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Green Cleaning: Baking Soda and Vinegar

Green cleaning doesn’t have to require a lot of products. Most things can be cleaned with baking soda or vinegar. It can save you money and is safer for your family.

Green cleaning, baking soda, vinegar, natural cleaning, diy cleaning

When it comes to being green, the one thing we can’t forget about is cleaning products. Too often we just pick whatever name brand we know off the shelf and use that. However, there are some alternatives you can begin to use that are not only environmentally friendly, but cost effective to boot.


Specifically, I’m talking about baking soda and vinegar as two of the top green cleaning products you can use. Both are extremely effective in how they’re used. Hopefully this article will convince you to give these products a look next time you’re out shopping for cleaning supplies.

Baking Soda

baking soda

Baking soda has many uses beyond just simple cooking because as it turns out, baking soda is a pretty amazing cleaning product. Primarily as a cleaning product, baking soda works in multiple ways such as a cleaner for appliances like ovens, coffee makers, and can even polish silverware. Outside of the kitchen, baking soda can be used on shower curtains and even as a laundry detergent. One of the best things about using baking soda is that it works as a deodorizer, which helps get rid of many unwanted smells around the house such as in garbage disposals and many types of drains.

There are also a variety of ways that baking soda can be fused with other homemade cleaning products that you may have around the house. For example, using baking soda with toothpaste forms a white ring remover that is great for furniture or antiques. Another great way to use baking soda is to combine it with water so that it can effectively stay on a sponge like regular soap. This allows you to scrub stove tops and the inside of microwaves easily and baking soda doesn’t leave behind any smell, so it’s a pretty easy clean up.

Green cleaning, baking soda, vinegar, natural cleaning, diy cleaning

Baking soda also helps carpets out and is able to get out stains with ease. If you spill a drink or say a pet has an accident, using some baking soda, usually in tandem with vinegar, will help take out that stain with ease. If you use just baking soda to scrub out the stain, it won’t leave nearly the same strong scent that vinegar leaves behind. You can also use the same combination to polish pots and pans and help get rid of tarnish, but even baking soda by itself should be able to get the job done.

Because it’s so easy to buy, and cheap at that, baking soda is by far one of the best cleaning products available, plus it’s great for the environment. Its versatility makes it one of the better options out there and if you buy it in bulk that will save you in the long run since you won’t have to worry about getting different products for different messes. Not to mention, baking soda is one of the greenest cleaning products that you can use, so I would highly recommend it if you are deciding between a regular name brand or a newer and cheaper method of cleaning.

Vinegar

vinegar

Much like baking soda, vinegar is thought to be a kitchen or even food first item. Vinegar is a much more potent cleaning product as it gets your sinuses working, but is extremely effective for areas like drains or wherever there may be clogs. Instead of using name brand drain cleaners, which ultimately put more wear and tear on your drain, try vinegar instead as it can be easy purchased at a supermarket and like baking soda, is relatively cheap.

Vinegar is great for getting out bacteria and stains across all parts of your home. In fact, if you mix vinegar with rubbing alcohol and tea tree oil, this will create a spray that easily gets rid of mildew and odors for the most part. Vinegar can also be combined with olive oil and lemon if you’re looking to polish furniture, specifically wood such as tables or chair, or even the handrail of stairs should they be wooden. Basically, if you do use vinegar, you’ll want to use it on particular surfaces as it can’t work on areas like granite or marble countertops, hardwood floors, and even certain types of stains and spills on the carpet.

However, vinegar is versatile like baking soda in that it can also be used in appliances, but it a much different way. With baking soda, you can scrub or let it sit to clean an oven for example, but vinegar, it becomes a little more involved. If you want to clean your coffee maker, you’ll have to run the vinegar through the coffee maker in order to clean it. Unlike baking soda, vinegar typically doesn’t stay stagnant in the area it’s trying to clean.

green cleaning

Still though, I recommend using vinegar as a major alternative to many name brand products out there. Vinegar works well with drains, floors, and even windows so it can be used all around the house. One thing to keep in mind though is that is that vinegar does have a bit of a lingering smell, so be sure to open a window or keep a fan running when cleaning with it. Also, you’ll want to remember that while vinegar can work in some of the same areas as baking soda, it ultimately works better with drains, repelling tarnish, and even some surface work.

I hope that this article was able to help you with more of an understanding about natural and green cleaning products. While the convenience of using a store bought cleaner for the oven, floor, or window is nice, they’re not always eco-friendly, plus they always end up costing a bit more, especially if it’s a name brand product. So if you want to save yourself some time, money, and a little of the environment all in one go, try some natural cleaning products such as baking soda and vinegar. You’ll be surprised with how well these work and I can fully endorse using both of them.

Inside Walmart’s Sustainability Agenda

Wal-Mart has been making changes to be more sustainable. What are those changes and when are they happening? 

Inside Walmart's Sustainability Agenda

Contrary to some critics, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recently announced that it plans to double to sales of locally-grown produce by 2025—putting the store at the forefront of the sustainable movement. In addition, it will expand its sustainable sourcing of 20 commodities including bananas and coffee, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is all part of the company’s new commitments within its sustainability agenda.


Wal-Mart’s Chief Executive Doug McMillon said the objective is to reduce 18 percent of operation emissions by 2025. This plan was approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative, which is aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement. Moreover, the company will work with suppliers to reduce emissions by one gigaton by 2030.

In real terms, this equates to taking over 211 million cars off of U.S. roads. Other highlights include achieving zero waste to landfills in key markets by 2025, working with partners to treat workers ethically across the supply chain and reduce packaging waste.

Cage-free eggs

This isn’t the first step Wal-Mart has taken towards more sustainable operations, retailing and production. The company has changed the way America, and the world, shops. Back in April, the company announced that it will switch its supply chain to 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2025 for all of its 4,600 U.S. Wal-Mart and 650 Sam’s Club locations.

Since Wal-Mart makes up for 25 percent of all groceries sold in the U.S., that means around 11 billion eggs per year. Other companies that have made cage-free egg commitments include Target, Trader Joe’s, Costco, General Mills, Kellog, ConAgra, Unilever and McDonald’s.

Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer at Walmart said in a statement, “Our customers and associates count on Walmart and Sam’s Club to deliver on affordability and quality, while at the same time offering transparency into how their food is grown and raised. Our commitment to transition to a cage-free egg supply chain recognizes that expectation and represents another step we are taking to improve transparency for food we sell in our U.S. stores and clubs.”

The cage-free initiative will  “require 100 percent of shell egg suppliers to be certified and fully compliant with United Egg Producers (UEP) Animal Husbandry Guidelines or equivalent standards.” After this particular announcement, Wayne Pacelle–the CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States–praised Wal-Mart.

Inside Walmart's Sustainability Agenda

Fresh food at the forefront

The company already has a fresh food strategy. Greg Foran, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart U.S. stated, “We’re seeing it with some better traffic, comps, bigger basket sizes, and it’s happening quite simply because customers are seeing better quality. Overall fresh impression is a measure based on customer surveys … and we have customers that rate our fresh department, and we use that to see how we stack up to our competitors. So as a data point, we’ve seen about a 700 base improvement (from a year ago). It’s a pretty big shift. We have more to do, though, and our fresh team is focused on getting more of the items customers want and laying them out really well.”

The company redesigned the produce section in 3,100 stores. Mr. Foran explained, “Project Dangle is what we’ve called it. I’m pleased with how that’s actually rolled itself out. And we’re working on flow so that we have less waste. And at the end of the day, that’s giving better shelf life to customers when they get home. We’re seeing that because we’re seeing that the inventory in fruit and veg has come down a day and a half versus a year ago. That’s good. And we’ve expanded our footprint with more sourcing hubs, both locally and in the U.S., and now working … internationally on how we can create even better leverage there.” Furthermore, Wal-Mart opened a new milk plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana in order to maintain freshness, with value.

What do you think of Wal-Mart’s sustainability agenda? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Creating a Paper-Free Home

We use a lot of paper and waste a lot of paper as well. Creating a paper-free home can help us reduce our impact on the earth and save money!

Creating a paper-free home, reusable products, paperless home, waste free, zero waste

Paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste and considering 93% of paper comes from trees that’s a lot of trees. All of this paper we are wasting also is costing us money, money we are throwing in the trash.


Reducing your paper use can save you money, reduce clutter, and of course help you live more sustainably. It can seem overwhelming at first because we use paper for so many things. We have paper towels, napkins, mail, and the list goes on and on.

Tips for Reducing Paper Use

Start slow, pick one or two of these tips to start with. Trying to do everything at once is overwhelming and can cause you to quit due to frustration. And while you are reducing your paper waste don’t forget to recycle the paper you do end up with and purchase products made from recycled paper. Doing this helps keep the cycle going and prevents the need to cut down as many trees.

Create a Paper-Free Kitchen.

We use a lot of paper in our kitchens. Using rags in place of paper towels, cloth napkins in place of disposable, and real hand towels in place of paper towels is a great place to start. You’ll be surprised how much less trash you have when you do these things!

Additional Resource: How to Have a Paper-Free Kitchen

Stop the Junk Mail

I’m always amazed how much junk mail I get. Catalogs, credit card offers, random sales ads, it gets to be a bit crazy. There are some great ways to reduce this though. There are several great websites that help you get off of mailing lists. One of my favorites is DMAchoice. It’s an easy way to get off of those lists.

Additional Resource: Stop Junk Mail

Create a Digital Filing System

We all have mountains of paperwork and unorganized filing cabinets. It’s overwhelming and creates so much paper waste. Going to electric bills and getting as much of your paperwork online as possible can really help cut out a lot of paper. I highly recommend checking out, The Paperless Home. I can help you get organized and at the same time reduce your paper usage.

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Encouraging Kids to Eat Healthy

Worried about your kid’s eating habits? Want them to eat healthier foods and make better choices on their own? There are some easy ways to help encourage healthy eating habits for your kids. 

Encouraging kids to eat healthy, healthy eating, kids gardening, kids cooking

Childhood obesity is on the rise and we are seeing more and more illnesses in children which are linked to weight and nutrition. It’s a problem that often follows them to adulthood.


Teaching young kids to eat and enjoy healthy foods is very important. They are tempted by sweet treats more than ever with ads targeting them everywhere. It can be hard to get them to make the right choices.

Thankfully there are some ways that have been proven to help encourage healthy eating habits. Sure your kids will likely still want a candy bar from time to time, don’t we all, but overall they can learn to make better choices.

Encouraging Kids to Eat Healthy

There are several ways that have been shown to encourage healthy eating habits in kids. By instilling healthy habits at a young age you set your child up for a healthier adulthood.

Encouraging kids to eat healthy, healthy eating, kids gardening, kids cooking

Gardening

Gardening with kids helps encourage them to try new foods and also helps instill green living habits. Christina of Little Sprouts Learning runs a daycare and teaches the kids to garden, she has wonderful success with this. Kids at her daycare and now trying and enjoying more healthy foods.

“When introducing a new food, I let them decide when they want to try it and if I like it, I let them know.  I never pressure them to try anything.  I just let nature take its course.  Lots of healthy fresh foods are being eaten here that just a few years ago I would never have imagined kids even trying much less begging for.” – Gardening With Kids, Why It’s Important

Encouraging kids to eat healthy, healthy eating, kids gardening, kids cooking

Cooking

Teaching kids to cook is another great way to get them involved with food. A review done of eight studies on cooking education programs for kids between 5 and 12 years old, showed in increased consumption of fruit, vegetables, dietary fiber, as well as a greater willingness to try new foods.

“We found that it is particularly important to expose kids to healthy foods on a number of occasions. This makes them feel comfortable with the new foods, which helps them build healthy habits,” said Derek Hersch, the lead author of the study.

WebMD lists a wide range of short-term and long-term benefits to teaching your kids to cook.

  • Encourages kids to try healthy foods.
  • Kids are more likely to sit down to a family meal when they helped prepare it.
  • It can increase self-confidence.
  • Kids that learn to eat well may be more likely to eat healthy as adults.

A great place to start is by teaching your kids how to make healthy snacks. You can find great snack recipes in this download 10 Snacks Your Kids Can Make.

Kids Cook Real Food

It’s also easier than ever to teach your kids to cook with the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. Even if you aren’t the best cook with the help of this course you can teach your kids valuable lessons.

Doing these fairly simple things will help your children for the rest of their lives. And who knows, maybe you will get the benefits of not having to cook every night.

Getting the Most Calories Out of Your Homestead Garden

When starting a vegetable garden you want to get the most out of every square foot that you can! Here are some ways to have a more calorie intensive garden.

Homestead garden, vegetable garden, gardening, eat local, grow your own

Whether you are planning on starting your first urban garden as a pastime or simply growing food to support a small family on a spacious garden, then it goes without saying that calorie intensive farming ought to be at the top of your list. But how exactly can you make sure that you’re getting the most calories per foot out of your backyard’s garden? Well, here is a quick primer to that.


1. Establish Permanent Garden Beds

Setting up an array of permanent garden beds as opposed to the plants-by-row approach allows you the opportunity to narrow down your efforts specifically on only where your plants grow. And as a direct result, this reduces wastage of irrigation water, compost or fertilizer on unplanted parts of the garden significantly.

In addition to this, it also ensures that soil compaction is a non-issue as you will be walking on permanent pathways whenever you transverse the garden and never on the planted areas. As a side note: This idea of having permanent garden beds in the place of conventional rows is borrowed from some of the agriculturally productive parts of the world where intensive farming is taken up on a large scale.

Homestead garden, vegetable garden, gardening, eat local, grow your own

2. Make Good use of Compost

Compost or organic manure has a unique advantage over commercially produced fertilizers in that its nutrients are released slowly and gradually over a long span of time. This slow-release of nutrients allows a balanced injection of macronutrients in the soil which promotes a luxurious and healthy growth of your crops.

Aside from that, the content of organic matter in the compost also boosts the soil’s water retention capacity, improves the texture, and generally supports a high yield.

3. Practice High-density and Intensive Mixed Farming

As much intensive farming makes the best of the available garden space at your disposal, complimenting it with mixed farming is one of the best ways of ensuring high yield (and consequently, a high calorific output per foot unit) in your homestead garden.

Novice gardeners, for instance, can kick start this farming strategy of boosting their overall yield by first adopting Bartholomew’s method that involves subdividing the plot into smaller 1-foot square areas. This can be helpful in visualizing (from a close point of view) how densely or sparsely you can plant your produce.

Homestead garden, vegetable garden, gardening, eat local, grow your own

4. Succession Planting

One of the best ways of getting the most calories out of your homestead garden is by practicing crop rotation in the form of succession planting. This is an excellent approach to making sure that at no given time – all year round – your garden lies idle. Again, replanting quickly (with a different crop ) as soon as you harvest is a guaranteed way of ensuring a continuous crop cover all-year-round.

The Bottom Line

Besides boosting the number of calories per square foot obtained in a given patch of land, interspersing different crops at different times of the year is one of the major principles of intensive farming that promotes sustainability.

Furthermore, it is also evident that mixing plants of different heights, root depths and growth rates is a convenient way of packing more crops in a given small space without bordering on over-exploitation.

Is Your Makeup Putting Your Health At Risk?

Do you know what’s in your makeup? Do you even know if your makeup is safe to be using? You may be surprised what’s hiding in some makeup.

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When we buy something we assume it’s safe. We have regulations and laws to help protect us, right? Sadly, in the case of cosmetics we may not be as protected as we think.


EWG’s site Skin Deep shares some myths about cosmetic safety, including this kind of frightening one-

Myth – If it’s for sale at a supermarket, drugstore or department store cosmetics counter, it must be safe.

Fact –  The Food and Drug Administration has no authority to require companies to test cosmetics products for safety. The agency does not review or approve the vast majority of products or ingredients before they go on the market. FDA conducts pre-market reviews only of certain cosmetics color additives and active ingredients that are classified as over-the-counter drugs (FDA 2005, 2010). – Myths on Cosmetic Safety

If they aren’t required to be tested for safety, how do we know if they are safe? Well the honest answer is, we don’t know they are. There are many possibly harmful ingredients in the products we use everyday and they could be putting our health at risk. Here are just some of the chemicals commonly found in cosmetics.

Parabens

Parabens are used widely as a preservative. They are used because they have bactericidal and fungicidal properties. You can find parabens in everything from shampoo to toothpaste. Parabens mimic estrogen and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. Some commonly used parabens are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben.

Phthalates

Phthalates are commonly used to soften vinyl plastics. You know that smell your new vinyl shower curtain gives off? That’s phthalates. They are a common ingredient in fragrances used in cosmetics and household products. Like parabens, phthalates are thought to disrupt the hormonal system. Unlike parabens, you aren’t likely to see phthalates listed in the ingredients. To help avoid phthalates, skip products that list fragrance in the ingredients.

1,4-dioxane

1,4-dioxane is a known animal carcinogen and probable human carcinogen. It’s found in shampoos, soaps, bubble bath, and more. You won’t find 1,4-dioxane on any label. Avoid products that contain ingredients like sodium myreth sulfate, PEG chemicals that include the clauses “xynol,” “ceteareth” and “oleth.”

Ethylene Oxide

Ethylene oxide is commonly found in fragrances and is in many popular shampoos. It is a known human carcinogen. As with phthalates, avoid products that list fragrance in the ingredients.

Lead

You most likely remember the news stories about lead in our lipsticks. Well it can also be found in sunscreen, foundation, nail polish, and even whitening toothpaste! Lead is a neurotoxin which can cause developmental problems as well as miscarriages and reduced fertility. Since lead and other heavy metals are in many products and aren’t listed in the ingredients, it’s hard to know what’s safe.

Safer Cosmetic Brands

EWG’s Skin Deep database is a great place to check to see if products you are using are safe. There are also some more natural brands out there committed to using better ingredients.

Making the switch to safer cosmetics is a great way to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals. There are many great safe brands out there making wonderful products you can feel good using.

5 Tips for Green Travel

Looking to reduce your impact when traveling? There are some easy ways to go green while travel!

green travel, traveling eco-friendly

You might be wondering what the heck does “travel green’’ mean anyways!? Being green at home makes sense but how do you take those habits with you when you go on a vacation, and why is it important?


If you are familiar with sustainable living, then you are already aware of what a carbon footprint is. It won’t come as a surprise to you if I tell you transportation is one of the biggest contributors to increasing our carbon footprint, especially airplane travel. This means every time we decide to take a trip that requires us to jump on a plane, we are emitting some crazy amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

How do we change this? How can you make your trip ‘greener’ per say? The first step of any vacation is planning the trip itself. How you plan your trip makes a huge impact to how much more eco-friendly your next vacation will be. Below I will list for you the Top 5 actions you can do to make your trip greener!

Unplug your devices

As I mentioned prior, transportation is a huge part of your footprint. However, energy use is another big one. How you use energy can make a difference in how big your footprint will be. Doing the simple action of unplugging your devices when not in use will make a difference. Just because you turned off your device or appliance, doesn’t mean it still isn’t using energy. When it is completely unplugged no energy is being used. When in your hotel room, unplug your hair dryers, lamps and fridge (if you don’t need it on).

Stop using bottled water

Waste is another big component to your carbon footprint. Not only is bottled water a huge contributor to waste, not only in landfills but in our oceans. Another component that people may not realize about bottle water, is the plastic itself. Obtaining plastic uses up a massive amount of resources, and sometimes creates scenario like oil spills damaging our environment. All of this can be mitigated if you stop using bottled water. Instead use a reusable water bottle

Stop using straws

Straws are not a necessity when travelling or at home. The plastic used in straws contribute to a lot of the waste found in our oceans. The problem with plastic is it doesn’t break down, and straws are something that can easily be used frequently. If straws are something you can’t do without, try using the reusable straws or switching to the paper straws.

Buy items with less packaging

We all need to purchase things, whether it is a new pair of shoes, or our groceries or a new set of headphones. What we all can do is be more mindful of how much packaging each of these items come in. Not everything needs to be wrapped up in copious amounts of plastic or cardboard. Try to find things that has less packaging, and this will reduce your waste and therefore your footprint as well.

Start looking at the labels of where things are made

Remember how I mentioned transportation is a big part of our footprint? Well the goods we buy also need a way to get to us. This means if you live in North America, but frequently buy clothes made in Asia, you are going to have a larger footprint. Since your clothes are being shipped halfway across the world. How can this be avoided? Start looking at the label, see where things are made and produced. Make informed decisions before your purchase and you can choose to buy things that are more local or produced closer to home.

This is just a tip of the iceberg of the actions you can take while you travel. I have put together a packing list that will make your trips more sustainable. Head over to Green Travelling 101 and grab your free eco-friendly packing list.

Organic Food on a Budget

Eating organic food doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. These are great tips for eating healthy food on a budget. 

Eating organic food doesn't have to cost a lot of money. These are great tips for eating healthy food on a budget.

Eating organic food is better for us and the planet. Organic food is grown without harmful pesticides and usually is better for the environment. Some studies have shown some organic food to have higher nutritional value as well.

Cost is often what stands in people’s way when they want to eat more organic food. While organic food doesn’t always cost more it often does. While the increased cost may be worth it not everyone is in a place where they can add the added cost to their budget.

As organic food has become more popular the cost is down and there are more ways to save. Now more people can afford to add organic food into their budget.

How to Eat Organic Food on a Budget

  • Eat at home more often. This will help you save overall as eating out can be very expensive. This is also better for your health.
  • Buy grains in bulk. Stores like Native Roots Market, Whole Foods, and Sprouts have a great selection of bulk foods.
  • Eat less meat. Meat can be very expensive and most of us eat too much of it. You don’t have to go vegetarian just try adding more meatless meals to your diet. One great way to do this is, Meatless Monday.
  • Check out the Dirty Dozen to find what produce is most important to buy organically.
  • Eat seasonally. Produce is cheaper when it’s in season so learn to eat in season produce. Frozen fruits and veggies are a good choice when the food is out of season in your area.
  • Be careful not to waste food. American’s waste around 27 percent of the food available for consumption. Making sure you aren’t throwing away food will help you save. Meal planning is one way you can reduce waste.
  • Grow your own food. You don’t have to have farm land to grow your own food. Even a few pots with some favorite produce can help you save.
  • Check out local CSA’s, farmer’s markets and co-ops. You can often get better prices by going straight to the source.
  • Buy less packaged food. Packaged food almost always costs more than making it yourself. This also helps cut down on waste.
  • Use coupons. There are a fair number of coupons out there for organic food. Check out Saving with Organic Coupons for more.
  • Use apps to save money. There are some great apps that you can submit your receipt to and earn cash back. It’s a great way to save a little extra money.
  • Use online services like Thrive Market and Amazon Prime Pantry to find good deals on organic food.

Following these tips can help you buy more organic food without breaking your budget. Do you have any tips to share on saving on organic food? If so please share them in the comments below.

How to Make Homemade Baby Food Purées

Want to start making your own baby food purées? It’s not as hard as you think. 

Want to make your own homemade baby food purees? It's not as hard as you think.

Starting solids has been quite an adventure. As a first-time mom, there’s a lot of information to consider and several different methods of feeding. After a great deal of research and taking a class on starting solids and homemade baby food I felt ready, but my baby had other ideas.

We started offering solids at six months, but she just was not interested. Throughout the next three months, we continued to offer, but there was still no interest. Right around when she turned nine months, she started to show some interest so we started making our own purées.

Homemade baby food supplies


As we all know, there’s many ways to skin a cat. Everyone has different ideas about how to introduce solids. I tried a few different methods before deciding that purées were the best way for all of us. I purchased a Beaba Babycook and started with simple purées of a single fruit or vegetable.

When buying the fruits and vegetables, I mostly try to adhere to the “clean fifteen/dirty dozen” rules. Once you can eliminate any foods that may cause an allergic reaction in your child, then comes the fun part! You can start making purée mixes with many fruits and vegetables. Recipes are easy to find online and there are even baby food cookbooks. Or you can create your own!

puree&pour

Once you get the hang of making your own food, it’s easy! I use the Babycook machine, but purées can be made in a blender as well. What I love about the Babycook is that it is an all-in-one machine. It steam cooks and purées your food. To start, chop up your food into chunks and set it to steam cook on the desired setting. After it has finished, dump your steamed food into the blender part of the machine and purée to your preference.

After I make a batch of food, I pour it into a silicone ice tray and freeze for an hour or two. After each portion is frozen, pop them out of the ice tray and store in freezer bags until you are ready to feed them to your little one. I like to label mine with the contents and when I made them so I know how old they are.

When you get ready to prepare them, you can either re-steam a cube in the Babycook machine or throw them in the microwave for ten seconds at a time. One cube is about one portion for my little eater, but if your baby likes more you can always heat up another one. If your baby likes to eat out of pouches like mine does, then you can buy reusable pouches and put in your own baby food. My daughter likes them because she can squeeze them herself.

Homemade baby food storage

Homemade purées can be fun and give you the peace of mind of knowing what your child is eating. I occasionally give my child store bought food when I need a break or we are out and about, but for the most part, we know the source of her foods.

Do you make your own baby food? Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

 

Eat Local and Support Local Stillwater Farms

Eating local is made easy with 1907 Meat Company in Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

Eat Local and Support Local Stillwater Farms with 1907 Meat Company

Eating and buying locally grown foods has many benefits.  It supports local farms and helps the regional economy. Many of us look to local farmers markets or stands to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. But where do you find or buy your local meat? In Stillwater, 1907 Meat Company, a whole animal butcher shop and restaurant, is working with local ranches to offer locally grown beef, pork, lamb, and chicken.


Eat Local and Support Local Stillwater Farms with 1907 Meat Company

On a recent trip to Stillwater, I stopped in at 1907 Meat Company to talk with owner Adam Gribben about his business and learn more about how he is working within his community to offer locally grown products that customers want. I even sampled a few items off the lunch menu that will have me returning again and again.

Adam is an OSU graduate who recently returned to the area. He opened 1907 Meat Company to reconnect people with local farmers and locally made products. He wanted to focus on food transparency because customers are demanding it. He said,

“We tell the truth. You know where it comes from, what’s in it, or what’s not in it, because there’s nothing in it. It’s meat from an animal that was raised on a farm that you can go visit.”

Eat Local and Support Local Stillwater Farms with 1907 Meat Company

 

The shop works closely 22 local ranchers to produce beef, pork, chicken, and lamb. Every animal is humanely raised, pasture fed, and finished on grain and grass. They use a local processor and an in-house butcher, Chad Smith who is a 3rd generation butcher. The shop is involved in every step.

In addition to locally sourced meat, you can find fresh local produce from Bear Creek Farms that is delivered fresh produce to the shop weekly. You can often find him and other local farmers in the shop. That’s the beauty of this local shop. It is connecting the community is so many ways.

Eat Local and Support Local Stillwater Farms with 1907 Meat Company

Because this is a whole animal butcher shop, you can get hard to find tongue, lard, heart, and more. Leftover bones are smoked and available for dog treats. Products are also rotated out of the meat case and offered in the restaurant. Executive Chef Matt Buechele creates a unique daily menu for breakfast and lunch Tuesday thru Saturday and Brunch on Sunday. When we were in town, we went for both Saturday lunch and Sunday Brunch. My favorite thing has to be the Short Rib Hash with potatoes, peppers, onions, and two eggs. I mean there isn’t a word in that title I don’t love. Everything on the menu is equally as delicious.

Eating and buying local is a win for the consumer, grower, and the community. Reconnect with your local farmers and ranchers to taste the Made in Oklahoma products today.