When I think of people I know who are making an impact on our world, I'm lucky to be able to name more than one. I know quite a few amazing people who are doing their own good things to make this world a better place and one of those people is my friend, Jo-Anne McArthur. Each and every day, Jo-Anne uses her talents, drive, determination, and passion to make her own special mark on humanity.
Jo-Anne is someone who has chosen a cause to live her life for and is doing it in huge ways. Her cause is to show the world, through her camera lens, the plight of animals who suffer silently each day as we go about our busy lives. What Jo-Anne is doing is not for fame or fortune—Jo-Anne wants to change the world.
“The connection that I have to animals while I’m photographing them is one of empathy. There is a huge mistreatment and inequality between human and non-human animals, and that’s always in the forefront of my mind.” – Jo-Anne McArthur
Liz Marshall, director of The Ghosts in Our Machine chose to document Jo-Anne over a one-year period as she travelled across the world photographing and documenting the stories of the “the ghosts”(the animals) and the industries they are part of. The documentary also covers the relationship between humans and animals.
“The Ghosts In Our Machine illuminates the lives of individual animals living within and rescued from the machine of our modern world. Through the heart and photographic lens of acclaimed animal photographer Jo-Anne McArthur, we become intimately familiar with a cast of non-human animals. The film follows McArthur over the course of a year as she photographs several animal stories in parts of Canada, the U.S. and in Europe. Each story and photograph is a window into global animal industries: Research; Food; Fashion and Entertainment. The question is posed: Are non-human animals property to be owned and used, or are they sentient beings deserving of rights?”
See the trailer here:
I've already written about films that have made a huge impact on me and the way I think—once I see this documentary, I am sure it will be added to that list.
The Ghosts in Our Machine is currently screening in cities across Canada, click for a list of upcoming dates. To help release this documentary in US theatres, you can donate to the Ghosts in Our Machine Indiegogo Campaign.
Image Credits: The Ghosts in Our Machine
Even though this year's vegetable garden was not what I had hoped for, I did manage to get a few things out of it. Parsley was abundant as were carrots, and thankfully, the zucchini.
I plant zucchini each year because they are healthy and there are so many things I can make from them. From "noodles" to salads to breads and these muffins, it's a versatile vegetable that will always have a place in my garden.
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup melted coconut oil (plus extra for greasing muffin tin)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp ground flax seeds + 6 tbsp water
1 cup shredded zucchini (about one medium zucchini)
3/4 cup raisins OR chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F
Line a muffin tin with liners or generously grease the inside of each cup with coconut oil.
Whisk the two tablespoons of ground flax seeds with six tablespoons of water. Let the mixture sit until it thickens. This mixture is known as "flax eggs" and is used as an egg replacement in vegan baking.
Shred zucchini using the smaller of the two shredders on your box greater. After shredding DO NOT squeeze the liquid out of the zucchini.
In medium bowl combine flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In a small bowl, mix the coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla, and flax mixture. Add in shredded zucchini and stir again until well combined.
Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until combined taking care not to over mix. Fold in raisins or chocolate chips.
Divide batter into the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the largest muffin comes out clean.
Note: If you don’t have a problem with wheat, use 1 1/2 cups of regular flour instead of the gluten-free flour and omit the xanthan gum.
Makes 12 muffins
Pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are the two big reasons why most people try to buy organic produce when they can. Luckily, as demand for organics grows, so does the selection at the grocery store. This increasing popularity is a great thing, but often times, stores don't always have what we need when we need it, the produce is not always fresh, or the food is not local because it was shipped from the other side of the world. So what other options do we have? Organic produce delivery and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) may be a good fit for your family.
More and more organic produce delivery services and CSA farms are popping up in cities across the country and not only are they super convenient, you also have the peace of mind knowing that what you are getting is organic, fresh, and in most cases local.
Of course, when it comes to purchasing organic produce at the grocery store, it is not absolutely necessary that everything be organic, refer to the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list as a guideline.
An organic delivery service is an online grocery store that offers organic produce. You go on to the service's website, choose if you want to order a la carte or have a pre-selected box of produce delivered, and then you pay. You also choose the delivery frequency and the amount of produce the box contains. Some organic produce delivery services also offer a selection of organic and natural grocery store staples.
Here are some organic produce and grocery delivery services from across Canada:
To find an organic delivery service in your city, a simple Google search will help you find what you are looking for.
A CSA is much different from an organic delivery service. If you buy into a CSA, you buy and pick up directly from the farmer, but delivery can sometimes be arranged depending on if the farm offers this service.
At the beginning of the farming season, you "buy into" the farm with the agreement that the farmer will share the food with all "share holders" throughout the season as it is harvested. Some farms require you to help with farming duties to help divide the labour amongst share holders and to bring you closer to the food being grown, which can be a great experience for your children.
Here is a list of CSA farm programs listed by province:
Have you ever used an organic grocery delivery service or have you taken part in a CSA program? What did you think?