Category Archives: Food & Farms

New Dietary Guidelines: Cut Back on Meat to Help the Environment

Beef for sale at meat counter

Dietitians are urging Americans to eat less meat for the health of our bodies and the environment. Photo: Phil Denton via Flickr.

Last week brought big food news affecting everything on our dining room table, from eggs and coffee at breakfast to steaks at dinner. It came in the form of the latest recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for amounts of various foods that Americans should eat. Read Executive Director Jeremy Kranowitz’s reaction to the news.

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An Investment in Organic Farmland

Chickens grazing on pasture at a Farmland LP farm

Chickens graze on a pasture at one of Farmland LP's farms.

A road trip to Oregon farmland crystalized a new business idea for partners Craig Wichner and Jason Bradford. “It was very clear farmland was a great asset and that it was basically being underutilized,” says Wichner, “that growing monocrops was operationally efficient, but it was the worst way to get returns from farmland itself.” With investment and the use of sustainable agriculture templates, they developed Farmland LP, a system of livestock, vegetable and grain rotations that could both reclaim land for organic farming and turn a profit.

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Free Aquaponics Workshop

On Dec. 3, 2014, we’re teaming up with FRESH Farm Aquaponics to host a free Introduction to Aquaponics Workshop at our office in Stamford, Conn. This two-hour class will explore how you can grow food organically, year-round, through a variety of highly productive aquaponic growing mediums.

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Eat Your “Unusual” Greens!

Turnip greens

Did you know you can eat turnip greens? Photo: Glory Foods via Flickr

One of my favorite things about participating in a CSA program is learning about new foods. This year’s most pleasant surprise was sweet potato greens. Our very own farmer didn’t realize these beautiful greens were edible until this year, and boy were we happy that he shared his newfound secret!

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Skin to Seed: How to Eat an Entire Pumpkin

three pumpkins

Photo: poppet with a camera via Flickr

Pumpkins. The plump, orange orbs are everywhere this time of year. While you’re picking out a few for Halloween decorations, it’s worth it to set aside a few for eating too. We’ve rounded up some recipes that will help you make use of everything but the stem, and we’ve found some ideas for what to do with the ones that get carved as well.

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Adventures in Indoor Growing

lettuce, basil and chives

A portion of our first harvest: lettuce, two varieties of basil and chives!

Over the last few months, we’ve been experimenting with a menagerie of indoor food-growing systems at our office: a vertical garden, a hydroponic system and an aquaponic system. While the versions we’ve installed won’t revolutionize the local food landscape in our neighborhood, if scaled up, these alternative growing methods have the potential to help urban areas meet the growing demand for food. We wanted to get hands-on with a few of these methods to learn more and to provide a showcase of what’s possible. Here’s how we did…

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We Came, We Gleaned, We Fed Thousands

Volunteers for Feeding the 5000: Oakland

Volunteers prepared food for Feeding the 5,000 at St. Vincent de Paul in Oakland.

We had the privilege of participating in a tremendous event on Saturday: Feeding the 5,000: Oakland. The event saved thousands of rolls and loaves of bread and a staggering 11,200 pounds of apples, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, acorn squash and spaghetti squash that normally would have been destroyed because they were cosmetically imperfect and could not be sold to grocery stores. Learn more about this groundbreaking event.

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Food Waste in 9 U.S. Cities, Exposed

Rob Greenfield recovered all this food from dumpsters in Cleveland

Rob Greenfield recovered all this food from dumpsters in Cleveland.

This week, environmental activist Rob Greenfield completed a most unconventional road trip. Not only did he travel from Wisconsin to New York City on bike, along the way he recovered food — thousands of pounds of unspoiled, perfectly edible food — that grocery stores and restaurants had thrown away. See photos of what he found in nine cities.

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Feeding the 5,000 Comes to the U.S.

Feeding the 5000 Oakland on Oct. 18

We hope to see you at Feeding the 5000 Oakland on Oct. 18.

The juxtaposition is shocking. The United States is one of the most productive agricultural nations in the world and yet millions of Americans go hungry each year. Despite the many people who work hard to solve this puzzle, the reasons behind this contrast go largely unnoticed by the general public.

To help boost awareness of this issue, Sustainable America is proud to be a sponsor and participant in the first Feeding the 5,000 event in the United States, which is coming up on October 18 in Oakland, California. Find out more about this festive event…

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Why We’re Investing in Sustainable Ranching

Cold Creek Ranch

Conservation Capital Fund has a pilot project ongoing at Cold Creek Ranch to purchase land and install new ranchers.

If you’ve been keeping up with Sustainable America, you know that we believe in the power of entrepreneurs and markets to effect positive change, and that we make early-stage investments to help spur the development of sustainable food and fuel businesses. Local and sustainable agriculture is one of our focus areas, and we’ve made a small investment in the Conservation Capital Fund that we’re excited about.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.


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