Munching apples from New Zealand, indulging in some Chilean grapes or devouring Turkish dried apricots has become a guilty pleasure for many Americans. In fact, according to government agencies, 80% of all seafood and 45% of all fresh fruit consumed in the U.S. is imported — which is terrible, right? All those carbon-generating food miles doing untold damage to the environment?
Well, what if I said you may not need to hide your imported blueberries at the bottom of your Whole Foods basket anymore?
According to researchers in the UK, food miles are just part of the picture. And at a conference on the economics of food, Chris Foster of the Manchester Business School presented some important ideas with evidence to support it. He explained that “the biggest environmental impact of many food products came from their production. Bulk transport by land or sea was of low significance.” He went further, suggesting that governments “critically unpick the ‘local food’ agenda.”
How does Foster justify his claims? By pointing out that local food production and distribution — which uses a lot vans and cars — misses out on the benefits of economies of scale. Think about it. The CO2 emitted by one big truck carrying produce to a U.S. supermarket is less than that from 60 different cars and vans delivering food to a local farmers market. Yikes!
This weeks Exclusive G/Fashion interview is with New York based Fashion Designer Mika Machida. Mika started her company after being influenced by Johanna Hofring, the owner of Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic. Everyone should remember, we interviewed Johanna back in January. I can see why Mika would be inspired by such a dedicated and amazing woman.
But Mika is obviously inspired by more than just other G Living fashion designers. One look at Mika’s line and you can’t help but notice something different is going on here. Mika literally wants you to wear your love of nature on your sleeve, chest, and back.
Julia: Mika, your dress have to be a major conversation starters for the women wearing them. I have to ask you about all the embedded animals in your design, what inspired this design path?
Mika: I think being a designer right now is an extension of what I have been doing since my childhood. I Always loved drawing, making things, flipping through animal books…and I still do the same things! As for green fashion, after I realized that there’s the other side of urban human life, the whole human impact on nature and on ourselves. With the knowledge of unfair labor practices in poorer countries, there was no other choice left for me than going green with a responsible production process. It’s still hard to be 100% ethical and have no impact on the environment, but I am trying as much as I can and hope this will someday make a difference.
I wasn’t really planning on making anything decadent and chocolatey last Easter; it just sorta happened! (Guess some things CAN’T be helped!) I was lingering in bed that morning, dreaming of a sweet treat combining caramel and chocolate. After toying with the idea for some time, it finally hit me that I had created a dessert along the same lines a couple of Easters ago. (So much for being original! lol)
The following is a richer version of my Divine Caramel Chocolate Tarts combined with a superfoods-based caramel inspired by GlimR’s Ca~Raw~Mella Bars. Superbly festive and yummy!
Makes 6 tarts
For the Chocolate Brownie Crust:
1 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans (or both!)
1/4 cup soft dates
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
2 tbs carob powder
2 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Generous pinch sea salt
Crust Instructions: Process nuts, cacao and carob powders and sea salt in food processor until fine. Add dates, agave and vanilla extract and process until crumbly. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
According to a recent article in the New York Times, the Galápagos Islands are at serious risk. And they’re not talking about climate change or species extinction. It seems the planet’s first World Heritage site (and a major inspiration for Darwin’s theory of evolution) is being threatened by social and economic pollution.
A province of Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands are known for their endemic species, like humpback whales, sea turtles, albatrosses and herons. While long considered a must-see on the list of travel destinations, it’s believed excessive tourism has led to the islands’ recently added spot to Unesco’s “in danger” list.
These tarts are so beautiful I didn’t want to eat them. Fresh whole fruit is just so lovely and amazing like vibrant flowers. Finally I broke down and ate it. It was very good but I have to say it looks richer then it tasted. It is very light and subtle tasting, refreshing. You can use any fruit you have or any fruit that is in season where you live. Berries are gorgeous and of course go so well with the creme filling. I had an idea to make the crust a chocolate one to contrast the color of the white creme and the vibrant colors of the fruit. I had no idea that it would come out so moist and soft. I kind of liked it that way, reminded me of a chewy brownie. But be warned that it starts to loose it’s shape after a while at room temp. You might want to keep it chilled until right before serving. You can also simply omit the coconut butter in the crust for a drier crust as well. Even though this makes cute little small tarts, you can also just make it into 1 large 9-11″ tart. Again, these ingredients are very good for you, so enjoy with prideful pleasure.
You might be wondering what kind of coconuts to get. Young coconuts work the best and are the healthiest for you. These typically will be shaved down and look like a white round tent with a pointed dome roof. As far as the shape. That’s how you will typically recognize them. If you are lucky enough to find local ones or wild ones depending on where you live, those will be the best option you can choose. As far as choosing coconuts, search the coconut for any purple color, esp. on the bottoms of the coconut. If there is purple color on it, don’t get it. This is a sign that the coconut is starting to mold and go bad. Choose ones that are completely white on the outside. And as far as the meat and water, here is a general rule of thumb. The lighter the coconut, generally the firmer and more mature the meat is and the more meat there is in the coconut and less water. And the heavier the coconut is, generally the younger and more water it has with softer more jelly like meat and less quantity of meat. How do I know this? Well the theory goes that the water is heavier then the meat, and so far my theory has seemed to be true from my experience with them. Which one you want will depend on your use for it. For blended recipes like this one, either kind of meat will do, although softer is a little better. But for recipes that use coco- nut noodles or other sliced or shaved coconut, you will want to find coconuts with a firmer and thicker meat, so look for the lighter ones for those recipes.
Just like the title of the site says, I am a dark twisted green juice guzzling Monkie or at least that is my goal. Right now I have the dark and twisted thing down. I have been a vegan for about 12 years and in all that time, I have never really taken my health into consideration. I am a burn the candle at both ends kind of guy. I don’t know how to not be extreme. I am famous for confusing work as living. As soon as my eyes crack open in the morning, I start my long 12, 24 or 96 hour shift. Yes, for years I did 96 hours straight, with just naps and truck loads of espresso to keep my body going. So you know my blood is all out of wack and way on the acid side. Maybe not as bad as the average pillow butt American, but pretty bad. No offense to you Pillow butts out there.
Don’t get me wrong, I eat pretty healthy, I am a vegan, you wont find any McAnything stuck in my intestines, but I don’t eat with health in mind. My diet has been increasing over the years towards raw organic whole foods, such as salads and farmer market veggies. But I still eat a good amount of cooked items, such as asian noodles, frozen corn and worst of all bags of organic corn chips. I just crave chips, salsa and guacamole. I guess my years in Texas has altered my DNA, causing my cells to scream for anything remotely mexican foodish. For some reason I just love them in a sad food bingeing bag inhaling stomach aching way. You know what I mean. You think you want to eat them, but half way through the bag, they turn on you and form a concrete lump within your stomach.
Lets all come clean here, for most of us, eating processed foods is a way of life. Practically from day one, we are fed something which has made it’s way through the factory food shaping machines. For most of us, it started innocently enough with our baby formula and then spontaneously moves on to weekly happy meals, which we chase down with gallons of Coke Cola. It’s so universally excepted, we never think twice about it and that is always when something goes wrong. When we stop asking questions and just take what is given us. This is what the new documentary Processed People is all about. The film takes an in-depth look at the history of the industry and the health crisis it has produced in billions of people around the world.
Some of the shocking facts from the film: Two hundred million Americans are overweight and 100 million are obese. More than 75 million Americans have high blood pressure. 24 million people are diabetic. Heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death for men and women, followed by stroke and obesity-related cancers. Obesity has overtaken tobacco as the No. 1 cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Over 50% of bankruptcies are caused by what has become known as “medical debt.”
Processed People features interviews from nine preeminent health and environmental experts/advocates. They discuss how and why Americans got into this mess, and what we can do to break the “processed people” cycle. You see more about the film and even buy a dvd at the movies site, processedpeople.com
More video interviews after the jump
If global temperatures rise as predicted, the planet’s sobering message to tropical insects is: adapt or die. Scientists warn that a full blown wipeout is in the cards, altering the face the entomology forever as we bid adieu to a host of beetles, butterflies, aphids and others insects.
Researchers at the University of Washington explained that while temperature rises could deplete insect populations in the tropics, it could also result in an insect boom at higher latitudes as tropical insects are driven out of their normal habitats. The effects on plants pollination and the food supply are unknown. Says the BBC: “In the research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. scientists studied how temperature changes between 1950 and 2000 had affected 38 species of insects”.
Launched in New York City back in 2004 by Rogan Gregory and Scott Hahn, Loomstate is quite simply the coolest ethical demin line around. The name itself maybe derived from a century old term for just-woven fabric but the result is timeless, effortlessly casual and quintessentially American. With a firm foundation in jeans and tees — which now extends to hoodies, shoes and beyond — Loomstate not only creates its garments from certified organic cotton, its fashion forward designs also create demand for these garments.
If you’re looking for a new, zero-emission way to get from A to B, check out the new Swissbikeboard. The Swissbikeboard combines two popular “toys” (a skateboard and a bicycle), powers up with two rechargeable, lithium-polymer batteries, and sends you on your way for up to 30 miles on one charge. The style is reminiscent of Sharper Image’s Razor scooter, but looks a bit more like a popular 1950s toy scooter (remember that thing from “Back to the Future”?).
The Swissbikeboard is not your average scooter, though. It offers a juiced up suspension that allows for some radical on-street usage, meaning that it can be used for more than commuting. It is super quiet and, according to Swissbikeboard’s website, it can be used indoors. It provides a powerful braking system that makes it safe – along with a bit of user attentiveness. And it also comes in models that allow serious downhill adventure, snowboarding, and wakeboard-style water fun.
Photographer: Bikeporland.org (CC),
Portland always seems to be in the news because it’s considered one of America’s greenest cities. It’s also referred to as Bike City, USA because of its ranking as the top bicycling city in the U.S. and the city with the highest percentage of bike commuters. But it’s not a result of jumping on the green train — Portland has long been a bicycle-friendly city. In the 1970s, long before it was commonplace, the city encouraged cycling by creating bike lanes on major roads.
And in the last decade, Portland’s two-wheeling community has shown its appreciation by helping grow and nurture the city’s economy.
In addition to riders, Portland has a large cycling industry – from independent bike frame builders to local cycle clothing companies. Of course, there are also Portland-headquartered national companies such as Nike and Columbia Sportswear that contribute to the city’s bicycling interests, but a recent New York Times piece focused on local businesses like Team Estrogen, an online retailer that sells cycling clothing for women.
As cave people, we slept on animal pelts. And 10,000 years later, what are we laying our heads on? Pillows stuffed with feathers or down, plucked from a living creature, or petroleum-based foam/synthetic fills with the potential to off-gas. Not exactly the march of civilization, if you ask me.
But fear not, sleepy heads, there are (as always) less poisonous and barbaric options available.
One of the most exciting new options is kapok, “a silky fiber harvested in the rainforests of the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, tropical America and Africa.” The manual harvesting process is labor-intensive, which involves separating the seeds from the fiber and then cleaning and drying it before it’s ready for stuffing. But not only is kapok a healthier alternative for the consumer, “it helps preserve rainforests and the indigenous people who harvest it.” Kapok pillows are not treated for flammability, so they are only allowed to be sold as decorative items – not intended for sleeping. But if the choices are breathing in fire retardant chemicals every night or sleeping on a pillow that might suddenly burst into flames – I, for one, will take my chances.