The Watering Hole Hole, Tuesday October 27, 2015 – Environmental News and Food Politics

100 Mayors Sign Milan Urban Food Policy Pact

The industrial food complex has not had rival competition, but could this new food initiative lay the groundwork for nutritional integrity, fair prices, and fair labor standards? It might take 50 years to overcome the present dominance, but the diet for a small planet has to have political stakeholders to effect change.

A new food infrastructure?

From the article…

The Framework recommends 37 actions, among them

  • Identify, map and evaluate local initiatives
  • Develop or revise urban food policies and plans
  • Address non-communicable diseases associated with poor diets and obesity, giving specific attention where appropriate to reducing intake of sugar, salt, transfats, meat and dairy products and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables and non-processed foods
  • Develop sustainable dietary guidelines to inform consumers, city planners (in particular for public food procurement), food service providers, retailers, producers and processors, and promote communication and training campaigns.
  • Explore regulatory and voluntary instruments to promote sustainable diets involving private and public companies as appropriate, using marketing, publicity and labelling policies; and economic incentives or disincentives; streamline regulations regarding the marketing of food and non-alcoholic beverages to children in accordance with WHO recommendations.
  • Those aimed at social and economic equity (cash transfers, school feeding programs, employment, education, training, research).
  • And those aimed at improving food production and reducing waste.

Urban Agriculture

The Watering Hole, Tuesday January 20, 2015 – Environmental News and Food Politics

WHERE’S THE BEEF?

You won’t find it at this restaurant any more. Vegan restaurants have been around for a while, but beef is the mainstay at many high end restaurants. But this London eatery, which won a sustainability award, wants to really live up to its name.

Chef cuts beef from menu to fight climate change.

Petal power anyone?

Open thread. Discuss.

The Watering Hole: Tuesday October 14, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics

The Global ‘Americanization’ of Diet

I remember many years ago watching television about subjects and events that occurred in foreign countries. When they scanned the places features, particularly cities, the ubiquitous Cocoa Cola stood out in stark contrast to the shop signs in native languages. Coke was, and has been, the leader in exporting poor nutritional content to the outreaching arms of the huddled masses.

U.S. food aid programs soon followed suit with foodstuffs that were processed for long shelf life. Then the food industry got in to the act. Here and abroad, highly processed food has become the norm in country after country. A study by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found obesity rates and obesity related diseases increased dramatically since 1980.

” The study found that the proportion of overweight and obese people increased in every country in the world between 1980 and 2013, and that nutrition-related diseases, including diabetes and pancreatic cancer, are also increasing.”

The disturbing news? Not one country bucked the trend. Nutrient deficient food is now the norm across the globe.

Open thread – discuss.

 

The Watering Hole, Tuesday August 26, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics

Since it is harvest time, going to focus on food politics for this post.

First, how about a smart phone app that can determine whether the product you are buying leans Democratic or Republican. You get to vote in the food aisle every time you shop.

Corn flakes – Repub or Dem?

Next up – drought and bottled water. Did you know that most of the stuff comes from drought prone states?

Water from where?

Last – a staggering number of Americans will succumb to Type 2 Diabetes and many of them are people of color without good access to fresh veggies or good information about diet and nutrition. It doesn’t hurt that they are inundated with advertising pointing to bad food choices. Think about how many McDonald’s commercials have people of color featured. These commercials are not about being inclusive or progressive. They are predatory. When was the last time you saw a black person touting the benefits of arugula?

Fritos, Egg McMuffins, Whoppers, …supersize me!

Can you eat just one?

 

 

The Watering Hole Tuesday May 6, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics – Open Thread

Here is a sad statement about our last unexplored places:

“Most of the deep sea remains unexplored by humans, and these are our first visits to many of these sites, but we were shocked to find that our rubbish has got there before us.” stated one researcher from an international study team.

Trash before we get there.

Staying with our ocean theme, we seem to be slowly but steadily destroying the food chain, starting with the largest organisms first (think whales, tuna, sharks) and now right to the bottom of it, where acidification of the ocean melts the shells of tiny marine snails. Dare to dream of a fishless ocean.

Will fish farming be the only way to obtain seafood in the future?

And now for the good news: Vermont Legislature passes GMO labeling law, and the governor is expected to sign it.

Finally, a state with courageous politicians.

 

The Watering Hole, Tuesday February 18, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics

Putting his money where his mouth is... retired hedge fund executive willing to spend up to $100 million this year to challenge climate deniers running for office, according to this article from the New York Times.

“A billionaire retired investor is forging plans to spend as much as $100 million during the 2014 election, seeking to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers.”

Read more here.

West Virginia take me home… but don’t drink the water. Another coal slurry spill. As much as people hate fracking and oil drilling, coal is the most environmentally disastrous energy source in the world. There isn’t even a close second. John Denver, are you sure you want to go there?

Biosolids contain more harm? Duke University researchers are looking in the the effects of anti-microbial chemicals are having on soil decomposition. Biosolids are what your sewage treatment plant spreads on parks, farm land fields or bag as fertilizers for sale. They are supposed to be tested by federal regulation for pathogens and heavy metals but chemicals are a different story. It is expensive and complicated to test the right now, but some may contain chemicals harmful to he environment. Read on.

First Clinton and now Al Gore... going vegan. May be old news to some of you but I just uncovered it. Al Gore likes lentils and carrots. Fiftysomething Diet: Is It Time to Go Vegan? Here is the science behind it.