Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Purple carrots

So here we are back in the country, and that means that when you get hungry at about 1 o'clock, you have to magic up some lunch from what's in the fridge. No nipping out to Hale and Hearty for a scrummy thing of soup and a fancy cake.

The cupboard was looking pretty bare, but I found some purple organic heirloom carrots in the fridge from Willy Nelson over at River Brook farm (our friend Paul said everything at River Brook is funny colours - pink potatoes, purple carrots, white tomatoes...), and decided to make curried carrot soup with them. Felt very resourceful and Nigella-esque - until my 6-year old blender decided to deposit most of it on the floor. Salvaged it somehow (alright, with a potato masher) and it ended up being edible, if a little redolent of mashed-up watery carrots.

But the flavour was hardly the point. This soup had a) saved me at least $7 (soup for two from chi-chi lunch joint: <$10; bag of hippy carrots: $3), b) saved the planet from pesticide contamination and c) contributed two less plastic (or cardboard) take-out containers to landfill. In fact, if we lived here for a year and I made soup instead of buying it every weekday lunch, that'd be 261 fewer plastic containers. Double that for the hubby and we're up to 522 - not to mention the paper baggies and the 522 annoying plastic utensil packets - aargh, and now I'm imagining all that multiplied by the six years I worked in Manhattan; or what about multiplied by all the readers of this blog (of course there are....several); not to even contemplate what you get to once you've added all those Thai and Sushi evening deliveries, and I'm looking at...well, the whole of Milanville would be shoulder-deep in waste. Oh, I have been so naughty, if I could take back all those plastic containers I would, but now they're all filling up a landfill site already and it's too late! I thought the only reason to look like a saddo and bring your own lunch was to save cash but I promise that if I do end up going back to work in January I shall bring my lunch with me as often as possible and positively flaunt it in my colleagues' faces as a badge of my eco-friendliness.

Ahem, anyway, so my point is, this was carrot soup for the soul.

And later, checking out a link sent to me by the lovely Courtney, I became even happier about the organic carrots. This site has a chart of the relative toxicity of different non-organic fruits and veg so that if you're a bit skint, or you're faced with a supermarket like the ones up here where there's no choice, you can at least pick the lesser of the evils. Carrots, it seems, are #13 on the list of the most toxic fruits and vegetables you can eat if not organic, so in fact I'd done me and Dot another favour. Hurrah!

Of course the bad news is that clocking in at numbers 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8 respectively are peaches, nectarines, strawberries, cherries and pears. Guess what yours truly literally gorged on the non-organic-but-highly-appealing Citeralla versions of while pregnant with Dot this summer....

This happy little tome then goes on to say:

There is growing consensus in the scientific community that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can adversely affect people, especially during vulnerable periods of fetal development and childhood when exposures can have long lasting effects.
Oh Dottie, Mummy is very, very sorry.

This is all too depressing. I'm off to reset the mousetrap (what, you didn't think I'd forget, did you?)(and actually, make that 'rebuild' - guess who dismantled the previous incarnation and of course hasn't stuffed up the hole behind the cooker?) and then to bed to toss and turn with angst. Oh my god, I just heard a mouse skittering across the floor overhead. Really. Right, this time I mean business...

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At 11:37 PM , Blogger bucket said...

I enjoyed reading your blog, wish you and dot the best of luck, the planet needs you!


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