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Green crush: Love for LES Girls Club

For the series "Grist dared me to make a change," we challenged author and activist Anna Lappé to write love poems to her favorite green groups in NYC. Read her first and second here. And support her dare with a gift to Grist! The Lower East Side Girls Club was founded in 1996 to address the historic lack of services available to girls and young women on the Lower East Side. Their Farm Girls CSA offers affordable, healthy, and locally sourced farm foods to participating members. They have three Entrepreneurial Training & Social Venture Programs: Sweet Things Bake Shop, La Tiendita, …

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Green crush: Beets in Brooklyn

For the series "Grist dared me to make a change," we challenged author and activist Anna Lappé to write love poems to her favorite green groups in NYC. Read her first here. And support her dare with a gift to Grist! Thanks to Just Food, a New York City nonprofit started in 1995: More than 100 Community-Supported Agriculture programs now bring fresh vegetables to roughly 30,000 people living in all five boroughs. Hundreds of people throughout New York learn about all aspects of urban agriculture through a newly launched innovative two-year cer­tificate program, Farm School NYC. Dozens of community gardens …

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Green crush: Two girls from Manhattan

For the series "Grist dared me to make a change," we challenged author and activist Anna Lappé to write love poems to her favorite green groups in NYC. Read more here. And support her dare with a gift to Grist! What's On Your Plate? is the captivating journey of two intrepid friends who set out to learn the truth behind the food on their plates. Along the way, they discover how communities can work together to ensure more of us have access to healthy, fresh food. It's a great film and an inspiring project. Learn more at whatsonyourplateproject.org.

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Green crush: A jug of organic wine, a loaf of local bread, and thou

This is Anna's first entry in the series "Grist dared me to make a change." Read the other entries here. And support her dare with a gift to Grist! Courtesy of biscotte via FlickrNew York City, my home for the past 15 years, can be gritty and grimy. Its characteristic summertime smell of sweltering trash is a far cry from fragrant flowers and fresh cut grass, but I love this place in all its smelliness and crowded-subway glory. I especially love it for the hope that springs up -- like the relentless green that grows in cracks in the concrete …

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What Dow Chemical doesn’t want you to know about your water

Dow's plant in Midland, Mich., is polluting the water with dioxin.Photo: erika dot netThis post originally appeared on Civil Eats. Earlier this year, I was contacted by a PR firm working for Dow Chemical to contribute a 60-second video for the Future We Create virtual conference on water sustainability the company launched yesterday. As a vocal advocate for strict regulation of toxic chemicals -- especially for food and farming -- I was surprised the company would approach me. Dow is the country's largest chemical maker, and profits handsomely from developing some of the world's most polluting products, many of which …

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Three pillars of a food revolution

Photo courtesy humanin via Flickr A few years ago, I stumbled on a United Nations study that transformed how I think about the climate crisis. In the report, researchers pegged greenhouse gases from the livestock sector at 18 percent of total global emissions. Combine this with other aspects of our food chain -- from agricultural chemical production to agribusiness driven deforestation to food waste rotting in landfills -- and food and agriculture sector is responsible for nearly one third of the planet's manmade emissions. Move over Hummer; it's time to say hello to the hamburger. It doesn't take high-level math …

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A quick look back at BP’s pre-spill greenwashing

The BP oil spill in the Gulf is heartbreaking, so is the "It wasn't our fault" denial. A little walk down memory lane (and not too long of one) should give us good reason to be skeptical of oil giant, BP. In my new book, I talk about the power of skilled corporate greenwashing to inoculate against public outrage when something tragic, and preventable, like this BP "accident" occurs. I wrote: BP's rebranding has been so effective that the company's rep has been relatively untarnished despite incidents that should have bruised its reputation. One was an explosion at BP's Texas …

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An interview with Mia MacDonald on China's growing appetite for U.S.-style meat production

Mia MacDonald. Photo: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Old MacDonald had a farm -- one resounding with oinks and moos and squawks. By today's standards, the old man's farm would count as a model of biodiversity. Researcher Mia MacDonald points out that across the planet, old ways of farming are giving way to the environmentally devastating factory farms we've pioneered in the West -- typically housing a single species of animal, confined by the thousands in conditions that would be alien to Old MacDonald's pigs and cows and chickens. For modern industrial-scale animal farms, the proper literary form is the scathing …

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Roni Neff explains how the media miss the story on food’s connection to climate change

In 2006, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization published a 390-page report called "Livestock's Long Shadow." The dense document came to a startling conclusion: Livestock production -- including land-use changes for pasture and crop production -- contributes more to global warming than every single car, train, and plane on the planet. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, recently reiterated this point. He called eating less meat "clearly the most attractive opportunity" to quickly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. "Give up meat for one day [a week] initially, and decrease it from there," he urged. Roni Neff. Photo: …

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With food riots raging, let’s open the books on the finances of Big Ag

When we talk about the crisis in food prices, we should scrape below the surface to explore who's actually benefiting from the crisis. Unless you've had your head stuck in the freezer at Dean & Deluca, you've heard about the food crisis across the planet. A recent Financial Times displayed this staggering map of the globe: Black dots marked each of the countries were food riots have been sparked in outrage against the rising prices of food. Thirty dots in all. A recent CNN report noted that "Riots, instability spread as food prices skyrocket." These surging costs, warns World Bank …