Media/News Archive

5 Essential Steps to Sustainable Eating

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

by Jenna Zimmerman

pgc-2014-logoOn our planet of 7 billion people, everyone must eat in order to survive. Food is not a luxury; it is a necessity. It is a pillar of our lives upon which all else depends. As our youth move into adulthood, feeding the world in a way that is sustainable for both people and the planet will only become more difficult, but necessary.

With this in mind, student-led non-profit Teens Turning Green has developed an easy acronym, FLOSN, which it has implemented in the Conscious Kitchen, an initiative that provides nutritious, sustainable and scratch-cooked meals to public school students while educating them about conscious food choices. FLOSN stands for Fresh, Local, Organic, Seasonal and Non-GMO, terms you’ve likely heard before, that reflect the organization’s philosophy on how food should be grown, produced and consumed.

But FLOSN isn’t just for kids. These are terms to live by. Make them a part of your life, and you’ll be on your way to eating foods that are good, in every sense of the word. Read Full Article »

Urban Agriculture

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

The Lexicon of Sustainability

JacksonvilleMSSkyline CillanXCJacksonville Skyline, Image Credit: CillanXC

Over 80% of Americans live in urban areas. Urban agriculture is a story of growing food on windy rooftops, in once vacant lots and empty warehouses. As Eli Zigas of San Francisco’s SPUR explains it: “Urban agriculture’s real contribution is…in the number of people it touches who can then understand and learn about food, how we grow it and how it feeds us.”

Novella Carpenter knows the story. Alongside other urban farmers, Novella grows nutritious food on the vacant lot of an impoverished West Oakland, California community that would otherwise be a food desert. Will Allen knows it, too. He’s sprouted a good food revolution in Milwaukee and it’s growing across the Midwest. Read Full Article »

10-Year-Old Girl Has Severe Allergic Reaction To Pesticides In Her Blueberry Pie

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Modern Farmer
by Dan Nosowitz


For the first time ever, someone has gotten sick from a pesticide used on the fruit that went into her pie.

A 10-year-old Illinois girl was treated for anaphylactic shock caused by a severe allergic reaction after eating blueberry pie, but for weeks doctors couldn’t figure out what caused it. Though she suffered from asthma and seasonal allergies, she’d consumed nothing, thought the doctors, that would have caused an allergic reaction. The doctors dug more deeply into the pie, and found their culprit: for the first time ever, a patient suffered an allergic reaction to pesticides used on a crop in a cooked dish. Read Full Article »

Zero-Calorie Sweeteners May Trigger Blood Sugar Risk By Screwing With Gut Bacteria

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Artificial sweeteners don’t have calories — so why are these mice getting fat?

The Verge
by Arielle Duhaime-Ross

Credit: Punching Judy

When artificial sweeteners are in the news, it’s rarely positive. In the last few years, sweeteners have been linked to everything from Type 2 diabetes to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Still, products like Splenda and Sweet‘N Low remain a cornerstone of many a weight-loss strategy, mostly because doctors don’t quite understand how sweeteners contribute to disease. That may soon change, however, as results from a study, published today in Nature, point to a possible mechanism behind these adverse health effects.

“Our results suggest that in a subset of individuals, artificial sweeteners may affect the composition and function of the gut microbiome” in a way that would lead to high blood-sugar levels, said Eran Elinav, an immunologist at the Weizmann Institute of Health in Israel and a co-author of the study, during a press conference yesterday. This, the researchers say, is bad for human health because when sugar levels are high in the blood, the body can’t break it down, so it ends up being stored as fat. Read Full Article »

California Guide to Labor Laws for Small Farms

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Farm Commons
by Rachel Armstrong

CA Guide to LaborNCAT/ATTRA, in collaboration with California Farmlink, has produced a booklet that outlines the things all growers should know about labor regs, and use of volunteers, apprentices, and interns.  This free publication can be found at:

The guide is intended to help farmers become familiar with the labor laws that govern California agriculture as they pertain to having someone work on your farm, whether in an educational capacity or not. It includes basic information about farm labor law as well as discussion of alternative options for small growers who host interns or have an apprenticeship program.

While this guide is written for California and does not discuss the labor laws in other states, the information on federal laws and alternative options may be applicable in all states and may help lay the foundation for understanding state-specific requirements.

For-profit farms that use volunteers are taking risks.  To further emphasize this, here is a story about a California farm that was fined $115,000 for violations extending from the use of volunteers.  Read Full Article »