Living

Feeling peckish?

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.

Admit it: fish is meat

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 next forty years. At issue is whether fish is meat (which, of course, it is). But in the 11th century, the Catholic Church "banned meat but sanctioned fish as a show of penance on Fridays and during the 40 days before Easter. When other observances with similar restrictions were added to the equation, the prohibition meant more than one hundred fish-only days per year" for Catholics. If the Pope is a Gristmill reader, then here's a call to action on your recent pledge to protect creation!

How about 'for smarties'?

Green Living For Dummies: yet another addition to slew of easy-being-green books

I know no Grist reader will need this book (especially if you’ve got Grist’s opus), but the ubiquitous bumblebee-colored series has now turned its all-dummifying eye to the environment. Somewhere between Heartburn & Reflux For Dummies and Coaching Lacrosse For Dummies is your chance to learn what you’re really supposed to do with those mysterious CFLs. (Looks like the orange-toned archrival, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Living, came out six months ago.)

Senate passes consumer-safety bill that would reduce toxics in toys

The U.S. Senate has passed legislation aimed at decreasing consumer exposure to dangerous products (like, oh, lead-tainted toys, to pick a random example). Specifically, the measure passed Thursday would increase the staff and budget of the Consumer Product Safety Commission; sharply reduce acceptable levels of lead and phthalates in toys; create a database of public complaints about products; protect whistleblowers; allow states to take consumer-safety measures if they feel the feds aren’t doing enough; increase the maximum manufacturer penalty for violations; penalize companies that sell recalled products; and make some currently voluntary toy-safety standards mandatory. The Bush administration opposes the …

This just in: Hydrogen fuel cell cars are still dead

Years after everyone else, GM and Toyota execs skeptical about hydrogen cars

That Saturday Night Live-esque headline was inspired by a story in The Wall Street Journal yesterday: Top executives from General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. Tuesday expressed doubts about the viability of hydrogen fuel cells for mass-market production in the near term and suggested their companies are now betting that electric cars will prove to be a better way to reduce fuel consumption and cut tailpipe emissions on a large scale. Really? Hydrogen cars of dubious viability? Who ever could have guessed that in a million years? And electric cars are "a better way to reduce fuel consumption and cut tailpipe emissions on a large scale"? I'm shocked, shocked that anyone could come to that conclusion.

Cuteness saves the climate

I thought this was clever -- a Cliff Notes version of climate-friendly lifestyle choices. Click the image for the full-sized version.

Rising food prices hit home around the world

Is a change coming to your cart? Photo: iStockphoto Hey you, in the supermarket line — yeah, you, the one with the stuffed cart. Are you ready to pay up for those groceries? You’d better be, pal. That’s the message from Bill Lapp, former chief economist for the food giant Conagra. “I think [U.S.] consumers are more prepared than we realize to accept higher prices on food and I think that’s part of our future,” Lapp recently declared. “It’s largely been set in stone for us already.” For decades, average Americans have spent just 10 percent of disposable income on …

Brit's Eye View: Young, gifted, and green?

New survey of U.K. youth reveals mixed attitudes about the future of the planet

Ben Tuxworth, communications director at Forum for the Future, writes a monthly column for Gristmill on sustainability in the U.K. and Europe. Debates about how we should save the planet tend to explore the impossibility of almost every approach until someone says, "We need to change the education system," at which point it is deemed churlish to snigger. Catch 'em young, and it's job done seems to be the hope. Well, with only 100 months of planet-saving time left, according to Greenpeace, this approach has worked as much as it is ever likely to. So, are the young going to save us? Fresh perspective comes from the Future Leaders Survey, a scan of 25,000 applicants to U.K. universities and colleges published last month. The survey, carried out by Forum for the Future and UCAS (the central admissions service for higher education in the U.K.), paints a picture of young Brits facing a fairly terrifying future with an odd mixture of denial, irritation, and pragmatism.

Umbra on organic honey

Dear Umbra, I was looking for a nice, local, organic honey to use in reworking some recipes so that they didn’t use sugar. So I headed to Whole Foods, and was stuck looking at a honey in a plastic container labeled organic from Brazil, and a local product in a glass container but not labeled organic. And I started wondering — what makes honey organic? I mean, bees fly. How do you know what plants they ate or pollinated unless you’ve caged them somehow. And that led right to the free-range bee question … Help! It’s too much for my …