Sydney’s Health Market

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Try to plan a more sustainable Thanksgiving. Start by planning your meal based on local ingredients. Choosing a more sustainable way of eating supports your local farming community, is healthier and reduces your carbon footprint. 

Plan ahead for perfect portions and leftover packaging. At least 28 billion pounds of edible food is wasted each year – more than 100 pounds per person.

Use Less Stuff has 42 Ways to Watch Your Holiday Wasteline (pun intended). They’ve created a convenient list of approximate food portions for your Thanksgiving meal:

  • Turkey- 1 pound per person
  • Stuffing- ¼ pound per person
  • Sweet potato casserole- ¼ pound per person
  • Green beans- ¼ pound per person
  • Cranberry relish- 3 tablespoons per person
  • Pumpkin pie- 1/8 of a 9 inch pie per person

100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market

Locally, you can find a number of wonderful ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal and celebrate local foods at Concordia College in Moorhead. This year marks the 4th annual 100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market at Concordia.

Where: the Atrium, Knutson Campus Center at Concordia College
When:  Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 at 330pm to 7pm

For more information, visit http://www.cord.edu/About/sustainability/food1.php

For more Thanksgiving ingredients and organic milk, meats and produce all year long, visit Sydney’s Health Market in Moorhead.

Talking turkey:

According to Sustinable Table, the traditional Thanksgiving turkey is different today than it was 50 years ago. Today, 99% of all turkeys raised in the U.S. are the “Broadbreasted White” variety (sometimes also referred to as the “Large White”).

These birds are raised in confinement in extremely crowded conditions on factory farms. They live in unnatural, uncomfortable conditions and are fed a steady diet of grain and supplements like antibiotics, rather than the grubs, bugs and grasses they should eat.

They are produced because of their large, white meaty breast. The breasts of these turkeys are so large that they are unable to reproduce naturally. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, without artificial insemination performed by humans, this variety of bird would become extinct in just one generation.

Industrial turkeys are often injected with saline solution and vegetable oils in an attempt to help improve the taste and texture of the meat. These factory farmed birds tend to be dry and tasteless, so cooks have developed a variety of methods to try to improve the taste. Turkeys are now marinated, brined, deep fried and covered with syrups, spices and herbs.

You have other options. You can order a heritage turkey, or you can look for organic and/or sustainable birds at butchers, specialty shops and at farmers markets around the country.

On to the leftovers:

You know you’re going to have them so make a plan. The Alternative Consumer has a wonderful suggestion in their green Thanksgiving guide.

Avoid plastic wrap. Most plastic wraps contain PVC which quickly winds up in landfills and has been linked to harmful environmental consequences. Use aluminum foil or, even better, send family home with glass or ceramic storage containers that they can return to you.

Or, call your guests and ask them to bring their own container if they’d like leftovers.

Above all, take time to enjoy the day!

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Eat Wild

Eatwild.com is an excellent source for finding safe, healthy, natural and nutritious grass-fed beef, lamb, goats, bison, poultry, pork, dairy and other wild edibles.

The site provides:

Comprehensive, accurate information about the benefits of raising animals on pasture.

A direct link to local farms that sell all-natural, delicious, grass-fed products.

Support for farmers who raise their livestock on pasture from birth to market and who actively promote the welfare of their animals and the health of the land.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Eating organic produce, meat and dairy is healthier for your family and the environment (and it tastes better). Products with a USDA Organic label were grown and processed without toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.  

Here are some money saving tips to help you eat healthier and stay within your budget:

Comparison Shop. You may be able to find less-expensive alternatives at different stores. Many major chains are coming out with their own organic brands but make sure it’s certified organic. According to Mark Kastel, the senior farm policy analyst at The Cornucopia Institute, ”Major food processors have recognized the meteoric rise of the organic industry, and profit potential, and want to create what is in essence ‘organic light,’ taking advantage of the market cachet but not being willing to do the heavy lifting required to earn the valuable USDA organic seal”.

Products with a USDA Organic label were grown and processed without toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Certified organic production also prohibits sewage sludge, antibiotics, ionizing radiation, synthetic growth hormones and genetically modified organisms.

Grow One Thing. Unless you have a lot of land, you’re probably not going to feed your family only from your home-grown harvest, but you will find that growing a tomato plant can be incredibly inspiring. And it’s not as intimidating as it seems. So pick one thing to grow – you can do it.

Cook More. The more convenient the food is, the more expensive it is. For example, buying an organic frozen dinner may save you time in the same way a conventional frozen dinner would, but it costs quite a bit more than its non-organic counterpart and much more than a homemade meal. Buy organic items that are lower in price (such as produce), and make your own dishes from scratch.

Stock Up. Stock up on your favorite items when they go on sale. Or try something new that is on sale or is priced well, and you may find a new favorite.

Buy in Bulk. Buying in bulk will keep costs down. Look for many pantry staples often available in bulk, such as beans, legumes, rice, flour, nuts, chocolate chips and so on.

Organic Coupons. Keep an eye out in the Sunday paper and grocery circulars for coupons and, again, stock up to take best advantage of the savings. Organic bargains are everywhere so click on About.com’s Frugal Living page where you will find All Organic Links.

Shop in Season and Buy Local. Shop farm stands and farmers’ markets for the freshest produce and support local farmers at the same time. Purchasing in season produce from your grocer may also keep costs down. And you can also save money by becoming a member of a local farm by joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

In the Fargo/Moorhead and surrounding areas:

  • Red Goose Gardens is a CSA in Shelly, MN. They offer locally and sustainably grown produce to communities in the Red River Valley. By purchasing a share, you become a member and receive a weekly box of our fresh, hand harvested produce. Boxes are delivered to several drop sites in Fargo/ Moorhead, Grand Forks and surrounding communities. We encourage members to connect with farm and farmer. Members are welcome to visit and we host several farm events each season. Their goal is to nurture the soil, to grow flavorful and nutrient-rich vegetables, herbs and fruits that are healthy for our bodies and our environment. They believe that the best food is whole and fresh and they grow sustainably and organically – no chemical fertilizers, pesticides or GMOs .
  • Sydney’s Health Market boasts the areas only all organic farmer’s market. Available Fridays during the growing season. They have organic produce available in the store, delivered fresh every Tuesday and Friday for Fresh Market Friday. And, if you haven’t been there recently, they are expanding their store and their selections. Visit www.sydneyshealthmarket.com or call 218-233-3310 for more information.

Be Selective. Decide to only purchase organic milk and produce. See the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” for the most-contaminated produce and make your shopping list based on that information: EWG Shoppers Guide

Source: Organic.org and Healthy Child Healthy World

Upcoming event in the Fargo/Moorhead area:

Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society is having their 9th Annual Botanic Garden Spring Luncheon and Silent Auction.

When: May 5, 2012 (11:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.)

Where: Holiday Inn, 3803 13th Ave S, Fargo, ND 58103

Their guest speaker will be entomologist Maurice Degrugillier Ph.D who will be giving a presentation on Butterflies in the Garden. This is sure to be a crowd pleaser and will entice many into creating their own butterfly gardens for years of enjoyment. Along with this presentation, there will be numerous silent auction items that will include many container gardens and other botanic-themed items. Place a bid throughout the event while enjoying an amazing lunch of chicken salad, desserts, and champagne and listening to music from the Borderline Strings. If you place the winning bid on your auction item, you will also take home a wonderful gift for yourself or a special friend. This is an elegant event for all to enjoy, so plan ahead and contact us with any questions you may have.

For more information about the event and tickets, visit http://www.npbotanicgarden.com/events.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

eat the seasons
eat the seasons aims to promote an understanding of food seasons. Each week they list the seasonal foods that are at their peak, and share enlightening facts, useful tips and enticing recipe ideas picked from the web and their favorite books.

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Editor’s Note: Each Tuesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living toThe Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Tuesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Try to plan a more sustainable Thanksgiving. Start by planning your meal based on local ingredients. Choosing a more sustainable way of eating supports your local farming community, is healthier and reduces your carbon footprint. 

Plan ahead for perfect portions and leftover packaging. At least 28 billion pounds of edible food is wasted each year – more than 100 pounds per person.

Use Less Stuff has 42 Ways to Watch Your Holiday Wasteline (pun intended). They’ve created a convenient list of approximate food portions for your Thanksgiving meal:

  • Turkey- 1 pound per person
  • Stuffing- ¼ pound per person
  • Sweet potato casserole- ¼ pound per person
  • Green beans- ¼ pound per person
  • Cranberry relish- 3 tablespoons per person
  • Pumpkin pie- 1/8 of a 9 inch pie per person

100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market

Locally, you can find a number of wonderful ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal and celebrate local foods at Concordia College in Moorhead. This year marks the 3rd annual 100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market at Concordia.

Where: the Atrium, Knutson Campus Center at Concordia College
When:  Thursday, November 17th, 2011 at 330pm to 630pm

Some of the farmers and producers of the fresh, local and seasonal foods:

There will also be some fun activities for kids of all ages. For more information, contact Dr. Gretchen Harvey at harvey@cord.edu.

For more Thanksgiving ingredients and organic milk, meats and produce all year long, visit Sydney’s Health Market in Moorhead.

Talking turkey:

According to Sustinable Table, the traditional Thanksgiving turkey is different today than it was 50 years ago. Today, 99% of all turkeys raised in the U.S. are the “Broadbreasted White” variety (sometimes also referred to as the “Large White”).

These birds are raised in confinement in extremely crowded conditions on factory farms. They live in unnatural, uncomfortable conditions and are fed a steady diet of grain and supplements like antibiotics, rather than the grubs, bugs and grasses they should eat.

They are produced because of their large, white meaty breast. The breasts of these turkeys are so large that they are unable to reproduce naturally. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, without artificial insemination performed by humans, this variety of bird would become extinct in just one generation.

Industrial turkeys are often injected with saline solution and vegetable oils in an attempt to help improve the taste and texture of the meat. These factory farmed birds tend to be dry and tasteless, so cooks have developed a variety of methods to try to improve the taste. Turkeys are now marinated, brined, deep fried and covered with syrups, spices and herbs.

You have other options. You can order a heritage turkey, or you can look for organic and/or sustainable birds at butchers, specialty shops and at farmers markets around the country.

On to the leftovers:

You know you’re going to have them so make a plan. The Alternative Consumer has a wonderful suggestion in their green Thanksgiving guide.

Avoid plastic wrap. Most plastic wraps contain PVC which quickly winds up in landfills and has been linked to harmful environmental consequences. Use aluminum foil or, even better, send family home with glass or ceramic storage containers that they can return to you.

Or, call your guests and ask them to bring their own container if they’d like leftovers.

Above all, relax and enjoy your Thanksgiving, remember why we are celebrating.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Sustainable Table
Sustainable Table
was launched in 2003 to educate consumers about issues surrounding the food supply and to encourage individuals to switch to healthier, more sustainable eating habits.

Sustainable Table is also home to the Eat Well Guide, an online directory of sustainable products in the U.S. and Canada.

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Editor’s Note: Beginning October 18th, 2011 Simple Tips for Green Living will move to Tuesdays… Each Tuesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately1220pm (central) every Tuesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: When the little trick-or-treaters knock on your door this Halloween, give them healthy treats that also treat the environment kindly.

Eco-friendly Candy

There are a number of different eco-friendly candies now available at your local grocery stop, health food stores or co-ops. These organic candies can provide Halloween treats that are a little friendlier for your trick-or-treaters and are produced using methods that are gentler on the environment.

Where you can find them locally:

Sydney’s Health Market: My number one choice for all my healthy shopping needs. They have organic fruit snack, fruit strips, lollipops, organic juice boxes and many other options.

Cash Wise: They have a wonderful organic section which include a lot of organic candy, boxes of organic raisins and bars.

Hornbachers: Their natural and organic sections has a number of organic treats.

Or Avoid Candy Altogether

Another option is to avoid candy altogether and to give your trick-or-treatersuseful treats, such as colorful pencils, small boxes of crayons, or erasers in fun shapes.

Other ideas:

  • Fun magnets
  • Seed paper/bookmarks for planting or reading
  • Wash off tattoos
  • Stickers
  • Craft kits (Michael’s has fun craft kits for $1.00)
  • Adhesive bandages with fun themes
  • Barrettes or other hair things
  • Mini pumpkins or gourds
  • Fun toothbrushes
  • Unfinished wood items
  • Decorated pencils
  • Polished stones

Where you can find them locally:

Eco Chic Boutique: You will be able to find tons of useful trick-or-treat treats like soy crayons shaped like rocks and other eco-friendly art supplies.

Pout Baby Boutique: They have a large eco-friendly section including Piggy Paint Nail Polish.

Be Sure to Reuse and Recycle

If you don’t already compost, Halloween is a great time to start. You can add post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to your compost bin, along with fallen leaves, food scraps, and other organic, biodegradable yard and household waste.

Compost creates excellent soil for your garden. You might even use the compost from your backyard bin to help grow the pumpkins that will become next year’s jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pies.

If you are interested in composting, your local hardware store, garden center, county extension service, or waste disposal agency should be able to help you get started.

Locally, the City of Fargo has a wonderful compost bin you can purchase at a reasonable cost. For more information call 701-241-1449.

Instead of throwing away your Halloween decorations each year, store and reuse them year after year, just as you do decorations for many other holidays. Source: About.com, Environmental Issues

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Green Halloween
Green Halloween is a non-profit, grassroots community initiative to create healthier and more Earth-friendly holidays, starting with Halloween. It began in the Seattle area in 2007 with backers such as Whole Foods Market and was such a huge success that in 2008, the initiative expanded nation-wide. In cities across the country, volunteer coordinators are turning their city’s Halloween holiday healthy and eco-friendly, but many are also raising money for their own, local nonprofit beneficiaries via the initiative. The site contains ideas for making your Halloween a little greener.

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Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Don’t throw away materials that you can use to improve your lawn and garden. Start composting instead.

Why Make Compost?

  • Vegetable scraps are the largest unrecycled portion of the residential waste stream. About 35% of residential garbage is food waste.
  • Compost is one of nature’s best mulches and soil amendments, and you can use it instead of commercial fertilizers. Using compost improves soil structure, texture, and aeration and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity.
  • Compost loosens clay soils and helps sandy soils retain water. Adding compost improves soil fertility and stimulates healthy root development in plants. The organic matter provided in compost provides food for microorganisms, which keeps the soil in a healthy, balanced condition. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus will be produced naturally by the feeding of microorganisms, so few if any soil amendments will need to be added.

Just remember that all organic material breaks down. Even if you just toss your yard debris into a hole in the ground, it will eventually turn into compost. There are ways to get faster results, but it’s not the end of the world if you make step in the wrong direction along the way. For instance, if your compost is too dry, you can put some water on it and set things back on the right course.

Bin/pile information

Homemade bins can be constructed out of scrap wood, chicken wire, snow fencing or even old garbage cans (with holes punched in the sides and bottom). Manufactured bins include turning units, hoops, cones, and stacking bins. These can be purchased from your garbage company, retail or mail-order businesses.

Worm composting

Worm composting or vermicomposting is the practice of using worms to make compost. The word vermi is the Latin word for worm, and worms like to feed on slowly decomposing organic materials (e.g., vegetable scraps). The end product, called castings, is full of beneficial microbes and nutrients, and makes a great plant fertilizer.

Grasscycling

If you have grass clippings and don’t want to use them in a compost pile you can leave them on the lawn to decompose.

Where to Place Your Compost Pile or Bin

Any pile of organic matter will eventually rot, but a well-chosen site can speed up the process. Look for a level, well-drained area. If you plan to add kitchen scraps, keep it accessible to the back door. Don’t put it so far away you’ll neglect the pile. In cooler latitudes, keep the pile in a sunny spot to trap solar heat. Look for some shelter to protect the pile from freezing cold winds which could slow down the decaying process. In warm, dry latitudes, shelter the pile in a shadier spot so it doesn’t dry out too quickly.

Build the pile over soil or lawn rather than concrete or asphalt, to take advantage of the earthworms, beneficial microbes, and other decomposers, which will migrate up and down as the seasons change. Uncovered soil also allows for drainage.

Composting

  • ORGANIC STUFF: Always feed your bin equal amounts of GREENS (materials high in nitrogen) and BROWNS (materials high in carbon). See Materials List below. When adding new materials to your bin, start with a layer of BROWNS first, then add a layer of GREENS. Top GREENS with a one-inch layer of soil or finished compost. Always bury your food scraps in the center of the pile, under the layer of soil.
  • MOISTURE: Keep your pile as damp as a well-wrung sponge. Be sure to check moisture on hot summer or windy days. Sprinkle with water when dry.
  • AIR: Add air to your pile every 2 to 3 weeks. Poke holes through the pile with a broom handle and loosen with a garden fork.

Materials List

YES – GREENS (materials high in nitr0gen)

  • Bread (no butter)
  • Coffee grounds & filters
  • Egg shells (crushed)
  • Feathers
  • Flowers
  • Fruit scraps
  • House plants
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Leaves
  • Green plant trimmings
  • Tea leaves and tea bags
  • Hair (animal and human)
  • Grass (small amounts)

YES – BROWNS (materials high in carbon)

  • Dryer lint
  • Grass clippings (dried)
  • Leaves (dry)
  • Woodchips (small amounts)
  • Hardwood ash (thin layers)
  • Sawdust (thin layers)
  • Straw
  • Shredded cardboard

NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR COMPOSTING

  • Barbecue charcoal
  • Fish
  • Coal ash
  • Meats
  • Dairy products
  • Bones
  • Oils
  • Peanut butter
  • Fats
  • Diseased or insect-infested plants
  • Feces (animal or human)
  • Weeds with mature seeds
  • Wood ash or dust that is treated
  • Weeds that damage (i.e. crab grass, wild morning glory)

When It’s Done

You should have finished compost in 2 to 3 months. To speed up the composting process, add new materials in tiny pieces, add air to your pile more often or add a layer of garden soil or manure. Your pile is ready when it no longer has traces of GREENS and BROWNS and is dark brown with an earthy smell. You may find that only the bottom of your pile is ready to use while the top is still decomposing.

Before you use your compost, you may wish to screen it through wire mesh and return any non-composted items to your bin.

How to Use Your Compost

  • Dig some compost into the soil before you plant.
  • Sprinkle some screened compost on your lawn and on the soil of houseplants.
  • Use some compost as a mulch around trees and plants to retain moisture.
  • Mix compost with other potting materials to start seedlings or to re-pot house plants.

Source: CompostGuide.com and OwenSound.ca

Locally:

Check out Sydney’s Health Market for some fabulous happenings:

SPRING SPECTACULAR - Saturday, May 14th from 11-3pm. Lots of samples, door prizes and free food!

Sydney’s Organic Farmer’s Market - Every Friday from 3-7pm, starting June 3rd.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

CompostGuide.com
CompostGuide.com
is a wonderful site full of invaluable information for home composting including simple tips to get you started and tips on the best composters to buy.

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Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Eating organic produce, meat and dairy is healthier for your family and the environment (and it tastes better).  

Here are some money saving tips to help you eat healthier and stay within your budget:

Comparison Shop. You may be able to find less-expensive alternatives at different stores. Many major chains are coming out with their own organic brands but make sure it’s certified organic. According to Mark Kastel, the senior farm policy analyst at The Cornucopia Institute, “Major food processors have recognized the meteoric rise of the organic industry, and profit potential, and want to create what is in essence ‘organic light,’ taking advantage of the market cachet but not being willing to do the heavy lifting required to earn the valuable USDA organic seal”.

Grow One Thing. Unless you have a lot of land, you’re probably not going to feed your family only from your home-grown harvest, but you will find that growing a tomato plant can be incredibly inspiring. And it’s not as intimidating as it seems. So pick one thing to grow – you can do it.

Cook More. The more convenient the food is, the more expensive it is. For example, buying an organic frozen dinner may save you time in the same way a conventional frozen dinner would, but it costs quite a bit more than its non-organic counterpart and much more than a homemade meal. Buy organic items that are lower in price (such as produce), and make your own dishes from scratch.

Stock Up. Stock up on your favorite items when they go on sale. Or try something new that is on sale or is priced well, and you may find a new favorite.

Buy in Bulk. Buying in bulk will keep costs down. Look for many pantry staples often available in bulk, such as beans, legumes, rice, flour, nuts, chocolate chips, and much more.

Organic Coupons. Keep an eye out in the Sunday paper and grocery circulars for coupons and, again, stock up to take best advantage of the savings. Organic bargains are everywhere so click on About.com’s Frugal Living page where you will find All Organic Links.

Shop in Season and Buy Local. Shop farm stands and farmers’ markets for the freshest, most-delicious produce while supporting local farmers. Purchasing in season produce from your grocer may also keep costs down. And you can also save money by becoming a member of a local farm by joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

In the Fargo/Moorhead and surrounding areas:

  • Bluebird Gardens offers a couple of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) options with drop off locations in North Fargo, South Fargo, West Fargo, Moorhead, Underwood, Battle Lake, Otter Tail, Perham, Breckenridge, Wahpeton, Fergus Falls, Dilworth, Rothsay, Barnesville, Frazee, Vergas, Pelican Rapids and Detroit Lakes. Visit www.bluebirdgardens.net for more information.
  • Sydney’s Health Market boasts the areas only all organic farmer’s market. Available Fridays during the growing season. They also have organic produce available in the store, delivered fresh every Tuesday. Visit www.sydneyshealthmarket.com or call 218-233-3310 for more information.

Be Selective. Decide to only purchase organic milk and produce. See the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” for the most-contaminated produce and tailor your decisions based on these:

EWG Shoppers Guide

Bring Your Own Bag. Many stores offer a discount when you bring your own bag. It’s usually around 5 cents per bag,

Eat With Friends. Last but not least, make it fun! Choose some like-minded friends and get together to each prepare an organic dish—a great way to add variety to your organic diet while keeping your own purchases down. Get together for a weekend potluck—or, during the week, arrange a food swap to minimize cooking and maximize eating organically.

Source: Organic.org and Healthy Child Healthy World

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

eat the seasons
eat the seasons aims to promote an understanding of food seasons. Each week they list the seasonal foods that are at their peak, and share enlightening facts, useful tips and enticing recipe ideas picked from the web and their favorite books.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com. NOTE: SIMPLE TIPS WILL AIR ON TUESDAYS BEGINNING OCTOBER 25 2011.

GREEN TIP: Try to plan a more sustainable Thanksgiving. Plan ahead for perfect portions and leftover packaging. At least 28 billion pounds of edible food is wasted each year – more than 100 pounds per person.

Use Less Stuff has 42 Ways to Watch Your Holiday Wasteline (pun intended). They’ve created a convenient list of approximate food portions for your Thanksgiving meal:

  • Turkey- 1 pound per person
  • Stuffing- ¼ pound per person
  • Sweet potato casserole- ¼ pound per person
  • Green beans- ¼ pound per person
  • Cranberry relish- 3 tablespoons per person
  • Pumpkin pie- 1/8 of a 9 inch pie per person

Locally, you can find a number of wonderful ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal at Sydney’s Health Market. If you not been there yet, head over this Saturday, November 13th 2010 for their Healthy Holidays Celebration from 10am to 3pm. Sign up for door prizes, samples some treats and soak in their warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Go to Sydney’s Health Market’s website for more information.

Talking turkey:

According to Sustinable Table, the traditional Thanksgiving turkey is different today than it was 50 years ago. Today, 99% of all turkeys raised in the U.S. are the “Broadbreasted White” variety (sometimes also referred to as the “Large White”).

These birds are raised in confinement in extremely crowded conditions on factory farms. They live in unnatural, uncomfortable conditions and are fed a steady diet of grain and supplements like antibiotics, rather than the grubs, bugs and grasses they should eat.

They are produced because of their large, white meaty breast. The breasts of these turkeys are so large that they are unable to reproduce naturally. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, without artificial insemination performed by humans, this variety of bird would become extinct in just one generation.

Industrial turkeys are often injected with saline solution and vegetable oils in an attempt to help improve the taste and texture of the meat. These factory farmed birds tend to be dry and tasteless, so cooks have developed a variety of methods to try to improve the taste. Turkeys are now marinated, brined, deep fried and covered with syrups, spices and herbs.

You have other options. You can order a heritage turkey, or you can look for organic and/or sustainable birds at butchers, specialty shops and at farmers markets around the country.

Locally: Pre-order your turkey at Sydney’s Health Market. They have local, free-range, organic birds available for $2.99 per pound. Head on over to 810 30th Ave S in Moorhead or give them a call at 218-233-3310.

On to the leftovers:

You know you’re going to have them so make a plan. The Alternative Consumer has a wonderful suggestion in their green Thanksgiving guide.

Avoid plastic wrap. Most plastic wraps contain PVC which quickly winds up in landfills and has been linked to harmful environmental consequences. Use aluminum foil or, even better, send family home with glass or ceramic storage containers that they can return to you.

Or, call your guests and ask them to bring their own container if they’d like leftovers.

Above all, relax and enjoy your Thanksgiving, remember why we are celebrating.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Sustainable Table
Sustainable Table
was launched in 2003 to educate consumers about issues surrounding the food supply and to encourage individuals to switch to healthier, more sustainable eating habits.

Sustainable Table is also home to the Eat Well Guide, an online directory of sustainable products in the U.S. and Canada.

Tags: , , , , , ,

GREEN TIP: When the little trick-or-treaters knock on your door this Halloween, give them healthy treats that also treat the environment kindly.

Eco-friendly Candy

There are a number of different eco-friendly candies now available at your local grocery stop, health food stores or co-ops. These organic candies can provide Halloween treats that are a little friendlier for your trick-or-treaters and are produced using methods that are gentler on the environment.

Where you can find them locally:

Sydney’s Health Market: My number one choice for all my healthy shopping needs. They have organic fruit snack, fruit strips, lollipops, organic juice boxes and many other options.

Cash Wise: They have a wonderful organic section which include a lot of organic candy, boxes of organic raisins and bars.

Hornbachers: Their natural and organic sections has a number of organic treats.

Or Avoid Candy Altogether

Another option is to avoid candy altogether and to give your trick-or-treaters useful treats, such as colorful pencils, small boxes of crayons, or erasers in fun shapes.

Other ideas:

  • Fun magnets
  • Seed paper/bookmarks for planting or reading
  • Wash off tattoos
  • Stickers
  • Craft kits (Michael’s has fun craft kits for $1.00)
  • Adhesive bandages with fun themes
  • Barrettes or other hair things
  • Mini pumpkins or gourds
  • Fun toothbrushes
  • Unfinished wood items

Where you can find them locally:

Eco Chic Boutique: You will be able to find tons of useful trick-or-treat treats like soy crayons shaped like rocks and other eco-friendly art supplies.

Pout Baby Boutique: They have a large eco-friendly section including Piggy Paint Nail Polish.

Be Sure to Reuse and Recycle

If you don’t already compost, Halloween is a great time to start. You can add post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to your compost bin, along with fallen leaves, food scraps, and other organic, biodegradable yard and household waste.

Compost creates excellent soil for your garden. You might even use the compost from your backyard bin to help grow the pumpkins that will become next year’s jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pies.

If you are interested in composting, your local hardware store, garden center, county extension service, or waste disposal agency should be able to help you get started.

Locally, the City of Fargo has a wonderful compost bin you can purchase at a reasonable cost. For more information call 701-241-1449.

Instead of throwing away your Halloween decorations each year, store and reuse them year after year, just as you do decorations for many other holidays. Source: About.com, Environmental Issues

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

The Go Green Blog
The Go Green Blog is a great place to find information and facts about the environment. You can also learn easy tips & tricks, as well as find some awesome eco-friendly products to incorporate into your everyday routine.

Check out 6 Eco-Friendly Halloween Crafts for Kids if you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend with your kids.

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com.

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