Friday, March 22, 2013

Today is World Water Day. Meat Labels. 10 Best & Worst. Juicing. Hummer.


For “Foodie Friday”:

World Water Day

20 Days of H2O

“140 liters of water to make a cup of coffee… 185 liters of water to make a bag of chips… 1,500 liters of water to grow cotton for a t-shirt. The hidden water used to produce the food we eat and the items we consume is incredible. Today, over 40% of the U.S. is in a severe drought and by 2025 water shortages could be a reality for two-thirds of the world’s population. Help us spread the word about the global water crisis and remind people that water comes from nature and needs to be protected and invested in through our 20 Days of H2O Campaign.

From March 2 to March 22, 2013, The Nature Conservancy will be raising awareness about water issues, including just how much water we really use in our daily lives, how water impacts economic growth, and tips for reducing water use, culminating in a celebration of World Water Day on March 22.

Did you know the average H20 footprint of an American is 32,911 glasses a day? Learn more with our infographic.

American Water Use


More at:


Decoding the Label: Meat

“The array of food labeling can make shopping for the healthiest cuts confusing. Learn how to sift through popular marketing buzzwords to choose the best sources of meat.


This ambiguous term says nothing about how the animal was raised, but rather what happens to the meat after the animal is slaughtered. This means a cow can be given antibiotics or growth enhancers, but raw cuts of beef can still be labeled “natural.” In the U.S., the label allows for minimal processing, which means poultry can be pumped with salt water.

“Free-Range” or “Cage-Free”

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) doesn’t define “free-range” for any meat except poultry. “Free-range” has very little meaning and can just indicate the animal had open-air access for a minimum of 5 minutes a day, although this can mean a dirt area instead of a pasture.

Just because an animal is cage-free doesn’t mean it can venture outside – or hasn’t been standing in poor hygienic conditions, such as feces. It means birds have some room to move around naturally, but practices like beak cutting are permissible.

For more on buying chicken, read Dr. Oz’s poultry label decoder.

“Animal Welfare Approved”

Look for this label, which means the company fulfilled the required hygiene practices for the animals. The Animal Welfare Approved program certifies that family farms are using humane conditions to raise animals outdoors on a pasture or range from birth to death.

“100% Grass-Fed” or “Organic”

Look for labels from the American Grassfed Association. Grass is the natural diet for these animals, but sometimes the food will be labeled grass-fed even if they haven’t eaten grass for the duration of their life after weaning. That’s why it’s important to locate that “100%."

Organic doesn’t necessarily mean the animals ate grass, but it does mean that the livestock was allowed outside and fed 100% organic feed with no antibiotics, pesticides or growth hormones. Their living conditions must also allow them to move naturally.”  From:


“What does "cage-free" really mean? Ambiguous food labeling can make shopping for the best cuts confusing. Dr. Oz sifts through popular marketing buzzwords so that you're not being duped.”   Video at:


Top 10 Best & Worst Protein Sources (vegetarians take note)

“Yesterday, I discussed protein a little bit, and it’s such an important topic that I think it deserves its own Tuesday 10 (Read all Tuesday 10 columns here).

In all the debates this year about sugar (carbohydrates) and hydrogenated oil (fat), we forget that protein warrants consideration as well. The wrong proteins in the diet will quickly sabotage optimal health.

Many myths surround protein. For the record, vegetarians will not die of protein deprivation. I hope no one believes that anymore. It helps to understand that protein is a macronutrient. What we call “protein” is, in fact, a family of amino acid molecules. When grouped together in various combinations we get proteins. There’s no protein molecule hanging out in that hamburger; rather, the animal tissue is made of many different amino acid building blocks. Protein is just a catch-all term we use. This is why vegetarians won’t keel over as people once feared. (However, I still recommend meat consumption, and for a number of reasons: caloric efficiency, blood sugar management, and human biology. It takes more calories to get adequate amounts of protein on a vegetarian diet. Living on beans and tofu increases the amount of carbohydrates in one’s diet significantly. And the human body most certainly handles – and benefits from – a bit of flesh. But I digress.)

Here are my ten ideal sources of protein, and their popular but inferior counterparts.

10. Winner: Grass-Fed Beef

Loser: Grain-Fed Beef

The average cow is raised on cheap grain that will kill it after about six months (they’re conveniently slaughtered before this happens – but not always). Hardly something I want to put in my body. Grass-fed, organic beef won’t make the vegetarians happy, but this beef is rich in beneficial fatty acids that are missing from the factory-raised cattle. It’s cleaner, healthier, more flavorful, and richer in nutrients. And grass-fed beef is typically raised in humane conditions. If you eat beef, grass-fed is a must. It’s getting quite easy to find these days, but you can order online from many outlets as well.

9. Winner: Organic Chicken

Loser: regular frozen chicken

No comparison. Did you know chicken has flavor? Yeah, bizarre, I know. Chicken raised properly (not shoved by the cluckload into dirty factories) is rich in EFAs and is one of the most efficient, lean sources of protein available.

8. Winner: Wild Salmon

Loser: farmed salmon

Fish is healthy, right? Don’t even bother patting yourself on the back for eating salmon if it’s from a farm. Farmed salmon is produced in a way that’s the seaside equivalent of a chicken factory. As a result, the fish are often sick and infected. They’re fed cheap feed that does not yield the desirable Omega-3-rich flesh. They’re miserable.

Stick with wild only. Most restaurants use farmed salmon, so you have to get a little aggressive about this.

7. Winner: Tuna fish

Loser: fish sticks and popcorn shrimp

6. Winner: Organic DHA-Enhanced Eggs

Loser: egg substitute and/or regular eggs

5. Winner: Organic, Plain, European (Greek) Yogurt

Loser: regular yogurt

4. Winner: Tempeh

Loser: tofu and “mock meats”

3. Winner(s): Quinoa

Loser(s): green beans & any large, starchy bean: kidney, great northern, lima

2. Winner: Almonds and Almond Butter

Loser: peanuts and peanut butter

Notice a trend here with my emphasis on good fats in protein foods? Source makes a huge difference in the quality of protein you get.  Meat is – or was – a very valuable food because it’s so dense in nutritious fat and protein. What an efficient, rich source of energy!  Helpfully, our modern factories have eliminated the nutritional value and left us with weak, flabby, carcinogenic, diseased patties and drumsticks.”   Complete article at:




On This Day:

The origins of the Hummer, Mar 22, 1983:

“On this day in 1983, the Pentagon awards a production contract worth more than $1 billion to AM General Corporation to develop 55,000 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV). Nicknamed the Humvee and designed to transport troops and cargo, the wide, rugged vehicles entered the spotlight when they were used by the American military during the 1989 invasion of Panama and the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s.

In 1992, a civilian version of the Humvee, known as the Hummer, went on sale. The hulking, attention-grabbing road warrior tipped the scales at some 10,000 pounds and got less than 10 miles per gallon. It was an early hit with Hollywood celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, who went on to own a fleet of Hummers. In December 1999, when the economy was strong and gas prices were relatively low, General Motors purchased the rights from AM General to market and distribute the Hummer. In 2002, the Hummer H2, a smaller (some 8,600 pounds), less expensive version of the original model, debuted.

The Hummer became a symbol of America's super-sized lifestyle; however, the gas-guzzling vehicle was also a target of heavy criticism from environmentalists. According to a 2008 report on, in August 2003, "Hummer-hating eco-vandals [struck] four car dealerships in Southern California's San Gabriel Valley, destroying, defacing and burning dozens of Hummers and other SUVs, while scrawling love notes like 'Fat, Lazy Americans' about the premises."

In 2005, the Hummer H3, an even smaller (5,800 pounds), more fuel-efficient (16 to 20 miles per gallon) vehicle, was released. The following year, GM ended production of the original Hummer, due to low sales. In 2008, as Americans faced a growing economic crisis and rising gas prices, along with increasing environmental concerns, Hummer sales shrunk by more than 50 percent. In December 2008, GM, which was hard hit by the global recession and slumping auto sales, received a multi-billion-dollar federal bailout loan in order to stay afloat. On June 1, 2009, the auto giant, which until 2008 had been the world's top-selling maker of cars and trucks, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The following day, GM announced that as part of its reorganization plans it would sell the Hummer brand to a Chinese machinery company.”



Sam, the old guy down the street who can’t really talk because of a stoke, had come up here and gestured to Ray that it was time for me to groom Mikey again.  We, his neighbors, have got used to deciphering his hand signs, mispronounced words, and what he is trying to say.  He can’t even read or write anymore.

I drove down there to see if it was a good day to do Mikey, and he nodded yes. Carrying a leash helped!

Mikey has had a terrible cough for some months, and he is a very hyper, panting, overweight dog, so it is difficult to keep him still at any time.   But this time I had to keep on stopping with the grooming because of Mikey’s coughing.  Poor baby.  At one point I was scared he was going to pass out. 

Trying to settle him down, I took him in my bedroom and laid him on my bed with me, hoping it would stop the panting and coughing.  No, didn’t happen!!  Even though we didn’t need AC, I turned it on to 74 deg. hoping it would stop him from panting.  He just would not lie still, or stop panting or coughing, so I took him back into the Grooming Room, and finished his groom. 

When I took him home, I asked Sam what are we going to do about this, he got it across to me that he couldn’t take him to the vet, because they can’t understand him.  So I offered to make an appointment and take him.  I came back here to call the vet, and when I went back to Sam to tell him the appointment was for today, he was tearfully grateful.  It was obvious that he had been at his wit’s end about what to do to stop Mickey’s suffering.   I don’t know why he didn’t ask me before, as I usually take Mickey for his annual shots.

After I have taken Mickey to the vet, I will be picking up my repaired washing machine too today.


Dizzy-Dick said...

We just took our three dogs into the vet. I am broke now. . .

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Hi DD, thanks for your comment.

We have a mobile vet who comes to Willis once a month for routine shots and examinations. It is cheaper than going to our regular vet, for the same shots and exam.

That vet had prescribed some daily ear meds for Mikey, but Sam couldn't remember to do it, and then lost the medicine. It's difficult to keep a dog healthy if the daily meds aren't given every day.

So when I did take Mikey to our vet on the 22nd, it was an expensive ear cleaning, and they gave him one-time ear meds to last for two weeks, as Sam can't remember to do it.

It is a shame when someone is so messed up from a stroke, that their animal,(and pocket book) suffers. I am glad I wasn't paying that bill.

Vets are much more expensive these days, and I think that is why so many aminals don't get the vet care they need.

But we try to do right by our babies, don't we, no matter the cost?

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny.