Friday, January 4, 2013

Freebie Friday

I mentioned I was going to try reporting on the free things I get in the mail.  I don't know how often I'll have something to report, so we'll just have to see how this goes.  For instance, this past week, I only received one free thing, and I'll tell you about that at the end, but for now, let me tell you about a couple of other things that have arrived recently.

The first is pre-release copy of a book by Michael Moss called Salt, Sugar, Fat. Probably like most of you, I thought it would be about how these ingredients are not good for us, how to eliminate them from our diets, and perhaps a few recipes to get us started.  I was wrong. This book is far more fascinating than that. It's a well written, in depth look at the food industry, and how the products we all know came into being and developed over the years. It names companies like Kellogg's, Kraft, Campbell's and the soft drink giants that produce Coke, Pepsi, and even Dr Pepper, as well as other.

Did you know that the amount of sugar and cheese that we each eat today has tripled since 1970?  No wonder there is an obesity epidemic today. I was very interested in the story of how the US Government was responsible for the increase in cheese production, how the excess was stored, and how it finally made it's way into a lot of everyday foods as time went by. 

 There are stories about the science behind product development, and how advertising and product placement get our attention, and get us to buy more. One thing became very clear, and that is that processed foods could not exist without salt, sugar or fat.  Even some of the people who used to work for these companies now know that in order to avoid these substances, they also have to avoid the very foods those companies produce. While I do a lot of my own baking, and seldom buy convenience foods, I'm starting to think the cans and boxes that are currently in my house may be greatly reduced in the future. I will likely make more of my own soups and salad dressings and maybe even bread in the future.

I think this is an important piece of literature that will withstand the test of time, and will likely be a great reference book about the food industry for many years to come.  It's a thick book (over 400 pages) but not difficult reading.  It will be available for purchase March 12, 2013.  Look for it when the time comes.  I think everyone should read it.

The second thing I'll tell you about this week is Dawn Dish Detergent.  I got a couple of sample packs.  I seem to remember that this is the brand they used to advertise as being gentle enough to soak your fingers in, before a manicure.  I think they're right.  It does seem gentle. I have not felt the need to reach for the hand lotion immediately after washing dishes, as I often do with my regular brand.  Dawn also has a gentle, but pleasant scent.  That seems to be about where the gentleness ends though as even a little cleans my dishes to the point where they practically squeak.  Even the casserole dish I baked some scalloped potatoes in the other night came clean without using much of the usual elbow grease. Hubby commented that he liked the smell and that the bubbles seemed to last well too. Sometimes these little samples that companies send me cause me to switch brands. This may be one of those times.

And finally, the free thing I received this week was from Canadian Free  I had previously received a free fridge magnet from them for posting 50 times.  This time I received a ring for posting 150 times.  While I've seen pictures of other rings they have sent out in the past that had more sparkles, this one was rather plain by comparison.  But free is free, and since it's a bit big for me anyway, it will make a great treasure to leave behind in some geocache come spring.

I won something from Canadian Free this week too, but I'll tell you more about that when it arrives.


  1. It was Palmolive that was so gentle on your hands that manicurists would use it---hahaha---shows my age! I love Dawn on all dishes and other greasy things. It's great for washing the cats (yes, the cats); gets rid of fleas before treating them with flea stuff and makes their coats very silky. However, it is not gentle on my hands. I have to use gloves to wash the dishes; makes my hands itchy and dry. Ah well. Thanks for the stories!

  2. I've been corrected twice now, about it being Palmolive that was used in the commercials where the ladies got their hands soaked in it before their manicure. Thanks guys.

  3. I had no idea there was a forum on! I've subscribed to them forever, and never really searched around the site! Thanks.