Tapped, a documentary

A new documentary called Tapped talks about bottled water and its consumption. I haven't seen it yet, but the following is a 5-minute trailer, and it looks pretty interesting ...

Visit the Tapped site to learn more, reserve your DVD, e-mail your state representatives, and more!


Homemade Salsa

We recently visited my great grandfather (some of you may know him as Dad) and my great Aunt Mary for a weekend in Knoxville, Tenn. He loves a good homegrown tomato, and each year he plants upwards of 40 tomato plants in his garden.

Well, he saved us about 50 tomatoes, and we got home last week and made some tasty, tasty salsa! We had so much, we canned 11 1/2 quarts of salsa!

And while we were at it, we picked some jalapenos from our garden and canned them, too! We canned 8 1/2 pints of jalapenos.

I love canning our own vegetables! It's a wonderful feeling to accomplish something that will last. It's also a way to keep from wasting food that is all ripe at once, while saving it for a time when you can't get fresh items in season. I hope to do more canning in the future.

Grandpa and Aunt Mary gave us their pint canner since they don't use it anymore ... Thank you so much! Also a big shout out to Megan who helped prepare the tomatoes and other vegetables to go in the salsa—You rock!

What do you can? I am also looking to dry some of my herbs for the winter ... Anyone got any experience in that? It'll be my first time, and I could use some pointers.


Tap vs. Bottled Water

Last month I posted an article about a rural Australian town that banned the sale of bottled water. That's pretty extreme, but it does bring up some things to think about concerning the way we regard bottled water.

Bottled water costs almost 2,000 times more than tap water, but people continue to buy it. Why? Some people think it's safer, cleaner or simply because it tastes better. Two recent studies—one by the Government Accountability Office, the other by the Environmental Working Group—shed some light on the issue.

Bottled water is regulated by the FDA, which does not require companies to disclose sources, use certified labs, or report failures of water quality tests. The EPA mandates that public water systems do all of those, and more.

Check out this chart that sums up some of the differences between the regulation of tap water versus that of bottled water.

As far as environmental impact goes, a direct comparison of drinking water from the tap with bottled water shows the environmental impact of tap water is approximately only one fourth of that of bottled water, according to Treehugger.com.

I carry an aluminum reusable water bottle these days, and I refuse to buy bottle water. We live in one of the few countries that actually have perfectly safe tap water, so there's no reason not to drink it. If it's the taste of tap water, invest in a water filter—Alex and I have one at home, and it pays for itself since you're not buying bottled water.

More resources:

Creative Commons photo by Gabriel_Not from Flickr