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Africa’s first green, locavore, gluten-free beer

In Mozambique, home brewing is big -- not because the country is full of mustachioed, fixie-riding expats from Portlandia, but just because it’s less expensive. So when brewing giant SABMiller wanted to figure out how to sell beer to people who are already making their own, they had to do it on the cheap, reports Marc Gunther at GreenBiz. Using local ingredients and less energy turned out to be key to keeping prices competitive with the corner moonshine still.

The result is Impala, a beer made from cassava, the starchy root endemic to Africa.

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Lexicon of Sustainability: Biodiversity vs. monoculture

Editor's note: This is the first in a weekly installment of images from Douglas Gayeton and Laura Howard-Gayeton's Lexicon of Sustainability. We'll be running one image every Friday this winter, so stay tuned. There's more where this came from!

Click to embiggen.
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Five packaged foods you never need to buy again

What did you resolve to do this year? Eat healthier? Avoid processed foods? Stay away from GMOs? Stop buying products foisted on you by the man? Reduce the size of your weekly garbage bag? Become a domestic god(ess)? I want to do all of those things, which is why I am so damn excited about this post. You see, until recently, these five packaged foods were staples on every shopping list I made. But, over the last few months, I've discovered that they are all completely unnecessary once you get the hang of making them at home. 1. Photo: madlyinlovewithlifeNever …

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A fork in the road for Slow Food

The SFUSA Ark of Taste has provided a way for enthusiastic chapters to catalogue and protect forgotten and neglected heirloom fruit and vegetable varieties (like these Hauer Pippen apples). Photo: Slow Food USA The biodiversity issue Tooker has long been involved in the North American chapter of the Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste, the national portion of an international effort to catalogue, bring attention to, and therefore preserve endangered heirloom and place-based foods. Earlier this year, she says the Ark of Taste committee was "given a stop work order," and Tooker worries about the future of the effort. One …

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U.S. becomes first country on Earth to limit catch size for all fish

In a rare bipartisan move -- the policy was initiated under George W. Bush and finalized under Obama -- the federal government has enacted catch size limits in order to prevent overfishing of coastal seas, reports the Washington Post. "It's something that’s arguably first in the world," said Eric Schwaab, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's assistant administrator for fisheries. "It's a huge accomplishment for the country." Five years ago, Bush signed a reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which dates to the mid-1970s and governs all fishing in U.S. waters. A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers joined environmental groups, some fishing …

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Ietef Vita: Rapping the righteousness of wheatgrass juice

Grist is proud to present the Change Gang -- profiles of people who are leading change on the ground toward a more sustainable society and a greener planet. Some we've written about before; some are new to our pages. Some you'll have heard of; most you probably won't. Know someone we should add to the Change Gang? Tell us why. Three blocks from his old high school in the historic Five Points district of Denver, Colo., recalls Ietef Vita, stands a youth penitentiary where friends Vita hasn't seen since middle school are still locked up. Gentrification is now starting to …

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Neverending nigiri: Kristofor Lofgren fights for sustainable sushi

Grist is proud to present the Change Gang -- profiles of people who are leading change on the ground toward a more sustainable society and a greener planet. Some we've written about before; some are new to our pages. Some you'll have heard of; most you probably won't. Know someone we should add to the Change Gang? Tell us why. Kristofor Lofgren says he never imagined "in a billion years" that he would end up trying to save the world as "the proprietor of a sushi restaurant." After graduating from U.C. Berkeley, having majored in political science and American studies, …

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Potato chip advertising is a perfect metaphor for income inequality, says science

A study just published in Gastronomica proves that appealing to our tribal identifications is hardly the sole domain of liquor and cigarettes. The authors use "the language of food to examine the representation of socioeconomic class identity in contemporary America by comparing the advertising language on expensive bags of potato chips with that on inexpensive chips." The results: More expensive potato chips are too busy trying to distance themselves from low-class potato chips to even mention how presumably delicious they are. [D]escriptions on expensive chips, unlike on inexpensive chips, are full of comparison (“less fat,” “finest potatoes”) and negation (“not,” …

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Talking vertical farms: An interview with Dickson Despommier

Your classic vertical farm rendering. Rendering: Blake KurasekIf you haven't seen the slickly rendered architectural models of farms growing in skyscapers, you probably live under a rock. When I first I saw one -- this was a few years back, they've been making their way around the internet for years -- I got a little tingly. Had the clean, green future of food really arrived? Since then, I've come to wonder about how realistic these models are, how likely it is that we'll ever really move farming out of rural areas and into skyscrapers, and whether it'd really be any …

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Food Studies: Old-world innovation

Le Biancane geothermal park.Photo: Yvone De Zeeuw Food Studies features the voices of volunteer student bloggers from a variety of different food- and agriculture-related programs at universities around the world. You can explore the full series here. Pipelines carry steam directly to consumers from the power plant.Vapor escapes through mountains of white rocks. Steam billows out of a huge cauldron in the distance. The smell of sulfur stings my nose, and the ground i s hot to the touch. It's easy to imagine I'm on another planet, or in some science fiction novel. But where I am is Tuscany, the …

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