Living

no rain, no grain

The world is one poor harvest away from chaos

An Indian woman sifts grain from a previous harvest. Water shortages could drastically affect this year’s harvest.Photo: World BankIn early January, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that its Food Price Index had …

Thou shalt not commit food adulteration

Ask Umbra Book Club: The history of ‘adulterated’ food and gross-food urban legends

Give us this day our daily bread, as long as we know what went into it.Photo: LaCheryl PorterDearest readers, Last week, we kicked off our discussion of Bill Bryson’s At Home: A Short History of …

The only kids are alright

The only kids are alright: Good reasons to consider stopping at one child

This only kid is A-OK.Photo: Omar GurnahSnooki of MTV’s Jersey Shore is immature, whiny, and self-involved — in other words, your typical reality-show star. But a New York Times article about her improbable rise to …

survival of the knittest

Happy birthday, Darwin! Have a giant recycled squid

Sometimes, despite your best intentions, you end up with plastic bags. This is why nature invented the giant squid, humans invented knitting needles, and Deadly Knitshade invented Plarchie. He’s knitted out of 162 plastic bags, …

the other side of the fence

Who’s got the greenest house on the planet?

It’s pretty easy to determine the biggest pie, or longest fingernails, or fattest twins. But what about the greenest house? AOL’s consumer finance site, of all places (they’re into journalism now!) has a nice roundup …

If, ands, & butts?

Ask Umbra: Is there such a thing as an environmentally friendly cigarette?

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I’m a smoker. So, is it better to smoke organic tobacco? Will I put less of a strain on the planet by smoking e-cigarettes? Or can you …

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE INSECTING

Beware, moms-to-be: Insecticides could make your kids dumber

No raid for you.Photo: Dhini van HeerenStop huffing the Raid, moms: In other “sh*t that makes kids dumber” news, toddlers’ brains developed more slowly if their mothers inhaled a lot of a common insecticide ingredient …

A walk in the ark

Use your smartphone to become a ‘citizen scientist’ with Project Noah

We all know people who seem to spend more time gazing into their smartphones than they do looking at the reality in front of them. But one app is trying to reverse the trend, and …

CITY OF GREEN ROSES

Tell Grist: What’s your favorite green hot spot in Portland?

You know you love it.Photo: megaulYo Portlandia! We’re compiling a guide to the perfect green Portland weekend and we need your help! So you have an out-of-town visitor — where do you take ’em for …