Shopping & Food
SHOPPING & FOOD
Blogs & Podcasts
>>Gadi Amit - blogs about the need to change our consumer behaviors rather than simply "green" our over-consumption behaviors.
>>Food Shortages and Civilizations with Lester Brown - How closely related are food supplies and the stability of a civilization? We'll talk with environmental advocate Lester Brown about food, water, energy, and global stability. Teachers, find more information about using Science Friday as a classroom resource in the Kids' Connection. Via Science Friday from NPR
In the News
(Image via TIME)
>>TIME Magazine reports in "Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food" on ranchers and farmers who are raising sustainable food in ways that don't bankrupt the earth.
>>How Meat Contributes to Global Warming - According to a 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), our diets and, specifically, the meat in them cause more greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than either transportation or industry. Via Scientific American.
>>Choose Fair Trade Cocoa/Chocolate to Choose Slave-Free Cocoa/Chocolate - "The US State Department has reported slavery on many of these cocoa farms, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture reported in 2002 that nearly 284,000 children were working under unsafe conditions." Via examiner.com
>>Pathogens in our Pork - "Seventy percent of all antibiotics in the United States go to healthy livestock, according to a careful...and that’s one reason we’re seeing the rise of pathogens that defy antibiotics."
>>Crop Scientists Say Biotechnology Seed Companies Are Thwarting Research - "Biotechnology companies are keeping university scientists from fully researching the effectiveness and environmental impact of the industry’s genetically modified crops, according to an unusual complaint issued by a group of those scientists."
>>The Inflection Is Near? - by Thomas Friedman "We have created a system for growth that depended on our building more and more stores to sell more and more stuff made in more and more factories in China, powered by more and more coal that would cause more and more climate change but earn China more and more dollars to buy more and more U.S. T-bills so America would have more and more money to build more and more stores and sell more and more stuff that would employ more and more Chinese ... We can’t do this anymore. " Via NY Times.
>>Organic Farming Beats Genetically Engineered Corn as Response to Rising Global Temperatures - Food security and global warming: Monsanto versus organic. Via Organic Consumers Association.
>>Farmer in Chief - A New York Times article by Michael Pollan stating what the next president can and should do to remake the way we grow and eat our food.
>>Michael Pollan on Food As A National Security Issue - Fresh Air from WHYY, October 20, 2008 · In an open letter to the next president, author Michael Pollan writes about the waning health of America's food systems — and warns that "the era of cheap and abundant food appears to be drawing to a close." The president's food policies, says Pollan, will have a large impact on a wide range of issues, including national security, climate change, energy independence and health care.
Pollan is the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History Of Four Meals and In Defense OF Food: An Eater's Manifesto.
>>Michael Pollan Fixes Dinner - "In this Mother Jones Magazine interview, America's favorite food intellectual talks about ethanol, the carrot lobby, and secularizing food. With audio."
>>"In this fiery and funny talk, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman weighs in on what's wrong with the way we eat now (too much meat, too few plants; too much fast food, too little home cooking), and why it's putting the entire planet at risk."
>>Vegetarian is the New Prius - A great article summarizing the the environmental benefits of eating plant based meals.
>>The World's Top 10 Pesticide Firms - Who Owns Nature? - "According to the report, the world's six largest agrochemical manufacturers, who control nearly 75% of the global pesticide market, are also seed industry giants." Via Organic Consumers Association.
>>Deadly 'superbug' infections spread - The drug-resistant bacterium is now more lethal than AIDS in the U.S., a study shows. "Experts attribute the emergence of the superbugs to indiscriminate use of antibiotics, the failure of patients to complete their antibiotic regimens and the use of antibiotics in animal feed. In each case, incomplete eradication of the bacteria leads to mutations that have increased resistance to the drugs." Via LA Times.
SHOPPINGBecoming an Informed Consumer
>>From Pasture to Plate - Find out the amount of fossil fuels required to make a steak, potato, soda, and organic salad.
>>Green Office Buying Guide - This site will assist anyone interested in purchasing products designed to use water and energy efficiently, preserve trees and natural resources, be less toxic and less polluting, and not threaten air quality.
>>GreenerChoices.org - A very informative environmental section of Consumer Reports.
>>SustainLane.com - An online environmental portal where you can review green products and read others' reviews.
>>ResponsibleShopper.org - GreenAmerica's (formerly CoOp America's) excellent online resource that alerts the public about the social and environmental impact of major corporations while providing opportunities for consumers and investors to vote with their dollars for change.
>>BetterWorldShopper.org - terrific resource created by the author of the Better World Shoppping Guide.
>>Greenopia.com - guide to all things green in our area.
>>Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide by Greenpeace - Recycled tissue products help protect ancient forest, clean water, and wildlife habitat. Via Greenpeace.
>>EnviroMedia Greenwashing Index - rate real ads by whether you think they're greenwashing or not.
>>CorpWatch Greenwashing Awards - nominate companies that greenwash for this less-than-desirable bimonthly award.
>>MicroPlace - eBay's lending site, where you can make a return of up to 3% off your microloan investment.
>>FINCA - sets up community banks in small villages in developing countries.
>>GlobalGiving - offers a money-back guarantee if you don't like the results, and heads up American projects like helping people affected by Hurricane Katrina.
>>Grameen Foundation - the original microlender, it's credited with reducing rural poverty in Bangladesh by 40%.
>>Kiva - lets you choose a project; loan $25 or more, and you'll receive updates on how the money's being spent - and the idea is that you'll be repaid.
Healthier Food Choices
>>From pasture to plate - "This graphic story shows how some of the most popular foodstuffs in the U.S. are made, with an emphasis on how fossil fuels enter into the production chain. The amount of fossil-fuel energy used to make a steak, potato, soda and an organic salad may surprise you."
>>Look at the labels stuck on your fruits and veggies:
* A four-digit number means it's conventionally grown, meaning it was grown with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
* A five-digit number beginning with 9 means it's organic.
* A five-digit number beginning with 8 means it's genetically modified (GM or GMO).
>>Campaign for Healthier Eating in America - "Genetically modified foods are linked to toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals. They are banned by food manufacturers in Europe and elsewhere, yet GMOs are present in the vast majority of processed foods in the US." View a Non-GMO Shopping Guide. Via Institute for Responsible Technology.
>>Download the handy wallet-sized "Shopper's Guide to Pesticides" from Environmental Working Group - Learn which top 12 fruits and vegetables you should always buy and eat organic, and lower your exposure to pesticides by up to 80 percent!
>>Food and Water Watch - is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. They challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.
>>Water Filters: Green Buying Guide - Via Consumer Reports.
>>Farmers' Markets - A complete list of farmers' markets in Los Angeles County
>>FoodDeclaration.org - Assert your right to healthy food and agriculture. Michael Pollan, author of the Omnivores Dilemma and In Defense of Food, edited the third draft of this declaration.
>>VegPledge.com - A resource for those of you looking to dramatically lower your ecological footprint by reducing your consumption of animal products.
Community Supported Agriculture & Farmers Markets
>>Locavoring in a box: Organic CSAs in Los Angeles - Thanks to the growing interest in local, organic food, Angelenos can suddenly pick from a wealth of community supported agriculture programs with locations all over the metropolis. CSA programs basically let you invest in a local farm — for which you’re rewarded with weekly boxes of fresh local produce grown from that farm.
>>Check out The Times' new and improved guide to Southern California farmers markets - here you can search by location, day of the week, or market name.
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
>>June 21, 1995 a waste "lagoon" holding 8 acres of hog excrement burst
* Gallons of oil spilled by the Exxon-Valdez: 12 Million
* Gallons of putrefying hog urine and feces spilled into the New River in North Carolina 25 Million
* Fish killed as an immediate result: 10-14 Million
* Fish whose breeding area was decimated: Half of all mid-East coast fish species.
* Acres of coastal wetlands closed to shell fishing as a result: 364,000
More Veg, Less Meat
>>VegKit.org - A free resource including, booklet, recipes, advice and current nutritional information
>>CoolYourDiet.org - An online resource connecting diet and global warming, including several links to the UN report detailing the environmental impacts of meat.
>>MeatOutMondays.org - A weekly e-newsletter that delivers a veg recipe, an inspirational message, and an informative feature to help you go without meat every Monday.
>>Blue Ocean Institute FishPhone - send a text to 30644 with the message FISH in all caps, followed by the name of the fish you want to know about, and it'll fire back sustainability info on that species.
>>Seafood Selector - Environmental Defense Fund's downloadable pocket seafood selector and up-to-date list for the skinny on the most and least sustainable fish.
>>National Resources Defense Council - Mercury info and another pocket-sized seafood selector that focuses on mercury levels.