Becoming an "Ecoholic"

Its only been in the last few years (since I had children) that I have really started to question where everything I buy, use and cook comes from. I used to LOVE going to Wholefoods in Kits when I lived in Vancouver. So many wonderful choices. The produce was amazing with so much variety, so many colours and flavours. I miss it VERY MUCH. There is no such thing here in the North. We are now, however, doing what we can by shopping at a different supermarket in order to get more organic produce and more variety. We also have a small but fairly decent health food store.

I am now starting to take this organic thing very seriously (my husband is not too keen and fights me most of the time) and I know with time and results we will all see the benefits. I am also spurred on by the most amazing book I just got, you may have heard of it "Your guide to the MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY information, products and services in Canada - ECOHOLIC (When you're addicted to the planet)" Adria Vasil, copyright 2007, Random House. It covers everything from hair dyes to food to clothdiapers to cellphones. There is also one called "Ecoholic Home: The Greenest, Cleanest and Most Energy-Efficient Information Under One (Canadian) Roof " which is next on my list of must haves.

Over the past few months I have been so tired burning the candle at both ends that I had been drinking up to 3 cups of coffee a day (thats not a lot I might hear you say, well it is if you only ever drank 1). I thought the extra caffine would give me a boost and help me cope with the tiredness, but it only made me feel even more tired! So I forced myself to go back to 1 cup a day.
I decided that if I was only going to have 1 cup then it would have to be the best cup of coffee I could find. I had no idea there was so much to coffee. According to Adria Vasil "As a nation (Canada), we consume 118 million kilograms of roasted coffee beans each year" and that there are 7 different coffee lables to look out for, I will be as brief as possible.
"Certified Organic: no chemicals used in the growing or processing, composting done, weeds pulled by hand...GMO-free...
Certified Fair Trade: Grown by small-scale farmers who are fairly paid...ecologically sensitive practices..to ensure product is sustainable and conservation-orientated..but not guarenteed to be organic...
Shade-Grown: Planted the traditional way, under the forest canopy, which attracts migratory birds
Bird-Friendly: Shade-grown and certified organic...
Rainforest Alliance-Certified: Shade-grown by family farmers using integrated pest management practices..
Green Coffee: Not necessarily eco-friendly - this term just means you roast it yourself..
(and this one is my favourite)
Biodynamic: Take organic coffee, fold in the cycles of the moon and stars, sprinkle in some crystals and complicated rituals and you've got..a cup of holistic biodynamic joe"

To cut a long story short amongst other organic delights I bought today (more on them later) I did manage to find this treasure. I think I covered a couple of the most important basics (and the man on the packet looks quite happy too!) such as: Direct Fair Trade (read more about this at levelground.com) British Columbia Certified Organic and apparently "this coffee boasts a nutty, chocolate flavour, citrus and honey notes and a long pronounced finish". I have to say I am very impressed with the flavour and smoothness of this coffee and will now be on the look out to try to fill all the above criteria in once cup - does that coffee even exist?

There are so many gems in this book that I urge you to get hold of a copy from your local library, borrow it from a friend, find a good used book store or maybe I will have a giveaway soon - its a must read and one book you will find hard to put down.

Do you have a favourite coffee or a coffee that others would love to know about?



5 comments:

Thanks for this post. I am always striving to be more eco-friendly. I will have to read that book! And I love coffee too.
I used to live in Vancouver, long before Whole Foods existed. I miss Granville Island and Robson street. I wonder how much it's changed... :)

I am sure it has changed a lot Suzanne. Its been almost 4 years since we lived there and its changed so much in that time. I am sure you will love this book and there are so many great tips. Let me know if you find any great coffee :-)

I try to be eco friendly, it can be hard at times though. I am into alot of the organic food and fresh foods. There aren't alot of bi-products and everything is more natural which is great. I have a little one who is very allergic to many things and the eco products and organic foods help him so much. As far as coffee, yike, I'm a Timmy's addict. Hoever, I am starting to favor organic green teas alot more lately!
Take care,
Tracy

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