About Me

Hi!  I'm Katy and I live in Maryland with my boyfriend Dan and our puppy Henry.  We adopted Henry from a shelter on my birthday (February 5 and I keep my Amazon wishlist up to date).  He's some sort of shepherd mix and right now he's about 10 months old and 50 pounds.  I keep asking him not to get any bigger, but as far as I can tell he is selfishly ignoring my request.  Henry is really good at eating, tugging, obedience school, and having his nose out of the car window.  He has some room for improvement with meeting new people and barking at strange sounds, but I know he is doing his best.  He has some questions about me and about this blog (like why am I sitting here typing when there are perfectly good toys to chew on), and I will do my best to document our discussion for the purposes of this page.

Me: Hi, Henry.
Henry: [wag]


Henry: Why do you leave sometimes?  I just want to hang out with you guys and be petted!
Katy: Dan and I both have jobs that we have to go to.  You are important in your own way, but dogs don't really have jobs the same way people have jobs.  I'm a software developer for a big company.  Someday I would really like to do "my own thing" - which has yet to be defined.  But I'd really like to marry my interests in food/nutrition/gardening with my enjoyment of helping people and my ability to develop software.  I like writing too, but I don't know if I'm very good at it.  This blog is a way to start "my own thing", and I have some other ideas but not quite enough time!

Henry: I don't understand "blog".  Don't you know there are birds outside?  Birds are so elusive.
Katy: Well, I spend a lot of my free time wondering about food and how I can cook and eat better in my own life, and I wanted to try to write down some of those thoughts.  Blogging is a way to share that with other people.
Henry: I think about eating food a lot.  Sometimes other people are scary.  I'm not sure you should be sharing anything with them.
Katy: Yes, you do think about eating a lot!  Food is a lot more than just eating though.  It's where do the ingredients come from?  Were they grown in a sustainable way?  Did they travel really far to get to you?  Did I support a small farmer or a big corporation when I bought them?  Almost all of that information is hidden from us when we buy produce in the stores - although it is improving.  If you are buying animal products, you have to wonder how those animals were treated.  Were they allowed to lounge all day like you are, or did they have to stand in a crowded, dirty pen?  One of the big arguments for being a vegetarian is that many animals are not treated humanely.  And after all that, you should think about how much waste you are creating.  Can you compost any of your food scraps, is there a lot of plastic packaging you'll throw out, and so on.  I want to talk about all those things and more in A Peaceful Plate.

Henry: Being a vegetarian sounds weird.
Katy: Dan is a vegetarian and you like him a lot, so it can't be that weird.  I thought it was strange at first, too, but I think I understand a little bit better now.  Dan decided to stop eating meat because he felt like it was the right thing to do for him.  Not for any one big reason in particular, but for all the reasons that people typically list.  He's been a vegetarian for something like 35 dog-years!  He eats a whole lotta beans to make up for the protein he isn't getting from meat.  I think since he's met me and we've learned more about food together, he has also become more conscious of where things come from and how they were grown.  We both really like the movie Food, Inc., and I think everybody should watch it.

Henry: I like to eat everything.  Grass is delicious.  Why should I be careful about what I'm chomping on when it's so much fun?  Grass grass grass. 
Katy: Great question!  People don't eat grass, but we do eat salads and lots of vegetables that are kind of similar.  Sometimes the people who take care of vegetables (grass included) spray things on them to keep away bugs, weeds, and diseases.  A lot of times those sprays are poisonous to us so we have to be very careful to wash them off but even if we do that, some residue from those pesticide sprays may hang around and get into our bodies.  If we eat too much of that, it will probably make us sick.  That's a great reason to buy organic produce - it means none of those sprays were used which is better for us and for the planet.

Henry: I'm kind of sleepy.
Katy: That's because you wake up at 6am every day.
Henry: [eyes closing]