Biodynamic wine: The ultimate sustainable drink

Biodynamics is a down-to-earth approach to growing and producing wine – and many other foods — that hews to organic methods and replicates nature’s biodiversity by using cover crops, buffer zones, farm animals and farm-generated composts. While it harkens back to the old ways, it may just be the future, as commercial methods using heavy pesticide applications outstay their welcome.

Do you know the ‘Snack Food 20’ companies behind the destruction of palm forests and orangutans?

Warning: This story will really take the fun out of your snack foods. But read it if you’re ready to eat responsibly by avoiding “conflict palm oil” in your cookies, crackers and chocolate nibbles. A bonus: Rainforest Action Network has released a list of the 20 major snack companies using destructive palm oil. If you want to save orangutans and help the ancestral human residents of tropical forests, you’ll make a note of this list.

The secret life of GM sweet corn

Monsanto’s new GM sweet corn is either a boon to farmers that will help them feed the planet or an ominous new edible in a line up of genetically modified foods that consumers are being force fed. Actually, it could be both, or parts of each. We don’t really know, because there’s not a lot of information on GM sweet corn, or maybe there’s enough information. Take a ride with us through the corn maze to try to find out.

There’s still hope for our food system….here’s why

On any given day, environmental headlines can really drag you down. The latest on pesticides alone brings up a raft of bleak stories, from the spreading dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico to rampant bee die offs worldwide. Thankfully, citizen groups are pushing back, fighting GMOs, pestcides and corporate control of the food system.

Eco-Thanksgiving, what to eat, what not to eat. Part 1: The turkey

Another Thanksgiving is upon us, and so too, the endless quibbling about the gobbler, and other food matters.

Does the big meal require a big roast beast? That is one central question. But not the only one. In today’s foodie world, navigating the eco opportunities of both the carnivorous and vegan/vegetarian pathways to celebrating this most traditional of holidays is an adventure that could leave you scratching your head in the pantry instead of chopping celery at 7 a.m., as you must if dinner is to be ready by 2 p.m..

Anti-fluoridation rally set for NYC; activists argue fluoridation’s unnecessary

New York City Council member Peter F. Vallone,Jr has called a “Speak Out Against Fluoridation” Rally to be held at 11 a.m. on May 15, on the steps of City Hall.

Fluoride chemicals are added to NYC’s water in a failed effort to treat tap-water drinkers against tooth decay, according to Vallone and the two groups that oppose fluoridation and are supporting the rally, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc and Fluoride Action Network.

You cannot avoid GMO foods easily, but this Shopper’s Guide can help

This month as I prowled the web getting educated on the GM food battle percolating in our capital and courtrooms (as farmers sue Monsanto, and vice-versa), I stumbled upon a useful little booklet: The “True Food Shopper’s Guide” to avoiding GMO foods.

Created by the Center for Food Safety, which has been all over this issue of genetically modified (GM) or genetically engineered (GE) foods for several years, the guide is a lifesaver if you’re looking to reduce your exposure to edibles that have been genetically altered by Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta and Dow Chemical.

Will American diners downsize, given the option?

Americans may be more accustomed to up-sizing, but at least one study has found that diners will opt for smaller portions, given the choice.

The Tulane University study, published in Health Affairs this month, wanted to compare two methods of getting people to eat less. Their premise: That the calorie counts listed on menus do little to deter overeating, but that actual smaller portions might.

Green Valley Food Corp. has recalled alfalfa sprouts in Texas

After a random sample turned up salmonella contamination in a package of its alfalfa sprouts, Green Valley Food Corp. of Dallas, has recalled nearly 7,000 cases of “Let’s Grow Healthy Together!” Alfalfa Sprouts.
The single 5 0z. container tested positive on Dec. 12 for Salmonella, which can cause serious and even fatal infections in young children, the elderly or people with immune-suppression conditions. Salmonella poisoning typically causes diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

McDonald’s responds to McCruelty campaign; stops buying from supplier where hens were abused

McDonald’s has cut ties with one of its egg suppliers after an outside investigation showed numerous incidents of cruelty against laying hens and chicks.

The investigation by Mercy for Animals and ABC showed chickens jammed into tiny cages and mistreated by workers at Sparboe Farms, which has facilities in Iowa, Minnesota and Colorado.
Undercover video of the facility and the mistreatment aired on ABC programs yesterday, after which a McDonald’s spokesman said “based upon recent information” it would no longer be accepting eggs from Cargill-owned Sparboe Farms.

A brutally honest look at our industrial food system

CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories, a large format book of essays and photographs exposing America’s uber-industrialized animal food production system, presents a flurry of disturbing content.

There are pictures of pigs, cattle and chickens in degrees of distress, packed into facilities lined with mud, manure and dead or dying inhabitants.

KFC launches reusable container; here’s hoping it’s reused

Fried chicken mega-chain KFC has swallowed its share of criticism recently. The introduction of its artery-challenging “double down” bun-less sandwich this year left health experts slack-jawed. Some customers gobbled it up, but few argued that this “sandwich” of two deep-fried chicken patties stuck together with cheese and bacon would help anyone with their body mass index.

Next KFC came in for criticism of its unsustainably sourced paper buckets. The Dogwood Alliance attacked the fast food chain for using paper that was not certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), widely used by Walmart and others to verify its paper and wood products are coming from well-managed forests. (KFC uses a different certifier, which Dogwood claimed was a cover for bad practices.)
KFC may be trying to turn its image around with a series of packaging changes.

Celebrate the American harvest with ‘Dine Out for Farms’ this October

Red Devon restaurant, Hudson Valley, N.Y.


Over at the American Farmland Trust, they understand that the way to our hearts is through our stomachs. In their continuing effort to help Americans understand that farms produce food, and that family farms produce local, wholesome food, they’ve come up with a “Dine Out for Farms” week.

Sodexo wants college students to quit wasting food


If you really ponder how spoiled Americans are, you’ll eventually have to consider how much food they spoil. It’s all around us, trash cans spilling over with fast food remnants; restaurants and cafeterias and household waste bins teeming in leftovers. The government estimates that Americans throw out about 25 percent of the food they prepare, or about 31 billion tons of food every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Throwaway toys come under fire — actually they’re already on fire

If you’ve ever taken a pre-schooler out to eat, you’ll know that toys are a powerful lure. We adults consider appetizers, drinks, entrees, pricing, calories and ambiance, evaluating a matrix that leads us to lunch.
But five-year-olds are at the mercy of their bellies, and the pull of shiny baubles. A five-year-old wants food and treats.

Greenpeace releases seafood report card; Target now best for sustainability

From Green Right Now Reports

Greenpeace released its fourth seafood “sustainability scorecard” today, which showed that the supermarket chain Target has moved up from fourth place to receive the top ranking.

Wegmans, last year’s winner for best seafood sustainability practices, inched down to second place. Whole Foods Markets remained at third place.

Safeway and Ahold USA (Stop and Shop and Giant stores) rounded out the top five stores in the rankings, which rate the stores based on how well they are monitoring the seafood they sell to keep threatened and over-fished species off the market.

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