by Maureen O'Connor @ 6:22 pm 2 comments »
full disclosure: we received 4 Fishpeople Seafood ready-to-eat gourmet seafood entrees for the purposes of our Tried and True Green Product Review…the meals come in handy 7 oz. pouches and they can be prepared in a mere 3 minutes. We’ve tasted 2 entrees so far, and couldn’t wait to write about them. What do we think? Yum to the max!
Although we’ve uncovered literally hundreds of good “green” companies over the past several years, I’ve really fallen for Oregon-based, Fishpeople Seafood, hook, line and sinker … here’s why:
Fishpeople Seafood responsibly creates a line of affordable, healthful & convenient, prepared entrees from locally and sustainably sourced ingredients in our Pacific Northwest — and they’re totally accountable. No greenwashing here. All Fishpeople seafood is rigorously screened and sustainably harvested, caught using locally responsible methods in order to protect our fragile ecosystem and deliver the best seafood possible. The fish are caught with very little or no bycatch. Their website provides in-depth info regarding their brand practices and Seafood Rating system.
And for those, like us, interested in knowing more about where food is sourced, you can easily track exactly where ALL the ingredients – not only the fish, but also the individual spices, herbs and vegetables in your pouch are sourced using their Track Your Pouch system. Simply brilliant! Their delicious recipes are all natural, there are no chemicals or yucky preservatives. Their shelf stable pouches are BPA-free and will stay fresh for up to 3 years.
I enjoy preparing seafood at home. But I couldn’t believe we could enjoy such great flavors in just 3 minutes and without creating a big mess. Each entree is smartly packaged in a little pouch.
I poached the Thai Coconut Lemongrass Tuna pouch and served it over soba noodles. It was delicious. There were nice big chunks of tuna swimming in a sweet, creamy sauce. The sauce was comprised of coconut milk, lemongrass and lime, with basil, shallots, and red & yellow sweet peppers. I added a side salad and created a totally satisfying dinner in no time. Really, no muss no fuss. Just poached, opened and poured.
We also tried the Smoked Salmon and Smoked Oyster Chowder at lunchtime – if you like your seafood smokey, you’ll like this. The flavor was distinct and nicely balanced with yellow onions, corn, fennel, celery, thyme and garlic rounding out the potato laden creamy chowder. There was plenty of fish and lots of flavor.
To prepare, you can either poach the little pouch in boiling water for 3 minutes; microwave for 1 to 2 minutes; or open the pouch and heat the contents in a pan. Voila, that’s it. You can serve any of the entrees on noodles, rice or veggies – also an easy fix.
If you have a kitchen at work, you could have one in the office for lunch or even a light dinner if you’re working late. Love to camp? They travel well, they’re lightweight and no refrigeration is required.
You’ll be happy to know all entrees are Gluten free, and BPA free. And only the Chowder is not Dairy-free. It appears (below) the crew of FishPeople take their seafood business but not themselves, seriously.
How much does it cost for each wild-caught, ready to eat, tasty entree? $5.99/per & (less if you buy a case). Not bad for a locally and sustainably sourced, ready-to-eat gourmet seafood entree, don’t you think? Visit their fabulous website, you’ll definitely be hooked @ fishpeopleseafood.com
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
by Ross Dulmaine @ 9:31 am post a comment »
Most people, though aware of the many benefits of composting, find it to be a daunting, messy task – so any help in making the process easier and more efficient is invaluable. The Green Cycler can make the whole process so easy it’s almost ‘sexy’. A small Denver, Colorado company called Ecotonix developed the Green Cycler a few years ago. The sleek, countertop device (about the size of a typical food processor) is a super-effective food scrap shredder and recycling system that dramatically speeds up the composting and decomposition process.
By composting on a regular basis you can not only create nutrient-rich planting material for you backyard or container garden, but also you can keep all that organic matter out your the waste stream – where compostable food and organic waste comprise 25 to 30% of the municipal waste that ends up in your local landfill. The Green Cycler chops and shreds food waste into smaller pieces, which in turn exposes more of the material to air and bacteria, thereby accelerating the composting process.
- Sleek styling and design
- Self-contained, stainless-steel blade cartridge system snaps in and out for quick clean-up
- Hand-operated, energy-saving dual-direction grinding action ensures optimal shredding results
- Fully removable lid clear viewing window gives you a birds-eye view of the shredding action
- Lever-activated, industrial-strength suction cups keep the unit anchored while you shred
- Micro-vented throughout to help reduce odor-causing bacteria & promote quick decomposition
- Designed for easy clean-up. All components dishwasher safe
- Features an inner-compartment that holds optional odor and pest repellent filters
- Compact, countertop design fits neatly against backsplash and under upper cabinets or beneath sink
- The unit itself is 100% recyclable
Size and Weight: 12 7/8”H x 14 3/8”W x 12 1/8”D; 7 lbs
EcoDrawer Capacity: One gallon shredded material
Made in the U.S.A.
You can purchase the Green Cycler ($99.99) @ amazon.com or @ greencycler.com
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
by Ross Dulmaine @ 3:43 pm 2 comments »
Consumers concerned with issues like sustainability, product reliability, truth in advertising and product labeling have a fight on their hands — advertisers are spending again. According to a recent report by The WorldWatch Institute, global ad expenditures rose 3.3% in 2012 to $497.3 billion. U.S. ad expenditures comprise a robust one-third of the global total – though the Asia Pacific region shows has ad growth rate almost 4% higher than the U.S.. The WorldWatch report also contains troubling info regarding the proliferation of advertising targeting children (ads in schools and on school supplies) and the negative impact ads can have on children’s self-image and dietary habits.
Ads still work
One “anti-consumer” ad campaign that worked was the effort to defeat California’s Prop 37, an initiative that would have required food companies to identify and label products made with GMOs, (genetically modified organisms). The proposition’s narrow defeat (53% to 47%) was heavily impacted by the $45 million ad campaign funded by a coalition that included GMO heavyweights Monsanto and Hershey’s, designed to mislead consumers into voting against their own self-interest. If a simple consumer-friendly labeling guideline like Prop 37 can be defeated in a “green” state like California such initiatives will be tough to implement elsewhere.
Pride and prejudice – or can I have that fried?
Side dish: another volley in the national food fight saw the state of Mississippi (the nation’s “fattest state”) pass an ‘anti-Bloomberg’ law prohibiting municipalities from instituting their own dietary guidelines.
New FTC labeling guidelines
On a somewhat more positive note — the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has instituted some revised green guidelines to discourage advertisers and manufacturers from using deceptive practices – including the use of vague, unsubstantiated, general terms like all-natural, green and eco-friendly – and has instituted stronger guidelines for the use of specific, measurable terms like “biodegradable” and “recyclable”. Marketers will still stretch the truth, but at least there’s now some accountability.
Look out for the hidden message
With traditional ad delivery systems like TV commercials, billboards and print ads appearing to be losing some impact, marketers are now shifting their focus to the web. More and more ad dollars are being spent on both banner ads and subtle contextual messaging on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and on (and in) blogs like this one. Additional subliminal ad delivery systems include product placement, celebrity endorsements via swag and gift bag, and event sponsorships.
With all this marketing and advertising going on it’s a wonder we can avoid buying something every time we go out the door. Consumers concerned with preserving the earth, consuming less, and making wise purchasing decisions are still pretty much on their own. May due diligence and good common sense prevail.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
by guest @ 8:39 am 1 comment »
Paul McCartney famously said, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian“. Marisa Miller Wolfson’s directorial debut Vegucated puts such a statement to the test.
Compared to all its many hard hitting counterparts, Vegucated is a somewhat gentle introduction to veganism and animal welfare. The film follows three meat and cheese loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Unsurprisingly they each stepped up to the challenge for reasons of self-interest – to shed pounds and ultimately feel better about their health. However, these everyday people got a whole lot more then they bargained for.
This compelling piece of work shows what happens to normal people when they are given the truth about food that the government, corporations and media try so hard to hide. Admittedly going into the challenge claiming that they would never give up meat or dairy, all three participants can be seen having extreme emotional and physical reactions to the realities of animal suffering.
Vegucated is a powerful movie about seeing regular people make the connection between the meat wrapped in plastic that they buy in the supermarket and the reality of how it actually got there. Distraught Ellen Mausner, a single mum, declares “Why didn’t I know about this before? It’s not something that I really consciously thought about“, and 22 year old Tesla Lobo, a college student, says “How is this allowed? I’m never eating meat again“. Director Wolfson really does put up a good case that given the right information anyone can make big dietary changes and maybe even become vegan. This in turn demystifies negative stereo types that veganism is a fanatical religion embraced only by punks and eco hippie types.
Though the film does have its fair share of stomach churning moments I would say that it is definitely a great beginners movie for anyone who wants to dip their toe into the subject without having a full-on nervous breakdown. What’s surprising about this film is how humorous and lighthearted it is, a real first for a foody/ethical documentary dealing with such a controversial and upsetting subject. The film moves effortlessly between scenes and does a great job of weaving together all aspects of animal agriculture, including its environmental affects and the relationship between dairy and meat consumption and disease.
We follow the New Yorkers on their journey, abundant with ups and downs as they try their hardest to maintain their veganism in a culture where meat and dairy is omnipresent. By the end of the movie I was entirely emotionally invested in all three characters. I was rooting for them to stay convicted in their morals and sustain their new lifestyle changes in the face of overwhelming negative feedback from their family and friends.
Vegucated is by far one of the most ‘digestible’ food-related documentaries I’ve seen to date. There are regular screenings of the film around the world and it can also be easily bought or rented digitally online via Getvegucated.com
This guest post is contributed by Sarah Maguire, she is an artist, political activist and book fiend. Her special interests lie in non-violence towards all living beings and progressive art to bring about social and personal change.
photo credit, (above right): Jessica Mahady
Saturday, March 9, 2013
by guest @ 11:15 am 1 comment »
All too often today consumers find themselves inundated with products that claim to be “green,” but the problem is that this term is so broad now that most consumers aren’t aware of what or how the food they’re consuming is grown. Is a product “Earth-Friendly” if it uses 60 percent less pesticides than a competitor? Companies like Perfekt Earth believe that the only truly green solution is all natural food, with no chemical additives what-so-ever, either in the growing or preserving process. That being the case, we compiled this list of helpful tips to help to make sure that food product is really earth-friendly.
1) Did you buy it locally? Local foods don’t need to be shipped long distances and are less likely to have preservatives applied to keep them fresh for their cross-country or even cross-world journey. It’s also easier to check to see if a whether or not a local farmer uses chemical enhancers or organic soil enhancers when growing their food.
2) Did it come from a farmer’s market? Not only are you much more likely to find non-chemically enhanced food, but many of the vendors there are the farmers and their families, who are usually more than happy to answer your questions about their farming practices.
3) Did it come from a can? Stay away from canned fruits and vegetables. When buying a canned product you’re almost certainly going to have added chemicals of some variety.
4) What type of food is it? It’s especially important to buy fruits like apples from local farms. Apples tend to go bad relatively quickly and crates are generally pumped full of methylcyclopropene before being shipped. This can preserve apples for up to a year, and bananas for up to a month…but it’s not something we should be putting into my bodies.
5) Did you check the label? Especially with fruit juices, milk, and other drinks, if it contains Benzoic Acid or Sodium Benzoate you might want to avoid it. These preservatives temporarily inhibit proper functioning of your digestive enzymes which can cause headaches, stomachaches, and asthma attacks.
6) Does it have artificial sweeteners? Stay away from artificial sweeteners, which have been shown to cause everything from anxiety attacks to diseases like lymphoma, and high fructose corn syrup which is packed full of calories and can negatively affect your cholesterol level in a very short time.
7) Does it have MSG? Monosodium Glutamate is a popular flavor enhancer, especially in take-out food, chips, cookies, seasonings, and lunch meats, and is a proven cause of weight gain and depression.
Follow these tips, but keep in mind that they are only a few of the things commonly found in today’s foods, so it’s important to educate yourself on how things are grown and farmed, and what is truly safe to put in your body. Always remember to check the labels for ingredients or chemicals which might be better off left outside you and your family’s bodies.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
by Maureen O'Connor @ 8:36 am post a comment »
The fun-loving folks at YumEarth Organics provided us with a bag of Organic Lollipops for the purposes of this Tried and True Green Products Review…
With 40 lollipops in hand, we brought in the big guns (our 7-13 year olds) as well as the green geezers such as myself and here are the collective results. Everyone agreed, “more, please.” Our youngest expert, Emily was wild for Very Very Cherry. Austin’s fave was Too Berry Blueberry and 13-year old Drew favored Pomegranate Pucker. My personal fave was Mango Tango, and the hub liked Sour Apple Tart. Another Dad on the panel, a true watermelon lover, said the Wet Face Watermelon was “excellent”.
Each pop purportedly provides: 100% daily Vitamin C, and contains only 22 calories with zero fat and about 6 grams of sugar. The pops are slow to dissolve, which makes the experience that much better. And they don’t have an overly sweet taste. So, how do they pack a lot of flavor in every certified organic pop? (more…)