Archive for the ‘Post Topics’ Category

Good candles, bad candles

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Melted Beeswax

By Catherine Haug, March 18, 2017 (Photo, right, by Cat and Shelli R., for our posting on Cheesemaking: Waxing the Round)

The other day on a MTPR program (don’t recall which one), I caught the message that ‘not all candles are created equal, and most are loaded with toxins.’ Today’s Daily Inter Lake has a short article about this in the ‘At Home” section, by Kimi Harris, from Mother Nature Network: 5 reasons to switch to beeswax candles (1). Not only are they non-toxic, but they may also help purify indoor air.

While beeswax candles may cost a bit more than toxic candles, they burn longer, have a fragrance with a hint of honey, and are available in most communities. Many beekeepers make beeswax candles and sell them in local stores/farmers markets. Here in the Flathead, Trailhead Supply (3) sells candles harvested and handcrafted by Glacier County Honey Co. (Babb, MT). The Good Food Store in Missoula also sells beeswax candles.

Or make your own; see Mother Earth News (2) for details. See Candle Supplies for Home  for beeswax sources in the Flathead.

References

  1. Mother Nature Network: mnn.com/your-home/at-home/blogs/5-reasons-you-should-switch-to-beeswax-candles
  2. Mother Earth News, Making Beeswax Candles by Jennifer Ford: motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/making-beeswax-candles-zbcz1403
  3. Trailhead Supply: trailheadsupply.com; 860 N. Meridian Road #A11, Kalispell MT
  4. Candle Supplies for Home (4) candlesuppliesforhome.com/supplies/montana/kalispell.html

‘IRS’ scam and what to do about it

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

By Catherine Haug, Sept 28, 2016; Updated Mar 18, 2017

I’ve now gotten two of those calls, and it is likely that everyone – especially senior citizens – will get at least one of them. Normally I don’t pick up the phone unless I recognize the number. The first one  (9/28/2016) was a 509 area code, which is just across the Columbia River from where I lived in Portland, and is where many of my former coworkers with whom I exchange Christmas cards, live. So I picked it up.

On the other end of the line was a recorded message that went something like this:

This is (male name), an IRS officer. Did you know there is a legal petition filed against you? Call me back immediately at 509-983-0040.

The second call (3/17/17) was with a female voice, but did not give a name. She said:

an arrest warrant has been issued. Call me back immediately at 907-891-8644.

If you get one of these calls, DO NOT CALL THE NUMBER. Note, there are many different scam numbers they use.

When I got the first call, my first thought was, “I wonder if this is that IRS scam I’ve heard about on the news?” So I googled the number, and got this: Scam Call Fighters (1), where it says: (more…)

2017: Clean vs Dirty Dozen Food (whether to buy Organic)

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Free-range chicken farm

By Catherine Haug, March 13, 2017 (Photo, right, from Cornucopia (5)

Cat’s food-shopping tips:

  • Produce: If you can afford Organic, it is highly recommended you choose Certified Organic or Organically-grown. If your budget is limited, see the Clean Dozen and Dirty Dozen food lists, below.
  • Red meats: Pasture/grass raised and finished, locally-raised livestock provide the most healthful meats; see also my posting Why ‘Pasture-Raised’ trumps ‘Organic’.
  • Poultry meats: Your best choice locally raised poultry, provided they have access to the outdoors; and not just a small door to the outdoors, but a door you can use, too. Chickens eat not only seeds but also insects, grubs and worms, and they need the sun for the sunshine vitamin, just like we do.
  • Eggs: Your best choice is eggs from poultry raised in similar way as for ‘poultry meats’ above.
  • Dairy: Buying from a local farmer (who keeps his/her dairy livestock in pasture) is highly recommended. Organic commercial milk is ultra-pasteurized and, in my opinion, ultra-damaged. See my article on Cat’s Kitchen: Raw Milk: A Real, Natural & Perfect Food, which has a discussion about the problems with ultra-pasteurized milk. If drinking raw milk is not for you, choose simply ‘pasteurized’ milk (HTST) from a local dairy, such as Kalispell Kreamery here in the Flathead Valley. See Food Safety & Pasteurization on The EssentiaList for a description of the various pasteurization types.
  • Cheese: This is a dairy food but I give it its own bullet because we have a great source of raw-milk cheeses in Montana: Lifeline brand, from Victor MT. There are also local brands that use simply-pasteurized milk to make their cheeses, such as Flathead Lake Cheese (2) in Polson, and Amaltheia Dairy (3) in Belgrade.
  • Avoid processed foods, even if they say ‘organic’ on the label, because unless they are Certified Organic, they will contain up to 15% non-organic ingredients most of which are GMO. See my posting: Natural vs Organic Labeling for more.

Buying Organic can be expensive, so if your food budget is limited, read on. (more…)

New CSA for 2017: Yellow Bay Gardens

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Yellow Bay Gardens flyer

by Catherine Haug, February 28, 2017; Updated March 2, 2017 (photo, right and below by Niko Jacobs)

A new CSA is in the works for the Bigfork/East Lake Shore area!  is adding a community supported agriculture (CSA) enterprise to their cherry and blueberry orchards. The CSA is owned by Wade and Shelli Riedesel of Yellow Bay Gardens. You may recognize the business name if you bought their blueberries at Bigfork Harvest Foods. They are located at the old Yellow Bay Store property on the East Shore of Flathead Lake (Hwy 35).

Their goal is to provide fresh, local and sustainably grown quality produce. They have added a vast garden and greenhouse for this purpose. While they are not certified Organic, they practice organic and sustainable methods to grow as naturally as possible.

Produce available for 19 weeks beginning mind-May through September.

(more…)

Kitchen Hint: Homemade laundry soap for HE (high-efficiency) washers

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Kirk’s Castile bar soap

By Catherine Haug, February 12, 2017 (image, right from Amazon (1))

Back in 2013 we had a gathering with Sheree Tompkins on Homemade Laundry Soap. Her recipe can be used in standard or HE (high-efficiency) washers because it is a low-suds recipe. This posting offers another HE option, from Wellness Mamma (2).

Like Sheree’s recipe, this one also requires grating a bar of real soap, such as Kirk’s Castile pictured above, Dr Bronner’s Pure Castile bar soap, homemade soap (see also Gathering Summary: Making Soap at Home, by Kathy Mansfield, January 26, 2011). Fels Naphtha is an old-fashioned option but has some questionable ingredients if you care about the environment.

Also included is Wellness Mamma’s borax-free laundry cleaner (two ingredients added separately to the washer). (more…)

Roundup, Paraquat herbicides lead to liver disease and Parkinson’s

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

By Catherine Haug, February 7, 2017

If you regularly eat processed foods (boxed, bagged, dried, fried, canned or frozen), or meats, dairy and eggs from livestock not raised Organically, you may have a risk for these diseases: (1)

  •  NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), which can lead to cirrhosis and increases likelihood of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes (from exposure to Roundup, (13))
  • Parkinson’s disease (from exposure to Paraquat, (2)).

This is another reason to avoid GMO foods. Read on for more. (more…)