life

Day 151: 3.14 For Brunch (Because I’m Aussie)

So it’s been a while. I promised I would be back the moment I had something intelligent to say, and unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be happening, so here I am, babbling. I’m still going to write a post though, so if you’re down for some mind numbingly unintelligent chatter to get you through another work day then here goes:

Do you remember the first time you bought a blender, or that first kitchen appliance you bought and people said “pah, you’ll use it once or twice, then it’ll sit there collecting dust”? But you knew better. Such excitement and dedication as yours never dwindles or dies. Cut to present day and dang if they were not at least half right.

I have not used the blender in weeks, not counting yesterday’s milkshake. The blender I confess, it makes a lot of mess. Especially when I make my beloved avo pesto. There is a lot of sticky stuck avo pesto on the blender base and blades every time. The amount of wastage brings tears to the eyes, figuratively speaking. I honestly thought people who complained about cleaning the appliances where just lazy, non-enthusiastic people who like to whinge about doing anything. To all of those people, I still think that way, however I acknowledge that I am also right there with you. Anything that takes more than 2 seconds to clean well is indeed slightly annoying.

I have yet to unpack the juicer since the move 3 months ago. This is because at first it took a while to find my official juicer cleaner, the cleaner thingy dedicated purely to cleaning my juicer immediately after each use and nothing else. Once that was found, I had to find the juicer. Once that was found, I had to go out. When I came home, poof! juicer had disappeared again. Apparently the spot I had put it in was a mess, it was in the way and it had to be moved to a non-memorised location. Ah, the joys of housemates. Probably easily findable, but I’m not sure where my official juicer cleaner has gotten to now. Not sure I want to know…

I love vegan pies. The only vegan pie to my knowledge is this:

becauseimaussie

Buying them from Coles costs about the same as a regular pie from a moderately priced bakery, but you get to cook it yourself. Knowing my cooking prowess, many are probably chuckling “burn it yourself you mean”. But no, I have cooked 2 of them thus far and can honestly say that burning them seems almost as impossible as a Tom Cruise movie being good. Massive props to the company for this please pass your pie making knowledge to the rest of the world.
The inside is mushroom and weird gravy stuffs. Now with 10% more mushy gravy stuffs! Considering how much they have now, they really didn’t make much of a 3.14 before. Huzzah for perfectly timed new product trying!

My best friend, who I visit often, is now eating the exact same cereal I was eating. Key word: was. The whole point of a best friend is to have different foods when you get sick of your own kitchen without the hassle of busy restaurants and expensive menus. Does he not know his purpose in (my) life? He is ruining my brunch!

Now back to the juice. The saddest part in all this is that packaged juice now tastes like coke did after not drinking it for ages. It tasted like why the hell would anyone drink this? I had spoiled myself with my fresh juices of yester-days. So be warned, once you try fresh juice, it will be very difficult to go back. And I’m not just talking the cheap, on the warm shelf juice either, I’m talking the supposed 100% fresh juice on the cold shelf with the pulp still in it and the $5+/2L price tag.. So if the fancy branded fresh grocery store juice is supposed to be good for you, why does it taste so bleh in comparison? Hmmmm…

Well I hope you enjoyed my random rant for today. Hopefully I’ll be back soon with something more substantial to say but for now, hooray! Rejoice for I am back (again and hopefully for good).

Summer Tay.

Day 89: Zombie Apocalypse Survival – Options And Strategies

The Zombie Apocalypse is here! You’re freaking out! They seem to be everywhere, but they walk super slow. You judge you have 5 minutes left in this place in which you are in (maybe your own home, maybe a friends, maybe – god forbid – you’re shitty work place, heck maybe you’re in the supermarket getting groceries, decided to check your wordpress and got this special bulletin and when you looked back up, dammit if it wasn’t true, zombies be everywhere. After 5 minutes however, they will start coming through the entry ways. Within 7 minutes they’ll be in every space of the place.

Naturally you have thought about this before and have already figured out a trusty weapon or two to use when required. You now have the task of grabbing supplies and determining where, if anywhere, you’re going to go from here. Which food, drinks and medicine did you grab? Why those ones? And where to now?

Somewhere with maximum survival opportunity. Where do you go? Remember you’re two key factors here are 1) safety, and b) food (and medicine) supply.

In 3 months time, you are still alive, still doing what you gotta to survive. Where are you, and what does your food supply look like? The Walking Dead prison + garden scenario, The Governors gated commune – with armed people going out to scavenge as required, An army stronghold or a government base, your bomb shelter, go to the Winchester and have a pint whilst waiting for it to all blow over, or boarded up in your own home occasionally risking your life to grab more supplies?

Would a vegan diet be more or less feasible in a zombie apocalypse? Would your diet change and move toward or further away from being plant based? Here are the pros and cons as I see them:
Meat eating
Pro: They’ re technically everywhere. There are cows just down the road from me. Not very well fed cows, but they exist, and if I were so inclined… in Australia we also have snakes, crocodiles, many different fish life (if you choose to stick near the water), we even have many dogs, cats and birds.

Con: They get sick easy. Eating them increases your chances of many diseases and health conditions which have suddenly become a lot harder to help fix, like heart attacks.

Pro: it has protein.

Con: if you have to hunt it, you are actually taking your mind off- not on – what is around you. By hunting another animal you leave yourself vulnerable to attack. Don’t believe me? Then think back a few years to that time a certain vice president shot his lawyer in the face whilst hunting. The reason (he says) this happened is because you’re in the moment, you don’t notice much around you as you focus on the kill. Unless that was a lie and he really just wanted to shoot the guy in the face. He was a lawyer after all. Either way, see how this hunting business could be a bit dangerous?

Con: meat requires cooking to be eaten. That means lighting a fire/using some form of cookeryness that is bound to attract zombies.

Megacon: If a flesh eating zombie curse did break out among the earths populous it seems likely that it happened via food. The most likely food source to cause such an epidemic is meat. Or am I biased here?

Vegan diet
Pro: you can store a lot more vegetables when you run than you can meat products – it doesn’t weigh as much. Then once you get there, you can use what you have to cultivate more. Even one bulb would do. It is very difficult to get animals to procreate, and you forget running with Betsy the cow in your hands.

Con: variety of fruit and vegetables would be hard to come by. Eating a salad is boring enough sometimes, imagine being stuck at an onion farm? It’d be enough to make you cry.

Pro: growing fruit and vegetables can be done indoors and quietly, which means it is much safer for those who have settled into a place.

Con: some fruits and vegetables are poisonous. Can you tell which ones which? Because I can’t. Mushrooms might just go off my menu. Sadness.

Pro: They’d make the place smell much nicer. Add a bit of colour.

Pro: can be eaten raw. If you’re in a less than peachy place and cannot cook, this is perfect for getting you through.

EpicPro: fruit and vegetables would not require to eat your food in order to survive too.

Epicpro: fruit and vegetables have more nutrients in them than meat, meaning your body will be harder, better, faster, stronger.

After much consideration over the course of a few hours looking into different zombie movies and TV and how they survived I have decided to remain vegan during the apocalypse.

What do you think? Something I’ve missed? What would you do and what would you eat when the dust is settled and you’re still alive and realised you’re in it for the long haul?
Also, in the event of an Apocalypse, I think I’d put extra care to grab medicine that others find particularly important for their survival, such as asthma medicine and the like. Make it much easier to find a friendly face to barter with or keep new companions alive. At least until people figure out how to use their diet for that.

To making like the Bee Gees,

Summer Tay

Day 86: Home Economics (High School Edition)

Ever thought high school left you in want? Math – when have you ever used algebra in real life? Science – understanding why adding mentos to coke makes it blow up. Did they think we were going to sue this as a skill in real life? Is there something they know that I do not? Until the zombie apocalypse happens I don’t see how this knowledge is important in our everyday lives. 

Home economics. The structure of the class (as I remember it from my humble public high school days) was you choose your recipe the week before. You then purchase the ingredients (parents a grumbling about the cost along the way), lug them next to your vulnerable text books and writing pads in you already over stuffed back pack and bring them to school. You store it in the schools fridge until class (hopefully there is room for all you kit) and when it is time, go back and get it all out again in a cluster of 30 other people scrambling to grab theirs too. You cook you food, you clean your dishes,and then the teacher comes around and tastes everyones food and grades them on how much they enjoy it. Then you store it again until home time, run back to the fridge at 3.15 when you remember it’s there, beg the bus driver at 3.20 to let you on with food (again. This happens every xday, why cant he just let you on???). Awkwardly stink up the bus with your foods for 30 minutes then walk it all the way up the steep hill to your home. Good times. 

What I feel is missing. Nutrition. Understanding personal nutrition and meal needs and ability to out knowledge into practice (from grocery shopping to cooking methods). Knowledge of food industry practices from dairy to junk food ‘restaurants’ to agriculture. How to find out the actual nutrient value of non labelled food (fruit and vegetable. Just because the standard nutrient of apples is x, doesn’t mean that the apple you picked up from the grocery store or even from you friendly neighbourhood food market has x nutrient it. Also explain to them why.). Standardized testing.

The Theory. 
The students learn their bodies personal factors from bone density, metabolism, allergies and personal taste preferences.Then they make a meal plan based of their knowledge of food and beverage and their own personal bodies. they will also need to express nutritional figures and explain their choices using rationale. Then the teacher, who will also be a nutritionist (we’re swamped with underemployed nutritionists here so that shouldn’t be hard) will grade them on how well they completed one, and give advice on what they ought be doing. 

Learning to understand your own body and its limitations is important at that age.  I personally doubt anyone gets harassed more openly or are more unabashedly, insensitively scrutinized by their elders, peers and everyone else about their meal habits and appearance as when they are in  high school. The damage from inappropriate dieting can be devastating. 

Practical
Cooking skills. Each cooking class should have a standard recipe. Simple to make ,very few ingredients and cheap to buy ingredients for because lets face it, these kids will either go to uni or enter lowest level employment at a fraction of minimum wage because they’re under 21 (and those guys only get a percentage of minimum wage) and they’re not going to be affording much for a while. Then grade them on how well they followed the method of cooking. Grade them extra marks for things that show ingenuity and creativity. But most importantly have a standard grading system for each one that makes the grading fair and is comparative to others. 

Multiple Choice + Essay.
For this test I would have them watch a documentary the week prior to the test.
A multiple choice including everything they have learnt. 
Essay.
1. A person is sick with x disease, what meal do you make them, whats in it and why that meal?
2. Make a hypothesis based on movie x, explain the documentary and why you feel it supports this theory. 

Students should also be taught about the food industries. What are the practices of the agriculture side? The dairy side? The meat side? The Corporate side of things. Should we care if Nestle ties to force their formula on 3rd world countries, or that palm oil fiasco? Should we care that the *junk food companies created a union for its industry to fight any government regulation they dislike (even at the expense of the people)? What about the addition of GMOs? Should our schools be teaching our children to look out for these things when determining what brands to buy? This is the sort of knowledge I feel would be great for a M.C. test. Each term a different doco is selected for testing. The manuscript for the movie is available online. Print off for students who learn better reading.

How does this relate to being vegan? How many children do you think will be vegan – or at least vegan-curious – if they watched Food Inc, Earthlings or even read about the meat industry killing practices? How many people will cut down on meat when they realise how it is affecting their health or even weight? Even those sporty sports who want to be best of the best will feel their ears prick up when they learn how much better they would be on the field without meat. The “I only get A+’s” crowd will get to feel more superior as their brains become stronger and smarter and increased concentration and memory on a vegan diet. Everyone gets moderate their own body effectively and become impervious to looks based teasing. It’d be very liberating. 

As a non-mother, non-education related worker with no official background in nutrition, what are you thoughts on my suggestions? Like them, dislike them, see issues or holes in the theory, or have your own you’d like to throw in the mix? 

1st day of high school was like magic: Pick a crowd, any crowd…

Summer Tay.

*What? You thought corporations were anti union? Nooo not at all! They’re against you having a union.