Media/News Archive

Putting the Chicken Before the Egg

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

The New York Times
by Stephanie Strom

Source: Martin de Witte

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. — A decade ago, a couple running a dairy business in Northern California visited a Mennonite farm where the owner had used a flock of laying hens to teach his children business principles and instill values like responsibility and care for nature.

They returned home and bought 150 hens for their boys, Christian and Joseph. “My parents told us, you and Joseph are in charge of keeping these 150 birds alive,” recalled Christian Alexandre, who now heads the family’s egg business.

What started as a parental effort to instill solid values has become the mainstay of Alexandre Family EcoDairy Farms. Within five years, Christian and Joseph were tending 1,500 hens and had a deal in place to supply eggs to Whole Foods stores in Northern California. Christian remembers Walter Robb, co-chief executive of the grocery retailer, showing up at one of his football games.

The rusty red chickens foraging in the fields outnumber the cows 10 to 1 — and the roughly five million eggs they will produce this year command prices that make organic milk look cheap. “The egg business has kept the dairy going for several years,” Blake Alexandre, Christian’s father, said. Read Full Article »

A Fisherman’s Plan to Feed the World and Reduce Climate Change

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015


Source: Farrukh

One of the most prestigious prizes in sustainability, the Fuller Challenge, has been awarded to a commercial fisherman turned entrepreneur who once worked on factory trawlers pillaging the seas of fish. Following hurricanes Irene and Sandy, Bren Smith, founder of the ocean farming non-profit GreenWave, said he had a change of heart and began to search for a more sustainable form of fishing seafood.

“I had to adapt and reimagine how I was going to grow for this new era of climate change … what species do I pick, what technologies do I use,” he said.

Enjoy this clip from Marketplace of Bren Smith, interviewed by David Brancaccio, produced by Shana Daloria and Beidi Zhang:

Read Full Article »

Why the United States Leaves Deadly Chemicals on the Market

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Independent Science News
by Valerie Brown and Elizabeth Grossman

Source: Kate Ter Haar

Scientists are trained to express themselves rationally. They avoid personal attacks when they disagree. But some scientific arguments become so polarized that tempers fray. There may even be shouting.

Such is the current state of affairs between two camps of scientists: health effects researchers and regulatory toxicologists. Both groups study the effects of chemical exposures in humans. Both groups have publicly used terms like “irrelevant,” “arbitrary,” “unfounded” and “contrary to all accumulated physiological understanding” to describe the other’s work. Privately, the language becomes even harsher, with phrases such as “a pseudoscience,” “a religion” and “rigged.”

The rift centers around the best way to measure the health effects of chemical exposures. Read Full Article »

Indoor Urban Farms Called Wasteful, ‘Pie in the Sky’

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Cornell Chronicle
by Stacey Shackford

It seems a sensible solution to urban space constraints and a desire for increased local food production: transform abandoned warehouses into indoor farms, or construct purpose-built vertical food factories.

But Louis Albright, an emeritus professor of biological and environmental engineering who helped pioneer controlled-environment agriculture, warns that these “high in the sky” proposals intended to reduce food miles and rejuvenate communities may prove to be “pie in the sky” concepts with detrimental impacts on the environment.

Read Full Article »

Farm to Fork Across America: AllStar Organics Farm – Infusions and Blends for an Appreciative Market

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

HuffPost – The Blog
by Julie Ann Fineman
Co-Authored with Lee Glenn

Source: Allstar Organics

Every Saturday of the year, the San Francisco Ferry Building is alive with a magnificent farmers’ market. Camped in with the veggie, fruit, meat, fish, bread, flowers, food and coffee vendors is CUESA, the organization that manages the market. At their tent with seating for 100, CUESA produces and leads a weekly educational outreach focusing on sustainable foods allowing farmers to showcase their products and chefs to conduct cooking classes using the products of the market.

One gorgeous San Francisco summer day, I’m at the market as usual and find myself captivated by Janet Brown’s CUESA presentation on hydrosols and essential oils. Janet is demonstrating how herbs and flowers grown on her farm, AllStar Organics, are made into value added products that have positive impacts on personal wellbeing. Read Full Article »