from Marisa about the Gulf oil spill.

Posted by on May 18, 2010 in Food for thought, gardens, news and happenings | 1 comment

Inviting all Voices, Hearts and Minds ≈ for the Restoration of the Gulf

I received this letter from a dear friend via email and want to share this with you. I don’t know Marisa but I appreciate her. Part of our job as the care-takers of children is to act with diligence to do our part in making the world a better place. Our children learn how to problem solve while watching what we do. What follows from Marisa is an invitation to think positively, to be hopeful and intentional. Only good things can come of it. Let us do great things together.


Hello from Marisa!

In response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico currently devastating the ecosystem and all forms of life, many have felt the call to join with others to use the well-known power of positive group intention to transform the situation. The unprecedented scope of this disaster, however, clearly calls for a response of similar proportion.

Unity Wave was born in recognition of the need for an unprecedented response to coordinate a world-wide, synchronized, outpouring of conscious intention. This coherent global effort will synchronize, amplify and focus the waves of intention generated by the separate events already independently taking place. This in turn will activate the tremendous healing power within the heart of humanity to assist the natural cleansing forces of the Earth to restore harmony and well-being to the Gulf of Mexico.

You are invited to join others in this unique moment in time when people of all nations, races, ages, religions and faiths come together in peace and love. Your active participation, and that of every single person on the planet, is vital to co-create a successful outcome.

This invitation is spreading like seeds on the wind to the entire world through numerous elders, aboriginal leaders, and grandmothers from many tribes in North America, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia, and to leaders of religious, spiritual, environmental and cultural groups. It has become obvious many similar efforts are underway and those involved are willing to merge their own efforts into a global one.

Spread the word, be the wave!! –




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Bottled Water blues

Posted by on May 14, 2010 in Food for thought, news and happenings, raising children | 0 comments

Today I took the pledge – to get OFF the Bottle – the plastic water bottle that is, and I urge you to do the same. I am ready with my stainless steel water bottles and a few hard plastic ones that I’ve had for years. I pledge to use these reusable bottles daily, instead of buying plastic water bottles at a store. I’ve got a filter that I love attached to the water that runs freely from my tap. Even without the filter, the EPA regularly checks and regulates our tap water, but not bottled water. Much of the bottled water we buy is simply bottled tap water..

Tapped – is a new documentary that was born out of the discovery of something called “the plastic stew,” a floating island of plastic in the Pacific ocean roughly twice the size of Texas. Do you know about this?

It is stunning really, what we have created. And of course, with plastic taking 700 years to decompose and much of our daily needs being met with plastic – the equation only gets more complicated with time.

To try to explain this to a child is daunting. It sounds entirely irresponsible of course. We can say that we didn’t know the damage we were causing as we went to, for example, bottle water for our convenience, in order to bring water to people far from the source..?

It is an easier story to tell, if we can also offer a solution, commitment and resolve to do something different. If each of us were to take responsibility just for our own cup, or bottle for drinking, it would shape an entirely different future for all of us. offers the following statistics:

In 2007, Americans drank an average 218 bottles of water each for a total of 66 billion bottles (total spent $12 billion). Of that total, only 23% was recycled.

Roughly 50 billion plastic water bottles end up in U.S. landfills each year — 140 million every day!  That’s enough, laid end to end, to reach from NJ to China and back each day.

The problem with plastics:

Besides the growing garbage stew in the Pacific and the fact that plastic takes 700 years to decompose, ecosystems and wildlife are negatively impacted by plastic debris.

Disposable plastic water bottles are made out of oil which is a finite natural resource.  Plastic bottles require energy to make and transport.  Currently, the amount of oil we use to produce water bottles each year (17 million barrels) could fuel over one million cars for an entire year.  One disposable bottle of water requires ½ cup of oil to make!

Your tap water:

Tap water is closely regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act of 1977. Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not subject to all the same testing requirements.

Tap water can be 1000 times cheaper than bottled water ($.002 vs. $1-$2 per gallon).

Over 25% of bottled water is actually filtered tap water.

Which reusable bottle is best?

Stainless steel (food grade) is non-reactive, non-leaching, light weight, non-leaking and is 100% recyclable. 

For a comparison of reusable bottles, please visit

To take the pledge, go here.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted by on May 9, 2010 in families | 0 comments

Thank you to all the Mothers! Compassionate, present, thoughtful, positive, fun. You inspire us and we thank you for being such wonderful role models for our daughters, for inspiring the best from our children.

May you feel celebrated everyday,

From all at Butter Beans.

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Spinach – in the month of May

Posted by on May 6, 2010 in seasonal | 0 comments

Spinach has long been linked to prosperity. Eat often and let abundance reign!

Originally from Persia (today’s Iran), spinach was the first frozen vegetable. Though most delicious fresh, it’s great to have frozen spinach in the freezer to dress up a quick meal right.

We are celebrating spinach this month at Butter Beans and finding all sorts of ways to honor the sweet leaves.  I love how you can munch while you wash it, you don’t even have to chop it. You can cream it, sauté it, wilt it, drizzle with lemon, add to omelets, top with cheese, blend into a dip, add to tomato sauce, to tacos, pizza, and sandwiches, wrap with turkey slices, add to lasagna and quiche, you can even add spinach to brownie mix..!  This mighty green is delicious and mild enough for most and easily hidden for even the pickiest of eaters.

Why eat it?

1 cup of spinach supersedes the RDA of Vitamin K and manganese needed for strong bones, and folate which maintains DNA integrity.  Spinach can help to maintain even blood pressure  and can help relieve migraines thanks to its high magnesium and vitamin B content.  Full of iron and vitamin C, antioxidants and beta carotene, and dietary fiber, spinach is  a good source of the famous omega 3 fatty acids. You absorb iron in foods best when eaten with something else that is also high in vitamin C, such as bell peppers, tangerines, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lemon. Getting hungry?

Can you imagine if the government subsidized vegetables like spinach and carrots instead of corn and soy? Or if every kid in kindergarten knew how to grow spinach and also how to prepare it to eat?

This month we’ll be going into classrooms with this agenda. Stay tuned for the spinach recipes the students most love…

*For those with sensitive food allergies, spinach is a frequent culprit right up there with shellfish and strawberries.

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Food Sovereignty Is Local Control

Posted by on May 6, 2010 in Food for thought, food politics | 0 comments

In thinking about sustainability education, our kids and our future, I came across the following. It is from a free curriculum created by and it asks us to consider food sovereignty. What is food sovereignty? Such a simple and profound question. I encourage everyone who eats to read this.

To our health.

Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to define their own food and agriculture; to protect and regulate domestic agricultural production and trade in order to achieve sustainable development objectives; to determine the extent to which they want to be self-reliant; to restrict the dumping of products in their markets; and to provide local fisheries-based communities the priority in managing the use of and the rights to aquatic resources. Food sovereignty does not negate trade, but rather, it promotes the formulation of trade policies and practices that serve the rights of peoples to safe, healthy and ecologically sustainable production.

”Statement on Peoples’ Food Sovereignty” by the Via Campesina, et al., 1996

So what would specific food sovereignty policies for our communities look like?

Supporting local farmers, being responsible for our waste.. these are things we can do individually. But the issues here are much bigger than us as individuals. Let’s think about this together.

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