by Emily Lee in Community, April 21st, 2017
by Emily Lee in How-to, April 22nd, 2016
Is it just me, or does Earth Day have a way of making people feel fundamentally bad about themselves? It’s like January 1st all over again, except this time it’s not my holiday belly I’m scrutinizing — it’s my plastic consumption, or my less-than-conscientious water usage. (I’m not one for long showers, but I am guilty of sometimes letting the faucet run while I brush my teeth.) Just like with New Year’s resolutions, I set myself up for failure by raising the bar for improvement too impossibly high. This will be the year I start walking to work every day! This will be the year I always remember my reusable bags at the grocery store! But alas, walking isn’t possible in all weather, and trips to the grocery store are often spontaneous — and I don’t always have a trio of large canvas totes on hand. The real irony is that I probably laid out one of my elaborate energy-saving schemes while munching on a lightly bruised apple, destined for the trash after just six or seven bites.
We all want an A for effort, but reducing one’s carbon footprint goes well beyond tossing plastic to-go cups in the correct bin. I know that now, after reading how 40 percent of all food in America goes to waste — and specifically, to our landfills. It seems unreal; you wouldn’t slave over a gorgeous meal only to dump 40 percent of it into the trash. (You wouldn’t dream of running your shower for two hours either, but that’s how much water goes into making a pound of cheese.) What’s more is that this waste adds up to $162 billion in unnecessary water, energy and production costs each year. Much as I would love to blame it all on restaurants and large corporations, the hard truth is that it’s individual consumers like you and me who throw out 20 percent of the food we buy, which translates to nearly 300 pounds of food per year! Don’t believe it? Just ask Anthony Bourdain, the most-influential voice of the current food waste conversation.
by Allison Milam in How-to, April 22nd, 2014
This Earth Day, food recovery is the hot topic on everyone’s docket — and for good reason. Recent research from the USDA revealed that over one-third (30 to 40 percent) of our food supply goes to waste each year, while studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency show that we could feed over 25 million Americans living in food-insecure homes if we were to reduce food waste by just 15 percent.
In light of these figures, there are now a number of programs dedicated to food recovery. Just last September, the USDA and the EPA teamed up to tackle the nation’s food waste epidemic and announced the first-ever national food waste reduction goal: To cut food waste in half by 2030. It may sound lofty, but the organizations have already seen great success with their joint U.S. Food Waste Challenge, which provides a platform “to assess and disseminate information about the best practices to reduce, recover, and recycle food loss and waste.” By the end of 2014, the challenge had over 4,000 participants, well surpassing its goal of 1,000 participants by 2020 — and also proving that you don’t need to be a political ecologist or a policymaker to affect positive change.
by Amy Reiter in News, April 22nd, 2014
When Earth Day falls smack-dab in the middle of your spring-cleaning efforts, don’t think of it as a mere coincidence. Believe it or not, the key to a cleaner, happier home can’t be found in a name-brand aerosol spray from the store. Instead, take on a little do-it-yourself project and make nontoxic household cleaning supplies with items probably already in your home.
Having an all-purpose cleaning spray on deck is probably the most-basic way to keep your home fresh and clean. Before you grab something store-bought, try this: Stir 1/2 cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda into 1/2 gallon water and transfer to a spray bottle. You can use this stuff almost anywhere except marble or granite.
For more ways to keep your house spick-and-span, be sure to refer to our list of home cleaning supplies. Using natural ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda and more to clean will make your household — and environment — a whole lot happier.
Heading to the supermarket? With these 6 tips from the top eco-experts, it’s easy to go green and eat healthy.
by Maria Russo in Holidays, Recipes, April 20th, 2012
Happy Earth Day: Today, in case you were unaware, is Earth Day. And if you’re looking for a way to celebrate it, you might consider hosting an Earth Dinner. Plan a meal that focuses on local, seasonal and organic ingredients, then learn as much as you can about your food — where it comes from, who farmed it, the history of the ingredients and the dishes you’re making from those ingredients. Then try to engage your guests — or your family — in a conversation about food and sustainability. You can download a booklet containing great discussion questions — “What’s your earliest food memory?” or “Describe your spiciest food experience,” for instance — an “Earth Dinner Toolkit” and other information here. [EarthDinner.org via Living Green Magazine]
Hard Facts About Food Texture: Texture may play a bigger role in how we consume food — and mess up our diets — than many of us realize. The authors of a new study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, examined “the link between how a food feels in your mouth and the amount we eat, the types of food we choose, and how many calories we think we are consuming.” Participants in five studies were given foods to taste that were hard, soft, rough or smooth. Then the participants were asked to estimate the calorie content. One study found that people who were not asked about calorie count who were given soft brownies ate more of them than those given hard brownies, but people who were asked about calorie content ate more hard brownies than soft ones. “Understanding how the texture of food can influence calorie perceptions, food choice, and consumption amount can help nudge consumers towards making healthier choices,” the authors conclude. [EurekAlert via Tech Times]
Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22, and with that comes the chance to rethink our approach to clean, smart eating and cooking. This weekend and into the spring season, try to incorporate more wholesome, plant-based foods into your everyday meals. Joining the Meatless Monday movement is an easy way to lower your intake of animal products — just eat meat-free one day a week, Monday or any other. In celebration of Earth Day, we’ve rounded up a collection of natural recipes that feature fresh, seasonal ingredients like carrots, potatoes, rhubarb and more, so that you can enjoy what you’re eating and feel good about it too.
If you can’t find rainbow carrots like those pictured above, stick with the classic orange beauties when preparing Food Network Magazine’s Coriander-Glazed Carrots, made with fresh citrus, crushed coriander seeds and a sprinkle of cilantro. This quick-cooking side dish complements simply roasted seafood, grilled chicken and more.