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Morris the cat rules at Orange Cat Cafe

By | Pets, restaurants | No Comments

My husband and I walked to Orange Cat Cafe from a beachside condo where we stayed the prior night.  I ordered an Americano, and oatmeal with bananas. Bob placed his order and paid.

Morris the cat us before we saw him. He decided to get up and greet us.

Morris the cat saw us before we saw him. He decided to get up and greet us.

We sat down to wait. A cat tip-toed toward us, whispering “meow” to welcome us. Bob reached his arm out inviting him to come closer. The cat circled around  a few times before he jumped up on the deep window sill to get closer. He stepped onto Bob’s knees to greet him.

I love pet-friendly shops. I reached over to pet the orange cat and he stepped over to my lap.

“What a sweet cat. What’s his name?” I asked.

“Morris. He’s 19.” Karen told me.

“Seriously, 19?”

“Yep, he’s lived here his whole life. This is his house,” she said.

“Really?”

“Yeah, this used to be a flower shop.” The previous owner passed away several years ago. In her will, she said Morris had to stay with the property. He has his own house over there,” she pointed toward the small building next door.

Orange Cat Cafe in Pismo Beach, CA

“We keep our bikes in there, but he has his own couch and entry.”

“He’s 19?” That’s pretty old for a cat. He didn’t look a day over 10. “What do you feed him?” I asked.

“It’s funny. I tried to change his food, but he wouldn’t eat it. The 9Lives people probably don’t want to hear this. This Morris likes Friskies. He likes the dried and canned stuff. ” she said. “He usually gets about a 1/2 can of the canned stuff every day and he can eat as much of the dried stuff as he wants.”

While waiting, I did a quick search on the 9Lives Morris the Cat. He has more than 300,000 likes on Facebook! I got curious to learn more about this famous cat. All the cats that have played the 9Lives Morris have been rescues, I read on Wikipedia.

I followed Orange Cat Cafe Morris outside. He kept looking back to see if I was behind him. He meowed at me, as if he were inviting me to visit his home. He rolled in the dirt and then posed for this picture. I swear he understood everything that was going on. I soaked in all the positive energy.

MorrisTheCatAtHisEstate

Morris the cat at his estate.

I wondered how many customers this friendly cat has greeted over the past few decades.

I noticed a black and white cat on the side of his house. So did Morris. He walked back toward the other cat. The black and white cat walked through the fence posts, obediently exiting Morris’s space. Morris stood guard near the gate for a few minutes and then jumped up to relax on his throne.

The dirt is browner on the other side of the fence.

Hello Kitty, is the dirt is browner on the other side of the fence?

“Morris definitely rules the streets around here,” Riley told me. “That black and white cat is Baby Face.”

Does Baby Face believe that the dirt is browner on the other side of the fence? Does he wish he could live like Morris?

“Do you have customers who come just here to see Morris?” I asked.

“Yeah, people come see him and they don’t even order anything. There’s a campground a few blocks away. Some people have been coming to Pismo Coast Village every year for ten or fifteen years. When they come in for coffee, they ask how Morris is doing.” Riley said.

Morris the cat at Orange Cat Cafe

Morris the cat in his front yard at Orange Cat Cafe

Service was in true form to its location: beach-casual. The coffee was great. The homemade cinnamon/honey oatmeal was delicious. Morris was delightful.

Orange Cat Café’s crew—(left to right) Karen Kennedy, Bronte Diaz, Noah Kennedy, Riley Kennedy, and Taylor Diaz

Orange Cat Café’s crew—(left to right) Karen Kennedy, Bronte Diaz, Noah Kennedy, Riley Kennedy, and Taylor Diaz

Few cats have private estates. Not many animals are given the chance to have a life and legacy like Morris. I look forward to running into this sweet tabby again on the other side of life. I’m excited to hear the rest of his story.

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Experience the gourmet farm-to-table lifestyle in Maui

By | eating, gardening, restaurants | 2 Comments

If you’re headed to Maui and you want to try some of the best local foods, you’ve come to the right place. Following are several ways you can experience the farm-to-table lifestyle on the island. A few dedicated people have grown a family of several small companies that successfully thrive on living local. On a recent trip to Maui, I had the opportunity to interview Robert Comstock, the General Manager of Pacific’O Restaurant. Here’s what I learned:

“We have such a cool company,” Robert said. “We’re a lifestyle company. We keep everything contained to our passions. There are a lot of aspects. In Hawaii it’s called Ohana. It means family. We enjoy working together and spending our holidays together.”

Pacific'O restaurant on the beach

Pacific’O restaurant on the beach

Native Hawaiians had a sustainable system where the farmers traded with the fishermen so that they could all have a complete diet. It’s called Ahupua`a. It’s a Hawaiian word that means a self-sustaining unit from mountain to sea. We strive to live by this principle and we give people a number of ways to experience it:

Entertain the family at the Feast at LeLe

It’s hard to think about traveling to Hawaii without going to at least one luau. The Feast at LeLe is a sit-down dinner featuring five courses from the Pacific island nations of Aotearoa, Tahiti, Samoa and Hawai’i. This farm-to-table dinner includes a sunset show spotlighting music and dance from these four Pacific islands. At this table-service feast you get to eat authentic food from each different region.

Sunset Feast at LeLe in Lahaina, Maui

Sunset Feast at LeLe in Lahaina, Maui

Every table is intimate and offers a panoramic view of the West Maui sunsets. LeLe is the ancient name for Lahaina. This is the beach where the royal family of Maui would feast and entertain.

Splurge at Pacific’O fine dining restaurant in Lahaina

When you ask questions at Pacific’O, you’ll be happy with the answers you get.

Ask about their view. If you’re looking for beachfront or sunset dining in Maui, this is as good as it gets. “The location has been a big part of our success,” Robert said. “Other local restaurants such as Lahaina Grill are also rated highly, but they don’t have our view.”

Pacific'O on the beach

Pacific’O on the beach

Ask about the competition. “Pacific’O is the first privately owned restaurant to own its own farm in Hawaii. Today there are only a handful of farm-to-table restaurants in all of Hawaii,” Robert said. If you want to eat at a quality restaurant, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Ask about their menu. Chef Anton moved to Maui shortly after graduating from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco. Prior to joining the Pacific’O team, he spent ten years honing his craft in some of Maui’s highest ranked restaurants: the Sheraton Maui Resort, Gerard’s, Kimo’s and Star NoodleExecutive Chef Anton Haines has established himself as one of Maui’s rising star chefs by creating delectable menus based on in-season locally sourced foods.

Pacific'O Executive Chef Anton Haines

Pacific’O Executive Chef Anton Haines

Ask about their fish. “We are the top purchaser of fresh fish on Lahaina,” Robert said. “Giving cash back to the economy has several benefits. The money goes straight back into the fisherman’s pockets. Because the fish are caught and eaten locally, the distribution has very little impact on the environment.”

PacificOFish

Local fish, such as Onaga, are caught one day and delivered first thing the next morning to Pacific’O.

“The main benefit for you is that you get fish that’s been out of the water for only a day. The fish served here is about 85% local. The difference is that you see fresh clear translucent cuts, not the cloudy fish you see that’s older. When you taste the local fish here in HI, it’s lighter.  The government’s version of fresh fish is 20 days. You typically see fish wrapped in foam and you have to just trust what the labels say,” Robert said.

StahlerFreshGroundPepperCartoon“Once the fish comes in, it hangs for about 20 hours to give the chef some working time with the fish, and then it goes to your plate. Not only does it support the local people, once the fish are filleted and broke down, the rest of it is composted back into the compost tea at their farm. Nothing is wasted.”

Ask about their ingredients. Pacific’O has set the standard for farm-to-table cuisine on Maui. Local fruits and vegetables supplied by their own 8-acre farm in Kula, and free range eggs come from The Neighborhood Farm in Launiopoko. At any given time, about 30-70% of the produce comes from their own O’o farm. There’s nothing else quite like it on the island. The rest is locally sourced as much as possible. But in order to provide a full menu, they apply their own 70-mile rule, because they do get some foods from the big island.

Ask about their farms. If you want to learn more about where their food comes from, you can visit the O’o Farm and The Neighborhood Farm.

Enjoy a farm-to-table gourmet lunch outdoors at the O’o Farm

Enjoy a truly unique island experience at the O’o Farm in Upcountry Maui. Explore the gardens, learn the ways of all natural growing and sit down for a gourmet lunch prepared in your presence. The vegetables are harvested with you and then prepared in an outdoor kitchen.  It’s a pure expression of Hawaiian cuisine benefitting your body and soul. It’s as fresh as fresh can be! This is a guided tour of the farm where you can learn about sustainable growing practices. Even if you don’t have your own farm or backyard garden, you’ll appreciate this tour.

O'o Farm Tour Lunch Upcountry Maui Hawaii

Forage and feast at O’o Farm in the misty forest of Waipoli in Upcountry Maui

In 2000, surfing buddies turned successful restauranteurs, Louis Coulombe and Stephan Bel-Robert purchased over 8 acres of near-virginal upcountry land to grow natural produce for the Lahaina restaurant, Pacific’O. Louis, who’s passionate about flying, first noticed the property when he was paragliding. The property which had been a hippy commune years before, but it wasn’t maintained. It was overgrown with wattle trees.

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O’o Farm in Upcountry Maui, Hawaii

Louis and Stephan made a plan to set up natural growing practices and started executing the plan to clear the property and to plant exciting products for the plate. At first the diversified farm was largely experimental with a citrus and stone fruit orchard and a few coffee trees. Since then, they’ve diversified quite a bit. Today they focus on growing the things that are expensive to purchase and things that grow well in the Kula environment at 3200 feet.

Their goal is to provide vegetables locally sourced from Maui water, dirt and sun. It takes top dollar to even grow the plants, but it was especially challenging in the beginning since this place wasn’t set up for agriculture. They only have one hose for 8.5 acres, for example. The water comes from a water shed. It rains up there hundreds of inches a year. The farm is located in a place called the misty forest where mist drips off the trees.”

The chefs here don’t just see interesting pictures in a culinary magazine and decide to ship in ingredients from all over the world. When they want to add something to the menu, they first have to grow the crop, and know they can sustain it before they release the dish.

Get a caffeine buzz at the O’o Farm Seed to Cup Tour

Since roasting coffee was part of Louis’ weekend relaxation anyway, he decided to try roasting coffee beans for their own operations. Stephan is French and enjoys his coffee too. That’s how Aina Gourmet Coffee began. In 2009, Stephan, Louis and their chef partner James McDonald opened Aina Gourmet Market, a local foods marketplace with a full coffee bar serving 100% Maui grown and O’o Farm roasted coffee. They created a relationship with Ka’anapali Coffee Farms to grow five varietals on about 250 acres. O’o Farms purchases the beans and roasts them on their farm.

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Aina Gourmet Coffee Tour at O’o Farm

They built a world class coffee tasting room with an amazing view. Now they have a Seed to Cup tour on the O’o farm. You can walk through their tree groves and see the different stages of coffee trees. You can pick berries and then move up into the tasting room where you observe a live roast. It only takes about 15 minutes. And then you get to taste the coffee. The beans are single varietal, like a single varietal wine. They don’t over roast.

CLICK HERE to buy Aina Gourmet Coffee

CLICK HERE to buy Aina Gourmet Coffee

Wake up to Aina Gourmet Coffee in a luxurious resort

Coffee connoisseurs enjoy their morning brew as much as wine enthusiasts enjoy an evening glass of red. They describe their sips in terms of body, acidity, flavor and finish . . . ranging from mild to wild. Aina roasters focus on creating the perfect conditions to attain the right balance of flavors. All Aina Gourmet Coffee is 100% Maui grown and 100% O’o Farm roasted.

“Aina Gourmet Coffee is our brand of coffee. It’s grown on Ka’anapali Hillside by Ka’anapali Coffee Farms. We take their beans to our farm and roast them up there. We also grown our own coffee at O’o Farm but only enough to sustain the farm guests,” Robert said.

Aina Gourmet Coffee  is served at at Aina Gourmet Market in the Honua Kai Resort & Spa at Ka’anapali Beach, and also at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalu Resort. Both markets are very busy and have a big following. We also make our coffee in a French press at Pacific’O and we sell it whole or ground in half-pound and one-pound bags at every venue we have. From ground to roast is about 2-3 days. With this turn-around time, you don’t lose any essence of the coffee itself,” Robert said.

Get to know some local chicks at The Neighborhood Farm

Participate in the Egg Farm & Gourmet Lunch tour at The Neighborhood Farm in the scenic West Maui Mountains. This is a free-range chicken farm in Launiopoko. It sits on 15 acres of agriculture land at the top of the hill. This educational chicken tour is for both locals and tourists interested in learning about how to farm chickens.

Free Range Chickens

During the first part of the tour, you enjoy spectacular ocean and mountain views, learn about the history of the area and meet local chicks. These beautiful free-range hens are kept outdoors so they can enjoy fresh grass and bountiful bugs every day. The 750-1000 birds enjoy coops with million-dollar views. They’re contained by soft electric fences to help keep the predators out. This is a concept of how you can raise eggs locally, without large-scale commercial farming. The farm provides eggs for local restaurants and grocery stores.

The second part of the tour is followed by a meal served in the seaside ambiance of the Pacific’O restaurant in Lahaina. It’s about 10 minutes from The Neighborhood Farm. This gourmet meal features dishes from freshly gathered eggs. Contact Pacific’O to make reservations for this lunch tour.

Harvest produce at the O’o Farm volunteer program

If you’re interested in volunteering at the farm, you can pair up with a farmer to do some real harvesting. You get lunch and you get to spend the day working with Head Farmer Richard Clark and Orchard Manager Ancil Clancy.

Which of these experiences suits your taste?

These interdependent sister companies make up one small lifestyle company that has grown from the ground up, literally. If you cherish your health and the well-being of our planet, support farm-to-table businesses like these. Because of the popularity of their food and tours, it’s a good idea to make reservations at least several days in advance.

Tools like Yelp, UrbanSpoon and TripAdvisor give local businesses the opportunity to thrive among big and impersonal, but well-known franchises. Yelp and UrbanSpoon even allow you to search for “farm-to-table” restaurants by location no matter where you are in the world.

ValleyIsleKombuchaIf you’re willing to take the time to read through customer review rants and raves, you’ll often find that local businesses do a better job overall of providing personalized service. And you have the opportunity to experience the local culture as well as support people in pursuit of the dreams and passions. How many people have the opportunity to do this when they work for a franchise?

“We know who not to purchase from,” Robert said. “We only buy from people we know really well. We have Valley Isle Kombucha on tap here at Pacific’O to support a local producer.” When you choose to support lifestyle companies, everyone benefits.

“We’re all fisherman, all the owners and management. Stephan has a sailboat in the harbor. We go spear fishing on the back side of Lanai. It’s nice when you can park your boat in front of your restaurant,” Robert said.

Franchises are basically branded distribution systems. In most cases, their main focus is on maintaining the consistent taste and feel of their brand. Most are more concerned about their profit than your health. Why eat mediocre food from afar at a franchise when you can eat wholesome locally grown fresh food at a farm-to-table restaurant?

 

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Food biz coach offers 9-step process for edible startups

By | BUSINESS, coaches, cooking, restaurants | One Comment

“Most food entrepreneurs suck at marketing and sales . . . and most don’t know how to launch their business,” says Mari-Lyn Harris, a food entrepreneur coach based in Silicon Valley. But if you get help from an expert, you increase your odds of succeeding. Here’s her 9-step recipe for success to help you launch your tasty idea:

1. Start where you are.

So you’ve decided to start a food business? Maybe someone inspired you. Mari-Lyn wanted to start a pie business as a vehicle for social change. She explored the idea, but had to figure out how to get the product into the marketplace. Her neighbor was going to have a garage sale every weekend for a month, so she set up a little table at the garage sale. She got people to sample her pies.

PieChartCartoonStarting where you are means that you have to get people to sample your product. By starting where you are, you begin by figuring out how to get your product into the hands of customers. Find ways to get your product to more people so they can try it. Mari-Lyn calls it “the five-minute bite.” You can do home parties. Just like when you go to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Market, you sample the food. They know if you like it, you’re more likely to buy it.

Mari-Lyn empowers food entrepreneurs to move forward. Your inner voice may be telling you that you can’t do it or you can’t afford it. But you have to challenge yourself.

“You may not know where to go or how to get started. You may not know where the money will come from, but if you have a great family recipe or great food idea, reach out for help. Don’t give up until the means and resources show up,” says Mari-Lyn.

2. Create your vision.

It’s important that you create a vision for yourself and your business. It gives clarity, direction and buy-in from other people. If you don’t begin with your vision, all your good intentions will be scattered and nonproductive.

A vision statement is more important than your mission. You need to know where you want to go with your idea. Make your vision statement the business you want to grow into. It’s the dream you’re going after. What does it look like? Can you clearly describe it to others?

Cultured Gourmet's Kraut Source

Cultured Gourmet’s Kraut Source

3. Test your product.

Give people free samples and ask for their feedback. Get feedback from people outside your friends and family. If you have a product for weddings, for example, you can offer samples to people who are getting married and caterers to see if they like your product. If not, don’t be offended. Just ask them why. It’s useful feedback.

To test your product, you have to find a way to do it underground. Reach out to professionals to give you a review of your product, such as food bloggers or people who write about food products. Then you can know if your product may be well received.

Engage your customers. You have to deliver for them what they want. Let your customers be your advocates.

To get into a farmer’s market, food truck or market, you have to be licensed. You don’t want to do that right away until you know your product will be viable.

4. Have an audience.

You may have a great idea, but it doesn’t mean it will work. You need to keep testing your product and get feedback from potential customers. Narrow in on your “tribe.”

A lot of food entrepreneurs think that everyone is their audience, but it’s not so. Mari-Lyn discovered that men like pies more than women, but women are the ones who buy pies for the men in their lives. Your research helps you discover who will buy your product. “This is your tribe.”

5. Set up a sales and marketing strategy.

Marketing and sales are two different things. Marketing is the promotion and buzz of your product. Sales is when you actually sell a product or service.

Sales is not a negative or dirty word. It’s about developing relationships with people to get sales. A sale won’t happen until you speak to people. Technology can’t do this for you. You may have great pictures and descriptions on your website, but this isn’t enough. You can use technology, but you also need to have someplace where they can buy and then taste it. It’s all about relationships and getting to know your customers.

Marketing is the key component in any business. Mari-Lyn recalls working with a client who put together a flyer, but it didn’t say how to get in touch with him. And when she checked his website, there was no email or way to contact him.

He had an ineffective marketing materials. When you don’t have a thought-out marketing plan, it’s easy to forget simple things like this.

A sales and marketing strategy will help you execute. The strategy is the layout of action steps you’re going to take to get the marketing done that drives your sales.

6. Build a marketing map.

You have to know your audience before you build your marketing map. This is a plan. Find some customers and build your plan at the same time. Your marketing map can be simple. It’s your hub.

From your hub, you have different tactics or action steps to reach out to your tribe. You write out how you’re going to do it. You develop content to help deliver the message about your product. You don’t need a business plan unless you’re going after funding.

FacebookFoodCartoonDotStop

Let’s take, for example, a personal chef. You may not know how to get your services out in the market place, but the marketing map helps you to develop your business easily. You may want to blog, for example. The blog helps you educate your future customers on how to prepare food or get to know you better.

5 Essential appliances for easy healthy meals

You can blog about how you help your customers. For example, one chef discovered that his client was lacking in magnesium so he prepared foods with more magnesium which helped her feel better. If you decide to blog, here are some things you need to consider:

  • Who will participate in writing content?
  • How will you get new content on a regular basis?
  • How will you share the information?

Many people feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to go. The marketing map gives you clarity in knowing your next step and how to effectively use your time.

7. Get sales.

Put your sales strategy to work. When someone eats your food, you want them to have a great experience when they taste it. You want it to be memorable. You want people to say, “this is incredible,” or “I love this!” The sales part happens when people buy that taste and experience.

TrustYourHeartKindleeBookMari-LynHarrisOnce you have a small tribe, you can develop partners who can help you get more sales. As a startup you may not have a large budget, so the quickest way is to develop collaborative partnerships.

Building relationships with people will help you get sales. Mari-Lyn worked with Marnie Pherson and 23 other business builders. Each wrote a chapter in the book about leveraging relationships. It reached the Amazon Best Sellers list in March 2012.

Have you ever though about writing a cookbook? Books help give you authority. When you collaborate with others toward a common goal, you often get there much faster than going solo.

Mari-Lyn offers workshops on “someone you ought to meet.” She helps her clients develop partnerships who can help them get sales.

8. Get help if you need it.

If you don’t have the resources or people in your community, then join other groups for support. If you live in the Silicon Valley area, you can join the Food Entrepreneur networking group hosted by Food 4 Social Change, which is a cluster of food professionals such as manufacturers, chefs, suppliers and vendors. Everyone can help each other.

9. Execute your strategy.

Executing your marketing strategy is picking something that’s a tool. Who will do what. How will I execute it? It’s all about the who, what, when, where why, how. It’s usually a series of tactics to get things done. Whether it’s your marketing or sales strategy, the execution is all about the who, what when, where why how.

Wally Amos, the legend behind Famous Amos Cookies and founder of the Cookie Kahuna, was featured in the August 2014 issue of Costco Connection magazine. His and his partner came to a point where they had different ideas about how to execute their business plan. He decided to stick with his original plan and grow his company organically.

Mari-Lyn Harris, Food Entrepreneur Coach at Food 4 Social Change

Mari-Lyn Harris, Food Entrepreneur Coach at Food 4 Social Change

To him, focus means that you need to follow one course until you’re successful.

Whether you’re a caterer, a food-truck owner, a specialty food maker, or even Wally “Famous Amos,” most food entrepreneurs lack the sales and marketing skills they need to succeed. But Mari-Lyn can help.

Mari-Lyn Harris is a business consultant who has been coaching entrepreneurs since 1996. She coaches food startups to build out customized plans for their future. Mari-Lyn is also the Founder and CEO of Food 4 Social Change. The vision is to create jobs by assisting food entrepreneurs to fulfill their dreams of a bold and vibrant business community. One of the things Food 4 Social Change offers is a business networking group to help create a vibrant food community.

Call Mari-Lyn at 510-564-7880 to help you develop your customized marketing map.

Food4SocialChangeLogo

Popular restaurant rating apps are missing some stars

By | eating, restaurants, water | One Comment

Why did the man go up to the roof of the restaurant after complaining about a long wait for his food? Because they told him his meal was on the house. Jokes4Us

We all have our own standards and expectations on food when it comes to eating out. When you read a reviews on restaurant apps, you get a feel for how difficult it must be for restaurant owners to please everyone.

If you regularly use restaurant ratings, you’re probably familiar with some of the popular ones:

  • HappyCow is great when you’re looking for a vegan or vegetarian meal
  • OpenTable is useful if you want to make reservations online
  • TripAdvisor is helpful if you want to know how travelers rate a restaurant
  • Yelp is a quick way to find a decent restaurant nearby that’s open now
  • Urbanspoon is nice if you like to read critic and blogger reviews
  • Zagat is a the app to use when decor and service matter as much as the food

Each of these tools has its strengths and weaknesses. But they’re all weak in comparison to Dine Green when it comes to searching for a sustainable restaurant. I’m always looking for the healthiest restaurant around.
farmacy cartoon

Hippocrates said “let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” If you adhere to this philosophy, then you understand that every visit to a restaurant is just as important, if not more so, than a visit to a doctor or pharmacy.

If you knew your life depended on it, wouldn’t you say it’s worth walking the extra mile to have a healthy meal experience?

Next time you want to eat out, check Dine Green to find a restaurant making an effort to bring you a better all-around food experience while reducing its impact on the environment. The Green Restaurant Association (GRA) has developed the Dine Green certification standards and ratings which are grouped into seven major categories:

1. Sustainable Food

If you want to know if a restaurant is serving sustainable food, the best way to find out is to ask. But here are a few signs that may indicate the food is more sustainable than the average restaurant:

  • the majority of their foods come from local sources
  • their menu changes daily or from week to week since they’re serving fresh in-season foods
  • they offer plenty of vegetarian and vegan choices
  • meat portions are relatively small (by American standards)
  • they offer organic foods which tend to have less impact on the environment and better nutritional value

It doesn’t take a big staff or training team to explain these concepts to employees. Restaurants can express these values through their name, signage, website as well as their employees. But if you aren’t sure, don’t hesitate to ask. If they don’t know whether or not their foods are organic or locally sourced, you might as well assume they aren’t.

2. Water Efficiency

When it comes to eating and drinking, water is the #1 most important resource. Our bodies and all of our food sources depend on it. Like other businesses, restaurants can do their part in minimizing water waste by:

  • utilizing the right technologies in their restrooms
  • conserving water used for dishwashing

Current GRA standards cover these standards. But the final, and most important factor to consider is the quality of the water a restaurant uses not only for cooking, but also the quality of water they bring to your table if you ask for a glass of water. The GRA standard doesn’t include this yet, but it should. I carry a TDS water tester in my purse and it’s surprising how much water quality can vary from one restaurant to another even when they’re next door to each other. If a restaurant has low standards on its water, I avoid going back.

A $15 Water Tester is Worth More Than a $150 Water Filter

3. Waste Reduction and Recycling

The US is one of the most wasteful societies in history. About 40% of the food in the US ends up in landfills. InfoWarsRestaurants can play an important role in reducing food waste by taking actions such as:

  • offering smaller portion sizes for lower prices
  • composting food waste
  • donating to local food banks

4. Disposables

Disposable products make up a huge amount of waste in landfills. Restaurants can help to minimize their impact in several ways:

  • minimizing or eliminating the use of disposable paper products such as paper towels, coffee filters, paper cups and napkins
  • serving food on 100% reusable tableware including utensils, plates, bowls and cups
  • making drinks on site instead of serving individual bottles
  • providing incentives for customers to bring in their own to go cups, containers and bags
  • eliminating the use of Styrofoam
  • eliminating the use of plastic containers and bags
  • setting up condiments to be added in house (instead of individual packets)
  • cooking mainly with whole foods delivered in returnable packages or crates

As a customer you can also do your part by choosing restaurants that minimize the use of disposables. And as often as possible eat at the restaurant instead of taking the food to go.

5. Energy

How a restaurant manages their energy can be a difficult thing for a customer to notice or control. But as a customer you can look for the following things:

  • restaurant is mainly lit with natural lighting (at least in the daytime)
  • they offer outdoor or open-air dining seasonally as weather permits
  • they avoid using heating or air conditioning whenever possible, instead utilizing shades, awnings, windows and cross-ventilation to help regulate comfortable temperatures

restaurant electricity cartoon

6. Chemical and Pollution Reduction

Have you ever thought about the fact that you could choose a highly restaurant on one of the popular restaurant rating apps and be in one of the most toxic restaurants in town? A highly rated $$$$ upscale restaurant that appears to be clean may expose you to more toxins than a $ inexpensive burrito shop on the same street. Environmental and food toxins don’t necessarily make you sick right away, but through repeated exposure, they can lead to chronic or even fatal fatal diseases over time. Most of the most popular apps don’t take into consideration the following:

  • chemicals used to wash the dishes
  • chemicals used for pest control
  • bleaches used in deli papers, coffee filters and tea bags
  • bleaches, air fresheners and other chemical products used for cleaning
  • bleaches and chemicals used to clean table linens and napkins
  • indoor plants to help improve air quality
  • fresh air (no smoking inside or out)

Restaurants can also help to cut back on pollution by offering bike racks and choosing a location near public transportation (to help reduce transportation emissions).

7. Sustainable Furnishing and Building Materials

A large percentage of Americans don’t even question the food they’re putting into their bodies, so why would they care what materials were used in the restaurant or its furnishings? Unless you work in the construction or interior design industry, you may not even notice what materials are used on the countertops, floors and tables. But here are just a few reasons why sustainable furnishings and building materials matter:

  • they’re much less likely to give off noxious emissions that are harmful to humans
  • they’re less wasteful and have lower impact on the environment

Dine Green has what your body craves. Although Dine Green doesn’t yet have as many restaurant listings as some of the more popular restaurant rating sites and they don’t even have an app, they’re beginning to fill a big gap in the restaurant rating app market. As more customers become aware of how hidden restaurant standards can affect their health, more people will gravitate toward apps that guide them to restaurants with more transparency, more sustainable business practices and more commitment to the health of their communities.

Some stars are missing in all these apps. We can all benefit from restaurant apps, but because of the way they’re designed, some of the best restaurants may not be getting all the stars they deserve. Take Chez Panisse, for example. Shouldn’t they earn one or two stars for their Edible Schoolyard Project? How many stars do Whole Foods Market cafes deserve for their quality standards and environmental stewardship? How many stars does Chipotle earn for their food with integrity? And how many stars would you give Workshop Cafe for their great work atmosphere?

Like Working In Starbucks? Workshop Cafe is 10x Better

In addition to the Dine Green features listed above, here are a few more things I like in a restaurant:

  • food prep and cooking area is visible to customers
  • music sends out good vibes helping people to feel positive energy while they eat (and the volume is low enough that you can carry on a conversation without shouting)
  • restrooms have outstanding ventilation
  • pets are welcome

My friend, Steven Wright, prefers restaurants that serve “breakfast any time.” Last week we went out to dinner and he ordered French Toast during the Renaissance. FoodFunnies

Green Restaurant certified logo

Like Working In Starbucks? Workshop Cafe is 10x Better!

By | BUSINESS, restaurants | One Comment

Starbucks’ success has a lot to do with timing. They began expanding their number of cozy spaces at a time when a growing number of people were willing to pay $5 for a coffee and a tiny table to check their email, do some work or meet up with a friend or stranger. In just a few decades, they’ve grown to be the largest coffeehouse in the world.

Millions of people worldwide like working in Starbucks coffee shops. If you’re one of them, you’ll love Workshop Cafe.

Workshop Cafe

One of the numerous work space areas at Workshop Cafe.

Like Starbucks, Workshop Cafe offers WiFi, coffee, tea and food. They also have indoor and outdoor seating in a great location. And they offer some work space areas that are well lit with natural lighting.

But here’s why Workshop Cafe is 10x better than Starbucks:

  1. Forgot your charger? they’ll loan you one.
  2. Need to print, scan or mail something? You can do it here.
  3. Want to work on a larger screen? you can plug into one of their larger screens.
  4. Need a quiet meeting room or place to make a call? They have small meeting spaces.
  5. Want to keep an eye on your bike? They have bike racks on the walls inside.
  6. Want a booth area with a little privacy? They have booth seating.
  7. Need to recharge your phone or computer? You can find plugs everywhere.
  8. Don’t like waiting in line? Place your order from their app and they deliver to your table.
  9. Want to work late? They’re open until 10 pm every day of the week.
  10. Prefer to bring your own food and drink? No problem. Bring it with you. You don’t have to order food or drinks if you don’t want to.

See what others are saying about this cool cafe on Yelp. And check out this clip by Workshop Cafe founder, Rich Menendez:

Most remote workspaces require monthly fees regardless of how often you’re there. At Workshop Cafe, you pay $2/hour, but only when you’re there. Workshop Cafe is a great startup business setting a precedent for the future of sustainable cafes and remote work spaces. Their ideas are certain to catch on.

Happy People Stop Working But Never Retire or Quit

Workshop Cafe logo 2

If you’re visiting San Francisco and need a relaxing atmosphere to work for a few hours, check it out. Your first 10 hours are FREE!

A man walks into a coffee shop and asks, “how much is the coffee?”
“It’s $4,” says the waitress.
“And how much is a refill?”
“It’s free,” she says.
“Then I’ll have a refill,” he says. Jokes4U

If your local coffee shop is having a hard time competing with the local Starbucks, encourage the owner to check out Workshop Cafe to catch up with the times.

Kickstarter logo 300x225

4 Super Smart SOUP Recipes You Can Savor Year Round

By | cooking, eating, restaurants, water | One Comment

Do you want to prepare more meals at home, but feel like you don’t have enough time or skill or whatever? If so, it might be time to soup up your kitchen. It’s is one of the simplest ways to make a meal with minimal effort. The next time you need to pull together a quick and healthy dinner, make soup.

SOUP is a Simple Organic Universal Pleasure.

Here are four of my favorite SOUP recipes: Simple SOUP, Organic SOUP, Universal SOUP and Pleasure SOUP.

Simple SOUP

Soup is relatively easy to make. Everything goes into one pot, or sometimes two if you make noodles on the side. As long as you have a number of ingredients on hand, you can almost always pull together a tasty soup. With just a few vegetables, beans, spices or herbs, you have the makings for a good meal. If you add barley or another whole grain, you can make a well-balanced complete meal in one pot. If you like rich soup, add extra carats.

pee and ham soup

You can make soup one day and have the leftovers the next day or two, or freeze portions of it in separate containers and eat it sometime in the near future.

Soup clean-up is relatively easy compared to other cooking methods. After a meal you only have one pot and a few bowls and spoons to wash. If you have leftovers, you can put the lid on the soup pot and store it in your refrigerator for the next day.

Sometimes singles avoid cooking because they don’t want to bother to cook for one. Anytime you need to cook a meal for one person, soup is a great option. It’s worth taking the time to make a good pot of Single SOUP that can last for numerous meals.

Organic SOUP

One of the biggest benefits of cooking at home is that you have a much better idea what you’re eating. When you eat out, the menu may list the majority of ingredients, but restaurants need to control their costs, so the majority of them use conventional foods which are likely to contain traces of pesticides or herbicides which can be toxic over time. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you know that other quality and cleanliness issues can sometimes be an issue as well.

hair in soup cartoon (large)When you make soup using organic ingredients, the soup can be as delicious as it is nutritious. Soup made with medicinal ingredients such as ginger, garlic, turmeric or miso can be surprisingly tasty and healthful. As with any food you eat, carefully consider the source and avoid ingredients that come in packages. Another advantage of making your own soup is that you can customize it to suit your own taste and nutritional needs.

One great thing about soup is that you don’t need to plan recipes in advance. You can buy first and plan later. The best way to shop is to buy what’s fresh, local and in season. If you want to try some new recipes with what you have on hand, type the main ingredients into any search engine, such as Google, Yahoo! or Bing.  This is a great way to discover new recipes and websites.

If you’re in a hurry and want to filter out everything except recipes, use Yummly. You can type in any combination of ingredients such as “vegan soup garlic sweet potato,” for example. This is an easy way to explore tastes from other cultures or to add new spice to some of your tried and true recipes.

If you’re making soups for a special someone who doesn’t yet appreciate the value of organic foods, tell him or her that it’s Orgasm SOUP. Almost everyone appreciates the value of a good meal or orgasm. When Harry Met Sally

Universal SOUP 

In most cultures, people eat soup. It’s a universal dish with many benefits. When you’re making soup, you can add extra ingredients from the refrigerator that need to be eaten. It helps to cut back on wasted food. People rarely ask about every ingredient in the soup as long as it tastes good.

When you make soup, many people will eat things they normally wouldn’t if they were prepared alone or in large recognizable pieces. Soup flavors all blend together, fading away the distinct tastes of individual ingredients. This is a great way to get family members to add more variety to their diet so that they get all the nutrients they need to maintain good health.

Soup is a great appetizer. In many parts of Asia, it’s common to begin a meal with a small cup of soup. Soup helps you feel partially satisfied before eating more. If you want to lose weight, begin your meals by savoring a small bowl of soup. It can help to curb your appetite.

Soup can be the main dish. Throughout Asia, you can find noodle and hot pot restaurants that feature soup as the main course for lunch or dinner.

alphabet soup cartoon GlasbergenMany of the world’s centenarians eat soup year round. Hong Kong has the highest percentage of centenarians in the world. Many of them eat Cantonese slow-cooked soups, such as fish skin noodle soup, or won ton soup. These soups don’t include butter, cream, oil or fatty meats. They enjoy the mild pleasant flavors of the fresh ingredients.

You can put just about anything in soup. Hong Kong and Chinese people are known for eating bird’s nest soup made from swallow’s nests. Hong Kong people are the biggest consumers of this healthful delicacy which can cost anywhere between $30 to $100 USD. The nests are high in calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. When dissolved in water, it has a gelatinous effect. Bird’s nest is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to boost the immune system, aid in digestion, improve focus, reduce symptoms of asthma and more.

Chinese centenarians are likely to be familiar with long-simmering herbal soups. Herbs are carefully chosen to regulate various body functions. In China, there are many books on this subject.

The Japanese are notorious for living longer than people in most other countries. Miso soup has been a staple food in Japan for centuries. In traditional Japanese restaurants, you can order miso soup with breakfast, lunch or dinner. Miso is a combination of soybeans and yeast which is aged for months, and sometimes even years. The resulting fermented paste can be used not only for soup, but for many other dishes as well. Miso helps to alkalize the body and boost your immune system. Miso contains antioxidants and and other anti-aging properties that can help to preserve the beauty of your skin.

Soup is an inexpensive way to stretch your food dollars at different times in your life when you need to. Back in my college days when money was tight, I’d often make University Soup. Making soup from inexpensive foods like potatoes, garlic and onion can help to keep your food costs down. Believe it or not, many people are living off America’s waste. Dive! 

chicken doctor people soup prescription

By the way, The Onion is a great ingredient to keep around.

Pleasure SOUP

Soup is a great food year round. It can warm you up when you’re cold, be your main food when you’re dieting, or help you gain strength when you’re not feeling well. Just the smell of simmering soup can help you feel better. Cold soups are great in the summertime.

Soup is a warm comfort food for people of all ages. Even babies and old people without teeth can eat many different types of soups. Whenever necessary, you can add certain ingredients to your soup to achieve certain physical results. If you add extra beans or broccoli to your soup, the fiber can help relieve constipation, for example. Although it may not be your favorite, Plunger Soup brings out pleasure in the end.

When you include a variety of herbs, vegetables and other wholesome ingredients into the pot, soup turns out to be one of the world’s healthiest foods.

Soup’s Most Important Ingredient: Water

When you’re making soup, the quality of the water you use is just as important as all the other ingredients. Pure H2O is ideal.

Drink Distilled Water Daily to Detox and Defend Your Body 

When you make soup, be sure to use a safe pot made of stainless steel, ceramic or cast iron. Never use anything that contains a teflon coating or aluminum. Mother Jones

Avoid eating canned or packaged soups. Most are loaded with salt, preservatives, and other chemicals that have little to no nutritional value and may even harm your health if you eat them too often.

SOUP is a simple, organic, universal, pleasurable way to show you care.

Organic Soup Kitchen logo

 

Dear Diary, this is day I decided to drink distilled water

By | cooking, longevity, Natural Remedies, restaurants, water | 5 Comments

Margie opened her door and welcomed me with a big smile as if I were a friend she hadn’t seen for a while. Her sunny one-bedroom apartment was tidy. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview this lively 91-year-old.

People in Loma Linda, CA, live 4-7 years longer, on average, than other Americans. This is why I wanted to visit this quiet haven outside Los Angeles, to meet with Margie and other 90+ year olds. Loma Linda is America’s longevity hot spot. I came here to ask the same question as many other researchers.

What is your secret to longevity?

water bottle - DropInTheBucket.orgMargie spoke openly right from the start. “I’m wearing a wig, but these are my own,” she told me as she smiled and pointed to her teeth.

As I asked about her diet and health habits, she recalled different people and life experiences.

“I have the same birthday as Hitler,” she said, “April 20, and I went to his bunker.” She told stories about living in Germany for six years with her husband who was a marine and passed away 15 years ago. Then she talked about homeschooling her two sons.

She told me about her 95-year-old brother (a farmer) and four sisters, ages 93 (a teacher), 89 (a nurse and dietician), 83 (a teacher) and 76 (a nurse educator) all still living and all vegetarian Seventh Day Adventists. She had one other sister who passed away at the age of 40.

She talked seamlessly about the past, present and future. “I’d like to get rid of my computer,” she said. When I asked about the wood elephants lined up in her windowsill, she had a story for each one. She got one in Germany, one in Africa, and another one at the local Goodwill.

Although I had to repeat myself a sometimes because of her hearing, she spoke with the energy and enthusiasm of someone decades younger.

“I’d like to move to New Zealand,” she said at one point. “The fruit they serve here at the Villa doesn’t have any flavor and I can’t afford to buy fresh organic fruit,” she said. “I just read a book about . . . ” and on and on she continued.

Here’s a summary of the health tips I extracted from her stories. These are some of the things she doesn’t do which she believes may have contributed to her longevity:

  • she never eats meat
  • she doesn’t drink milk (she says it causes colds)
  • she never drinks alcohol
  • she doesn’t smoke
  • she doesn’t drink caffeine (she believes that black tea is especially bad because it’s hard on the heart)
  • she avoids sugar most of the time
  • she doesn’t use fluoride toothpaste (she mentioned that baking soda and salt are safer)

When’s the last time you did a check up on your dentist? 

Here are some of her habits she believes may have contributed to her longevity:

  • she has been a vegetarian her whole life
  • she worked hard on the family potato farm for many years and she has always included a wide variety of potatoes in her diet
  • she used to be a primary school teacher, but she still loves learning, being around people and telling stories
  • she drinks homemade smoothies made with fresh or frozen fruit such as berries, banana or apple
  • she loves grapefruit juice
  • she eats soy products
  • she keeps busy and has something to do every day
  • she takes enzymes regularly (because her sister who’s a dietician advised her to do so)
  • she has access to great doctors in Loma Linda (but some of her prior doctors are dead now)
  • she is spiritually active (as a Seventh Day Adventist)
  • she has a community of friends she meets with every day (having common meals and social time with others who live in the same retirement villa)
  • she does her best to sleep well every night
  • she has been drinking distilled water for about 44 years

None of these things surprised me because many of her lifestyle habits are consistent with others who live into their 80s, 90s and beyond. But her distilled water story did stand out.

Margie Francisco 91 years old 20130728_113511

Dr Lorraine with Margie in Loma Linda on July 28, 2013

About 44 years ago, she came down with a debilitating strep/staph infection from well water in Idaho and was in and out of the hospital 32 times to treat cellulitis. This is when she decided to switch to distilled water to avoid going through anything like this again. She made a decision and stuck to it because she didn’t trust the water.

When it came time for me to leave, Margie slowly ascended from her chair and said with a smile, “this old grey mare ain’t what she used to be.” She didn’t want me to leave without seeing more of her recent artwork. She waved me into her bedroom and pulled a painting off the wall.

“You need to see it up close,” she said. “I used acrylics to paint these flowers.” Although I was impressed with the quality and detail of the painting, I was even more fascinated by her dexterity and strength as she leaned over her bed to pull a framed painting off the wall. Most Americans don’t make it to this age and of those who do, not many would be able to do this seemingly simple stretch-balance-strength task. I love being around lifelong learners with a positive attitude. I could have talked with her for days.

The day I met Margie, July 28, 2013, is the day I decided to drink distilled water. I made the switch immediately, beginning with bottled distilled water.

Over the next few weeks I did some research and learned that drinking distilled water is a great way to cleanse your body. Dr. Weil is one of my virtual doctors. When I’m looking for health advice, I often check to see what he has to say about a subject. Dr Weil drinks distilled water and uses it for cooking as well.

Got a virtual doctor yet? If not, now’s the time. 

So are you ready to chug some H2O? Water is as important to your health as sleep, but remember stop drinking liquids about an hour before you go to bed so you can sleep all night without having to get up to pee. BitofFun

After doing some research on distillers, I ended up choosing the Megahome Water Distiller. It didn’t take me long to conclude that this is the most important appliance in my kitchen.

Drink distilled water daily to detox and defend your body.

.

Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine logo

The Top Secret to Identifying Spoiled Meat

By | cooking, eating, money, restaurants | No Comments

no meatWhy should you never tell a pig a secret? Because they squeal. Jokes4Us

Do you want to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about what you’re eating? Well, you may need to talk to a pig to find out.

Of course you want to eat safe food. But can you trust “the system” to ensure that all your meat is safe for consumption? It would be great if all the growers, confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs)slaughterhouses, processors, packers, transporters, grocers and FDA were are all looking out for us, the customers, but are they really?

A little red or white meat may not be bad for you, but a little yellowish or brownish meat is definitely bad for you! Gwizfunny

We live in a capitalistic society where money is a top priority. Each time to take a bite, you’re eating food “as is,” which encompasses everything that happened to it all along the way before it ended up on your fork. Buyer beware. When in doubt, check it out. Yogitastic

Michael Anthony offers some good tips on how you can know if you have spoiled meat . . .

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes in Hollywood? If you’re willing to fork out enough money, you can go on a back stage studio tour of Universal Studios to see how they make fire, blow things up and kill people. You have the opportunity to see how frivolous movies are made, so doesn’t it seem to make sense that you can see how your foods, so essential to life, are made?

To see how organic food is grown, you can go to a farm like Tara Firma for free any weekend to see how they raise healthy animals. Some farms, like Hidden Villa, are specially designed to teach people of all ages about sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry.

If you want to see how organic fruits or vegetables are grown, the majority of organic farmers will welcome you with open arms to take on-site pictures with your friends and family. Some U-pick farms, like Swanton Berry Farm, encourage their customers to check out the farm and pick their own berries.

Lots of people are proud of the way they do business. They’re tickled when you take pictures and share your experiences with your social networks.

Farm Sanctuary's Animal Acres

Farm Sanctuary’s mission is to protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living.

Do you like Eating Animals? Even if you do, ag gag laws make it illegal for you to see what’s going on behind the scenes in factory farms. The people who work there can’t show you the horrendous conditions either. If they do, these “whistleblowers” face challenges that can affect their work and personal life for years. If you do something as simple as take pictures of a CAFO or slaughterhouse, you risk being charged with a crime!

Why do the CAFO workers call the animals “Ink?” Because they keep trying to run out of the pens. Jokes4Us

If the meat in your local grocery store came out of one of these top secret facilities, doesn’t this make you a little suspicious? What’s the big secret? Bill Moyers warns Americans in this Huffington Post Green story that these ag gag laws are making people sick! Who takes care of the farm when the farmer is sick? The pharmacist. AJokeADay

According to the CDC, about 1 in 6 people in the US get sick each year after eating contaminated food. CDC Foodborne OutbreaksAnd the number is much higher if you take into account the cumulative health effects of eating meat tainted with drugs, hormones and chemicals. Your risk is lower when you eat at home, and even lower when you’re conscientious about where you get your food.

For the sake of your health and well-being, think about whether you want to eat anything that’s coming out of a top secret mill. If a food facility is too dangerous and unsightly for a kids’ field trip, do you really want to support these companies by buying their questionable consumables? Check out this article by Joby Warrick before you before your next visit to the meat department in your local grocery store: Do You Want Urine, Feces and Pus In Your Beef?

McDonald’s announced it’s considering a more humane way of slaughtering its animals. They fatten up the animals until they’re so uncomfortable that they want to die. It’s the same thing they do to their customers. HappyCow

 

Mercy for Animals

Don’t count on pink to save your hOOters from cancer

By | eating, healthcare, Movies, Natural Remedies, NONPROFITS, restaurants | No Comments

Would you like some milk? Or how about a soft drink, a mixed drink or some dessert? It’s ironic that the Hooters menu features some of the very foods that may be detrimental to bosoms. Many of these foods, along with hamburger buns. sauces and other items on the menu are laced with high fructose corn syrup made from GMO corn.

Not long ago I heard that Hooters was considering starting a home delivery service called Knockers. JB. Surveys consistently show that most men like knockers. And many of them are willing to do just about anything to fit them into their daily routine. Hooters put the idea on hold for now, however, because some of the young women were having trouble getting through the training.

HootersKnock knock.
Who’s there?
Madam.
Madam who?
Madam foot is caught in the door.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Doris.
Doris who?
Doris locked, so I had to knock. AT

Men gather together to keep their eyes on Hooters. The NFL Shop sells more than 1000 pink products in a category they call “breast cancer awareness gear,” to make sure that all Americans know how bad the problem is. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in American women, who have about a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed at some point in their lifetimes.

But I can’t help but wonder why adults need to pay for gear to prove they’ve been informed of this? Kids get gold stars on their foreheads in kindergarten and that’s cute. But men wearing pink ribbons is like women putting blue balls stickers on their faces. The most common forms of cancer in men occurs in their prostates or on the skin of their heads or faces.

Don’t buy this pink stuff! It won’t do anything to save your boobs or your wife’s, whatever the case may be. Monsanto, cancer centers, pharmaceutical companies and even the NFL are all profiting from this pinkwashing.

cancer posterFootball was an obvious choice for pinkwashers who knew it would be a bad idea to promote pink at the olympics. Why advertise that we have one of highest rates of breast cancer in the world? BBC News Magazine. The pinkwashers don’t want this kind of news to make headlines. If foreigners leak information to Americans about what they can do to help prevent it, it would be bad business for insurance companies, cancer centers and big pharma.

It’s hard enough on women who are told by their doctors and insurance companies that they need annual mammograms. For the men out there who’ve never experienced a mammogram, imagine this. Another man places your wiener between the refrigerator and its door. Then he pushes on the door as hard as he can until you’re sure your wiener has become a sausage patty. Or picture another man maneuvering your joystick on an ice block and then putting another heavy ice block on top, crushing it down on you until you doubt whether you’ll ever experience joy again. CC

What Pink Ribbons founder, Jane Weiner, did to help save her sister is certainly admirable. It’s always nice to hear a success story about someone saving the life of a loved one. But this pink thing has gotten completely out of control. Now you can buy pink just-about-anything or participate in a pink walk, run or bike ride to raise more funds for cancer centers and pharmaceutical drugs that “cure” women through inhumane tortuous treatments.

During football season, millions of Americans tailgate and then sit back to drink and eat junk food while they cheer on the few dozen guys in the stadium who are actually getting some exercise. The next time you see a team sporting pink gloves, socks or shoelaces, here’s what you need to realize. The corn chips, popcorn, candy, soft drinks, and mixed drinks full of high fructose corn syrup sold at these “sports” stadiums are increasing your risk of cancer. And you’re forking out the dollars to put these addictive and GMO poisons into your body! Non GMO Project

Watch this clip to see the effects of eating Monsanto GMO corn . . .

Take a look at the Pink Ribbons website. You won’t find any information about prevention. It’s all about supporting cancer centers and the drugs and treatments they sell.  They’re helping to fund the “cure” side of the issue which is exactly why pink has become so popular. The “cure” industry is big business and it’s fully entrenched in every aspect of American culture.

cure cancer billboard

City of HOPE – City of Hospitals, Oncologists, Pharmacies & Expenses

Angelina Jolie was busted. But thanks to American medicine and places like City of HOPE, she isn’t anymore. Read the signs. Americans build cities around Hospitals, Oncologists, Pharmacies, and Expenses.

Women who face breast cancer certainly need help and much more support than their bras can offer. They need more solutions. And we also need more organizations focusing on prevention for other women who want to keep their breasts along with the rest of their body parts.

If you’re looking for less traumatic cures, contact the Burzynski Clinic, Gerson Institute, Hoxsey Clinic, Cure Naturoli Cancro, or other similar centers in the US or abroad. If you’re aware of others, please let me know and I’ll add them to this list. Chances are, you’ll have to come up with the money on your own. Even if you have insurance, they’re not likely to cover “alternative treatments” since most insurance companies are in bed with the rest of the pinkwashers. Your doctor, cancer center and insurance company wants you to fear anything outside their fortress walls.

Why We Need to Do Doctor Reviews on Our Last Doctors’ Visits

What can women do to reduce their risk of breast cancer? Check out Dr. Mercola’s articles Why Medicine Won’t Allow Cancer to be Cured and Breast Cancer Breakthrough for some great tips. Learn why Evita Ramparte rejected surgery, chemo and radiation, and instead choose to cleanse her body and mind to cure her cancer. And watch these movies:

A flat-chested young lady went to a doctor for advice on enlarging her breasts.

“Every morning during your shower, massage your breasts and say ‘scooby dooby doobies, I want bigger boobies.'” the doctor told her.

She did this faithfully for several weeks and it seemed to be working. But one morning she was running late and forgot her morning ritual. She didn’t want to lose momentum so she began her ritual on the bus. “Scooby dooby doobies, I want bigger boobies.”

A guy sitting nearby said, “Do you go to Dr. Hugh G. Rection by chance?” MBS

“Yes, how did you know?” she asked.

“Hickory dickory dock, I want a bigger . . . ”  TTF

ThinkBeforeYouPink.org BCAction.org

 

Advice From The Scarecrow: Take Up Gardening

By | books, eating, gardening, gifts, restaurants | No Comments
Food for Thought

Food for Thought

You’re walking on a dirt path and you come to a fork. To the left you see a NO TRESPASSING sign. There’s a fence surrounding a cornfield that extends into the horizon far as you can see. You see gigantic tractors driven by men wearing masks. They’re spraying a mist on the crop. It smells bitter. You start coughing.

You turn to the right. Through the distance you spot a house. A woman is pulling weeds near the front porch. You smell roses and hear birds chirping. As you walk toward the house a dog greets you, wagging his tail.

“Don’t mind Lucky, he’s harmless,” a man wearing a straw hat says as he pops a cherry tomato into his mouth. “They’re delicious, want one?” he asks as he extends a handful of tomatoes.

“What do you get if you cross a collie with a rose?” the man asks you.

“Don’t know,” you respond.

“A collie-flower,” he says as he pops another tomato into his mouth.  Jokes4Us

You’re at this fork in the path every time you buy food. Which is more appealing to you? The factory farm to the left or the organic approach to the right?

Look to the left. Conventional produce contains synthetic pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and petroleum based fertilizers, which are known to pose health risks to all living beings, especially children and wildlife. These chemicals and processes strip top soil of nutrients, depleting the nutritional value of the produce. The runoff from this industrial agriculture wreaks havoc as the poisons travel downstream.

Even our government is starting to take things more seriously. The White House recently confirmed the use of chemical weapons in Syria. They say the government has been feeding Monsanto sandwiches to rebels.  JokeBlogger

Gardening is easy when you do it one foot at a time.

Gardening is easy when you grow plants one foot at a time.

Look to the right. The food tastes better and has more nutritional value. When you buy from farmers who work in harmony with the local environment, you help protect the community, environment, and food supply for future generations. Buying or growing organic helps to reduce toxins in the air, soil and water. And most importantly, it minimizes the number of toxic critters swimming around in your body.

Feel the difference. Fresh organic produce is more effective at building your immune system, protecting your liver, and supplying you with life-sustaining energy. Experience the health benefits for yourself.

Although organic foods typically smell and taste better, you can’t always tell the difference. Your stomach and organs, however, know the difference. They work hard on your behalf to sort out the good from the bad.

But why do organic foods cost more?

“It’s quite simple,” George Carlin says,”McDonald’s breakfast for a dollar doesn’t factor in the cost of the coronary bypass surgery.”  ManWalksIntoaJoke

You get what you pay for. I decided long ago that it’s worth paying more for organic products to increase the nutritional value of food for me and my family, and to reduce our exposure to toxins. I’d rather give a few more dollars to my local farmer today, than tens of thousands of dollars to a hospital later.

Gardening is easy when you grow plants one pot at a time.

To help keep your food costs down, support local farmers who use sustainable farming methods, join a local food coop, or take up gardening as a hobby. A little extra effort today may save you from discomfort or disease later.

Gardening is easier than you think. Adopt an edible plant today. If you have questions, these guys can help:

Mel Bartholomew, Author of All New Square Foot Gardening

Edward Smith, Author of Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible

Give the gift of life. Next time you pick up a gift for a friend, take a rosemary or an oregano plant. Not long ago I gave a plant to one of my friends who knew nothing about gardening.

“Anytime I need help,” she told me, “I put on short-shorts and bend over to pull weeds. My neighbors are always willing to come over and give me a hand.”  Funny-Jokes

Would you rather buy from the guy wearing the mask or the one wearing the straw hat? It’s not a hard question. You can always purchase things later, but even if you’re Steve Jobs, you can’t buy a new body . . . now or later.

It seems that some people get lucky when it comes to health, but it’s not all due to chance. If I were a betting person and had to pick which guy would outlive the other, I’d put my dollar on the guy wearing the straw hat.

Food&WaterWatch

 

A $15 water tester is worth more than a $150 water filter

By | cooking, restaurants, water | 3 Comments

Do you feel like you should be drinking more water, but just can’t seem to? If so, there might be something in the water that’s turning you off.

Good water is that clear liquid that looks transparent and doesn’t make you sick immediately, right?

Maybe.

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In every corner of the globe, we’re polluting, diverting, pumping, and wasting our limited supply of fresh water as population and technology grows. Click here to buy Blue Gold.

It might be water, but that doesn’t mean it’s good. Don’t judge it by the way it looks. It may contain clear odorless poisons such as chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, mercury, prescription drugs, and many other toxins that can eventually cause a slew of side effects and lead to disease. Because small traces of such poisons can accumulate over time, it’s difficult to pinpoint the cause.

It’s no wonder some people say they don’t like water. When you don’t like the taste, trust your gut feeling and don’t drink it. Or better yet, use your water tester to check the purity. The purer the water, the better it tastes. And you’re less likely to ingest invisible particles that may harm you.

A good water filter is the most essential appliance in your kitchen, but a water tester is the most important gadget in your purse or laptop bag. For just a few dollars, you can make a big investment in your health. If you have to choose between the two, start with a tester.

I first learned about testing water when I lived in Shenzhen, China. One of my expat friends urged me to test the water before drinking it. Since it was such a small investment, I decided to get one.

I quickly got into the habit of checking water everywhere I went. I was surprised at how much it varied from place to place. According to the manufacturer, 50 and lower is safest to drink. In Shenzhen, I typically got readings from 20-180. At this time, I was shocked when I saw readings in the high 100’s.

But then my husband and I traveled to Indonesia, known for some of the dirtiest water in the world. The bottled water at the Ritz-Carlton in Jakarta tested at 284! I thought that was shocking until we took a trip back to the US. When we arrived at Dallas airport, I tested the table-top water dispenser at the American Airlines Admirals Club. It was just as high as the water in Jakarta!

Dear Diary, this is the day I decided to drink distilled water

For the past several years, I’ve been carrying a water tester with me in my purse wherever I go. I use my HM Digital TDS tester to check the water before deciding whether or not to drink it. It only takes a few seconds. I turn it on, dip it in the water, and get an instant reading. I never know what to expect.

A water tester is more important than a water filter

A water tester is more important than a water filter

I was pleasantly surprised when I tested the water recently at New Lun Ting Cafe in San Francisco. It had a reading of 43. Compared to local tap water, that’s not bad. The closer to zero, the purer the water. I asked the waitress about it and she told me what I expected.

“We have a water filter,” she told me.

But you’d be surprised how many restaurants don’t. I often get readings over 100, 200 and sometimes even over 300! Some of the highest readings I’ve seen were along the Pacific coastline in California in and around Santa Maria, Ventura and Solvang where the water in restaurants tested in at a 350-450. I can’t help but wonder what the water was like before they started fracking in this area? CaliforniansAgainstFracking.org

Feel free to check out some of my Yelp reviews for specific readings at various locations. I don’t want mystery particles swimming around in my body!

Think about how often you drink liquids outside your home. If you travel or eat out frequently, you can use a tester to check the water you use for drinking, cooking, and even bathing. It can help you decide whether or not you want to want to make a cup of tea, order soup at a restaurant, or fill up a bathtub and soak in the water.

You’ve probably heard before that your skin is your largest organ. It absorbs the water you bathe in. Since you can’t see all the sh*t that’s in your water, so wouldn’t it be nice to have a gauge to help you give you a rough idea how much sh*t it might contain?

Your body is made up of more than 50% water. It carries oxygen and essential nutrients throughout your body. You need water daily to flush pesticides and other impurities out of your body, not put more in.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually see all the sh*t that’s in your water?

EvolutionOfWaterCarryingBannerman

Don’t assume that bottled water is better or worse than other water. Once you start testing various water sources, you’ll be shocked at how much readings vary from one bottle to another, one restaurant to another, and even one building to another.

What do you call people who spend $2 for a bottle of Evian water? Just spell Evian backwards: N A I V E.

Clean water is one of the most essential elements to sustaining life, second only to oxygen. You can live without oxygen for 2-5 minutes, and without water for only 2-5 days.

If you don’t already have a portable water tester, I urge you to buy one today so that you can start making an informed decision about the water you choose to drink.

Water is the only drink you really need. Before you leave home, check to make sure you have your keys . . . and your water tester.

 

 

 

 

Are you afflicted with diabetes, vegetarianism or superstition?

By | books, eating, HAVE FUN, love, Movies, restaurants | No Comments
It's delicious. Why aren't you having some?

It’s delicious. Why aren’t you having some?

Are you afraid of things like walking under ladders, seeing black cats, breaking mirrors, or having dinner with vegetarians?

Consider the following advice from Grammy Award winning Stevie Wonder in his popular hit Superstition (Single Version):

“When you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer. Superstition ain’t the way! No, no, no.”

Do you do things like: knock on wood to ward off trouble, cross your fingers for good luck, throw rice at weddings, or say “bless you” when someone sneezes? If so, why?

If you get nervous about Friday the 13th, you’re probably from a Western Country. But if you’re more concerned about Tuesday the 13th, you’re probably from Greece or a Spanish-speaking country. It’s all relative, and borderline ridiculous.

If you’re not familiar with celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or lactose-intolerance, you may avoid these unfamiliar topics. Next time you eat with a diabetic, a Kosher Jew, or a vegan, don’t clam up. Instead, ask questions. Topics like “vegetarianism” can spur interesting conversations. People’s diets evolve around their cultural, financial, physical and spiritual existence. Our food becomes us, literally.

For better or worse, we get accustomed to the plants, creatures, and packaged stuff we’ve been eating year after year. Families, culture, and the media brainwash us with traditions and beliefs about what’s ok, or not ok, to eat. Our food is our daily supply of fuel that keeps us running (or perhaps dragging) through our days.

It’s no wonder that some people get nervous or avoid discussions about what someone else eats or doesn’t eat. It’s a natural, superstitious, and fearful reaction that reminds us there may come a day when our “comfort foods” are no longer comfortable, and we need to eat different foods for one reason or another.

Next time someone starts talking about what they eat or don’t eat, halt your aversion and carry on with the conversation. Who knows, you may learn something. Instead of floundering in superstition, take the time to learn more about the foods you’re putting into your own body.