Book I Read in January

Ugh. As you probably have noticed by my lack of posts, I’ve been a bit busy in January with life to have much time for anything else. It doesn’t help that January is the a horrible month full of darkness and cold and misery and general terribleness. And yes, January is almost over, but the longest month of the year follows. (Yes, I know, 28 days usually but 29 this year and every single day in February lasts 52 hours)

So in January, I have read:

This Land is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving by David Silverman. A well researched history of the “intermingling” of the early european settlers and those pesky native people who were already living here. I put it on my list for November to read for Thanksgiving but it only was available in my library by January. A solid but depressing read.

I’ll start posting more when I feel up to it. I’m staying away from the impeachment hearings for the most part. We already know that’s a sham.

What Does ‘Plant-Based’ Actually Mean?

I gave up eating beef and pork (well, all mammals actually, I still eat chicken and fish but I try to go for veggie options if they are available) back in 2018. I did try an impossible burger once and it was good. It tasted like a burger. But, I haven’t tried it again. I just didn’t see much point in eating a fake burger after giving up real burgers. And I have some big concerns with how processed these “plant based meats” are. I guess it’s a good time if you want to be a vegan and still be really unhealthy though:

Instead, “plant-based” contains within it a host of other implications, whether it’s that the food in question is full of protein or is low-carb or uses “healthier” ingredients. Take the emergence of “plant butter,” aka margarine, an emulsion of plant oil and water that’s been around (and much maligned) since the 1950s. Plant butter is only new in that now it more often uses olive oil than vegetable oil, but mostly it’s a rebranding to obscure a product with which customers may have negative associations. By futzing with the assumed connotations of plant-based (i.e., a meat substitute made from plants), brands can use the buzzword to their advantage, and stretch it to cover almost anything but meat. But describing a product as specifically plant-based when the product it’s riffing on is also plant-based is redundant at best and cynical at worst, an attempt to sell customers something “new” that’s not really that new. Or just confusing to someone like me, who is left wondering why some plants don’t count as “plant-based.”