Sustainable Food

Sustainable Food

Chow-to: Clean sardines

By now it’s become conventional wisdom that eating low on the food chain is more sustainable. In the case of fish, that means sardines, anchovies, sand-dabs, and other small, short-lived fish. Despite recent news that our small forage fish need to be better managed to avoid future problems, if you’re going to eat fish at all, it’s still best to stick with the small fry. Pacific sardines are a particularly good choice because they are high in omega-3s, low in environmental pollutants, economically priced, and delicious. Cleaning them, however, might be a hurdle. For some it’s the ick factor while …

Sustainable Food

Something to be thankful for: Real turkeys make a comeback

Royal Palm Turkey, one of eight varieties considered to be heritage breeds.Photo: Amy Martin PachayIn 1997, The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) took a turkey census. For about half a century, nearly every turkey farm in the U.S. had been raising a breed known as the Broad Breasted White. (This cost-efficient, big-breasted bird has a lifespan of only 18 weeks and can neither fly, nor reproduce without artificial insemination). So when the ALBC went looking for other, older breeds of turkey, what they found was startling: They counted only 1,300 turkeys not bred for industrial purposes. In the whole country. …

Cities

An aging rust belt town becomes a laboratory for sustainability

Environmental Studies professor David OrrPhoto: Lisa DeJongThis story is the first of two pieces excerpted from a feature story in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Read part 2 here and the full Chronicle story here. Oberlin, Ohio — This northern Ohio college town is barely a blip on a map, far away from national centers of power. And yet people here are working on a plan that could make it a model for fundamentally reshaping the American economy and its society. The architect of the plan is David W. Orr, a professor of environmental studies and politics at Oberlin College. …

Sustainable Food

Don’t bug me, I’m eating [VIDEO]

Join us on a bug hunt with David Gracer, an entomophagy (bug eating) expert who makes a pretty good case for making wider culinary use of insects. In a world of factory farms and genetically modified foods, catching your own eight-legged friends might just be the sensible way to go. And chances are, you eat bugs every day. Watch us cook up and taste a wide variety of crickets, grasshoppers and other critters. Yum.

Sustainable Farming

Incredible shrinking farmland

Photo: Alicia Guy Joel Huesby comes from a long line of conventional farmers, but in 1994, he had what he calls an epiphany that led him to switch to organic farming. He’s of the mind that we’ll drive ourselves to extinction if we drive our farmlands that way first. “Conventional commodity agriculture, to my way of looking at it, is standing in the boots of a dead man with toothpicks holding his eyes open,” he said. “It looks alive but it’s not. I don’t see that as the future.” Through years of trial and error, Huesby and his family found …

Sustainable Food

Food Studies: College students plant seeds of change

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. Photo: Anna ZeideIf you’ve ever visited the University of Wisconsin, you’ve probably eaten some Babcock ice cream, perhaps while enjoying a sunset on the Terrace. It’s just one of those things that people do. But last week, some of the students in the food ethics class I student-teach began to ask questions about how Babcock ice cream is produced — whether it’s organic, how many processed ingredients it includes, if …

Locavore

Maude’s Market: Spreading local food in Monsanto country

Maude Bauschard, outside her local food market in St. Louis. Maude Bauschard sells local and sustainably produced groceries and runs a weekly community-supported agriculture (CSA) box from a small store she calls Maude’s Market. This wouldn’t sound like much if she were living in a city on one of the coasts, but Bauschard lives in St. Louis, Mo., or what she calls “the heart of Monsanto country.” Literally: The city is home to the world headquarters of Monsanto, one of the world’s leading producers of both herbicide and genetically engineered (GE) seeds. “So any sort of action — even just …

Sustainable Food

The life of a seaweed gatherer [VIDEO]

Most of the seaweed we get these days is farmed. But way up in northern Maine, Larch Hanson is still harvesting it wild in its many varieties on the rugged coast. This video isn’t about the details of that process, however. It’s about the essence of life for Larch, who rises at dawn to cut seaweed and then writes Zen poems about it. Learn more about Larch on his website.

Target is switching to sustainable seafood

Target is the latest chain to pledge to phase unsustainable seafood out of its stores. The company has already rid its shelves of orange roughy, farmed salmon, and Chilean sea bass, and plans to switch entirely to sustainable fresh and frozen fish by 2015.

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