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Cat-Friendly and Earth-Friendly

I couldn’t imagine feeding my sweet cat anything but natural food – after all, it’s not as though she gets any other variety in her diet. To keep her healthy as can be, despite all of the looming (and dangerous) pet food news as of late, I stick to the basics. Natural basics, of course. To help keep your own four-legged friend in great shape, I suggest other pet owners do the same.

Below, a few of my (and my cat’s) favorites:

  • Honest_Kitchen_Prowl.jpgHonest Kitchen’s Prowl Cat Food – A dehydrated cat food, this four-pound bag seems pricey at $48 before you realize that the natural, homemade blend should be mixed with water before serving. High protein and grain free, the food contains hormone-free chicken, eggs, potatoes, yams, flaxseed and a few other easily-pronounceable ingredients, along with loads of vitamins and minerals. One four-pound bag makes about 15-pounds of food.
  • Fat_Cat_Toy.jpgFat Cat “Kitty Hoots Eeks” – I won’t lie. This toy is not pretty. It’s the kind that you quickly kick under the couch when company drops by. But for some reason, my kitten loves this thing with a passion. Enough that I’ve retired quite a few of them to be replaced with brighter, newer ones. Made of domestic “medicinal grade” organic cat nip (dubbed “Zoom Around the Room” by Fat Cat) and a tiny rattler—and no real animal parts—these mice are sure to keep any feline pouncing. ($5)
  • World__s_Best_Cat_Litter.JPGThe World’s Best Cat Litter – According to the brand name, I figured that this stuff had to be good. Made from nothin’ but corn; no chemicals, no perfumes, no clays, silicas or synthetics. A tad bit dusty, but soft and odor-controlling, this cat litter might take a few days of getting used to… but all’s good afterward. ($19 for 17 lbs.)
  • Pet_Wipes.jpgMrs. Meyer’s Gentle Pet Wipes – quick clean ups, these biodegradable, fresh-scented pet wipes are a breeze. Naturally made with essential oils and oatmeal extract, they’re soothing against a cat’s skin and an added dose of Vitamin E promotes a sleek, shiny coat. Squirming is still standard – natural or not. ($5)
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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

wednesday’s mixed bag of green news


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Food Safety – Camping – Top 10 Tips

This is the fourth installment of our Wednesday post-swap with that natural site, NaturalPath.

camping.jpgA meal in the outdoors is something special. Even ordinary fare can taste sublime at day’s end in a natural setting.

But nothing will ruin your magical, great outdoor experience quicker than food poisoning. Avoid this summer tragedy by following a few simple food safety camping tips and principles.

Summertime camping brings a heightened risk of food poisoning not only because bacteria grow fastest in warm, humid weather, but also because when we camp, picnic or barbecue we abandon safe kitchen routines. So adopt a new food safety camping routine.

Food Safety: Camping – Top 10 Tips

  • Plan it don’t wing it: decide what you are going to eat and how you are going to cook it; then plan what equipment you will need.
  • Bring a cold source: Never bring meat or poultry products without a cold source to keep them safe.
  • Careful with Leftovers: Put leftovers back into an ice chest or cooler immediately after eating. If using a cooler, leftover food is safe only if the cooler still has ice in it. Otherwise, discard the food. In any event, don’t leave food out for longer than two hours when the temperature’s under 90 degrees or more than an hour when the temperature reaches 90 plus.
  • Separate the Raw: Keep raw foods (meat, not veggies) separate from other foods.
  • Wash Your Hands Frequently When Handling Food: Bring disposable wipes or biodegradable soap for hand and dish washing. And wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling food.
  • Don’t Drink Wild: Either bring bottled water for drinking, boil water, or use water purification tablets and a filter (see below).
  • Keep a tidy campsite: Don’t leave trash in the wild and clean up food surfaces.
  • Don’t Guess Meat Temperature: Bring along a meat thermometer to make sure meats and poultry are cooked to a safe internal temperature (see below).
  • Ice that Catch: Put freshly caught fish on ice immediately after cleaning.
  • Know Your Wild Foods: Don’t eat any nuts, berries, mushrooms, or other items in the wild that you don’t recognize and know are safe.

Food Safety: Camping – Key Principles
So you want to go deeper than our Top 10 tips and understand the key principles behind Food Safety Camping?

Cold Food Principles
Bacteria is generally kept in check at temperatures below 40 °F or above 140 °F. Above 40 degrees, bacteria multiply rapidly and can reach dangerous levels after 1-2 hours. Therefore, you need to keep (more…)

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