Monthly Archives: July 2013

Style-Diet Shot – Justine Alpaca


“On matters of style, swim with the current. On matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

 – Thomas Jefferson

Justine, from Paris (and in Paris) is wearing a sweater from London where she studies.  It’s from a flea market and she says gets get compliments every time she wears it.  The image below is Justine in Alpaca sweater that was Made in Ecuador and Bought in Ecuador.  Justine asked me if that counted for the Style-Diet Shot.  I said a resounding YES!  The idea is to support local when possible.  Justine bought this soft sweater on a trip around the world after graduating early from High School.  Her shoes are made in India and Bought in India, on the same trip.  Smart cookie.

20130709-235237.jpg

20130703-190318.jpg

The Style-Diet Shot celebrates individuals with unique style, wearing at least one article of clothing acquired via the Stephens’ Sisters Shopping Diet. It must be local, sustainable, second-hand/re-purposed, inherited or ethically produced. If you can’t find clothing fitting that criteria then it must be from a country with stellar human rights records.

Shocking Label in Heart-Land of France

We need food labels.

Here is a label that surprised me.  “PRODUIT TRAITE” it says on these yummy looking donut peaches, an heirloom variety commonly found in Europe.  I know what “PRODUIT” means (product).  But what did ‘TRAITE’ mean?

I was in Central France in the Loire Valley and saw this at a regular run of the mill supermarket “Super U” (which is a well know chain, not known for health foods or organic foods.  The organic section was rather disappointing: bananas, potatoes and apples).  I went to ask someone what this label meant.  A manager at the store explained that PRODUIT “TRAITE” pronounced TREH-TAY means that the food is sprayed with harmful pesticides and we should not eat the skin of these fruits and veggies.  And/or wash them very carefully before eating.

Wow.

Talk about a country informing it’s citizens, a store letting customers know that there are toxins in what looked like beautiful fresh ripe fruit.  We can’t see them, taste them or smell them.  If they’re not labelled, how else can we know how they are grown?

20130703-090508.jpg

With pesticide use now at record highs, we should have the right to know what toxins we’re ingesting in N. America.  GMOs are sprayed, positively doused with pesticides.  That is how they are grown.  GMO and Conventional farming are heavily sprayed with toxins that pollute the water and the soil and kill the bees.  If around 90 percent of N.American Wheat, Soy, Sugar, Soy and Corn are treated with toxic, harmful pesticides…. Can you imagine what kind of labelling must be in place to protect us and our defenceless children?

I can imagine some upper level decision maker in the Super U store saying, “Traite?  Eet ees treated wiz round up and ozzer pesticides?    Zat is legal.  Oui. But zat ees not right.  Hi dont want my cheeldren to eat zat.  My mozzer should not eat zat eizer. Eef some body wants to eat zat, zey must be told.  Zut alors.”

Let’s take the best practises we can find worldwide and apply them to better ourselves and our planet.

What more can I say but: Vive la France!

Style-Diet Shot – Paul

“On matters of style, swim with the current. On matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

– Thomas Jefferson

Paul is wearing an American Apparel tee, “Weapons of Mass Creation” printed with images of antique cameras.  American Apparel is sweat-shop free, made in USA, founded in Montreal in 1989.

 20130629-204159.jpg

The Style-Diet Shot celebrates individuals with unique style, wearing at least one article of clothing acquired via the Stephens’ Sisters Shopping Diet. It must be local, sustainable, second-hand/re-purposed, inherited or ethically produced. If you can’t find clothing fitting that criteria then it must be from a country with stellar human rights records.

Cracked but beautiful

“Old things are always in good repute, present things in disfavor.”

– Tacitus

In France, I was excited to see this cracked old historical metal plate on an ancient wall in the town of Chenonceau.  It was close to the ground on a public street’.  Maybe about a foot tall.  There was no signage or indication it was anything special.  Me, however, I was welling up with enthusiasm.  I felt like I found a treasure on the sidewalk!  If this was in Canada surely a museum would build up around this.  Cracked and rusty, nonetheless, it was a little piece of magic for me.  I welled up with questions.  How many years has it been affixed to the wall?  How many tourists and locals have walked past it unawares?  What does it symbolize?  Who put it there so close to the ground?  Why isn’t it in a museum?

20130709-234915.jpg

This embodies what I love about Europeans.  They value what is beautiful.  In becoming old, an object becomes even more valuable and precious, impossible to replace, destined to crumble, but honored just the same.

Style-Diet Shot – Justine Purple Dress

“On matters of style, swim with the current. On matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

 – Thomas Jefferson

Justine, from Paris (and in Paris) is wearing a Purple Dress in Silk.  Made in France by Queenie.  Mais oui!

20130703-090309.jpg

 

The Style-Diet Shot celebrates individuals with unique style, wearing at least one article of clothing acquired via the Stephens’ Sisters Shopping Diet. It must be local, sustainable, second-hand/re-purposed, inherited or ethically produced. If you can’t find clothing fitting that criteria then it must be from a country with stellar human rights records.

On Mange Bien a Paris

“There is no Sincerer Love than the love of food.”

– George Bernard Shaw

Below are images from a typical summertime family lunch in Paris.  Fresh almonds, fresh figs, Chanterelle or Girole mushrooms, ratatouille, the sweetest juiciest melons ever, salade de tomate et mozzarelle, and sweet -not spicy – radish.

20130629-204516.jpg 20130629-204524.jpg 20130629-204533.jpg 20130629-204542.jpg 20130629-204554.jpg 20130629-204620.jpg 20130629-204629.jpg

The French have a wonderful cuisine, due, in large part, to regional specialities.  Just like accents change every 20 or so kilometers, so does the food.  Like wine, as the terroir changes, so do the subtleties of flavor.   For everything.  Each town has at least one speciality cheese made only in that town, by a farmer or producer who is damn proud of his cheese.  And he has the right to be. Ben Oui! It’s the pride in diversity, the celebrated differences which make France a culinary haven.  Vive les diferences!  Vive la France!

On this trip, I learned about a group in France called “Les Faucheurs de OGM”.  The GMO harvesters.  The faux is a scythe.  The faucheurs are activists/eco-terrorists who clandestinely organize to destroy GMO crops.  This happened in the United States for the first time this Spring.  This event didn’t hit mainstream media, so you may not have heard about this.  I do not condone eco-terrorism.  However, the misguided mono-crop culture that GMOs embody is the absolute opposite of a healthy, thriving ecosystem.   GMOs are the death of diversity.  GMOs are grown with huge amounts of pesticides and herbicides which destroy life, poison the water, poison us, and deplete the soils.

The French have much to protect.

So do we all.

Style-Diet Shot – Patrice

“On matters of style, swim with the current. On matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

 – Thomas Jefferson

Patrice home from work in Paris, is in his garden and getting some time to read the paper.  His shoes are made in France, Alsace to be precise.  The brand is Heschung heschung.com.  The shirt is Made in Europe from the Parisian brand Arthur & Fox.

20130703-090334.jpg 20130703-090415.jpg 20130703-090426.jpg

The Style-Diet Shot celebrates individuals with unique style, wearing at least one article of clothing acquired via the Stephens’ Sisters Shopping Diet. It must be local, sustainable, second-hand/re-purposed, inherited or ethically produced. If you can’t find clothing fitting that criteria then it must be from a country with stellar human rights records.