May 11, 2011Issue 85   

Mrs. Green's World

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The Green Truth about the Meat Packing Industry - as I Know It

When I was young (and I was young once - seriously) we used to have an expression "accidentally on purpose." It seemed to fit some situations quite well back in the day. Well, about three weeks ago when I was doing research on carbon zero batteries (made from 100% recycled materials and 100% biodegradable), I accidentally on purpose clicked on a link on the battery page that read something like "Upsetting Video on Meat Packing Industry." On the one hand, I am sorry I ever clicked on it. On the other hand, I know it was accidentally on purpose that I did. It really, really, really (yes - 3 reallys) upset me and shook me to my core. I knew it was bad but until watching this video, I guess I didn't want to know how bad. I didn't Facebook about it, I didn't blog about it, I didn't even send out a tweet. I sat with it, shared my tears with Mr. Green and another special friend, did lots more research and then honestly prayed about what I am supposed to do now. Answer? Just help raise the awareness and let people make their own choices - hopefully a consistent theme in Mrs. Green's World.

Truth be told, the meat packing industry is, for the most part, a dirty, cruel, miserable and inhumane business. I am going to stand by that statement. Our meat shows up in our grocery stores neatly packaged, evenly cut, all lined up ready to take home. For the most part, the meat we consume is full of growth hormones, pesticides, GMOs, and antibiotics. That's not good. The other ugly, upsetting truth is not just about what is in the meat we eat but about the way the animals are raised and slaughtered. Once you know, you can't NOT know - isn't that the way the expression goes? If you want to know, you can look at the video that Paul McCartney narrated at Warning: it's really upsetting. There are many more videos just like it.

So what's a carnivore to do? For this carnivore, baby steps. First thing we are doing is cutting back on how much meat we eat. Couldn't many of us do just that one thing? Next, we started going to the local university's College of Agriculture's meat sale every Friday. Their animals are grain fed, and raised and slaughtered humanely. I grilled them (so to speak) about all of the above issues before we made our first purchases. We are now purchasing eggs from chickens raised cage free and are talking to some friends about buying either a pig or a cow from someplace like 4H. It's a process and we are open to suggestions/thoughts/ideas from you, and Mrs. Green will gladly share them.

And then for the wealthy, there is always Williams Sonoma. Yup, you read it right. My friend Cindy sent me this link when I told her what this newsletter was going to be about: Williams Sonoma Pure Bred. Their new online butcher shop offers meat from Pure Bred - meat that is pasture-raised on small farms, finished on an all-natural diet of grasses and grains, free of ALL growth hormones, pesticides, GMOs, and antibiotics. And bacon is only $30 a pound plus shipping if I read it right. A step in the right direction, love that Williams Sonoma is doing this but it's not a solution for the masses. Let's just all keep moving in the right direction - whatever that looks like for each of us.

Green Pebble in the Plastic Water Bottle Pond - A Good News Story

Imagine my delight when my friend Scott shared with me this story. Scott started realizing how many, many plastic water and Gatorade bottles parents were giving out at soccer games every single weekend - hundreds collectively. (Add up the thousands of games played every week around the country.) It was really bugging him. Being a loyal member of the Mrs. Green tribe, Scott figured out a solution. He bought several large Gatorade tubs, fills them with water for each game, and gives out paper cups. This is a perfect example of how one person can and DID make a difference for the planet. Scott, thanks for being the change you wish to see in the world.
Three Things You Should Know About Clean Cities

I could write a novella about all the things the Clean Cities Coalition is doing but you will just have to be okay with three and then read more about them on their website:

  1. Clean Cities is a voluntary program of the U.S. Department of Energy whose mission is to expand the use of alternatives to gasoline and diesel fuel, accelerate the use of alternative fuel vehicles and build local refueling infrastructure for these vehicles. (And they are.)
  2. Clean Cites is ranked as one of the top three coalitions in the nation and has been the recipient of numerous national awards. And I mean numerous.
  3. People can be a non-dues paying part of this coalition to stay informed about the vast amount of information and opportunities available in the ever changing alt-fuels, electric vehicle, and solar world!
Upcoming Shows  


Lisa Frack5/14

Lisa Frack, Environmental Working Group

Mrs. Green will be attending graduation at the University of Arizona to celebrate some spectacular accomplishments for a mentoring group of which she is a part. We will be airing one of Mrs. Green's picks for Best Shows - my interview with Lisa Frack from the Environmental Working Group in Washington DC. She's got great things to share about good health - all worth hearing again!



Terry Dee - Live broadcast from the Habitat for Humanity's HabiStore

The theme for this show is Spring Cleaning and the power of the sun! Terry Dee will be sharing with us great news about the HabiStore's journey to being FULLY solar powered and about Habitat for Humanity's LEED certified home building program.  Hope you will tune in or come on down! This show sponsored by aPriori International.


Bob Schildgen5/28

Bob Schildgen aka Mr. Green! (not My Mr. Green)

Bob was managing editor and book review editor of Sierra magazine for many years, and continues to write Sierra's popular "Hey Mr. Green" environmental advice column. A native of rural Wisconsin, where he grew up on a farm, Schildgen now resides in Berkeley, California, where he indulges his passions for gardening and thrift by growing two dozen types of vegetables in his backyard. Now if I can just say his name correctly, a great, green time will be had by all. This show sponsored by Chapman Tucson.


Paul Bonavia6/4

Paul Bonavia, CEO, TEP and UniSource
As head of one of the most distinguished and innovative energy companies in the industry, Paul Bonavia will discuss the many solutions UniSource is developing to the long-term challenges facing their industry. They carry out their operations with great respect for the environment and actively pursue a future powered by clean, sustainable resources. Paul will not only share some information about the specifics of these programs but give us his candid, articulate thoughts on his view of the industry from 30,000 feet. I love to interview this honest, brilliant man! This show sponsored by TEP.


Renee's Organic Oven6/11

Live remote from Renee's Organic Oven (formerly Eclectic Pizza)
Mrs. Green will interview Renee Kreager, owner of this great dining establishment, to talk about why the name change, what it means to be a gluten free kitchen. We will also interview a representative from New Belgium Brewing Company, maker of Fat Tire, about why they are considered one of the greenest, most sustainable companies in the world. Come out or tune in - either way you will learn and have fun. 


David Blume6/18

David Blume - Alcohol Can Be a Gas
David has one of those bios that is about four pages long. So let it suffice to say he has done quite a bit since showing up on the planet. We will spend time talking with David about his book which is being hailed as the bible of alcohol fuel production. I have heard him speak and trust me when I say there shall not be a dull moment! Tune in and get ready to learn and have some fun. This show sponsored by Chapman Tucson.

Chapman Automotive


Neb Yonas, Chapman Tucson - National Trends in the Auto Industry

Neb Yonas, General Manager, Chapman Tucson. With gas prices inching up to $5/per gallon before summer and with the impact of the Tsunami on Japanese imports, Neb will have lots to share with us about what car buying trends he is seeing in the industry nationwide. Neb has his finger on the pulse of this constantly changing, volatile, fast-paced industry.

This show sponsored by Chapman Tucson.   


Mrs. Green's World GREEN TALK RADIO Show
Please remember to tune in to Mrs. Green's World every Saturday at 12:05 p.m. PST on NEWSTALK 790 KNST AM or live, streaming on the internet at 
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Mrs. Green's new VW Jetta
Mrs. Green with her new VW Jetta provided by Chapman Tucson
Isabella's Ice Cream Wagon
Mrs. Green takes at break at Isabella's Ice Cream wagon during Earth Month festivities at Tucson Children's Museum April 30th