Monthly Archives: November 2011

“We’ve all seen the little numbers living inside the telltale recycling arrows, and most of us know that they refer to the composition of the containers, which also determines whether or not they can be recycled. Recently, word has spread that some of these plastic leach toxic chemicals and nasties like hormone disruptors into whatever they are in contact with; not something you want to be putting on your lips or in your mouth. So which is which?

#1 – PET or PETE: polyethylene terephthalate is used in many soft drink, water, and juice bottles. It’s easily recycled, doesn’t leach, and accepted by most curbside municipal programs and just about all plastic recycling centers.

#2 – HDPE: high-density polyethylene is used in milk jugs, detergent and shampoo bottles, and, because it hasn’t been found to leach, will replace polycarbonate in a new Nalgene bottle more on that in a sec. It has also has not been found to leach, and is widely accepted and easily recycled.

#3 – PVC: Vinyl or polyvinyl chloride is a bad, bad plastic. Soft PVC often contains and can leach toxic phthalates, and can also off-gas chemicals into the air. It’s used in some cling wraps yikes!, many children’s toys, fashion accessories, shower curtains, and detergent and spray bottles. To top it off, PVC isn’t recyclable, either.

#4 – LDPE: low-density polyethylene is used most plastic shopping bags, some cling wraps, some baby bottles and reusable drink & food containers. It hasn’t been found to leach, and is recyclable at most recycling centers and many grocery stores take the shopping bags but generally not in curbside programs.

#5 – PP: polypropylene can be found in some baby bottles, lots of yogurt and deli takeout containers, and many reusable food and drink containers you know, the Tupperware- and Rubbermaid-types. It hasn’t been found to leach, and is recyclable in some curbside programs and most recycling centers.

#6 – PS: polystyrene is used in takeout food containers, egg containers, and some plastic cutlery, among other things. It has been found to leach styrene–a neurotoxin and possible human carcinogen–and has been banned in cities like Portland, Ore. and San Francisco. Still, it persists and is not often recyclable in curbside programs, though some recycling centers will take it.

#7 – Everything else, and this is where the waters get a bit murky. First, and perhaps most notably, includes PC, or polycarbonate, which has been making headlines lately because it’s used in Nalgene’s reusable water bottles and has been found to leach bisphenol A, a hormone disruptor that mimics estrogen; as such, Nalgene is switching to HDPE, a less harmful plastic.

But that’s just the tip of the #7 iceberg; though you’re less likely to see them in the grocery store than some of the others, the burgeoning crop of bioplastics made from plant-based material rather than the usual petroleum base for plastic also falls under this umbrella, for now, at least. Most common of these is PLA, or polyactide, which is most commonly made with corn, these days. It isn’t easily recycled, though it can be composted in industrial composting operations–your kitchen composter most likely doesn’t create enough heat to help it break down.

So, while cutting back on plastic packaging is probably the greenest way to go, when it comes to accruing new, we recommend you stick to the less toxic, more recyclable numbers. Learn more from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s ::Smart Plastics Guide.

via Get to Know Your Recyclable Plastics by Number – Planet Green.


Lamb and Vegetables with Quinoa

The beauty of this dish is that it may be frozen and is actually tastier when reheated.

If you are a vegetarian, you can omit the lamb, increase the amount of vegetables and add chick peas instead.



Prepare the aubergine by slicing it and rubbing liberally with a little sea salt all over each side. Leave to sit for 20 minutes.


Wash off the salt well with cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel. This process removes much of the bitterness and can reduce fat absorption. You can choose not to do this.


In a large pan, heat the oil and spices on a medium heat.


Put in the lamb and stiry-fry for a couple of minutes to seal the meat, then remove from the pan.


Stir-fry the onion for about 5 minutes until soft. You can add also 1 – 2 tbsps of water, if it needs it.


Add the aubergine, courgette and pepper. Stir well. Pour in the tomatoes and tomato purée.


Pour in the stock and return the lamb to the pan. Cook on a low heat for about 1 hour, stirring regularly.


In a sieve, rinse the quinoa with cold water and drain. In a wok, toast the quinoa on a low heat for a minute.


10. Add 1 pt of boiling water to the quinoa and stir well. Cover with a lid. NB – The grain will turn from white to transparent and the spiral-like tail will appear when it is cooked.


11. Simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often until all the water is absorbed.


12. Serve the lamb dish with the quinoa and sprinkle with fresh coriander to garnish.


1 small aubergine, trimmed and sliced

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 heaped tsp ground cumin

3 heaped tsp ground coriander

2 organic lamb chops, cubed

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

1 medium courgette, trimmed and sliced

1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and chopped

8 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

2 tbsp tomato puree, citric acid free only

½ pint vegetable stock

225g quinoa

1 pinch salt

1 pinch black pepper

Serves 4

Total time required 1 hr 30 mins

Preparation time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 1 hr

Candida Can Be Fun

Recipe published with permission from Candida Can Be Fun.

via Ocado: Recipes:  Lamb and Vegetables with Quinoa.

Cooking with oils

Heating an oil changes its characteristics. Oils that are healthy at room temperature can become unhealthy when heated above certain temperatures. When choosing a cooking oil, it is important to match the oil’s heat tolerance with the cooking method.[24]

A 2001 parallel review of 20-year dietary fat studies in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Spain[25] found that polyunsaturated oils like soya, canola, sunflower, and corn oil degrade easily to toxic compounds when heated. Prolonged consumption of burnt oils led to atherosclerosis, inflammatory joint disease, and development of birth defects. The scientists also questioned global health authorities’ recommendation that large amounts of polyunsaturated fats be incorporated into the human diet without accompanying measures to ensure the protection of these fatty acids against heat- and oxidative-degradation.

Palm oil contains more saturated fats than canola oil, corn oil, linseed oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil. Therefore, palm oil can withstand the high heat of deep frying and is resistant to oxidation compared to highly unsaturated vegetable oils.[26] Since about 1900, palm oil has been increasingly incorporated into food by the global commercial food industry because it remains stable in deep frying or in baking at very high temperatures[27][28] and for its high levels of natural antioxidants.[29]

Oils that are suitable for high-temperature frying (above 230 °C/446 °F) because of their high smoke point

Avocado oil

Corn oil

Mustard oil

Palm oil

Peanut oil (marketed as “groundnut oil” in the UK)

Rice bran oil

Safflower oil

Sesame oil (semi-refined)

Soybean oil

Sunflower oil

Oils suitable for medium-temperature frying (above 190 °C/374 °F) include:[citation needed]

Almond oil

Cottonseed oil

Diacylglycerol (DAG) oil

Ghee, Clarified butter

Grape seed oil


Olive oil (Virgin, and refined)

Rapeseed oil (marketed Canola oil or, sometimes, simply “vegetable oil” in the UK)

Mustard oil

Walnut oil

via Cooking oil – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

it just happened. “Trying to have an orgasmic birth defeats the object,” she says, “I just got into this ecstatic state where I had these peaks of orgasm. There were these rolling waves coming through me where I was laughing and crying. I didn’t feel like I was having contractions. They were more like rushes. I did not actually experience pain, I experienced intense sensations.”

Read on original article at

[Original article by Viv Groskop, The Guardian, Wednesday 18 March 2009]