Sunday, August 31, 2008

The story of stuff

Hi Guys me again!
Here is a free video called The Story of Stuff -It is really worth a watch
The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard
A 20-minute animation of the consumerist society, narrated by Anne Leonard, to view online or download. Includes footnoted - let me know what you think

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Recycling - North Shore

Click to enlarge the image below

We can now recycle all numbers from 1-7!

Recycling Plastics 1-7
North Shore City Council residents and businesses can now recycle all plastic bottles and containers with the numbers 1 to 7 displayed in the recycling triangle on the base or side of the item.
Previously the only plastics residents and businesses could recycle were plastic bottles numbers 1 and 2.
This means that products such as ice cream containers and lids, yoghurt pottles, dip containers and takeaway containers can all be recycled.
The base or side of the item must have a recycling symbol, with a 1 to 7 on it. If it doesn’t have this, it cannot go in the mobile recycling bin for collection.
Polystyrene – North Shore City Council does not have a market for polystyrene eg polystyrene meat trays, foam hot drink cups and polystyrene packaging. So even though they have the recycling symbol 6 on them, they cannot go in the mobile recycling bin. They must be broken up and placed in the orange Council pre-paid rubbish bags.
Items should be squashed to ensure that all of the recyclable items will fit into the mobile recycling bin.

Visit the website to get fully up to speed on what we can recycle;

Food Matters

Check out this doco;

"Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine, And Thy Medicine Be Thy Food." - Hippocrates

That is the message from the founding father of modern medicine echoed in this brave new documentary film brought to you by Producer-Directors James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch.

'Food Matters' is a hard hitting, fast paced look at our current state of health. Despite the billions of dollars of funding and research into new so-called cures we continue to suffer from a raft of chronic ills and every day maladies. Patching up an over-toxic and over-indulgent population with a host of toxic therapies and nutrient sparse foods is definitely not helping the situation.

In a personal quest of discovery James & Laurentine together with a film crew and the editorial and production expertise of Enzo Tedeschi have set out on an independent mission to uncover the wholesome truth. The filmmakers have interviewed several world leaders in nutrition and natural healing who claim that not only are we harming our bodies with improper nutrition, but that the right kind of foods, supplements and detoxification can be used to treat chronic illnesses as fatal as terminally diagnosed cancer.

'Food Matters' seeks to uncover the business of disease and at the same time explore the safe, cheap and effective use of nutrition and supplementation for preventing and often reversing the underlying causative aspects of the illness. With the premise of the film being: access to solid information helps people invariably make better choices for their health.

The 'Food Matters' duo have independently funded the film from start to finish in order to remain as unbiased as possible, delivering a clear and concise message to the world. Food Matters.

$1b govt fund to insulate every NZ home

Dan Eaton National affairs editor - The Press | Wednesday, 27 August 2008


The Government will establish a $1 billion fund to insulate every house in New Zealand as part of its flagship climate-change policy.

Details of the fund were announced yesterday by the Green Party, which hailed it as a major concession gained in return for its support for Labour's controversial emissions trading scheme (ETS).

The Climate Change (Emissions Trading and Renewable Preference) Bill has been on hold for months as the Government worked to secure the support of the Greens and New Zealand First.

With National opposed to rushing the bill through before this year's general election, the votes of the two smaller parties are essential for its passage.

With the Greens having thrown their weight behind it, the fate of the scheme now lies with NZ First.

Leader Winston Peters said yesterday he expected to announce the party's position in the next few days.

He claimed much of the credit for the insulation fund.

Greens co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said her party decided at yesterday's weekly caucus to support the scheme.

She said that in addition to the insulation fund, set up using money generated by the scheme, the legislation would provide a cash payout to households to help offset a rise in electricity costs.

Although the bill was flawed, it was better than nothing and the party's six MPs would be voting for it, Fitzsimons said.

"The truth is that if the whole world did what New Zealand is doing in this emissions trading scheme, then the world would fail because the action needed is a lot stronger than that," she said. "However, on balance and given the very significant changes we have achieved, we have decided that it is better to make a start than to do nothing."

Prime Minister Helen Clark welcomed the decision. She said the legislation was now "poised for passage", and talks with NZ First were progressing well.

Fitzsimons said the insulation fund would be administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority Board through a mixture of "straight-out grants" for low-income families and "heavily subsidised loans" for those with higher incomes.

She said there would be "a cash payment that is universal but differentiated" to help offset higher electricity prices from 2010.

She declined to give further details, indicating that it was a concession largely won by NZ First.

Peters refused to elaborate, saying details had yet to be finalised, but he described it as "a cost-of-living fund".


National opposes the bill, saying it is a rushed response to climate change that carries high economic risks.

Leader John Key said that if his party won the election it would develop its own scheme and introduce it within nine months of taking office.

"If the ETS passes before the election and National becomes the government, we will be changing the ETS to reflect our principles," he said.



Hi Again
I just wanted to share with you some research I have been doing about Aspartame - the sweetener in diet, light or Max products - plus used in a lot of food as a flavour enhancer.

Aspartame - know symptoms:
Crosses the blood brain barrier
Distorts and destroys brain cells
Converts to formaldehyde - this attaches to fat cells and will not metabolise out of your body - in fact it just keeps building on to the cells
Masks symptoms such as - Migraine, Lupus, ME, Fibromyalgia etc.
Crosses into the placenta and causes ADD condition, Autism etc
Causes cancers - particularly brain cancer

Here is a section on aspartame from the safe foods website
This article is available in .PDF format here 104 Kb
Aspartame - what is it?
It is a controversial artificial sweetener, 951 (L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanine-methyl-ester). It is cheaper and about 200 times sweeter than sugar.
It comprises two amino acids — aspartic acid and phenylalanine, bound together with methanol. Occurring in natural form, these are bound up, but in aspartame they are not, breaking down readily to formaldehyde (accumulative and known to cause cancer), formic acid (venom in ant stings) and DKP (known brain tumour agent).
What's it in?
More than 6000 products worldwide: sugar-free and diet products, eg NutraSweet & Equal packs & sachets, chewing gum, sweets e.g. Mentos, Extra & Smints, some Eta potato chips, Yoplait Diet-Lite & Weightwatchers yoghurts; Jarrah, Weight-watchers, Nestle & Ovaltine drinks; sports drinks; dietary supplements e.g. Redoxon, silver top Berocca, Healtheries products incl. chewable children's vitamins; 124 medicines incl. 81 for children e.g. Lemsip, Panadol.
Augmentin, Berocca, Children's Panadol, Claramax rditabls tablet, gastrolyte powder, gaviscon, Lemsip, metamucil, nicotinell, Panadol cold and flu, throat lozenges Healtheries Boost Immunity Vitamin C and Echinacea, effervescent tablets, most chewing gums and some mints.
How can you tell?
Products containing aspartame often don't mention it. They might just have the warning "Phenylketonurics, contains phenylalanine" or its food number, 951. Dietary supplements and medicines don't have to be labelled with their ingredients in NZ.
What does it do to your health?
According to independent (non-industry funded) doctors and researchers, aspartame can cause a range of symptoms ranging from mild and transitory to debilitating and life-threatening, eg headaches, memory loss, vision loss, depression, seizures, coma and cancer. It can worsen or mimic the symptoms of such diseases and conditions as MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. It interacts with drugs & MSG, and induces carbohydrate cravings (= weight gain). The methanol in aspartame affects the dopamine system of the brain causing addiction. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is classified as a severe metabolic poison and narcotic.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Slow food in tight times

Helpful Websites:

In light of increased oil prices (Peak Oil has been reached and the situation will just get worse I have DVD's on this matter if anyone is interested) and this will be increasing the cost of food
Including the fact that land is increasingly being used to grow crops for ethanol/methanol production and this is decreasing the area used to grow crops E.g. There is a world shortage at the moment for rice.
So our budgets will be increasing more important - this site gives free budgeting advice to families and individuals. They have handy budget worksheets and tools can be found on this site too.

Some tips on saving money:

1:Dont buy processed foods :

- these are full of toxins - colourings and preservatives that store in the fat cells of our children and do not metabolise out of the body (as an aside the formaldehyde that Abby was talking about clings to the fat cells and then builds up on each cell with every contact of formaldehyde - formaldehyde is a neurotoxin which destroys and misshapes our brain neurons)

2: Instead - Cook - It is commonly being called Slow Foods around the world - this puts the food back into our control - if we cook we know what is in our foods - Abby also has a copy of Fast Food Nation which shows how eating processed fast foods contribute to obesity, cancer, nutritional definciency etc - check out this website:

(If anyone wants help to start a garden or compost/worm farm I am happy to help!)
How to Get Started in the Slow Food Movement
This is a featured article. Click here for more information.
Slow Food is good, clean and fair food. We believe that the food we eat should taste good; that it should be produced in a clean way that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health; and that food producers should receive fair compensation for their work.[1]
The slow food movement is a reaction to a fast food lifestyle predominant in many modern cultures. By choosing to become a part of the Slow Food movement, you are making a choice to be a co-producer rather than a consumer; an active, proactive and informed part of the food chain that recognises the "connections between plate and planet".[2] This article discusses a few ways to become involved and become a Slow Foodie yourself.


  1. Understand what slow food means. Slow food is about more than food; it is about a lifestyle that connects our food consumption to the wider social, ethical, lifestyle, political, environmental and spiritual elements around us. Slow food is about eschewing haste and recognising that over-reliance on fast food damages our health, social fabric and cultural food traditions.
  2. Join a Slow Food group in your region. The Slow Food movement has enlisted over 80,000 members in at least 122 countries, so it's probable you have a group near you.[3] Your local group will be known as a "convivium" and you will find your local group via Slow Food Where To Find. Of course, you don't have to join to be a part of the Slow Food movement; it is just a chance to be with like-minded people and to have the chance to share ideas and to participate in events together; benefits that may enthuse you.
  3. Get cooking. That's right. Stop buying the pre-made selection and start pulling out your recipe books. Look for family heirloom recipes passed down through the generations; many of us can recall delicious meal occasions prepared by family members, or even by ourselves before the need for speed overtook us. Be careful about your recipe choices, however. The fancy cookbooks might call for ingredients that need to be imported from many thousands of miles away; avoid these and favour recipes that let your local produce take centre stage, including veggies and fruit from your own garden.
  4. Shop locally. Shopping locally is a key element to being a Slow Foodie. Shop at your local farmer's markets, your local fruit and vegetable store and even consider asking for veggies from your neighbours if they're growing some. Not only do you save the wear and tear on the environment from all the energy consumed in long-range transportation but you also know where your food came from and that's a very reassuring feeling. The greatest benefit of shopping locally though? The food is as fresh as possible and that just tastes the best.
  5. Avoid genetically modified food. Whilst some companies may put forth a vision that genetically modified food is the promise of the future, there remain many questions about the speed at which such modification is occurring and the means by which it is being achieved. Certainly, we have been modifying our food for centuries but the key word here is centuries, not a matter of years. The Slow Food movement has a fundamental opposition to the use of genetically modified food products because in making a large swathe of common food sources generic, we risk losing the all important diversity and quality of food available around the world and replacing it with mono-crops that become more susceptible to disease, providing less healthy variety and possibly increasing the chances of human-induced disease through over-concentration on a few food types.
  6. Buy organic. Where possible, prefer organic produce over conventionally grown food. You reduce your exposure to pesticides, fungicides and fertiliser chemicals and you get produce that many studies have suggested are higher in nutrients that bolster the immune system, presumably because plants not treated with pesticides must produce more antioxidants to protect themselves.[4] Organic food is an important part of the Slow Food movement because organic food is low impact and harm reducing, especially when practiced on a non-industrial scale.
  7. Grow your own food. Whether you have space only for a container of herbs or space for a large veggie patch, you can become a direct force in your own food production. For dwellers in small residences, use the window sill and balcony to grow herbs and fruit trees in pots. For those with larger gardens, plant vegetables in seasonal rotation and enjoy the freshest there is. It is really important to involve children in gardening, to aid their understanding of the connection between soil, food and their own health. Start children with easy-to-grow plants, such as radishes, herbs and peas. Encourage children to eat some of their crop raw, straight from the garden, so that they can taste just how delicious a fresh pod of peas or cob of corn really is.
  8. Share your home-cooked meals. Not everybody can cook. Those who are infirm, disabled or simply too busy to consider the value of slow food are just some examples of people who are not in a position to cook. Share your cooking talents around to help out those less fortunate; and if you are trying to convince others about the message of slow food, what better way than by setting the example with your own delicious food? Tempt them...
  9. Cook with the kids. The earlier that children get involved in the kitchen, the better. Children who know how to cook are not at the mercy of the fast food industry and know automatically how easy it is to whip up their own fresh food at home. Moreover, in teaching kids how to cook, you share a family tradition together that will bind you closer together and this helps to pass on traditional family knowledge. Encourage kids to enjoy cooking at home by letting their imaginations take a key part in the cooking process; creating shapes and food themes is a fun part of making food for the table, as in this image.
  10. Pack a healthy lunch. For work, school, outings and play, take a home-prepared lunch. Soup can be kept warm in a thermos, sandwiches can be kept fresh by pre-cutting the filling but only adding it to the bread at lunchtime and homemade baked goods, cut fruit and veggies, salads and leftovers can contribute to a well-rounded and tasty lunch that lets you spend more time enjoying your lunch hour and keeping extra money in your wallet. Save that extra money for a delicious meal once a month in a restaurant that follows Slow Food principles.


  • The Slow Food movement began in Italy, in 1989. Carlo Petrini advocated against fast food and was the founding member of the Slow Food movement.[5]
  • Drink municipal water where safe; bottled water requires high energy usage to bottle and transport and there are concerns about leakage of chemicals from the plastic bottles. It is better to agitate for sustained municipal water supplies than to pay more per litre for water than for fuel; water that often is filtered municipal supplies anyway! Add a filter to your home taps and enjoy what you are already paying for and support the local waterworks.
  • Many traditional cooking methods have fallen into disuse because of the time that they required to prepare and cook. Many people have solved this problem by preparing large quantities of old-style food in one day (imagine that you were going to have many guests), then freezing it in meal sized containers for easy defrosting and consumption. Freezers are very useful tools for the modern kitchen.
  • Never forget that your slow cooker can be started in advance and allowed to cook all day, maintenance-free; and that when in a rush, a pressure cooker can greatly reduce the time necessary to cook items or entire meals! (Pressure cooking a half gallon of fresh-snapped green beans requires less than 10 minutes, and entire roast beef only takes 15 minutes per pound of meat.) Additionally, a huge "bale" of fresh spinach microwaves in minutes! Not all "slow" cooking has to be inconvenient or a long ordeal -- the word "slow" refers more to Anti-Fast-Food.


  • Test your soil for toxins. If you live in an urban area, or anywhere that may have once been industrial you would be well-advised to test your soil before growing vegetables. Even healthy looking soil could be contaminated with lead, mercury, zinc, cadmium, or PCBs. In the US, the local Agriculture Office should offer these testing services to their residents, along with relevant advice concerning growing things in your immediate area.
  • It is easy to believe that organic farming and fair trade products are safer and better for the world. However, many experts disagree with the hype. Remember that while "organic" uses no pesticides or fertilizers and is thus "clean," it is a business model just like any other, and presents its own problems and challenges.[6]

Things You'll Need

  • Time (though not as much as you'd think)
  • A passion for food that is good, clean and fair
  • Farmers' markets, local fruit and vegetable stores
  • Garden or container garden


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good old Garlic

Garlic has been used for centuries for its ability to fight of disease and increase stamina.
Today it is widely known for its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. It is also excellent for treating parasites in the stomach and intestines. It also helps to reduce mucus build up and congestion in the respiratory system.

Garlic is most effective raw or if cooked added right at the end of the cooking process to reduce heat Garlic breath is enough to ward off even the most fearsome vampires, however chopping raw Garlic to a pill type size and swallowing with a glass of water leaves your breath smelling fresh as a daisy!!!

Now is the time to be planting Garlic too. Its as easy as buying some bulbs from the supermarket, letting them sprout, separating the cloves out and planting them in your garden. They are a wonderful companion plant. When planted on the boundary of the garden it repels bugs from coming through to eat all your more tasty plants growing in the middle of the garden.

So with all the colds and flu going around at the moment get chomping on this immunity wonder food, you'll be amazed at how well it works!!!