More reasons to become vegetarian

I just read one of the most ridiculous comment in the Metro today. One reader questioned how vegetarians can do any good to the environment given that they eat away all the plants! I found myself in utter disbelief on the level of ignorance in such a civilised society.Perhaps not many people know that livestock rearing accounts for approximately 18 percent of the global greenhouse gases! Methane gas is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide and you need the equivalent of 6kg of plant protein to convert into 1kg of meat protein! However way you look at it, vegetarians can’t be doing more damage to the environment than meat eaters.With the food commodity prices soaring inthe past year because of grain shortage partly due to rising demands of meat in developing countries like China and India, I wonder how much longer human can live like they do now without making compromises. An easy solution would be for more people to become vegetarians and reduce food wastage. There can only be winners from this. More and more dietitians and doctors are advocating eating more fruits and vegetables. Not only does this improve your health, it also alleviates demand for meat and reduce the damageto the environment at the same time slowdown the surge in food prices like grain (that is the main feed to livestock).I don’t understand why so many people are against the idea of becoming a vegetarian. Most seem to find vegetarian food bland and not providing enough nutrients. Contrary to most people’s belief, most vitamins and minerals are best absorbed when ate uncooked from vegetables and fruits. I have never found vegetarian food bland. It’s only a matter of adjusting your palate. Most meat eaters are used to the strong tastes and therefore unable to appreciate more subtle flavours in vege. It only takes a few weeks for your palate to readjust and vegetarian food can be very tasty too! In fact, C used to have acnes all the time right until he stopped eating meat. He still have the odd acne every now and then but nothing as serious as before. He has not made any changes to his lifestyle or skincare regime at all (note that he never use skincare products) and he cannot relate it to any other reason other than his change in diet. I hope everyone will give vegetarianism a chance and give yourself a chance to live a healthier life. You can always have that odd treat of meat if you wish, it’s not as though you have crossed the Rubicon.

The American way of romance

This is really interesting (you probably need to zoom in to be able to see the text). Looks like the American beauty really do have this kind of mentality when it comes to finding men for dating or for marriage. I always thought it’s just over-exaggeration. Incredible. Unfortunately beauties, in whoever’s eyes, really always do have the advantage when it comes to pulling men, as the outer shell is what men see first, and which is what men are almost instinctively attracted to. So men are said to be shallow because of that, what about these beauties?:)

My tennis hero

For the first time since 2005, Roger Federer has failed to reach the final in a grand slam. I had a feeling that he might not anyway, he has not been in his supreme form throughout the Australian Open.I have always wondered how he kept himself motivated having won so many grand slam titles. Being the best must be so lonely and more so when you have been the best for the past three years. May be this is a good break for him to give himself some motivation to do better next time. But it is of course a little disappointing for the fans because everyone expects to see him win the title. Personally, I am not too bothered. I still think he is the best player out there and he is only 26, he has many years to come to stay in the game. No matter what happens from now on, he will always be remembered as one of the best tennis player ever, and perhaps the most deserved winner.

Cooking popcorn at home

If you have not tried cooking popcorn before, you definitely should try it. Interestingly, we got this idea from watching a home cooking show called Nigella Express, which we were attracted to by the criticisms the programme was subjected to. And we wanted to see if Nigella Lawson is really that flirtatious, after watching a lousy but hilarious impression performed by a guy in Graham Norton’s show (yes she does look rather flirtatious, but she certainly has not been squeezing her breasts every now and then :)) Anyway we just cooked our popcorn using her recipe, and it was quite fun. We used a big pan with a transparent glass lid, so we actually could see the popcorn pop! And W was amazed, to my amusement :)Interesting observation: it’s actually the crystallised or solidified sugar on the popcorn that makes them crunchier!

Photo selected for a travel guide

I was told that a photo I uploaded onto Flickr is selected for inclusion in a Seville travel guide called “Schmap”. Initially I was ecstatic thinking that I’ve really taken a good shot, and that I’m being recognised as a decent photographer. But a closer look at their website tells me that they are not really a great source for travel information. The photo I took was outside a bull ring in Seville. But on the page where my photo is displayed on their site, it claims that the place is “Teatro de la Maestranza” , which is an opera house. Misleading isn’t it? But anyway I have to say that I’m still quite pleased my photo is “selected” 🙂

Calories intake

There seems to be a rush of TV programmes on food, diet, healthy living and animal welfare recently. It seems that the reason people are getting obese is they are eating too much. Painfully obvious, but what is interesting is people have little idea about the calories they take in. A lot of them think their diet is okay, without realising that they actually eat more than their body can burn off everyday. Yet wonder why they are getting bigger in size! One woman was convinced that her metabolic rate is lower than an average person’s and turns out she actually has a normal one after consultation with a doctor. Now I start to wonder if I have not been eating enough, as I’m definitely underweight, and have always blamed this on my high metabolic rate! Perhaps I should start paying a bit more attention on the calories I take in as well. How ironic :)BTW, as food is getting more expensive nowadays, there is definitely a strong case for people to start eating less (not more than they need), not just for obesity issue, and consume less meat, for various reasons.

Jamie’s Fowl Dinners

Despite Jamie Oliver’s effort in promoting better quality school lunch in Britain, I still don’t think I like his TV programmes, or perhaps more precisely his image or his personality. It’s a strange one, as I seldom dislike someone. “Jamie’s Fowl Dinners” seems to be yet another of his “stunt”, this time to raise consumers awareness on the eggs or chickens they buy from supermarkets. To be fair, the programme is quite informational. It shows the poor conditions the chickens have to endure throughout their life, particularly those that are caged. You can almost see the chickens are happier if they are free-range. But what strikes me is his effort to try and tell the audience of the poor fate of the chickens, where they are ultimately slaughtered, chopped into separate parts for selling, with their carcasses compressed for sausages etc, yet he’s not willing to stop eating these poor chickens. I find his action rather contradictory, don’t you think? What a poor message to send out to the audience. W pointed out that he’s done something similar before as well, telling people, in the capacity as a Sainsbury spokesperson, that farmed salmon is healthy yet not serving them in his own restaurant. Hypocrite?

Switzerland photos

Originally uploaded by arctanck

Photos taken during our trip to Switzerland are now available here on Flickr. I’ve finally taken the leapt to upgrade my Flickr account to Flickr Pro, as unknowingly I now have more than 200 photos (a limit I wasn’t aware of) on Flickr and I have to upgrade my account if I want people to be able to see the photos I’ve uploaded previously. Anyway what the heck, $24.95 (a year) is not a lot of money and I really like Flickr as my on-line photo sharing tool. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Home sick

After a week of rather intense skiing, I’m glad that I’m back home again. Just feel very tired after all the travelling and skiing. In fact we went into a deep coma of more than 12 hours yersterday! Every now and then during our trip, I was worried my flat might be broken into, missed the Robin bird that comes visit our flat for food (just found out that the Robin has found himself a partner already, hurray!), wanted to find out if our fish are doing okay, and we even missed our soft-toy dogs! 🙂 Think I start to understand why my mum misses her home so much after just a couple of days away from home. Particularly when you have living things in your house. As our friend has commented before, keeping pet fish is one of the most involving hobbies. In a way, unlike cats or dogs, you can’t really send the whole tank of fish to your friend’s house when you are away. If you are away for more than a few weeks, you will need somebody to come change the water in the tank. Because of this tank of fish, we have asked our friend to come house-sit before! Anyway I’m quite glad we have a place we can call home.Last but not the least, Happy New Year to everyone!