Linda's Canadian Adventure

Food in the Netherlands

Posted by: Linda | August 30, 2007, 2:40 am

Good food is also part of my trip. Here, I’m enjoying a ‘stuffed cookie’, not available in Canada.
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My favorite lunch is the simple cheese bun (broodje kaas)
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Fries with peanut sauce can be so good once in awhile!
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More and more sushi can be found in Holland. Claire poors some sake while we wait for our order of vegetarian sushi.
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Two of my favorite means of transportation in Holland: bike and train. I already did a lot of biking in the city and through the fields. This sign says: “Bike path, so don’t vroom”
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Environmental information on the train was new for me.
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Culinair Nederland

Posted by: Linda | 2:36 am

Lekker eten hoort natuurlijk ook bij de vakantie. Hier geniet ik van een gevulde koek, niet te vinden in Canada.
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Mijn favoriete lunch is eigenlijk gewoon een broodje kaas
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Patatje pinda is af en toe erg lekker!
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Ook in Nederland is tegenwoordig steeds meer sushi te vinden. Claire schenkt wat sake in terwijl we op de bestelling wachten van onze vegetarische sushi.
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Tot slot nog even mijn twee favoriete vervoersmiddelen. Ten eerste de fiets. Ik heb al heerlijk gefietst in de stad en langs de weilanden.
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Milieu-informatie in de trein, had ik nog niet eerder gezien.
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Pas getrouwd

Posted by: Linda | August 26, 2007, 11:40 am

Zaterdag 25 augustus is mijn goede vriend Richard met zijn Wendy getrouwd en ik was erbij als getuige.

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Voordat we konden vetrekken naar het Heilige Geesthofje in Naaldwijk moest Wendy nog even op de foto met haar kipjes.

We hebben een geweldige dag gehad, het weer was helemaal goed en alles ging lekker relaxed en gezellig. Het was heel bijzonder om het allemaal van dichtbij mee te maken. Het viel me op dat een trouwdag niet alleen om de liefde tussen het bruidspaar gaat, maar dat er ook heel veel mooie woorden worden uitgesproken naar familie en vrienden. Het was heel mooi om te zien dat Richard en Wendy genoten van al hun familie en vrienden om hen heen en dat lieten ze merken ook.

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Claire en Lisette in de Parijse bus met alle bruiloftsgasten

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Claire en ik showen onze jurken

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Champagne!

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Richard en ik tijdens de fotosessie na de champagne en taart

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Wendy met haar schattige bruidsmeisjes

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Gekke Janneke en gekke Dirk met hun portretten. Alle gasten kregen als kadootje van het bruidspaar een portret ter plekke gemaakt door een sneltekenaar.

‘s Avonds was er een geweldig feest in 1001 nacht-stijl met een heerlijk band, we hebben gedanst, gedanst en gedanst!

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Dirk en Carolien

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Judith in 1001 nacht-stijl en David

Just married

Posted by: Linda | 11:39 am

My good friend Richard and his Wendy got married on Saturday August 25 and I was there to be his witness.

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Before we could leave for the wedding location Wendy got her picture taken with her chickens.

We had a wonderful day, the weather was just right and everything went very well and relaxed. It was very special to be so close. I noticed that a wedding day isn’t just about the love between the couple, but a lot of nice words were spoken to family and friends. It was beautiful to see Richard and Wendy enjoying all their family and friends around them and they showed too.

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Claire and Lisette in the Paris bus with all the guests of the wedding party

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Claire and I show our dresses

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Champagne!

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Richard and I during the photo shoot after the champagne and cake

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Wendy with her lovely brides maids

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Silly Janneke and silly Dirk with their portraits. All guests received their portraits that were made on the spot as a gift from the couple.

The party at night in 1001 night theme had a very good band, we danced and danced and danced!

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Dirk and Carolien

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Judith in 1001 night style with David

In the Netherlands

Posted by: Linda | August 21, 2007, 11:28 pm

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In Nederland

Posted by: Linda | 11:26 pm

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Mike is 30!!

Posted by: Linda | August 18, 2007, 10:42 am

Mike turned 30 yesterday and he knows it! I organized a surprise party for him with a lot of help from his parents and it was a big success. His best friend James took him golfing for the day so we could get the appartment ready. At 7pm everybody was ready for the big “SUPRISE!!”. He didn’t have a clue up untill then and it took awhile before he got used to the idea. Jody (mike’s mom) and I made and ordered a lot of food including a cake with 30 candles. I thought it was a success and Mike is still regaining his senses.

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James, Nikki and Linda

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Mike is 30!!

Posted by: Linda | 10:38 am

Mike is gisteren 30 geworden en dat heeft ‘ie geweten ook. Ik heb een surprise-party voor hem georganiseerd met heel veel hulp van z’n ouders en dat was een groot succes. Z’n beste vriend James ging ‘s middags met hem golfen zodat wij het huis in orde konden maken. Om 19:00 uur zat iedereen klaar voor de grote “SURPRISE!!”. Hij had niets door tot op dat moment en het duurde even voordat het allemaal doordrong. Jody (de moeder van Mike) en ik hadden heel veel eten gemaakt en besteld inclusief een taart met 30 kaarsjes. Ik vond het een zeer geslaagde avond en Mike is nog steeds aan het bijkomen.

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James, Nikki en Linda

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Big question marks on genetically engineered corn

Posted by: Linda | August 8, 2007, 1:29 pm

Greenpeace activists have created a 61-metre crop circle in a corn field in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The field contains Monsanto’s NK603 genetically engineered (GE) corn, which scientists recently linked with liver and kidney toxicity in rats. Greenpeace is calling for mandatory labelling of GE foods across Canada.

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Greenpeace activists have created a 61-metre crop circle in a corn field in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The field contains Monsanto’s NK603 genetically engineered (GE) corn, which scientists recently linked with liver and kidney toxicity in rats. Greenpeace is calling for mandatory labelling of GE foods across Canada.

Early this morning, Greenpeace activists labelled a genetically engineered (GE) corn field near Abbotsford, B.C. with a 61 metre question mark to highlight the absence of GE food labelling in Canada. Also, Greenpeace wanted to draw attention to the fact that there are many remaining questions about the safety of genetic engineering.
Genetic engineering is an unpredictable and untested technology which new scientific evidence shows may result in toxic corn entering the food system. Canada is one of a handful of countries that practice GE on a commercial scale, and that lack mandatory labelling.

If the government will not label GE food, Greenpeace will take initiative, locate GE fields and label the crops through actions like this. Canada grows over 5.8 million hectares of GE crops, including 820,000 hectares of GE corn. That’s an area of GE crops more than twice the size of Vancouver Island. We are one of the top producers of GE worldwide along with USA, Argentina, and Brazil. Forty countries around the world already have mandatory GE labelling in place. This action puts the government of B.C., as well as ministers across the country on notice that we expect results on our key demand for mandatory labelling of all genetically engineered foods.

The field you see in these pictures is within a few kilometres of organic farms, an elementary school and along a route promoted by the local chamber of commerce as a pastoral “Circle Farm Tour.” But there is nothing idyllic about genetic engineering. GE spreads and contaminates other crops. Greenpeace and GeneWatch UK have documented 142 incidents of contamination in the past 10 years. The herbicides which GE crops are designed to work with destroy local vegetation and reduce the biodiversity of the environment. New evidence shows Monsanto’s herbicide Round Up can disrupt sexual hormones even at what are considered “non-toxic levels”. GE is not safe for the environment.

Health and GMOs

GE might not be good for human health either. Tests done on corn growing in the field indicated that it contained a type of Monsanto GE corn known as NK603. This product was the subject of a study by the French independent research institute CRIIGEN which found signs of toxicity in rat feeding trials. Rats fed the GE corn NK603 had statistically significant differences in their kidneys and livers as well as unusual growth rates. This research follows on the publication of a study in the peer reviewed publication Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology showing further signs of toxicity in rats for another variety of Monsanto’s GE corn MON863. The study authors concluded: “with the present data it can not be concluded that GM corn MON863 is a safe product.” Both these studies were based on safety test data Monsanto submitted to European regulatory authorities. Greenpeace obtained these data through a German court order and turned them over to CRIIGEN for independent analysis in 2005. This controversy puts into question the degree of seriousness of government regulatory processes, as already well documented in the 2001 Royal society of Canada report. In a response addressed to Greenpeace on July 24, 2007, the federal ministry of Agriculture refused to change policy despite recent scientific analysis that Greenpeace submitted to them in a letter dated April 12 2007.

Along with the two studies by CRIIGEN, a third study by Norwegian scientists found another variety of GE corn, MON810 to cause immune responses in salmon. This recent spate of studies on the health effects of GE confirms Greenpeace’s warnings that GE should not be released into the environment or into the food system. Greenpeace has compiled extensive evidence of the potential health dangers of GE in a submission to the B.C. Conversation on Health, a public consultation led by the B.C. ministry of health.

Forty countries around the world already have mandatory labelling legislation, including Europe, South Korea, Japan and Australia. Last year, the Quebec government released a report showing that the cost of GE labelling would be only a fraction of previous estimates done by industry and the B.C. Provincial Health Officer recommended mandatory labelling in his annual report. Recent polls in Quebec and B.C. have shown overwhelming support for mandatory labelling of GE foods. In Quebec, a Leger Marketing poll released in May showed 86 per cent support for mandatory labelling. A Strategic Communications poll released in January showed 79 per cent of British Columbians want mandatory labelling before the next provincial election.

There are too many question marks around GE.

Dish washing detergent

Posted by: Linda | August 7, 2007, 9:24 pm

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Liters and liters of dish washing detergent were used the last couple of days. Not to do the dishes, but to clean the bird that were covered with oil due to the oil spill in Burnaby. I helped taking care of the birds and cleaning them.

It was very special for me to help with this. An environmental disaster happened in my neighborhood, animals are victims and I can do something to improve the situation a little bit.

Kinder-Morgan is paying to clean the birds and a team from the US was hired from Focus Wildlife , they take care of the washing. The Oiled Wildlife Society of BC is responsible for the rehabilitation of the birds with the help of volunteers, and I’m one of them.

The birds that are brought in are exhausted, dehydrated and ill. Birds preen their feathers daily to keep them healthy and aligned, doing this they ingest the toxic oil. Moreover, the feathers are no longer waterproof because of the oil and they get hypothermia. The birds stay indoors for the first few days to get stronger. They ingest activated charcoal to bind the oil in their digestive system. If they are dehydrated or malnutritioned they get extra food and water. They can’t stay indoors too long because their feet aren’t designed to be out of the water for too long.

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The washing procedure has a number of stages. First the oiled feathers are treated with mineral oil. This breaks down the crude oil and makes it soft. Then the bird is put in a tub with warm water and a lot of dish washing detergent. The feathers aren’t scrubbed, but systematically all feathers will be covered with the soap so it can do its work and bind the oil. When the water is black from the oil the bird goes into the next tub with warm water and soap. This will be repeated 6-8 times.

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Ken is soaping up a Canada Goose and I’m holding the head so the eyes are covered and it can breath.

This process is extremely stressful for the birds and a goose is very strong. The head is carefully treated with a soft tooth brush to prevent the soap getting in the eyes or airway.

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A seagull is treated here.

The third step is rinsing. All the soap has to come out of the feathers and at the same time the birds is checked for oil residue.

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Bruce and Crystel are rinsing a seagull, it looks very sad soaking wet. Bruce has helped in Alaska after the Exon-Valdez disaster to clean the birds, now he travels all over the world to do this work. Ken and Bruce cleaned 20,000 penguins in South Africa!

The clean birds have to dry under a blow dryer. They have help the drying by performing their normal preening routine so the hot air gets underneath every feather. The next day they can go outside in the pool and they love that.

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Friday morning all the press was invited to have a look. During the bird washing two tv camera’s were pointed at me and photo camera’s. At night I was on the news for about 0.1 second, but more importantly, there is interest in this work.

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