Sustainable


…or tallow (beef fat). Or “Fatty Acids” (rendered beef fat). Dryer sheets–those static-removing sheets that we put into the dryer to eliminate irritating static cling–seem an unlikely spot to find animal products. Yet, the sheets may be coated with synthetic fragrances and a nasty helping of beef fat that is used to soften our clothes.

UGH.

So, now I have to worry about my dryer sheets as well?

You can choose to make your own dryer sheets; however, currently I am enjoying method’s squeaky clean dryer sheets for baby. These sheets are actually moist (not dry) and they can be reused, which is great, since the package has 40 sheets. I’ve successfully used one sheet three times  and my laundry feels/ smells great.

method eschews animal products and instead uses plant-based ingredients to allow for a soft, dried laundry load. method produces the sheets in different scents, including a fragrance-free option. Yet, I love the smell of the rice milk and mallow scent that is particular to their baby products. It really makes my towels smell fresh, and all of my laundry is static-free, soft, and inviting to the touch. More importantly, the laundry is not coated in unnecessary animal fat. The more opportunities I have to use products that are sustainable, and not derived from animals, the better!

You can check out method’s dryer sheets here: http://www.methodhome.com/product/squeaky-green-dryer-cloths/?free__clear  I purchased a pack of 40 sheets at my local Target. Using a coupon, I spent less than $4.00 on the item.

Advertisements

So it’s disturbing to teach freshmen English when I am using Chew on This, Food Inc, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and a myriad of other sources to teach persuasive writing–and my students say things like “who cares if the chickens are factory farmed?” or “I would eat @ (insert a fast food restaurant name here) anyway.” It seems as though there’s an apathy that can’t be shaken because it’s not “cool” to care about treating animals humanely, or to learn about how genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are not always regulated  by our government.

But then I encounter this article– http://news.change.org/stories/food-fight-college-students-demand-cage-free-eggs-on-campus

So 10,000 Penn State students are advocating for cage-free eggs in the university’s dining halls. I’m encouraged that the apathetic attitude I see from fourteen year-old students transforms into a call-to-action only a few years later.

It’s hard to live in this era without realizing the detrimental after-effects of factory farming–especially the current method of farming chickens. The manure alone pollutes our water supply, our soil, and the billions of tons have nowhere to go. Chickens–social, intelligent creatures, deserve respect–even if they are being bred to be our meal. The challenge remains to enlighten without preaching, and remove a veil of ignorance perpetuated by deceptive marketing and clever labeling. It’s great to see our collegiate generation responding to the current issues. It gives me hope that the nonfiction unit I am doing with my students will resonate with them long and hard enough to truly affect change.

Although I greatly admire vegetarians and vegans for their commitment to meat/dairy/fish-free lifestyles, the truth is that my family is more omnivore that not–thus, prompting me to find grass-fed, grass-finished beef.  I’m a stickler when it comes to eating meat that is sourced humanely and sustainably whenever possible, and I’m lucky to have two Whole Foods Markets near my home.

Whole Foods has a blog on which is an article recently posted concerning their grass-fed, grass-finished beef. Although some detractors are disappointed that not all of the beef sold in Whole Foods is local, the Whole Foods standards for beef are up to my standards. The information that you can find on the Whole Foods site concerning their business practices, philosophies, and products is plentiful–and plainly stated. The blog article “The Scoop on Grass Fed Beef” by Paige Brady is definitely worth checking out, if you want to learn more about grass-fed beef.

I heard about the recent egg recall due to salmonella and immediately checked the eggs I purchased. I was glad to see that my eggs were from Sauder’s Eggs  which has such stringent testing for their eggs quality/ safety. I found these eggs for sale at Fairway Market and immediately, I noticed the “CERTIFIED HUMANE” stamp on the carton. I’m always on the lookout for food that comes from organic, sustainable, and humanely-produced sources. Sauder’s Eggs is a company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania–a place that I love to visit!–with a genuine, honest approach to fair treatment of animals and the employees who work there. I wish that there were more businesses like this one who sold their wares in supermarkets. After watching Food Inc. and doing a bevy of research, I’ve been bypassing “traditional” factory farmed food as much as possible. I can’t imagine serving my family eggs that were produced by chickens living in such unsanitary, inhumane conditions (as most of the “agribusiness” eggs are). Now that there is more demand for healthy, organic, humane food, prices are becoming more competitive and are falling within my price range. The Sauder’s Eggs dozen that I bought cost less than $2.00 at Fairway. Not bad!

It disturbs me that so many people are sick from the salmonella–instead of spreading illness to hundreds or thousands, agribusiness should be working to improve working conditions and living conditions–lose the overcrowded cages, sheds, and fecal-encrusted enclosures in which millions of animals “live” and thousands “work.” It’s so far beyond the time for change.

In the meantime, I will continue to buy meat and eggs from Fairway Market, Whole Foods, and local businesses. 

Keep informed on these pressing issues at http://www.takepart.com/news/tag/hungry-for-change/