Wednesday, October 20 2021

Quote of the Day

It’s your nature to be Tirin, and my nature to be Shevek, and our common nature to be Odonians, responsible to one another. And that responsibility is our freedom. To avoid it, would be to lose our freedom. Would you really like to live in a society where you had no responsibility and no freedom, no choice, only the false option of obedience to the law, or disobedience followed by punishment? Would you really want to go live in a prison?

Ursula K. LeGuin, The Dispossessed

Why we are all so tired

Today I went the store to buy coconut milk to make a smoothie.

I’ve already weeded out most brands of coconut milk because they have gums in them. But, there was a new brand that I wanted to examine because the package was much bigger than my normal brand. I thought it might be easier and cheaper than having to buy 3-4 little packages.

The new brand was very proud to announce it only has two simple ingredients: coconut and water! So wholesome. So fresh and natural and simple.

But….does there need to be water in coconut milk? How is coconut milk made? Is water a required part of the process? I thought it was made by basically wringing out coconut meat, no water necessary…but I wasn’t sure.

So I trundled off to get my usual brand. It had 1 ingredient: 100% coconut milk.

At this point I felt like I had no idea what coconut milk even is.

So I started comparing macronutrients to try and figure it out. The serving size on the usual brand was marked as 1/2 cup. The serving size on the new brand was 1/3 cup. Of course. The usual had 17g of fat, while the new one had 9 grams of fat per serving.

So maybe the new brand was a lite coconut milk, without saying “lite” on it? Nope, the new brand also had a lite version, which I didn’t even bother taking a look at. It seems the new brand’s regular coconut milk was actually watered down coconut milk? What even constitutes coconut milk then? Does there have to be a certain fat percentage?

…ok, see? See how hard buying one simple thing at the store is, and how much brain power I had to expend to make a single purchase. Everything in our capitalist life is like this. I ended up not even looking at the prices, which were vastly different and I’d have to do a bunch of math to compare which was the better value, especially counting for the fact that one was watered down. And since I was also watering down the usual brand when I use it because it is slightly too fatty, the best choice might have been the new brand anyhow….

Fitting everything in a day, shopping, working, civic engagement, keeping up with friends and family now happens on 2-4 social media platforms, texts, group chats on multiple messaging platforms, voice messages, voice calls, occasional birthday cards, and video calls. It’s all too impossibly overwhelming much.

So that I know what the hell it is that I am drinking, I’ve now looked up what coconut milk is, and hey, there are kinds:

When it comes to cooking, canned coconut milk is typically king. For many, it’s a pantry staple, as it’s shelf-stable and can be added to so many recipes. Canned coconut milk is a bit thicker than its boxed counterpart, imparting hints of coconut flavor and creaminess to a dish. For canned coconut milk, you may open the can to find that it has separated, with thick cream on the top, paired with a milky liquid, but adding it straight to a saucepan while cooking will bring the separation back together into its creamy form. 

Boxed coconut milk, on the other hand, which is often found on the shelves in a carton, is typically used for quicker recipes. It’s not as thick or creamy, but it makes a great milk alternative for cereal or smoothies, or even coffee if you just need a light addition. Its flavor isn’t as strong as canned coconut milk, since it doesn’t normally present the thick cream you see in a can, and often, it may have higher water content or other additives. A powdered form of coconut milk is also available and can be mixed with water, but it’s not as prevalent at the grocery store as these other two options. 

The Untold Truth of Coconut Milk,

At least my smoothie tasted great.

Solarpunk headlines

Both of these things seem pretty easy, and one is what we should already be doing anyhow

Want to stop climate change? Educate girls.

Solar panels on half the world’s roofs could meet its entire electricity demand – new research