Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hair Tasting Event

Hair Tasting Event- I bet that got your attention! What? You say. Why would I go to a hair tasting event? GROSS. Like the genetically modified food snuck into your system without your knowledge, mostly oils that have been in the food system since the early 1990’s ( but that’s another story (blog)…there’s also a good chance you are also consuming a fair amount of human hair in the form of L-Cysteine. L-Cysteine can be made out of feathers, hooves or……. human hair.

So who doesn’t squirm a little when they find foreign hair in their food.. Especially ones shaped like…uh huh. You know…..

Human hair has become a booming industry for several uses. The newest being the gardening industry.,2933,320571,00.html

But back to… IN MY PIZZA….. bagels, croissants etc.

I tell you, when I first read all of this and did some follow-up I swore off commercial pizza and bought only pizza from the local place I knew made their dough themselves from whole wheat flour. (White flour usually contains the additive L-Cysteine which is sourced from animal hair feather and sometimes human hair. To avoid human hair in your bread - buy “Whole meal” instead.)That lasted until I could not get past the craving for a Stuffed-Crust from Pizza Hut. I still think about it a lot before I order a pizza and sometimes I just can’t stomach it.

The whole “Soy Sauce from human hair & condums” thing really grossed me out. That I am very careful about. OH ICK…ICK..ICK.

Stories began circulating in the press about cheap soy sauces made from human hair. These sauces were manufactured in China using a chemical amino acid extraction process similar to artificially hydrolyzed soy sauces and then quietly exported to other countries. An investigative report that aired on Chinese television exposed the unsanitary and potentially contaminated sources of the hair:

When asking how the amino acid syrup (or powder) was generated, the manufacturer replied that the powder was generated from human hair. Because the human hair was gathered from salon, barbershop and hospitals around the country, it was unhygienic and mixed with condom, used hospital cottons, used menstrual cycle pad, used syringe, etc.[57]
In response, the Chinese government banned production of soy sauces made from hair. Other carcinogens remain, see 3-MCPD.

I think I’d rather take my chances with the cat poop coffee.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Butterflies Of Spring

On the first official day of summer spring arrived and with it BUTTERLFIES! (and a bumble bee).

The flowers were in full color.

They fluttered in packs. Tumbling around like puppies, they flitted through the flowers and tasted until it almost seemed they wouldn’t be able to fly. Fortunately they were so sated they were still enough to allow me lots of camera time.

Friday, June 19, 2009

In Honor of Grandma

I love my Grandma.

Grandma Mert is 84 today. I can tell everyone that because Grandma would. She has bragging rights. She is proud of her years and happy to have gotten his far.

At 47 not many people I know can say they have a grandma. I have two and a grandpa as well. It is one of my greatest blessings.

I make it a point to ask them as many questions about the past as often as I can. Really, I have living WWII memories I can access and family history at the other end of my cell phone. I try not to take it for granted.

My grandpa’s mother, who I had in my life until I was in my thirties came across country in a covered wagon. Today we wished Grandma Happy Birthday on Facebook and MySpace. Within minutes of posting it my daughter called me from France to make sure she had a number to call Grandma at before she (daughter) went to sleep, as it was almost midnight there.

I have learned a lot about myself in learning about my Grandmothers. Both are strong independent ladies who had their own lives and businesses when most women did not, but still maintained a happy household for their families and extended families. There were many dinners at Grandparents houses. More at Grandma Mert’s because she was a lot closer. At the time I didn’t realize that it was probably in part because we needed family help to get fed. I just thought grandma needed someone to pawn the “Teriyaki Cutlets” (Otherwise known as LIVER) and the over abundance of what I called “pepper salad” off on.

In the last few years I figured out where I got my strange sense of humor, quiet strength and tendency to take in strays (people and pets) from as well. We lived in a little town that was very white middle class but never was a prejudice word uttered and I know there was a gentleman who was adored by the family who now that I look back I am sure everyone knew was gay. We were respectful of people or we were in danger of a wholloping. Yep. Kids got spanked in our family and we came out just fine.

Both of my parents worked. My brother didn’t come along until I was almost 8 so I spent a fair amount of time at Grandma’s. She had a big yard you could summersault on, a little fish pond that had tadpoles in it, one a BIG one, that I could fish for with a saucepan and a tea strainer as long as everyone was returned to their habitat at the end; and an avocado tree out front that had AVOCADOS (They made the pepper salad tolerable).....

There were Reader’s Digest Condensed books in the spare bedroom and an ancient sewing machine. Plenty to entertain a child. The best was the costume trunk in the attic. Not only did it have a harem girl costume in it…. IT WAS IN THE ATTIC!

Grandma had a dog, two in my lifetime, both beagles and both lived to be well over 100 in dog years. There were cats too. I only remember Flip and Flop. Both gray and I think related, possibly brothers. Grandpa loved birds and later in life they had several. One at a time.

We went hiking and camping. Grandma taught me to be tough. Never admit you need a ride if you broke your ankle on the mountain trail. Tough it out and hike the 7 miles. Grandpa didn’t agree. Neither did Uncle Mike. We collected watercress and I learned the wonder of hot bacon dressing. My grandparents practiced good environmentalism long before it was popular. Then it was called respecting property and doing the right thing.

We treasure family. All the girls got together and made Chess Pies at Christmas. We had a large family and the elders were treasured and cared for physically and financially if needed. There was a divorce and remarriage of Grandma’s parents. I didn’t know until I was in 9 when I met Grandpa Cook, that Grandpa Connahan was not a blood relative. He was loved and treated as a beloved parent.

One of the other great things I learned from my grandparents was a healthy view of sex among loving married adults. (Married to each other). Everyone in our family knew that they had a healthy sex life way into their later years. (Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t SEE it or anything.) We just knew it was part of their love for each other.
This summer Grandma will have been without Grandpa (I can't say alone because she has always been such a good freind to people that she is reaping what she sewed in that department) and after being married since her teens has learned to live single in her little cabin in the desert with the birds and bunnies. She plays Bingo, takes care of the "Old Ladies" that live around her and has a crush on Dr. Phil.
Today she is hanging out with her older sister at her (sister's) cabin in the mountains!

So, Happy 84th grandma. Have a great day and let’s do this again next year!