Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Plans of Two Leading Ladies.

I chose this sexy picture of Alicia Silverstone because I know that the folks at PeTA don't care about copyright infringement. And because it's a well composed photo? O.k. so my feminist mind knows that this is questionable. Please forgive me.

I have a thing for Alicia Silverstone. Ever since her leading role in the 90s film classic “Clueless” I have had eyes for her. Kerri doesn’t seem to mind, as she knows that nothing will ever come of it, but when I suggest inviting Alicia to our book release party Kerri’s eyes burn with anger. Not because she’s jealous, but because she’s worried that I might actually do it. While I joke about having a thing for Alicia, my track record for actually attempting goofy stuff is pretty strong.

However, lately its been Kerri who has been talking a lot about Ms. Silverstone. See, like us, Alicia is vegan, and luckily for us she just released a new book called “The Kind Diet”. In it, Silverstone outlines her idea of a superhero meal plan, and for the last couple of weeks Kerri has been experimenting with several concoctions from this New York Times bestseller. Upon first glance it is obvious that her plan is unlike other trendy diet books.

I mean, really, who eats miso soup and collard greens for breakfast?

While many of the meals call for expensive ingredients that are outrageous given our thrifty approach to eating, there are several items that we will continue to make. Like pumpkin seeds toasted with soy sauce as a quick snack, and the krispy brown rice treats made with brown rice syrup and peanut butter for dessert (easy and terribly addicting).

And today, I would have readily traded my oatmeal for some miso and greens topped with ume plum vinegar, or some fried mochi. While we have yet to make a lot of Alicia’s recipes, our time trying out these new meals was well spent, and we’re finally getting to the end of the fresh vegetables that overstocked our fridge; I don’t think I’d ever seen so many plants in there before. Additionally, Alicia has launched a Web site to accompany the growing community of folks who are looking to eat a healthy, and considered diet.

Some of these healthful meals would be perfect for families, and might even be of use for those looking to curb childhood obesity. People like first lady Michelle Obama.

This leading lady has decided to start a national initiative on the issue, and we couldn’t be more pleased. These efforts are absolutely essential, especially now that companies can legally line the pockets of politicians, which might just lead to a political landscape where even more power is wielded  by private economic interests instead of by the will of the people. Just a thought. Maybe the Supreme Court was having a “clueless” moment.

So this week we commend the plans of these two leading ladies, and give a huge thumbs down to the Supreme Court’s decision regarding corporate influence.

Only nine more days until the book comes out. Pre-order now by clicking a link on the right!

– Christopher

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From Our Home to Yours.

Hello everyone. Please enjoy this new video…pre-recorded from our living room.

Warmly,

Christopher & Kerri

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I Have a Dream for Haiti

“The curse of poverty has no justification in our age.” – Martin Luther King Jr., from “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” (1967)

While many remember King for his “I have a dream” speech, and others idolize him as a symbol for racial equality, one of the less canonized memories of this man was his commitment to ending poverty. At the time of his death, King was in the middle of sending black leaders into the communities hit hardest by economic misfortune in order to start programs that would lift people up.

King understood that the problems inherent in racism were also central to poverty; that race and class were fundamentally intertwined. He knew that he could not make progress on one front without trying to make progress on the other. Yet, while there has been marked progress in both areas, things are nowhere near where they could be.

In our upcoming book, we write about both these issues. We talk a lot about the level of privilege that has been afforded to us on the basis of our skin color, and because of our economic upbringing. We recognize that these factors play a crucial role in our own self-actualization, and that in all likelihood  we would not be as successful as we are if we had been born poor, or black, or latino, etc. We write about the access to food in more diverse communities, and the struggles that people face when looking to work their way out of poverty.

We have written about these issues because we have a responsibility to raise our voices for those who cannot. As people with privilege, we have the means and therefore the responsibility to advocate for others, which is why we often call upon our readers to do whatever they can to help those without. And we will do so again, and again, and again.

This past week the horrors unfolding in Haiti have brought us yet another opportunity to stand up and lend a hand. In addition to worrying about which football team is or isn’t heading to the playoffs, please, spend some time (and money) worrying about the people who have the least, and who have been hit the hardest. The differences between football and disaster are many, but with Haiti, you can actually do something about it. I can think of no better way for all of us to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.

– Christopher

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One Month from Today.

The silverback (male leader) of the Habinyanja gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable forest (in the mountains of southwestern Uganda) looks on as we sit with his 18 member family. Photo by Kerri Leonard.

We’re back from our trip, and as we continue to revel in the wonderful memories from our adventures (like sitting with gorillas in the mountains of southwestern Uganda), we’re also shifting gears and getting ready for the release of our book. So, we’re spending the weekend getting some recipes, lesson plans, and plenty of other extras ready for our new Web site (which will launch soon). If you haven’t done so yet, please click on the link and pre-order your copy of “On a Dollar a Day: One Couple’s Unlikely Adventures Eating in America“.

However, even though we’re hard at work, I couldn’t help but feel the need to post about some odd food news that came across my desktop yesterday.

In a study  released earlier this week from the International Journal of Food Microbiology, beverages from fountain machines, like the kind you fill your cup with at fast food joints, could very well be squirting out fecal matter with your drink. That’s right, fecal matter. The research looked at 90 drinks from 30 different soda machines in Virginia and 48 percent contained colriform bacteria, or fecal matter.

“More than 11% of the beverages analyzed contained Escherichia coli and over 17% contained Chryseobacterium meningosepticum,” according to the abstract of the study. “Other opportunistic pathogenic microorganisms isolated from the beverages included species of Klebsiella, Staphylococcus, Stenotrophomonas, Candida, and Serratia.”

While the concentrations of these contaminants weren’t strong enough to hurt most people’s systems, the mix of bacteria, whose origins are entirely unclear (even to the researchers), is enough to keep me from drinking from these machines for a little while. I don’t drink soda very often anyway, but this is even more reason not to.

Have a wonderful weekend.

– Christopher

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