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Food

Is KFC Saving the Planet?

KFC came under a lot of fire earlier this spring when they released the Double Down, a nutritional nightmare of bacon and cheese sandwiched between two fried chicken breasts. However little respect KFC is showing for the human body, they are making strides in saving the planet.  

Reuse. Renew. Rejoice.Reuse. Renew. Rejoice.... read more

KFC has introduced plans to package its sides in plastic containers that are both dishwasher and microwave safe. At this moment, company plans state that these containers will be available at stores across the US by late spring of 2011. Businesswire lauds KFC with being the first fast food corporation to provide consumers with reusable packaging, and KFC was granted a 2010 Greener Packaging Award.

Greenwashing and Green Labels

Last week, a report came out by TerraChoice, a North American environmental marketing company, stating that 95% of "green" products claim are misleading buyers.  The report stated that the amount of "green" products on the market today is 73% higher than just one year ago, which is good news, but 95% of them committed the Seven Sins of Greenwashing.  ... read more

Localvore Challenge In Review

My month as a localvore can best be summarized by the trip I took last Saturday to Shared Bounty CSA. I wrote about them earlier, when discussing the benefits of knowing where your food comes from, and was excited to receive an invitation to their open farm. Jim and Ramona had already harvested all they needed for themselves and local needs (Jim has delivered innumerable heads of cabbage to a local retirement home), and the first freeze had already come. In other words, what was left in the ground needed to go and go fast. 

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Shared Bounty Purple CauliflowerShared Bounty Purple CauliflowerWhen we got out of the car, we were immediately welcomed by Jim and Ramona's dog. We met another family who experienced the first year of Shared Bounty CSA with us, and then headed to the field. Jim handed out bags and knives and told us we were welcome to anything we wanted. He briefly told us what was located where, and turned us loose. My family and the other who came out, though, didn't just come to pick food. We came to spend time with the folks who fed us so well for the past 20 weeks. Ramona went off with the other family, and we sidled up to Jim. As we walked the rows, he talked with us: about the food (even asking what we'd like to eat next year), about the farm, about growing up on a farm, about the season's rains, about the first frost, about the animals they keep, about anything and everything.

Flexitarianism

In 2003, the American Dialect Society voted flexitarian as the year's most useful word and defined it as "a vegetarian who occasionally eats meat."  I actually think the word is pretty absurd, and the definition even more absurd.  A vegetarian who occasionally eats meat -- isn't that an oxymoron?   This word is often used interchangeably with semi-vegetarian, another word that I think is sort of silly.   (Two more specific types of flexitarians are pollotarians who eat poultry, but not red meat, and pescetarians eat seafood, but not red meat or poultry.)  

That said, I think that the idea behind it is very smart.  K4G blogger Sarah did a post a few months ago about how reducing your meat intake also will reduce your carbon footprint.  One interesting point she wrote about was from the Environmental Defense Fund stating that if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be equivalent to taking more than a half-million cars off U.S. roads.  (source)... read more

Veggies for All at Unity College

Veggies For All is a community service hunger relief program by the "Unity Barn Raisers" that grows food for a local food bank in Waldo County, Maine. They have various gardens on the campus of Unity College and the program provides organically, locally grown produce to those who have the least access.

Unity College is dubbed America’s Environmental College. Situated in rural Maine, the classrooms often are the bogs, mountains, and forests. The majors are mostly environmentally related.  You can major in Agriculture, Food, and Sustainability, Aquaculture and Fisheries, or Parks, Recreation, and Ecotourism to name a few.... read more

Wasting Food Equals Wasting Energy

A recent study published in the October issue of Environmental Science and Technology discovered that wasted food represents about 2% of our annual energy consumption in the U.S.   In some ways, it's a bit of a conundrum because with the obesity epidemic, we don't want to encourage people to eat when they're not hungry.  But what can we do to minimize the amount of wasted food?  ... read more

Frito-Lay Discontinues Most Compostable Sun Chips Bags

When I initially read this article about Frito-Lay pulling most of their compostable Sun Chips bags due to noise complaints, I thought it was a fake article.  It just seems so absurd.  These bags are biodegradable, and because they're too LOUD people want them gone?!  And Sun Chips sales are hurting??

With all that we know about the environment, I don't understand how this can even be such a big deal.  It really goes to show you what people really care about.   There are all sorts of Facebook groups that are against the new Sun Chips bag, such as the eloquent:  "I don't care if the new Sun Chips bags are compostable THEY'RE ANNOYING!"... read more

The Vertical Farm

I caught an interesting interview on The Diane Rehm Show on Boston's WGBH Radio yesterday.  The interview was with Dr. Dickson Despommier, author of The Vertical Farm: Feeding Ourselves and The World in the 21st Century and Bob Young, chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation.  

Dr. Despommier's book is coming out next week, and I can't wait to read it.  Last month I wrote about urban farming, and the concept of "vertical farming" takes urban farming to a much bigger and exciting level.  

Despommier's website says that by the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth's population will reside in urban centers.  Meanwhile, much urban space is being underutilized and urban centers often don't have access to fresh, local food.  The solution?  Farm vertically.  Farm "up."  Build indoor farms on this land, such as tall greenhouses or using hydroponics.  Think of how green this is.  No shipping produce long distances, no tractors, and less water usage.  ... read more

October Challenge: Becoming a Localvore

In September, I pledged to be greener by going paperless. In an effort to kick my paper habit, I downloaded Android apps to manage my shopping lists and balance my checking account (and I used them), I stated a recycling bin for myself and my officemates, I gave a reusable coffee cup to my assistant so she could stop using new paper cups every day, I utilized the Google To-Do list portion of my calendar over sticky notes, and I started a marker board to-do list for my officemates to use. ... read more

Eat AND Drink Local: Finding Local Beer

Apparently I have imbibement on the brain, between my earlier post about wine and this one.  

If you're a beer lover trying to lower your carbon footprint, one way you can do so is by supporting your local breweries.  I know that Chimay is sooo good, but obviously beer brewed in your locale has a far lower carbon footprint than your favs shipped over from Belgium.

Here is a fantastic resource for finding breweries or learning which beers you see on menus and at the stores are actually brewed in your area:  The Brewer's Association National Directory.    Some breweries may also be pubs, others might give tours where you can taste beer.  (Yum!)... read more

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