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The Newman's Own Organics Guide to a Good Life: Simple Measures That Benefit You and the Place You Live Paperback – March 11, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Well known for both her family (she's the daughter of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward) and her food (the Newman's Own brand of sauces, snack foods and other delights), Newman here joins forces with Discover contributing editor D'Agnese to offer this well-reasoned and practical handbook to environmentally and socially conscious living. Her suggestions cover such areas as food, transportation, energy and investing, and range from the commonsensical-eat local produce in its season-to the surprising-stock your living room with the 10 plants that "clean air best." Newman assumes her readers aren't zealots, but simply people who want to do right by the earth, and it's this lack of self-righteousness that makes her advice so refreshing. Whether readers want to learn how make nontoxic household cleaners, buy "green power" from the power company, shop more responsibly, practice "social investing" or to encourage their pets to eat organic people food, Newman offers the secrets. Interspersed with her counsel are oddball and often inspirational tales of green living, like the man diagnosed with terminal cancer who took cranberry skins and duck fecal matter to become king of a small soil empire (profits go to inner city charities like the one he started). Full of hints and encouragements-and printed on 100% postconsumer recycled paper-this excellent beginner's resource makes conscientious living look very simple indeed.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Newman isn't just the daughter of celebrated actors and just the founder of Newman's OwnR Organics. She draws on a degree in human ecology to write this manual on living a kinder, less ecologically harmful life.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
The author provided many wonderful resources.
Everyone should read this because she address many of the crisis we suffer today that can easily be solved from green living.
Each chapter is sprinkled with stories of organic farmers, environmentalists, or eco-friendly companies and how they are making a difference in the world. There are tips to help a person choose the most environmentally friendly way to do something. For example, in the chapter about pet care there is the story of a golden retriever with hip dysplasia who was helped immensely by a change in diet. Included are ways we can improve the diet of our pets by adding organic and fresh foods to our pet’s diet such as apples, pears, melon balls, carrots and even a recipe for an organic carrot juice.
Throughout the book the authors emphasize that buying products locally is best because it takes resources to move items across the country. Also emphasized is thinking more about where things come from and how they were produced. Companies that use organically grown materials and fair labor practices are emphasized. Included are many resources and web sites throughout as well as a bibliography and 25-page resource directory at the end with names, address, e-mails, and web sites of companies and organizations that correspond with the chapters of the book.
Nell's research examines several facets of contemporary life such as food, energy, transportation, communications, investing, shopping, pet care, household cleaning, and gardening. She offers practical solutions to make changes that promote a greener, cleaner lifestyle for those of us who want to make a difference to this planet that we've been entrusted with: Buy organic, local, or fair-traded foods; Drive more fuel efficient cars; Learn about the "Green Power" energy options available in several states; Recycle old cell phones; and Buy ecologically sound stock investments. Before buying imports from Communist China, Nell advises to "Think before you buy, you might be reincarnated as a Third-World laborer".
In short, making drastic changes to a greener lifesytle is something few of us can or even want to do. Nell's book is chock full of little ways through which we can make a difference, and when you tally these up, they amount to something!
What's refreshing about Nell Newman's book is that it is NOT a work of self-righteous extremism. Ms. Newman, while conscientious, passionate, and very 'green', doesn't try to shove rules down the throats of readers, nor does she stand on a soapbox and rant. She takes a nonpolitical, light-handed, self-critical, practical paradigm which communicates her point better than any alternative. In fact, she acknowledges that a lot of environmental suggestions are a tradeoff, and doesn't judge the reader for their personal decisions about what is manageable for them in their everyday life. All she tries to do, in this nicely written book, is offer thoughtful and intelligent research on how we can use the cutting-edge tools of our modern age along with well-tried old-fashioned ways of living, all to make life better. And that's something that pretty much everyone, whatever their politics or age or conscience or personal beliefs, wants to do.
If every American picked just two chapters from this book, and did only about 2 of the minor ideas listed in each, not only their environment but their own personal life would improve. I've tried the Newman's Own organic answer to popular cookies, which even my large chain grocery store carries, and you know what? In my book, besides being healthier, they actually taste BETTER than the commercial brand. The chocolate in the Newman-Os had a stronger flavor; the cream was softer, smoother, more appealing. And the Fig Newmans (har) redefined my idea of the word "Fig" and what it should taste like. It's also nice knowing that the actual profits go to charity rather than an already rich CEO's pockets. Organic may be a bit more expensive--now, while the businesses are small and struggling--but that will change the more we support them, and even in the meantime, the taste and health benefits are unquestionably worth it, at least once in a while. As Nell Newman frankly says in this book, the question is more, do we want to pay up front or down the road? In other words, would we prefer to pay a little more for the health of our pets, our family and ourselves now, or do we want to make it up in hospital and vet bills later?
Part of the reason we don't eat enough vegetables in this country is because we instinctively know they don't taste right. And they don't taste right because they aren't raised right, by small farmers with natural pesticides the way it should be. That's what organic eating is all about. Not being a hippie or a radical, or nut loaf with yeast gravy. Just supporting a better way of life and a better taste. After all, why give your dollar vote to a system that only tries to phase out partially hydrogenated oils after it becomes widely known among the public that they drastically increase the risk of heart disease, and even then uses tricks like '0 grams trans fat' to blind us to the fact that they're still legally allowed to put 0.5 grams into their stragtegically chosen serving size, which still adds up to an increased risk? The oils are listed in the ingredients, but they think we won't look there, relying on consumer trust to camouflage their cheap, unhealthful choices. And though wheat is becoming more popular as a selling point, its benefits can be stripped away without any indication given if you don't know their legal trick--that's the difference between 'wheat flour' and 'whole wheat flour'--whole wheat is what gives you the benefits, and it can be one of the last ingredients while still giving them the go-ahead to blast "NOW WITH WHOLE WHEAT!" all over the front label. Only '100% whole wheat' and 'NO trans fat' really mean healthy food, and those are the brands that deserve to be bought.
Judging from my range of emotions--disturbed at what unnatural pesticides used on produce can actually do to our bodies and our ecosystem, interested at the money-saver tips for energy, then slowly outraged at what I'd been unknowingly feeding my pet in giving her commercial dog food with vegetables and healthy meat printed all over the package--I'd say Nell Newman did a pretty good job of responsibly exposing the truth, with a little humor and charm along the way, and without being paranoid or alarmist. Corporations just think what they're doing is already good enough for the common person and animal--I've got to disagree with them. I think we deserve a better quality of life. And if enough people agree with that notion, we've got a fine basis for change right there.
That's only the food sections I've covered in this recommendation. If you're interested, pick up the book--there's a lot more to be seen and known, and it's your right to know it.