Archive for the ‘Causes’ Category

Search results, searching for redi-quiche

My bronze medal.

I was trolling through some search results on this blog, and noticed that a lot of searches were for quiche.  Weird, I thought.  So, in a bit of navel gazing of blog-o-spheric proportion, I searched for Redi-Quiche on Google.  Lo , my silly blog post was the third highest search result, in bronze medal position.  When I search today, it is in fifth, still in the top ten!  Without even trying!  Which means there haven’t been many people blogging about this ridiculous waste of freezer space.

Not to be too high-minded about it, I just note this product as an example of our country’s blithe acceptance of whatever crappy, ill-conceived packaged food product comes on the market.  Most people want good, nutritious food.  Fortunately, many retailers are becoming aware of this and stocking more organic, whole foods.  At the same time, there is a countervailing trend of more and more ridiculous packaged products cluttering store shelves.  Certainly our lives are busy and some packaged foods are time savers.  But, as an example, I’ve rarely – certainly not recently – made brownies from a box, because there really isn’t that much time saved.   I can’t say I always practice what I preach on this score, but I know I get points for usually trying.

Please, do you and your family a favor:  don’t buy Redi-Quiche! Get some farm fresh eggs, crack them open and make a real manly quiche from scratch.   Try it with broccoli, or sausage, or artichoke hearts.  Share your recipes, do it yourself, and just skip this dumb product.

I’d love to hear your recipes, and if you run across any other dumb food products spread the word: we don’t want more dumb food!

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I Voted. And You?

Image of Chris van Hasselt, having just voted

Taken moments after I voted, early, in the 2012 election.

On Saturday, I visited Carrboro Town Hall and voted early in the 2012 election.  Anyone who knows me or can read between the lines on this blog knows who I voted for.  I don’t have any desire to explain why, or get into a debate over why your chosen candidate is better than mine.

This short post is my reminder to you to vote.  It is a right and a privilege.  Men and women have fought and died for that right. In the Middle East, a great surge of humanity has arisen to demand the right to vote.  The outcome isn’t always pretty, as we’ve seen over and over again during the Arab spring.  Even at it’s best Democracy is messy, and there is a certain trendy view of cynicism about voting: politicians, they are all the same, so why bother.  The result of this has been stagnant voter turnout numbers barely edging above half the voting age population, even for hotly contested Presidential elections.  In my lifetime, the voter turnout has only twice squeaked above 60% of the voting age population, as noted in Wikipedia (with all the caveats that signifies).  In 2000, the voter turnout was barely above 50%, and we all know how well that turned out.

Call me old fashioned, but I believe Churchill was correct when he said “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”  The only way to make it better, or to make it work at all, is to vote.

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Can we make sure we have a planet to live on?

While I think of myself as environmentally aware, I know there is much I could do to reduce my environmental impact.  I am taking a class, Environmental Health 600, through UNC’s school of public health, and our second assignment was to use one of the many online carbon footprint calculators to assess each of our household footprints. This was an eye-opening experience for me.

Results from these calculations are predicated on the idea that if everyone lived as I did, we would need to support the entire human population of seven billion people.  That predicate is important to understand, because with fewer people, the collective human impact on the planet would be much less than it is.  My footprint was between 4 and 5 earths, and, without very radical changes in my lifestyle, there seems is very little I can do to change this.  I would have to get a different job with a practical commute on public transport; I would need to become a vegetarian; I would need to move to a smaller house; and I would have to quit blogging, and give up a lot of my techno-gadgets.  Yet my current resource use is less than the average American.  We drive small, relatively fuel-efficient cars, including a hybrid; we eat mostly organic food, both vegetables and meat; we don’t eat out a lot; we have fewer gadgets than a lot of people I know; we don’t take luxury vacations all the time.

Read on…

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Another Way to Help

My employer has begun a campaign to help the earthquake victims in Haiti.  If you are looking for another way to help, consider donating to FHI’s campaign.  FHI will match all contributions, up to a total of $50,000, and additionally our staff are already there working on the ground to help.

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Helping Haiti

My employer, Family Health International, received news this morning that relatives of two of our employees were victims of the Haitian earthquake.  Whenever something like this happens, I ask myself how I can help, and, while I plan on donating, I also wanted to encourages others to do the same.  I’ve added a little text widget explaining how you can help.  It couldn’t be easier, just text ‘Haiti’ to 90999 to make a $10 donation.  Do it now!

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