Foie gras ban to take effect in New York

November 1, 2019 by  
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Fancy feasters in the Big Apple will have to acquire new tastes because New York will soon follow California’s example in legislating for a foie gras ban. Earlier this week, the New York City Council passed a bill calling for the ban, and Mayor Bill de Blasio will soon sign it into law. Animal activists have been rejoicing, calling the new legislation a win, although it won’t take effect until 2022. Those not in compliance by then will face a $2,000 penalty fine per violation. Foie gras is a rich, extravagant dish that has been appreciated since Ancient Roman times. The French have even defended it via article L654 of France’s 2006 Rural Code, which states, “Foie gras is part of the protected cultural and gastronomic heritage of France.” Related: Foie gras ban in California stands after court battle But foie gras production has met with criticism from animal welfare advocates. Foie gras is produced by forced overfeeding of ducks or geese to fatten and enlarge their livers. Feed volume is in excess of a bird’s normal voluntary intake, making the process unnatural because it overrides a bird’s typical preferences and homeostasis. The Canadian Veterinary Journal , for instance, has documented that this unnatural overfeeding process spans a two-week period and involves “repeated capture, restraint and rapid insertion of the feeding tube” that causes discomfort and increased risks for esophageal injury and associated pain. All of this produces a duck or goose liver that is “seven to 19 times the size of a normal liver with an average weight of 550 to 982 grams and a fat content of 55.8 percent,” while a normal liver is just “76 grams with a fat content of 6.6 percent.” In 1998, The European Commission recognized that these force-fed birds were up to 20 times more likely to reach mortality than their normal counterparts. If the same fatty cell buildup would occur in humans, it would be likened to alcohol abuse or obesity. New York’s ban follows at the heels of California’s foie gras ban. The Golden State’s legislation, however, has met some choppy waters. Initially passed in 2012, it was later overturned in 2015, then upheld by a circuit court judge in 2017, followed by further support earlier this year when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of California’s ban. On the other hand, Chicago’s ban on the delicacy was not so successful. Passed in 2006, it was repealed by 2008 via concerted efforts from foie gras producers, celebrity chefs and high-end restaurants that pushed back to sway public opinion. Their lobby strategies centered around the argument that if the foie gras ban persists, then other delicacies like lobster and veal might be in jeopardy, too. Chicago’s former mayor, Richard Daley, eventually called the ban “the silliest ordinance” his city’s council ever had, making the Windy City “the laughingstock of the nation.” It remains to be seen whether New York’s foie gras ban will succeed like California’s or be overturned like the ban in Chicago. Via Time and Fast Company Image via T.Tseng

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Foie gras ban to take effect in New York

NYC bans processed meats served in public schools

October 8, 2019 by  
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In an effort to improve the Big Apple’s public health, all processed meats will no longer be offered at New York City public school and public university cafeterias. That means no pepperoni, bacon, cold-cut deli meats, sausages or hot dogs for lunch. The new ban follows on the heels of the city’s successful test-run across all city schools of Meatless Mondays. Policymakers and education officials say the decision to adopt Resolution 238 is thanks to scientific evidence linking disease and other ailments with red and processed meats . The move paves the way to healthier food choices, minimizing any associated health risks. Related: Meatless Mondays are coming to public schools in New York City Over the years, the World Health Organization has warned that processed meats are carcinogenic, increase the likelihood of obesity and pre-diabetes among children and teens and elevate risk factors associated with heart disease, cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer rates among young adults. But these conditions, researchers say, are preventable through dietary and lifestyle changes. Similarly, the National Cancer Institute announced that young people of today exhibit double to quadruple the risks of colorectal cancers, when compared to those of the 1950s. Why? Sadly, today’s youth have diets low in fiber and high in processed meats, exacerbated by lifestyles lacking in physical activity . Even more worrisome, studies have shown just one hot dog or two bacon strips per day increases colorectal cancer risks by 18 percent. “We cannot continue feeding our children substances scientifically proven to increase cancer later in life,” said Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams. “Chicken nuggets and sloppy joes are in the same class of substances as cigarettes. We know that we would never give our children cigarettes to smoke, so there’s absolutely no reason why we should continue poisoning our children’s health with processed foods .” The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics affirms that those following plant-based diets show lower rates of health complications than their omnivorous counterparts. In other words, curbing unhealthy meat consumption and removing processed meats from school menus is a positive change for students’ health. By offering more nutritious meals on public school campuses, from preschool through university, all NYC students can be better nourished, likely boosting academic performance and overall well-being. In September 2018, the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) became the first school district in the country to remove processed meats from all school lunch lines. This recent ban in such a large metropolitan area shows that the move toward providing plant-based alternatives for more nutritious school meals is gaining momentum. + Resolution 238 Via TreeHugger Image via Shutterstock

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Sail your cares away in this incredible floating villa near Sydney

October 8, 2019 by  
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Nothing says romance like floating down a calm waterway while taking in the sound of bird calls from the shores. If you’re in the mood for a romantic getaway near Sydney , this incredible floating villa is the perfect choice. The tiny retreat features enough space for two lovebirds, who can spend their days watching the world go by from a glorious open-air deck. Ready to set sail along the pristine coastline of Palm Beach, New South Wales, this beautiful, two-story floating villa makes for a dream glamping retreat. The structure is compact but comes with a stunning, modern design that makes the space seem much bigger. Related: Sail away from it all in this gorgeous floating tiny home The interior of the floating home features a large living area on the first floor that opens up to the structure’s most impressive space, the outdoor deck. From here, guests can enjoy stunning views of the cliffs and wild landscapes found along the coast of Palm Beach. The deck comes with plenty of seating space and a barbecue, where you can cook shrimp on the, well, you know. Throughout the interior, guests will feel right at home thanks to contemporary furnishings and amenities. The living space welcomes in plenty of natural light through various windows and the folding glass doors that open up to the deck . The living area even comes with a nice fireplace for those chilly nights. A compact bathroom nearby includes a full-sized shower and toiletries. Additionally, the home comes with a kitchenette, which comes with all of the basics to whip up a tasty meal: an oven, a stove, a microwave and a fridge. The master bedroom is located on the sleeping loft, accessible via a narrow staircase. The pitched roof adds extra vertical space for the bedroom, which comes with a plush, king-sized bed and quality linens. Guests to the tiny villa will enjoy a healthy breakfast each morning as well as a 24-hour concierge service. For active travelers, the accommodation also comes with the use of the stand-up paddleboards and fishing gear. + Glamping Hub Images via Glamping Hub

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Sail your cares away in this incredible floating villa near Sydney

‘Salmon Gold’: Apple promises to embrace fish-friendly gold mining

August 19, 2019 by  
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Tech giant will source gold for its gadgets from miners registered under the Salmon Gold partnership, which combines mining with habitat protection for wild salmon.

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‘Salmon Gold’: Apple promises to embrace fish-friendly gold mining

Your favorite playlist has a carbon footprint

May 24, 2019 by  
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You would think streaming music is more eco-friendly than CDs, tapes and records, right? Afterall, there’s no waste. A new study by the Universities of Glasglow and Oslo calculated the carbon footprint associated with downloading and streaming music and the answer is surprising. According to data from 2015 and 2016, music streaming accounted for 200 to 350 million kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions . The study used data records from the Recording Industry Association of America. First, researchers took the total number of streamed and downloaded songs and multiplied it by the amount of electricity it takes to download 1 gigabyte of data. Each gigabyte is equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to light one light bulb for an hour. Next researchers investigated what kind of fuel sources are typically fueling music streaming sites— such as coal or renewable energy — and averaged the carbon dioxide emitted. Related: Music festivals and events can set the stage for sustainability The totals do not reflect the carbon footprint of data storage and processing centers, nor the electricity it takes to power your cellphone or steaming device, so the comprehensive contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is actually much higher than the study initially indicates. Music streaming giant, Spotify, did not respond to The Rolling Stone journalist’s request for comment, but they did publish a sustainability report in 2017, which promised to work toward carbon neutrality. By 2018, the new sustainability report indicated that they had closed almost all of their data centers and reduced their carbon footprint by 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide . In actuality, Spotify shifted to using Google Cloud services, which means that now Google data centers are responsible for the emissions, not that emissions have necessarily been cut. Streaming competitors Apple and Amazon have recently invested in renewable energy options for their centers. Data centers in general are responsible for 2 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to the airline industry. Music lovers who want to be more sustainable should buy full albums rather than streaming individual songs, especially if you plan to hit that repeat button a lot. According to their calculations, streaming 27 songs uses more energy than manufacturing the disc. For those of you who can’t imagine hopping in a time machine and buying a CD again, the authors suggest that downloading songs for offline listening could reduce the associated energy consumption. Via Rolling Stone Image via PhotoMIX-Company

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Your favorite playlist has a carbon footprint

Prada announces a ban on fur

May 24, 2019 by  
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Prada has announced that it will finally ban the use of all fur in future fashion lines. The major fashion company joins a growing list of designers who have been successfully pressured by animal rights advocates to ban fur from their products. Starting in 2020, the company will no longer introduce items with fur, but those currently in circulation will still be available for purchase. Prada’s decision comes as interest in ethical and sustainable fashion mounts among consumers. “The Prada Group is committed to innovation and social responsibility, and our fur-free policy — reached following a positive dialogue with the Fur Free Alliance, in particular with LAV and the Humane Society of the United States — is an extension of that engagement,” head of Prada Miuccia Prada said in a statement . “Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products.” Related: Burberry vows to stop burning unsold clothes and using real fur With this major victory, animal rights groups now plan to focus their attention on urging Prada, as well as other companies, to ban exotic skins, such as alligator and snakeskin items, from future lines. PETA has already purchased enough stock in the fashion company to suggest shareholder resolutions that would allow a vote on the use of exotic skins. Prada has experimented with fur alternatives, including using materials from teddy bear manufacturer Steiff; however, environmentalists also argue that many fur alternatives utilize microplastics , which do not biodegrade and wreak havoc on waterways and marine ecosystems. Via EcoWatch Images via Shutterstock

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Prada announces a ban on fur

Episode 135: Changing the narrative on consumption, Apple’s gang of four

August 10, 2018 by  
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In this episode, how the corporate world can get down to work on plastics, the science of behavioral economics, and how Akamai, Etsy and Swiss Re are benefiting from Apple’s renewable energy procurement strategy.

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Episode 135: Changing the narrative on consumption, Apple’s gang of four

Is vertical farming the future for agriculture or a distraction from other climate problems?

August 10, 2018 by  
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Vertical farming promises a more equitable, resilient food system. But is it just a trend that perpetuates our current problems?

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Is vertical farming the future for agriculture or a distraction from other climate problems?

Holds water: Harvesting rain could help Caribbean countries after hurricanes

August 10, 2018 by  
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A new model of this ancient technology could improve communities’ access to fresh water both after storms and day-to-day.

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Holds water: Harvesting rain could help Caribbean countries after hurricanes

Dramatic fountain and plaza define Foster + Partners newest Apple Store in Milan

July 30, 2018 by  
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Foster + Partners has unveiled images of Milan’s newest Apple Store—and it’s just as strikingly gorgeous as we expected. Building off of Apple’s “Town Square” retail store concept and the city’s legacy of impressive public piazzas, the Apple Piazza Liberty Store features a new public plaza where locals and visitors can gather and enjoy views of a new dramatic fountain. The store is sunken below grade and includes a spacious, light-filled interior with mature live trees set in raised planters. Located off of Corso Vittorio Emanuele, one of the most popular pedestrian streets in the city, Apple Piazza Liberty grabs attention with its stunning fountain made up of two rectilinear pools and vertical water jets. Visitors can observe the fountain from the broad stone steps of the Amphitheater leading down to the sunken Apple Store or enter the fountain through the 26-foot-tall glass-covered entrance enveloped by dramatic views and sounds of cascading water. “[It’s] an immersive recreation of the childhood game of running through fountains, the experience changes throughout the day as sunlight filters through the water, while at night the glass ceiling creates a kaleidoscopic effect, with the water falling down the walls, and its reflections travelling infinitely up the sky,” explain the architects in their press release. Stefan Behling, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners, adds: “The fountain is an expression of child-like excitement that speaks to each one of us. In its simplicity, it echoes the idea of walking into a big fountain without getting wet, and the joy of being alive.” Related: Foster + Partners-designed Apple Store glows like a paper lantern in Macau The fountain’s waterfall effect can be seen below-grade in a second wall of water at the base of the Amphitheater . The Amphitheater steps and surrounding plaza were paved with Beola Grigia, a luminous local stone from Lombardy, and flanked by 21 new Gleditisia Sunburst trees. Inside, the interior is “metaphorically carved from the same stone as the plaza above,” with a stepped ceiling and skylights that let in natural light. + Foster + Partners Images by Nigel Young/ Foster + Partners

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