Sunday, November 23, 2008

closing the loop

I've been lacto-ovo vegetarian now for over 15 years. Although I've never struggled with eating eggs baked into things, like cookies or muffins, I have had a fairly constant battle with egg, uninterrupted. Being a strong supporter of the local food movement, I have come to terms with the egg being my best source of locally available protein. As a rule, I now only eat eggs from chickens I have met. The words 'free range' or 'free run' on a carton of supermarket eggs are often very misleading, and I swear I can actually smell the difference between a supermarket egg and the egg of a chicken I have met, observed it living its life in a happily chickeny way, and can pay a gratitude to for the gift of proteiny goodness it has laid. During the summer months when we frequent our property on the Sunshine Coast the egg is not an issue. There are a few local 'egg people' who keep chickens in their yard and sell eggs from the front porch on the honour system. At this time of year when our visits to the coast become less frequent, I buy up as many cartons of eggs as I can while I'm there, and do my best to ration them until the next visit. Inevitably they run out, and I find myself facing the dreaded supermarket egg, and questioning whether I can stomach it or not.

No more.

Happily, the UBC Farm has started selling their eggs from the little food co-op in the SUB over the winter months. I have volunteered on the farm and met the resident chickens, seen the space they occupy and the chicken-ness of their existence, meandering around and scratching at the grounds for insects and worms. These chickens, whom I have met, produce eggs so tasty that during the farmers market season the folks at the UBC Farm restrict egg purchases to one carton per family, to make things fair. People line up well before the market opens, and still may not be lucky enough to get eggs. It's not a problem for me, because that's the season of my Sunshine Coast Egg Lady eggs, so I don't to compete for the UBC ones. But for now, I have a local happy chicken source of the gift of protein over the winter. I owe a gratitude to you, chickens. Thank you!

Another benefit of all of my egg sources is that they use reused egg cartons, so do not generate any waste. I save my empty egg cartons and take them back every once in a while, to close the loop. I have had a growing pile of empty egg cartons on top of my kitchen cupboard which was waiting for a trip to the coast. But what with work and school and exams around the corner, a weekend escape was becoming more and more of a pipe dream. So imagine my delight when I dropped by the SUB to snag a carton of eggs, and saw a sign saying that the UBC Farm is DESPERATE for empty egg cartons. Horray! So I've bagged them all up and will drop them off next week. Curious as I am about my role in closing the loop, I decided to mark the bottom of each carton I return. I want to see if my used cartons will come back to me, and how many times.

I will report back.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

help me!

If anyone can tell me (BEFORE Nov 27th, and with references I can cite) what range of light intensity (in lux) Gammarus setosus can tolerate, OR what the range of light intensity is in the natural habitat of G. setosus, OR even just what ranges of light intensities exist in the fucking ocean, I will give you one million dollars.*

Seriously. I can find this information nowhere. And I need it real real bad.

*I will give you no actual money. But I'll probably make you some dang good cookies and get them to you fresh and tasty wherever you may be.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

a special comment on prop 8 by Keith Olbermann

Thanks Kimberley for sending me the link to this clip from MSNBC. You're right, it is amazingly articulated. Watch it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

yes we can! but no you can't.

I watched President-elect Obama's acceptance speech last night with tears in my eyes. I, like many of you, was standing on the edge of hope. I hope this will change the world for the better. History has been made, progress has happened, a black man, who just 40 years ago wouldn't have been able to drink out of the same water fountain or sit next to a white person on a bus, is the next President of the United States. And how sad that on the same evening as such a wonderful achievement, the people of California, Florida, and Arizona voted yes to proposition 8, banning same sex marriages. I am sad beyond words over it. Progress is supposed to move forwards, not in the other direction. Yes we can.