Living

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 …

Kimchi, comme ça

Winter cold no match for spicy kimchi stew

Kimchi: king of condiments. Photo: April McGreger I love how my cooking business binds me to the seasons. The seasons change, and I fall in line. August provides me more work than I can complete in a day; late January cuts me some slack. Every year I seem to overdo it as the busy harvest season runs right into the busy holiday season, and I end the year utterly exhausted and frazzled. And then, at last, January brings the cold and darkness t that I have come to crave. Winter is also the season for comfort food, but all too …

driving change?

Ford Fusion Hybrid wins 2010 Car of the Year, no green spin needed

The Ford Fusion Hybrid. Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company via FlickrNo green spin necessary, the Ford Fusion Hybrid sedan was soundly voted the 2010 Car of the Year. While not the first-ever hybrid vehicle to win this award (even for Ford), it is notable that the 2010 North American Car of the Year (NACOTY) was given to a U.S. automaker for a hybrid amidst one of the worst times to be selling any kind of car, much less a hybrid. And yet, the Fusion Hybrid helped Ford set record sales in hybrids in a year when overall industry demand for gas-electric …

Winter Warmers

Ask Umbra on water bottles, gas dryers, and tea lights

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, Hey! This whole freakin’ deal about aluminum, steel, and plastic bottles is bewildering. I wanted to get a BPA-free Nalgene, but should I buy an aluminum instead? I don’t have or see the use to spend $20USD for a darn bottle. What’s the best way to go? JayDayton A. Dearest Jay, To sip, perchance to dream.Hey yourself! This can indeed be a bewildering topic, made even more so by recent revelations that one trusted brand of aluminum bottle contained BPA in its lining. Even though it’s a New Year, I’m going to …

Renewable energy is in big demand as states try to cut carbon emissions

Everyone Poops – – and a few spin gold

Thanks to the global effort to cut carbon, we could soon be spinning waste of all kinds -- including poop -- into big bucks.

Dispatches From Someone Who Got Lucky

How do I find a green job?

This is the time-honored question, one I get asked so frequently, from very qualified individuals, that I decided to answer it online. It is heartbreaking (and encouraging) how many skilled and interested people are looking for work in the sustainability field. The good news is the sector is growing exponentially. If you ask anyone in the field they’ll probably tell you they got there by luck. That’s certainly true for me. I’m less smart, strong, and fast than other candidates, and much less skilled. But I happened to be in the right place at the right time. That said, there …

Farm team

It takes a community to sustain a small farm

A local grocery store in Pleasantville, Iowa.Wikimedia Commons These days it seems the most popular person to be in the food system is the “local farmer.” Farmers markets are popping up everywhere, and their size and popularity grow all the time. Local food is trendy–even the First Family is in on it. But as anyone who has ever raised grain or livestock can tell you, the farmer is not the only person in the chain of players from her farm to your fork. In addition to producers, your food chain includes processors, distributors or transporters, and retailers. In other words, …

Chemical Soup for the Soul

Editor’s Note: Anna finished this post (and a few more) before she went on maternity leave. She gave birth to a healthy girl, Audrey, on December 13. My husband Gus and I have been lucky. I’m 36—and therefore considered an “elderly primigravida” on my charts at my doctor’s office (that’s “pregnant old-timer and first-timer” in layman’s terms). I’ve had a healthy pregnancy—so far—and we avoided the nightmarish saga of infertility that many acquaintances have suffered. But our story, as typical as it sounds, could be becoming a thing of the past—unless we demand better protections from toxic chemicals for our …

New Year Resolutions

Lose 10 pounds? Get a new job? It’s that time of year again and carbon could make your New Year's resolutions much more successful - - and profitable.

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