Is sustainable agriculture the future, or the past?

February 9, 2019 by  
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The history of our food system isn’t just about food, it’s also about power.

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Is sustainable agriculture the future, or the past?

If you won’t go vegan for yourself, will you do it for Beyonc?

February 6, 2019 by  
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If going vegan to help better the environment does not appeal you, why not try it out for Queen B herself? Beyoncé just announced a new vegan initiative on Instagram, and probably did more for the cause in a single post than anyone has done for in the last decade. Last week, the iconic singer announced the start of The Greenprint Project , which aims to promote veganism with a very special offer from Beyoncé and her husband, JAY-Z. If you try out a plant-based diet through Beyoncé’s program, you have a chance to take home free Beyoncé tickets for the rest of your life. Let that sink in. For all of Beyoncé’s devoted fans around the world, few things would get in the way of scoring such an amazing prize — let alone switching up a diet. The program doesn’t call for a 100 percent vegan diet in order to enter the pool, however, the initiative is to push people out of the norm and to try a plant-based diet for a day or even just a single meal — which is incredible. Related: These are the world’s top vegan cities Even better, allowing people some flexibility in their diet still has tremendous benefits for the environment. Not only is it easier to go vegan for a day or a meal, but millions of people doing this on a weekly basis could really cut down on carbon pollution,  which is precisely what Beyoncé had in mind when she launched the project. “If 100,000,000 of my friends also ate more plant-based meals, we could cut enough carbon emissions equivalent to powering 1,169,169,665 homes for a year,” Beyoncé’s project statement reads. There are a few minor catches to the prize. For starters, the free tickets for life only last up to 30 years, which means you’ll still be able to watch Beyoncé perform until she’s in her late 60s. The lucky winner can also only receive $599 worth of tickets every year. Given how VIP tickets for such events usually cost around $2,000, that won’t get you far. The tickets are non-transferable upon death, but if you are eating a plant-based diet, you probably won’t have to worry about punching out early. Via Grist Image via Shutterstock

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If you won’t go vegan for yourself, will you do it for Beyonc?

How to make a meal out of leftover veggies

February 1, 2019 by  
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Hate seeing that half of an onion go to waste ? What about when you get a little too excited at the farmers market and come home with more veggies than you know what to do with? The U.S. wastes a whopping 30-40 percent of food every year. That’s right, in 2010 the USDA reported that the country threw away 133 billion pounds (or $161 billion worth) of food. You might just be surprised, however, at how many fun, satisfying dishes you can make with tools you already have in the fridge. Inhabitat has compiled a guide for what to do with all of those leftover vegetables in your kitchen, so don’t be afraid to get a little creative. Blend or juice Walk into a kitchen with a good juicer or blender, and the possibilities are truly endless! Save your leftover ends from veggies like carrots, beets or cucumbers to make into a delicious juice for later. The colorful vegetable peels pack a big nutritious punch. When you’ve got leftover leafy greens like spinach or kale, follow this guide for a flawless green smoothie: 1 portion liquid (something like apple juice, orange juice or almond milk) 1 portion greens ½ portion base (plain yogurt or a frozen banana works well) 1 portion of fruit Optional sprinkle of fiber like chia or flax seeds Sweetener to taste (raw honey or agave syrup) Related: Fight food waste with these 11 ways to use leftover greens before they spoil There’s nothing better than a warm bowl of soup when it starts to get chilly outside. Skip the trip to the grocery store (you don’t want to go out in the cold anyway), and throw together a hearty soup with some leftover veggies. Go with the traditional tomato or mushroom soup, or get outside the box with celery , cold asparagus or vegan broccoli cheddar . Follow Alton Brown’s recipe for this healthy mixed vegetable soup, or get creative with your own combination. Basic tomato soup recipe : Chop up some garlic, onion, red bell pepper and tomatoes, toss in olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Roast in the oven together until cooked through and soft. Combine with vegetable broth and use a hand blender to blend everything together. Add herbs, cream or whatever toppings you want! Skewer Grab a wooden or reusable metal skewer and chop up any combination of leftover zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, mushrooms, bell peppers and tomatoes. It will be both colorful and delicious. For even more flavor, marinate the vegetables for 30 minutes to an hour before putting them on kabobs. Break out the food processor Chickpeas, tahini, salt, lemon and olive oil — basic hummus is surprisingly simple to make, and it’s easy to jazz up with other leftover veggies like beets, carrots, peas or sweet potato. Check out this Bon Appetit arsenal of fun hummus recipes for inspiration. Pesto is super versatile. You can add things like roasted tomatoes, pumpkin , zucchini or squash for a unique twist. For a basic recipe, combine basil, garlic, salt/pepper, olive oil, Parmesan cheese (or other hard cheese or nutritional yeast) and any type of nut (traditionally pine nuts are used, but it is just as good with pecans, walnuts and even macadamia nuts). This is the perfect solution for when you buy a whole bunch of basil just to garnish dinner on the night before. Toss the pesto in some pasta, or spread onto a flatbread to make a meal out of it. Related: How to make homemade pesto in gourmet-looking recycled glass jars Bake Another great option is to use the leftover veggies for a healthy(ish) dessert. Grab the grater for some delicious zucchini bread or carrot cake . If you want to go even sweeter, try this recipe for chocolate avocado brownies from Tasty (technically avocado is a fruit, but we felt inclined to give it an honorable mention). Crack an egg For a nutritious breakfast (or dinner, there are no rules), a vegetarian omelet is definitely the way to go. Chop up leftover veggies from the night before, and whisk up some eggs to create the perfect omelet or scramble. If the vegetables are already cooked from dinner last night, even better! If not, saute up the veggies before folding them into the eggs. Pretty much anything goes here in the ingredients department: spinach, tomato, mushroom, squash, asparagus, diced carrot, broccoli, eggplant — you can’t go wrong. Pickle Pickling is a tasty way to add flavor to sandwiches or salads, and you can even eat them by themselves (also a great solution to those pesky recipes that only ask for half an onion). Some options for pickling include onions, heart of palm, peppers, carrots and cucumbers. To make pickling liquid, just heat up some white vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar dissolves. Toss veggies into a heatproof container like a mason jar, and add enough pickling liquid to cover completely. You can also add some extra flavor like dill, peppercorns or bay leaves; just throw them in with the veggies. Make sure everything’s cooled before eating. Related: Preparing pickled and fermented foods Stir fry Simple, satisfying and fast, stir-fry is one of the easiest ways to tackle those leftover veggies. Just fire up the stove, chop, stir and eat. Combine with some soy sauce or hoisin sauce for extra seasoning. If you’ve got some leftover veggies and leftover rice then you’re in luck — leftover rice is preferred when it comes to fried rice (freshly-cooked rice will turn out too soggy). You don’t necessarily have to go with the traditional fried rice vegetables, either. This recipe uses kale and cauliflower. Make Buddha bowls If you’ve been on Pinterest in the last few years, chances are you’ve already come across a picture of a Buddha bowl . Basically, it’s a combination of vegetables, plant-based protein and whole grains, often brightly colored and Instagram-worthy. Use leftover veggies like cucumber, sweet potato, beans, spinach, cabbage, corn, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots or whatever else you have on hand to create one. Check out this collection of yummy Buddha bowl recipes from Buzzfeed. Add a tortilla Throw your leftover veggies in a warm tortilla to make a vegetarian taco. Add a dash (or more) of hot sauce, or sprinkle on some cheese for an extra kick. More hearty vegetables like carrots and peppers work better in a burrito or a quesadilla. Check out these recipes from ohmyveggies for some inspiration. Images via Konstantin Kolosov , Carla Monson , Dagny Walter , Arinaja , Candace Towner and Shutterstock

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How to make a meal out of leftover veggies

Disconnect in this serene tiny home tucked into a coastal sheep farm in New Zealand

February 1, 2019 by  
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Tiny homes around the world offer guests stunning views and relaxing atmospheres, but this studio-style tiny retreat in New Zealand is right up the alley for anyone looking to reconnect with nature. Located in Akara, South Island, the compact, pitched-roof cabin has a floor-to-ceiling glass wall to provide stunning views of the rolling green landscape that leads out to the sea. If that’s not enough, the open-air front patio features a large cedar hot tub for watching the sun go down after a nice day of surfing in the bay. Located just 30 minutes from Akara, South Island, this charming tiny cottage is tucked into a coastal sheep farm just steps away from beautiful Little Akaloa Bay. To get to the property, guests must make their way on a five-minute stroll through scenic native bush. Nestled into the tall trees and rolling green landscape, the tiny home is a welcoming beacon. Related: This geometric cabin in Slovenia is a perfect romantic getaway for nature-lovers The tiny studio sleeps just two people, with a double-sized bed that folds up when not in use. There is a small kitchenette and bathroom. The home is kept warm and toasty during the chilly months thanks to a wood-burning stove. The massive, floor-to-ceiling glass wall looks out from the interior, providing stunning, unobstructed views all day long. Of course, at the heart of the retreat is the outdoor space, which includes an open-air deck. There’s a barbecue grill and small dinette set for meals, as well as plenty of seating and a hammock for just taking in the views. However, the best place to relax in and around the tiny cabin is definitely the round cedar hot tub. The picturesque area is the perfect spot for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts or those simply wanting a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Guests will be able to enjoy the beautiful remote bays that surround the beautiful property by renting the surfboards, paddle boards and fishing equipment available. + Glamping Hub Tiny Home Rental Via Tiny House Talk Images via Glamping Hub  

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Disconnect in this serene tiny home tucked into a coastal sheep farm in New Zealand

How Safe Is Your Food?

February 1, 2019 by  
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one … The post How Safe Is Your Food? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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How Safe Is Your Food?

8 of the best fruits and vegetables you can eat in their entirety

January 31, 2019 by  
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In the United States, approximately 40 percent of food is never eaten. Not only does this food waste damage your pocketbook, but it also has a major environmental impact. Changing your food habits is a great way to do your part in the battle against food waste. Shopping smarter, eating leftovers, improving food storage and donating to food banks are great ideas for reducing food waste. There is one obvious move you can make that many people don’t realize — you can stop throwing out parts of your fruits and veggies . Strawberries This fruit is a beloved summer treat that you can eat by itself, or as an addition to salads and desserts. Even though chefs remove the stems and leaves by coring strawberries when they add them to various dishes, those parts are actually edible. A strawberry’s leaves and stem are filled with health benefits . They are a natural digestive aid, and the leaves also have vitamins that can help with arthritis. According to Live Strong, “Strawberry leaves contain tannins, bio-molecules that bind to proteins, amino acids, alkaloids and other compounds with a low pH that may place excess stress on your digestive system. Strawberry leaves may help alleviate an upset stomach, and reduce symptoms of nausea, bloating, stomach cramps and diarrhea.” If you want to use strawberry leaves, try brewing them in a tea or blending them in a smoothie. Carrots Have you ever thought about eating the leafy green tops of carrots? If you have heard that carrot tops are poisonous, that’s not true. Yes, a carrot’s leafy green top can be bitter, but it is also full of delicious nutrients. You can actually eat carrot tops raw in a salad mix. But because they are bitter, you should probably blanch them first. Another option is to saute the tops with other greens in olive oil and garlic or cook them into a soup. You can do the same thing with other root vegetables like beets, turnips and radishes. Potatoes The skin of a potato is where you will find a lot of the vegetable’s natural nutrition. Both the skin and flesh are filled with micronutrients. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, the skin has just as much Vitamin B, Vitamin C and niacin as the flesh. Additionally, the skins are a major source of iron, potassium and magnesium. Related: Follow this diet for both personal and planetary health Kale You might think that kale stems aren’t nearly as good as the leaves, and you are right. However, with a little work , you can make kale stems — which are full of fiber — quite tasty. Since the stems are tough and chewy, you don’t want to eat them raw. So, first you want to blanch them. Blanching is a process where you scald the kale stems in boiling hot water before plunging it into ice water. Next, saute or stir-fry the stems to make them easier to chew. You could also opt to fry, char or pickle your stems, and then add them to rice, salads or casseroles. Cauliflower This superfood is extremely versatile and loaded with vitamins. The florets aren’t the only edible part of this vegetable . You can also eat the stems and leaves . To be honest, the stem’s skin is quite tough, so peeling and discarding that does make sense. Try adding the stems and leaves to stock and soups, or grate them for salads and slaw. Pumpkin Every part of a pumpkin is edible . That means you can eat the flowers , leaves, stems, seeds and flesh, and each type of pumpkin has its own unique flavor. Related: How to cook a whole pumpkin (seeds, guts and all) Pumpkin flowers have a sweet, earthy flavor and you can eat them straight off the plant if you have them growing in your garden. You can also add pumpkin flowers to salads or chop them up and make them a garnish. You can use pumpkin leaves in recipes that call for spinach or another heavy winter green, and pumpkin seeds are a tasty, nutritious snack when you fry them in oil and add a little salt. Not to mention, the pumpkin flesh can easily be pureed and added to a variety of dishes and drinks. Watermelon Watermelon is 98 percent water and filled with vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and other nutrients. The pink fruit is delicious, but you can also eat the rind . Some studies show that eating watermelon rind can help lower blood pressure, improve athletic performance and help men avoid prostate cancer and boost their libido. You can pickle your watermelon rind, turn it into a jelly or grate it for coleslaw. Related: The Wally Shop is bringing zero-waste grocery delivery to Brooklyn Swiss Chard Kale gets all the love when it comes to healthy eating , but don’t forget about Swiss Chard.  You might know it as leaf beet, silverbeet, spinach beet, Roman kale or strawberry spinach. No matter what you call it, this superfood is nutrient dense, low in calories and high in essential vitamins and minerals. Not to mention, the best thing is that nothing goes to waste as you can eat the small leaves, stems and all. However, you will probably want to trim the larger ones because they are more fibrous. The texture of Swiss Chard is similar to celery, so you can use it in cooking the same way. Also, when eating it raw, you can use it as a substitute for spinach or kale. Images via Free-Photos , Pezibear , StockSnap , eKokki , ulleo , JACLOU-DL , Vivacia , urbanfoodie33

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8 of the best fruits and vegetables you can eat in their entirety

The world is close to annihilation according to the iconic Doomsday Clock

January 31, 2019 by  
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The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board has announced that the iconic Doomsday Clock is remaining at two minutes to midnight because of the dangers of climate change and the lack of progress on nuclear risks. Midnight on Doomsday is a symbolic point of annihilation and has reached the familiar point it was once in at the peak of the Cold War in 1953. The Science and Security Board made the decision to keep the clock in its current standing with the Board of Sponsors — which includes 14 Nobel Laureates — and have dubbed the situation as “the new abnormal.” In addition to climate change and nuclear risks, another factor in the decision was “the increased use of information warfare.” “It is still two minutes to midnight. Humanity now faces two simultaneous existential threats, either of which would be cause for extreme concern and immediate attention. These major threats — nuclear weapons and climate change  — were exacerbated this past year by the increased use of information warfare to undermine democracy around the world, amplifying risk from these and other threats and putting the future of civilization in extraordinary danger,” read the 2019 Doomsday Clock statement. The statement went on to say that this “new abnormal” is unsustainable and extremely dangerous, but nonetheless, the power to improve the severity of the situation remains in the hands of world leaders. The clock can move away from catastrophe if leaders act under pressure from engaged citizens. Related: Is the Green New Deal the all-inclusive climate plan we need? Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , says that they are describing a frightening reality and the clock is the closest it has ever been to an apocalypse and should be recognized as a stark warning by all leaders and citizens of the world. The 2019 Doomsday Clock statement emphasized #RewindtheDoomsdayClock and recommended multiple action steps be taken. They included U.S. and Russian leaders resolving their differences over the INF treaty, adopting measures to prevent peacetime military incidents on the NATO borders and American citizens demanding climate action from their government . Other recommendations were for countries around the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to reach the temperature goal of the Paris climate agreement and for the Trump administration to revisit their decision to exit the plan for limiting Iran’s nuclear program. Via Bulletin.org Image via Shutterstock

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The world is close to annihilation according to the iconic Doomsday Clock

Shark fins still being sold in US restaurants amid ban

January 24, 2019 by  
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Shark finning has sparked numerous controversies for the horrible act of animal cruelty that has led to the banning of shark finning in 12 U.S. states. However, the ban is so difficult to effectively enforce that some restaurants in at least 10 of the states still manage to have shark fins on their menus, and some are starting to question if the ban is worth it. Shark finning — the act of slicing fins off live sharks and throwing the wounded shark into the ocean , where they sink and eventually die of suffocation and blood loss — became illegal in U.S. waters back in 2000. Yet, shark fins have been making their way to the states from countries that don’t ban the practice and catch sharks. Although the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington D.C. — who supports the national shark fin ban — updates their yearly list of establishments that serve shark fin soup, restaurants are still featuring the infamous soup on the their menus. According to National Geographic ,  shark fin soup is a “status dish in Asian countries” and has a long history dating back to the Song Dynasty. Currently, the soup is traditionally served at wedding receptions as a sign of respect for guests. Related: Nine more states join seismic blasting lawsuit against the Trump administration The “luxury dish” is prepared by boiling the shark fins and removing the skin and meat. The softened protein fiber that is left behind is then shredded and put into the soup. Trying to ban this item from restaurants is proving to be a major problem for U.S. enforcement agencies due to understaffing. Not to mention, making a case against shark fin vendors can be difficult since the trade is mostly underground, like illegal drugs. “I know it’s going on, I know it’s out there,” says San Francisco marine warden William O’Brien. “But it’s a very private matter — it’s not the kind of thing that, you know, people are selling to the public.” To make matters worse, the fines and jail sentences for violating the ban are usually light and don’t deter the practice. Via National Geographic Images via Shutterstock

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Global warming to blame for insect collapse in Puerto Rican rainforest

January 23, 2019 by  
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35 years ago, scientist Brad Lister left the Puerto Rican Luquillo rainforest after studying the arthropods of the region. He left an area that had a thriving insect population that provided food for all of the birds in the national park. But, when he returned in 2018, Lister and his colleague, Andres Garcia, made a shocking discovery — 98 percent of the ground insects had vanished. “We knew that something was amiss in the first couple days,” Lister told The Guardian. “We were driving into the forest, and at the same time both Andres and I said: ‘Where are all the birds?’ There was nothing.” According to Lister’s study , published in October 2018, 80 percent of the insects in the leafy canopy were gone, and on the ground, 98 percent of the insects had disappeared. The believed culprit? Global warming. Lister noticed the huge decline as insects barely covered the sticky ground and canopy plates in the rainforest, and recalled the long hours it used to take to pick them off.  But now, after twelve hours in the forest, there were maybe one or two insects trapped on the plates. Related: Farming insects too much too fast could create an environmental disaster “It was a true collapse of the insect populations in that rainforest,” Lister said. “We began to realize this is terrible– a very, very disturbing result.” Lister’s study is one of a handful of recent studies about the decline of  insect population, and the results are “hyper-alarming” according to experts. In Germany’s natural reserves, the number of flying insects has plummeted 75 percent in the last 25 years. A lack of insects due to drought and heat in the Australian eucalyptus forest has been blamed for the disappearance of birds. Lister and Garcia also studied the insect numbers in a dry forest in Mexico, and found an 80 percent insect collapse within the last three decades. Scientists call the crash of insect numbers a significant development and an “ecological Armageddon” as they are a vital part of the foundation of the food chain. Via The Guardian Image via Shutterstock

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Global warming to blame for insect collapse in Puerto Rican rainforest

GoSun unveils solar cooker that lets you serve up some sizzling meals at night

January 22, 2019 by  
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San Francisco-based GoSun has become synonymous for their ground-breaking solar-powered cookers that use nothing more than sunlight to cook entire meals. Now, the company has just unveiled two new game-changing products at this year’s CES event , the GoSun Fusion, a solar stove capable of cooking day or night, and the GoSun Chill, a solar refrigerator system that can keep food and beverages cold without using a drop of fuel. Using the company’s patented solar cooking technology, the GoSun Fusion is a solar hybrid portable oven built with a solar-electric heating system. The vacuum tube technology used in the cooker is innovative, not only for its use of solar energy to cook meals, but because it allows users to cook at night, during thick cloud cover and even in heavy rainfall. Even in extremely cold temperatures, the grill can reach up to 550°F while remaining cool to touch. Related: Portable SolSource Sport solar stove heats up 5X faster than a charcoal grill The innovative design is a ground-breaking system for outdoor enthusiasts or for nomadic travelers living on the road. Not only is it great for camping, boating, etc., but it’s ability to quickly cook for a family of five in almost any circumstances makes it a reliable and incredibly practical product. The Fusion also offers an optional app compatibility thermometer to help alert the users when their food is fully cooked. In addition to the new solar cooker , the company also unveiled a new solar-powered cooler, freezer and charging system. The GoSun Chill is a portable solar table with attachable photovoltaic panels and a lightweight, compact battery system. The cooling system runs on the lithium battery pack, enabling users to keep their food and beverages cool for long periods of time without the need for ice. + GoSun Images via GoSun  

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