Focus: food

A few gems recently arrived in my mailbox.

Never mind the sawdust – as I said; we’re renovating…

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a year of food life by Barbara Kingsolver. I first heard about Barbara Kingsolver through Therese’s blog earth and living. After checking Kingsolver ( I actually thought her name was KingsLOVER up until now… Wouldn’t that be more fun?) out on Amazon I just knew I had to read her books. And this one will be the first. I’ve just skimmed through the index and read a few sentences here and there… Have to finish the one (ehm …three…) books I’m already reading first. Oh my, I cannot wait to sink my teeth into this book… It’s mainly about when her family moved to a farm and decided to become locavores; eating only locally grown food and growing as much of it themselves as possible. The book even has recipes and facts about different issues regarding food and food production, although it is essentially the story of her family’s journey and thoughts. I even love the book itself; the paper was nice, the cover was beautiful and textured, it was perfectly bendy, the whole feel of the book, the paper, the print – it’s just perfect. Yes, I kind of have a book fetish.

The other book is Seed to Seed: seed saving and growing techniques for vegetable gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth. It’s a very straightforward and good book about saving seeds. Good winter reading, because next spring will be my first attempt to grow a larger amount of vegetables. And seed saving is so important, so fragile, so magical and for most of us: a lost art. Something that everyone had to know and learn in order to survive just a few hundred years (or maybe even decades) ago; - today it is a professionalized and institutionalized craft that just a few people know much about.

And the dvd is The Future of Food by Deborah Koons. The first time I saw this film was at a permaculture course in England in 2006. The film “offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade.” And it seems that it’s maybe just a matter of time before these foods will quietly fill our shelves as well. Theoretically there are almost no GMO foods in Norwegian grocery stores. Rules are strict, and the chains generally don’t want to sell it and customers don’t want to buy it. Thank God(ess). But still; almost half the food samples being analyzed by the veterinary institute has GMO. And now our politicians wonder about allowing two types of GMO corn (link in Norwegian) after recommendations from scientists… This film is full of facts and numbers, and might feel a bit heavy from time to time, but it really is a mindblowing, shocking and eyeopening ride.



...that’s what this blog is at the moment. Between the breastfeeding, diaper changing (and washing…), and the craziness of renovating our house (one wall at the time…) and just living, it’s just not at the top of my priority list. I felt a strange urge to just delete this whole blog (and start another one…*sigh*), but I’m going to give it another chance. I have a long history of starting new projects and not finishing or keeping up, so maybe I’ll just accept that I cannot write a post every day or even weekly at the moment. It’s just how it is, but it still is. I also felt like writing in Norwegian again, because sometimes writing in English takes a bit longer and I catch my self using it as another excuse to neglect this blog…

But here we are. Or I am at least.

I just came back from the library with two books that I’m expecting quite a lot from. They are both in the category I ironically describe as “things I don’t want to know” – as in “ignorance is bliss”. One is written by a Norwegian educationalist, researcher and writer; Erik Sigsgaard and is called “Kjeft Mindre – Historier om oppdragelse”, or in English… something like Yell/scold Less – Stories about upbringing”. I have a 5yo and I have a bad temper. Nuf’ said. I need that book.

The other one is written by a Danish family who turned their life around completely after living many years on a bad diet and a life full of toxins and chemicals. They have raised quite a stir in Denmark and a bit of discussion in Norway as well with their books and advice about food. Basically they recommend a diet free of milk, gluten, sugar, “fast” carbohydrates and artificial stuff/E-numbers/food additives among other things. Their book is called “Kjernesunn Familie” in Norwegian. Kjerne = Core. Sunn = Healthy. Familie = Family. You get the picture. I need this book as well. We need it. Too much pasta, too much additives, sugar and stuff that really does no good to our health either physically or mentally.

Driving home with T. (the 5yo) this evening; “mama, I want ice cream”! Me – trying to explain why she cannot have ice cream every day. She – having a total breakdown in the backseat because of it; not giving a damn (pardon the French) about my logic explanations of course. So I stopped at the grocery store and bought some fruit and we went home and made our own ice cream. Version one – Black currants from the garden, a dash of organic soy milk and a teaspoon or two of xylitol ("Bjørkesøt" -instead of sugar; made from the birch tree). Version two – Banana and soy milk. Version three – mango. They are in the freezer at the moment. Quite an experiment. I hope she likes it – at least she enjoyed making them.

And I’m making “jam”;- soaking organic dried apricots. Tomorrow I’ll probably boil them for a few seconds, and then throw them in the blender. Voilá – organic apricot jam – no sugar. Did you know that most “conventional” dried apricots are treated with sulphur to keep the colour orange? Buy organic brown apricots. Apricots do not stay orange when they’re dried…

PS. I just love the library. What an amazing public service. Libraries make me happy, and proud and humble somehow.