sustainability

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To Fish or To Mine?: Saving Bristol Bay and Alaska’s Fishing Industry

By admin | March 8, 2012

Photo: FishPhotog

Photo: FishPhotog

By: Michael Engle

Alaska is the site of an ongoing political battle, between two opposing interest groups, that will shape the state, national, and world economy for generations.  Its legacy will be profound, as this economic decision will determine Alaska’s course in fishing or mining.

Bristol Bay lies northwest of the Aleutian Mountain Range; it is separated from the Gulf of Alaska by the Alaska Peninsula.  It is, currently, Alaska’s most vital fishing ground, as it houses rainbow trout and five distinct varieties of salmon.  Fishing in Bristol Bay has been identified as an important economic activity, accounting for 75% of local jobs, and $175 million per year to the economy.  It is the center of a cultural tradition, as 2009 marked the 125th anniversary of local fishing.  Bristol Bay also carries great international importance.  In 2008, National Geographic identified Bristol Bay as one of only three “well-maintained” fisheries in the world.  The other two are located in Iceland and New Zealand.

On the other hand, the Bristol Bay network is also home to large reserves of presently unmined natural resources.  There is gold and copper within the Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers, which both flow into Bristol Bay.  Read More

News

Promoting Organic Farming: An Interview With The Rodale Institute

By Jeannette | March 6, 2012

Rodale institute

By: Justin Chan

Many people are accustomed to going to their local grocery store and picking up fruits and vegetables that have been processed through conventional methods. More often than not, these products have gone through a series of chemical spraying, which keeps parasitic pests from cluttering around the food consumers eat. Some critics have voiced health concerns over this procedure but concede that these products are affordable to those who cannot purchase healthier food. One organization, the Rodale Institute, is determined to change the perception that only the rich can afford organic food and that organic farming is not sustainable.

Headquartered in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, the Rodale Institute is a nonprofit organization that focuses on promoting organic agriculture and farming through research and outreach. Its Farming Systems Trial, for instance, compares conventional chemical agriculture with organic farming. The institute also offers workshops, tours and programs geared at raising awareness about the benefits of growing food organically.

We got an inside look at the workings of The Rodale Institute through an interview with the organization’s executive director, Coach Mark Smallwood. Check out what he had to say about their mission… Read More

News

Harvesting The Florida Stone Crab: Animal Cruelty or Ecological Ingenuity?

By admin | March 2, 2012

Photo:  Andrea Westmoreland

Photo: Andrea Westmoreland

By: Michael Engle

Sustainable seafood” generally refers to the ideals of respecting certain seasons, not taking too many fish out of the sea at one time, and/or determining minimum and maximum sizes of legal catch.  Normally, when an animal is killed or fished, its culinary yield is limited to a resulting number of meat portions, plus a batch of stock made by boiling the leftover bones.  What if, almost like a perennial flower, the same individual animal could be fished repeatedly for food?  Not only does this concept exist in real life, but it is a culinary tradition in Miami Beach, FL.

The Florida stone crab is one of the most unique regional foods in the USA.  Unlike the Delaware blue crab, there is almost no meat in the stone crabs’ bodies.  To compensate for their meatless bodies, the stone crabs’ claws, which, in the wild, are strong enough to crush an oyster’s shell, are prized as delicacies.  Read More

News

Learn About Food Justice at the Just Food Conference 2012

By admin | February 15, 2012

just-food-conference2012

Attention to all of you local food lovers and advocates: Join the Just Food Conference! CSA members, community gardeners, urban and rural farmers, food professionals and entrepreneurs will gather for two days of hands-on workshops, discussions, skills-building sessions, and good food.

Learn about cooking and food preservation techniques, CSA trends, and the food justice movement in New York City and beyond, as well learn ways you can mobilize to create good food projects in your own community. Read More

News

Vegucate Yourself: An Interview with Filmmaker Marisa Miller Wolfson

By admin | February 2, 2012

Marisa Miller Wolfson

By: Michele Wolfson

If you haven’t heard of filmmaker Marisa Miller Wolfson yet, then you should get to know more about her right here, right now. Her film called Vegucated tracks the lives of three meat and cheese loving New Yorkers who pledge to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks.

One great aspect of this film is the way it balances the issues tactfully and thoughtfully while also including many humorous moments. Marisa and I have a couple of things in common; we both have the same awesome last name, and both believe that when it comes to animal rights it’s important to not only talk the talk, but to walk the walk as well. Those of us who feel that real changes need to be made in the food industry have to actively seek ways to make those changes happen.

I caught up with the vegan educator over lunch at ‘Snice, a delicious vegetarian cafe located in the West Village for an interview and here’s what she shared with us Read More

News

Sustainable Fish Swimming Mainstream To Large Supermarkets

By admin | January 27, 2012

Photo: FrenchDuck

Photo: FrenchDuck

By: Saira Malhotra

Fish has been a hot topic for many food activists, environmentalists, restaurateurs and even many households in recent years. With an increase in fish consumption, no longer just being reserved to a restaurant experience, the question of sustainability is thrown in to light.

We wanted fish and we were able to buy it as expensively or inexpensively as we wanted. There was little understanding of where it came from; unless of course we associated quality with a buzz word location that prefaced it – Is this sea bass Chilean? Did this Salmon swim the crisp fresh waters of Norway?  Then something changed. The integrity by which the fish was raised came into question.  We became aware of varying harvesting techniques and we understood that it was not ‘all the same’. We were told that certain fish were becoming endangered and then that conversation led to an entire list of them. Read More

News

Organic? Yes. Sustainable? Not always.

By admin | January 6, 2012

Photo: scyrene

Photo: scyrene

By: Michele Wolfson

At what cost do out of season organic tomatoes get delivered to your market thousands of miles away? While organic agriculture is all the rage, growing by leaps and bounds to meet increased consumer demand for healthier food, the products are increasingly removed from the traditional organic ideal: produce that is not only free of chemicals and pesticides but also grown locally on small farms in a way that protects the environment.

Community Supported Agricultures (CSA’s) have become increasingly popular in the past few years, but when it comes to purchasing items like tomatoes or blueberries in a state like New York during this time of year, consumers often have to rely on grocery store produce that are imported from south of the border. This time of year, the tomatoes, peppers and basil certified as organic by the Agriculture Department often hail from the Mexican desert, and are nurtured with intensive irrigation. Read More

News

5 Food Tips to Go Green in 2012

By admin | January 4, 2012

Photo: Laura Taylor

Photo: Laura Taylor

With all of the personal resolutions we may have made during this New Year, one of the best one’s we can make may not be very personal at all. One resolution you can make can actually help the entire planet with just a little effort. Why not resolve to take a few easy steps to go green this year?

While often times we think of going green by only involving large projects like recycling, carpooling, and changing our appliances to save energy, a lot of the small projects you can also partake in fact involve food. Altadena Patch mentions many ways you can go green, but we chose 5 food tips you can do to help the environment just a little more this year. Read More

News

English Town To Reach Food Self-Sufficiency

By admin | December 29, 2011

Photo: Cyndi Amaya

Photo: Cyndi Amaya

By: Michele Wolfson

Is a self-sufficient town possible? An organization called Incredible Edible certainly thinks so. Since founding the group three years ago, Mary Clear and Pam Warhurst have been working toward creating sustainable communities. They do so, in part, by having volunteers of the organization go around to towns and plant fruits and vegetables where fresh, uncontaminated soil can be found. The crops are then adopted by members of the different communities who, maintain, continue to plant and eventually benefit from the growing produce. Read More

News

Eco-Friendly Chef Creates a Menu to Save the Tropical Rainforest

By admin | December 1, 2011

Photo: aZAMirul

Photo: aZAMirul

By: Michele Wolfson

Eco-minded Singapore based chef Andre Chiang has developed his restaurant’s menu to become a local sustainable dining spot in a very unique way. His latest endeavor is raising awareness though his latest eatery, Restaurant Andre. Here’s the kicker- he plans to save the rainforest by serving what an orangutan eats-wild ferns, orchid leaves and durian flowers, among other plants.

Taiwan-born, French trained, Andre Chiang is known as one of the most talented and skilled chefs working in Singapore today. Chef Andre prepares what he terms, “French Nouvelle Cuisine”, which essentially means that his food is exquisitely well-conceived, small portions of artfully plated and light French fare.

Now, he has taken his food to a locally-sourced level by obtaining his ingredients from Sintang, West Kalimantan on Borneo and giving villagers the chance to export ingredients such as dried wild mushrooms, edible plants and even honey so they will be able to generate revenue that gives them a lifeline to help keep the rain forest alive. He is optimistic that involving villagers as foragers in his project will stop them from aiding reckless deforestation. Read More

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