Friday, March 8, 2013

Test Mice Disorders

The first clay animal I made was a lab rat.

I recently read an excerpt from a book by Hal Herzog, who wrote a chapter about the ethics of animal testing. He poses many philosophical and ethical questions about the use of mice in experiments. I was amazed how scientists can specially order mice with almost any disorder they wish. Mice are used because they have roughly the same number of genes as humans with about 25,000 and 99.5% of the genes have a known human counterpart.

Here is a list of the mice to disorders someone can order:

Hundreds of strains are afflicted with rare cancers, others are prone to facial deformities, and some are born with malfunctioning immune systems. There are mouse models for defects of vision, hearing, taste and balance. Jax mice come with high blood pressure, low blood pressure, sleep apnea, and Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Researches trying to cure infertility have their pick of eighty-eight strains of Jax mice with defective reproductive organs. Then there are the mice that just don’t fit in – the obsessive-compulsive, the chronically depressed, the addiction-prone, hyperactive, and schizophrenic mice. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Basic Tomato Sauce

Today I opened a jar of the homemade tomato sauce that I made this summer. It is a very basic sauce with only tomatoes, basil, sugar and a little lemon juice. I only made two pints but next year I will definitely make more. A pint of sauce equals about two spaghetti meals.
Start with tomatoes
Boil off much of the water

Finished pints of tomato sauce

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Save Money... Become a Vegetarian

My typical meal of rice, vegetables and powdered gravy.

A great way to save money on food is to limit eating meat. According to an article I found in Mother Earth News, a typical vegetarian diet costs 20% less than eating the normal meat centered diet. The article also mentioned that an individual spends about $300/month on food with half of that total being eaten at restaurants.

I have been reading a lot of articles about food price and nutrition. There are many blogs about doing the SNAP challenge where a person tries to live off of food stamps for a month. The challenge comes out to about $4/day for food per person.

Recently in NC a lawmaker wanted to make it illegal to buy “junk food” on food stamps. I put junk food in quotations because the label is a personal perspective. Does the individual, who receives food stamps, need more calories or more nutrition? Empty calories are cheaper than healthier options. For example, $1 worth of soda will give more calories than $1 worth of spinach and from a calorie perspective soda is the better choice, but when based on a well-rounded diet soda is the worse choice of the two. I think the lawmaker’s idea will be met by large food companies who will not allow their pre-packaged foods to be made unavailable to people on food stamps. When I worked in a grocery store deli the food from the hot bar was not allowed to be purchased with food stamps, even if it was more nutritious than a package of cookies or box of cake mix.

I used to work with a guy who received food stamps and got $230/month which comes to about $7.67/day for food. He worked part-time in a restaurant but didn’t make a living wage. He had a garden plot of about 10x10’ and he knew how to can his own food, so he grew much of his own food or ate at the restaurant. With his $230/month, he would purchase high quality steaks and other whole meats. There are ways to eat healthy and be on food stamps especially if the person has a garden. 

February Food

February Food Cost

January Total: $39.48
February Total: $43.39
Year Total: $188.20
Total Remaining: $176.80

This month I had three free meals from restaurants. The first meal was a promotional thing from Subway for a free breakfast wrap. The second free meal came from a local Italian restaurant that frequently sends coupons for a free dinner. I also had a free lunch at a Chinese restaurant for my birthday. I ate a lot of food during a Superbowl party and got very sick at about 3am. 

There are so many options for finding free or inexpensive food. In the past, I would not have signed up for a free sandwich offer or even taken advantage of a coupon for a free dinner. I now look at a $0.65 purchase for a candy bar as expensive. I did buy two Twix bars for $2.00 this month but that was because I was trapped writing a very long paper for Molecular Biology and had limited options for food. I'm beginning to view this year's challenge as a lifestyle change. Purchasing food will always be a necessity, but it doesn't necessarily have to be such a huge expense. If I were a little more disciplined, then I could really save a tremendous amount of money on food but I like chocolate every now and then... 

Restaurants: $13.49
Stores: $29.90

February Food List

1st - 1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee, 5c root beer, butterfinger, pep pizza, 3" sandwich (Subway free breakfast deal: 3" steak, egg white, pepperjack cheese, tomato on flatbread, 12oz coffee, 2 sugar) (Little Ceasars: $5.00) (Dollar General: root beer $0.85, butterfinger $0.60)
2nd - 1/2c corn, 1c bush beans, 1-1/2c potatoes, 1/3c rice, 1tbs butter, 1/8c poultry gravy, beef ramen, 1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee, hot chocolate, 1/6 yellow cake, white frosting (GO grocery: frosting: $0.50, cake mix: $0.69, lemonade (10pks) $0.89, hot chocolate (10pks) $1.00)
3rd - 1-1/2c potatoes, 2 eggscr, 1 garlic, 1 tbs butter, frosting, 1/6 yellow cake (superbowl party: 2c root beer, 3c dr pepper, 4hot chicken wings, beef roast, 1c potatoes, 1c carrots, 1c broccoli, 1 roll, 3 sm donuts, tortilla chips, 3 kraft cheese, cheese puffs, cocoa treats, marshmallows,  salsa, bbq chips, salami)
4th - 1 pack crackers, vanilla icing, 1c root beer, lemonade
5th - (made bread)2tbs strawberry freezer jam, 1c corn, 2 eggomlt, 1/2oz pepperjack cheese, 1/4 bread, 2tbs butter, 2tbs peanut butter, 2tsp honey, 2 pot coffee, 2 baby ruths, vanilla icing (GO grocery: $1.00 box crackers, $1.00 land-o-lakes (4pck) pepperjack cheese, $1.00 (2) baby ruths)
6th - 1tbs strawberry freezer jam, 1c bush beans, 1/3c rice, 1/4 bread, 2tbs peanut butter, 1/8c brown gravy,  1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee, lemonade, 3 cupcakes, vanilla frosting (burned 6 cupcakes-made last in box)
7th - 2bs strawberry freezer jam, 1/4 bread, 2 tbs peanut butter, 3 cup cakes w/ frosting, hot chocolate, lemonade, 1 box mac&cheese (3tbs butter) (Dollar General: $1.00 Mac&cheese)
8th - 1c bush beans, 1 garlic, 1/3c rice, 1/4 bread, 1/2tbs butter, 1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee, hot chocolate (from mom's school: 1 choc. Cupcake, 2 brownies w/ oreos) (Snappy's Free coupon: 2 garlic bread, 1-1/2c lettuce, 1/4c tomatoes, 1tbs green peppers, 1tbs onion, 1/8c feta cheese, italian dressing, 1-1/2c spaghetti marenaera, Mozerella cheese, ~4oz breaded chicken, 1-1/2c sprite)
9th - 1/3c carrots, 1/2c corn, 1c bush beans,  1/2oz pepperjack cheese, 1 eggscr, 1/3c rice, 1/8c brown gravy, 1/2tbs butter, 2tsp honey, 2 pot coffee, hot chooate, sugar cookies (free Snappy's leftovers: 1c spaghetti, garlic knot, ~2oz chicken) (mom's school: brownie w/ oreos (85g), 2 cranberry muffin)
10th - 3/4c corn, catnip tea,  2 eggomlt, 1/2oz pepperjack cheese, 1tbs butter,  1/2 pack crackers, can tomato soup, sugar cookies, 1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee, lemonade, cranberry muffin  (walmart: $0.75 tomato soup)
($5.72 left for month)
11th - (made bread)2tbs strawberry freezer jam, 1/4 bread, 2tbs peanut butter, lemonade (Burger King: $3.49 chicken sandwich, sm fries, carmel sundae)
12th - 4tbs strawberry freezer jam, 1 garlic, catnip tea, 1 eggfrtst, 1 eggscr, 1/2oz pepperjack cheese, 1/4 bread, 2tbs butter, 1/2 pack crackers, 1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee, 1 hot chocolate, lemonade
13th - 1c green beans, hot chocolate, Mac&cheese (3tbs butter) 2 choc pudding (dollar general: $1.00 mac&cheese)(GO grocery: $0.89 choc puddings(4pk) (chilis dinner w/ m&j paid for me: chicken quesadilla w/ guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, fries)(valentine's gifts: 3 russel stovers chocolates, 3 peppermint choc chip cookies)
14th - (made bread) 4tbs strawberry freezer jam, 2 eggfrtst, 3/4 bread, 2tbs butter, 1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee, 1 hot chocolate, 2 choc pudding (valentine's gift: 2 peppermint choc chip cookies) 
15th - hot chocolate (biology speaker: 1 piece cheese pizza)(from mom's school: oatmeal cookies, choc chip cookies, chicken salad sandwiches)
16th - strawberry freezer jam, 1/4 bread, 1/2tbs butter, work sweet tea (work: burnt pancakes, syrup, dr pepper, hushpuppies, spoonful banana creme pie) (from mom's school: pineapple, cookies) 
17th - 3/4c corn, 1c bush beans, 1/3c rice, brown gravy, 1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee, work sweet tea (family dinner w/ R+M: chicken, stuffing, gravy, broccoli, mashed potatoes, lemon pie, root beer, pineapple)
18th - 1c bush beans, 2 eggscr, 1/2oz pepperjack cheese, 1/2tbs butter, 1 pack crackers, lemonade, work sweet tea
19th - 1c bush beans, 2 eggscr, 1/2oz pepperjack cheese, 1/3c rice, 1/2 tbs butter, poultry gravy, work sweet tea, 1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee(school: $2.00 twix(2))
20th - (made bread) 2c applesauce, blueberry syrup, 2 eggfrtst, 1/2 bread, 1tbs butter, work sweet tea, 1/2 pack crackers, tomato soup, choc chip cookies (walmart: $0.75 tomato soup)(gift from jonnie: tub of cookie dough)
21st - 1/3c carrots, 1c bush beans, 2eggscr, 1/2oz pepperjack cheese, 1/4 bread, 1/3c rice, brown gravy, 1tbs butter, 1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee, choc chip cookies (from tub)
22nd -choc chip cookies, pizza, root beer, 1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee (little caesars: $5.00 pizza) (dollar general: $0.85 root beer)
23rd - strawberry freezer jam, 1 eggfrtst, 1/4 bread, 1/2tbs butter, 2tsp honey, 2 pot coffee (chinese restaurant: free buffet for birthday!)
24th - 2 eggscr, 1/2oz pepperjack cheese, 1 med tortilla, 1/2tbs butter, 1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee,  choc chip cookies (work: hush puppies, fried green beans, sweet tea)
25th - 1c bush beans, 2 eggscr, 1med tortilla, 1/2tbs butter, 1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee, choc chip cookies, tomato soup, 1 pack crackers (walmart: $0.75 tomato soup)
26th - dried apples, 1/4c carrots, 2 eggscr, 1/3c rice, 2tbs butter, salmon can into patties, ketchp, 1/8 pack crackers, mac&cheese (3tbs butter) hot chocolate (dollar general: $1.00 mac&chese) (walmart: $2.28 teryaki sauce, $2.93 canned salmon)
27th - dried apples, 1c bush beans, 2 eggscr, 1/3c rice, teriyaki sauce, 1/2tbs butter, goat cheese pizza, 2 babyruths, 1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee, lemonade (GO: $1.00 babyruths (2), $1.00 pizza w/goat cheese, spinach and tomatoes, $1.00 banana crunch peanut butter, $1.00 turkey stuffing lg box)
28th - dried apples, 1c bush beans, 2 eggscr, 1/3c rice, teriyaki, 1/2tbs butter, poptarts, king size reese's, 1tsp honey, 1 pot coffee, hot chocoalte, lemonade (GO: $0.89 spaghetti noodles, $0.39 poptarts, $0.89 king size reese's, $1.00 pizza w/ goat cheese spinach and tomatoes, $1.00 bag frozen fries)

48tbs butter left