Category Archives: Food and the Environment

Food Alliance Certification: Mid-Atlantic U.S. Video

Video on Food Alliance Certification

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is now representing Food Alliance Certification in the mid-Atlantic United States. Video features: Brian Snyder, PASA; Joan & Drew Norman, One Straw Farm; Ben & Dave Wenk, Three Springs Fruit Farm.

Recycling Tin Foil Food Wrappers

Preparing Aluminum Foil for Recycling

recycling tin foilLet’s say you eat out at restaurants, and you do it a lot. If you live in Portland, or other eco-conscious cities, then chances are that the restaurant in question has gone to great lengths to ensure that all of their to-go food containers are either recyclable, or else compost-able. Restaurants like Portland’s Laughing Planet Cafe also use tin foil for the wrapping material around their signature burrito creations. Often, you find that when eating the foil-wrapped burrito, food and grease gets on the surface of the aluminum. While clean, theoretically-unused tin foil is quite obviously recyclable, what do you do about the tin foil that gets dirty with food?

For regular sheets of aluminum foil, here’s the process for recycling: ball up the foil and put in recycling bins with the glass,metal and plastic, unless your local recycling rules dictate otherwise. Note that other types of aluminum food storage materials such as pie pans and lids are also recyclable the majority of the time. And food-covered tin foil? All you have to do is take an extra second’s worth of time and effort, and make sure to rinse off any food from the aluminum foil before adding it to the recycling bin. Continue reading

What Does “Organic” Really Mean:

Organic Agriculture and Production
USDA Organic Produce
The definition of organic, these days, especially as it pertains to agriculture, is murky at best. Marketing dictates that whatever the latest trends, and whatever is selling the best or the fastest means — a term is gonna’ get coined, stickers and ads are gonna’ get made, and products are gonna’ get labeled. But as consumers, what are we supposed to pay attention to? What does organic mean, and who is actually making the rules?

The term “Organic” refers to the the means by which agricultural products are farmed, processed and so on. This starts with the way the items are produced, and goes to how they are processed and then distributed. At the end of the chain, regarding sales of products, consumers should be able to rest assured that when a product says “organic” it actually means something. And the integrity of the organic stamp begins on the farm or the ranch. Continue reading

A Brief, Illustrated Primer on GMOs

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

They’re in 80% of packaged foods in the U.S. So what are they? And how did they get there? The answers have never been more attractive thanks to this illustrated introduction to GMOs: learn more about what they are, where they came from, where they are now and how they’re labeled. While many other countries have restricted and banned the production of genetically modified organisms, you might be surprised by just how ubiquitous they are in the U.S.–and how readily they’ve slipped under the public radar without labels. Continue reading

The Low-Carbon Diet: 3 Ways to Make Your Diet Sustainable

The 3 Best Ways to Make Your Diet Greener

Seize Your Diet by the Greens! How to Make Your Diet More Sustainable

Seize Your Diet by the Greens! How to Make Your Diet More Sustainable

Living sustainably not only requires us to reevaluate our energy production, transportation system, industrial output, and residential energy efficiency–it also requires changing our eating habits. The food and agriculture industry is one of the 5 major contributing sectors to greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale and we need to take a hard look at how we produce, distribute, and consume our food. If you’re interested in making your diet more sustainable, consider these three substantial ways to reduce the environmental impact of keeping yourself fed: Continue reading