Monday, February 27, 2012

Subculture moment: Pimplywimp

Youtube star Pimplywimp (Ryan Reyes) is a friend of mine, with whom I am hoping to collaborate on a video in the future. :) His videos range from the bizarre to the manic and from making sociopolitical commentaries to raising awareness on issues affecting our Planet.

I am posting three of his videos below. If you enjoy the videos, leave a comment for him and maybe even subscribe. Be sure to tell him you tuned in through Local to Global Life Works! Have fun passing through his dimension! :)

Peace and beets,

Nisha Namorando Vida
Local to Global Life Works Founder/Director


Bottled Designer Air!:

It's hard being a kid!:

Wise words from a humble merchant:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pop culture moment: Whitney Houston, the Grammys, and Common's rap for LA

The video above is of famous hip hop artist Common (who performed for President Obama last year at the White House) rhyming some love for Los Angeles. I filmed the video at a Grammy after-party at the Conga Room in downtown Los Angeles.

The Grammy's are working on minimizing waste generation from their event and involving themselves in some environmentally sustainable practices to raise awareness about the need for such changes on the global scale. Click here for more information.  Also, please be sure to check in soon with green LA girl, where I will be posting an article on the Grammy Greening Summit, which I was able to attend.

Finally, here is a beautiful story on Zocalo Public Square about what Whitney Houston meant to a young lady of color growing up in South Los Angeles.

Peace and enjoy,

Nisha Namorando Vida
Local to Global Life Works founder/director

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Want to make a difference? Drive your car less and sign a petition.

Petitions are an easy way to let your voice be heard on an issue by lending support to a cause through your signature. Receiving a petition on an issue signed by large numbers of people sends a BIG message to elected officials, by showing them that people care enough about an issue to spend a few moments of their time looking into it and officially stating that they support or oppose it.

As actions speak louder than words, you shouldn't just sign a petition because you feel guilted into it. Instead, think about whether or not you agree with the cause. If you do, sign the petition and think additionally about what you can do in your life to stop perpetuating whatever the root issue is relating to the particular petition.

In this blog post, please find links to three separate petitions fighting against the same issue: American dependance on dirty energy.

Tar sands, via

One petition is working to gather signatures to stop the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would threaten our country's last remaining nature spaces, would shlep tar sands 1700 miles from Canada down to Texas to be refined. This would pollute vital sources of fresh water, and destroy wildlife habitats and ecosystems. Check the following video for more information:

The other two petitions each take a stance against H.R. 7, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012. If you can't sign both of these, at least sign one. This bill would open up the Arctic Refuge for oil drilling (one of our LAST remaining wild spaces - it is being saved for a reason!!!) and would allow for deepwater drilling to not only continue in the Gulf, but to drill in even deeper parts of the Gulf than where the Deepwater Horizon spill occurred.

Photo via Oceana

Take a stance against drilling in the Arctic - sign here.
Take a stance against deepwater drilling - sign here.

Finally, probably THE most important thing you can do to prevent some of these horrible things to happen to the plants, animals and ecosystems of this fragile Earth with regard to the petitions above is to drive your car WAY less, use WAY less energy generally (turn off the lights/tv/computer/etc if you aren't using it!), and try to avoid using plastic anything  (which is made of oil) as much as possible. Every time you use one of these things, imagine a big chimney shooting black smoke out into the clean sky. Find a way to make changes in your life, even if they start off rather small.

Take this blog post as a challenge to yourself, or at least as an opportunity to combat boredom, if this is something you experience at times.

Massive smog cloud over China including Beijing. From NASA Earth Observatory.

On jobs - the Keystone Pipeline and H.R. 7 both draw on the concept of 'job creation' to get boosts from voters. Please realize that while jobs are crucially needed in many parts of the country, if we destroy the last of our wild spaces, pollute our air and water, and destroy the last of increasingly fragile natural ecosystems, we will put the future health of our planet in limbo, meaning possible major natural disasters and far fewer jobs for everyone.

'Security' does not lie in more of the same that has gotten us in this mess. 'Security' lies in creating a healthy future for all. Let's invest in education instead of oil. Our future generations should be innovating healthier ways to live.

"We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."
Thanks and peace!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Free sourdough starter, anyone? :)

Would you like a cup or two of free sourdough starter? This can be used for making a variety of foods, including sourdough bread, pizza crust, cake and pancakes! You can also keep it alive by 'feeding' it a combination of flour and warm water daily. It can also be stored in the refrigerator, where it will sleep until you are ready to use it in a recipe. It still has to be fed every 3-4 days, however.

The starter rising in the night!

This morning before stirring. Yum!

I just got my sourdough going yesterday. I started it half with white flour and half with whole wheat flour (none of the flour has been it might be genetically modified flour), but ran out of white flour so am currently feeding it with whole wheat flour.

Ready to be fed this morning

I had originally intended to start my starter from scratch (which may be somewhat difficult for the beginner), however, I succumbed to purchasing an enticing packet of San Francisco style sourdough starter that I saw at Whole Foods the other day. The starter I have to offer you is from this packet. 

Next stop - fresh sourdough bread! :)

If you are enticed or curious, feel free to leave a comment or email: 
localtoglobalworks (at) gmail (dot) com! 

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What are you eating? What's in your food?

I had the opportunity to go to a meat farm - New Frontier Family Farms - over the weekend as a member of the LA Eco-Village food coop. I myself am a vegetarian, was interested to check out a farm claiming to raise happy chickens in an environmentally sustainable manner and to learn what that might mean to these farmers. I asked them to explain why they do what they do based on the local to global impacts of their work. Check the video above, and feel free to peruse the rest of the article below. And please, as always, feel free to share your thoughts. :)


Nisha Namorando Vida
Local to Global Life Works Founder/Director 

LA Eco-Village food coop folks gathered around chicken tractors and New Frontier Family Farms co-owner Heather to learn about how they raise their chickens.

One of the little ones in Farmer Dave's hands

We learned about the term 'free range'. The farmers informed us that according to government regulation, the way that they raise their chickens (in open air, outdoor pens, which they use since there are coyotes and wild dogs in their neighborhood) is considered 'free range'. Dave and Heather feel that 'free range' should mean that the chickens run around as they please, but they say that they at least work to keep the chickens living in a comfortable situation. Check this link for criticisms on 'free range'. Check this link for how to decode your egg carton.

Chickens chilling in the sun

Chilling chickens and Farmer Heather

At New Frontier Family Farms, chickens stay in the pens as you see above. After a few days, the grass gets worn down, and the pens are shifted to a grassier patch. We were informed that meat chickens tend to be a bit lazy and stay near where their food is. When the pen is lifted, they often follow it to stay near their food. This is apparently a different situation from egg-laying chickens, who are very active and will sometimes fly into trees and on top of roofs, if they aren't unlucky enough to be born as a factory chicken.

Chicken manure fertilizes the pasture on which the chickens graze.

Dave informed us that the health of the chicken mostly depends on the health of the grasses it is eating, which depends on the soil. It all comes back to the Earth. (Watch the film Dirt!)

Chicken feed in addition to the grasses they graze on and the grubs they pluck from the dirt.

A good reason to buy pasture raised meat is because most animals consumed (chickens, cows, goats, sheep, rabbits, etc.) mostly eat grasses by nature. Even 'organic', 'vegetarian fed', or 'cage free' are not necessarily eating the foods they should be biologically. Further, most likely the grains and 'vegetarian feed' these animals are consuming is soy and corn (soy farming, by the way, is the biggest contributor to destruction of the Amazon, other than cattle raising). If you buy organic, then you are likely not buying genetically modified foods, but soy and corn are grains that none of these animals would ever eat in nature. New Frontier supplements their chickens' diets with an organic feed that they said unfortunately contains corn and soy. They said, however, that of all the feed supplements they have tried, they have had the least chicken death and illness with the one they currently use.

In this video, Farmer Dave explains how he kills chickens. He and Heather discussed how they have looked into different methods for killing chickens, but this is the least cruel and painful. The chickens do not live stressful lives, and experience minimal stress and no pain until the final moment of death. After they are defeathered, Heather removes all of their innards. Some of the people who order meat from them request the liver or feet, and so they keep these for customers. Currently, they bury the chicken parts that are not sold, though they informed us that they are looking into composting methods. The kids that Dave refers to in the above video are his own - they help out on the farm. He says they prefer living on the farm, even though they have to do more work, because they have a wide space in which to play, and can observe wild birds (such as hawks nesting on the farm).

 Close up of the defeathering machine

Dave and Heather's farm are surrounded by dairies and meat farms. As soon as we exited and started driving toward the farm, we could smell methane. As Dave mentioned in the video at the top of this post, there are a lot of polluting byproducts from animal rearing, particularly when it is done irresponsibly. He says the water is so bad in their area that it was killing off a lot of their chickens. They installed an industrial water filtration system (below), which has lowered the illness and death levels of their chickens to 15% of the previous number.

The people of the United States have an enormous impact on the world. We alone use 25% of the worlds energy and natural resources. What we eat is central in this equation, whether it is because of the pesticides that leach into the ocean, or the tons of fossil fuels burned by shipping meats and other ingredients across the nation and the world. Further, if we want to have peace within ourselves, we need to think about the peace levels experienced by the food we eat, since both plants and animals release stress chemicals and hormones based on their life experiences.

So, if you are interested in making the world a better place, think about what you eat, what was eaten by what you are eating, and how the animals are treated. And remember, each of your dollars is highly coveted and goes a loooooooong way. Buy local as often as possible. Visit your farmer's market - ask how the chickens are raised, what they are fed. If you are going to eat meat, at least eat meat from animals treated well at a farm that treats the Earth with respect.


All pictures and videos taken by LTG, except for 'Free Range' above. That photograph comes from a slaughter machinery company website.