How New World Wine Resurrects Old Religion
I used to be a regular at a wine bar in San Clemente, a beach town in California where my wife and I lived when we were first married. The ‘Tuscan’ decor of the place was a little too vivid for my taste, but the wine was priced right and the owner was a great conversationalist. He would tell us stories from behind the bar about his travels to vineyards in Chile and New Zealand, and he had a charming populist streak. When people got too pretentious about the wine, he would roll his eyes and say: ‘Relax, it’s just a beverage.’
He was wrong about that, of course. Since its invention more than 8,000 years ago, wine has always been more than just a beverage.
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jul 16, 2014 -
Monsanto Is Going Organic in a Quest for the Perfect Veggie
- "The lettuce, peppers, and broccoli—plus a melon and an onion, with a watermelon soon to follow—aren't genetically modified at all. Monsanto created all these veggies using good old-fashioned crossbreeding, the same technology that farmers have been using to optimize crops
for millennia. That doesn't mean they are low tech, exactly. Stark's division is drawing on Monsanto's accumulated scientific know-how to create vegetables that have all the advantages of genetically modified organisms without any of the Frankenfoods ick factor." [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Mar 8, 2014 -
"After two to three hours, the body is transformed into a sterile coffee-colored liquid the consistency of motor oil that can be safely poured down the drain, alongside a dry bone residue similar in appearance to cremated remains."
GOOD magazine: The emergence of the sustainable death industry.
posted by The Whelk
on Dec 17, 2013 -
Mark Lynas, author of several
books on climate change
and once a leading figurehead of the anti-GMO movement, has made an about turn on his opinions regarding GM crops
. In an address to the Oxford Farming Conference
, he stated:
"For the record, here and upfront, I apologise for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment. As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely. So I guess you’ll be wondering—what happened between 1995 and now that made me not only change my mind but come here and admit it? Well, the answer is fairly simple: I discovered science, and in the process I hope I became a better environmentalist." [more inside]
posted by rattleandhum
on Jan 4, 2013 -
Like too many studies, the Stanford study dangerously isolates a finding from its larger context. It significantly plays down the disparity in pesticides...and neglects to mention that 10,000 to 20,000 United States agricultural workers get a pesticide-poisoning diagnosis each year. And while the study concedes that “the risk for isolating bacteria resistant to three or more antibiotics was 33 percent higher among conventional chicken and pork than organic alternatives,” it apparently didn’t seek to explore how consuming antibiotic-resistant bacteria might be considered “non-nutritious.”....
That the authors of the study chose to focus on a trivial aspect of the organic versus conventional comparison is regrettable. That they published a study that would so obviously be construed as a blanket knock against organic agriculture is willfully misleading and dangerous. That so many leading news agencies fall for this stuff is scary.
Mark Bittman - That Flawed Stanford Study
posted by beisny
on Oct 3, 2012 -
is a sculptor specializing in unusual creatures like fairy flowers and goddesses made from organic materials.
posted by netbros
on Oct 30, 2011 -
Now that winter is officially here, maybe you're thinking about warmer times, and your vegetable garden. Here are some online tools and resources to help you plan your next bumper crop.
Mother Earth News Garden Planner
is an online app that can help you layout your garden, and once you've done that, it'll tell you when you should start planting, based on your location. It even takes into account things like successive sowing and crop rotation, all with an eye towards organic farming practices. (Don't like associating with the Mother Earthers? The same app is available via GrowVeg.com
Considering more unusual varieties this year? How about heirloom varieties? Seed Savers Exchange
| Victory Seeds
| Seeds of Change
. And of course, there's always Burpee
for your more garden variety seeds.
And be sure to check out these composting tips
Or if all of this is just too much work, you can always sign up for a share in a nearby CSA
posted by crunchland
on Dec 22, 2010 -
The Cornucopia Institute's Organic Egg Scorecard
ranks egg producers on a scale from 1 to 5 eggs,
using criteria like outdoor access, indoor space per bird, ownership structure, beak trimming and other factors
[pdf]. The scorecard is part of the Institute's new report, Scrambled Eggs: Separating Factory Farm Egg Production from Authentic Organic Agriculture
. The executive summary
[pdf] provides some political context.
"Whole Foods, Walmart, A&P, Costco, Meijer, Safeway, and Trader Joe's store-brand eggs all received the lowest possible rating in Cornucopia's study.
posted by mediareport
on Oct 5, 2010 -
One more thing to ease our collective guilt: Organic Golf.
"Opened eight years ago, the club is thought to be the only completely organic golf course in the United States, its 18 holes groomed without the use of a single synthetic pesticide, fertilizer, herbicide or other artificial chemical treatment."
posted by Xurando
on Aug 17, 2010 -
Eating local, organic foods may not be the best option
. The vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions
stem from food production, not transportation, and production inputs for organic food are typically higher. Third world countries that have a food system that is organic and local by default are suffering from lack of infrastructure and investment in basic production technologies that could improve nutrition for millions of people. [more inside]
posted by stinker
on Apr 28, 2010 -
"is a blog that examines topics in Asia through the perspectives of interesting people interviewed by a group of bloggers in Mainland China, Vietnam, Taiwan, and more." Meet Gao Qingrong and family
, who along with seven other households are part of an organic farm co-op in Anlong Village, Sichuan
. Or there's the tale of how one of the bloggers met Jun Jun, a male prostitute in Beijing
; an encounter with Silang Laji, a road maintenance worker in Kham
, a Tibetan region of China; and Gege, an enterprising journalist in Chengdu
posted by Abiezer
on Feb 28, 2010 -
The Local food movement's celebration
over the white house garden was short lived. The White House has receive a letter from the Mid America CropLife Association
, expressing disappointment
that Obamas planted an organic garden. "As you go about planning and planting the White House garden, we respectfully encourage you to recognize the role conventional agriculture plays in the U.S in feeding the ever-increasing population, contributing to the U.S. economy and providing a safe and economical food supply. America's farmers understand crop protection technologies are supported by sound scientific research and innovation."
posted by Xurando
on Apr 10, 2009 -
On Friday, Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden
, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II.
posted by jbiz
on Mar 19, 2009 -
No conflict of interest there, no sir.
Organic food fans and small farmers alike are saying if HR 875 is passed, it will mean the end of organic farming in the United States. An overstatement? Perhaps, but HR 875 has serious flaws. The bill, introduced by Rosa DeLauro last month (who happens to be married to Stanley Greenburg of Monsanto, the world's largest producer of herbicides, chemical fertilizers and genetically engineered seeds), is here
. [more inside]
posted by bitter-girl.com
on Mar 18, 2009 -
Worried about antibiotics in your beef? Organic vegetables
(and pirated honey
) may be no better. 90% of animal antibiotics are excreted as dung which is then used as fertilizer. The amounts are smaller but cumulative, particularly in potatoes, lettuce.
posted by stbalbach
on Jan 9, 2009 -
Wildman of the Loire, Didier Dagueneau RIP
Didier Dagueneau, iconoclastic motorcycle driving beard-sporting winegrower of France's Loire valley, died today in a private plane crash. Dagueneau pushed winemaking in his region to a new level; his Silex (100 percent sauvignon blanc), farmed biodynamically on flinty soil, is a profound wine. I recently tasted the '99 Silex, one word: incroyable. A wine that redefines sauvignon blanc and makes you happy to be alive. Dagueneau also pushed younger colleagues like the cidermaker Eric Bordelet
to pursue their craft at a higher level: the result is Bordelet's Granit pear cider, from 300 year old biodynamically farmed pear trees.
posted by Izzy
on Sep 17, 2008 -
– everything you need to know about the delicious fruits and vegetables you enjoy. Answers about how to lower your cholesterol or how to prepare asparagus. You’ll find loads of background and variety information, nutrition specifics, serving sizes, preparation ideas and care and handling tips.
posted by netbros
on Jun 2, 2008 -
Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear.
"Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination."
posted by homunculus
on Apr 3, 2008 -
Selling out is becoming trendy
. Last fall, Burt’s Bees was sold to Clorox
. It turned out then that former owner Roxanne Quimby bought out co-founder Burt himself in 1999 and sold 80% of the company to AEA Investors in 2004; this was just the final stroke of the pen. [more inside]
posted by bassjump
on Jan 17, 2008 -
Cuba: The Accidental Revolution
. Hasta la revolucion ? Maybe, but some revolution is dictated more by need than by politics. In this
, we are shown how Cuba is converting from oil-subsidized agricolture to organic agricolture with remarkable results. The presence of a police state isn't conveniently forgotten, as much as the facts that public education, public healthcare and limited, regulated free enterprise markets are helping Cubans in the transition from the illusion of freedom in a subsidized economy to a far less comfortable and rich, but more sustainable and independant economy.
posted by elpapacito
on Oct 26, 2007 -
Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena was born in October, 2006 to help fight the good fight against the overwhelming majority of noise in the media supporting useless alternative medicine systems, psychics preying upon the vulnerable, the erosion of science education in the classroom, xenophobia of advanced energy and food production methods, and generally anything that distracts attention and public funding from scientific advancement.
Episodes feature such prominent MeFi discussion material as organic food myths, blood for oil, chiropractics,
Links are to podcast transcripts. Full episode guide.
posted by arcticwoman
on May 24, 2007 -
In the grand scheme of things, eating locally grown food may be more important than eating organically grown foods. To help you reach that goal, there's 100-Mile Diet
, a blog that deals with the benefits and pitfalls of trying to eat only foods grown locally; The Eating Well Guide
, which will help you find markets, restaurants, etc. that go along with the sustainable foodthink; and Local Harvest
, which will help you find local and
organically grown food sources. (PS. Now's probably the time to start signing up for your favorite CSA
posted by Dave Faris
on Apr 12, 2007 -