Clearly all that junk is streamlined into the ocean, but the New Plastics Economy statement made me ponder, "How does trash get to the ocean?" A few internet searches later and I had a satisfying enough answer: storm drains and sewers.
Apparently it all adds up. And it continues to add up.
I think the mentality is such that even well intentioned people think, “My actions are so small...” and reason that environmental blame belongs elsewhere. Or, they don’t think very much about their actions and their greater effects at all.
City's like San Francisco have taken more direct action to elevate inevitable littering that is bound for the ocean: they've banned plastic bags, styrofoam and plastic straws.
When governments make wide-sweeping bans like those noted above I jump for joy. But what about all the other places. Litter on the other side of the world becomes a conglomerate problem.
Stories like The Goby Statue - a fish sculpture on the beach that functions as a trashcan and makes throwing trash away fun - make me happy. People are finding joy in picking up after themselves. I can't scour all the beaches all on my own and if a fish sculpture helps everyone do their part that inevitably makes an immediate impact on that area's pollution but also, and this is what I think is most important, it creates an awareness, and hopefully a habit that will carry on into daily practices. Just like a whole lot little actions done mindlessly got us into this pollution mess, it's likely a whole lot of little actions done intentionally will, at the very least, make a dent in stopping it.
More and more people are going plant-based and meat-free. While veggies are where it's at, herbivores are still sometimes left with cravings.
Meat substitutes don't have to be full of soy and lacking flavor.
The future is here, and we can fill our cravings healthfully and consciously.
Good Catch - I can't sing this product any higher praises.
If you don't like eating mercury and plastics and contributing to the decimation of the oceanic eco-system, but you still like the flavor and texture of a tuna salad, Good Catch is here to save the day.
Made of a blend of pea, soy, chickpea, lentil, fava, and navy beans (meaning it not only has proteins but also nutrients and omegas) Good Catch tuna actually tastes like tuna (but without the fishy taste and world-crushing accountability).
And it's good for you. And it's good for the planet. And it tastes really good. That's probably why they call it Good Catch.
The only catch? It's not on the market yet. (Marketing rep says they'll be in stores by the end of 2018.)
The Jack Fruit Company - When I first had prepared jack fruit in an Indian dish at The Conscious Life Expo, I instinctively spit it out; it was too meaty, too savory - something could have been awry. A bystander informed me that it was in fact a fruit, or a vegetable, or whatever, it just wasn't actually meat even through it had a hearty, flavorful texture. While I have since seen pictures of giant whole jackfruits on social media, prepared to induce envy, that's just too much work for me. I need something easy to prepare, like we're talking throw it in a pan for a few minutes and it's done kind of meal prep time. Enter The Jack Fruit Company into the equation.
Their seasoned jack fruit is conveniently sealed into a package, waiting to be a topper on your BBQ pizza or thrown in your Tex-Mex burrito. They even sell frozen jackfruit to be added to smoothies. A great source of potassium and fiber, Jack Fruit is also a sustainable and ethical solution when desiring a hearty, flavorful meal.
Beyond Meat: The Future of Protein
Hey Beyond Meat, where ya been my whole life? I've been meat-free since I've been old enough to make my own decisions, and girl, it's been hard.
Back then (think The Rachael haircut and "Teen Spirit") vegetarians had to eat soy-laden products and the same S.A.D. diet as everyone else, just without meat. And now the plant-based future is finally here...
Beyond Meat has the closest thing to a hamburger that those of use who don't eat hamburgers have tasted in a while. And there's no soy, instead relying on protein heavy pea protein.
I've had the Meaty Crumbles in pasta (yay!), the Beyond Burger (I'll be bringing these to summer BBQ's) and the tasty Sausage. I recommend them all, and I cannot wait until the day when I can walk into a hot dog stand and fill a vegan hot dog with all the onion, mustard, and sauerkraut fixings that I've been craving for years.
No Evil (plant meats) - No Evil Foods makes meat from nothin’ but plants
Been craving chicken salad, pork sliders, hamburgers, bacon bits, chicken tacos, pork tacos, asada tacos, and the like? No Evil has pretty much every meat substitute you can imagine except for turkey dinner. (Actually, I stand corrected, as I've learned that they have created "The Pardon" - a vegan holiday centerpiece. Made without soy like many other vegan turkeys, $1 from every purchase also supports a Turkey Sanctuary).
Made with non-gmo and organic plant ingredients their products are available for purchase online.
Whether you're into plant-based products to save the animals, save the planet, or save your own health, No Evil also provides some compelling information on why it's mutually beneficial to do so.
Pan's Mushroom Jerky - "A Perfect blend of flavors that herbivores crave and carnivores love."
I know everyone on the social media says, "I'm OBSESSED with..." But no, really. I'm obsessed with this jerky.
Let me explain... I've been a vegetarian for twenty years (we've already discussed not doing the math too hard, k?) and the thing I missed, I mean really MISSED was jerky.
There's just something about gnawing on that chewy texture with those spices that hits that spot. I thought I would never again have the pleasure of enjoying jerky... so when I ran into Pan's Mushroom Jerky at Natural Products Expo I was beyond excited (and I sampled more jerky than is likely appropriate, but it's been a while).
Mushrooms are awesome. They're sustainable, their healthful, and don't come with moral or ecological guilt. And these ones are super tasty! ? .
Gotta plant-based, vegan "meat" substitute to fit the list? Throw down your recommendation in the comments, and we'll add it to the list.
When you're a health junky and organic-loving gal, you gotta love when all your favorite brands are all in one expo for a three-day weekend.
Expo West in Anaheim is like a Disneyland experience for people who love sustainable and organic products. Walking up to the expo, vendors hand you coconut water and walking through the aisles your hunger will be sustained with protein bar samples. You'll do probiotic shots with CEOs of the big brands (with big earth-loving hearts) and when you're a blogger covering the event, you'll take selfies. Lots and lots of selfies.
You'll also get samples. This is fun because even with the brands that I know and love I haven't tried EVERYTHING that lines the shelves of Whole Foods. And even more exciting, some of these brands are brand new and in the upcoming months as they hit the shelves of my local health food stores, I'll cheer for them as if they were my favorite sports team.
Getting to sample the goods and learn about each product's ingredients and each brand's commitment to their product and the environment has influenced my personal buying practices.
I now usePitayaPlus for my organic, fiber filled margaritas. (I mean, that's where my mind went as soon as I saw this vibrant, fushia gem. Not to Instagram smoothy bowls, but to margaritas for a "nutritional" purpose.)
I've also been using Ripple that uses peas to make non-dairy milk, instead of water intensive almonds.
I fell in love withJack fruit and their sumptuous meaty flavor filled with fiber and none of the guilt. You'll see it in all my grocery cart Instagram pics.
While I have my tried and true makeup faves (eh hem, Jane Iredale) I'm still open to explore my face palate options, especially from a line made with organic ingredients. Inika Organic's products are made out of "botanicals and minerals" and are ethically sourced. Guilt free beauty? Count me in!
When you're a label reader, it's refreshing to read ingredients that you recognize. Ingredients in this kit include coconut oil, green tea, and aloe vera, among others.
Full disclosure: I'm a long time "vegetarian" upping my plant based game.
I'm swapping out one item at a time (ok probably more than that) in order to do a solid for the greater good.
While I'm not morally opposed to egg eating as an absolute, (it's a topic worthy of more discussion) in short, I am making modifications on my diet.
So, welcome to The Neat Egg...
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).
I had already fallen in love with Primal Foods Mayo when I discovered their salad dressing...
I'm a sucker for a good, organic salad. I subscribe to my local CSA Farm Fresh to You, and I get a monthly box of organic green goodness.
What to do with all those veggies?
Make a salad!
My salads are simple. I just chop up everything I have on hand.
For this salad, that included organic and local tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumber. In my CSA box I ordered some local, organic, pasture raised eggs, so I hard boiled those to get some protein into the mix. I also added some raw pumpkin seeds for added crunch and nutritional goodness.
I used Primal Kitchen Honey Mustard Vinaigrette. Made with organic ingredients (Avocado Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Mustard, Honey, Lemon Juice Concentrate, salt and spices) it definitely gives the salad some spice and tang!
The final result! A yummy, nutritious salad!
I had been on a years' long hunt for good mayonnaise when I'd finally given up. I'm a mayo junkie, my favorite indulgence being a steamed artichoke with a side of mayo for dipping.
Several years ago, I began the search for a good mayo - one free of canola oil, maybe even one made with quality eggs. I went through the ingredients of every jar in Wholefoods, Sprouts, and my hippy co-ops. Even those made with "olive oil" were also laced with canola oil.
So for a while, I made my own.
In your hand you have three aces. You’re excited. This is a really good hand, so you decide to stay. Who cares what the other cards are because you’re holding three aces, and it doesn’t get much better than that.
But after a while, you look down and realize you don’t have three aces. Some of those aces are really fours. Aces look a lot like fours, so as you wonder how you were mistaken, you stare at your cards and wait for them to turn back to aces. But they don’t because they never were aces; you just thought they were, at first.
So now you’re left with a pair of fours, ace high. That’s not a terrible hand, it’s just not the hand you thought you had. So now you have a choice.
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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