3 Months a Vegan

z77U9uhMQeeV0w%q4x4TKQ

A vegan offering from an Argentine winemaker. Highly recommended.

This is follow up to my “3 Weeks a Vegan” post. I am happy to report that I am still a vegan, or more accurately, still following a vegan diet. No intentional lapses. No dairy, no meat. I have eaten lots of beans, greens, grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, as one might expect, and I occasionally consume pickles, sauerkraut, Kombucha, peanut butter, tofu, beer, and wine. I’ve cut out sweets for the most part, although I just finished a four bag marathon of Jolly Rancher jelly beans that happen to be vegan.  Most jelly bean makers use animal ingredients, like beeswax, and confectioners glaze (shallac) which consists of bug secretions to give the bean its sheen.

I feel reasonable healthy, lost and have keep off about 5 pounds, and have at least as much energy as before, maybe more although I’ve become lazy during the pandemic.  Because of the COVID-19 outbreak and the shelter in place order in my city, I have had to cancel my physical examination, so I haven’t yet had any blood tests that would determine whether my diet has conferred any health benefits. If my numbers suck, I’d consider returning to my old diet. What’s the first dish I’d have? Bacon and eggs. I really miss bacon.

What else do I miss? One of the most difficult challenges for me has been the dairy prohibition. I love cheese, Kefir, yogurt, eggs, milk, and butter. Imagine not being able to put sour cream and butter inside a piping hot baked potato. And while I miss these ingredients, I have kept my sanity and found decent plant-based substitutes. At the 3 week mark, I was struggling to find a suitable non-dairy creamer for my morning coffee. Fortunately, I have found two excellent vegan products that I can recommend without hesitation: Nut Pods and Califia. It took a while to get used to having coffee without the 2% milk I had been accustomed to, but now that my taste buds have adjusted to almond and coconut-based creamers, I find morning coffee once again to be an enjoyable experience.

So what do I eat? What’s a typical meal? A salad for starters. I like mine with mixed greens, sweet onions, radishes, green and red peppers, green olives, tomatoes, and Italian dressing. Main dishes have included pasta with red sauce, beans and rice, burritos, tacos, chili, eggplant dishes, Indian, Thai, vegetable stir fry, veggie burgers and tofu hotdogs, vegan frozen pizzas, and a variety of soups. Sides have been too numerous to mention but my favorites include baked potatoes, peas with tomato relish, corn on the cob with cashew-based butter, hush puppies, tater tots, french fries, rice, okra, spinach, grilled brussel sprouts, and onions, basically, most of the sides I used to have with meat.

One challenge remains. Wine. Many winemakers use fining agents from animal proteins found in eggs, milk, and fish to help clarify the wine. There aren’t labeling requirements regarding the use of fining agents, but some winemakers indicate if the wine is unfiltered, in which case it would be vegan friendly.  I have found some organic wines that are labeled vegan but not many, and the quality of the wines vary.  So for now, I am just buying varietals that I like in hopes that the wines are not filtered or that the fining agents used are clay-based.

I’ll post an update in 3 months.

3 Weeks a Vegan

I’ve been a meat eater all my life.  A carnivore’s carnivore.  I once went on an all-meat diet and took desiccated liver supplements to maximize my protein intake.  That was a long time ago.  I’ve been eating more sensibly since and have started following a vegan diet. I did it not so much for health reasons or ethical reasons but because my daughter challenged me.  Once I accepted the challenge, I began to think about the many dietary changes I needed to make and I had to convince myself that it was in my best interests to eat healthy.  I figured I’d add a few years to my lifespan, maybe even become immortal, if not immortal, at least help to keep the planet alive longer by reducing my carbon footprint. I have not been able to convince myself that eating meat is cruel to animals or a savage practice.  It would be quite hypocritical of me to adopt that stance after so many years of eating meat and fishing.

After three weeks of not eating any meat or dairy and getting all my nutrition from plants, I can say that I feel pretty good.  I have the same amount of energy, perhaps even more than before.  I’m snacking way less and consuming fewer calories and losing weight – not that I need to – about 6 pounds so far.  After I eat a vegan meal, I generally feel quite satisfied, but never stuffed.  I also find that I don’t have as much of a lingering aftertaste like I did after eating meat and dairy.  Though there is one issue that has almost been a deal breaker – not being able to put milk in my morning coffee.  I have never liked non-dairy creamers or any kind of cream for that matter. The only thing I like in coffee is 2% organic milk.  Now I’m stuck with coconut/almond creamer that really takes the fun and taste out of coffee.  Soy is better but it irritates my throat.  I’m getting used to almond milk though.  And it does seem to fare reasonably well in lattes as a replacement for milk.

I have also begun taking B12 and D3 supplements and probiotics to fight off deficiencies.   I go for a physical in March and if my blood work is stellar, I’ll stay on the vegan diet for as long as I can.  If there are no changes or negative changes to my health as measured by blood tests, I’ll ditch the vegan diet in favor of a vegetarian one but limit my dairy.  We’ll see.

1QW2i3dCQEiQGgegrSS

 

 

Creamer-Fed Cows

From the very opinionated desk of Ribbie’s Weblog

I was scanning my Facebook Newsfeed and ran across an article that could have been from The Onion.  And holy cow, dairy cows are now being fed coffee creamer to make their milk taste better!  This is one of the most absurd ideas I have ever heard and I am astonished that this practice even exists.

If there’s one thing I dislike more than skim milk, it would be coffee creamer, particularly that flammable non-dairy creamer powder.  In my opinion, it tastes nothing like cow’s milk and in coffee, what a disaster.  The petroleum like substance overpowers the flavor of the coffee and leaves a terrible aftertaste that lingers on the palate for months.  Why even go there when you could add real milk to your coffee? The common answer to this I suppose is convenience.  You don’t have to refrigerate non-dairy creamer because of the preservative qualities of its chemicals.  Just pour and store like you would a salt shaker. Half and Half isn’t much better in my opinion because it’s not clear what the halves are – is it half disodium phosphate and sodium citrate and half milk and cream?  Anyway, the creamer in the convenient polluting cups probably has a half life of about 24,000 years.

Mad Cows

“All I wanted was some grass, man, and he wouldn’t give it to me!”

And why on god’s green earth would dairy farmers feed their cows this toxic brew of powder? The Iowa farmer who favors this practice says it makes the cows’ milk taste better? Really? I suppose if you like creamer in your milk.  It simply makes no sense in an age when consumers, like me, increasingly demand organic milk from grass-fed cows.  With the movement toward truth in labeling, farmers should be required to stamp across the carton of milk, Coffee Creamer-Fed Cows.  Poor cows.  All they wanted was some grass, man, and one Iowa farmer wouldn’t give it to them.

Heavy Metal Dogs

IMAG0279

I ran across a disturbing article that got me thinking about food safety.  Trump’s plan to gut most of the regulatory agencies including the FDA puts corporate profits ahead of the interests of the people.  Fortunately, one hot dog maker recalled something like 200,000 pounds of franks after alert consumers found metal in some of the weenies.  There is no report on which metals were found, whether heavy, precious or rare earth elements, but I can assure this, metal won’t easily melt when boiled, broiled or grilled.  It would not have been the intent of the makers of Nathan’s Hot Dogs to provide the consumer a bit of crunch or a metallic aftertaste.  But what would stop an unregulated company from using whatever meat could be procured cheaply, say, horse, dog, chipmunk, squirrel, possum, house sparrow, cat, or rat? For that matter, might we one day find recycled cell phone parts in our hot dogs in the form of rare earth metals that make the meat look fresher and last longer sporting a half-life shelf life of nearly a thousand years? Imagine a heavy metal dog with an expiration date of 2112 guaranteed to produce noble gases.

GMO Apple To Debut in the U.S. By 2017

1194

The U.S. Agriculture department just approved the first genetically altered apple for the U.S. market.  A Canadian outfit has designed, yes, DESIGNED, an apple that neither bruises nor browns when sliced open or bitten into.  I suppose it stays red and fresh for hundreds of years and has a half life of several billion, longer even than a discarded k-cup.  They reengineered the thing minus an aging protein or something of the like so that it appears fresher than it really is.  While it may not brown or bruise, it might taste just as soggy and mushy as a bruised apple would, unless they’ve managed to artificially preserve the crispness, which I admit would have a certain appeal, that is if they’ve not used something like formaldehyde.  I really don’t like soggy apples but I like the smell of formaldehyde even less.  And in my view, there is a place for soggy and brown apples and that would be in a jug of cider.

The Okanagan Specialty Fruit company that designed the GMO apple is planning to add a logo to the apple sticker in the form of a snowflake which would distinguish it from a real apple.  It’s interesting that the natural and pristine snowflake is their choice of logo for the born in the lab apple.  Maybe they are also planning to produce these apples to make Ice-Wine, which I rather like.  But is an apple even an apple, if it’s DNA has been altered? Isn’t it kind of like Froot Loops cereal?  The loops are not fruit, which is why the cereal is spelled Froot.  And like Cheez Whiz, which is the not the reel deel, the Canadian apple should be spelled to reflect its synthetic properties – say Apel or Aple or maybe Apul.  Since they designed out a protein, I think it only fitting the thing lose an l.

3-5 Cups a Day Just May Prolong Your Life

DSC_0269

You should be drinking more coffee than you do unless you are one of the few who drink 3-5+ cups a day.  In fact, the most recent findings suggest that drinking 5 plus may confer health benefits including reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to a top nutrition panel.  They also found no health hazards to drinking 3-5 cups a day. The interesting thing, despite the presence of coffee chains the world over like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts and the lesser known Canadian outfit, Tim Hortons that never made much of a splash in the States, no country averages more than 3 cups a day.  In the U.S., known as a coffee drinking nation, folks average 1 cup a day – just one.  Dating back to the early 20’s when records where first available, 1946 was the year of greatest coffee consumption in the U.S. at 2 cups per day per capita.  But why 1946?  I have some theories that account for the uptick:

  • In 1946, you could buy two cups for the shiny newly minted FDR dime.
  • Professional baseball teams started playing night games, and to stay awake, fans needed coffee, especially on the cold spring nights and even colder October nights during the World Series played in Boston and St. Louis in 1946.
  • 1946 was the year of U.S. rockets, atomic bomb tests and the H Bomb patent.  It was a year of space, technology and the beginning of the cold war between the U.S. and the Soviets.  A Cold War requires hot coffee and the newly invented electric blanket.
  • And finally, there must have been quite a bit of celebrating and then coffee drinking as President Truman declared the end of World War II.

You boomers out there – 1946 – 1964, drink up, it can’t hurt and might do us some good. Gen. X and Millennials, it’s ok to have your lattes and cappuccinos, but cut down on the whipped cream, caramel and sugar.  And anything with a frap in the title is probably ill-advised. K-Cup drinkers, the jury is still out.  Not sure how healthy it is to shoot hot water through a plastic cup, but it’s probably no worse for you than a Styrofoam cup of coffee.  In any case, whatever your thing – Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, K-cups or just your ordinary 8 O’clock drip brew – 3-5 cups a day may just prolong your life!

Say Goodbye to Butterfinger, Baby Ruth and yes Crunch too

229 to Butterfinger, Baby Ruth and Crunch because Nestle, the Swiss chocolatier has decided to mess with the ingredients of the classics. I say mess with because according to an article in the Washington Post,  Nestle plans to use natural ingredients in its candy bars as opposed to the chemically laden synthetic dyes and flavors that so many of us have come to love and crave over the years.  Gone will be such iconic ingredients as Yellow 4 and Red Dye #40, that make the bars so attractive to the eye.  Never mind that Red #40 is actually named 6-hydroxy-5-[(2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo]-2-naphthalenesulfonic acid and was born in a laboratory and not in nature.  And let’s not harp on the evidence that in some studies, Red 40, as it is affectionately known, altered the DNA of mice, and is thought to have the potential to produce serious allergic reactions and even cancer in some humans.  After all, most of us will die of cancer anyway, so what’s the big deal?  

The big deal is that our candy bars are going to look natural and taste like some hipster snack food with achiote tree seeds (fairly traded from the Guatemalan rain forest no doubt) and actual vanilla. Yes, actual vanilla!  If they start using real sugar as opposed to high fructose corn syrup, which I am addicted to frankly, I may just launch a Nestle boycott.  How dare they even consider going GMO free!  This may just be a sinister ploy to regain the German market that banned the GMO laden Butterfinger.

Plot or no plot, Nestle is going after more than the big three, although I really don’t care what they do with the inedible Crunch, maybe one of the worst chocolate bars on the planet, in the same company as the foul tasting Tootsie Roll.  But get this – soon the “neutral” Swiss company will be attacking SweeTARTS.  Without all the dyes, they may soon look like communion wafers or peppermint TUMS and taste like raw agave sap.  If they go designer on us, I’m out.  I don’t want a tart made from real cherries, limes or oranges.  Kids don’t want that either, I assure you.  Real fruit is not candy.  If Nestle keeps mucking with the ingredients, they might get the Germans back, but stand to lose the entire American market.

Uruguay Travelogue Day 6: Colonia del Sacremento

DSC_0406

On Monday, we took a “luxury” bus out to Colonia del Sacremento, about 2 and a half hours from Montevideo. We’ve gotten around the city almost entirely on foot and bus. The buses have been a cheap and reliable mode of transportation for the most part. Some of the buses, which you pay a little more for have padded seats and are more spacious. The less costly buses are generally more crowded and have plastic seats. You might be more comfortable standing unless you have a padded butt that can absorb the bumps. As the buses fill with people, they push to the back where everyone has to eventually exit which means if you are standing, people who need to get off will have to squeeze by you and there’s simply no place for you to go when you are being squeezed but into the people who are seated as you try to make yourself less present. But what annoys me more than anything is the fact that when you get onto the bus and pay, you get a ticket or some sort of receipt. I can’t fathom why the ticket is needed once you have paid and are on the bus. As far as I can tell, you can’t use it to transfer to another bus. The conductors don’t stop and inspect the tickets. I can’t imagine that people keep these receipts for tax purposes, but they might.  What do I know? When it comes to the ways of the Uruguayans, perhaps very little.

The charming resort town of Colonia del Sacremento reminds me a little of Cape Code in the wintertime. It feels as off the beaten path as Isla de Chiloe in Chile. And even though it is wintertime here, the place still had a number of tourists, some from Argentina and Brazil. Buenos Aires is only a 50 minute ferry ride from the port of Colonia.  The town has a lot of military history and apparently was something of a strategic outpost controlled at times by Portugal, Spain and Brazil and you can see both the Portuguese and Spanish influence on the layout of the town and in the architecture. One of the more eye pleasing objects was the lighthouse, completed by soldiers (not sure which country’s) in 1857, that one can climb for something like 20 pesos.

DSC_0403

The town has many museums, restaurants, churches and shops that sell local art, handicrafts and clothing. There are beaches on the Rio de la Plata, areas for camping and picnics in Aaron del Anchorena National Park and there’s even a bullring.

DSC_0430

But the highlight of the day was the restaurant we stumbled upon called Buen Suspiro which features local cheeses, wines, pastries, soups and entrees made with locally sourced ingredients.

DSC_0402

It is located in the cellar of a home that must have been built in the 1700’s by the Portuguese, with low hung wooden beams. The cavernous space had a intimate charm with about 10 tables in all. Our waiter explained the menu, which consisted of several types of appetizers including the one we selected which contained 4 types of local cheeses from mild to strong, bread, a spicy jam, cheese bread squares and balls and dry salami.

DSC_0383

We also sampled 6 different local wines – a Cuna Crianza Tannant Merlot blend, one of my least favorites of the 6; a Fripp Tannant, my personal favorite; a Cuna Reserva Riesling, a semi-dry white, with a zesty lime tang that keep the wine from being too sweet; a Cuna de Piedra Sauvignon Blanc; and two rose wines – a Cabernet and a Moscatel. I don’t like roses much so these were my least favorite of the lot.

DSC_Vinos1

For entrees, we had a squash soup and a vegetable and meat lasagna. We ordered a slice of dulce de leche cake – to die for – and a round of mate.

DSC_0388

Our waiter explained to us how to prepare and drink mate, something we were not aware of even though we had experience drinking mate, Chilean-style, which is not as protocol dependent as the Uruguayan way and as our waiter pointed out, the Uruguayan way is not nearly as particular as the Argentine way.

DSC_0391

And we ended the day with a 8 dollar bar of chocolate -always ask the price before you buy something- and a double cortado para llevar. And so it went on Colonia de Sacremento on this cold winter day.

South America Travelogue – Montevideo

Santiago Day 3

We were in Santiago for 3 days and actually did not see much of the cordillera because we stayed in Lo Valle Campino, a hillside community near the airport, no Andes in sight, obscured by hills and smog. Nena took us to El Centro which I guess translates to downtown where we met up with my niece Nati and her boyfriend Andres to watch Chile vs. Holland. Fanaticos were out in force ready for a grand celebration that never happened as the Orange clad Dutchmen lead by striker Robben outplayed the scrappy Chilean squad.

DSC_0067
Downtown Santiago is a linear collection of buildings and shops for miles and miles. It has a little bit of a NYC feel without all the tall buildings and the sense of neighborhood. It felt like a giant outdoor shopping mall.

DSC_0021

Graffiti is in abundant supply and some curious and colorful murals adorn city walls and subway structures, some of it good, some not; some sanctioned, some clearly not.

DSC_0036

Our gracious Santiago hosts, Milton and Nena, made us feel at home in their tidy house with a living room constructed of pine wood adorned with local art. In addition to good conversation and cheer, we ate well. Nena served up Cazuela, a typical Chilean soup made with a clear broth, squash, beef, corn, potatoes, peas and green beans cut french style with pebre (a hot sauce) and fresh cut cilantro to sprinkle on top. She also served fish soup, fillet of reineta (a local fish) and Pastel De Choclo, a distinctive corn-based casserole. Wine poured a plenty, all local reds and whites. My favorite was the sweet late Harvest Riesling that had just the right balance of sweetness and acidity.

Montevideo, Days 1-2

From Santiago, we took a short flight to Montevideo and then a local bus from the Carrasco International airport to the city. We got off at our stop dragging our heavy bags, the heaviest weighing over 22 kilos, an oversized LL Bean bag. As we looked around for another bus to take to our friend’s apartment, we crossed a busy intersection, bags rolling behind us and I tripped over the bulky LL Bean bag my wife was dragging in front of me, getting good height and landing on my stomach atop my own bag, which served as sort of an air bag. Fortunately, I didn’t break any bones and only scrapped the bottom of my left hand that I used to help break my fall. The hand burned for a bit but seemed fine. When we finally got to the apartment, I noticed it was bleeding. I rinsed it off and applied a triple anti-biotic ointment I had brought along just in case. My youngest daughter, who witnessed the fall, could not stop laughing, to the point that she drew tears and a hiccup. I was not amused at the time. There were many locals standing around who also saw my tumbling act and god only knows what they must have thought of the strange gringo doing odd acrobatics with an orange bag.

If you know Spanish well, you will immediately notice that the Uruguayan accent is distinct. It’s hard to describe, but it has a sibilant quality, a sort of airy lisp that is pleasant to the ear, or at least to my ear. The people seem nice and accommodating thus far, although my wife had a bad encounter at La Chacra supermarket. All seemed fine at first. When we entered the store just as the sun set, a radio station was playing the song “Southern Nights”. The workers seemed friendly enough giving us recommendations on pasta, red sauce and the butcher prepared us a good cut of beef (lomo) that is popular in the country.  Uruguay is a meat eating place if ever there was one. And not surprisingly, beef is its major export.  But trouble began when my wife tried to buy the groceries unwittingly with my daughter’s debit card and her own ID. Obviously, the names didn’t match and they gave her a hard time about it. Ultimately, I had to pay with my debit card using my ID which matched. My wife asked the cashier to double bag some things but the cashier threw the bags at her in a huff and told her to “do it yourself”. True story. On a side note, I bought a combination corkscrew that cost 85 pesos or about $3.7 U.S. which turns out we didn’t need because there where 3 just like it in the kitchen drawer of our apartment.

We bought two 960 ml bottles of beer, one called Patricia, a hoppy and light lager, and a Pilsen Especial, which truthfully was not very special. The Patricia cost 57 pesos, ($2.49) and the Pilsen, 62 ($2.70). I doubt the locals drink these forgettable examples of Uruguayan swill. Being a local now for the next 7 days, I won’t be drinking the stuff either, well at least not the Pilsen.

The Internet here is interesting. For one, the government issues every resident, from what I can gather, equipment to enable free Wi-Fi – “Automatic for the People”. Our friend’s apartment has a modem/router with this free Internet but as we found out, it’s good for only 1 gigabyte of data per month which is little more than a few Google searches, 10 minutes of a movie on Netflix and about 4 photos uploaded and posted on Facebook. So, being the nice guests that we are, we used up her data plan as soon as we got on the Internet. After much bureaucratic maneuvering, several phone calls and a visit to the government owned Antel office, we, or more accurately, my eldest daughter  managed to “recharge” the 1 GB of data that we used for about 200 pesos ($10) and now we hope this gets us through our week. We pledged not to stream any movies or videos and only to check and send emails de vez en cuando.

We ventured downtown by bus (which is about the only mode of public transportation), got some maps of the city, headed to the Plaza de Independencia, to see the green statue of founding father Artigas, had an early dinner at the Cafe Brasilero that had free Wi-Fi, sent some emails, watched a World Cup match – Ecuador v. France, bought some beer and wine, which I am now sipping, the wine that is, a Uruguayan Gewurztraminer which cost about $8.60, that is, to be frank, slightly syrupy, not unlike a Viogner, and leaves a sweet and unpleasant medicinal cough drop like aftertaste. This recommended wine is unbalanced, but drinkable.

DSC_0126

The tourist information clerks said that Uruguay is known for meat and in particular, the Chivito sandwich, a carnivorous delight and what I ordered from the Chilean waiter at the Cafe Brasilero in an area of town called the Old City near Plaza Matriz. This cafe has been around since 1877 and sports antique chairs and tables, brass chandeliers and a big screen TV for world cup enthusiasts. It seems to be a good place to chill, get connected, have a bite and a Cortado, (the local version of a latte) which we did, or a drink, which we did not. The Chivito consists of bacon, ham, beef, tomato and lettuce served open-faced on toasted bread topped with a sunny side up egg surrounded by lettuce and fresh cut french fries, all for 230 pesos or about $10.

We walked a lot on our first day in the city. My pedometer had me at over 14,719 steps or 6.9 miles, which is the farthest I’ve walked by far since I began using the app on my phone back in October.

DSC_0083

Buses spew diesel fumes, and generally foul the air. Hybrid buses have not yet come to this big city nor has a subway system. Though we are not too far from Buenos Aires, the air is anything but good. And to make matters worse, everyone seems to smoke, and not just cigarettes, but weed too which is legal here.  With the air thick with toxins, and the population dieting largely on red meat, it’s a wonder the lifespan here is 76 years old.  Maybe I’m exaggerating, but it seems that most people are dressed in black. I’m not sure if this is just tradition for this time of year, which is the beginning of winter, or maybe it’s simply a fashion statement. People seem happy enough, but dress, ironically, as if going to a funeral.

Tattered Mural

Moo Cluck Moo – the Right Thing to Doo

Sunflower Cow 2

Who says fast food joints can’t pay their workers more than the minimum wage and still make a decent profit?  Well, for starters, it’s the big fast food joints themselves and Republicans who say LET THE MARKET DECIDE.  DOWN WITH MINIMUM WAGE.  DOWN WITH REGULATIONS unless they benefit BIG business and billionaires.  Maximum profits over people is the message – that’s the capitalist way.  But it is possible to be a caring capitalist.  It is possible to give workers a living wage and still make a profit.  In fact, it can be good for business, perhaps even better for business.  Did you hear that BIG business?  Exhibit A:  Moo Cluck Moo.  I confess that until today, I had never heard of this place.  But this fast food restaurant does something remarkable:  they pay their workers TWICE the federal minimum wage.  The owner says they don’t pass on the costs to patrons.  Their burgers and sandwiches are competitively priced.  The other remarkable thing is that this restaurant serves up some of the healthiest foods in the fast food industry all with a social conscience.  Their beef, pork and poultry products come from farms that humanely raise vegetarian animals that are never fed hormones or antibiotics.  It may not make a big difference to you, but it is said that the vegetarian pigs roam free on the range.  And know that MOO CLUCK MOO uses NOO preservatives in their condiments and their vegetables are fresh and pesticide free.  For the sweet freaks, sodas are made with cane sugar, not high fructose corn syrup.  Cheers!

With only two locations in Michigan, their model may not be so persuasive to the big chains yet, but look out Micky Dee, Wendy and Mr. Burger King –  MOO CLUCK MOO is looking to expand and seeks investors.  Soon they may be located right next door to you wherever you are.  They say that paying their workers a living wage is the right thing to do.  And I quite agree and so would many others.