Keep Your Arsenic Off My Dinner

It's time for yet another food segment here on Scrimpalicious. Today, we're going to talk about chicken.

Specifically, we're going to talk about how the FDA recently admitted that grocery store chicken contains small amounts of arsenic.

I have a few questions after reading the above-linked article on ABC.

I'm happy to hear that Pfizer agreed to pull the offending product. I'm glad to know that it's "only" a little carcinogenic poison in the meat that I buy to feed my family.

What I am not happy with is finding yet another piece of evidence that food in America is no safer now than it was a hundred years ago when Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle. I'm not happy knowing that people are adding dangerous things to our food supply without being sure, and I mean really sure, that it's safe.

Food Renegade also makes the excellent point that the arsenic being fed to these chickens is, according to ABC news, safe because the chickens are mostly excreting it. What does that mean? It means that the arsenic that those chickens are eating is being leached into soil, dumped into rivers, turned into fertilizer--oh, and ground up and mixed with the feed given to cows and pigs.

People ask me sometimes why we're so picky about where we buy our groceries.

This is why.

Finding Real Food

Found this on facebook, posted by a friend. Love it. Not sure who the original attribution should go to--if you know, tell me!

Click on the image to make it bigger.

Life Unedited

I've been thinking a lot lately about housekeeping mishaps. Like fashion magazines and stick-thin models do for body image, Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart Living create beautiful pictures of totally imaginary things and then make us all hate ourselves for not being having a living room as amazing as so-and-so who just finished renovating his vacation cottage in the Hamptons.

I try to celebrate my ridiculous mistakes and domestic calamities, in the same way that I try to celebrate women and men who have not been airbrushed, and food that is not full of chemicals. Mistakes are how we learn.

For instance, shortly after getting married, I learned a very important lesson about checking my laundry carefully to make sure nothing has been sorted wrong...

The following is a true story. I wrote this two years ago, but I've never posted it on Scrimpalicious until now.


I spent some time with Mr. Scrimp's mom yesterday. We hung out, made ice cream, and canned blueberry jam--and she gave me a huge bag full of fresh spearmint!

This stuff grows like a weed, but it is a super useful plant, and I'm really excited to have so much of it. I will be hanging this batch in my pantry to dry for easy storage and use throughout the upcoming year. For instance, did you know that spearmint tea can treat nausea?

This fall, one of our goals is to reduce our use of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and one of the ways we're preparing to do that is by making our own remedies at home.

Do you use any home remedies or herbs on a regular basis?

Summer Forces Unconditional Surrender

A couple of nights ago, our power went out.

Normally, this would be no big deal. But we happen to be in the middle of a monstrous heat wave, and even though it was only an hour before midnight when the power cut out, the house was still oppressively hot, and outside was not much better.

But, it turned out to be a great time. We called the power company to report the outage, went to CVS to pick up some cold drinks, and then came back and sat on our front step with our upstairs neighbors, our next-door neighbors, and another neighbor from down the street who we had never met before.

We stayed out there for nearly three hours waiting for the power to come back on, dripping with sweat, choked with heat, but having a great time. We met several of our neighbors who we'd never spoken with before, because as soon as everyone's fans and window air conditioners went off (none of the houses in our area have central air), it was too hot to keep sleeping and they all took to their porches and sidewalks.

I remember spending a lot of summer nights outside on porches when I was a kid, or hanging out in basements, garages, and even under bushes to keep cool.  Sometimes I sort of regret having air conditioning because it tempts us so strongly to stay inside all the time instead of getting out, getting used to the heat, and slowing down a little bit.

Would you ever consider getting rid of air conditioning in the summer?

Oak Park Hates Veggies

My post today is not about cooking, crafting, or sewing (although I've been up to all of those things lately!)

No. Instead, I'd like to tell you about a unique little blog I found. You see, the city of Oak Park, MI is prosecuting a woman there for growing organic vegetables in her front lawn. She claims that she isn't violating city code--they claim that she is, and that it is illegal for her to grow food on her own property where others can see it.

I encourage you to read her blog, do some research on your own, and draw your own conclusions. And if, as I hope, you draw the same conclusions that I did, I also encourage you to join me in contacting the city of Oak Park* to make sure they know that we find it unacceptable to punish a law-abiding citizen for making healthy choices on behalf of her family.

* in a polite and non-threatening way, of course!


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