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We have a funny way of relegating certain foods to specific functions that don't always serve the overall purpose of health or flavour.

A perfect example of this is lettuce.  In 2015, the average consumption of lettuce was about 25 pounds per person per year. 

When compared to other greens, such as spinach, arugula and kale, mainstream lettuce is mostly inferior in terms of taste and nutrients.

So what about parsley? 

According to a 2013 research paper, you would have to eat between 7 to 12 cups of lettuce a day to get the same amount of nutrients that you would find in 1 cup of parsley; and you would still be missing out on all its pharmacological benefits. A salad consisting of parsley would be rich in vitamin A, C, K and B vitamin called folate, iron, tons of antioxidants and host of other beneficial phytonutrients.

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Even more persuasive, broad leaf parsley is cheap and is available year round, and unlike the stems of kale and collards, these are easily chewed and taste good raw in sandwiches and salads or cooking in eggs or soups, etc.

It's a mystery why parley (or oregano or mint or basil) has been pushed to the back of our cupboards, pulverized and dried, left tasteless to be sprinkled on fish.

Parsley deserves better.


Rather than making children scrounge up tuition money for education, this innovative new school in India has been asking their pupils to pay for their classes with plastic waste.

Every week, students attending the Akshar School are required to line up and 'pay' for their classes using grocery bags filled with at least 25 pieces of plastic waste that they collected from around their homes and communities.

The married couple responsible for the trailblazing little school was inspired to launch the initiative after they witnessed their students being forced to endure the acrid smell of burning plastic wafting into their classrooms. This was because prior to when the school opened in 2016, local families and village communities in the state of Assam commonly burned plastic waste as a means of keeping warm and fueling fires.

Now, rather than endangering the atmosphere and health of the students, the plastic is being collected, sorted, and recycled at the school's own recycling centre.

Older students can then work part-time jobs at the recycling centre as an additional source of income.

According to Forbes, the school now hosts over 100 students between the ages of 4 and 15. Since the school's creative curriculum has attracted more and more students to enroll, and the couple plan on working through the Akshar Foundation to open another 100 schools over the course of the next five years.


For some, Victoria Day is a sign that summer is just around the corner. the holiday, which is only celebrated in Canada and Scotland, began as a celebration to honour Queen Victoria's birthday.

The British Queen was born on May 24th, 1819 and was a reigning monarch for 63 years, 7 months and 2 days.

Victoria Day was declared a Canadian holiday by the government in 1845. At that time, it was celebrated with picnics, parades, sporting tournaments, fireworks and cannon salutes.

When Queen Victoria died in 1901, Canada's parliament officially named the holiday Victoria Day. It was decided that the day would be celebrated on May 24th each year ( or on May 25th if the 24th fell on a Sunday).

In 1952, the government made the decision to begin celebrating Victoria Day on a Monday. It would be observed on May 24th if that worked out, otherwise, it would be held on a Monday immediately before it.

Victoria Day celebrations in Toronto

Today, Victoria Day is a holiday throughout most of Canada and the day is marked in most cities with parades, outdoor events and activities like camping and elaborate firework displays.


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Of all the items in the news last week the biggest headline has to be about Canada's fastest growing industry - washing money.  The numbers show laundering cash is now the difference between growth and recession in Canada.

When the report mentions the numbers, it is most likely an understatement.

The amount of cash laundered over a 5 year period tops a couple hundred billion. 

One of the most interesting bits in this report is money laundering is growing faster then our GDP. The paper estimates $46.7 billion in laundered cash in 2018, which represents around 2.1% of GDP. GDP only grew 1.57% over that same period, just under 75% on the size of cash laundered. 

Another takeaway that was glossed over by the media is that BC is the third largest province by dollar volume. Alberta is the winner, with an estimate of $10.2 billion in 2015 - 3.03% of the province's GDP that year. Ontario follows with $8.2 billion, the size of 1.13% of the province's GDP last year. BC is a distant third with $6.3 billion, 2.63% of the province's GDP in 2015.

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One reason Alberta's estimate is so high is due to how the numbers were distributed provincially. Since Alberta has a relatively high crime rate, the province may be overrepresented. This would mean that Alberta's true number would be lower, but still very high. And if this is the case BC and Ontario estimates could actually be much higher. 

Money laundering appears to play an important role for the Canadian economy and is easily one of Canada's largest industries. Both the federal and provincial governments are either clueless or unwilling to crack down due to the benefit. The former would imply wide scale incompetence and the latter recklessness.

Your thoughts?

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