June 22, 2012
Grass-fed bacon & eggs! Love you Down To Earth for your biodynamic food and to-my-doorstep delivery!

Grass-fed bacon & eggs! Love you Down To Earth for your biodynamic food and to-my-doorstep delivery!

7:02pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zs1qQyNuG3HE
  
Filed under: bacon food market 
June 19, 2012
Available from Down To Earth biodynamic farm this week! Place your orders (via email or phone) by tomorrow, Wednesday, to have their fresh products delivered to your doorstep Thursday to Saturday. I’ve tried their bacon, tapa, tocino, baby and micro veggies, pastured eggs, everything is wonderful and tasty. BTW Canadian bacon is not bacon from Canada, it’s still local pastured bacon, that’s just what they call the cut. :)

Available from Down To Earth biodynamic farm this week! Place your orders (via email or phone) by tomorrow, Wednesday, to have their fresh products delivered to your doorstep Thursday to Saturday. I’ve tried their bacon, tapa, tocino, baby and micro veggies, pastured eggs, everything is wonderful and tasty. BTW Canadian bacon is not bacon from Canada, it’s still local pastured bacon, that’s just what they call the cut. :)

9:25am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zs1qQyNg9-__
  
Filed under: food market 
June 4, 2012
Healthy grass-fed bacon delivered to my house by DownToEarth biodynamic farms! Cooked in honey and served with greens. I love that I can just email them my order and they will deliver to my doorstep, so convenient ^_^

Healthy grass-fed bacon delivered to my house by DownToEarth biodynamic farms! Cooked in honey and served with greens. I love that I can just email them my order and they will deliver to my doorstep, so convenient ^_^

11:40am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zs1qQyMjJ-V7
  
Filed under: food food diary market 
June 1, 2012
Christmas on my plate earlier! :p DownToEarth delivered fresh foods to my house today! You should totally check out their biodynamic range of yummy veggies, meat, and dairy products. They deliver within Metro Manila (minimum order of P1,000 if you don’t live near Makati I think). To-morrow I shall feast on grass-fed bacon breakfast!

Christmas on my plate earlier! :p DownToEarth delivered fresh foods to my house today! You should totally check out their biodynamic range of yummy veggies, meat, and dairy products. They deliver within Metro Manila (minimum order of P1,000 if you don’t live near Makati I think). To-morrow I shall feast on grass-fed bacon breakfast!

10:51pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zs1qQyMYCRu0
Filed under: food diary market 
May 28, 2012
How to feed a dozen hungry people for less than P2,500

Last weekend, our genius super “yaya” Ate Shirley singlehandedly planned, budgeted, and prepared a family lunch at our house for twelve people (seven adults and five kids). She only had some help from her assistant, Ate Elsa, during the actual cooking and serving.

We feasted on:
- Native Chicken BBQ *
- Native Chicken Tinola *
- Ginataang Manok (native chicken in coconut milk and spices) *
- Pork Dinuguan (pork blood stew — dear non-Pinoys, trust me this is delicious!) and Puto
- Large Shrimp in Butter, Garlic, and Lemon
- White Rice; of course, this is a Pinoy meal, and I’m the only one in my family who eats brown rice
- Fresh Buko Juice
- Pandan Water (place a pandan leaf in the pitcher)
- Homemade Turon
- Arce Dairy Cheese Ice Cream

* The only thing we didn’t have to buy was the native chicken and malunggay, which we already had.

Sorry I have no pictures of the feast, I was too busy feasting! Anyway, even though she regularly whips up this kind of gastronomic miracle for our family gatherings— I’m still amazed, every time, at how she manages to produce that amount of wonderful, delicious Filipino food, with that budget! I was still eating leftover tinola and shrimp for the next few days (leftovers are awesome with fried rice!). Ate Shirley’s shopping list looked something like this:

- Pork for dinuguan
- Hipon
- Gata
- Kangkong & petsay
- Cooking oil
- Cheese
- Dahon ng sibuyas
- Luya
- Celery
- Kintsay
- Bawang
- Sibuyas
- Calamansi
- Kamatis
- Tanglad
- Sili, green
- Leeks
- Saging saba
- Turon paper
= P1,500

- Buko, P300
- Ice cream, P410
- Butter, P90
= P800

TOTAL = P2,300

The most expensive items were the shrimp, pork, and ice cream. Lesson learned: if we eat Filipino foods with local ingredients, with a high veggies-to-meat ratio, and less processed foods, then we can eat sustainably and also affordably! :) Healthy eating definitely doesn’t have to be costly. (And even when it is, it will still cost less than healthcare bills in the long run.) Also, we are super lucky to have someone like Ate Shirley who is not only an awesome chef and trusted “mayordoma” of our household, but also occasionally our chauffeur! :))

1:41pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zs1qQyMHRNuW
  
Filed under: food food diary market 
April 30, 2012
See the difference in yolk color? When the yolk has a deep orange color, this indicates beta carotene content, which comes from a diet with plenty of vegetation. This means the chicken that laid that egg had a healthy life outdoors eating vegetable, grubs, and enjoying the sunshine. Pale colored yolk means the chicken probably lived indoors and had an unhealthy diet of grain only.

Down To Earth writes:

DowntoEarth poultry and eggs are native and pasture-raised. The reason why we choose native chicken and eggs is because the native breed cannot be confined. By nature, they cannot be placed inside cages as they are wild animals. They also cannot be kept together in enclosed quarters, as they fight other chickens/hens and have a tendency to fly. These chickens/hens have to be placed outdoors, given full access to vegetable and grubs, and be under sunshine. We have made several comparisons of native v. free-range v. commercial eggs and have seen a big difference in taste, color and consistency.

(via Pasture-raised v. Free-range Chickens « Our Farm by Earth Flora Inc.)

See the difference in yolk color? When the yolk has a deep orange color, this indicates beta carotene content, which comes from a diet with plenty of vegetation. This means the chicken that laid that egg had a healthy life outdoors eating vegetable, grubs, and enjoying the sunshine. Pale colored yolk means the chicken probably lived indoors and had an unhealthy diet of grain only.

Down To Earth writes:

DowntoEarth poultry and eggs are native and pasture-raised. The reason why we choose native chicken and eggs is because the native breed cannot be confined. By nature, they cannot be placed inside cages as they are wild animals. They also cannot be kept together in enclosed quarters, as they fight other chickens/hens and have a tendency to fly. These chickens/hens have to be placed outdoors, given full access to vegetable and grubs, and be under sunshine. We have made several comparisons of native v. free-range v. commercial eggs and have seen a big difference in taste, color and consistency.

(via Pasture-raised v. Free-range Chickens « Our Farm by Earth Flora Inc.)

12:36pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zs1qQyKbfZHx
  
Filed under: research food market 
April 25, 2012
Last Saturday JM & I had this super awesome grass-fed bacon burger by Down To Earth at the Salcedo Market.

First off, that burger was super yummy and I love bacon and I love eating guilt-free bacon that came from happy healthy pastured piggies! :D

Down To Earth practices “biodynamic” agriculture— they nurture the health of the soil and ensure the happiness of their plants and animals! Here’s what they have to say regarding their farming practices (excerpts from their website):

"Our farm is one of a few biodynamic farms in the Philippines. We grow our DownToEarth products sustainably: growing flowers, vegetables, herbs without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides,  fungicides, herbicides; and raising all our hens, chickens, pigs and cows without antibiotics or growth hormones. We take great care of our soil and see our farm, the plants and animals, the earth and the cosmos, including our farmers, as a unified ecosystem.  We practice composting, crop rotation, cover cropping, ecological pest management and follow a biodynamic sowing calendar. Aside from practiciing biodynamic and sustainable agriculture, our farm encourages careful water use, energy saving initiatives, waste management and product packaging minimization.  Alongside organic and biodynamic practices, we follow natural (local and native) methods that build our soil fertility, while protecting our air, water and wildlife.

As in organic farming, there is no use of chemicals, pesticides or fungicides.  However, biodynamics goes beyond organic farming.  It treats the soil as a living organism and ensures the health of the soil at all times.  Thus, biodynamic farming looks at the farm in terms of forces that affect the soil and the farm, processes that go into farming, rather than just the substances that are put into the soil or plants. Biodynamic agriculture makes use of compost (manure from animals already in the farm), cover cropping, ecological pest management, and special preparations that revitalize life forces, stimulate the roots and help in the production of soil microorganisms and humus. These preparations are homeopathic substances made from herbs, minerals, plant and animal, at very minuscule portions. Aside from the special preparations, Biodynamic agriculture follows daily, monthly and seasonal patterns of nature, such as the phases of the moon for sowing, fertilizing and harvesting.”

According to their Frequently Asked Questions they deliver! I should try that soon. :) But you can also just go to their stall at the Salcedo Saturday Market. Check out what’s available at their shop this week. ^_^

Last Saturday JM & I had this super awesome grass-fed bacon burger by Down To Earth at the Salcedo Market.

First off, that burger was super yummy and I love bacon and I love eating guilt-free bacon that came from happy healthy pastured piggies! :D

Down To Earth practices “biodynamic” agriculture— they nurture the health of the soil and ensure the happiness of their plants and animals! Here’s what they have to say regarding their farming practices (excerpts from their website):

"Our farm is one of a few biodynamic farms in the Philippines. We grow our DownToEarth products sustainably: growing flowers, vegetables, herbs without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides; and raising all our hens, chickens, pigs and cows without antibiotics or growth hormones. We take great care of our soil and see our farm, the plants and animals, the earth and the cosmos, including our farmers, as a unified ecosystem. We practice composting, crop rotation, cover cropping, ecological pest management and follow a biodynamic sowing calendar. Aside from practiciing biodynamic and sustainable agriculture, our farm encourages careful water use, energy saving initiatives, waste management and product packaging minimization. Alongside organic and biodynamic practices, we follow natural (local and native) methods that build our soil fertility, while protecting our air, water and wildlife.

As in organic farming, there is no use of chemicals, pesticides or fungicides. However, biodynamics goes beyond organic farming. It treats the soil as a living organism and ensures the health of the soil at all times. Thus, biodynamic farming looks at the farm in terms of forces that affect the soil and the farm, processes that go into farming, rather than just the substances that are put into the soil or plants. Biodynamic agriculture makes use of compost (manure from animals already in the farm), cover cropping, ecological pest management, and special preparations that revitalize life forces, stimulate the roots and help in the production of soil microorganisms and humus. These preparations are homeopathic substances made from herbs, minerals, plant and animal, at very minuscule portions. Aside from the special preparations, Biodynamic agriculture follows daily, monthly and seasonal patterns of nature, such as the phases of the moon for sowing, fertilizing and harvesting.”

According to their Frequently Asked Questions they deliver! I should try that soon. :) But you can also just go to their stall at the Salcedo Saturday Market. Check out what’s available at their shop this week. ^_^

10:10pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zs1qQyKIL5Z_
  
Filed under: food market bacon 
April 30, 2011

Join me in my quest to learn more about the plants and animals that will eventually end up in my tummy! :D

Thank you so much to Farmer Obet and Jenny for showing me around the farm, to Peaches for helping me film this video blog, and to Joy for guesting in the video. :)

In summary, Herb Republic farm practices sustainable agriculture using nutrient cycling and probiotics.
They grow organic veggies and herbs, and raise livestock such as chickens and pigs.
The livestock are not free range, but they are kept in comfortable open-air pens with adequate space and coconut husk bedding (which becomes plant fertilizer after the animals are done with it). They are fed a mix of commercial corn feed (but with zero antibiotics), organic veggies, and probiotics.

Farmer Obet plans to gradually convert the animal feed to 100% organic veggies and probiotics. He created the probiotics himself, and actually sells this to other farms as a bottled product called “la’amoy” because it keeps the plants and animals healthy while also removing bad odors. It’s true— their chickens and pigs had no bad smells! :) They’ve even used this product on stagnant floodwaters to kill disease-causing pathogens and remove bad odors.

I will be happily participating in their very cute “Adopt-A-Hen”program, which I’ve described in this video blog! ^_^ I’m really looking forward to consuming food while knowing where exactly it came from, who grew it, and how. ❤★

Relevant links:
Herb Republic
My Trader Juan
Adopt-A-Hen program at Herb Republic Farm
A really awesome essay about mankind’s relationship with microbes
Michael Pollan’s articles and resources related to sustainable agriculture

January 6, 2011
Update: Human Nature mineral makeup particles are sized at 2 to 7 microns.

Received email reply from Human Nature regarding their "Love Minerals" mineral makeup that I reviewed, email January 5 2011:

"As per advise from our Product Development Head, the average particle size of our finest raw materials is 2-7 microns."

Thank you again, Monique at Human Nature! 2-7 microns sounds alright. The health risks I know of apply to particles at 2.5 microns and below (based on my previous update here). I would therefore classify Human Nature mineral makeup as relatively low-risk.

So as a reminder: When it comes to mineral makeup, or any powder product for that matter, it’s not just the toxicity of the ingredients that you have to look into. It’s also the size of the powder particles. Terms like “micronized” and “nano particles” are being used liberally these days so better ask specifically: what is the micron size? Particles 2.5 microns and below can get stuck in your lungs and cause permanent problems. But of course— if it’s a toxic ingredient to begin with, stay away from it regardless of particle size. ;) Cheers!

9:21pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zs1qQy2SLP3q
  
Filed under: products market review 
January 6, 2011

Anonymous asked: Rustan's along Katipunan (in front of Ateneo) has organic chicken and pork too! Saw organic shampoo and conditioner also. Brands are Avalon and Neolia.

Thank you so much! I am updating The Map now :D

As for Avalon and Neolia products, Avalon seems to be partially organic; Neolia not really. I searched for the ingredients online, here’s a sampling:

Avalon official website says, “Made with 70% Organic Content”.
Avalon ROSEMARY Volumizing Shampoo Ingredients:
Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice(1), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract(1), Dioscorea Villosa (Wild Yam) Root Extract(1), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract(1), Styrax Benzoin Resin Extract, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Copaifera Officinalis (Balsam Copaiba) Resin, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Seed Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil(1), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil(1), Arginine, Bisabolol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Sodium Citrate, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Alcohol(1), Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Coumarin, Limonene, Linalool.
(1)Certified Organic Ingredient

Source: Official webpage, accessed today.

Neolia official website does not make any claims about being organic, only that their products “contain 100% Italian extra virgin olive oil”.
Neolia Olive Oil Body Lotion:
Aqua, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Cetearyl Acohol, Ceteareth-20, Cetyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Polyacrylamide, Isoparafin C13-C14, Laureth-7, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Gel, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaen, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben.
Sources: Blog review and Cosmetic DNA analysis, accessed today.
Note the parabens and fragrance in the ingredients list!

So when evaluating products that claim to be “organic” or “natural”, do be sure to check out the ingredients list, and see the company’s official statement on what they consider to be “organic” or “natural”. I don’t think we have any real legislation in place that regulates the use of these terms in advertising… and even if we do, it’s not really enforced.

Furthermore— also try to support locally made products as these do not carry the (often unaccounted for) cost of fossil fuel transportation across the oceans ;)

Ask or tell me anything.