Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Mussels, Beans and Two Veg, anyone?

Borlotti beans grown by yours truly

Alarming information from the BBC (article by Roger Harrabin) and others about greenhouse gas emissions arising from eating meat.

This has of course been known for some time. We're (we = humans) still eating meat, of course, and craving for more, it would seem. Meanwhile, the ice is melting, the sea is rising and getting warmer and all those nasty things are brewing which will make life much more difficult for us all ( = humans and most other creatures).

Are there any solutions, apart form turning the whole Earth into some sort of intensive meat production farm, producing bionic bovines emitting less methane, or searching for a laboratory produced artificial meat solution to satisfy our craving?

There are indeed, and one of them is to eat much less of the stuff. That is, if you are not completely disgusted by the thought that meat is, after all, the flesh of an animal which we have wilfully killed or had killed in order to eat it, and decide to not eat any at all.

I like my meat as much as the next human but it is not difficult at all to eat much less of it. Think of it as a treat and not a necessity; eat other things which are just as good for you (beans and pulses come to mind).

Eating something meaty and nice once a week, using the leftovers and gorging on vegetables, beans, peas, potatoes etc etc the rest of the time is also good for your personal health.

Add a few mussels (which require practically no input to produce a delicious meaty/fishy treat and store carbon in their shells) or other low impact shellfish and you have the sort of diet which will make you look ten years younger and about which you can be smug to your meat-eating friends who are destroying the Earth.

Give it a go.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Unexpected Visitors

One of the visiting Toads

We had unexpected visitors to our small garden recently.

Having decided long ago to turn this small space into a haven for wild plants and any creatures who might want to come along we felt elated when two toads dropped in one evening after sunset.

These are quite rare creatures around this part of London. It was therefore a joy to see them, and also a vindication for the unkempt (to some eyes) look of the garden.

Perhaps we shall also dig a small pond here as well. One is already planned for the allotment, and I will be digging this out in the autumn.

Ponds (even tiny ones) make small spaces even more attractive to different wild creatures.  We already see damsel flies and the odd dragonfly here even though we have no standing water, so the addition of a pond would be a benefit to these and other animals.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Everyday Drinkers (11)

I have recently been drinking (I feel like that character in the Fast Show played by Simon Day writing this) 2013 Côtes-du-Rhônes and have found them very agreeable.

Priced from £3.99 they offer exceptionally good value and are soft and fruity. Served slightly chilled they go down well with anything you care to mention and disappear disconcertingly quickly.

As to how the wine can sell for this sort of price, suffice it to say that these are bulk wines produced in vast quantities by co-ops all down the Rhône Valley.  In good years they are all very drinkable, made from reliable Grenache and Syrah cropped heavily, sometimes too heavily. This explains why some years too much wine is chasing too few buyers and why we as drinkers should take advantage while we can.

This particular bottle is on sale at a well known retailer, and originates from the Cellier des Dauphins in Tulette, with an ABV of 12.5%.