Posts Tagged ‘health’

Join the Central Coast Bioneers for their annual conference this October 19-21 at their headquarters at the Monday Club in downtown SLO (1815 Monterey St).  Speakers will deliver lectures that focus on real-world, practical solutions to the political, economic, and environmental challenges facing our society.  Hoping to leave a rich ecological and cultural legacy to future generations, the Bioneers seek to showcase the innovations and progressive ideas of thinkers from across the globe that honor the web of life on which all humans depend.  The conference will feature a number of talks and activities throughout the weekend including workshops, field trips to local libraries, organic farms, and nature preserves, and a keynote address by Dr. Richard Joseph Jackson.  Food, music, movies, art and yoga fill the schedule with enlightened fun.

Pre-Conference Field Trip – Thursday, October 18 – 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (approx.) To Wind Wolves Preserve near Maricopa.

Live Satellite Feed from the Main Bioneers Stage in San Rafael – Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 19-21, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Hear from the great thinkers of our age, including Bill McKibben, Paul Hawken, Marina Silva, Mike Brune and Sandra Steingraber.

Six Major Topic Areas of Interest to our Central Coast Communities – Friday, October 19, 2:00 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, October 20, 2:00 to 10:00 p.m., Sunday, October 21, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Renewable Energy Track: Community Choice Aggregation, Solar Roadways, Changing the Story-Building a School’s Renewable Energy Infrastructure. Ecopreneurship/Locanomics Track: Corporations with a Conscience, Slow Money Alliance-Catalyzing Investment in Local Food Systems, Eaarth-Our Local Conversation: Tapping the Collective Genius of Our Community including introduction to the Central Coast Hour Exchange. Food and Farming Celebration/Track: Screenings of “Truck Farm” and “Nothing Like Chocolate,” Green Chef Cook-off dinner and dance, and Organic Farm Tour. Health/Nature/Spirit Track: The Work that Reconnects, The Importance of Rights of Passage for Men and Boys, Empowering Ourselves Through Ceremony. Activism/Social Justice: Unacceptable-Living in a Nuclear Evacuation Zone, Youth Activism Panel, Standing on their Shoulders-Field Trip to Environmental Archives of Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library. Green Design: Keynote Lecture by Dr. Richard Jackson on designing healthy communities, Green Home Tour and Green Schools.

Dreaming the Salinas Update: Two workshops on efforts to restore the Salinas River, including the Hind River Ranch project.

For a more detailed schedule, speaker biographies, or to register for tickets, visit the Central Coast Bioneers website!



Now that we’re all done Christmas shopping, and beginning to notice those ten extra eggnog and brandy pounds, it’s time to make our New Years Resolutions. Many may be turning to New Year’s Eve traditions to ensure good luck in the quest for a financially successful, more spiritually awakened, or physically fit 2011. After all, it takes more than just will power to become a more healthy, diligent and conscientious person overnight, even if it’s the night of December 31st.

Most of us are familiar with the traditional New Year’s Eve menu. Or at least the majority of it. Though you may have wondered why everything had to be so high in fiber on New Year’s Day. (Who doesn’t want to start their year with a clean colon?)

For every dish that has withstood the test of time through the generations, there is a specific symbolic purpose. So here’s something to chew on, as you cook up your black eyed peas, pork, fish, and cabbage stew, all with a side of grapes and a doughnut for dessert.

I have a great joke involving a duck and grapes, but that has nothing to do with the NY, so I’ll stow it. The practice of eating grapes at the stroke of midnight comes from a Spanish tradition. One grape for each stroke of the clock initially became a popular idea in an effort to control the seasonal grape surplus. The idea stuck, and now we’re popping grapes when the ball drops.

Everyone knows greens are high in fiber and low in calories, so they can get you on your way to dropping the winter layer, but why are they traditionally significant? Leafy greens, according to superstition, represent money. It is a popular beleif that the more greens you consume, the more financially successful you will be in the year to come. Also, you will have no problem passing, um, bills.

The most popular legume in the midnight tradition is the black-eyed pea. More than just an astoundingly successful hip hop group, this little legume is symbolic of financial prosperity. Their small, seed-like appearance resembles a coin that swells when cooked. They are also high in calcium, folate, and of course, fiber.

Well, no wonder the three little pigs did so well for themselves that wolfie wanted a piece. Pork stands for progress. This stubborn animal will push forth and root itself. And of course, due to its size, the pig signifies wealth. Oink.

Cake and cake-like deserts are a common tradition around the world to cap of the NY feast. It is popular to consume cakes that are round in shape with a whole in the middle. It is also a common practice to serve cakes or doughnuts etc. with one serving containing a coin or other symbolic token. The lucky recipient will find good luck and prosperity in the New Year… provided they don’t choke on their good luck charm.

Personally, I think beer drinking should be symbolic of floating to the top… We’ll see if that one catches on.

Happy cooking, and best wishes in sticking to your New Years guns, whatever they may be. If you happen to need a salt box for your traditions, we have some nice ones made of bamboo. Happy New Year from the Bambu Batu crew.

I was at the grocery store the other day, with my better half. We were trying to pinch some pennies. We were in the produce department when the following happened. I swear, I’m not making this up. I went to grab a bundle of spinach, and no joke, out of my significant other’s mouth, came “Oh, that’s organic, that’s too expensive.”

Now, he was right. That was just more money than we had to spend on spinach. I had to think about that statement though. There’s a reason income is the closest linked factor to obesity and health.

Then again, I know plenty of people, who will contest the merits of buying organic based on the price tag, only to drive to the nearest gas station after, and fill up their suburban or unnecessarily large truck with gas, and spend fifteen or so dollars buying candy and sodas at the convenience store.

What can we do to save money, the earth, and our bodies all in one? has the answers. I decided to bring them to you.

More Is less: This may be obvious, but it’s good to have a reminder. Many products come at a better price when bought in large quantities, so buy in bulk when it makes sense. Tis The Season: It takes a lot less effort to get something to the consumer that is in bloom NOW, so buy things that are in season. Grandmama Tried: While it may be irritating to get stuck in line behind a little old lady wielding paper and scissors, remember; she didn’t make it to a hundred and four spending all of her dough. Clip those coupons to save the planet without going bankrupt. Hometown Goodness: Farmer’s Markets are a fun way to support your local farmers, eat organic, and save money Good Ol’ Home Cookin’: It’s not only better for you, but it saves money. It always has, and it always will. Cooking organic vegetables at home is no exception to the rule. Choose Your Battles: If you have to narrow it down, chose to buy organic versions of the products that you go for the most often, thereby reducing your exposure to harmful chemicals, and lowering your impact on the environment. Hooray for moderation! The Ace of Clubs: Joining a buyer’s club is rapidly becoming an effective way to save money on produce.

Have more questions? Come in and see us at Bambu Batu. We have a great Shirt you can sport, broadcasting to the world the pride you have for supporting your local farmers! Think green and eat greens (that were organically grown, of course!)

Song of the Day: Amish Paradise- Weird Al Yankovic (He’s a local!!)

There’s a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on. It must be time for that insulin shot. Or, everyone’s just a bit jittery because they’re not sure WHY corn refiners have petitioned the FDA to be able to change the name of the dreaded and infamous High Fructose Corn Syrup, to a more benign sounding and somewhat subversive name, Corn Sugar. Or whether it even makes a difference for that matter.

Today, there’s a lot complete ignorance about what goes in food. Because of that, a nutritionist counter culture (or the food punks, as I like to call them) has developed, where anything that might be possibly harmful becomes the topic of the week and the trendiest thing to avoid, without a necessarily complete understanding of said substance or additive. We’re all pretty familiar with the recent gluten free, grass fed, organic, GHB-free wave. (NOT a bad thing to have going around, mind you.)

In all of this, one of the original evils has sort of been out of the news, like Paris Hilton before her recent nose candy incident. High Fructose Corn Syrup has been, until last week, soooo 2007. However, there’s been a lot of hubub lately about whether or not they should be allowed to change their name to avoid bad press. Dear HFCS, while this tactic may have worked for Prince, I don’t think this will work for you. Or that it should be allowed. Go ahead, try and trick your consumers, but here’s the deal. I’ve compiled some information to arm our readers, so your propaganda and sneaky marketing won’t work. You ask, “what’s so bad about ‘Corn Sugar’?”Here’s your answer:

“FAT FAT FATTY!” According to Science Daily, a recent study conducted at the university of Princeton, found that rats who were given HFCS gained more weight (even with the same caloric intake) than rats who were just given ordinary table sugar. Sumo wrestlers, take note. “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.” -Bart Hobel, neuroscience and apetite specialist.In an article from, the composition of HFCS is broken down for us. Essentially, this alternate and cheaper sugar, is made of two things: Fructose and Glucose. Fructose is a monosaccharide, or simple sugar. It does not stimulate insulin secretion, or require insulin to be transported to cells. As a diabetic knows, it’s important to manage your insulin secretion and glucose levels. The problem with Fructose, however, is that insulin also triggers leptin, or the “I’m full” hormone. So, if you’re consuming calories, without feeling like you are, you’re going to gain weight. If you’re diabetic, or even if you’re not, that can be a big problem.According to me, your dearest lemon, stuff tastes better with real sugar. Haven’t you ever had a Coke from Mexico… Dang those are good. I want one right now, it’s soooo hot out… Sorry. Back to the facts.If you don’t care if you’re fat, fine. Go rock that “big is beautiful” attitude. More power to you. I mean, look at Precious, she’s awesome. But according to, (and ANYONE with common sense) obesity leads to heart, kidney, and liver problems. Therefore, indirectly, so does HFCS. It’s kind of like the transitive property that says you have slept with everyone your current mate has slept with, but worse. Can I say that here?

So, whether it’s called HFCS, Corn Sugar, or some symbol that can’t be pronounced out loud, it’s bad. It’s evil. It’s satan. It’s Christine O’Donnell in sugar form (cheaper, simpler, and really really bad for America.) And the next time someone asks you, “What’s so bad about High Fructose Corn Syrup?” you’ll have an answer. Brought to you by your friendly folks at Bambu Batu.

Song of the day: “Raspberry Beret”- Prince

Bonus Video: some propaganda from