Meet mono-glycerides and diglycerides a couple of many food additives that I had been ignoring. Now they scream at me from plastic packaging that I am trying to avoid buying. They are listed everywhere—on plastic bags holding breads and buns; and on plastic tubs bearing sour cream, ice cream, margarine, and so on.
Apparently the glycerides facilitate the union of fat with water-based substances and promote chemical stability.
These chemicals are two of many palm oil derivatives that I now want to avoid entirely. It’s my personal resistance to our destruction of tropical forests to make way for palm oil plantations. I have resisted food additives for health reasons over the years but counter forces have been strong. Now my awareness of how much our food (and cosmetics) industry depends on a crop that is rarely grown sustainably (to say the least) gives me renewed energy to say “no”.
Another awareness that I recently gleaned (and presumably it’s true) is that mono and diglycerides are hidden sources of trans fats but for some reason escape labeling as trans fatty acids. So for example, if you buy a tub of sour cream that says it contains zero trans fats, you may be deceived if the sour cream is one of the brands containing mono or diglycerides.
Stuart McLean’s radio shows featured stories and music. They were hilarious and heartwarming company over the years. He traveled across Canada to communities large and small, recording live shows. I attended one in Toronto almost ten years ago.
It was with shock that I heard that he passed away today, only 68. His show, called The Vinyl Cafe, was loved by many Canadians and public radio listeners in the United States. Vinyl Cafe stories about Dave, Morley and their two children, Sam and Stephanie, are available in podcasts, books and on CD.
These words came to mind when Jane Dougherty offered the above John Bauer illustration as a poetry prompt. For this poetry challenge (open to anyone with the urge to try) Jane also gives an optional ‘handful’ of words: star, gift, wander, soaring, and cobalt.
The moon will be completely full tomorrow night. July Full Moon is known as Thunder Moon or Buck Moon according to Native North American traditions. Buck Moon relates to bucks growing new antlers in July—an event I haven’t had the fortune to witness. Thunder Moon of course reflects the frequent rumblings and flashes of lightning at this time of year. Where I live (Ontario, Canada) threatening black clouds have been a common sight:
Other features of July are recognized in other full moon names: Rose Moon, Hot Moon (on average July is the hottest month of the year in the Northern Hemisphere), and Hay Moon (hay is cut and harvested after dry summer days).
The small flower bed next to my porch still yields surprises after five springs and summers of being here. There is a mystery creeping vine that I’ve trimmed and perhaps hampered–I wonder–but today it came up with fresh apple green leaves and blue flowers that I don’t recall seeing before. I took a photo and wrote a brief poem, a ‘cinquain’.