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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Milkifornia

Local Milk

A month or two ago I started thinking about the real ethics of milk. It's the only dairy that won't be given up in this house - we eat icecream, drink coffee, tea, chocolate milk and soy milk really tends to let me down when I make pancakes and my husband makes bread. Our usual purchases are soy milk - usually Silk, but if it's on sale, but we'll buy other brands too. Quality varies between the brands but not too much to notice.

The problem lies in this: is it more ethical to avoid dairy farming altogether, and buy soy milk that is trucked thousands of miles across the country from subsidized farms? Or support the most local farmers that are genuinely doing their best to sustain an ethical dairy business, thus supporting the larger California economy? The latter makes more sense to me, but I'm still somewhat uncomfortable with drinking "proper" milk.

I haven't imbibed dairy milk regularly since 2004, when a handful of health problems finally came to a head (gallbladder, weight, asthma). Six years later, and I'm eating a completely different diet, mostly homecooked food with a distinct lack of anything junky with extraneous ingredients going into my body. Dairy milk with a California location is available in the supermarket (warning: auto-sounds) we frequent the most. Raw milk has the appealing touch of the rebel, being illegal in 28 other states. So, while this will remain an experiment (I'm still considering soy milk the default option, and still not sure if my body is coping with it properly), it could very well become a permanent fixture in the household. Which marks a distinct change in thinking for me - in all other areas of my life, I'm striving to become more vegan  - eg: beauty products, origin of foods, daytime eating - as it's nearly always the most sustainable choice.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

100 Skeins of Yarn

100.5 skeins of yarn

I think I must have been crocheting for at least six months now, and Craigslist is becoming an invaluable source for picking up unwanted yarn at ridiculous prices (protip: the Android app for phones gives the site much more of a narrow focus). Today's haul was supposed to be priced at 50 cents a skein, but came out at much lower thanks to the generous man running the sale throwing in computer games, cutting boards, other miscellaneous bits and a couple of books for $55. I could have taken more yarn, but I had a limit! Limits are important! Saving over $250 is enough for me.

One of the unfortunate sides of hitting estate sales as opposed to regular moving or garage sales, is that while they usually have some great vintage items, they also tend to be the Stuff of people who have passed away. This one was no exception, and via email the chap had told me about his wife that had passed on from throat cancer last year. It was a little sad, especially seeing her clothes hung out for people to look through. He told me about how this was his third sale, and he had plenty more ahead of him. But he also talked about how they had their time, and he was sure she was sticking around somewhere.

So: Carol, thanks for the yarn! You sounded like a lovely lady, and I hope you're at peace.