Thyme is on my side...

Hello out there! I've been out enjoying this year's wonderful Indian Summer (it was 20'C in Montreal yesterday!!!) after a rather hectic week. So I haven't really thought about today's post... Sounds promising doesn't it?

First off, a few environmental groups have decided that the best way to send a clear message to our environmentally-challenged government is to call them. Equiterre and the David Suzuki Foundation are calling upon all Canadians to go to their phones and give Harper a piece of their minds. Politely, of course, wouldn't want to be un-Canadian. So, here's the number to dial: 613-992-4211. Or you can go to the David Suzuki website for more info and to sign an online letter.

Now then. I'm sure you've noticed the continent-wide panic about the second wave of swine flu - apparently in most European countries, the media have been a tad more level-headed about the whole pandemic... If you are rather unfazed about the whole event, then what follows may be of little concern to you.

There is no need to panic. Chances are that you will be no more affected by the flu this year than any other year. But while you are nervously wringing your hands waiting for your turn to get vaccinated, here is a link to some common sense advice from Greener. Other things you can do to increase your chances of sailing through the flu and cold season is to cook with lots of thyme, oregano, rosemary or savory. These herbs are high in thymol, a powerful compound known to hold down bacteria and viruses with its pinkie (if it had a pinkie). Thymol is a common ingredient in mouthwash, and has even been proven effective in fighting cold sores, so you know it works! The herbs do not need to be fresh, but they seem to be most effective if they are not greenhouse grown, so your best bet would be to head on to a farmers' market and load up on what's left of this year's crop (greenhouse grown herbs have soft green stems and are not overpoweringly perfumed). If you have some dried thyme in your spice cabinet, don't throw it out! It probably still has quite a bit of thymol left in it.

So go ahead, sprinkle your food with thyme! Your taste buds and your health will thank you.

If you have gone around the disinfection bend, please be careful of the products you use. Some commercially available surface disinfectants have been shown to be ineffective (and thus can contribute to the spawning of resistant strains), and many are extremely toxic to you and the environment. Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are good disinfectants, but you want to stay away from both triclosan and bleach. Regular ol' white vinegar is a really effective and non-toxic bactericide, AND it can get rid of certain smells. A 5% white vinegar solution (1L of water, 50mL/4 Tbsp vinegar) makes a good all-purpose surface wipe. For an extra boost, add a couple of drops of essential oil of thyme.

Bon app' and to your health!


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