I finished Steve Martin's book "Shopgirl" last night. Not great. Felt anticlimactic, to me, but it just wasn't my kind of book from the get-go.
Now I'm reading a new book. I'm on page 33 of 394, I think. A long way to go, but already tons of info. It's called "Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World" It is about protecting our environment and health, and the different ways we can do that. This book talks about global warming, greenhouse gases, water and air pollution, health hazards from everyday chemicals... sounded overwhelming and depressing when I first started reading, but it has already given me tips on how to prevent some of these things, and things to watch for. I already feel more informed. For instance, on page 27 I read that a vendor can give his livestock as little as five minutes of fresh air and still call it "free range". I thought "free range chicken" was as good as organic... totally not so. The USDA is very vigilant in it's "organic" labeling, though. If it says "100 % organic" labeled by the USDA, then they've thoroughly checked it and it is. If a food item says "contains organic" peas or tomatoes, then those things are organic, but not other things in it. I've also learned that there is no governing body that decides if something is "biodegradable", "natural ingredients" or "hypoallergenic" so the company can put those on it if they want to... even if it isn't. Obviously, if it says caution, warning, danger, or poison, that's a signal.
A few sites I found interesting lately, some of which were mentioned in this book (none are meant to offend, just to be a link to information if any reader is interested...):
- Green-e "Look for the logo and reduce your impact"
- Organic Consumers Association
- Scientific Certification Systems
- Forest Stewardship Council
- Humane Farm Animal Care
- Leaping Bunny lists cosmetics that are cruelty free
- msc.org which shows where you can get seafood
- This one I got from an environmental blog. It's a bit graphic, although cartoons. I am a meat-eater, not a vegetarian, but I want my meat to come from somewhere other than this... so I'm a more informed consumer, after seeing this: http://www.themeatrix.com/
- USDA consumer home where there is information on certified organic products