Category Archives: Food and the Environment

Shade Grown and Organic: How These Coffee Terms Relate to the Environment

How Does Coffee Affect the Environment?

shade grown coffee

Coffee is a beverage enjoyed by millions of Americans. We consume it at an ever-increasing rate, but is it sustainable? The crop is highly valued all over the world, and is in higher demand than ever before. One way we can ensure that our coffee habit will not harm the planet is by checking and double-checking where our coffee originates, and the methods by which it is grown.

Coffee that is produced under organic and natural circumstances will be a bit more expensive, but will be fairer to the farmer growing it, the supplier importing it, and the customer buying it, which makes everyone more responsible to the planet in the end. But the biggest potential damage to the environment comes from the production of the coffee beans themselves.

By producing coffee beans organically, through sustainable practices like shade-growing, we can make coffee a more environmentally friendly beverage. Let’s take a look at how this works. Continue reading

17 Great Vegan Holiday Food Ideas

Feed Your Family Vegan, They Won’t Know the Difference


In the wise words of Bruce, the great white from the classic Finding Nemo, “fish are friends, not food”. In the spirit of Bruce and his fish-abstinent shark friends, why not try a vegan dish or two for the holidays? The following recipes are fairly simple and affordable.

Veganism is one of the easiest ways to be environmentally friendly this holiday season – you don’t have to overhaul your entire diet, just perhaps cook a dish or two without meat or dairy. Most vegan recipes have easy to find replacements for eggs and milk, and taste absolutely delicious without them!

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How Will You Vote for Labeling GMOs in Oregon?

Understanding the Issue When It Comes to GMO Labeling

oregon right to know

As of late, GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms, have been a hot-button issue. The states of Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine have all passed initiatives requiring foods that contain GMOs to be labeled as such, but big biotech and its lobbyists are making every effort to undermine these initiatives. California and Washington’s GMO labeling initiatives were narrowly defeated, due in no small part to the biotech industry’s deep pockets.

Now, a ballot initiative in our home state of Oregon has gathered the signatures necessary to qualify for a statewide vote. If passed, it would require all food that is entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering to be labeled. Continue reading

Profile on Springbank Farm

springbank farm oregon

Who doesn’t love blueberries? They’re delicious! Whether you’re eating them by the handful, putting them on your cereal, mixing them into your pancakes, or adding them to a fruit smoothie, there’s nothing else quite like them.

What’s more, they’re actually quite good for you. They are rich in antioxidants, so they protect your body’s cells. They’re also chock full of vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber. As all berries do, they have a relatively low glycemic index, so they’re an excellent choice as a sweet treat that won’t spike your blood sugar levels.

On the South Santiam River, slightly east of Lebanon, Oregon is a pastoral little slice of heaven known as Springbank Farm. This fertile land has been farmed since the 1800s, but these days, its principal crop is… blueberries!

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Benefits of Eating Local

benefits of eating local

There was a time when everyone was a locavore. The milkman delivered fresh local milk from the dairy just outside town. Prime cuts of meat could be selected from the butcher shop downtown, which purchased its stock from the rancher in the next county. Vegetables grown at the local farm were available at the market.

Then, as the industrial revolution took hold, everything began to change. The practices that revolutionized the manufacturing world started to find application in the world of agriculture. Synthetic fertilizers were developed. The chemical arms race of WWII resulted in the creation of synthetic pesticides.

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