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Simple Organic Guide
13 minutes | Aug 9, 2018
5 ways to get rid of plastic
5 ways to get rid of plastics in your life.
11 minutes | Aug 2, 2018
Simplifying - Downsizing - Slowing Down
We dumped the microwave. Hello, hello and welcome to the Simple Organic Guide Show where we talk about everything and anything in the natural and organic living space. I'm your host, Jan Davis, coming to you from the Southern Tier of Western New York. Today is August 2nd, 2018, episode 12. We're going to talk about downsizing and slowing down. In my pursuit of a natural lifestyle, one of the things that we've been doing is downsizing and not having so much stuff. And we decided to get rid of the microwave. Interesting right and you might be thinking. Oh, I could never do that, but you don't have to get rid of the microwave specifically, but maybe just maybe there is something in your household that you look at and think, hmmm, this is just wasting space. I might as well just get rid of it. Make sure you subscribe to our podcast wherever you get your podcasts, or you can go to simpleorganicguide.com/episode12 for today's show notes. We also have weekly information recipes and of course, you can also find this podcast there. Don't forget to sign up for our e-info weekly email so that you never miss another week of Simple Organic Guide. You might be thinking what? Get rid of the microwave. No Way. This really isn't about the microwave. This is about looking around you and in your environment of all the extra stuff. Our choice for living an organic and a natural lifestyle has gone into the next part for us of downsizing and simplifying. Look around where you live, look in your environment and what are all the things - you know, that stuff that you buy because you have to have and look how much of it do you actually use every day. How much of it is necessary and how much of it is just collecting dust. Once you've done that, you can decide if you want to get rid of things before they decide to get rid of you. Quickly think what's the one appliance in your kitchen your most addicted to? In full disclosure, in our house, it's the coffee pot because if there is no coffee, there is no happy hubby and we need to have a happy Hubby. But beyond that, because the coffee maker is a necessity through and through. In our house, hands down, besides the coffee maker is the microwave because everybody in the house uses it. Worse we didn't realize how much we use the microwave until it fizzled and crashed one day. My first reaction was how much do they cost new and where can I get one? I didn't want a second-hand one because it's a microwave and they usually get pretty used up. After I thought about it for a little bit. My second reaction was, hmm, do we really need one? Running to the store wasn't an option and ordering one online would take shipping time. And I thought again, is this worth getting another microwave? Once we got over the shock of no microwave, we began tasting the difference in not using it. My teas tasted so much better with boiling water from a pot or a tea kettle. It was never bitter from overheating. It was always the right temperature, my fresh herbs that I also use we're always tender and it was just a better flavor. Leftovers, how many times do you take your leftovers and stick them in the microwave and nuke it? The inside is hot, the outside is cold or the outside is shriveled up. Like the vegetables, you know they get all dried out. By reheating our leftovers in our cast iron pans or in the oven. We started having new flavors and better flavors than we had from reheating in the microwave. Now, are you ready to scrap your microwave before it scraps you or any other thing that's in your house? Think of these things first before you answer this question, write down what you use, whatever it is. For us, it was the microwave for every day. In a typical day, we used it to reheat food and make tea. That was it. Now that you know the usage of your appliance or your product, write down how you plan to replace the microwave. How we replaced the microwave was through discovery. We started reheating our food on the stove, grill, in the toaster oven, and in the regular oven. We discovered leftover breakfast foods such as pancakes and French toast fit nicely into our two slice toaster, put it on low heat. It warms it up, pop. It's done and it is crispy. It's not gooey like the microwave would do. We also discovered that we could put a casserole back into the oven. Sometimes we even took our leftovers and mixed them together like all the potatoes and sprinkled cheese on it for another meal. And we started seeing new flavors. Anything originally cooked on the grill was reheated on the grill. We simply through the food back on the grill and reheated it or we wrapped it up in foil and added liquid and other vegetables to it. Instead of heating water for tea in the microwave, I started using a saucepan and I did get a glass teapot because it wasn't bitter. I started mixing different flavors. I never thought I would mix before because I thought that flavor's going to taste funny. When in reality it was the heat of the water that was making some of it tastes funny. In the pot as soon as the water came to a boil, I could see, oh, it's hot enough. Or if I wanted to make the water not quite so hot, I didn't have to let it boil. So there was a lot of surprises for us with not using the microwave. The biggest surprised, originally thought it was going to be a big hassle and not to have the microwave. Yes, you have to plan a little more time for reheating when you're not using the microwave. It's not a pop it in hit 30 walk away. Yes. You have to pay attention to your food. When it reheats we have discovered that our food tastes better. I think I've said that and it tastes much better than it ever did being reheated in the microwave. Also, we're not using as much plastic. In fact, we're getting rid of a lot of our plastic. As long as we add a tiny bit of extra liquid. While we're reheating, the food wasn't rubbery, it wasn't dried out and it wasn't cold and the spots are food reheated evenly. The extra minute or two made us slow down. I know that sounds funny, but when you realize you have to slow down, you do. The morning isn't quite such the rush and craziness. It is actually really nice with relaxing, making your food, making the coffee, making your tea, sitting down and eating. It's a nice thing. Plus you know how a microwave gets really, really messy when things pop up all over the inside. Didn't have to have that anymore and oh yeah, I have extra counter space for cooking. If you decide to get rid of a built-in microwave, you've gained more cupboard space to where you can put shelves in there or you could close them up as cupboards. Just a thought. It's been almost two months since our microwave blew up on us and it exited our lives. We have not gotten a new one and we have no plans for getting a new one at all. But this gave us a very important lesson on doing without, without doing, without. As I said, we are trying to simplify and to downsize. Not having the microwave and not using the microwave made us start looking at what other things in our house weren't really necessary and we didn't miss them. And yes, I will give you some more update on that as we simplify our house in a future podcast. Until then, find something in your house that you don't need and see if you can get rid of it. Remember, if you want to downsize, you can and you can do it however you want. Just pick one thing and go for it. Don't forget to subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcast so you never miss an episode. Send your email questions to email@example.com I will email you back. Make sure you visit us online at simpleorganicguide.com/episode 12 for today's show notes. And don't forget while you're at it, sign up for e-news so you never miss any information. This is Jan Davis for the Simple Organic Guide Show where we talk about everything and anything in the organic and natural living space, including downsizing. Thank you so much for joining me. Remember, it's your life, live it how you want to and live it now! Chow
11 minutes | Jul 5, 2018
5 ways to take your eating style with you
Take your organic eating lifestyle with you to a picnic, barbeque, and gathering without getting everyone upset.
12 minutes | Jun 28, 2018
Food Recalls Episode 10
What are food recalls? What do they mean? And who decides on a food recall? Plus ways to avoid and minimize food recalls from affecting your life.
12 minutes | Jun 21, 2018
Sticking to your Food Philosophy
So I have 2 pet peeves this week. One - vendors telling me a little GMO is okay. Two - produce being in the wrong place. But there is a solution to both.
13 minutes | Jun 14, 2018
Organic and Natural Garden Pesticides.
6 ways to keep many bugs and pests from your garden. They are naturally organic, and won't hurt your garden, your soil or you!
15 minutes | Jun 7, 2018
Saving Money and Stocking up on Organic and Natural Food
9 ways to save money eating organic and natural food.
12 minutes | May 31, 2018
Episode 6 - Eating "Clean" Junk Food
It's summer and you want your S'mores. Information on conventional ingredients and alternative Organic ingredients so you can have your S'mores and eat them too. Episode 6
14 minutes | May 24, 2018
SOG Podcast 5 - Eating Local Eating Out
Transcript from Simple organic Guide Episode 5 - Eating Local - Eating out. Hello hello and welcome to the Simple Organic Guide Show where we talk about everything and anything in the natural and organic living space. I'm your host Jan Davis coming to you from the southern tier of Western New York. Thanks for hanging out with me, it's May 23rd, 2018 - this is episode 5 Eating Local as in eating in a restaurant local. Does eating out make you - well a little bit crazy because you don't know what's in your food, how it was made, if it was fresh, and array of other things that are going through your head? Well I have those issues too, but today we're going to talk about the different types of restaurants and a good better and best approach, so you can get something to eat out without - well - going insane. Make sure you subscribe to our podcast so you get new podcast every week. Also, don't forget to go to our website at simpleorganicguide.com/5 for today's show notes and there's also a place for you to have the opportunity to sign up for our e-newsletter with different information each week. What is your experience experienced with eating out? When I think about eating out I think about four different types of restaurants. There's fast food and I define fast food as… yeah those hamburger joints that have popped up all over the place. And yeh they served the food fast. It may not be fresh, but you can get in and out very very quickly and it's just not hamburger joints there's other places too. Then there's the chain restaurant. The chain restaurant as I define it, is some place that has restaurants all over the place, but everything is prepackaged. It's a step above the fast-food. It gives you more of a marketing of sitting down, but really they're not cooking anything from scratch. Now there is the exception, when I was traveling to Chicago a couple years ago there was a restaurant which was deemed a fast food restaurant, but they had a hundred percent grass-fed beef hamburgers. They could tell me when the beef came in, they could tell me where it was coming from. Nothing was prepackaged from the distributor center and just stuck into microwaves or quickly put on a burner and then held. They made everything to order once you ordered it everything from your fries to your drink to your shake to your hamburger was made once you order. So there are some exceptions but in general fast food and chain restaurants is a really good convenience but not necessarily one that is going to fit in with your food philosophy. The other two types of restaurants I think about are local fresh as in home-cooked meals and local where they're still using food out of a box. The ones that are still using food out of the box are making pancakes for you but it's from a box. They're not taking the flour and the eggs and the baking powder and mixing it. They're opening a box and adding milk or water. Yes that's better than fast food in a sense but really you're getting a lot of processed food that you don't know where it came from. My favorite place is what I call local fresh or home-cooked meal type of restaurants and they're all over the place even in small towns. We've got ones that are marketing themselves as organic and vegan and home cooked. They're making food every single day fresh for you. The owners are doing the cooking. They can tell you where they bought the food when they bought the food. A lot of times you can find a restaurant that aligns with your food philosophy. You may not think fast-food restaurants or chain restaurants are not good for you. Or you may not think about it at all. I was in that same mindset, I was eating at fast food restaurants. I was eating at chain restaurants all the time for that quick meal that I thought, or I deemed or I didn't think about was healthy for me. Yes, it tastes good! I'm not sure what's in it, but it tastes good most of the time. But once I started eating organic food, fresher food and less processed food I didn't like the taste of the food anymore. And my body didn't really like how it reacted to it, but if you're out and you need to get something to eat you need to get something to eat. Now I have been known to stop at a grocery store and pick up some fresh items throw it together so that I have something to eat. This is not always available or maybe you want to go out to eat with your family for a special day. That's where I created for myself - a good - better and best approach to eating out. Before you can use a good better or best approach for eating out you have to know your criteria or food philosophy of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. If it is not acceptable for you to eat food that is not organic, then just don't go there. If it's not acceptable for you to eat processed food then don't go there. You choose what you want to eat by how you feel you should be eating. Don't let anybody else tell you what's right or wrong for you. The good better and best process is really really simple. After you've decided what is acceptable and what isn't acceptable for eating out for you create a hierarchy of what you’ll eat and won’t. There's one more level which is… just don't go there as in I will not just go to a fast-food restaurant. I will go to a grocery store and pick up food before I will go to a fast-food restaurant. And that's the bottom of the barrel not going there not doing it. Then when you're looking at places that you will go to you look at good things that are acceptable for you to eat. Like for me it may not be organic, but it's going to be fresh. They may not be making it fresh every day. They may not be making things from scratch but I can ask the people how are you cooking this and I can decide what I will and will not order from wherever I am. There are things on the menu that fit my acceptability and there's things on the menu that don't. But I know by asking what's in the food or how it's cooked so I can make a decision. The next tier up is better. Better meaning it's a better choice for me on my food hierarchy philosophy of what I'm going to eat when I'm out. For me these places tell me in marketing or asking questions and getting answers that my food is fresh there's no additives it's being made every single day where they're getting their produce from etc. There's always going to be something on the menu I'm not Going to want to eat and you probably aren't going to want to eat for one reason or another. But there's something there that you can eat , it's a friendly place to go, it's a good atmosphere you can sit down. Then we get to the best scenario. Now this restaurant for me has organic food. Everything is organic. It's all fresh when I go in. I know when something's been made. I know where it's been purchased .I know when it was purchased. And this may sound like there's not places like that but there are. Even in my small area there's an organic restaurant in the next town over. When I go in I can ask them when was this made or where was this purchased and they'll tell me what market. Everything they sell is organic. I also know it has the freshest food that I can buy, made without me doing it. Remember whenever you make something it does fit into the criteria of processed but there's a really big difference between having a soup that has been created together with all the whole foods. Or even whole wheat pancakes made from grinding the wheat versus opening a box of pancakes or opening a can of soup. So the best scenario of places to eat for me I will go eat at even if I don't need to. It's some place I'm going to go with my family. Some place I might go for lunch if I need a break. It's like I'm cooking for myself but I don't have the dishes I don't have the cleanup and I don't have to go shopping. In my book this is the best scenario for eating out. Your scenario might and most likely will be different than mine depending on your food philosophy and what is acceptable for eating out and what isn't. If you're eating at a place that is a small restaurant we call them, mom-and-pop shops around here. And you want to know how fresh the food is but there isn't marketing material around, they're not toting organic or homemade and you need to ask questions you might feel a little funny. So here are a couple of ways you can get good information from the workers without prying that you think the way they cook is incorrect. The key is to ask something so whoever is serving you start talking about the restaurant. One good way is ask about the soup of the day. Ask how often they change their soup of the day. You will get your waiter person talking like.. oh it was made yesterday, he makes it every night or she takes all the ingredients and gets up at four o'clock in the morning and makes the soup. You will get information. Another way is you can ask the question when do you make your baked goods? You'll get answers like well we make this, this and this but we buy this and this and this from this bakery down the road. That bakery down the road might make them fresh too so that's okay. But you're getting answers and you're getting them to talk about their place. And you're getting information by asking questions to know the type of restaurant you're eating at and the type of food you're getting will let you enjoy your meal much more than if you're guessing. Can I eat this or I can't eat this? Or oh my gosh what I'm what am i eating. So ask questions to get your waitperson to talk. And then use your good better and best approach. Good - well you'd eat it you're hungry you have to. Better it's aligning with your food philosophy and best it's just like you're cooking at home but you don't have the mess. So your assignment for the week. First sit down with yourself and decide what is acceptable and what is not when you're eating out at a restaurant. Next find a restaurant and enjoy yourself. One that fits into your food philosophy where you c
12 minutes | May 17, 2018
SOG Podcast 4 - CSA and Farm Stands
Below is the transcript of the podcast if you'd like to read it instead of listening. Remember this is a transcript, not a written script. Please make comments below. Hello, hello and welcome to the Simple Organic Guide Show where we talk about everything and anything in the natural and organic living space. I'm your host Jan Davis, coming to you from the southern tier of Western New York. Welcome to May 17th, 2018 - this is episode 4 and we're going to continue talking about eating and buying local. Today, we'll talk about CSAs Community Supported Agriculture and farm stands. Where you can find them, their advantages and disadvantages. Don't forget to subscribe to our podcast, so you have every episode at your fingertips or your ear tips. And don't forget to go to simpleorganicguide.com/4 for the show notes and any information from this specific show and simpleorganicguide.com to get new information. Every day this past week I’ve been writing quite a few articles and label information on eggs. It's incredible! No, not the incredible egg! It's incredible how many labels can go on our eggs. Plus, next week there will be a new article out about eggs, labeling and what they mean, and how to decide what type of egg you would want. So now on with the show… We're talking about local, yes, local food and buying it. Last week we talked about farmers market this week, we're going to talk about CSA Community Supported Agriculture. If you've never heard of one of these listen closely. If you have and never tried one, you might want to try one soon, because they close. Not literally close, like close their doors, but many times they fill up. So what is a CSA? It is a partnership between you, the consumer and the farmer. It takes away some of the risks from the farmer and it gives some guarantees to the consumer. There are two different types of CSAs I've been involved with. One was a traditional CSA where the consumer purchases a share or part of a share and a share, is an amount. It's not a specific amount of you get like 2 tomatoes and 2 cucumbers. You get a certain percentage of the bounty for that week. So if there's more bounty, you get more, if there's less bounty well, you get less. You buy a share and sometimes depending on the farm you pay for it incrementally over the winter or throughout the season or up front before everything starts The other options some CSAs have is that you pay some and you work some. That way, you're also helping the CSA, and it's not quite as expensive. You'll have to ask the CSA that you want to join how they work the money part of it. The other type of CSA I've joined has been a non-traditional one where you pay a membership free upfront and then each week, everything that you decide to purchase is less money than if it was being sold to the general public. So that is the economic part of it. For the farmer they get some much-needed funded upfront, they can buy seeds, they can fix equipment, they have the money right there and they can use it. For you as the consumer, it is a guarantee that you're going to get a bountyful of whatever the CSA offers. And you know you're going to have that food every week and there's no guess on how much you're going to spend and sometimes you've already pre-paid for it. What type of CSAs are there? If you can think of it, it's probably there. I've seen flower CSAs, I've seen organic CSAs, I've seen CSAs that say: they're not certified organic and then they list how they grow all their food. Some of them even call themselves beyond or above organic. I've seen traditional CSAs where food is grown traditionally, and they let you know that. I've seen meat, CSAs and one of the largest ones I read about. I didn't actually get to see it, had everything from fruits to vegetables, to meat to flowers, and you got to pick what part of the CSA you wanted to join. It was kind of incredible. So how does a CSA work? Well, once you've paid your fee and you've joined - as product is available, you pick it up on a weekly basis. Most of the time you pick it up at the farm itself, but many times - and I see this more and more. They have different pickup areas around a city or throughout the country so that more people can be part of the CSA. One of the people at the farmers market I saw last week do a pickup at the farmers market. So people can go to one general location as well. The advantage for you as a consumer is that you get to talk to the farmer. You get to see the land, you know what you are getting. No questions - you know. Plus many times you have input into the CSA, you belong to. They may do a survey at the end of the year of what type of products would you like next year, or they may have a suggestion box, or they just might ask. One of my favorite things of the CSA is learning about different products that they grow, that I've never had before now. This partnership between you and the farmer works. If there's an abundance of food, you get more and in turn, if there's not as much usually because of weather you will get a little bit less. But my experience is you always get more than you expect to get, and the value is superb. Where can you find a CSA? At the bottom of the show notes, I listed several places that you can find CSAs in your area. You can also go on the internet and look up CSAs community supported agriculture in my area. And it's amazing how many will come up. The other places you can check are with your agricultural department or your AG extension to see if they have a list of them. Once you find a CSA in your area, call them, go visit them and find out if they have any openings. Sometimes their shares sell up very early, sometimes not. Sometimes they have shares that start different times of the year, depending on if they use greenhouses, weather, location, but the biggest thing is go talk to them. If there's a CSA, you want to join, and it's not available right now get on the waiting list and they will give you a call when something opens up. Once you go to the CSA and pick up your stuff - enjoy it. You'll meet great people, especially those who think just like you do. So go find a CSA! They’re really cool. Another place to find local food is a farm stand. Yes, it means a stand in front of a farm, it could be as small as someone who has a garden in their backyard and there's a table out front with zucchinis and tomatoes for sale. Or it could be a huge stand in front of a large farm that has everything from cheese to milk to eggs to produce and list goes on and on. The other type of farm stand is those that are set up as farm stands and they bring in food from several different farms in the area. When you go to a farm stand, talk to whoever is there to find out how they grow their food and where they grow their food. If you're getting it from somebody who has a small stand outside their house, they're probably growing it themselves, but you still want to ask: how do you grow your food? Do use GMOs, etc? You’ll learn how they're growing and if you want to buy it or not. At the larger farm stands either at a farm or in our area, we have large farm stands on the corners. You want to find out they’re getting all their food. Many times a farm stand from a single farm cannot sustain the traffic from the area for food or they don't grow enough variety of food, so they bring it in from other farms. This is fine as long as you know where they're coming from. My favorite organic farm stand down the road brings in food from different farms and places, but they tell you in their signs exactly where the food has come from. Another farm stands that I have visited, I have to ask where this food is from and on occasion, more times than not if it's something that they don't grow, they'll tell me, we don't know we order it. Because there is like a produce truck farm stands can buy things off of or they order it and it brings it up from different areas. Personally, if it's not grown by the farm themselves, or I know what farm it's being grown at and it's being grown in my food philosophy - I don't buy it, but that is your choice. The farm stand gives you that option. The nice thing about a farm stand is that there are a lot of times, they're open all day, long. Some are manned meaning someone is there for you to talk to. Some are not and there's just a little area with a lockbox to drop your cash or if it's at a farmhouse they'll come out, will greet you. But farm stands are a really really cool way to get some fresh fruits and in season too. You now have two more ways to buy local and fresh a CSA, Community Supported Agriculture and farm stands. Go look for them, enjoy and eat local and fresh. Thanks for hanging out with me today and remember… Living in an organic and natural manner doesn't have to be that difficult, and you are definitely not alone in your quest for organic and natural information and knowledge. It's your life and live it as you choose. Next week, I'll be wrapping up buying an eating local with eating out at restaurants. I know kind of scary, but you can do it and there are probably some great local restaurants in your area that have fresh food. Have a great day - every day and I'll see you next week on the Simple Organic Guide Show. Don't forget to visit our website at our simpleorganicguide.com/4 for this episode. If you have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find us on Instagram and Facebook @simpleorganicguide and on Twitter @SOGorganicguide. All links are at the bottom of the show notes. Until next week this is Jan Davis and I'm stepping out for a breath of fresh air. References to find CSA https://www.localharvest.org/csa/ http://agmap.psu.edu/ https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/local-regional/food-directories https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/local_food/search.php http://www2.wilson.edu/CsaSearch/ http://www.usdalocalfooddirectories.com/csaonfarmdirectoryupdate/of_portal_public.aspx
14 minutes | May 10, 2018
Shop Local - Farmer's Market Advantages for organic food
Learn how your local Farmer's Market can help you live a natural and organic life. Plus some tips and questions to ask at the market to get everything you wan with confidence.
8 minutes | Apr 30, 2018
Simple Organic Guide Show
Episode 1 A guide to an organic and natural lifestyle without going insane. Learn about food labels, GMO, noGMOsos, label laws, ingredients and more. Simple Organic Guide is a place to ask questions about your food source information and get answers.
15 minutes | Apr 30, 2018
Understanding GMO, Non-GMO, and Organic label information
Does the terminology GMO, non-GMO, and organic make you cringe, excite you, or confuse you? It's time to clarify each food label and give you answers. Learn the facts behind each terminology and make the right decision about your food for your family.
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