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By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Oct 20, 2008

I just took the kids to the dollar movie tonight, Wall-E, for the last night of the “Staycation” we’ve been having for their fall school break.   If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a robot that is the only remaining life form on Earth, since humans destroyed it with  profligate consumption and garbage pileup and toxic waste.   He goes around doing waste disposal, until he meets and falls for a probe sent from a spaceship where the remaining living humans are.   The probe (appropriately, “Eve”) has the task of trying to find any green life, so humans can come back to the planet and make it green again.

These humans are grossly overfed, underactive, basically obese babies floating on hover chairs with robots doing everything they need (like levering them back into their hover chairs if they fall out and fetching them yet more junk food).   They consume electronics and fast food in their stationary life–none of them have ever seen a plant, let alone eaten one.   Humans have forgotten how to work and  to read well.   Somehow they  must still be having sex, because the movie shows babies.   I wondered how that worked, because the humans can’t even walk.   (In the climactic ending scene, they all roll out of their hover chairs and begin trying to totter around.   They also plant the tiny little plant Eve found, and the captain says to all the people gathered around, “Kids, we’re going to plant lots of plants, like vegetable plants!   And pizza plants!”)

Afterward, I had a conversation with my kids about, how far-fetched IS it, really, that we are like this 700 years in the future, considering the direction we’ve been going?   I told them that they haven’t experienced, like I have, a time when there were no video games (unless you count Atari Pong, wasn’t it called?–we thought that was so cool! and Ms. PacMan in the video arcade, if you had a quarter).   They weren’t around, like I was, back before everyone got fat.   (It has happened in only a couple of generations!)   Back when people made dinner every night.   This is a little part of our conversation:

Emma: Mom! We need to start recycling!

Me: Are you kidding me? Recycling is for people who actually BUY glass, plastic, and tin.   See, we don’t eat much of anything from boxes, cans, and jars.   The occasional can I use, I can toss in the neighbor’s recycling thing on garbage day.   Our eating 99% plant food, and growing a lot of it,  is better than recycling, and the fact that every scrap goes to the compost pile means that we turn that into fertilizer, which makes us more food, and so on forever.   What we do is UNCYCLE.

Emma: You just made that word up.   The  Joneses totally recycle!

Me: No, I didn’t make it up.    It’s good to recycle, but  the  Joneses recycle because they eat lots of packaged, processed food.   If you don’t eat that, you don’t even  HAVE to recycle.

Kincade:   Man, those hover chairs would be COOOOOOL, though.   You wouldn’t have to do ANYTHING.


I’ve got a bit more work to do to teach my kids that WORK IS A BLESSING.   The law of the harvest and all that–I love every time I haul cabbage out of my garden and in 30 minutes turn 2 big heads of it into 6-7 quarts of raw sauerkraut.   But watching the big old incapacitated grownup babies on Wall-E may have influenced  my kids  a bit in that direction!   Have you seen the movie with your kids, if you have any–and what did you think?

Check out the gsg.com homepage for my brand-new video on composting and my garden:

www.GreenSmoothieGirl.com (or see it on YouTube–click on “watch this in high quality”)

Posted in: 12 Steps To Whole Food, Exercise, Gardening, Nutrition, Standard American Diet

21 thoughts on “Wall-E”

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  1. Great, now you’ve got me thinking about what I buy that comes in containers 😉 Is nothing safe?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I checked out your new video on composting and gardening. I started a square foot garden two years ago. Do you think 6 inches of soil is enough? I’m beginning to question if this is enough soil for some plants. Actually my soil settles a bit after planting so I end up with less than 6 inches. I’m thinking of doing away with my weed barrier and letting the roots extend down to the soul beneath.

    I took my kids to Wall-E. They loved it. It did have a good message.


  3. Anonymous says:


    I loved your video on composting and gardening. You mentioned in the video that you are also growing gogi berries. Where can I purchase a gogi plant? I live here in Utah County. I have also read that you sometimes do nutrition classes. Will you be doing any soon? Also, I would love to learn how to make kefir.

    Thank you for all you do!

  4. http:// says:

    Actually, Brenna, the thing with containers is just that it uses resources. The safety of plastic and some metal containers–that’s a whole other blog topic. (Glass is safe, though!)

  5. http:// says:

    Sandy, I got my goji plants at http://www.timpanogosnursery.com. Unfortunately, though they’re in Salt Lake, they won’t allow you to pick up. Shipping only. Mine haven’t grown a lot (I guess I put them in a bad spot), but my neighbor planted hers with an Eastern exposure and they’ve grown like crazy.

    I don’t know when I’ll do a class in Utah County again, but making kefir is in Ch. 8 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods.


  6. http:// says:

    Jeff, Mel Bartholomew (Sq. Ft. Gardening) is so much more a gardening guru than I, and if he says 6″ is enough, then I believe it. I see lots of thriving sq. ft. gardens around here that are that shallow. But I don’t have a weed barrier at the bottom of mine.

  7. Totally unrelated questions – now that I can eat nuts, I was thinking of trying your granola recipe. I can’t do spray oil (can’t find one without soy); I’m assuming I can use coconut oil? Also, I tried to re-introduce wheat, but that didn’t go over well. Do you think I could use rice bran or oat bran or some other substitute?

  8. Oh, and what kind of bulk molasses do you buy? I looked at my buying clud (Unfi/United), and they have Barbados molasses for $60 for 5 gallons, but I can’t tell if that’s unsulphured and my husband is allergic to sulphur.

  9. http:// says:

    Yes, coconut oil is perfect in the granola. You can use oat germ or some other germ–or you can leave it out entirely (I do, when I don’t have it on hand). Bran is fine–it’ll add fiber, but the germ adds nutrition, especially B vitamins.

  10. http:// says:

    I get mine by the gallon (about $6 last time I stocked up, but it’s been a while and obviously food prices have gone up) through Azure Standard.

  11. http://Kim says:


    Regarding the germ in granola that you were telling Brenna—can you give me another example other than oat germ and other than wheat germ??????

    Also . . . . what is the difference between “rolled oats” and “oat groats”???? I buy the old fashioned rolled oats from http://www.glutenfreeoats.com but those are the only oats I can use. Therefore, I’m not real sure I could use oat germ. I could leave it out, but I would prefer to put something in its place for the nutrition. Ideas on other germs gluten free???

    Thanks a million!!!! as always 🙂

  12. http:// says:

    I don’t know of any other grain germ sold, though it may exist. A grain is made up of three basic parts: the endosperm (low in nutrition, what they make white flour out of, I call it the “glue” of the grain), the germ (where the vast majority of the nutrition is), and the bran (where the vast majority of the fiber is).

    You really don’t *need* the germ in the recipe. I don’t know if it has gluten–I believe most of the gluten in wheat would be in the endosperm. How affected are you by trying something? Some celiacs have to be very, very careful, and others can try various things.

    Oat groats are the oat grain BEFORE it is rolled. It looks like a grain of wheat. Corn kernels, wheat and rye berries, oat groats–I don’t know why we don’t just use the same term for all grains! It’s confusing, isn’t it?


  13. I know some GF granolas use millet or puffed rice, but I’m unsure of the heating process with those.

  14. Anonymous says:

    did i miss this granola recipe somehow?

  15. http:// says:

    Granola recipe is in your Jump-Start recipe collection (came with your 12 Steps subscription). Also, in Ch. 10, you have that recipe PLUS a living granola recipe.

    Have fun–the regular one is easy and yummy, and the live one is more labor intensive but so good it’ll blow your mind.


  16. Anonymous says:

    1. I love that Emma accused you, MsGrammarQueen, of making up a word. And 2. You’ve got to love Cade being true to his Yellow.

    I’ll have to add that movie to my queue now.

  17. http:// says:

    Hey, hey, Laura, how about me, tapping into my inner (non-existent) Yellow!? Aren’t you proud? This weekend, movies, Park City shopping, corn maze, nonstop funfunfun! (Sorry everyone, private joke. To let you into it, read Laura’s and my favorite book, The People Code by Taylor Hartman, or the previous version was called The Color Code, completely unrelated to nutrition. It’s my bible for understanding people.)


  18. There’s a GF granola recipe on Gluten-free Girl’s site:


    I bet you could use that and Robyn’s recipe and make a hybrid 🙂

  19. Anonymous says:


    You mentioned that you produce your Own produce during the winter (in Utah). Is that right? If so, would you tell me how that works?


  20. http:// says:

    Read Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman for all that. I did post photos of my winter growboxes on this blog, months ago, somewhere!

  21. Anonymous says:

    VERY proud of you tapping into Yellow–major props! A Red having nonstop fun? That’s fantastic. I might be the only one who would find this interesting, but I’d love to know the colors of the folks here–what’s the makeup of GSG.com readership?

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