Something to chew on

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Does Where We Shop Matter?

My jaw was gaping open the whole time I read this article from MSNBC about more expensive grocery stores having thinner shoppers. The first post I read tried to twist the research to say that shopping at these more expensive stores would make you lose weight. Not likely...

The article starts out like this:
The percentage of food shoppers who are obese is almost 10 times higher at low-cost grocery stores compared with upscale markets, a small new study shows.

Researchers say the striking findings underscore poverty as a key factor in America’s growing girth.

Sad. And scary.

Here's another quote that really got me:
... a calorie-dense diet cost $3.52 a day compared with $36.32 a day for a low-calorie diet.

How can that be? And how can we fix it?

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Composting 101

I took a free composting class last night with the City of Austin. It's part of their Green30 Challenge, where a class, a small trash can and a home composter can get you $75 from the City. I didn't take the class for the rebate though, I took it after worrying so much about waste during the food pantry blog project last week.

There was a lot of information to take in during the class last night, and it's all still swirling around in my head this morning. We talked about the things you can compost (veggies, fruit, coffee grounds, wilted flowers) and the things you can't (pet waste, dairy, meat, sauces). We talked about the optimum ratio of "brown" to "green" in the compost pile and the solutions for problems that could come up. Is the pile too wet or too dry? Does it smell sweet or stinky?

Now I'm trying to figure out what to do next.

Our instructor, Jason, said that any composter is a successful composter. And I'm trying to work from those words, but I'm just wondering if we produce enough compostable waste to make it worth the trouble. I don't want to start a pile in the backyard that the dogs will mess with. I don't want to dig holes in the backyard and bury compost.

Is anyone else composting at home? What's the easiest way to get started? Any and all tips are welcome...

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