Friday, May 02, 2008

industrial toxins, hormones, and food

I followed a link on Culinate (sidebar) to this article about a theory that environmental toxins contribute to obesity.

It's an interesting theory, and one that I wouldn't summarily dismiss. I don't think it's news to anyone that synthetic chemicals can act on the body like hormones, and having read Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories, I know that researchers are increasingly curious about how hormones regulate metabolism and body size. Knowing that, it's not a leap for me to suppose that environmental chemicals are interfering with our bodies' ability to use the nutrients we injest, which would fool our brains and endocrine systems into thinking we need to eat more.

At any rate, I think we could all do with less plastic in our lives. I've gotten pretty good about taking my cloth shopping bags to the store with me. I'd still like to replace most of our plastic storage wear--use glass for the refrigerator and tin or stainless for lunchboxes. That's a work in progress. In many ways I'm glad we live in an older house, one built out of brick, wood and mortar, instead of plastic composite. Is it healthier? I don't know. But these things have been around a long time and I trust them to be chemically inert, more or less.

I haven't posted in a long time, I know. I've been gardening, and sewing. I got another costume order, which is half made, and I've been selling about a pattern a week since March.

I took most of that money and bought plants. I think I mentioned I have a three-year plan for the yard. Next year that will probably include some raised beds for more produce, but for now I'm trying my hand and my patience with herbs, tomatoes, and peppers.

The herbs are basil, sage, marjoram, oregano, chives, thyme, parsley, and patchouli. The patchouli is the only one that lives inside; it's a handsome little shrub and smells fresh. I made my first batch of chimchurri sauce on Wednesday and it was very nice; it'll be even better when I get some cilantro. I don't know why I forgot the cilantro. I love the stuff, and it always gets wasted when I buy it in bundles.

I planted two pepper plants, one sweet and one hot. They went into five-gallon buckets and so far have been spending their nights inside. They've doubled in size.

The tomatoes were very small and tender when I brought them home. I bought two slicing varieties and two romas. Eventually they are going into 20-gallon tubs in the back yard, but right now they are on my kitchen window ledge. Three of them are doing fine, but one of the little romas has aphids and is kind of sickly. I washed it in soapy water and it's still struggling along, so we'll see.

This week I went all domestic and brought home a fern, a hosta, and some strange purple thing that's supposed to get five feet tall and have pink spiky flowers. They all went into the shady front bed. I don't know what got into me. My parents agree that they never thought I'd be the kid to get bit by the gardening bug, but sometimes we take strange paths to get to our destination. If I feel the need to garden because it's environmentally sound, and because I want to grow my own food, well, I guess that's as good a reason as any.

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