Friday, May 22, 2009

Local Food Restaurants

Local Food Restaurant Reviews

Returning to my local food adventures I've really been frequenting 2 places in south Austin - Thai Fresh and Somnio's. Both of these places say they support local and organic when they can and I gotta tell you - they both live up to this claim. Jam from thai fresh will go to the farmer's market and then incorporate whatever she finds there into her dishes. The Pad Sea Ew is probably my favorite and the green curry with chicken is my second favorite. The vegetables change with what's in season, but they're always tasty. She gets all of her meat locally and they even run cooking classes. Look for an upcoming Local Box workshop to happen there.

-Get more info here

Somnio's is another gem. It's on S 1st street next to a vintage store. The sides vary by what is available from farmers and they buy produce from Greenling. So it's the same veggies that come in your local box. I had a side dish of Swiss Chard for the first time in my life and it was awesome. I've enjoyed everything I've had there, but my favorite is probably the Richardson Farms 'crazy crunch' pork medallions.

-Get more info here

Monday, May 18, 2009

Small Steps, Big Change

'Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something'
You don't have to completely change your life in one weekend to help change the world. But you have to do something. Then you have to do something else. You just have to.

Former President Clinton just received the Harry S Truman Public Service Award. In his talk, he reiterated that 'by tackling problems through small, grassroots community efforts, Americans could achieve results of global significance.' There are lots of statistics out there that are huge. They can be overwhelming. They often make me depressed. And there's so many facets of Sustainability!

But, my fine furry friends, that's what makes it so easy. Here's one idea - start with the easiest thing to change and green up. Do it. Do it right now. Then tomorrow change the easiest thing (hopefully it's slightly harder than the previous day). Repeat and rinse. Are you really recycling? Or do you just have the recycling bin out in your garage? Do you use reusable grocery bags when shopping, or do they just decorate your front closet (go to to get the coolest bags)? It can be hard to create habits. If you stop doing something eco-friendly, that's ok. Just start again when you can. You're not a bad person. I think you're taking one small step just by reading this newsletter. And celebrate when you do something for the environment or something for your health. Even if you don't succeed, celebrate that you tried. And, occasionally, celebrate for no reason at all. It's fun to celebrate.

Here's pretty cool article with tons of tips on going green. I don't necessarily agree with everything they say, but it's a big list of small things to do and they break it down into easy chunks in common categories -

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New Shopper's Guide to Pesticides

Obviously with Greenling's produce you don't have to worry about this. But when you're out and about or can't get to your Greenling box, use this handy shopper's guide to remember the worst polluted fruits and veggies (which you should never eat anywhere unless it's Organic) and the least polluted that you can eat conventionally when in a bind.

Environmental Working Group tests around 50 different fruits and vegetables for pesticide content. And not just on the surface. The wasth he produce and peel it! They test the inside of the produce. They have released a new update for the shopper's guide - their 5th edition has the latest government data. Click here to get a printable version of the wallet-sized guide.

And click here to see the full list of fruits and veggies tested.

Not surprisingly, Peaches topped the list again of the worst polluted produce item you can buy. Don't be fooled by those beautiful Fredericksburg peaches - unless they tell you they don't use pesticides they're going to be covered in them.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

New addition to fruit in Texas

I was speaking recently with David Strohmeyer, of G&S Groves, and he shared some very exciting news. We'll soon have Texas Mangoes! Can you believe it? Mangoes are one of my favorite fruits and one that I always really wish we could grow locally.

He'll have to explain it fully, but from what I remember there's some scientist who was able to do a bud graft or something of that sort to get Mangoes. I think they can't survive early life in Texas soil, so they have to graft the branches onto existing trees of similar varieties. I'm speaking beyond my knowledge here, but wanted to give you an idea of what kind of feat this is.

And it's wonderful. We should expect the first crop to be producing this summer, I think he said.

Swine Flu, Shmine Flu

Whoa! I mean, WHOA! What in Sam Hill is going on? Information spreads so fast these days if we don't have something new to gab about for too long....well, we blow something way out of proportion. First HB 875, now swine flu.

Fact - The seasonal flu is more likely to lead to hospitalization or even death, as it kills roughly 35,000 each year, though it's fatal more often in the very young and elderly and those who have a compromised immune system.

Ok,'s not that big of a deal...but is it the first time a pig virus has jumped over and spread among us homo-sapiens? Nope, wrong again. There have been several swine flu outbreaks in the US recently including in 1976 and 1988. Does anyone remember national panic for them?

Alllllrighty,, let's take a deep breath and move on to more important things like what to do with the Mitzuna in your Local Box this coming week. But if you're not convinced and you want to avoid swine flu make sure to confirm your Greenling delivery. They say to avoid grocery stores with all those people touching the same things over and over. Local, organic food, home delivered. Yep, we can save the world from all sorts of pandemics.

If you're in the Austin/San Antonio area and curious whether or not you have swine flu, check with this website -

And remember folks, we're no experts on swine flu! Don't take this media jab as medical advice. We read several online sources that made us feel better about our situation, including this one -

Lastly, please remember that the only reason anyone is concerned about this is because of factory farms. In confinement lots, viruses can transmit and mutate at a much accelerated rate creating many of the super bugs we're concerned with right now.