Tag Archives: oh my pocket pies

Sustaining Your New Year’s Resolutions

This Word by: Emily Holden

We are officially one week into 2011! Have you kept up with your New Year’s resolutions? Among the most popular New Year’s Resolutions this year are to lose weight, be happy, eat, drink, learn, or try something new, and a New Year’s resolution trend in Houston, to live in a green and clean house. If one or several of these objectives sounds familiar to you, then you might consider how sticking to just one or two of these goals can actually help you achieve all of them.

Studies show that people who commit to fewer resolutions and approach old problems in new ways are more likely to stick to their goals. Due to such research and an OMPP obsession with high quality, delicious, and local foods, we feel compelled to focus on how resolving to consume good food and drink may help you lose a few pounds, be happier, and keep a green household. And what a relief it is to know that food and drink are still essential ingredients in your 2011 recipe for success!

Drink local wines to optimize personal health and environmental benefits. According to Ron Saikowski, Texas wineries are producing more and better quality wines than ever, with some like Red Caboose Winery leading the way in green and organic viticulture. So, chose local wines and you can boost the Texas economy while funding environmentally sound wine production.  Also, this is good news for you ladies, research reveals that drinking a glass of wine each day may actually prevent weight gain over time in women and provide other health benefits like lower glucose levels and more optimal kidney functioning. Why not resolve to drink one glass of local red wine a day (moderation being the key of course) in order to lose weight, boost your mood, and maintain a green lifestyle?

If changing this one behavior is not quite enough to satisfy your New Year’s declarations, make grocery shopping a part of your fitness routine by walking, jogging, or cycling to your local markets. By taking this step towards change you can control many aspects of your life in a single errand. Aim for local markets and you’ve set an achievable destination for a day’s workout.  Surround yourself with local and organic foods and you’ll be faced with an abundance of smart, healthy food options to pick from. Limit the amount of items you can carry and you’ll buy only what you need for dinner or for the next few days, and you’ll be forced to make another fitness filled grocery run at least a couple of times a week. Stop by the Rice University Farmers Market every Tuesday, where we get the best organic, local goods for our menu!

Keep on ringing in the new year with us by making the little choices count for a lot. We’re right here with you working to make some big changes in 2011 through fundamental choices, choosing to serve local and fresh foods to keep our community healthy, happy, and green.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Go Green, Go Local, local houston, oh my pocket pies

Local 3: Your Houston Thanksgiving Feast

This word by: Ginny Torok

I bet when the Native Americans and Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving they didn’t imagine that in almost 400 years 79% of seafood, 39% of fruit and 13% of vegetables would be imported from other countries. This Thanksgiving, show your pride for America, and support local businesses. We have found the best vendors for three of the most important parts of the Thanksgiving meal.

1. Let’s just start with the obvious: Turkey! One awesome Houston turkey-wrangler is located just north of the bustling city, in Waller, TX. Georgia’s Texas Grassfed Beef and Natural Meats also sells grass fed beef and lamb, pork, pastured poultry and of course, free-range turkey. You can even order your meat online and have it delivered to you house. If you don’t need to stock up for an order, track them down at several local Houston farmer’s markets. To find another source of local meat and turkey anywhere in Texas, use Eatwild’s farm and ranch search.

2. We all know what is next on the list of Thanksgiving celebration importance. We’re talking about booze, folks! 16% of wine and beer is imported from other countries. Are we not proud of our settlers’ hard work? Let’s be serious – you can’t rightfully toast the Mayflower with glasses full of imported goods. When you shop any grocery or liquor store for wine, always take a look at the Texas selection. You can order wine online from Messina Hof Winery, with vineyards located just outside of Houston in Bryan, TX. Our always favorite choice for local beer, St. Arnold’s Brewery, sells pretty much any beer you and your guests could dream of for the perfect Thanksgiving feast compliment. For a more complete list of Texas-made wine, beer and spirits check out the Texas Food and Wine Gourmet.com.

3. Last but certainly not least, carbs and dessert! Our number one artisan bakery Krafts’men Baking, located in the Houston Montrose neighborhood, serves up fresh breads and pastries that, if Thanksgiving weren’t exempt from all caloric intake, would go straight to your thighs. Their products are made from high quality, often organic, ingredients and are never mass produced! You can stop by retail cafe to pick up your grain-goods, or visit them at the Midtown Farmer’s Market every Saturday. For your huge family feast, order Krafts’men products for wholesale delivery by phone or email. Slow-made, freshly baked bread at your door with the click of a button or dial of a phone? Bet the Pilgrims didn’t guess that one either!

This Thanksgiving, remember how lucky we are to live in America – don’t outsource your American celebration! Houston has some pretty amazing vendors. Let them put the food on your table, and you’ll have the best Thanksgiving on the block. Remember, the more you support Houston vendors, the more Houston’s economy will flourish. Money out is money in (and some good food in – your belly – too!) Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

1 Comment

Filed under Go Local, houston, oh my pocket pies

Fall – in Love with Food

This Word by: Emily Holden

Whenever the seasons change, I get the urge to do something different. Sometimes a change of wardrobe or scenery is enough to fill the void left by the seasonal transition. But this fall, I’m looking for a meaningful and sustainable change that will keep that warm feeling in my tummy year round by rethinking the basics of my day-to-day life, starting with, yes you guessed it…food.

If you are looking for ways to incorporate the new season into your daily activities, why not start with the basics? A change in food may be just what you need. And we at Oh My Pocket Pies are right there with you, searching for happiness from the inside out. George Eliot summed up this craving for seasonal change when she wrote “Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” Except, these birds know that you don’t need to travel the globe to find love. Step out into your own city to find a new, healthier bond with your food.

Farmer’s markets across Houston offer everything you need to rekindle your passion for food and life. From local produce and fresh cheese to locally roasted coffee and grass-fed beef, these markets have what you need for fresh, flavorful fare. Visit us every other week when we join the friendly folks at the Highland Village Farmer’s Market, selling local foods every Saturday from 9:00 to 1:00 PM . Another great new Houston market on the scene is City Hall Farmer’s Market, open every Wednesday from 10:00 to 2:00 PM. Buying food locally ensures not only that your food will be fresh and flavorful, but also that the money you spend will go directly to local farmers.

Another important part of buying locally is knowing what kinds of fruits and vegetables are in season in your area. Winter squash, beets, broccoli, spinach, blackberries, and pumpkins for example, are in season right now in Texas, which means they will be extra tasty, and you can be sure they are locally grown. Check out this chart to get a better idea of which fruits and veggies to purchase at market. Once you learn what produce is in season, you can incorporate these fruits and veggies into daily meals and family feasts. Savor the flavor of this delicious beet and goat cheese salad, made from locally produced beets, cheese, spinach and nuts.  Make room for winter squash at the Thanksgiving table before serving a delicious pumpkin or blackberry pie.

Why not fall in love with food this season by rethinking your relationship with your groceries? Say goodbye to a tired affair with food and hello to local, seasonal produce. Connect with your environment and find the authentic flavors that your community has to offer – like here at OMPP! This fall we’re cookin’ up Thanksgiving inspired pies for a limited time only. Check out the menu (www.ohmypocketpies.com), and come by before you miss out on your taste of fall, y’all!

Leave a comment

Filed under Fresh food, Houston Food, Local

It Ain’t Easy Being Green

This Word by: Ginny Torok

As the little guy, it’s not easy, but we do it. At OMPP we are committed to creating the smallest footprint possible – that’s why we use biodegradable materials, compost all our waste, and support local businesses and farmers. Our question is: if we do it, why can’t they?

Being sustainable and local as a business doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t come cheap.  As a small business it can be a challenge. With fewer employees, and less money to throw around, the obstacles of being the little guy and being green can be pretty tough – but since it’s what we believe in, we go the extra mile. We have noticed more and more corporations going green and going local – we say, “It’s about time!”

Corporations have more resources, people and money, to use green practices. Businesses such as, Starbucks, HP, Coca Cola, Adidas and Walmart, have all begun to pave the path for green corporations. Starbucks and Walmart are also doing what they can to support more local artists and farmers.

Walmart recently announced its plans for sustainable agriculture. These plans will strive to put more locally grown produce in stores, and monitor the efficiency and sustainability of their produce providers.

Corporations of this size announcing dedication to sustainability and the local movement shouldn’t be so shocking. After all, these corporations are the guys with the resources to make such moves possible. Why aren’t all corporations following suit?

Our challenge to you: think about the businesses you support. Are they making moves to run sustainably, support local, or other green practices? Think there’s nothing you can do about it? Think again! Part of the reason any corporations are practicing in a more sustainable matter is because they have realized it is what people want. The people have spoken, have you?

Check out this Global 100 list of the top 100 sustainable corporations – If a corporation you support is not on this list, tell them! Like any good relationship, communication is key. Tell them what you want! Write on the customer service Web page, submit a comment in their store, do anything you can to get your voice out there – if enough people are talking, they will hear you.

With more corporations being more socially responsible, hold yourself responsible for making the right decisions too. Support the businesses making sustainable choices over the ones that haven’t stepped up. These kind of sustainable actions in big businesses are just the start. We are at the threshold of a major movement in which you can take part. Do your part.

Of course, you should always support locally owned businesses when you can, because like we said, it’s not easy being the little guy – and being green!

Leave a comment

Filed under Go Green, Go Local, local houston, oh my pocket pies, sustainable

Gulf Seafood – A Questionable Future

As the oil-affected Gulf waters became reopened for fishing and shrimping just recently, questions over the safety of the seafood caught in the Gulf are still ringing in American’s minds. Is the Gulf seafood really safe to eat?

Here’s the rather complex, multi-faceted answer: Yes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proclaimed the shrimp and seafood safe – but, perhaps not, according to Gina Solomon, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. She is calling on federal officials to conduct a better test consisting of a larger sample, holding that the NOAA only recently tested 12 samples consisting of 73 individual shrimp.

While the NOAA insists that testing will be done on an on-going basis to ensure the safety of consumers, research gathered in July by the University of Southern Mississippi found droplets of oil in blue crabs that feed much larger sea life in the Gulf.  Now, the blue crabs do not pass inspection for human consumption, but the concern is, is our food supply of fish being contaminated by consuming them? Researchers at the NOAA Fisheries Mississippi labs show that the only contaminated fish samples have been found in water that is still closed for fishing. Serious questions also remain about seafood affected by the dispersant used by BP to break up the oil.

A study by the University of Minnesota found that 44% of people don’t trust seafood from the Gulf to be safe for consumption.  However, President Obama, trying hard to restore Americans’ faith in Gulf seafood, served barbequed Gulf shrimp at his birthday party in early August.

All this worry of contaminated seafood poses a strong possibility of changing the economy of many Gulf coast cities, including Houston, where fishing and shrimping are main industries. Though the prices of seafood may rise in the fishable waters, are Americans willing to pay the price for food that many are afraid to consume?

Steven Curtis, president of Austin Seafood Products, a wholesale supplier, saw a boom in shrimp sales just before oil reached the waters along the Texas coast. He actually had people calling to buy the entire inventory to stock up for desperate shrimp times. But Curtis says shrimp will be fine this year – “What people need to worry about is shrimp two years from now, three years from now,” as the spill affects plankton and larvae that the shrimp feed upon.

Many restaurant owners have braced for the worst outcome: a shortage of seafood, price hikes and a public image that Gulf seafood is dangerous. We at OMPP are still going strong with the sale of our shrimp burgers, made from all local Gulf shrimp.

How would you like to hear from a vendor right in the heart of the issue? Stay tuned for an interesting take on how the spill has affected our local shrimp vendor.

Sources from this article:

Statesman.com

Nola.com

Los Angeles Times

Leave a comment

Filed under houston, Houston Food, Local, local houston, oh my pocket pies

Green Eggs and Easter

Hold on Easter Bunny – ditch those old wasteful Easter baskets! there is still time to make this Easter local, sustainable, and green…

First, act sustainably and reduce waste by re-using your Easter baskets. Choose a nice, high quality, wooden or tin basket that will last for years. Easter basket painting can also act as a great craft for kids prior to the big day. A neat idea from SuperEco.com is to consider growing your own grass in each basket, instead of using more non-biodegradable grass of the plastic variety. But, if you are going to use plastic grass,  save it and reuse it each year – it will not go bad!

To fill those baskets we suggest, as with most other holidays, buying fair trade local chocolates and candies. You can easily find a candy shop in Houston to buy fine, organic, fair trade candy, but if you are looking for some bags of bulk candy for the kiddos, a good place to find them is Whole Foods or the like. They will have a large selection of fair trade, organic candies. Also, think about hand making your Easter basket gifts. Can you knit, sew, or even braid a friendship bracelet? Let’s face it – kids will love almost anything fun, colorful, and sugar-filled in their basket, so why not act sustainably and save some money by making your own gifts?

Next, let’s focus on the main event – Coloring Easter eggs. Put down the food coloring and step away from the mixing table. Check your fridge for a few simple ingredients that can color your eggs any shade of the spectrum, naturally. Here is a list from suite101.com of some ingredients to make a few colors, but you can go wild with any natural dye combination you can think of: Purple grape juice (for lavender), Red cabbage (for blue), Spinach (for green), Carrot tops, orange peels or lemon peels (for yellow), Coffee or black walnut shells (for brown), Yellow onion skins (for orange), Beets or cranberries (for pink), Red onion skins (for red). Find more instructions on how to color your eggs naturally here.

We hope these few tips will get you thinking about sustainability this Easter. It is important, always, but especially during each holiday, to remember how to stay green while you celebrate. Now that you have all these tips for a sustainable Easter, go out there and celebrate, Easter Bunny style!

Leave a comment

Filed under Go Green, Go Local, Green, houston, Local, local houston, oh my pocket pies, organic, recycle, sustainable

Party for our Planet

Coming up soon, once again, Discovery Green will be hosting this year’s 2010 Earth Day Houston Festival. This free, family friendly, all-day event kicks off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 3. Developed by Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention, and Mothers for Clean Air, the collaborative event focuses on sustainable living, and educating and encouraging Houstonians to preserve, conserve and enhance the city and the Earth.

For those of you  dedicated “runners-for-the-earth”, the 5K run begins at 8 a.m. sharp. All 5K runners receive an organic cotton Earth Day Houston shirt, and are encouraged to bring any old running shoes for recycling. Along with the run, there will be a 5K walk and a Kids Run. (http://earthdayhouston.org/houston-earth-day-5k.php)

AIA’s Gulf Coast Green Consumer Exhibition will showcase green products to the attendees at Earth Day Houston. Other planned activities include, Earth Zone featuring interactive environmental awareness activities highlighting land, air, water, and renewable energy, a Farmer’s Market in support of locally-grown produce, and The Kids Energy Zone and stage. Also, some fun activities like recycled art projects, green living seminars and demos, plus live musical entertainment will make this celebration a blast! (http://earthdayhouston.org/houston-green-expo.php)

This event will surely be the party worth throwing for our beloved planet. Come show your support for this earth! Word to your Mother Earth.

For Directions and more information visit http://earthdayhouston.org/houston-earth-day-location.php

Leave a comment

Filed under Go Green, Green, houston, Local, local houston, oh my pocket pies, recycle, sustainable