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Plastics – February 2006

Something to think about!

There is a lot of material to suggest that plastics leak toxic material into our foods, in the form of oestrogen-like molecules, which when ingested do us no good at all! Studies have linked the chemicals in plastics with the rise in cases of testicular and prostate cancer, and in the decline of many species including frogs, gulls, turtles and deer – often the females of the species have enlarged ovaries, and the males have stunted genitalia. Oh no!
Some plastics are worse than others, generally the softer the plastic the more chemicals it will leak. So what do we do about it? Well the best thing is to avoid storing your food in plastic containers, or wrapping in cling-wrap. It's near to impossible to avoid plastics completely as so many products are packaged in plastic, but one way to reduce the amount of nasties you consume is to remove goods from plastic when you get home, and endeavour to store as much foodstuffs as you can in alternatives to plastic, for example glass jars or paper bags. The same goes for plastic water bottles too, so many of us now carry a plastic bottle with us at all times! It's great to keep our water intake up, but how about switching to a metal one (these can be bought at most outdoors shops) or glass?
Reference material: Passage to Power by Leslie Kenton, and The No Cancer and Candida Book by Merrilyn Hope.
Thanks to Elizabeth and Patrick for their help.

And on a much lighter note:

We expect to be back in our new/old building in the first half of March, providing all goes to plan! Trading out of our little back shed is by no means all bad, but we're certainly looking forward to being back 'home'. More space! New products! Though we may miss our new builder-buddies.
Now, which new products will we have?
Many are still to be finalised, but you can expect to see an array of new gluten free goodies, such as a muffin mix and more yummy biscuits. We'll also be stocking wasabi powder, chickpea chips, puffed millet cereal, and no doubt many more things to keep your tastebuds happy! We'll have nuts in dispensers like the ones we use for our seeds, which means you can have however much or little you like, and there's less packing for us. We're also excited about our new frozen goods section! No more running out the back when you ask for your butter or pita breads, and we'll also be able to offer products such as frozen berries and perhaps some desserts too!
We are having some problems sourcing goats milk at the moment, hopefully we'll find a supplier soon! You can now find LSA in the fridge, alongside the Ground Linseed, and almond meal on the flour shelves.

On the staff front, you'll have noticed a few new faces around Piko in the last couple of months! Kristie and Elaine have both recently become members of our co-op, and we've also just hired Sara, Mikkeline and Aisling. It's great to have some new energy and enthusiasm around the place, they've all arrived at Piko at a rather hectic time and we really appreciate all the great work they're doing. So, who have we said goodbye to? Well Lyn left us late last year, Jasmine said goodbye to us also, and now has a beautiful wee daughter to keep her occupied ~ congratulations Jazz! Debbie has given up most of her hours to pursue further education in herbal health, and Brian has left us for greener pastures. Petrina is due back from her break (if you can call helping a friend with lizard conservation a break!) any day now, and Tracey will be back at the end of the month. We also say goodbye and thank you to Grace, who has worked hard for us in a very busy time at Piko!
And a thank you to all our customers for being so patient and understanding of our situation... we know you're looking forward to the new shop as much as we are!

Grilled Polenta with Summer Vegetables

4 cups water
1 tablespoon butter or alternative
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal (polenta)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup basil - sliced
1 large eggplant - 1/2-inch slices
2 zucchini - 1/2-inch slices
2 yellow squash - 1/2-inch slices
1 red onion - 1/4-inch slices
3 roma tomatoes - halved
salt and pepper

To prepare the polenta, in a large sauce pot combine the water, butter and salt.
Bring to a boil then slowly pour in the yellow cornmeal, stirring well with a whisk. When the water is absorbed, continue cooking over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring often.
Pour the polenta into a high sided cookie sheet and refrigerate for an hour until firm.
To grill the polenta, cut into 3-inch triangles and grill for about 3 minutes on each side.
In a mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, basil and remaining vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat well.
Grill the vegetables for 2 minutes on each side and serve with the polenta triangles.

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