everyone's harvest

Transforming our food system, one sustainable blog at a time

Polar Bears ‘R Us, Unless We Change September 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — everyonesharvest @ 1:14 pm

 

FEATURED BLOG: A Case for Reducing Global Warming Quickly

 

FEATURED ARTICLE: Livestock and Climate Change

 

FEATURED VIDEO: Climate Change 2.0: Chomped if we want it! 

 

DISCLAIMER: the following content does not necessarily represent the beliefs, values and opinions of Everyone’s

Harvest as a whole. These blog posts are written by individuals associated with this organization and are their

personal views of food and our food systems. The sole purpose and mission of Everyone’s Harvest remains the same:

to create vibrant, healthy communities and equitable food webs.” 

 

Blog by Chiara Cabiglio, Everyone’s Harvest Intern and University of California, Santa Cruz Alumna

With Published Articles by Environmental Specialists Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang

Featuring the Yale Environment 360 article, For Hudson Bay Polar Bears, The End is Already in Sight

 

We need to make bigger and faster changes than most of us think.  In the summer of 2007, scientists focusing on

Greenland were surprised to find almost 40 percent of its surface ice melting, while scientists focusing on polar bears

predicted most of them would disappear by 2050. Five years later, in the summer of 2012, scientists were shocked to find 97

percent of Greenland’s surface ice melting.  So polar bears are now more surely doomed.

 

Yet polar bears are a barometer of larger outcomes.  In 2004, catastrophic flooding of Los Angeles, London and other major

cities was projected to coincide with a full melt of Greenland’s ice sheet – toward the year 2100.  Now that this appears much

more imminent, we may no longer have time to try the old (and failed) strategy to avert climate catastrophe with 18 trillion 

dollars of renewable energy infrastructure installed over the next 20 years.  A new strategy was hinted at in my last post,

which cited an estimate that almost 20 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas is attributable to livestock.

 

But soon after my last post, the Earth Island Journal published an article on how the hidden cost of hamburgers is greater

than commonly reported.  According to this analysis, the lifecycle and supply chain of livestock products is actually

responsible for at least 51 percent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas.  The authors of this analysis aren’t radicals.  Rather,

they’re environmental specialists employed by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (two UN specialized

agencies), Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang.

 

You’ve probably read quite a bit about climate change over time.  But none of what you’ve gotten from your time spent so far

on reading about climate change will compare to the benefit you’ll derive from reading Goodland and Anhang’s “Livestock

and Climate Change.”  If you have a bit more time, then also read their Critical Comments and Responses article.  After

absorbing their analysis, you’ll know why your food choices are more likely to reverse climate change than all your other

“green” choices combined.

 

I used to think that happy grass-fed cows and other livestock raised on small family farms were the environmentally

sustainable method of meat and dairy production.  Indeed, that’s what a majority of activists in the organic and sustainable

food movement believe.  Yet it turns out that livestock on small family farms are in fact less eco-friendly and sustainable and

have a larger carbon footprint than do livestock raised in industrial factory farms.  Dr. Goodland’s Earth Island article cites

conservative sources that report that grass-fed cows emit up to 400 percent as much methane as factory-farmed ones, and

take up much more land – meaning much less forest, and therefore much more carbon absorption forgone.

 

Consider the amount of energy and fossil fuels it takes to raise the approximately 65 billion land animals propagated in 2011

– and the amount of land, which could instead grow trees.  The International Livestock Research Institute, which normally

promotes livestock, estimates that 45 percent of all land on earth is now used for livestock and feed production.  It is no

wonder, then, that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen from 315 parts per million in 1958 to 392

parts per million in August 2012.

 

So here is the key recommendation from Goodland and Anhang’s analysis:  “Replacing at least a quarter of today’s

livestock products with better alternatives would both reduce emissions and allow forest to regenerate on a

vast amount of land, which could then absorb excess atmospheric carbon to reduce it to a safe level.  This

may be the only pragmatic way to reverse climate change in the next five years as needed.”

 

While Goodland and Anhang’s analysis was written primarily for food industry leaders, they also had the general public in

mind.  Indeed, the fix must be created in the crucible where food industry leaders meet the general public, and that’s the

marketplace.  And it’s not about becoming a vegetarian or a vegan, or partaking in “Meatless Mondays,” although there is no

doubt that these efforts will help.  Instead, it’s about performing the same search as we do when we look for any other

winning consumer product.  We look for a superior blend of quality and price, otherwise known as value.  In the case of food,

performing this search consciously will often lead one to try an alternative to a livestock product – especially when one

considers the bonus value of being part of the solution to climate change, which is likely the world’s most serious problem.

 

Love ice cream?  Wait until you try SO Delicious’ Dairy Free Almond Milk chocolate ice cream.  You won’t believe how rich,

creamy and utterly divine it tastes; no need for cow’s milk here!

 

Love chicken?  Beyond Meat produces fake chicken that tastes and looks so much like real chicken that in between each bite,

vegetarians and vegans must remind themselves that they are not eating real chicken.  And if you aren’t too thrilled about the

ingredients, then you can find pre-made veggie burgers made from whole foods, or simply make your own veggie burger,

vegan dish or vegetarian meal at home with lots of vegetables, grains and legumes!  This is a way to eat and live consciously

– and to ensure a future for, well, future generations.

 

In this case, as with any new product, you can be an early adopter or a late one.  But unlike other products, in this case you’re

not likely to have the option of never adopting.  Consider that climate change here today is already decimating cattle

populations – even in their most legendary homes – or that blue-chip financial analysts and a pork producers’ spokesman

have themselves forecast the destruction of the livestock industry, due to growing demand for ethanol.  In other words, if you

approach veggie foods as desirable replacements for obsolete products, then similar to the way it took just a few years until it

became normal to choose a digital TV over a tube TV, your normal new choice in foods should become clear within a few

years.

 

Biz Stone, the creative director for Twitter, explains it this way:  We must  Go Beyond  business as usual and use our human

ingenuity to create and instill new ways of thinking and eating for the masses.  Change will come much less from the car you

drive or the light bulb you use than from what you put in your mouth.

 

Polar bears, my favorite animal ever since I’ve been a little girl, are getting much closer to the end of their existence.

Thousands of other species also are on the brink of extinction.  Thousands of climate change refugees are

becoming more commonplace and are flooding into other countries.  Storms are getting stronger and more frequent.

Summers are getting hotter.  Desertification is occurring much more rapidly in more places.  The lives of many creatures on

this planet are in jeopardy because of our warming climate, and time is running out.  The ability for future generations to live

and their quality of life also is at stake.  What kind of world are they going to inherit from us?  The clock is ticking.

 

“It’s not a lot of fun for somebody who’s spent over 30 years studying polar bears,” says biologist Andrew E. Derocher of the

University of Alberta.  “The first paper I coauthored about this came out in 1993 and at that time I was still under the

impression that even though climate change was a concern it was really going to be for the next generation of biologists — or

perhaps even the one after that — to deal with the issue. And I’ve been really shocked at the rate of change, and I’ve probably

been even more shocked at the lack of concern of political bodies to deal with this… It’s been quite disheartening to watch

this lack of interest, and I think it’s really unfortunate that people don’t understand that we have a limited time to deal with

this issue if we want to save the polar bears.”

 

If we want to save the polar bears and other species from extinction due to global climate change, habitat loss and

environmental degradation, and if we want to save ourselves, then humanity must wake up and change the way it eats, the

way our food is produced and what food is produced. Period.

 

 

Why You Should Vote YES on Prop 37 in November September 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — everyonesharvest @ 7:36 pm

 

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FEATURED ARTICLE: YES on Prop 37

 

DISCLAIMER: the following content does not necessarily represent the beliefs, values and opinions of Everyone’s

Harvest as a whole. These blog posts are written by individuals associated with this organization and are their

personal views of food and our food systems. The sole purpose and mission of Everyone’s Harvest remains the same:

to create vibrant, healthy communities and equitable food webs.” 

 

Blog by Chiara Cabiglio, Everyone’s Harvest Intern

 

The first time I heard about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) was in one of my Environmental Studies courses

in college. I learned about genetically modified (GM) salmon, such as AquaBounty’s AquAdvantage salmon, which

“contains a gene from the chinook salmon, a larger cousin that lives in cold northern waters. That gene activates a

growth hormone, with obvious commercial benefits for farmers who want to get their fish to market weight quickly.”

 

And I was horrified to learn about the potential health and environmental catastrophes that could very well unfold

should the genetically engineered salmon get loose and escape into the wild: “The Food and Drug Administration

convened a panel of experts last fall to review the genetically modified (GM) salmon, and they were mostly satisfied

with AquaBounty’s proposals. Many environmental groups, however, haven’t been so happy with what they’ve

come to term the Frankenfish — which would be the first GM animal to hit the market if approved. (A spokesperson

for the FDA said that the agency was still reviewing the AquAdvantage salmon, and that there was no timetable for

a decision.) “You can have unknown outcomes from genetically modifying a species,” says Zach Corrigan, the fish-

program director for Food & Water Watch, an NGO opposed to GM technology. “We don’t think they’ve looked

carefully enough at those possible effects.”’

 

“Skeptics worry the GM salmon might provoke an allergic reaction in some consumers, but the real fear has more to

do with what kind of damage the modified fish might do if it escaped into the wild. Conventional farmed salmon

frequently break free of the sea nets they’re raised in, and they can mix with wild populations of fish. That’s not

good for their wild cousins: a farmed fish, like a domesticated pig, is bred for a life in captivity, not in the open

oceans, where it needs a different suite of survival traits. Not only can escaped farmed fish spread disease —

farmed salmon, for instance, can transmit the deadly parasite sea lice to wild fish — they can actually degrade the

gene pool through interbreeding. So it’s not hard to see why many environmentalists worry about the havoc a GM

salmon might do if it got loose and started mating. Just watch Jurassic Park.”

 

The bottom line is, there is nothing sustainable – whether it be health wise, economically or environmentally – about

genetically engineered foods. GM foods have huge carbon footprints because they require a massive amount of

petroleum-based and chemical pesticides, herbicides and fungicides in their production. There is nothing

sustainable, environmentally friendly or natural about tampering with nature and inserting one fish gene into another

fish so that the second fish may grow bigger in a shorter amount of time. All of us ultimately are going to pay the

costs – health costs, environmental costs, and human rights costs, etc. – of GM foods at the other end when the

genetically engineered food makes us sick, wrecks havoc upon the natural environment, and negatively impacts the

livelihood of other human beings.

 

“All Proposition 37 does is require clear labels letting consumers know if foods are genetically modified. We already

have food labels showing nutrition, allergy information and other facts consumers want to know. This measure

simply adds information telling us if food is produced using genetic engineering, which is when food is modified in a

laboratory by adding DNA from other plants, animals, bacteria or viruses.” So why should you vote yes on Prop 37?

Because we have the right to know what’s in our food. You should vote yes on Prop 37 because:

 

1) We Currently Eat Genetically Engineered Food, But Don’t Know It

2) The Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods Are Unclear

3) Much of the World Already Requires Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods

4) It is A Simple Proposition for California in 2012

5) It would be Just Like Nutrition Facts

6) There would be No Cost to Consumers or Food Producers

 

Additionally, here are just some reasons why GMOs are bad for you, the environment, our fellow human beings as

well as future generations:

 

1) Genetic engineering reduces genetic diversity

2) Once the mutant genes are out of the bag, there is no going back

3) GMOs are not the answer for global food security

4) Genetically engineered foods have not been proven to be safe, but the few studies conducted don’t look so hot

5) Big biotech firms have very sketchy track records

6) GMOs require massive amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides

 

The good news is, already 1,879 businesses and professional supporters have endorsed YES on Prop 37. These

include consumer rights organizations, public health organizations, food safety organizations, food product

manufacturers, food retailers, farmers’ markets and co-ops, seed suppliers, farm preservation and organic farming

organizations, farms, medical groups/associations/organizations, natural health, fishing and ocean preservation

organizations, progressive and social justice organizations, unions/labor, environmental organizations, women/moms

groups, media/blogs, dietary advocacy groups, faith-based and spiritual communities, chefs, celebrities, medical

and health professionals, government and political parties, elected officials and other political allies, educators and

many, many others who have publicly come out and said YES on Prop 37.

 

Please join these businesses, professional supporters and the more than one million Californians who support this

campaign. There are countless actions you can take right now in order to help us win the vote in November

to label GMOs! Boycott these companies that oppose GMO labeling and are pouring millions of dollars into fighting

against this initiative (undoubtedly because their own products are genetically modified). Explore the YES on Prop 37

– California Right to Know Campaign website and Like its Facebook Page! Watch and share the Campaign’s Ad. Sign up as

a SupporterVolunteerDonateParticipate! Spread the word and tell your family and friends to use their voice for good and

vote YES on Prop 37. Together, we shall overcome and win the right to know what is in our food!

 

 

Fresh Veggie Rolls with Mango Salsa and Savory Almond Dipping Sauce September 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — everyonesharvest @ 7:56 pm

Image

 

FEATURED RECIPE: Fresh Veggie Rolls with Mango Salsa and Savory Almond Dipping Sauce

 

DISCLAIMER: the following content does not necessarily represent the beliefs, values and opinions of Everyone’s Harvest

as a whole. These blog posts are written by individuals associated with this organization and are their personal views of

food and our food systems. The sole purpose and mission of Everyone’s Harvest remains the same: “to create vibrant,

healthy communities and equitable food webs.” 

 

Blog by Chiara Cabiglio, Everyone’s Harvest Intern

 

On August 20th, community members attended Everyone’s Harvest Pacific Grove Certified Farmers’ Market Healthy

Interactive Cooking Workshop. This particular workshop was led by Super Natural Chef Kari Bernardi, who taught

enthusiastic eaters how to make Fresh Veggie Rolls with Mango Salsa and Savory Almond Dipping Sauce. These

workshops are part of Everyone’s Harvest’s Edible Education for Healthy Youth program, which are grant-sponsored by the

Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation, MC Gives and Project 17. They are free to the public and participants receive market

vouchers that enable them to purchase local produce from the markets and use what they learned from the workshop to

prepare a wholesome meal at home.

 

This plant-based, raw vegan dish not only is delicious and nutritious, but also is environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Consider the amount of energy and fossil fuels it takes to raise the 65 billion animals each year for food: the clearing of the

rainforests for cattle ranching as well as for the corn and soy crops to feed the animals, the resulting release of climate

change-inducing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the generation of three times the amount of methane from pasture-

raised livestock compared to factory farm-raised livestock, the degradation of land from overgrazing, etc. Vegetables,

fruits, and grains, on the other hand, have a much lower carbon footprint than meat and dairy.

 

Fresh Veggie Rolls with Mango Salsa and Savory Almond Dipping Sauce is not merely a recipe – it is part of the solution to

a much larger global problem. It is a way to eat and live consciously and simply so that others and future generations may

simply live. So what are you waiting for? Here is your chance to become a part of this movement for positive change! Shop for

this recipe’s ingredients at your local farmers’ market and stores such as Whole Foods and New Leaf. Try to buy organic as

often as you can. Then host a dinner party and make this mouth-watering and sustainable meal at home to impress your

family and friends! Or better yet – host a fun cooking party and make this recipe with your friends and family so that they can

learn how to make it too!  If you are new to cooking or find this recipe a little too complicated, watch this video of Chef

Bernardi teaching the workshop participants how to make this recipe in a step-by-step demonstration. Below are the list of

ingredients with directions.

 

Here’s to saving Planet Earth, one sustainable and plant-based meal at a time! 🙂

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Ingredients for the Mango Salsa:

*2 Avocados, peeled, pitted and purred with a fork

*2 Mangos, peeled, pitted and diced

*2 tablespoons Purple Onion, diced

*2 tablespoons Cilantro, minced

*1/2 teaspoon of prepared Chili Paste (optional)

*1 teaspoon of Lime Juice

*pinch of Himalayan Salt

 

Ingredients for the Rice Wrapper Roles:

*12 Rice Wrapper Sheets

*6 large Lettuce leaves, washed and dried

*3 cups Sprouts, rinsed and drained

*1 Red Bell Pepper, de-seeded and cut into thin strips

*1 Cucumber, de-seeded and cut into thin strips

*1 Carrot, peeled into ribbons/curls

*6 Basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons

*6 Mint leaves, cut into thin ribbons

*12 Cilantro sprigs, washed and dried

 

Directions for the Mango Salsa:

Mix together all ingredients in a mixing bowl with a fork. Set aside to marry flavors while you prepare fresh roll ingredients.

 

Directions for the Fresh Rolls:

Prepare all of the filling ingredients and separate in bowls or on a platter.

Soften rice wrappers by moistening them in water just until pliable and soft – about 30 seconds

Overlap 2 softened rice wrappers to form one large wrapper on clean cutting board (can be very sticky).

Take a lettuce leaf and split it down the middle and lay the two pieces on top of rice wrapper with pretty edges of lettuce leaf sticking out the sides of the wrapper.

Next place handful of sprouts (about ½ cup) along lettuce leaves. Then top with a few strips of bell peppers and cucumbers, then some carrot curls and fresh herbs.

Top filling in wrapper with 1 tablespoon of mango salsa.

Take edge of wrapper and roll over filling. Leave seam side down and cut in half on an angle.

Serve with Savory Almond Dipping Sauce.

 

Ingredients and Directions for the Savory Almond Dipping Sauce:

*1 cup of Raw Almond Butter

*1/2 cup of Maple Syrup

*1/2 cup of Organic Tamari

*3 tablespoons of Lemon Juice

*3 tablespoons of Tangerine Juice

*1 tablespoon of Lime Juice

*3-4 tablespoons of Ginger Root, peeled and chopped

*2 tablespoons of Garlic, peeled and chopped

*1/4 cup Pure H2O (if needed to blend smooth)

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a small amount of pure H2O if needed to form a thick sauce.