Sustainability, Hunger and Consumerism: The Quinoa Debate

Quinoa

Recently in the media and blogosphere, debate has been raging over the negative impact Western demand for quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) has had on populations in countries where it is a staple food. Much of the blame has been dumped on vegans and vegetarians, for everything from malnutrition to soil erosion and property disputes. While many concerns raised are valid, and this isn’t an issue to be taken lightly, it seems to me as though we’re crying over a scratch while ignoring the bullethole. And fingers are being pointed in the wrong direction. Continue reading

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Secrets to Glowing Skin: Oil and the Simplest DIY Coffee Scrub

Today we’ll be doing something a little different. Are you excited? You should be! I’ll be showing you how to make an exfoliating scrub for your face and body that is 100% natural, very easy, and that only requires two ingredients.

Over the years as I have become more interested in diet and health, and as a result, more drawn to what is natural and unprocessed, I’m finding I’ve also been putting more thought into the products I use on my skin. Aside from the obvious rule that all of my skincare is animal-product free, and not tested on animals, I have tried to find effective skincare solutions that are free from harsh chemicals, alcohols, and so on.

I’d been using Simple Skincare products for about a year, assuming that they were vegan because they state “No Animal Derived Ingredients” on each bottle. Recently I emailed them to check, and received an email back from Unilever, advising that while they are working towards eliminating animal testing, some of their products still are tested on animals, and in some countries they still do routinely in order to comply with legislation. I was upset that I had not checked this earlier! If you would like a copy of the email, just let me know and I can forward it to you. Anyway, this provided further motivation to find skincare that is 100% natural, animal product and testing free, and from a trustworthy source.

I’m not sure how sound the science is behind this (and please, if you are knowledgeable about it, please comment and educate me!), but I have read that much of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bodies. To me that makes intuitive sense. Many times I’ve heard it said that what we use on our skin should be ‘good enough to eat’ – in other words, if it’s full of crap that you wouldn’t put directly into your body by eating, don’t put it on your skin. Once you start going down that path, skincare becomes more and more… edible. It can be easy to make at home, fun and rewarding too! Continue reading

Vegetables for sustainability: making a plant-based diet work

Over the past week there has been a lot of media attention on the issue of the US drought, rising food prices, and the necessity for the general population to adopt a more vegetable-centric diet. Currently humans derive 20% of their protein from animal sources on average, but by 2050, this may need to drop to a maximum of 5%. Our planet simply will not be able to sustain the world population if meat is still consumed at such a high rate. It takes between five and ten times as much water to sustain the animals farmed for food as it would to grow crops enough to feed the same number of people. Similar figures apply to grains and vegetables grown to feed animals. Basically, if we eat the grains and vegetables directly, we require a lot less of them to sustain ourselves than if we were to feed them to animals and then eat the animals. And with an ever-increasing population, scientists are saying that this will be the only option. On one hand it makes me happy to know that factory farming will have to decrease, but on the other hand, I wonder if, for the many consumers staunchly determined to consume meat, a plant-based diet will ever become a reality.

Continue reading

Cooking tom yummy soup from scratch

This post wouldn’t have been so overdue had WordPress not crashed and lost my post at 11pm last night. Here goes!

According to a meat-lover who isn’t too crazy about vegetables, this soup is really good. Ash and I loved it too, so I thought it would be worth sharing. Loaded with fresh vegetables, the broth is tasty with only just a touch of coconut milk, which gives it that moreish small-children-would-ask-for-seconds flavour.

Plus, it’s made without tom yum paste. Continue reading