Business & Technology

trimming the pledges

America’s most bike-friendly cities and big green pledges

Bicycling Magazine released its annual list of America’s most bike-friendly cities today, and Grist’s hometown Seattle comes in at No. 4. Great, right? Well, sort of: The mag bases its praise on the city’s 10-year, $240-million bike master plan, which is intended to triple the number of journeys made by bike and add 450 miles of bike paths. But that lovely plan is currently underfunded by nearly $165 million, or 70 percent. While the local media caught the discrepancy, Bicycling Magazine didn’t, and Seattle is once again praised based on its promises, not its actions. I haven’t fact-checked the rest …

they bread the writing on the wall

KFC: Who needs buns when a chicken-bacon-chicken sandwich will do?

The buns should have bread the writing on the wall: They’re nothing but the vehicle for Americans’ daily meat-to-mouth resuscitation. Which is why KFC said buh-bye to bread in order to shove even more gross industrial chicken Double Down hungry throats. KFC is shooting for a more manly vehicle for getting meat to the gullet, opting for the Hummer of the food world: more meat. The recipe for total organ failure? Two slabs of bacon, along with Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese, between two fillets of chicken (this is where the buns get the middle finger), all slathered with …

Deadly Record

Massey’s mine in Montcoal has been cited for over 3,000 violations, over $2.2 million in fines

Cross-posted from Think Progress. Massey Energy is actively contesting millions of dollars of fines for safety violations at its West Virginia coal mine where disaster struck yesterday afternoon. Twenty-five miners were killed and another four are missing after a explosion took place at 3 pm Monday at Massey subsidiary Performance Coal Co.’s Upper Big Branch Mine-South between the towns of Montcoal and Naoma. It is “the most people killed in a U.S. mine since 1984, when 27 died in a fire at Emery Mining Corp.’s mine in Orangeville, Utah.” This deadly mine has been cited for over 3,000 violations by …


Sustainable urban farming ideas that think inside the box

Photo via .hello foto of FlickrIn my last Green State column, I wrote about Agriculture 2.0. The conference, held in Silicon Valley recently, brought together venture capitalists and sustainable ag startups in an effort to jump start a market for the regional distribution of fresh food. This week I take a closer look at some of the companies that tried to catch the ear and checkbooks of the high-profile investors who packed that confab at the Four Seasons in Palo Alto. One of the more intriguing ideas came from startups thinking outside the agribusiness box by developing urban farms in …

Obama’s Tootsie Roll Energy Policy

Filling our short-term fossil-fuel needs

Like many Americans, I battle with my waistline, watching the same twenty pounds come and go year after year. Eating everything from Tootsie Rolls to asparagus, at times the healthy fare wins over the junk food, but usually the other way around. No food is either good or bad, because consumption isn’t measured against a real plan to lose weight and get fit. It now appears that President Obama has adopted this Tootsie Roll approach to the nation’s energy needs. Last week the President said he would facilitate more oil drilling in U.S. coastal waters. Acknowledging critics, he said it …

I'm tweetin' it!

McDonald’s responds to April Fools’ story (via Twitter)

It looks like McDonald’s has a Big Mac–sized sense of humor. The official McDonald’s Twitter account responded to readers’ questions about our April Fools’ Day report saying that McDonald’s is scrapping a composting plan because its food won’t decompose. While some people didn’t realize it was fake news, McDonald’s did, and responded to a tweet from Edible San Francisco saying: @EdibleSF: This one had us laughing :) It’s an #AprilFools joke! And here’s another: @aarieff: They say April Fools jokes are a form of flattery! This one had us laughing too! ^Mol @aarief responded: “But what r u doing about …

April Fuel

Everything you need to know about Obama’s new fuel-economy rules

The federal government rolled out new auto fuel-efficiency standards today, capping more than a year of planning and, as the New York Times notes, a 30-year battle between regulators and automakers. The new standards are a big deal—they’ll do more to cut the pollution of heat-trapping gasses than anything the Obama administration has done so far. But if it seems like you’ve heard about them before, you probably have—the regs got lots of press when they were first proposed last May. Thursday’s action puts that plan into effect, for 2012-2016 vehicles. So I’m reposting our cheat sheet from last May, …

A Fast Food Nation's Dilemma

What to make of the Pollan/Schlosser agreement with Wendy’s?

UPDATE: Happy April Fools’ Day! As a food politics commenter, I get paid to have strong opinions on the issues of the day. This ass will be eating grass?racineur via FlickrBut this one’s got me flummoxed. First, fast-food giant Wendy’s rolls out its new “pasture on a bun” burger, made with “100% grass-fed beef.” That sort of thing always leaves me cold. Of course, I want mega-corporations like Wendy’s to make more responsible buying decisions. But what I really want to see are new food economies that retain food dollars within communities, and don’t siphon them to distant shareholders. Do …

scrap that

McDonald’s scraps composting program because food won’t decompose [April Fools]

A McDonald’s composting initiative is going to the dump.Photo: bhamsandwich via Flickr UPDATE: Happy April Fools’ Day! We’ve pulled your leg. Look who else is laughing: McDonald’s on Twitter. McDonald’s announced this morning that it would discontinue plans for a worldwide composting initiative after scientists confirmed that no item on the McDonald’s menu is compostable. The plan to keep food waste — more than 1.5 billion tons a month — out of landfills would have been the largest composting program in the world, with bright green composting bins at all the 31,000-plus restaurants around the world. But McDonald’s halted the …

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