Archive for May, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

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Does everything cause pollution?

This was my first thought when I read “Could Pigs be the Solution to Whey Waste?” Yes, that’s whey as in “little Ms. Muffet sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey.” Whey, a derivative of milk, is the liquid that is left behind after the first stages of the cheese-making process. It is also a byproduct of the process used to make Greek yogurt.

Whey is acidic and saturated with bacteria. This makes is it hazardous when released into the environment in large quantities. And with the boom in the Greek yogurt industry large amounts of whey are looking for a final resting place.

Some companies are paying dairy-farmers to use the whey on their farms in cow feed and as fertilizer. Other farmers are using the whey as pig feed. They say the whey is good for the pigs digestion, and the bacteria is also useful, just as it is for humans.

I am glad yogurt producers are finding environmentally sound ways to reuse the whey, but I still wonder, “does everything cause some form of pollution?”

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How to Use Old Spices

The author of this article must have peeked into my kitchen cabinets. I am notorious for not doing an inventory before I leave for the grocery store and picking up additional spices “just in case.”

The article reveals that spices older than a year or two will not do much to flavor your food. You can use this helpful chart to determine if the spices in your pantry are past their prime. Earth also gives alternative uses for spices that have seen their better days. I have included my favorite tips….

Clean Your Carpet

Believe it or not, old spices can be used to freshen your carpet and vacuum. Simply sprinkle spices like  rosemary, ginger, cinnamon, thyme, cloves or nutmeg on your carpet and then vacuum. Just be sure to check to make sure the spices’ colors won’t stain your carpet before applying them to the entire rug.

Keep Animals Out of the Garden

Next time rabbits, squirrels or other neighborhood critters are eating more of your garden than you are, try sprinkling hot spices including chili powder, red pepper and cayenne pepper to keep them away.

Add to Laundry

Adding a few teaspoons of black pepper to your load of wash, may help extend the life of your clothes, keeping colors bright and preventing fading.


Over time, spices begin to lose their volatile oils which makes them less beneficial in cooking. Try using old spices on the grill, the higher temperatures may help release any remaining volatile oils and flavor your food.


Perhaps not surprisingly, spices can neutralize odors, making them a good candidate for freshening up your house. Placing spice-filled sachets in drawers can help eliminate stale odors.

Spices can be used to remove unpleasant smells from bottles and thermoses and boiling spices like whole cloves or cinnamon sticks can freshen your whole kitchen.

Grow Them

If you have whole spices like anise stars, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dill or plenty of others, you can try planting them to see if they grow. Since these types of spices were seeds all along, they may germinate, though success may depend on how old those seeds are.

With any spice, it’s important to store it properly to maintain freshness as long as possible. Storing spices in airtight, glass containers is ideal, and keeping them in the refrigerator can make them last longer as well. Whatever you do, the article advises readers not to store spices above the stove, because the heat will destroy the spices’ oils.




Wordless Wednesday

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Meatless Monday

In a turn of events for today’s Meatless Monday post I am not distributing information, but seeking it. I have heard so much about Kale Chips I want to know if they’re really as good as the internet makes them out to be. I like Kale in smoothies and sautéed/boiled, but I don’t know that any preparation would make Kale taste like a potato chips.

Yes, the reviews on the internet claim that spraying Kale with oil and baking it will make them as crispy and as tasty potato chips. I have a hard time believing this so…..for those of you that have tried Kale chips please let me know what you think. Did the internet get this right or is this a case of “believe none of what you hear and half of what you read?”



Wordless Wednesday




Meatless Monday

A public school in New York City has started serving only vegetarian meals. The change was prompted by parental involvement and the popularity of veggie dishes by students. If my child attended this school, I am not sure how I would feel about it. Although I am big on introducing healthy meals to kids at a young age, I believe that having choices is equally as important. But if a parent wanted their child to have meat (or choices), I guess they could choose to pack their lunch. What do you think? How would you feel if your child’s school only served vegetarian lunch options?