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Twilight Greenaway's Posts

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Chow-to: Stop worrying and love your kitchen timer

Is it just me, or has the cachet of the home-cooked meal really skyrocketed lately? For most of us, shopping seasonally, taking a plant-centric approach to ingredients, and cooking from scratch have long been the only real ways to make a dent in the environmental impact our food has without going into debt.   Lately, though, sustainable food advocates have begun really homing in on the cooking part of that equation. (It's about time -- we may all be alone in our separate kitchens, but at least we're talking to one another.) And it looks we can all agree on a …

Read more: Food

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Is Walmart allergic to Pollan?

From left to right: Michael Pollan, Walmart's Jack Sinclair, Jib Ellison, Walmart's sustainability consultant, and Edible Education co-teacher, Nicki Henderson.Photo by Irene Florez. You can read her article about the event on Oakland Local. Like or not, Walmart is a force to be reckoned with in the food world. The biggest grocery retailer in the U.S. is now said to control between 20 and 30 percent of the American food market. Reformers looking to improve our food system increasingly understand that -- much like China in the climate debate -- Walmart is an 800-lb. gorilla that can't be ignored. This …

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Environmental leaders to Congress: Don't stop funding conservation on farms

Photo: eutrophication&hypoxia The message is loud and clear: The environmental community wants to get out ahead of the 2012 Farm Bill debate. Yesterday, a group of 56 leadership organizations representing over a million members across the nation sent Congress a very public memo. The groups ranged from the Environmental Working Group to the World Wildlife Fund, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Their message: Industrial farming has no place in this country without parallel measures aimed at stopping soil erosion, lessening pesticide use, and cleaning up the air and soil on and around farms. The statement …

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Berry toxic: Decoding the organic strawberry debacle

Photo: versageekIn a recent article, the SF-based New York Times affiliate The Bay Citizen reported on a significant gap in California's organic strawberry industry: Most certified-organic strawberries do not start out that way. While there are a number of farms using organic practices to raise the berries (most keep them in the ground from one to two years), they must rely on commercial-scale plant nurseries for young plants. By the time those plants, or "starts" as they're called, make it to the farm, they have usually gone through an entire year's growing cycle in the nursery. If it's a conventional …

Read more: Food, Organic Food

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In its previous life, this corner grocery was a shipping container

When it comes to bringing fruits and vegetables to so-called food deserts, mobile distribution efforts have long appeared to be a useful solution. Ever since Oakland's People's Grocery kicked this trend off nearly a decade ago, food justice advocates have been filling school buses, old postal trucks, and ice cream trucks with fresh produce and other less-processed foods to get real sustenance into the hands of those who need it. But when Carrie Ferrence, a then-graduate student at Washington's Bainbridge Graduate Institute, started looking into the preliminary research about existing mobile projects, she found that their limited hours and availability …

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Run and hide from methyl iodide

Actiivists protest the use of methyl iodide."Arysta, stop making methyl iodide. It's a cancer-causing pest-i-cide!" A small crowd of activists chanted this verse on Monday outside the recently vacated San Francisco offices of the pesticide company Arysta Lifescience, maker of methyl iodide. But they did more than chant: The group created a fumigation simulation by pouring warm water over lumps of dry ice placed under sheets of black plastic -- a representation of the way plastic sheets are used to attempt to cover beds that have been newly injected with the actual fumigant. As the steam seeped out, it was …

Read more: Food, Scary Food

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Waters runs deep: Chez Panisse at 40

Alice Waters.I don't know Alice Waters. Yet I often feel like I know Waters' public self -- the lilting voice, the distinctly emotive diction, the studied bohemianism -- a little too well.     So I wasn't surprised when I picked up Waters' latest book, 40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering, and felt like I was holding a personal scrapbook.  It's a lovingly crafted book, full of rare photographs and intimate details that chart the history of the restaurant. In addition to pages of photos, menus, and highly stylized event posters documenting the restaurant's milestones (including the 10th, 20th, …

Read more: Food, Locavore

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Forget potatoes: Idaho now grows CAFOs

Aerial view of a CAFO.Photo: Kestrel AerialWhen the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act (Proposition 2) passed in California in 2008, it granted laying hens nominally more space in their cages. Proponents of humane animal husbandry cheered the fact that these birds would now have a little more room to stretch their wings. But industrial egg producers -- claiming their costs would go up -- threatened to leave the state before 2015, when key portions of the law go into effect. Hope those disgruntled egg producers like potatoes. Perhaps sensing an opportunity, Idaho lawmakers passed a series of laws more …

Read more: Factory Farms, Food