Living

food politics film of the year, animation category

Why you should go see ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’

“I’ve got an idea”: Mr. Fox and friends fight the power.  I’m writing a post that I shouldn’t have to write: a plea to get you, political-minded foodie that you are, to go to whatever lengths necessary to see Fantastic Mr. Fox. How do I know you haven’t? Because the box-office numbers stink: the film has grossed just $20 million domestically since being released in November. That’s a decent weekend for a superhero blockbuster. Even adding foreign receipts–$17 million–the film hasn’t made back its $40 million budget. Forty million bucks sounds like a king’s ransom to me; but it’s equivalent …

what should eau do?

Ask Umbra on perfume bottles, wax paper, and alternative beverage bottles

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I am a child of the consumer age, but I try to live by “reuse, recycle.” I have a lot of fancy perfume bottles that are now empty. They are very heavy glass, and it seems I read that the return on the energy spent to melt them down is not worth recycling them. Can you solve this conundrum? Patricia M.Seattle, Wash. A. Dearest Patricia, How fancy are we talking? Antiques Road Show fancy? How I would delight in watching one of my readers discover that her glass bottle was in fact …

Continuing the Movement

America is struggling. Families strive to make ends meet while facing an uncertain economic future. The deterioration of our environment – rather than slowing – continues to gain speed. At a moment when we need every opportunity possible, climate change threatens the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people at home and around the world. 

 We are all impacted by these hard times, but it is the historically disadvantaged – people of color and low-income communities – who find themselves at the point of the spear. This challenge is the Civil Rights Movement’s unfinished business. As we seek solutions and look …

less work might just work

Happier living that happens to be more sustainable

U.K. Independent columnist Johann Hari has a post worth reading over the long weekend. If you’re too busy working to read it, well, that’s the point. Hari laments the American-style culture of overwork that he sees creeping into Britain, comparing it to an arms race. Everyone works harder and longer, or makes sure to look like they are, because everyone else is working harder and longer, because we’re all competing for jobs. Even though we know this pace isn’t good for us. “Work can be one of the richest and most rewarding experiences, but not like this,” Hari writes. He …

Sustainababy

Mom-powered politics

Editor’s note: Anna wrote this post (and a few more) before she left on maternity leave. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl — Audrey — in December. All moms have a stake in public policies that affect the health and safety of their families. But as I’ve found throughout this series, pop-culture resources for pregnancy and motherhood only occasionally point out the risks of toxics and almost never make the connection between pollution and political action. It’s a missed opportunity. Moms have the potential for massive political clout, but so far that potential is largely untapped. Concerned mothers …

CONTESTUAL ANALYSIS

Win a signed copy of ‘Antarctica 2041’! [updated]

Update: The contest is over–congrats to our five winners! Look for more literary competitions and lots of great reading tips at our new books page. Welcome, dear readers, to Grist’s first book review contest. There are prizes to be won, so listen up. We’re giving away five autographed copies of explorer Robert Swan’s arresting new book Antarctica 2041. To nab one, all you have to do is submit your very own review of another terrific book: Crude World: The Twilight of Oil by Peter Maas. (Read more about both titles at our new books page.) To submit your review just …

Me, in the New York Times

Taking distributed energy seriously

This week, in The New York Times’ Room for Debate, I was involved in a discussion on the brewing war among environmentalists over building large power plants on sensitive land — specifically, in this case, a solar thermal power plant in the Mojave desert. “Green Civil War: Projects vs. Preservation” saw contributions from: Randy Udall, energy analyst Vaclav Smil, professor, University of Manitoba Daniel M. Kammen, professor of energy, U.C. Berkeley Ileene Anderson, Center for Biological Diversity Winona LaDuke, Honor the Earth Fund And me! Turns out it’s very difficult to make a point in 300 words, at least for …

California schools are failing and it's because of... school gardens?

Failure to cultivate: Why school gardens ARE important

In the latest edition of The Atlantic magazine, Caitlin Flanagan has written a surprisingly harsh critique of the popular and growing movement to include gardens in our public schools. In a nutshell, she states that pursuing this activity over and above the three R’s will turn our children into illiterate sharecroppers. Right from the start, though, she gets it wrong. She has the reader picture the son of undocumented migrant workers entering his first day at Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley, home of the well-known Edible Schoolyard project, “where he stoops under the hot sun and begins to …

Salt of the dearth

Food giants pile on salt to tart up flavorless dreck

Piled on my desk on either side of my computer are several packages of convenience foods and one chocolate bar. The foods range from instant macaroni and cheese and cornbread mixes to canned soup, canned tuna, canned beans, and a Styrofoam container of instant, microwaveable macaroni and cheese. Of the eight items, only two – the tuna and the chocolate bar–have sodium levels in the single digits. Of the double-digiters, only two have sodium levels less than 20 percent. I’m looking at sodium content not because I’m watching my salt intake–although that’s hardly a bad idea–but because I wanted to …

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.

×