News for August 31, 2011

News Today includes stories about Egg cholesterol, Bill Nye, New American Sweatshop, Highest-Paid CEOs, Pursuit of Happiness, Methyl Iodide Controversy, Monsanto, Earthships, Al Gore, MAD Foodcamp, Vegan Cocktail Guide, Grilled Avocado and Roasted Garlic Aioli, Oral Sex, Shipping Container Architecture, Backyard Tomatoes, Dolphin Slaughter, Build a Off-Grid House, Affordable Eco-Fashion, Organic Farmland, South Africa’s Wine, Eggs, Food Safety in China, Philadelphia subsidizes farmers markets, Fair Food, Meat-Eaters Are Selfish and Anti-Social, FDA Cover Up, Dalai Lama, Riskiest Foods, Tony Bennett, Kale and Grilled Tomato Salad, Combat Big Food, lost cat at JFK airport, and Food security.

Egg cholesterol in the diet

Cardiology experts warn that eating even a single egg a day may exceed the safe upper limit for cholesterol intake.

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Bill Nye Discusses Climate Change With Fox Business Network’s Charles Payne

In a recent interview with the Fox Business Network, Bill Nye (yes, the Science Guy) explained to host Charles Payne that Al Gore’s recent comments on the need for climate change discourse may not be far off point, especially when one considers the science behind it all.

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Meet The New American Sweatshop

The professional carwash industry is a $23 billion enterprise, one which more and more Americans make use of every year. If you visited a carwash lately – which judging by the latest industry report you probably have or will in the near future – you may have noticed the fast and arduous labor of carwash workers. You have seen that even in the most extreme heat or cold weather, carwash workers are hard at it – focusing on every nook and cranny of your vehicle.

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Highest-Paid CEOs Often Earn More Than Company Pays In Income Taxes, Study Finds

Twenty-five of the 100 highest paid U.S. CEOs earned more last year than their companies paid in federal income tax, a pay study said on Wednesday.

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America and the Pursuit of Happiness

America is a country of vast wealth and vast anxiety. America’s high Gross National Product per person, around $50,000, and its vast net worth, around $500,000 per household, are among the highest in the world. Yet growing numbers of Americans are unhappy, unhealthy, and increasingly pessimistic. America fought for independence to secure the inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness, but today happiness seems out of reach to tens of millions of Americans.

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Methyl Iodide Controversy: California Officials Ignored Scientists In Approving Dangerous Pesticide

California’s former top pesticide regulatory official dismissed safety guidelines suggested by her own staff scientists on the grounds that they were “excessive” and too onerous for the pesticide manufacturer, recently released internal documents show.

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Monsanto Seeks Approval For Low-Fat GMO Soybean

The soybean industry is seeking government approval of a genetically modified soybean it says will produce oil lower in saturated fat, offer consumers a healthier alternative to foods containing trans fats and increase demand for growers’ crops.

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Habitats: ‘Earthships’ Take Off in New Mexico Desert

Natural disasters like Hurricane Irene, which left millions without electricity and caused billions of dollars in damage, always remind us of two things: the fragility of our infrastructure and the tremendous potency of nature.

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Al Gore On Climate Change Deniers: It’s Crucial To ‘Win The Conversation’

In the video below from Mediaite, former Vice President Al Gore suggests that people today need to “win the conversation” against skeptics of climate change in the same way people stood up to racist comments during the civil rights movement.

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Culinary Woodstock at MAD Foodcamp

This past weekend saw the first annual MAD Foodcamp staged in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. A nerdy Woodstockish foodie festival and conference that showcased some of the most in vogue gastronomy profiles in the world.

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Vegan Cocktail Guide

By intuition alone, one might assume that all cocktails are vegan, since most types of liquor are derived from grains, vegetables, and fruits. However, some types of liquor actually do contain non-vegan ingredients or use animal products during processing and filtration. Even if they aren’t labeled on the bottle, dairy, honey, isinglass (a fish-derived clarifier), egg whites, silk, and even seashells can make their way into beers, wines, and spirits, frustrating those who want to live boozily and cruelty-free.

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Grilled Avocado and Roasted Garlic Aioli

Every time I serve someone a grilled avocado, they are amazed by the flavor. Grilling avocados adds just a bit of smokiness to whatever dish you are using them in, like our famous Grilled Guacamole. I suggest a really bright white wine, one with lots of minerals for this dish. If you are more of a red drinker, avoid the fruit, stick to herbal notes or a smoky Mourvèdre.

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Vegetarians Enjoy Oral Sex More Says OKCupid

Here at TreeHugger, we post regularly on the connections between a vegetarian diet and the effect it has on the planet. However, OKCupid has trumped us in a way we never saw coming: vegetarians enjoy giving oral sex more than non-vegetarians.

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Does Shipping Container Architecture Make Sense?

I grew up around shipping containers; my dad made them. I played with them in architecture school, designing a summer camp out of them, fascinated by the handling technology that made them cheap and easy to move. But in the real world I found them to be too small, too expensive, and too toxic.

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Why Backyard Tomatoes Taste So Terrific

The moment has arrived. The tomatoes are ripe, and so the question is not “What’s For Dinner?” but “What Are We Having With The Tomato Salad Tonight?” Maybe we’ll get sick of tomatoes drizzled with good oil, balsamic vinegar, and shake of salt and pepper, but it hasn’t happened yet. Since we eat so many tomatoes, there’s quite a lot of tomato talk, and the current questions on our minds are, why are heirloom tomatoes called that, and why do they taste so good? LA’s Farmscape garden-planting service takes an attempt at an answer.

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As Taiji Prepares to Begin Dolphin Slaughter, Activist Ric O’Barry Creates “Dolphin Project Team”

Last year, I traveled twice to Taiji to see firsthand what was happening in that tiny cove to spark international outrage. Our goal was to document the slaughter, to have a record of the dolphins that were being killed, so we could remind people that just because the movie isn’t in theaters anymore, doesn’t mean it’s over. I have met people that are shocked to learn that the slaughter continues to this day. When I ask them why they thought it had ended, they say, “I figured that when the movie came out, and won the Academy Award, that it would stop.”

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How to Build a Tiny, Off-Grid House for $2500

From life inside a tiny, 7′x12′ portable house to touring an infamous roundhouse, we’ve been pretty fascinated by the DIY tiny house movement. Here’s a great video on how to build your own tiny, cordwood, off-grid roundhouse—including some detailed tips and ideas on both the drawbacks and strengths of this particular approach.

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Frock L.A.’s Affordable Eco-Fashion Exudes Classic Glamour

When I spotted sustainable ready-to-wear line Frock Los Angeles on Ecouterre, I was instantly attracted to the classic silhouettes and glamorous, vintage-inspired styling. Designer Victoria Tik’s aim is to create simple, versatile dresses that would embrace the female form.

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Working to Save Endangered Northwest Organic Farmland

PCC Farmland Trustis believed to be the only trust in the country dedicated to preserving organic farmland, a resource that’s steadily shrinking even as demand for local and organic foods is on the rise.

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South Africa’s Wine Woes

I’ve seen it: People who are extremely fussy about the food they put in their mouths—shopping at farmers markets for veggies and meat and looking for Fair Trade labels on tropical goods—nevertheless choose wine based on whatever has the quirkiest label at the price point they’re comfortable with.

But just as much as tomatoes or pork chops, wine is an agricultural product. Grapes are grown on real land and tended by real people—and marketed by corporate flacks who know how to paint a lovely picture.

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New Egg Rule Inspections Show Problems Persist

A year ago, the national media, spurred on by information from activists organizations, were quick to paint the recall of more than a half billion shell eggs as the work of just one man –agricultural business baron Jack DeCoster, who has had one regulatory run-in after another in the multiple states where he operates.

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Food Safety in China, and the Risk to the U.S.

Another week, another food-safety crisis in China. Several news networks — Associated Press, Australian Press and Xinhua — report that 11 people have died and anywhere from 120 to 140 were sickened by contaminated vinegar. Stoking tensions further is the reason so many were poisoned at once: The victims live in a small village in far-west Xinjiang province and are ethnic Uighurs, the minority group whose desire for political independence from Beijing led to brutally suppressed riots in 2009. Uighurs are overwhelmingly Muslim, and most of the small village, about 150 people, had gathered for an iftar meal to break their Ramadan fast.

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Green for greens: Philadelphia subsidizes farmers markets

We now have more evidence of the effectiveness of healthy food subsidies, thanks to a pilot program in Philadelphia. Philly Food Bucks offers food stamps recipients a 40 percent subsidy at farmers markets. In other words, shoppers get a $2 subsidy for every $5 they spend in food stamps at participating farmers markets. In season, farmers markets can be a better deal than supermarkets for produce; I can also report from experience that Philly has many fairly priced farmers markets.

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Perspective: Oran Hesterman on Fair Food

Fair food is good for people and the earth. In this Nourish perspective, Dr. Oran Hesterman, founder of the Fair Food Network, discusses what communities are doing to create a more equitable food system.

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Study: Meat-Eaters Are Selfish and Anti-Social

Is it selfish to eat shellfish? The results of several studies in the Netherlands seem to indicate so. Three professors at two universities have determined that meat-eaters are more selfish and distant and less social than vegetarians are.

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FDA Covers Up Food Safety Violations at Egg Farms

According to a recent article in the Des Moines Register, more than a year after 1,900 people were sickened and half a billion salmonella-poisoned eggs from Iowa were recalled, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspectors continue to document unsanitary conditions and public safety hazards at Iowa egg farms. The article states that instead of issuing fines or penalties, however, the FDA has been covering up these violations by blacking out critical elements of reports and withholding key information from the public – including brand names under which potentially contaminated eggs are sold.

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Al Gore Says Eat Less Meat to Fight Global Warming

While President Bill Clinton espoused the benefits of healthy vegan eating on CNN, Clinton’s colleague Al Gore took the stage to encourage Americans to reduce their meat consumption for the health of the planet. In a recent interview, the former Vice President said that the shift toward a more meat-intensive diet and the clearing of forests around the world to make room to graze farmed animals is a big part of the problem when it comes to global warming.

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Dalai Lama: Buddhism is Followed Through Reason

Speaking on the importance of inner values, His Holiness spoke in English for the first hour of his talk. “A happy life does not come from material things, but from your mental state,” His Holiness asserted.

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Top 10 Riskiest Foods

What do strawberries and oysters have in common? Both make the list of the top ten foods responsible for the most outbreaks of foodborne illness since 1990 in the United States. Oysters, okay–but berries?

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Tony Bennett’s All-Star Concert to End Hunger

Tony Bennett will celebrate his 85th birthday with a star-studded concert at L.A.’s STAPLES Center to benefit AARP’s Drive to End Hunger among older Americans.

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Recipe: Kale and Grilled Tomato Salad

Like most vegans, I am familiar with the nutritional benefits of kale, although I rarely choose to eat it raw, opting instead to steam or sauté it. This salad, however, has convinced me that kale is just as delicious raw as it is cooked. The bite-sized pieces are perfect for soaking up the dressing and provide the right amount of chewiness in comparison to the soft, warm tomatoes. This salad is truly a stunner- beautiful, nutritious and incredible tasty!

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Tools to Combat Big Food

I want you to sit back and think about a few things for a moment. Think of an industry that markets specifically to children. An industry that looks to get kids hooked at an early age, not only to addictive products in general but specifically to their brand.

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Food is the ultimate security need, new map shows

It is a graphic demonstration of the sickening, symbiotic relationship between hunger and conflict and highlights food supply problems from Somalia to India to Spain

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Register investigation: Egg farms rack up violations

One year after 1,900 people were sickened and a half-billion Iowa eggs were recalled, government inspectors continue to find unsanitary conditions and inadequate protections against salmonella on Iowa’s egg farms.

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Jack the cat is lost at JFK airport

Jack the cat has been on the loose in the American Airlines baggage center at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport for five days now, and thanks to Facebook and Twitter, sympathetic animal lovers are pressuring the airline to find him.

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About James Lucas


James has been a graphic designer for over 18 years and owns Wave Hound Surf Shop. James started Doylestown Movie Fans, who meet once a month to see movies at the County Theater in Doylestown, PA. He and his wife Chris started Bucks County Vegan Supper Club in 2009, whose members meet once a month to have a vegan potluck dinner. They are currently working through the Veganomicon cookbook, which inspires experienced and recent vegans to try new recipes. James is proud to support Farm Sanctuary and The Surfrider Foundation.

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