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Welcome once again for another week's round-up of eco-foodie news, tips, links & recipes. Each week I glean tasty bits from the various blogs & sites I follow outside of the Kos-verse and bring them together here for your perusal. If you have a good tasty bit to share let us know about it in the comments!

And here is this week's culinary curiosity!
What is this?


Vertical Farming: Can Urban Agriculture Feed a Hungry World?

Vertical farming is an old idea. Indigenous people in South America have long used vertically layered growing techniques, and the rice terraces of East Asia follow a similar principle. But, now, a rapidly growing global population and increasingly limited resources are making the technique more attractive than ever.

Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables Mark Bittman in the NYTimes

Rather than subsidizing the production of unhealthful foods, we should turn the tables and tax things like soda, French fries, doughnuts and hyperprocessed snacks. The resulting income should be earmarked for a program that encourages a sound diet for Americans by making healthy food more affordable and widely available.

Some advocates for the poor say taxes like these are unfair because low-income people pay a higher percentage of their income for food and would find it more difficult to buy soda or junk. But since poor people suffer disproportionately from the cost of high-quality, fresh foods, subsidizing those foods would be particularly beneficial to them.

Fast food -- and other pre-prepared foods -- linked to spike in kids' calories

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assessed the food intake of nearly 30,000 children between 1977 and 2006 using four surveys. They found that children are consuming 179 more daily calories now than they were in the late 1970s -- and that the increase is driven mostly by food eaten outside the house.

(h/t to Patric Juillet) Fears rise over French "killer seaweed" that left 15 wild boar dead

The carcasses of five wild boar were discovered on a beach in Brittany yesterday, reigniting fears that "killer" seaweed, generated by farm pollution could pose a threat to human health on the north Breton coast this summer.
Studies have concluded that the weed, though present naturally, has been prompted to swell to gigantic proportions by the nitrogen flowing into estuaries from intensive pig and cereals farms in central Brittany.

African land grabs threaten food security

"People are always saying that Africa needs to feed itself. It can't do that if the Chinese and the Saudis are taking up the best land for production for food," Danielle Nierenberg, director of Worldwatch's Nourishing the Planet project, told Reuters.
The International Food Policy Research Institute reports that 15 million to 20 million hectares of land in sub-Saharan Africa have been purchased by foreign investors between 2006 and mid-2009.

3.5m Kenyans will need food aid-UN

The United Nations has estimated that the number of Kenyans who will need food aid because of drought will rise to 3.5m by September.
More than 11m people are going hungry in an area that covers parts of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.
'The most affected districts are in northern and northeastern Kenya, where food insecurity is expected to reach crisis levels in August and September,' said Aeneas Chuma, the UN's Humanitarian Coordinator for Kenya.

You can read more Dkos discussion and coverage of this issue in boatsie's recent diary here.

2011 Meat-Eaters Guide to Climate Change
This brochure from the Environmental Working Group is a guide to reducing your impact through reducing your meat consumption and guiding you to better ecological choices for when you do choose to eat meat. You can download and print the PDF or order full color brochures at the link. And beach babe in fl has a diary up with lots of snippets from the guide here: They Moved The Cheese

A birth control pill. . .for dogs?

It's in the works. Along with SenesTech, a biotech company that specializes in "humane animal population management," Arizona scientist Dr. Loretta Mayer has developed Chemspay, a doggy contraceptive that is administered once orally or via injection, and induces menopause in an animal. In trials conducted between 2004 and 2008, the drug significantly reduced the number of eggs in test dogs, thus rendering them unable to have puppies.

Big Retailers Make Pledge of Stores for ‘Food Deserts’

Executives from Wal-Mart, Walgreens, SuperValu and other stores joined Michelle Obama at the White House on Wednesday to announce a pledge to open or expand a combined 1,500 stores in communities that have limited access to nutritious food and are designated as “food deserts.”

Walgreens, the Illinois-based retailer with more than 7,000 stores, pledged to reach 4.8 million people in such areas by turning 1,000 of its locations into “food oasis stores” that will sell fruit, vegetables and other groceries that they do not typically stock.

Wal-Mart said it would open or expand food sections in 275 to 300 stores by 2016, employing an estimated 40,000 people. SuperValu, which owns many regional grocery chains like Jewel-Osco and ACME, will open 250 new Save-A-Lot stores in five years.

And for a nice counterpoint to the above:
But, Michelle, Walmart IS a "Food Desert"

It’s wonderful that our First Lady wants to eliminate food deserts in low-income neighborhoods but enabling corporations built on exploitation like Walmart is not the way to go about it.

A much better way might be to discourage further usury of the people in these areas outright; then to invest to repair infrastructure, to create local land use opportunity, to educate local food business people to grow, process and sell “good food” independently, and to invest with appropriate low-interest loans.

Home & Garden

The Cult of the Big Green Egg

Now, more than 2,000 retailers across the nation stock Big Green Eggs, the brand of ceramic kamados that Mr. Fisher eventually developed, with sales, he said, growing by more than 20 percent every year for the past two decades.

More than a dozen competitors have entered the market, latching onto a customer base that proselytizes as well as cooks. Sometimes known as Eggheads, devotees are sold on manufacturers’ claims that kamado grills light faster than other grills, require less charcoal and hold and distribute heat more evenly, and that meats cooked on them are more moist and succulent.

Herb Garden & Drying Herbs

Clean baked-on gunk from pans with dryer sheets

Washing Dishes by Hand Can Use Less Water Than a Dishwasher

A Cost Comparison of Home Laundry and Laundromats

Medford beer soap redefines "suds"

Futoran began brewing up batches of beer soap for Internet sale nearly four years ago and began selling her wares at local stores in May. Her Soap Dreams revenue has surpassed the soap-making supply business that augmented her income, allowing her to ditch a part-time job.
Just as beer can be flavored with berries or malts, she's manufacturing more than two-dozen types of bars, such as Irish Moss and Tobacco, Cardamom, Bergamot Charcoal, Dirt and Dragons Breath, Coffee Grounds and Guinness.
"Luckily, because of the supply shop," she said, "I can use any kind of scent I want and it's a lot more fun that way. I hope in the future to narrow it down to about 12 or so (scents)."
Soap Dream products are available at and the supply shop at

Sustainable Grass Seed

Renting a House as a Vacation Option

Bathroom Inspiration: Make a Tile Mosaic

DIY project: solid perfume pocketwatch locket


Fresh chickpea salad with red onion, parsley and lemon

Corn and black bean salsa

Quinoa: the perfect picnic grain 2 lovely recipes for quinoa based salads: one with black beans and grilled zucchini and one with summer fruits.

Eric Ripert's Ratatouille

Sauced: Sweet Mango Chutney

Watermelon Gazpacho

Roasted Corn Chowder

Charred corn tacos with zucchini-radish slaw

Good, Holy Heck Portabella Burgers

Marinated Perilla Leaves

Perilla is actually the term for a number of different species of plants in the mint family. The Japanese use shiso, which is smaller and mintier than the broad, rounded perilla leaves favored by the Koreans.

The flavor of perilla, grassy with notes of anise or licorice, is pleasing like any other herb. The real advantage is their size. You can do more with the bigger leaves than just chop them up and use them as a garnish (though doing so is perfectly acceptable and delicious).

Tagliatelle with zucchini flower pistou

Cheese and sesame flatbreads

Really easy gojiberry ginger scones

Gluten-free: White chocolate blueberry oatmeal cookies

And that is our weekly plateful of tasty bits! Thanks for stopping by!

Originally posted to Environmental Foodies on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 03:24 PM PDT.

Also republished by Living Simply.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    Man has here two and a half minutes -- one to smile, one to sigh, and a half for love: for in the midst of this minute he dies. - Jean Paul

    by ninkasi23 on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 03:24:50 PM PDT

  •  Is the wazzis a spice grater? (5+ / 0-)

    That's the only idea I have.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:18:46 PM PDT

    •  You are close enough;) (4+ / 0-)

      Boy, it's a quiet eve 'round here, no? Everyone must be out enjoying a summer's evening or stressing about the debt ceiling:(

      It is an antique Chinese vegetable grater & peeler!

      Man has here two and a half minutes -- one to smile, one to sigh, and a half for love: for in the midst of this minute he dies. - Jean Paul

      by ninkasi23 on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:21:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some of us were away (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        (lucky ones). But I came home to find this nice news in my email box. Feel free to use it next week - I'm not usually around here much midweek.

        From the Office of [New York City] Councilmember Brad Lander                

        Dear Neighbor,

        I hope you are hungry, because today is a good day for New Yorkers who care about their food. We’ve learned a lot recently about the importance of improving our food system, supporting regional farms and businesses, and making sure that everyone has access to fresh, healthy food. I wanted to share some recent developments that bring us closer to that goal.

        New laws for City food purchasing
        This afternoon, the City Council passed a series of bills that will support nearby farmers and help make our food a bit healthier, for our families and our environment. These new laws require the City to set an example in its food purchasing (our City government buys a lot of food):

            Buy local (452-A): Agencies such as Parks and Recreation and the Police Department, will now prioritize food that is grown, harvested, or processed in our region – so we’ll support local farmers and businesses, and reduce long-range truck trips.
            Reduce waste (461-A): This new law directs City officials to reduce the use of wasteful packaging for purchased food, so we’ll send less garbage to landfills.
            Understand our impact (615-A): If we want to make our food healthier and more environmentally friendly over the long-term, we need to know how much we are eating, where our food comes from, and what are the associated impacts. Under this bill, the City will produce annual reports on food purchased by the City (including the Department of Education, the largest purchaser).
            Call on Albany to do the same (627): This bill would urge the New York State Legislature to reform the State’s food purchasing guidelines and allow New York City to take further steps to support local farmers.

        These reforms will help the environment and support our local economy – and just make good budget sense. I was pleased to be a co-sponsor these bills and applaud the efforts of Speaker Quinn, Councilmember Gale Brewer, and the rest of the Council in making them law.

        Youth-run greenmarket in Kensington/Windsor Terrace
        Here in the 39th District, we have also been working hard to make fresh, healthy food more accessible to all residents, including neighborhoods like Kensington, where residents petitioned for a greenmarket.  Earlier this month, I partnered with GrowNYC to bring a greenmarket run by high school students to Kensington/Windsor Terrace. On Saturdays, local students are selling fresh-off-the-farm fruits and vegetables that offer healthier and more affordable food options for our community.

        Please support the efforts of these local teens. The Youthmarket will be open every Saturday through October 29th, from 9 AM to 3 PM, on Fort Hamilton Parkway between E. 4th and E. 5th (in front of the Windsor Terrace branch of the Brooklyn Public Library). I would like to thank those who have made the Youthmarket a success: our partners, GrowNYC and Family Cook Productions; the sponsors, Brancaccio's Food Shop, Brooklyn Commune, Food Town, New York Methodist Hospital, Sustainable Kensington/Windsor Terrace; our energetic volunteers, Veronica Guzman and Laura Duffy; and especially the young people themselves.

        More gardens in our public schools
        Over the past year we have worked to expand the conversation about bringing healthier food choices into our schools – including our “School Food Rocks” conference, where parents and school leaders discussed how to bring school gardens and healthier food to their schools. I was also proud to be able to direct funding this year for community organizers with the Brooklyn Food Coalition to expand the work of parents and teachers.

        These school food efforts are already paying off. Schools have added salad bars, strengthened nutrition programs, and expanded healthy meal options. And we just got the great news that six schools in our district won grants from GrowNYC for their school gardens: PS 29, PS 107, PS 154, PS 230, PS 321, and the John Jay High School Alternative Learning Center.

        The students at these schools have been getting their hands dirty, planting, watering, and harvesting food in their schoolyards. I am proud to see students, teachers, and parents at our schools providing an example of how school gardens can enrich the education and nutrition of our children.

        I’m glad that we are taking some good steps to follow their example.


        I responded with thanks and urging to keep Walmart out of the City.

        The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

        by sidnora on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 12:16:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks sidnora! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Last week was unusually quiet so you may not have been the only one who was away!

          Man has here two and a half minutes -- one to smile, one to sigh, and a half for love: for in the midst of this minute he dies. - Jean Paul

          by ninkasi23 on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 04:09:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  So what is the atrange implement? (4+ / 0-)

    A vegetable peeler?

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