Recommended Documentary: Recipes for Disaster


In Finish it is called “Katastrofin aineksia

Concerned about the world’s addiction to oil, and its disastrous environmental consequences for the planet such as global warming, the filmmaker convinces his family to go on an “oil diet” for one year to reduce their carbon footprint. Aiming to reduce their contribution to greenhouse gases, Webster-if not his wife and two young sons, who are very reluctant participants-is eager to learn from their experiment and becomes a man on a mission.

Revealing the personal difficulties involved in making such a radical change in lifestyle, and the surprising extent to which petroleum-based products figure in our everyday lives, including home heating and electricity, transportation, food, plastic products and packaging, clothing, even toothpaste, lipstick and shampoo.

The movie is mostly in English, however the wife is more reluctant to speak in English so she is in her native tongue Finnish. I am on the hunt for a version with English subtitles and will post back when one is found. This video is extremely hard to find anywhere online, let me know if you come across one with English-subs. I found a version with Swedish (close to Norwegian) subtitles, and could follow along enough in the non-English parts.

Herbs


Store Bought Herbs

Store bought is not the end of the world, but we can not all have a large garden and don’t always have access to all types – however as Jamie mentions in the video above, a simple windowsill is enough. But if you are going to buy in the store from the bottle, you should make sure to give them the longest life possible. Make sure the cap is always secured tightly. Do not store your dried herbs above the stove, this is a common mistake. The humidity will make there way in an cause clumping or spoil them. There is noting sadder the opening up the basil and it not smelling like anything.


Fresh Herbs / Homegrown

Washing Herbs

Even though you are growing your own herbs, does not mean that bugs do not touch them or that they do not get dirt on them – especially if they are being grown outside. Washing your herbs before storing them, if they need it, will help extend there lifespan. Take a large bowl filled with cold water, submerge your herbs in the water and stir them abit. Take the herbs out and pat dry with towels, then use them for you cooking that day or store them for later. Remember that moist herbs – moister then they are naturally (ie. the ones you have just washed) are prone to mold and rot, make sure you leave them spread out to dry toughly when you are done washing them.

Storing

Herbs should be stored in an air-tight container. Since we are avoiding one use plastic, then a glass jar is a great option here. Store herbs whole, then when you are ready to use them you can crush or chop them. Make sure when you put them away they are out of the sunlight and in a cool dry place. Most properly dried herbs should last one year – however if you notice they are loosing their color, that is a good indicator they are going bad. When using herbs, one teaspoon dried is equivalent to one tablespoon fresh.

Drying

The best way to dryherbs is to air-dry them. This slow process allows them to keep there oils. This process works best with herbs that don’t have a high moisture content, like Bay, Dill, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Summer Savory and Thyme. Moisture dense herbs like Basil, Chives, Mint, Tarragon preserve better in a dehydrator. if you can, never use the oven or microwave to dry herbs.. this damages them.

Freezing Herbs

If you have grown to much thyme for example, it is a herb that freezes well. Put the thyme, stem and all, in a freezer bag and it should last up to 6 months in the freezer. Same thing for rosemary, parsley, dill, basil, and cilantro: pull of the leaves and chop them up – coat with olive oil and place in freezer bag. Moisture dense herbs like the ones listed above, do much better when frozen then dry ones. I have heard of people freezing them in ice cube trays – then when you need some, you are able to get a small portion.

Recommended Documentary: Who Killed the Electric Car?

Who Killed the Electric Car? is a 2006 documentary film that explores the creation, limited commercialization, and subsequent destruction of the battery electric vehicle in the United States, specifically the General Motors EV1 of the mid 1990s. The film explores the roles of automobile manufacturers, the oil industry, the US government, the Californian government, batteries, hydrogen vehicles, and consumers in limiting the development and adoption of this technology.

The film deals with the history of the electric car, its modern development, and commercialization. The film focuses primarily on the General Motors EV1, which was made available for lease mainly in Southern California, after the California Air Resources Board passed the Zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate in 1990 to combat urban air pollution. Nearly 5000 electric cars were designed and manufactured by GM, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Nissan, and Chrysler; and then later destroyed . Also discussed are the implications of the events depicted for air pollution, oil dependency, Middle East politics, and global warming. [wiki]