Tag Archives: sustainability

The Bug Banquet: Serving Sustainability in a Cricket Pesto Flatbread

eat-crickets

“You’re invited to the Bug Banquet,” the email read. Ewwww! Must I go? I am psychologically averse to insects, but as a good sport, I’ll try.

The Bug Banquet is a culinary exploration of entomophagy, the practice of eating insects. It was created as an “experience” to help guests enjoy insects as food. Founders Chloé Bulpin, a senior at at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and Alex Gandarillas and Matt Kominsky, two Johnson & Wales University culinary students, believe in the power of visual imagery to educate.

The intriguing menu was served cocktail style and the presentation was gorgeous.

  • Pesto Flatbread: cricket pesto, mozzarella and artichokes
  • Tempura Skewers: crickets, silkworms and scallions with a spicy sriracha sauce
  • Watermelon and Waterbugs: compressed watermelon, apple and waterbug
  • Spicy Silkworm: Korean-style marinated silkworms with hummus and roasted cauliflower
  • Dark Chocolate-Coated Crickets
  • Sundae Shooters: waterbug ice cream, caramel, and banana
  • Several different cookies and tarts made with cricket flour

How did the creations taste? The comment most often overheard was, “I would never have known.” Ground crickets in pesto tasted “like escargot.” Waterbugs had a “floral extract that is not off-putting.” Roasted crickets tasted “like roasted fava beans with a crunchy outside and a mushy middle.” Dark Chocolate-Coated Crickets were “reminiscent of a Ferrero Rocher candy.” (more…)

Bike Commuters Rejoice! Protected Lanes Proven Effective

green bike lanes

Have you ever been driving down a road and totally blind-sided by a biker? Or have you been that biker who feels unsafe peddling down certain streets? A new research study released this week by Portland Statue University is hoping to prevent either scenario from happening.

The study examines new protected bike lanes installed by PeopleforBikes and the Green Lane Project throughout each of five chosen locations: Austin, Chicago, Portland, OR, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. These bike lanes (often painted bright green!) are separated from the regular traffic by curbs, parked cars, posts, or planters in efforts to organize the street and make it safer for all. These protected bike lanes are new to the US, so little research has been done on their effectiveness. Until now.

The study targeted one or two lanes in each city and set up video surveillance primarily at intersections to evaluate their effectiveness and overall usage. They also surveyed bicyclists, drivers, and nearby residents to get personal and practical feedback on their implementation and affect on the community.

What did they find? Here are some of the staggering stats:

Food Blogger Spotlight: Jenny from Nourished Kitchen

jenny cropAt Nourished Kitchen the motto is “Reviving traditional foods,” but for Jenny and her husband, it’s not just a catchy slogan, it’s a way of life. Together, they manage a farmers market in Colorado where they pride themselves on connecting small family farms, providing free nutrient-dense foods to low-income residents and funneling sustainably grown local products into the community food bank.

The recipes shared on Nourished Kitchen run the gamut from warm and savory to absolutely adventurous. Have you ever cooked with ghee, sprouted spelt, rendered duck fat or created your own fermented food starter? In the Nourished Kitchen Shopping Guide, Jenny describes some of her more creative ingredients and guides readers on where to find them. The site also offers meal plans, workshops and online cooking classes.

Our conversation with Jenny –

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McDonald’s Commits to Serving Certified Sustainable Seafood at All Locations

McDonald’s isn’t usually one to make headlines for positive news, but that’s just what they’ve done this week. The company announced yesterday that it will commit to serving only certified-sustainable seafood at all of its locations, making it the first U.S. national restaurant chain to do so.

This, of course, is big news for sustainability advocates as McDonald’s is the one of the largest single buyers of fish in the U.S.

Consumers will notice the change not only in the company’s packaging, which will now include a blue ecolabel of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). But also in a marketing effort which will roll out as soon as the changes are official in early February. In addition to their famous Filet-O-Fish sandwich, McDonald’s will also launch a new product called Fish McBites, which will be made with MSC-certified, wild-caught Alaska pollock.

As reported by the Huffington Post, the MSC is an independent non-profit organization that sets standards for sustainable fishing based on the impacts a fishery has on its ecosystem, its fish stock health, and its fishery management system. (more…)

Source a Sustainably Raised Turkey for Thanksgiving

More than 250 million turkeys are slaughtered in the industrial system each year in the United States, and about 46 million of those are for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful, warm holiday, full of family time, great traditions and good food. Unfortunately, there are many not-so-good things about the Thanksgiving turkeys most grocery stores offer to their customers.

The status quo for raising turkeys and other meat birds is the industrial, factory farming system. The conditions in which factory farmed turkeys are raised is horrendous. It’s cramped, with each bird given about 3 feet of space to live its life. So that these cramped and stressed turkeys won’t turn to pecking at each other, prior to confinement their beaks and the tips of their toes are cut off (processes some liken to having the tips of a child’s fingers and toes chopped off). These turkeys, raised in gigantic warehouses, are denied their natural instincts and can’t eat their natural diet of seeds, vegetation and insects. They’re also bred to grow so rapidly that it puts an incredible strain on their bodies. Some researchers estimate that factory farmed turkeys spend at least a third of their lives in chronic pain.

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CSA vs Farmers Market: Which is Right for You?

Years ago, people went to one market or general store to pick up all of the groceries and household items on their shopping list. Today, we have a variety of choices when it comes to purchasing food and beverages, from super stores and warehouse clubs to farmers markets and joining a CSA in your community.

CSAs and farmers markets are similar in that both offer local, homegrown produce to customers at prices that are often much cheaper than at the grocery store, however they can differ in price, convenience and quality depending on where your food was grown. Regardless of whether you shop at a market or join a CSA, you are receiving fresher, higher-quality produce because it hasn’t been treated with the chemicals or preservatives necessary to mass-distribute and ship it around the world.

What is a CSA?

CSA, or community-supported agriculture, is a program that lets you purchase “shares” from a farm in exchange for a weekly delivery of fruits, vegetables and other farm products like milk, eggs and dairy.

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Joining a CSA: Everything You Need to Know

CSA, or community-supported agriculture, has become a popular alternative way to buy fresh, seasonal food directly from your local farmers.

If you aren’t satisfied with the cost or quality of the produce at your local grocery store or can’t make it to a farmers market, joining a CSA program is a way to ensure that you have the fruits and vegetables you need to prepare healthy meals.

Typically, farmers will sell “shares” to the public, which may include fruits, vegetables or other types of farm products like milk or eggs. Consumers can either pick up or opt to have their shares delivered directly to their door and receive a weekly box or bag of seasonal produce.

“I’ve been participating in an individual CSA with my farmer in upstate NY for the past three years,” said Anne Maxfield, entrepreneur and founder of The Accidental Locavore. “It’s been a wonderful experience. Besides getting the freshest possible produce from a farm where sustainable farming is the standard, I’ve been exposed to all sorts of vegetables (and some fruit) that probably wouldn’t have made it into my shopping cart at the supermarket.”

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Man-Made Meat May be Coming Soon

In less than one year from now we could be reading the food review of the world’s first in vitro hamburger. Yes, you read that right.

As an answer to our globe’s growing population and increasing meat consumption, scientists in the Netherlands are very close to debuting their meat grown from stem cells of healthy cows. The scientists have been working to grow muscle tissue from a small number of stem cells they’ve extracted from the cattle.

As awkward as this process sounds, the researchers believe it’s going to be beneficial for the world. As the trends lead us to believe that the world’s meat consumption is expected to double by the year 2050, this man-made meat will be able to be produced without the need for livestock.

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What the Labels on Your Meat Really Mean

When it comes to the meat and poultry aisle in the grocery store, how much do consumers really know? Words like “mechanically separated” and “all-natural” can be convoluted, so we talked to some of the experts at Coleman Natural Meats to decode some of the most confusing labels that we see on meat packaging today.

Certified Organic: While organic food arguably offers some health benefits that conventionally prepared foods do not, an organic designation is not one-size-fits-all. In the US, any item that was made entirely with certified organic ingredients can be labeled “100% organic.” Products that contain 95% organic ingredients can use the word “organic” on their labels.  Any products that contain 70% organic ingredients, can be labeled “made with organic ingredients.”

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10 Ways to Eat Sustainably

Words like “sustainable,” “eco-friendly,” and “green” have become daily utterances in our vernacular. In a recent issue of Whole Living magazine, they discussed 50 ways to eat sustainably. We took 10 of our favorite suggestions from their list and compiled them into our own.

Today, eating, living, breathing and doing with a greater mindfulness of how our actions affect not just ourselves, but our community, world and planet has never before been so urgent. And since it is the small actions we do on a daily basis that accumulate to a greater and more long-lasting benefit, the choices you make in your everyday eating and cooking practices can have a profound effect on the health of our bodies and Earth.

Make a commitment to follow one, five or all of these sustainable eating tips and notice the subtle changes in your world:

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