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Showing posts from March, 2014

A Solution to Leftovers

March 31, 2014 - My husband and I used to waste more food than we do now.  I frequently overbought, partly because I liked to make believe that we were big vegetable and fruit eaters.  All in the valiant effort to turn us into what we've never been and probably never will be (big vegetable and fruit eaters).  Ok, so we've closed that chapter after having made only modest gains.  And I do like to experiment, both with recipes I've previously made successfully, and with recipes being tried for the first time.  Somehow sticking with the same old same old week after week just isn't satisfying.  Neither, however, is an inedible meal, of which I've made a few (ahem).  So we've thrown out food which was at its peak when it came through the door, not so much on its way out.

But 40 percent??  You read that right: that's how much perfectly good food gets thrown out in the United States, week after month after year.  Can you guess how much money is being spent on all …

Small Farmers Will Be the Big Players

March 24, 2014 – The Post Carbon Institute has put together a fine talking heads documentary called “Agriculture in a Changing World.”I learned a bit from it, so I thought I might summarize it for you.You can find the film at www.postcarbon.org/video/2111138-agriculture-in-a-changing-world .
The half hour film consists of brief remarks made by leaders in the agriculture and climate change worlds.I’ll start with Lester Brown, formerly of the World Watch Institute, now heading up the Earth Policy Institute.He shocked me by stating that families in a number of countries around the world, among them Nigeria, Haiti, Ethiopia, India, and Peru, must go without food a certain number of days during the week.While I was aware that Haitians have suffered this degree of deprivation for decades, I didn’t know that food supply was so precarious in other parts of the world.He went on to say that water shortages are now a problem everywhere.
Dennis Meadows, one of the authors of “The Limits to Growt…

From Petro to Plastic and Back Again

March 17, 2014 – I didn’t know that plastic could be melted and returned to its petroleum state, but it appears that it can.Plants already exist in England for that very purpose.After spending years in a business incubation facility in Akron, Ohio, one such plant is now ready to go online in Ohio next month.
Certainly from the standpoint of putting plastic refuse someplace other than landfill, this sounds like a good idea.It seems unlikely we will run out of plastic anytime soon.It’s the diesel fuel that literally comes out at the other end that worries me.While diesel produces no carbon dioxide pollution, particulate matter is another problem entirely.Because diesel particles are extremely fine, they can penetrate deeply into the lungs.The rough surfaces of the particles cause them to catch, and combine with, other toxic inhalants.
The primary health concerns which result from exposure to these particles are heart and lung disease, including lung cancer.So while the conversion plant…

Cities Lead Climate Action

March 11, 2014 – The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group is responsible for a near doubling of climate actions by their 63 member cities since 2011.Member cities, the world’s largest, have implemented 8,000 climate actions in the last three years.It will come as no surprise that the vast majority of member cities are coastal.You can learn more about C40 at c40.org.
The organization’s most recent international meeting took place in Johannesburg, South Africa.Three new cities were welcomed to the ranks at that meeting: Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, and Nairobi.Michael Bloomberg presides over the C40 board, and plans to work closely with UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon in creating support for a UN Summit on Climate Change in September.
Bloomberg, of course, just retired as mayor of New York City after 12 years on the job.During his time in office, greenhouse gas emissions declined 19%.“Mayors don’t have time to debate politics, they have to deliver results, and mayors around the world increasingly…

The End of Organic Food?

March 4, 2014 – It’s March, everybody!Spring cannot be too far away.The birds are singing up a storm, and though we’ve just gotten a fresh coat of snow on the ground, temperatures will be in the 40’s later this week.Thank heaven, the sun is shining very brightly.
You will be unsurprised to learn that Monsanto continues its march toward world domination.Are you as baffled as I am that they do so with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s complicity?Is EVERYBODY on their payroll?What does Vilsack stand to gain by helping Monsanto, et. al. to own the world’s food sources?Can this truly be some form of horribly dysfunctional patriotism??
In 2011, Vilsack convened an industry-controlled panel of stakeholders (known as AC21) in the ongoing confrontation between biotech companies and organic farmers.He ostensibly was seeking a fair solution to the problem of transgenic contamination.After he and his corporate cohorts racked their brains, trying to figure out what would serve their duplicit…