Tuesday, March 9, 2010

cruel to be kind

Not too long ago, I wrote about how every month seems to be designated to bringing awareness to some very important cause. Even within these months are specific weeks or even days set aside to recognize a cause that may not be important enough to warrant a whole month but has just enough advocates to lobby for a special day. You know, like Mother's Day or something. Just kidding. Anyway, I think this is an ongoing process and the calendar-makers can't keep up with it, so it falls to the proponents of said causes to bring awareness to their special month, week, or day.

I've been meaning to post about National Nutrition Month for a few days now, but it keeps getting away from me. It's ironic - there is finally a month devoted to something I actually care about, but I can't find the energy to promote it!

There is a ton of helpful information for the observance and promotion of March as National Nutrition Month at eatright.org, the American Dietetic Association's (ADA) website. To give a quick synopsis, NNM has been going on longer than I've been alive, starting as a week of observance and finally being raised to a cause worthy of a full 31-day month. I think it's great that NNM coincides with the mayor of Philadelphia proposing a tax on sugar-sweetened soda - I can't think of a better time to introduce such ingenious legislation. I hear people moaning and complaining about this, and I'll grant you that I'm not a big soda fan, so it wouldn't strike me as tragic even if I didn't think it was one of the best ideas our mayor has ever had. This delightful double-edged sword would not only raise money for our apparently impoverished city government, but it might actually reduce the demand for these SatanSugarDrinks. Newsflash, people of Philadelphia: Soda is BAD for you! If we can get the city out of a budget crisis AND reduce the number of sodas purchased and consumed in this city, I don't see how this can be a bad thing.

In open antithesis to NNM, the month of March also contains National Banana Cream Pie Day (3/2), National Potato Chip Day (3/14), and National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day (3/29). Of course, you could point out that the origin of each of those foods is a fruit or vegetable...
kind of makes you hungry, doesn't it?

Speaking of kind, I just finished reading an illuminating and surprisingly inspiring article in VegNews - an interview with Alicia Silverstone. I have to be honest, if someone told me ten years ago that I would use the words "illuminating" and "inspiring" to describe this actress-turned-PETA-spokesmodel...
...I would have laughed without shame. However, separating the woman from the character, it turns out Alicia herself has a great deal of depth and a heart of gold.

I was a little suspicious of The Kind Diet when it was initially released, because all I knew of Alicia's change of heart was her willingness to let PETA use her image in their campaigns. I think PETA's heart is in the right place, but as I've mentioned before, I can't get on board with them completely, due to the overly severe nature of their propaganda. Pictures of slaughtered pigs and beakless chickens appeal only to the hearts and tears of adolescent girls...they make the rest of us mad. Although, in its own way, I guess that works, too.

Anyway, the interview has piqued my curiosity and willingness to support her in this. She certainly doesn't need my money, but it's my way of using my consumer-power to build up the things that matter to me. Once I find a minute to buy and actually read the book, you can count on another book review. Yes, I will keep finding reasons for you to come back and read my blog - is it working?

Finally, last night's dinner: White Bean-Tarragon Soup with a couple mega-salads.

Normally, we're not big on brothy soups, but this one is not only attractive but extremely flavorful. There is a load of herbs in there, primarily floating on top in a very enticing manner. The white beans (I used Great Northern beans in the absence of canned Navy beans) are hiding under the carrots and celery. For the very few ingredients in this soup, I have to say that I was completely impressed with how good it was - if it didn't smell so good while it was simmering (thanks to the tablespoon of ginger and 4 large cloves of garlic in there) I would have been even more worried about it. The salad complemented it nicely, as well as bulking up our dinner a little - enough that Mister didn't even ask about bread (a fact that escaped me until this very moment)!

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