Too many people refuse to take the impact of plastic bags, trash, and debris in the oceans seriously.

For some it is as simple as out of sight and out of mind.  If they can’t see it (the destruction caused by plastic trash), it cannot possibly be an issue to grapple with.  For others, the attitude they present is,”don’t bother me with facts, my mind’s made up!”

I happened across this video of a Bryde’s whale dying after having eaten plastic trash.  This was confirmed after the necropsy as this brief clip shows.

If you think this was a very rare occurrence, think again.  The following is from a recent post from The Nature Conservancy:

Plastics: 1, Marine Mammals: 0

Plastic bags, plastic cups, plastic sheeting, plastic bottles, plastic toys, plastic, plastic, plastic. There’s even a patch of Pacific Ocean — thought to be at least the size of Texas and dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — that is just plastic and other trash, bobbing along at the surface, circling in the current.

Still, plastics aren’t the only problem, just one of the most obvious. All over the world, animals (especially marine mammals and sea turtles) are dying from eating our trash.

  • Last December, seven sperm whales washed up on an Italian beach — all of them dead from plastic (and, let’s be fair, other debris like rope, tin cans and other containers) in their stomachs.
  • In 2008, it was a dead sperm whale near Point Reyes, California. Its stomach contents? An astonishing 450 pounds of fishing net, some kind of mesh, braided rope, plastic bags and one plastic    comb.
  • In 2006, scientists reviewed 371 sea turtle necropsies (an autopsy of an animal) since 1968 and discovered that one-third of the turtles had likely died from eating plastic.
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    For the record, I am officially sick and tired of politicians, issue orientated extremists of every size and shape who believe because they feel a certain way about an issue that we all must believe and act as they do.

    The Shot - Pearl District Bistro

    This is an issue orientated site that makes every attempt to treat the people who come here as adults.  I present the facts, give you my reasoning, and then judge that you will make the best decision for you and your family.

    The unnecessary use and misuse of plastic is a tragedy that is nothing short of an ecological nightmare.  The damage done to the oceans, the environment, to fish, birds, and sea creatures of every type in incalculable.  That having been said, my preference is that people make the appropriate changes WITHOUT government intervention.

    Now comes a New York politician, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn,who introduced a bill on March 5, that would fine restaurants $1,000 for each violation of using salt when they cook.

    A THOUSAND DOLLAR FINE FOR COOKING WITH SALT!  That’s it, I’ve had it Jack!  The following is for Mr. Ortiz and all others of the same ilk:

    • Trying to eliminate salt from people’s diets while (possibly) laudable is a personal health decision that is of no concern of yours or the State of New York … I’m a grownup and I don’t need you to tell me how to eat.
    • Fining restaurant chefs for using salt when they cook, when salt can be found in nearly everything we eat (from ketchup to cereal) makes absolutely no sense.
    • If I decide that I want a chef to use less salt in a particular recipe I can ask for that change now, as I have in the past when I eat Chinese food (all that soy sauce don’t you know).
    • Eliminating salt when cooking is a akin to a sacrilege, as any decent cook will tell you.  It is needed not only for flavoring but is necessary when canning, making some breads and pastries, pickling, etc.
    • There is no single food substance that is all good or all bad. Salt, sugar, eggs, milk, meat, all have drawbacks when eaten in excessive amounts, but that doesn’t mean that we ban them because of the irresponsible behavior of a few.

    Mr. Ortiz, grow up and find a real issue like the unnecessary use of plastic!  Oh ya … keep your hands off of my salt shaker!


    Food Network "Stages" Iron Chef America White House Episode – Those Veggies didn't Come from "Le Jardin Extraordinaire"

    I gotta admit, I’m miffed. Emeril (BAM!) Lagasse, Bobby Flay, and Mario Batalli all lied to us.  Was that a bit strong? Well, maybe they fudged the truth is more like it.

    I watched that episode of Iron Chef, the one where Michelle Obama made a brief appearance to announce that the show’s “secret ingredient” was to be the vegetables from the White House garden.

    All through the hour the audience heard Emeril droning on and on about the superior quality of the White House vegetables they were cooking with.

    Now it turns out our four competing chefs weren’t cooking with these vegetables extraordinaire after all. Turns out that the veggies used in the episode were locally sourced (and by extension not from the White House garden) according to a spokesperson for Food Network.

    White House vegetable garden

    Photo courtesy of The Food Network

    The Baltimore Sun is reporting

    that the vegetables used in the Jan. 3 episode of the Iron Chef — which were supposed to have been harvested from the White House vegetable garden — were actually stunt doubles.

    First Lady Michelle Obama famously appeared with competitors Bobbie Flay, Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batalli, who were joined by White House chef Cristeta Comerford, and charged them with making healthy meals with whatever they could find in the garden.

    Apparently, the time lag between the White House harvest scene filmed in October and the cooking competition filmed a week later in New York was too great for the vegetables to have remained fresh.

    It is also reported  here that the ratings for the White House Iron Chef of America special “set new viewer records for Food Network. ….With about 4.6 million viewers, it was the highest rated and most-watched show in Food Network’s history.”



    This one really got to me.

    Last week, if you missed the story, the New York Times did a story on clothing retailer, H&M.  It seems that they have been tossing out and destroying perfectly good clothes that they could not sell; cutting the fingers off of gloves, putting knives and scissors to shirts, jackets, etc.

    At the back entrance on 35th Street, awaiting trash haulers, were bags of garments that appear to have never been worn. And to make sure that they never would be worn or sold, someone had slashed most of them with box cutters or razors, a familiar sight outside H & M’s back door. The man and woman were there to salvage what had not been destroyed.

    In the process of researching this story, it turns out that the practice of tossing and destroying goes much further than one chain. It being reported that Wal-Mart is a participant in the same practice.  The question is how many other retailers are engaged in the same wasteful practice?

    A Wal-Mart spokeswoman, Melissa Hill, said that she had been unable to learn why new clothing with the store’s tags had been destroyed, but she added that the company typically donated or recycled such items.

    There is an update.  H&M has agreed to no longer continue this hateful, wasteful practice.

    “It will not happen again,” said Nicole Christie, a spokeswoman for H & M in New York. “We are committed 100 percent to make sure this practice is not happening anywhere else, as it is not our standard practice.”

    Ms. Christie said that H & M’s standard practice was to donate unworn clothing to aid organizations. She said that she did not know why the store on 34th Street was slashing the clothes, and that the company was checking to make sure that none of its other stores were doing it.

    Had it not been for the persistence of Cynthia Magnus, a graduate student at the City University of New York, we may never have known about this needless destruction of clothing and goods.


    Why Is There Carnauba Wax in My Gummi Bears?

    Imagine my surprise, when by happenstance I checked the ingredients on the back of the bag of one of my favorite gummi candies.

    Let’s see … corn syrup, sucrose, gelatin, apple juice (that’s good, right?), natural and artificial flavor, carnauba wax.

    Hey, wait a minute, what’s that doing there? Isn’t carnauba wax for the outside of my car?

    Know what really makes me so unhappy?  It’s not as if I’m not aware that one should always read the ingredients of anything that we decide to ingest.  I do know that, but really, is nothing sacred?

    Guess what?  I now know carnauba wax is put in a variety of foods in addition to be used on my floors.  As this writer from FitSugar notes:

    I didn’t know this, but carnauba wax is often called the “queen of waxes.” It’s a hard substance, so it’s used to make durable coatings for floors and cars. It’s also used in polishes, varnishes, and beauty products like mascara, deodorant, and lipstick. In foods, it’s used as a coating or anti-caking agent, and can be found in frosting, candies (such as Altoids and Tic Tacs), gum, gravies, and sauces.

    All of this leads me to another imponderable. Why is my chewing gum individually packaged in plastic?

    For years we got along fine with our Chiclets packaged in a paper product with cellophane to show the gum product. 

    Now, most gum is hermetically sealed… in plastic! The gum will last 15 minutes and the plastic that will last many hundreds of years longer than the gum. 

    Isn’t this just a bit excessive?  Really, the operative word is silly. This is a silly, nonsensical use of plastic.



    As Kermit already knows, it’s not easy being green, particularly when you are trying to eliminate the unnecessary use of plastic from your life.

    I’ve been writing about using less plastic in all of its forms for close to two years hopeful that with education and persistence that change would come.  Change is taking place, but it is moving at a snail’s pace … partly because some people are resistant to any type of change regardless of the necessity, partly because the plastics industry is too ensconced in consumer retail products to let go, partly because retailers and grocers find it easier to talk about being green than about actually effecting change.

    We all know talk is cheap.  Let’s face it, retailers, grocers, manufacturers of consumer products do almost NOTHING to help.  In fact, these businesses are the largest contributors to the plastic mess we face in our environment.

    A whopping 52% of plastic trash that ends up in landfills and the oceans comes from grocers and retailers.  Walk into any grocery store, walk the aisles, and look at how much plastic is used in place of alternative packaging that includes paper composites.

    As we move rapidly into the New Year, it is time to put companies on notice that they are equally responsible for helping reduce the amount of unnecessary plastic used in this country.

    Who’s on our 2010 “hit list” of companies that do little or nothing to address this world wide pollution problem ?

    Big box retailers like Target, Wal-Mart

    Home Improvement chains

    Grocery chains, convenience chains, drug chains

    Electronics stores

    Discount chains

    Celebrate the New Year by pledging to continue your fight to reduce and reuse plastic products.  Join me in 2010 as we move to a more direct approach with companies and corporations that have yet to take the necessary steps to reduce plastic usage and the resultant plastic trash.

    <a href=””>Contextual Links</a>


    Chris Jordan: Awareness Through Art

    If you haven’t viewed the art of Chris Jordan take some time,  and do yourself a favor.  His ability translate social and environmental concerns into visual art we can all understand is immense.

    He has published several books including “Intolerable Beauty – Portraits of American Mass Consumption”, “In Katrina’s Wake – Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster”,  “Running the Numbers – An American Self Portrait”, and “Running the Numbers II – Portraits of Global Mass Culture”.

    Click the link below from Daily Art Fix and Enjoy!

    Chris Jordan: Awareness Through Art

    Posted using ShareThis



    I am passionate about fighting plastic pollution  … I am equally passionate about fighting pancreatic cancer, a disease my family knows all too well . My mother and my step-dad lost their fight against this disease.

    Ironically, pancreatic cancer and plastic pollution have a lot in common … both are silent killers &  both are not recognized by the public.

    We usually hear about plastic pollution as Earth Day approaches , when the MSM decides its time to ratchet up its coverage about being green.

    We hear about pancreatic cancer only when a celebrity like Patrick Swayze passes away.  What we hear afterward are the sounds of silence. {{crickets … hello … anyone there? crickets}}

    These are issues that are, for the most part, out of sight and out of mind. It’ time to shine light on both of these killers.

    Today Say No to Plastic is waging an ongoing campaign to help defeat these two scourges.  When you go to the Silent Killers tab you can make a donation that will work for both causes.

    Your donation will be equally divided between Ocean Keepers and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

    November is pancreatic cancer awareness month.  Please help!




    Photo: AFP/Manan Vatsyayan

    One of the most precious resources we have on planet earth is water … clean drinkable water.

    Seventy-five percent (75%) of the world’s surface is covered in water, most of it is salt water which humans cannot drink.  A mere 2.5% of the earth’s water is fresh water; drinkable if we don’t pollute it with chemicals, trash, animal waste, run offs from farms,pesticides, and human waste.  Polluted water kills fish and marine life.  Polluted water sickens and kills people, most often in countries too poor to have sewage systems to protect the populace.

    Those children are floating in one of the most polluted rivers on earth.  This is a picture of Yamuna River in India.  According to the Mother Nature Network this is one of the 15 most polluted places on earth to live.

    The Yamuna is the largest tributary of the Ganges River. Where it flows through Delhi, it’s estimated that 58 percent of the city’s waste gets dumped straight into the river. Millions of Indians still rely on these murky, sewage-filled waters for washing, waste disposal and drinking water.

    We  take clean water for granted.  Did you know that many of the world’s people walk at least 3 hours to gain access to water?

    Read  more:

    • Each day almost 10,000 children under the age of 5 in Third World countries die as a result of illnesses contracted by use of impure water.
    • Fresh water is either groundwater (0,5%), or readily accessible water in lakes, streams, rivers, etc. (0,01%).
    • Two thirds of the water used in a home is used in the bathroom.
    • To flush a toilet we use 2 to 7 gallons of water.
    • In a five-minute shower we use  25 to 50 gallons of water.
    • To brush your teeth you use 2 gallons of water.
    To learn more about what you can do to use water in a more responsible way check out the EPA’s Water Pollution Education Toolbox.  This is an excellent source of information for you and your family.
    There are lessons plans for teachers and parents who are home schooling their children.


    I love animals and most creatures except yellowjackets and insects that destroy my tomato plants.

    I don’t like PETA.  I understand their desire for the humane treatment of animals.  It is laudable, but their approach is so negative, so misguided and over the top that their message gets lost in the turmoil they create.  In their desire to be noticed at all costs, they have turned off millions of people who support humane treatment of animal life but don’t want to be associated with PETA.

    PETA INSANITYCandidly, why would any sane person want to be associated with a group that feels the best way to get people to loose weight is to ridecule them and call them names?

    PETA is also incredibly insensitive to other peoples feelings and sensibilities.  They regularly trample on them (and good taste) with such insufferable, sanctimonious arrogance … one wants to scream, “Have you all lost your minds?”  Just say the group’s name and see how many people roll their eyes and hiss as they repeat it.


    Their brand of extremist activism hurts other groups with legitimate righteous issues … say like green activists trying to reduce the  UNNECESSARY consumption of plastic.

    Their latest fight against McDonalds is just another example of extremist behavior designed to catch media attention.  Some people believe that any media attention is better than no media attenion.  You know … just spell my name right!  It wasn’t that long ago when Britney Spears was shaving her head to get media attention.  How’d that work?

    The worst part is the pay back.   The picture below says it all … PETA SUCKS … spelled out in rabbits.


    The following comments were found over at Femisex

    PETA, you have finally done it. You have made me change my mind about something. Congratulations. However, it won’t be to your liking. I’m going out right now get some Kobe Steak for dinner wearing my endangered species ocelot fur coat and if any one of your mink-releasing vegan followers dares to as much as sneer in my direction I’m making a hat out of their bony ass.
    I know it’s already been said, but this is disgusting. In so many ways.
    Makes the t-shirt I saw recently even more funny and appropriate…”People Eating Tasty Animals”
    The whole thing just makes my ample body sigh. Clearly, PETA believes any attention – bad or good – helps their cause. They oflten fail to consider the negative outcome of such efforts. Campaigns like this one – and this one is a DOOZY – actually serve the omnivore argument better than any other.
    As someone who never cooks meat at home and strives to be a vegetarian (mainly for ethical reasons), I have to go with Dabitch on this one. The whole silly mess makes me want a cheeseburger.
    After all of the nonsense about about that vile Cintra Wilson article, as I put it on my blog, I am beginning to suffer “outrage fatigue.” And as a luxuriously plus-sized omnivore, I intend to eat a sandwich made out of the nearest endangered species I can find.

    If I thought for one second that my kid chose to go vegetarian out of some sort of weird fear of being fat, I’d be shoving prime rib down her gullet faster than you could say “all things in moderation.”

    Need I say more?  Actually there is one more thing.

    Calling fish sea kittens won’t stop people from consuming this valuable protein any more than it will stop people from consuming beef by calling cattle land dolphins!