Friday, November 21, 2008

The case for organic turkeys

Have you ever wondered where the 45 million turkeys consumed each year on Thanksgiving come from? Me neither, but with being sick this week and watching way to much TV, unfortunately I found out. Deciding to watch something educational or mind stimulating, I found a show called "How It's Made" on the Discovery Channel. I thought, "Great! I'll get to learn how something cool is made!" until I heard the the topic was turkeys. In an hour of way too much information on turkeys, here's what I learned:

  • The average life of a "farmed" turkey is 5 months.
  • Since the demand for turkey is so high, commercial turkey farms artificially inseminate all their female birds (who wants that job? And yes, they showed how it's done. Eeww.)
  • Females are allowed 1 hour to lay their eggs, then they are mechanically booted out of the cage to make room for the next bird.
  • Once the female lays her eggs, she is immediately inseminated again!
  • The eggs are packed up daily and taken to a hatching facility.
  • A hatching facility incubates 200,000 eggs a day and approximately 900,000 eggs are hatched in one week.
  • Chicks are kept in cages for almost a month before being sent to "the farm" where they will live out the rest of their short 5 month life.
  • Chicks follow humans around the farm trying to find their mothers (All I could think of was the children's book, "Are You My Mother?)
  • There are a series of 4 barns the turkeys will move through until they're ready to be "packaged." As far as conditions in the barns? Not that great.

Organically raised turkeys are usually free range and get lots of fresh air, real sunshine, and certified organic feed that is free of synthetic pesticides and antibiotics. Their diet of high quality grains and vegetable proteins also make for a tastier bird. Here's a great article from Bon Appetit magazine on choosing the right turkey for your thanksgiving meal. As far as what will be on our table this year? Well, after watching this program, we'll be having sushi.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not exactly the "me" time I was hoping for

Is the Doctor in? Yes, but she's sick. We have been passing sickness around this house for several weeks now, and just when my sweet child and hubby are feeling better, wham-o! Mommy gets it. Isn't that just wonderful? You're absolutely exhausted from taking care of everyone else and really need some "me" time, but what you get is...SICK. The house is a mess (haven't had much time to clean while playing Dr. Mom), the child's energy level is back to normal, and to top it all off it's MONDAY and I can barely get out of bed. Not exactly the "me" time I was hoping for.

Why does it take a sickness or injury to physically make us slow down? If we realized the importance of "me time" and taking better care of ourselves, maybe we would do it on a regular basis instead of waiting until we get sick. So today, while the laundry and grocery shopping desperately need to get done, I'll drag myself to the doctor, child in tow, which is always fun. Before I go, let me remind myself and others of the best six doctors I know, of whom I would much rather be seeing today:

The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they'll ease
Your will they'll mend
And charge you not a shilling.

~ Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Shoe Saga

Many of you are familiar with the antics of my dog, Lily, but did you know about her insatiable passion for cute shoes? Ever since she was a tiny puppy, Lily has thoroughly enjoyed chewing my shoes. Notice I said MY shoes? She could care less about hubby's or child's shoes, which are left lying around the house on a daily basis. I go out of my way to keep my shoes out of chewing reach, but somehow she always finds them. I remember one day I found her eating my absolute favorite pair, the shoes that I simply adored and so did everyone else (strangers would stop me to comment on those shoes!). I was upset for days, until I found another pair on Ebay. Brand new (which was surprising since the style was a couple of years old) and in my size! I convinced the seller to end the auction early and sell them to me. After reading my sob story, she agreed and sold me the shoes at quite a bargain price. Yes, we women really do understand the shoe thing.

I also have a favorite pair of slippers, a pair that I bought while very pregnant with my son, and they are the most comfortable pair of slippers I have every owned. I wore them in the hospital after a somewhat difficult childbirth, and even though I looked like heck, I had cute and comfy slippers so I didn't care. Shortly after Lily joined our family, my favorite slippers fell victim to her shoe fetish. I scolded her and immediately got on the computer to search for another pair. I found a black pair, which were not at great as the fabulous green color I had before, but beggars can't be choosers, right? Within a week I had my slippers back and things were good.

Fast forward to this morning, where I am now on my FOURTH PAIR of these dang slippers. Apparently Lily loves them as much as I do! It took me a bit longer to find them online this morning, but I did and ordered six pairs (just kidding). I guess the shoe saga will continue until she tires of chewing them, and since she's not even two yet, I have a feeling it's going to be a long hard road for me and my shoes.