Thursday, December 3, 2015

NY TImes--7 things to do to reduce your carbon footprint

In honor of the Paris climate talks, the NY Times wrote about 7 things you can do to reduce your climate footprint.  Food for thought and fodder for dinner table discussions.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Is recycling worth it?

John Tierney, NY Times writer, is back with another very controversial essay about the costs of recycling.  My position is that the less waste you generate the better and that paper and aluminum are very, very easy to recycle.  Read the piece, check out the comments, and have a stimulating conversation over a low-waste dinner!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Craft-washing food!

A great essay from The Conversation on the 'craft-washing' trend that big business has been foisting on consumers.

It it an issue or not?  You decide.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dinner discussion topic: The Pope's statement on climate change

The Pope has released his position on climate change (see NY Times coverage) which is leading to vigorous debate and discussion. What do you and your guests think about this?  Has he crossed a line or is his position about preserving life on Earth and reducing human suffering on target?  Why do you think what you think?  Will this change your (or your guests') behavior?  If so, how?  If not, why not?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Salmon season!

LA Times has some great wild salmon recipes including salmon bisque and chipotle salmon.

Yum!  Will try these soon.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Almonds are not the enemy...

Mark Bittman has a GREAT Op-Ed in the NY Times talking about how rational water use in California means growing what grows well there and accepting the higher costs of food that will be associated with pricing water correctly.  Great read and great discussion topic for dinner this weekend.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Congress attacks science based policy

An outstanding (and scary) piece was just published in Science. Authored by a number of Union of Concerned Scientist folks, it documents how regulations working through Congress remove scientific evidence from the table when making some policy decisions--many of which have substantial public health consequences.  Worth a read.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Drink: vodka, bitters, lemon juice, ginger, sugar

I've been working through a Peruvian cookbook and got the idea for this delicious drink which is modified from a recipe requiring pisco. I've run out of simple syrup and am too lazy to make more, so I've been using cane sugar--I really need to make the simple syrup for this one.

1.5 shots of vodka
juice of 1 lemon
1" of ginger, peeled, and julienned
several good dollops of angostura bitters
2 Tbs cane sugar (or ideally, simple syrup)

Shake vigorously over ice, and pour into a martini glass.

This will ease discussions about the water crisis in California

Water required to grow food

NY Times had a great interactive feature (see previous post from LA Times) about water required to grow various foods.  I find this stuff amazing and learn something new each time I read more about water and agriculture.

don't wash your chicken!

Great video explaining why it's actually a health risk to wash meat before cooking. Worth watching.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What is sustainable development?

Really interesting article in the NYT that makes you think hard about whether their is such a thing as fair and equitable sustainable development. The piece discusses a debate about how we must intensify many human activities to eliminate poverty which some argue is the first step towards addressing biodiversity conservation.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

West Coast Sardine Fishery Collapse

One of the themes in the book and the blog has been that by choosing what we eat we can lessen our impact on Earth. I'd previously suggested that eating fishes like sardines could be a sustainable food choice. But the rapid crash of US West Coast sardine fisheries took me a bit by surprise.  Read more about this and its consequences at this Pew briefing.

The take-home message:  constantly reevaluate your assumptions and modify behavior based on new data.

Food requires water!

I've been silent for a long time (not through lack of ideas or concerns...but because I've been busy) but the graphic I just explored in the LA Times is amazing and must be shared.

I'd long realized that red meat requires a lot of water per pound to produce so if we want to conserve water (something that's at the top of the news in California these days) we should eat less meat.  And, I'd realized that nut trees require a lot of water as well. But what I'd not realized is that chickpeas require so much water to grow! This amazing interactive graphic in the LA Times lets you calculate the water footprint of your meals--explore and be surprised.

Talk about this at your next dinner party!