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Misleading cotton ads banned in U.K.

Poster and magazine ads by the U.S. cotton industry have been banned in Britain. The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority can put the kibosh on advertising deemed to be greenwashing, and regulators took issue with the cotton ads' claim that the crop is "soft, sensual, and sustainable." The ad authority pointed out that cotton is a "pesticide- and insecticide-intensive crop" and can "seriously deplete" groundwater supplies. The cotton industry protested the ban, to no avail.

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Thoughts on the NODPA/Stonyfield debate over organic dairy

About four years ago, I attended a workshop by Jonathan White, the maverick New York State cheese maker/baker/dairy farmer of Bobolink Dairy. Photo: iStockphoto Like a Southern Baptist preacher thundering from the pulpit -- only with a Northeastern accent and lots of good humor -- White had a message to deliver. He exhorted conventional dairy farmers to sell half of their herds, invest the proceeds in cheese-making equipment, and turn their remaining cows out to pasture. Don't give your money away to feed, seed, or fertilizer suppliers, and don't give your milk away for pennies to the big processors, he …

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Biodiesel company convinces B.C. restaurants to switch oils

Came across this piece about a biodiesel company in British Columbia that's convincing restaurants to switch to a lighter, healthier cooking oil so it can buy the oil and turn it into biodiesel. And partly I'm just excited because the program, called Restaurant Green Zone, is finding the biggest success in Chilliwack! And that's fun to say on a Monday! But also it's an interesting approach: the company, Effective Resource Management BioSource (known to its pals as ERM BioSource), is pushing the health angle, partnering with the Heart and Stroke Foundation on its project. The hard oil that's been commonly …

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Umbra on joining a CSA

Umbra, I have heard mention of community-supported agriculture programs but don't really know what they are. The name sounds very cool, but can you let me in on the specifics? Bryties Redding, Calif. Dearest Bryties, The springtime alarm is sounding, and your question is perfectly timed. Some of you might be experiencing hints of spring right now, some not (like me! I'm in a secret location where the all-time snowfall record is under threat) -- but regardless, it's the time of year for all of us to look into community-supported agriculture possibilities for the growing season. Join a CSA and …

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Dairy producers’ alliance responds to Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm

This essay is the latest installment in a debate between Ed Maltby and Gary Hirshberg, CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm. Maltby opened the debate with this post; Hirshberg responded here; Maltby's response follows below. We are airing the debate at length because we think our readers should know that our organic dairy farmers have reached a crisis point -- squeezed by production costs that are rising much faster than the price they receive in the market. ----- I want to thank Gary Hirshberg for replying so quickly to some of the points that we have been raising for the last six …

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Pushing for ‘fair food’ on campus in the land of hog factories

Last year, a bunch of students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill got tired of the industrial dreck served up in the cafeteria. They discovered that the landscape around them was producing some amazing, chemical-free meat and produce and set about figuring out how to get some in school dining halls. Photo: iStockphoto Led by seniors Sally Lee and David Hamilton, they declared themselves FLO Food (FLO = fair, local, organic), and began negotiating with Campus Dining Services in earnest. CDS took them seriously and negotiated respectfully, but a key gap in understanding between the two groups …

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Gary Hirshberg argues that his company is doing a lot to support organic dairy farmers

The following is a response to a post by Ed Maltby, executive director of the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance. ----- Gary Hirshberg Londonderry, N.H.: These are difficult times for the organic dairy industry, and as we have demonstrated consistently for over a decade, we are deeply engaged in the effort to find solutions that balance escalating supply costs with the need to keep organic product prices within the average consumer's reach. Stonyfield has consistently fought for farmers' interests, despite the pressures of the marketplace to reduce or hold prices for our yogurts. Over the past five years, the pay …

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As energy, healthcare, and feed costs skyrocket, organic dairy farmers get squeezed

The following is a guest post by Ed Maltby, executive director of the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance. ----- Deerfield, Mass.: What is more important to Stonyfield Farm and HP Hood, market share or the health and welfare of their organic family farmers? Photo: iStockphoto If you ask 24-year-old Mark Ouellette Jr., who supplies organic milk to HP Hood that is sold under the Stonyfield label, his answer is very clear: market share. "I'm losing up to 60 cents per gallon producing milk for the Stonyfield brand. I've used up my line of credit, I'm close to maxing out my …

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Moby’s new video pokes at KFC

Bald techno-greenie Moby sends a chicken pimp after the Colonel in his "Disco Lies" video: "Disco lies" from Moby on Vimeo.

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Would Jesus eat fish during Lent?

Jennifer Jacquet of the Sea Around Us Project just published a solid and timely essay with Science & Spirit magazine. The piece begins by asking: If Jesus can turn two fish into enough to feed five thousand people, now would be a good time to intervene. According to researchers, each American ate nearly a half-pound more seafood last year than the year before. As we reach the end of the Christian season of Lent -- the period in which seafood consumption is at its highest -- scientists predict that, if the trend continues, wild marine fisheries will disappear in the …

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