Thursday, March 8, 2012

Here's What I've Found in the News This Past Week!

Peruvian potatoes - from Parque de la Papa (Potato Park), a Peruvian agro-ecotourism project...
(the original pic is not on the page, but was accessed from a site called Milkwood Permaculture)

WOW! I've been food/ethics searching all week! All of this should get you talking! The picture is explained below, but aren't these potatoes beautiful?!

  • Scary things in our food (so what's new?!). But wait, this may bring on the gag reflex just a little!
  • The caramel color in colas is carcinogenic (cancer causing), and changes are on the way. Of course, our European neighbors have already taken measures on this. Your colas may look a little lighter soon. Check out the info here!
  • The Humane Society of the United States is an interesting site. Check out the picture of pigs in gestation crates. Some of you have blogged on changes taking place with this aspect of factory farming. You'll also find some pretty cute pictures, especially ones of a pig and dog hanging out together!
  • A disturbing article on Pepsi and their use of aborted fetus cells in their creation of a new Pepsi product called "Next" has been circulating. I checked around to make sure everything was factual and actually found a more balanced but equally disturbing article from Forbes. Apparently, just like the Henrietta Lacks issue (see here), cell lines from an aborted fetus from several decades ago have been replicated and used for many things, not the least of which is food production. I include an in-depth article from The National Catholic Register on companies using these aborted fetus cells for many things, including medical treatment and cosmetics.
  • Finally, on the issue of the loss of plant diversity, check out the Potato Park (Peru) and scroll down and read about the efforts underway to save the diversity of potatoes! Note my picture above. Many of these potatoes are being placed in food and ice arks to preserve them against Doomsday catastrophes, which unfortunately include some of our own irresponsible practices. :(
Get into the news! Protect your health and choose to be a good steward! I'll be reading your blogs this weekend, and I hope you are reading each others' because I'll know soon enough. ;)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wow! Great Site and an Idea for a Blog Final!
"untitled" by cappellmeister

I'll be posting about the Food Matters night this weekend, after I procure a few pictures, but meanwhile, I have found a great site for you and your family. It's called "100 Days of Real Food" and features recipes for just about everything, along with budgets, etc. Some of these recipes are so simple and good that...even a non-cook can do it. ;-D

I think everyone should try making something on this list and bring little samples in to share. A final taste test! Yes, this sounds like fun!

Just look through it and let me know what you think! Would you recommend any of these to the cafeteria?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Georgia Organics Conference 2012

"Plow Forward" - Georgia Organics 2012 Theme
Yesterday (2/25), I drove down to the 2012 Georgia Organics Conference in Columbus, Georgia. It was a bright, sunny day and the location was perfect--right on the Chattahoochee River in the Trade and Convention Center. This was the first year they have partnered with the Alabama Organics group, but it was profitable for both because the river is vital to both areas, and meat and produce cross the lines in this area.
Eating Lunch-only a small portion of the dining hall!
It's amazing how many kinds of people you meet at an ORGANICS conference, right? Old, young, new farmers, old farmers, chefs, school teachers, policy makers, homemakers. Food knows no boundaries! I met the good people from Moonshine Meats, whose farm is right outside of Athens. They supply the meat to Farm Burger in Decatur, and Farm 255 in downtown Athens. They were very interested in our Food Matters event and are planning on "being there" on Tuesday. I heard a very interesting talk by Kennesaw State University, which has one of the best dining hall facilities in the NATION. They have two farms and are volunteer staffed by students. I'll be explaining their philosophy on eating in more detail at a later time, but their practices and ideas for amazing. The company that helps them is called Sodexo, and I'll be checking them out as well.

One of the most interesting people I talked to was a college-aged volunteer at Georgia Organics. When I told her I was from SPX, she told me was a product of Catholic formation from parish to grades 1-12 in the Macon area. She said, "My Catholic upbringing is one of the main reasons I'm involved in the food arena. I can't think of a more social justice issue than food. It touches everything." Definitely food for thought...

And speaking of food, here's my "fast food" for the drive down to Columbus: Panera's organic steel cut oats with cinnamon, pecans, and fresh strawberries!
Organic steel cut oats from Panera!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mom! I Want a Happy Lab Meal With the Test Tube Toy!'s been on all the major stations this weekend. A scientist has figured out how to grow strips of muscle tissue in a test tube. Watch here. So, of course, "in vitro" hamburgers aren't far away (think the end of this year). Of course, the consensus is that this "meat" will taste bland, so chemicals will have to be added to improve the palatability. More chemicals. Of course!
Test Tube Hamburger by Mike Licht,

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Plastic Water Bottle Controversy and Other Environmental Concerns

awesome water fountain! by jordan fischer
Banning plastic bottles on college campuses is apparently catching on. This article was published in USA Today in the fall of 2011, but the momentum is only now catching on. What do you think? I know when I visited Belmont University and Ole Miss for college visits, I noticed "hydration stations," with spigots for refilling a personal water bottle. Your thoughts?

And on another environmental note, Shell Oil (think BP--they are kissing cousins), has overcome perhaps the last obstacle to Arctic oil drilling. If you read the article, you will notice that they really do not know how to plan for an oil spill disaster. Remember that the Arctic ice pack is already noticeably dwindling (check here for more info). What will this mean for the area? The animals? The equilibrium on the planet?
 Jokulsarlon- ice remains by Nick Russill

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Did you see the CHIPOTLE commercial during the Grammys?

Front of Chipotle Restaurant - Fort Wayne, Indiana
by SupremeCrete
If not, here's the link to an article on Chipotle's practices, as well as the commercial. I loved the commercial and admit it's full of PATHOS! Read the article, though, to get an idea of how tough it is to be in the food arena. I think we should reward (with our monetary support) all companies who are trying to step up to stewardship in any way. Look for ways your food establishments are doing things right, and let them know you notice. THEN encourage them to do more.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Welcome, Class of 2013!


I can't believe it's time to get started on the blogging project again! Remember the goals:
  • to learn how to research and "sift" information on your particular topic of interest
  • to question and verify those questions through research
  • to make informed decisions regarding your health
  • to enjoy the process!
"Produce" by rick

More to come :)