Category Archives: Food

Why I stopped buying plastic water bottles

 reusing-plastic-bottle 

They’re destroying the ocean

According to Integrated Waste Management Authority, it is estimated that over 86% of the ocean’s debris is plastic.

Eighty.. Six… Percent… Let that sink in…

It is absolutely terrifying to realize just how much we are directly affecting our environment with the waste we produce.Right now, there are 46,000 of plastic per square kilometer of the World’s oceans. This in turn kills over a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals per year. That is a lot of animals that never got to live out their lives, or one might say a lot of food lost to plastic.

They never go away

Every second there are 1,500 water bottles being consumed in the US alone. (source) Every single one of those plastic water bottles will stay on the earth forever. 80% of water bottles are NOT recycled. Plastics do not biodegrade, they only break down smaller from exposure to the elements. These smaller plastic pieces are unfortunately mistaken for food to our marine life. This is not only a tragedy to their life, but ours as well. As our food chain becomes poisoned by the plastic pollution in their environment, they come back to us in the form of toxic food. Scary.


They’re bad for our body

Bottled water (and all other plastics) contain BPA and/or phthalates, endocrine disruptingchemicals that interfere with the hormones are body naturally produces. These disruptions can be linked with irregular hormone function, reproductive problems, neurological difficulties, low sperm count, and even several forms of cancer. 22% of water bottle brands have chemical containtments that are at levels above state guidelines. Not only that, but they’re not required to provide a source, be tested for e. coli, or are required to produce quality reports like tap water is. So in all honesty, we don’t know what potential harmful chemicals are within plastic water bottles or plastic in general.

They’re costing us 
 
50 billion water bottles are purchased in the US alone. Worldwide, more than $100 billion dollars are spent towards bottled water. (Source) Bottled water is 2000x MORE expensive than tap water.

 Recap 

  • Water bottles (and all other plastics) are destroying the ocean
  • Water bottles (and all other plastics) do not ever go away, they just become smaller.
  • Water bottles (and all other plastics) contain hormone-disrupting chemcials that cause a host of issues.
  • Water bottles (and all other plastics) are costing us A LOT of money.   

What can we do?  

Instead of using water bottles, tote around a stainless steel water bottle or a mason jar. Mason jars have water-tight lids so you can be sure they won’t spill, if you’re afraid of them breaking don’t worry. They are stronger than you think, I have been carrying my 32-ounce mason jar in my backpack for two years, hasn’t even cracked. Take baby steps and remember that the less plastic you use the better!

Works Cited

“Education Database Online.” Online Education Blog. Web. 15 Feb. 2015. <http://www.onlineeducation.net/bottled_water&gt;.

“Plastic Free – 21 Ways to Reduce Plastic in Your Home.” DIY Natural. 15 Jan. 2014. Web. 15 Feb. 2015. <http://www.diynatural.com/plastic-free-home/>.

Tsiattalos, George. “Plastic Pollution.” Everything Connects. N.p., n.d. Web. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.everythingconnects.org%2Fplastic-pollution.html>.

Schriever, Norm. “Plastic Water Bottles Causing Flood of Harm to Our Environment.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/norm-schriever/post_5218_b_3613577.html&gt;.

“The Plastic Water Bottle Effect – Homegrown & Healthy.” Homegrown & Healthy. 28 May 2013. Web. 15 Feb. 2015. <http://homegrownandhealthy.com/the-plastic-water-bottle-effect/&gt;.

Article by Emily A. Ward

Sweet Tomatoes Overview – Lluvia Moreno

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 3.07.38 PMReview of Sweet Tomatoes Buffet – Will actually be more of an overview of what to expect at Sweet Tomatoes.

Located at 7114 N Fresno St, Fresno, CA 93720, Sweet Tomatoes is a healthy alternative to many eating out choices. It has a nice atmosphere, and most importantly, the food is delicious.

When you enter the restaurant the first thing you see is a stack of trays and plates standing before a salad bar that stretches out in front of you. At the end is the cashier’s station. I think this is a genius idea, because it kind of pressures you to eat a healthy salad before you fill up on other things. They also have a LOT of toppings available, so you can make your salad more lively. After you’ve gotten your salad, you slide the tray down to the cash register. Price is about 10-12 dollars per person, with children under 12 getting in cheaper.

After you have paid you can seat yourself, in the main building or in an add-on that can be accessed by going through another set of doors.

Now it’s time to eat!

There is something for everyone, and they offer both vegetarian and non-vegetarian items, with a little tab on the description card telling you which is which. Sweet Tomatoes offers a changing variety of soups. Some include Classic Chicken & Noodle, Cheesy Potato & Leek, Tomato, Clam Chowder with Bacon, and many more.

They almost always have classics like Mac N’ Cheese and Baked Potatoes, along with another rice or pasta dish.

They also have a variety of breads and muffins, usually still warm from the oven. I personally love their Focaccia and blueberry muffins.

The best part is that all of these things are made fresh daily, right on the premises.

Don’t worry about filling up your plate! You can always grab another at different locations around the restaurant.

There is a small section for fruit items and sometimes jello (if you’re into that sort of thing).

And when you’re so stuffed that you can’t eat another bite… too bad because there is a soft-serve ice cream machine in the corner! It has toppings like caramel and chocolate sauce, but also healthier options like granola.

Sweet Tomatoes has something for everyone, and is an economical way to get fresh, healthy food. I recommend it to everyone. Ciao!

~ Lluvia Moreno

Yummy Homemade Brownies -Vanessa Sanchez

Items needed:

  • Brownie mix of your choice or you can start from scratch!
  • If you start from scratch you’ll need 4 cups of flour and 3 cups of Chocolate powder
  • You’ll need 2 eggs for 24 brownies
  • 2 cups of Milk (any kind of milk is fine)
  • 9-14 inch pan (24 Brownies)
  • working Oven
  • Patience

Step 1: Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Step 2: Place brownie mix (Flour and chocolate ) in a bowl and stir in milk & eggs.

Step3: Stir ’till the batter looks like a thick paste

Step 4: Place batter in a pan. With a spatula spread smoothly and evenly across the pan

Step 5 : Grab oven mitts and place pan in the center of the top layer of the oven (Warning : Oven will be really hot)

Step 6: Wait for 30-40 min. and this is wear the patience comes in

Step 7: Using a fork, poke the corner of the pan and if the dough is on the fork , wait an additional 7 mins then poke again

Step 8: Take the pan out and place on a oven safe rack. Wait 4-8 Min to cool.

Step 9: Grab a knife and cut into square peaces

Step10: Using a spatula place the brownies on the a plate

Step 11: Enjoy, with your choice of drink 🙂

Nut-Free Granola! – Emily A. Ward

photo 1

So.. I have two brothers that are becoming young men. One of them is 14 and almost 6 feet tall! Needless to say they eat. A lot.. sometimes it is scary how much they eat. One of their favorite food groups is cereal, and man is it expensive!

That’s where my friend granola comes in. It’s cheap, easy, and tasty. It’s like customizable cereal! I know a granola is good when it magically vanishes from the fridge. This one did, so mission complete.

Screen shot 2014-07-23 at 10.06.08 PM

Look at it’s sweet deliciousness, now go make it!

Nut-Free Granola
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Emily Ward
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 5 cups
A tasty, no-bake, allergen free granola everyone can love!
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of oats (GF oats if desired)
  • 2 cups of puffed rice
  • 1/2 of hulled sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 (or less) agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener: honey, maple syrup, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of hemp seed
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seed
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa nibs
  • a handful of cranberries
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, throw all your ingredients in and mix. Once the ingredients are thoroughly combined it should be a kind of sticky consistency. You can either just put your bowl in the fridge and wait for your peanut-allergen child/friend eat it right up; or you can press it into a greased 8×8 pan and make granola bars! Boom, that’s it!
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 437 Fat: 24 Saturated fat: 12 Carbohydrates: 44 Fiber: 8.4 Protein: 11
Notes
It may be a bit crumbly for granola bars, just be warned! You can mix in any ingredients you have on hand, this is just what I had. 🙂