All Posts for October 2017

Good News About Bees

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

Our fight for the honeybee.


It’s been a big week for community health, the environment and honeybees.

Earlier this week a California Court of Appeal took an important step toward reining in the use of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides.

This victory is many years in the making. Nearly a decade ago the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) acknowledged that these kinds of pesticides kill bees, yet year after year they continued to approve more and more uses for them. These toxic pesticides not only harm honeybees and other wildlife, but also put California’s multibillion-dollar agricultural economy at risk.

Chris Jordan-Bloch/Earthjustice

So three years ago, representing a coalition of environmental groups, my colleagues and I filed a lawsuit asking the DPR to stop the practice of rubber-stamping new uses for neonicotinoids without proper environmental review. And this week the court ruled in our favor!

While we should certainly take a moment to celebrate this momentous victory, know that the fight is not over. Earlier this week we filed a petition asking California’s Fish and Game Commission to ban this same group of bee-killing chemicals from the wildlife refuges and other habitats the commission manages around the state.

By allowing the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on the more than 1 million acres of California lands that it controls, the commission is putting already-threatened species at risk. We’re asking the commission to stop allowing the use of these pesticides to safeguard the long-term health and sustainability of our public lands and wildlife— including honeybees.

This is going to be another long battle, but I’m feeling energized after this week’s victory and am ready to go back to court and keep fighting. I know that with your support, we can win again.

You’ve been by our side every step of the way— thank you. You make these victories possible.


Greg Loarie
Staff Attorney

Syrniki Sweet Cheese Russian Pancakes from Acme Calendar

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

On October 1st, World Vegetarian Day, I posted a meatless recipe entitled Tortilla Espanola Potato and Egg with a photo from the calendar. Link: ( That recipe and this one are reprinted with permission from the Acme Market FREE calendar called Kosher Cuisines of the World ( The calendar includes both meatless and meat-centered recipes. Dairy and meat are kept separately in kosher cooking.

Syrniki Sweet Cheese Pancakes from Russia

All the information in the boxes in the photo are printed below:

Ingredients: (Keep in mind this is for 10 servings: See my notes below for making fewer pancakes.)

2 lb. Ricotta Cheese, part skim, drained in a sieve overnight
1 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Sugar* (see My Notes below)
1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla
3 Eggs, slightly beaten
2/3 Cup Golden Raisins*
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Olive Oil*, for brushing


  1. Mix ricotta with lemon juice in a bowl; set aside 5 minutes. In another bowl, whisk sugar*, vanilla and eggs until fluffy. stir in ricotta picture and raisins. Slowly stir in 1 cup flour until a sticky dough forms; set aside.PLace remaining flour on a plate.
  2. Using wet hands, form dough into thirty 2″ patties about 1/2″ thick.
    Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  3. Working in 4 batches, brush skillet with 1 tsp. oil each time. Dredge rounds lightly in flour; fry, flipping once,until golden brown and firm,
    4-6 minutes.

*My Notes: This recipe makes 10 servings, so I cut it in half and half again, since I wanted to make a trial batch for myself. Here are my variations:

  1. I used stevia instead of sugar, so you may need a little more flour.
  2. I did not drain the ricotta cheese overnight; just drain it while gathering the other ingredients. I also used full fat ricotta.
  3. I made them a second time with gluten-free flour and they were very good. The eggs and oil kept the patties from falling apart.
  4. I also used macadamia oil, not olive oil. I like the flavor of mac nut oil.
  5. I did not add raisins. I don’t like them in pancakes. (You could try slivered almonds for crunch.)
  6. As the directions note, they are actually patties, since they are thicker than the kind of pancakes I grew up eating.
  7. Finally, the fruit in the picture is not in the recipe itself. I drizzled on a smidgen of maple syrup instead of fruit.

Nutritional Value for 10 servings:  The profile is for the original recipe, not my modifications for a healthier pancake. I used no sugar. I used stevia+, and it has no calories, so the number for calories and sugar and carbs would be considerably lower.)

Calories: 541
Protein: 14.9 g
Carbs: 92 g
Sugar+: 66 g
Fat: 134.9 g
Sat. Fat: 5.7 g
Fiber: 1.1. g
Sodium: 135 g