Category Archives: opinions

Abbreviations, acronyms and annoyances


Someone left a comment, anonymously, on one of my posts the other day. They told me that “by the way” should be “btw”.

Regular readers will undoubtedly have noticed that I tend not to use abbreviations, shortcuts and acronyms. Many people are new to blog reading and would be totally confused by LOL, DH, IMHO etc. In addition, LOL really irritates me!

There’s a great thread on Ravelry where people post about things that bug them on forums in general. It’s good to see that other people (not just me) are annoyed by crappy spelling and grammar!


Plastic Potatoes – my letter


The Manager
Quality Greens

Dear Sir/Madam

When I was in your store at the weekend, I noticed that you are selling potatoes, individually wrapped in plastic, that are labelled as “oven-baked taste from the microwave”. On closer inspection, I saw that these potatoes are intended to be baked in the plastic.

I was shocked by this for a number of reasons…

* Blatant waste of packaging – individually wrapped potatoes! Isn’t our planet already overloaded with too much plastic?

* Price – $1.50 per potato – I can’t believe anyone would consider that worth paying.

* Microwaving in plastic – research shows that when plastic is in contact with food in the microwave, it leaches toxic chemicals into the food and creates disease. Also, microwave ovens change the chemical makeup of food and in my opinion should be banned.

Your check-out staff will know me as the customer who always brings lots of cloth bags with me, as well as home-made net bags for loose produce. I will often make my choice of produce depending on whether it is loose or packaged.

I would like to see your store(s) make a stand against over-packaging and, as a first step, stop stocking these “microwaveable” plastic potatoes.

Yours faithfully,

You learn something new every day!


I learned something this week. If you want to rant, sometimes it’s a good idea to type it into an Appleworks document and leave it on your “desktop” overnight. It gives you a sense of perspective and means that you are less likely to say something you’ll regret in public!

So this post is a very different version from the original, but that’s a good thing!

I also learned that it’s very easy to find something that will support your point of view. Google the subject you want to read about, and there’ll be a million sites with a million points of view, so you’re bound to find one that says what you wanted to hear.

So I might google “the benefits of a vegan diet” and find some very reassuring articles and research which support my beliefs, and if I choose I can then refer to this “evidence” when arguing my point with others.

We don’t like it when others disagree with us, do we? Or is it just me? I have had someone disagree with me twice in an online forum this week, stating that she has read that vegan and/or raw diets are not sustainable or optimally healthy and that there is no evidence that our ancestors ate that way.

Of course, my hackles rose and I started typing up my rant ready for publication.

Then I had second thoughts.

I realise that I have read much to support my point of view, both online and in books. She has done her own reading, which obviously comes to a different conclusion.

We can try to make assumptions on how our ancestors lived, how early humans ate, from archaeological finds. We can make assumptions on what the human body is designed to eat based on the fact that our digestive system is similar to a herbivore’s and totally different from a carnivore’s. Some people use religious texts as their “proof”, but that has no influence on me, as I do not subscribe to any organised religion.

So I have decided that in future I will keep it simple. When someone asks me why I am vegan or eat a lot of raw food, I will keep the answers personal. My personal reasons cannot be refuted, argued or questioned (although people will undoubtedly try).

I am vegan because I believe it is good for me, I eat a lot of raw food because I feel great, I lose weight, I have more energy, my conscience is clear as I am not contributing to the mass slaughter of sentient animals, and I am helping the earth as I have a smaller “footprint” (I read today that becoming vegan is better for the planet than buying a hybrid car).

Even though I believe, totally, that the first humans must have eaten a raw plant diet, those first humans didn’t keep journals, so we will never know how they really lived. I believe that the perfection of nature means that the food we are designed to eat is the fruits of the trees, unadulterated – our bodies are perfectly designed to digest these foods as they come, straight off the plant, not cooked to death, or processed into something that can’t really be called food. I cannot believe that humans are the only species on the planet that have to cook their food.

Oops, I’m off again – better stop now before this post gets to be a mile long!

Wheat and rice


I made bread today. Not unusual, though I think that this is going to become a less frequent activity, not just for me but for many people. Have you noticed it’s harder to find flour? For a while I was buying organic wholewheat flour from Extra Foods, a supermarket that I visit each week for some of the basics. Then they stopped stocking it. I found a different brand at a nearer smaller store, but after only a short while of buying it there, I couldn’t find it. Now my last hope, my regular health food store, has had dwindling supplies and what they do have has gone up in price – a lot.

Apparently there is a wheat shortage. I read in the New Scientist that a mould is threatening the main wheat growing areas in Eastern Europe.

Now, what would we do without wheat? Well, I know we’d survive. Where we live, we have a lot of food choices. Not only that, but having done the reading about raw and living foods, I know that people can be perfectly healthy without grains. They are not an essential part of our diet, and in fact can cause health problems, especially those that contain gluten.

However I realise that in many parts of the world, taking wheat away could lead to starvation, as it would take some time to plant alternative crops and they may not be able to afford to import what they need.

What annoys me is that people plant massive areas of land in a single crop, therefore leaving themselves open to hunger if a bug or mould comes along that attacks that crop. Why do we leave ourselves so open to disaster? Diversity is what’s needed.

I would love to see each city, town or community being as self-sufficient as possible. R and I were talking yesterday about how quickly the entire infrastructure would break down if just one link in the chain of supply was to break. What if we didn’t have fuel? No trucks to bring our food to stock the stores, no garbage trucks to take away our waste – most of us would be in dire straits after only a week or two without the convenience of all we take for granted.

This is a big subject, and not one I want to delve into too far, because I’d rather focus on the positive.

I’ll end on a good note. The health food store was out of the usual agave this week, so I bought some rice syrup. Wow, this stuff tastes good. R and I, being brought up as carnivores (!) unlike our children, have had honey before, and rice syrup is very similar in taste and texture. We all like it.

Stop the world, I want to get off!


The title reflects how I was feeling this morning. I have since calmed down, but boy, was I mad!

Someone said to me last week that teenagers are designed to drive you crazy, that way you start to look forward to the day they leave home and don’t try to hold on to them too long! Hmmm, there might be a grain of truth in there.

Both yesterday morning and today, L was ranting to me about how there’s nothing to eat for breakfast. Bear in mind that he’s been up all night, so is probably tired, but when I have just got out of bed the last thing I need is a whining complaining kid giving me hell.

I want him to eat well. I want him to choose healthy options. So when it comes to certain foods, I try to limit them or not buy them at all. I keep the sweetener in my bedroom so he doesn’t help himself to it at night. If we have ketchup and mustard in the house, I often keep a tight rein on that too, or it gets slopped on bread by the gallon, along with a slab of vegan “butter”! Today he said he wanted to make pancakes for himself – but we only have a stainless steel frying pan, which makes a mess of pancakes, but I refuse to buy a non-stick pan for health reasons. He won’t eat porridge – says I wouldn’t let him put in enough sweetener so he could taste it. Smoothies are OK now and again. Fruit – nah, apparently the oranges and grapefruit that he’s been eating at night are now making him feel sick, so those are out.

After a winter of inactivity, where the most physically challenging thing he did was walk upstairs from his bedroom to the kitchen, he’s looking a little chubby, a little pale and pasty-faced. He sniffs and clears his throat constantly – too much mucus, I’d say. The other day he finally agreed with me that he needs to do a cleanse or at least change his diet a little – less stodge – because he’s finally noticed he’s not feeling that great. However, when it came down to it, he couldn’t do it and was cooking himself great mounds of pasta and tomato sauce as usual.

I have to confess I don’t receive L’s whining well. As I said to my husband, all these parenting books (which I no longer read) tell you, as parents, how to communicate, how to deal with your kids, etc etc. I know that, as an adult, I should be the one to “set a good example” and “behave how I would like the kids to behave” and all that, but I’m afraid it all goes out of the window in the face of a whining kid. I am regrettably easily irritated, quick to give L the argument he’s looking for, and hell yes, I want to have the last word, so it was a good thing that shortly after we “had words” this morning he went to bed and I had a chance to get over it (after a good cry).

I say we need fewer parenting books and more books for teens on how to be less selfish and self-absorbed!