May 26, 2015
Dark humor. This past weekend on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver did an 18-minute segment on chickens and, in particular, on inhumane chicken farming practices. It’s a hilarious, harrowing 18 minutes—enjoy!
Times Square. Be sure to check out Food & Water Watch’s 15-second film, Factory Farms Make Me Sick: Times Square Edition. Be sure to watch and then tweet your thoughts with hashtag #LoadOfCrap.
More data on antimicrobials. In keeping with the Obama administration’s effort Read More >
May 12, 2015
Lexington Market in Baltimore City. Library of Congress
As recently as 70 years ago, Maryland was virtually food self-sufficient, with local farmers providing nearly all the food staples. Since then, modern agriculture practices, food business models, and improved transportation systems have reduced food prices and provided a much wider variety of fruits and vegetables and processed goods in supermarkets. Trade agreements allowed tariff free imports to lower prices and increase variety even more. For a number of reasons, Maryland farms (and East Coast farms in general) have not been able to compete in a number of food products and acres of those products decreased dramatically by the end of the 20th century. Read More >
May 11, 2015
A visit to CLF, 2015.
Thanks to great partners across the U.S., Meatless Monday is making appearances across the country. I recently met a fantastic group of students from Colby College. These students were visiting Baltimore on an alternative spring break. One of their stops was the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF), and I had the opportunity to share with the students our role as technical adviser to the national Meatless Monday campaign. Colby College already has Meatless Monday on campus because of its great partners Larry Llewellyn and Debbie Knese of Sodexo. I invited one of the students, Luke Andrews, to share with us his experiences in Baltimore and his thoughts about Meatless Monday. Good luck to Luke and all his fellow students as they finish up the semester! Read More >
May 8, 2015
Will this USDA certification be a game-changer for school lunches?
Dietary guidelines. Last week some of the CLF journeyed to Washington and briefed Representative Rosa DeLauro (D–CT) and her staff on the importance of respecting the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendation to consider the impact of dietary choices on environment and sustainability in the 2015 Guidelines. Today is the last day that HHS and USDA are accepting comments from the public on this important matter. To learn more about the briefing and about how to submit a last-minute comment, read this blogpost by our own Claire Fitch.
Tyson on board. Tyson Foods made a big announcement recently, saying they will phase out “human antibiotics” from their broiler chickens over the next two years. This is certainly an important step Read More >
May 6, 2015
UPDATE 5/11/15: By late afternoon Friday, May 8, more than 24,000 comments had been submitted on the recommendations made by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. By comparison, the last iteration of the Dietary Guidelines recommendations, in 2010, collected less than 2,000.
The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) has been involved in ongoing efforts to keep the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendations on lowered meat consumption and sustainability measures in the final 2015 Dietary Guidelines (jointly issued by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, and due out sometime this fall). The extended comment period ends May 8, which means we all have 3 short days to submit a public comment! In case you need some talking points, we’re pasting CLF’s Food System Policy Program’s comment below. Also check out the My Plate, My Planet website to read fact sheets on the Dietary Guidelines (developed here at CLF) and submit your own comment. Read More >
May 5, 2015
Michele Speaks-March and Erich March in the now-closed Apples and Oranges Fresh Market.
There was no way Michele Speaks-March was going to sell chips and soda in her Apples and Oranges Fresh Market, a grocery store she and her husband Erich opened in the North Avenue area of Baltimore in 2013. Her vision was to provide fresh, healthy food to an underserved community, not function as just another corner store that happened to also sell fresh produce. Two years later, her store was no longer in business. Read More >
May 4, 2015
Meatless Monday at Langara College, Vancouver
I am constantly amazed and inspired by the passion and dedication of the next generation to make a difference in this world. This week, we are hearing from a Canadian student named Adam Kelliher who studies at Langara College in Vancouver, British Columbia. Adam founded the Langara Environmental Club and was instrumental in bringing Meatless Monday to campus. Thank you, Adam, for all that you do to protect the planet. ~ Alana
To begin, thank you to my formal instructors at Langara College for teaching me the academic side of environmentalism, and another thank you to the Vancouver community members who have taught me the practical side of environmentalism during my hundreds of hours spent volunteering. You have all been important in the contribution to Meatless Monday on the Langara campus because of the confidence, pride, and wisdom you’ve helped me discover. Read More >
May 1, 2015
Pokhara Pame, Nepal, 2013.
Nepal is heavy on our minds. The earthquake, aftershocks, and avalanches that have ravaged parts of the country since Saturday have led to food and water shortages, displacement, and the potential for disease outbreak. As many have noted, the infrastructure in Nepal was ill-equipped to deal with a disaster of this scale, as half the population lacked access to improved sanitation before these events and poor roads disconnected many remote villages from back-up sources of food and water.
The Nepali Government has predicted Read More >
April 27, 2015
Frances Moore Lappe at EPA event in Durham, NC, April 2015.
Over twenty years ago I read a book that would change my world. Turns out, I wasn’t alone: Diet for a Small Planet, first published in 1971, was a game changer for many of us, including the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s “Cutting Edge Speaker Series” Catherine, who cited the book as reason for going vegetarian 45 years ago.
In fact, Frances Moore Lappe, along with Julia Child, Upton Sinclair, and other luminaries was named by Gourmet Magazine as one of 25 people whose work has changed the way America eats.
Frances’ contribution to the environmental movement is significant. She was one of the first to connect the environmental impact of growing animals for food, focusing particularly on the devastating amount amount of grain and water needed to produce a pound of meat versus equivalent plant proteins directly.
Now, almost half a century after her groundbreaking work was published, Frances continues to challenge Read More >
April 24, 2015
Pigs raised on factory farms are confined in metal and concrete pens with hard slatted flooring. The live here until they reach slaughter weight of 250 pounds at six months old. / Farm Sanctuary
“I can’t even watch those videos.”
That’s the most common response I get when I discuss undercover footage taken by animal advocates on industrial farms. And it’s understandable. It’s painful to watch an animal suffer, especially when you feel helpless to intervene.
But what if you literally couldn’t even watch those videos?
Here’s what: consumers would never have learned about the suffering of mother pigs raised in cages so small they can’t turn around, and the pork industry would not have felt pressure Read More >