Currently Browsing: Sustainability

Rigging the aquaculture game

Updated 9/21 to clarify the MMS proposal. Thanks, Zach! I've gotta hand it to the Bushies. If there is one arena in which this band of generally-less-than-a-full -deckers shows a glimmer of brilliance, it is in propping up bottom lines for big oil and gas. I mean, really: Could you imagine more ways for the...

Organic dairy pioneer Albert Straus at the Commonwealth Club

If I made a list of the pioneers of the modern sustainable food movement in Northern California, Straus Family Creamery would be one of the first names I would add. For decades, the family dairy farm has been trying new approaches to reduce the environmental impact of their farm while also improving the...

Centralization takes center stage at the Commonwealth Club

As part of the "How We Eat" series at the Commonwealth Club this month, Slow Food Nation Policy and Communications director Naomi Starkman moderated a thoughtful panel discussion last week about the centralization of the food industry with Michael Dimock, president of Roots of Change; Paul Frankel, managing...

Report from TASTE3 – Artist Chris Jordan “runs the numbers” for everyday actions

"Paper Bags" by Chris Jordan, www.chrisjordan.com, used with permission When artist Chris Jordan (right) began the first talk of the 2008 TASTE3 conference, the audience was excited, engaged, and ready to learn. But with his first few slides — paper bags, plastic cups, water bottles — they started squirming...

Closing the loop: Turning city food and garden waste into fertilizer

During a break between meetings at the office, one of my coworkers asked, "So, Marc: got any vacations planned?" "Just a little one. I'm going to the Vacaville landfill next Friday," I replied. His eyebrows raised a little bit, and he responded with a quizzical tone, "Hmm...that's an interesting choice. I...

Bioplastics need time to grow up

Wednesday's Restaurant Journal column in the Los Angeles Times digs into the topic of takeout containers and single-use utensils at L.A. restaurants. With city bans on non-recyclable and non-compostable materials (e.g., polystyrene) and restaurants attempting to be greener, there is quite a discussion about...

New European chemical safety regulations reach around the world

The European Union is changing the rules for chemicals, requiring that industry demonstrate that a chemical is safe before using it in consumer products such as cosmetics, food packaging, water bottles, and durable goods. This approach, sometimes called "the precautionary principle," is in stark contrast to...

Vertical farms on Colbert Report

Stephen Colbert had Dickson Despommier, a Columbia professor of public health in environmental health sciences and the mastermind behind the Vertical Farm Project, Thursday to talk about highrise farming in urban areas. I'm really interested in this idea and have been hoping to write about it at length...

The politics of world food shortages

Note: The comprehensive Digests are on hiatus for the foreseeable future. While we figure how to make them less onerous, we plan to post more news-related short(ish) snippets in addition to our regular feature-length posts. In today's New York Times, Andy Martin reports from Rome on an emergency summit...

Snacks for the ears: Podcasts with authors Frederick Kaufman, Paul Roberts, Taras Grescoe, and more

Catching up on podcasts this weekend, I listened to several that might interest Ethicurean readers. The May 26th edition of the Patt Morrison show on KPCC, out of Pasadena, CA, included an interview with Frederick Kaufman, author of "A Short History of the American Stomach." Kaufman's book — which I have...

Getting a handle on sustainability: It’s the ecosystem (stupid)

Caption: Monterey Bay Aquarium visitors watch a small bluefin tuna (center). If world overfishing of this top predator doesn't slow soon, aquariums may be the only places to see one. The word "sustainability" came up a lot at the Sustainable Food Institute portion of the Cooking for Solutions 2008 shindig...

Jumping off the deep end: An immersion in seafood

I'm at the Sustainable Foods Institute portion of the Cooking for Solutions 2008 conference being held at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Today is a nonstop schedule of panel discussions on demand for shrimp, salmon, and tuna; wine going "green"; climate change and agriculture; the future of food; and boatloads...

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