Thursday, January 19, 2006

Mad Cow

There was an interesting article in this week's newsletter from the Organic Consumers Association. It seems that McDonalds Corporation is complaining about how poorly the FDA is monitoring U.S. beef safety. Currently, they test less than 1% of cattle for mad cow disease. It will be interesting to see if anything changes now that a major beef buyer is speaking out.

Check out this link for more articles about mad cow While you're there, sign the petition urging the government to enforce the same testing standards required by the European Union and Japan.

To subscribe to the Organic Consumers Association newsletter, go to

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California

If you get to the Salinas area of California, don’t miss the Steinbeck Center located at One Main Street in Salinas. I recently went there with my family and was pleasantly surprised at how much everyone enjoyed it.

Most of the museum is dedicated to the works and life of John Steinbeck. There is a short film that gives some really great information about him. I came away so inspired – not only is Steinbeck an amazing writer but his books makes social statements as well.

One of the things I particularly liked about the museum was that it’s just as fun for kids as for adults. We were greeted at the entrance by a friendly docent who immediately told my children they were allowed to touch anything in the museum. He gave them a list of things to look for and told them to turn it in at the end to get a prize.

I found the museum particularly well-designed because it was so interactive. Rather than just reading information, you almost always had to turn a knob, open a door, pull a handle, etc. That made my kids want to check out each exhibit and kept them busy while my husband and I read the information. My daughters also had a great time climbing into model cars and trucks and on tractors and horses.

In addition to information about Steinbeck, one wing of the center is devoted to information about California agriculture. There were a lot of fun, interactive exhibits for children there as well.

While you’re there, be sure to check out the gift shop. You can get all of Steinbeck’s books as well as many quality and unique gift items. I had as much fun browsing there as in the museum.

Here’s the web site: