Tag Archives: Food Babe

Friday Linkage 12/12/2014

Have you seen the storm bearing down on Northern California and the Pacific Northwest? Strange weather in that region, particularly California, reminds me of Marc Reisner’s thoughts on the instability of the region’s hydrology. Why would anyone choose to build so much infrastructure and plant so many people in an area with such instability? It’s beyond me.

On to the links…

Fate Of The Struggling Greater Sage Grouse Shaping Energy Development In U.S. West—The fight over the listing of the greater sage grouse is shaping up to be the spotted owl of the 21st century. If you do not think so take a look at what Congress is doing in the abomination of a spending bill winding its way through the halls of government.

After Steep Decline, Signs of Hope for World’s Sea Turtles—People just love sea turtles. It is good to see that this group of animals is showing some signs of population recovery due to the efforts of a lot of people worldwide. Keep on trucking little honus.

US Fuel Economy Average Down for the First Time in Four Years—Gas prices drop on the back off a precipitous oil price drop and people clamor for extra large SUVs and trucks. Ugh.

Our E-Waste Problem Is Ridiculous, and Gadget Makers Aren’t Helping—Increasingly, integrated electronics with small embedded components are harder and harder to recycle. What could once be pried off a board and reused or upgraded is not only recoverable through means like melting or acid leaching. It’s nasty stuff.

Narendra Modi, Favoring Growth in India, Pares Back Environmental Rules—Development seems to always win. In India it appears like the prevailing attitude is going to be “we’ll clean things up later.”

India’s Largest Power Generator Signs Deal For 375 MW Solar Power Plant—For every bad story coming out of India there are at least half a dozen highlighting the progress being made. I hope the trend of one step back for every five forward can continue for a while.

Softbank May Finance 10,000 MW Solar Power Capacity In Indian State—Development may be winning, but the development of clean power is moving forward at a pretty good pace as well.

Far More Americans Trust EPA Over Congress To Set Pollution Standards—Does anyone trust Congress to do anything?

As Coal Crashes, US Governors Push Wind Energy—As fewer and fewer people work in extractive industries like coal, whether that is due to increased mechanization or reduced demand, governors are forced to face the reality of green jobs expansion. Wind is good for the environment and good for the economy.

Grassroots Anti-Coal Movements to Watch—There is a burgeoning worldwide sentiment that coal is the fuel of the past and needs to be retired. No amount of astroturf pro-coal groups can compete with the growing calls for the end of coal.

US Sees Second-Largest Solar Installation Growth In Q3—Third quarter 2014 solar installations were up 41% over the same period of time in the prior year. If the same trend continues for the fourth quarter then it will result in a lot of solar.

Tweaking Thermostats In Boston Would Save Energy Equivalent To 17,000 Fewer Cars On The Road—There is a huge potential for energy savings in changing our behaviors and tweaking the settings of our energy using devices. Think about what we could save if everyone, nationwide, made a concerted effort to save energy. It would be amazing.

Is The Food Babe A Fearmonger? Scientists Are Speaking Out—There was going to be a backlash against Vani Hari, but I wonder how much of it is centered on her premise of certain food additives being mysterious and potentially harmful. At the end of the day we need to be suspicious of anyone who stands to make money from fearmongering—as Vani Hari does with her books—but it does not mean she is wrong.

Hoping to Change the Industry, a Factory Farmer Opens His Barn Doors—This is an act of economic bravery not commonly seen among the farmers under the thumb of massive agribusiness corporations. It will be very interesting to see how the industry responds to Craig Watts’ bravery.

What is driving deforestation and what can you do about it?—What actions do you take that contribute to deforestation:

Jarrimber-Deforestation-Infographic-2

Sign This Petition

Like “pink slime” and brominated vegetable oil, the food world has been taken hold by another round of “what the f#ck is in my food” craziness.

Now the issue is with Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, that staple of so many children’s dinner requests and the late night kitchen escapades of drunkards, and the dyes contained within its unnaturally yellow “cheese” sauce.  In the U.S. that bright canary hue is the result of yellow dye #5 and #6.

Two food bloggers, Van Hari of Food Babe and Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food, started a petition on Change.org to have Kraft remove these dyes because of potential harmful effects and match the formulation of non-North American macaroni & cheese.  Picture pretty much sums it up:

Kraft_Yellow_Petition

On March 6th, representatives from Kraft sent a letter to Hari and Leake with typical corporate speak that missed the core of the issue.  There is no reason for these dyes to be in a product that is marketed at children—the whole marketing to children is another issue for another time—and so widely available.

Hari and Leake nail it in their response:

If Kraft’s “safety and quality” of their products is their “highest priority” and they “take consumer concerns very seriously,” then why have they continued to use a questionable ingredient that requires a warning label in Europe? Don’t they have a responsibility to be proactive and do the right thing for their own country’s citizens?

So far the petition has garnered over 200,000 signatures but more cannot hurt.  Please take a moment and sign it here.

But remember, the U.K. does not have it so easy.  Apparently it’s easy to confuse a horse for a cow when loading the slaughterhouse.