October 7, 2014
Aquaponics survey respondents, 2014
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future have conducted one of the first large-scale international surveys of aquaponics practitioners. For those who’ve noticed the buzz around aquaponics, the findings are not surprising. First of all, more than 800 people responded to the voluntary survey, which in itself demonstrates enthusiasm. Second, the results show that most respondents are new to the field, and third, that most of them are practicing as hobbyists. The survey has uncovered a couple of big themes in the field of aquaponics: enthusiasm and Read More >
October 6, 2014
Today the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health honors CLF Director Bob Lawrence with a scientific symposium. Bob announced his plans to step down earlier this year. The symposium is available via live-streaming.
Bob at the helm / 2014
I met Bob at a think-tank organized by the Kellogg Foundation in 2001, and we took to each other immediately, because we recognized each other as fellow catastroptimists—people who are determined to remain positive and look for a way out and forward no matter how bad things look.
I was managing the Toronto Food Policy Council at the time and was feeling my oats about all the positive and empowering things that could be done with food at the city and community level. But I was also looking desperately for someone more prestigious than I was to promote that message—which required a shift in outlook on the part of good food advocates, as well as a leap of faith about city leaders who weren’t exactly falling over themselves to prove their relevance to this area.
But Bob was willing to give this approach a try.
I have to say it saved my sorry butt. Read More >
October 6, 2014
Sarasota, Fla., schools to go meatless on Mondays
Most people are unable to reduce their vehicle miles traveled (VMT) overnight to protect the environment and slow climate change. You have to get the kids to school, the dog to daycare, and yourself to work. What if there was another way to tackle climate change while improving your health? Great news! There is! Add a meat-free day to your week. Eating differently is a way to address climate change one bite at a time.
While we can’t or might not want to give up our cars this very instant, we CAN choose one day each week to fill our plates with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans instead of meat. Recent research Read More >
October 3, 2014
News from the FDA on drug use in food animals. Yesterday, October 2, The FDA made an announcement about how the agency presents data about the drugs sold for use in food animal production. This is from the FDA’s news release: “Additional data tables have been added to this latest 2012 report to provide more detailed information and to improve transparency, and the same tables have also been added to the summary reports for the previous years (2009-2011).” As for the report itself, the data reveal that over the last four years there has been a 16 percent jump Read More >
September 26, 2014
Hoophouse at Strength to Love Farm / 2014
In the renaissance that is urban agriculture, we’re seeing romantic stories pop up everywhere. There’s beekeeping on rooftops, neighborhood compost piles, and community gardens tilled by schoolchildren. There are open spaces with vegetable stands and horseshoe courts, and tucked-away farm lots in the heart of the city where Dominiques and Araucanas strut their stuff.
But there’s another side of urban agriculture that’s far more tedious than romantic—the legal side. As soon as the spade hits the soil, there are issues best addressed by an attorney. But farmers, don’t fret. Last Friday, the Community Law Center hosted the 2014 Urban Agriculture Law Conference at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, which has projects involving urban soil safety, urban foraging, aquaponics, food-and-farm mapping, and Read More >
September 25, 2014
On September 10 I wrote a blogpost in which I questioned language used by Perdue Chicken in their announcement about removing antibiotics from hatcheries and removing “human antibiotics” from feed. My main question concerned whether the company would be refraining from using drugs used for humans, or classes of drugs used for humans. This is an important distinction when talking about antibiotic resistance, and the answer I was hoping to hear is that Perdue was swearing off entire classes of drugs used for humans. Read More >
September 24, 2014
People’s Climate March / Sept. 21, 2014
Environmental advocates from around the globe convened this week to participate in Climate Week NY°C. International activists and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future were there to discuss progress and future plans for Meatless Mondays campaigns in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, South Africa, South Korea, and Taiwan.
On Sunday, the group participated in the People’s Climate March. By eating less meat, you can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is critical to fighting climate change. Use your fork Read More >
September 23, 2014
People’s Climate March / Sept. 21, 2014
“To change everything we need everyone.” The rallying cry for Sunday’s People’s Climate March in New York City captured the mobilization’s spirit perfectly. From the natural environment to the built environment, from our political system to the food system, so much has to be changed to confront what has been rightly called the biggest challenge facing our generation. With such a monumental task, it is no wonder the march’s organizers spent months reaching out to every segment of society, convincing them that climate justice was a cause that united all causes. Read More >
September 22, 2014
Between 300,000 and 400,000 people marched through the streets of New York City on Sunday, calling for world leaders to make radical policy changes to address the climate change crisis.
Read More >
September 19, 2014
Texas schools go meatless on Mondays
Meatless fiasco. Twelve days ago, on September 7, the Austin American-Statesman published an alarmist op-ed by the Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, Todd Staples. In the op-ed, Mr. Staples bemoaned that some Texas school districts had adopted Meatless Mondays for some of their campuses. The Commissioner wrote that the districts were “irresponsible,” and that he was “very concerned” about this “activist movement” that would force an “agenda-driven diet” and their lifestyles onto unwitting pupils. Controversy ensued, and now it seems that Mr. Staples has been hoisted by his own petard. Yesterday he announced Read More >