Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Got Milk?: Part Two

Glistening bodies, costumes, hair blowing in the wind. Athletes, celebrities, musicians, even superheroes.  All have worn the infamous white mustache for the “Got Milk?” commercials.
After receiving a piece of mail, at work, from the Washington State Dairy Council and attempting to gain a greater understanding of why the Dairy Association pushes milk products on the general population; I began writing this series.  I began by looking at the contrast in what the dairy industry presents as “normal” and what actually happens on dairy farms around the country (Read Got Milk?: Part 1).   In this next portion of the series I wanted to take a closer look at how the Dairy Association markets dairy products.

So how do you create an iconic image of a product?  You pull together celebrities, throw billions of dollars in and add a dash of media attention and these iconic images have become as recognizable as any other leading brand name product.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Got Milk?: Part 1

I work at a Waldorf School.  We are dairy free, except for eggs; we do not serve meat; we only buy organic produce and products; we do not use processed food or meals, rather everything is prepared at the school by our wonderful cook and kindergarten teachers.  It was very odd then to receive a catalog in the mail this past week from the Washington State Dairy Council.

As soon as I opened the envelope I called our director of admissions and stated, “We just received something very creepy in the mail today.”

Back in graduate school I took a class on Animals and Ethics, where I learned more about the fates of animals used in the dairy industry.  I had learned about the atrocities committed against dairy animals prior to taking the class and had worked to purchase milk, eggs, cheese, ice cream, butter, yogurt and other dairy products, from places where the animals were treated humanely; fed a proper diet that was not laden with GMO (genetically modified organism) corn and soy; and had high ethical standards.  What I had not really thought about was how heavily the USDA pushes the propaganda of NEEDING to consume dairy products.  When I realized humans are the only species on this planet that drinks another animals’ milk after they have been weaned themselves, I was disgusted.  When you stop and think about it, the idea is pretty nasty.  For myself I choose to only use milk in cooking; however, I do use and consume – cheese, butter, ice cream, Greek yogurt, and eggs on a fairly regular basis.  But the idea that yet another product is being used to make money for corporations is highly disturbing.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year's Eve Dinner

The theme recently seems to be talking about holiday meals – Thanksgiving and Christmas and now New Year’s Eve. Beef also seems to be the other theme, or at least some type of faux beef. An even bigger theme has been creating non-GMO (genetically modified organism) meals.  Thanksgiving was turkey – non-GMO grain, free range and purchased from a local farm; squash casserole – modified to not use any GE (genetically engineered) ingredients or products from companies who do not support the labeling of GE food.  Christmas dinner was Almost Beef Wellington and included only one GE ingredient from a company who does not support GE labeling.  It felt somewhat defeating, but I was pleased with the results and everyone else was as well!  For our last meal I decided to make Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon for our New Year’s Eve dinner.  All locally sourced ingredients, made from scratch and supporting locally companies as much as possible.  The beef was purchased from Bill the Butcher and was the most amazing beef!  The results… Divine!  Here’s the step-by-step process…

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Making of Marshmallows

I wanted to do something homemade for Christmas gifts this year, but also something food related as these last few years have been an intense food journey for me and I wanted to create something celebratory and comforting.  I thought of all the hot drinks and soup we consume during the cold, dark winter months and settled on giving a mug, hot chocolate mix and homemade marshmallows.

Mugs were easy!  Some discounted stacker mugs from Cost Plus World Market; several personalized mugs for those whom I found the perfect design for; hand-stamped and written tags for directions from my scrapbooking supplies; and the first step was completed.

To make the little baggies of hot chocolate drink mix, I used Lake Champlain’s traditional hot chocolate mix. Three tablespoons per baggie and the baggies were purchased at local craft store, Ben Franklin Crafts.