News & Views

Thousand Hills Cattle Company Leads the Way to Grass Fed Beef

Thousand Hills Cattle Company, a leading producer of grass fed beef in the Midwest, has its work cut out for it.

First of all, there’s the cost of their product. Although their cattle are relatively inexpensive to raise, according to founder Todd Churchill (they just eat grass, right?), the cost of transporting, processing, packaging, and shipping 24 grass-fed cattle each week is enormous - there’s just not much economy of scale. By the time it gets to the grocery store or co-op, Thousand Hills beef costs more than its corn fed (non-organic) counterparts, nearly every time.

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What are You Thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Show Me the (Slow) Money!

 The book that started the movementSlow Money: The book that started the movement

What would the world be like if we invested 50% of our assets within 50 miles of where we live?

What if there were a new generation of companies that gave away 50% of their profits?

What if there were 50% more organic matter in our soil 50 years from now?

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Cooking is an Activity Too

 Kate SommersImage Credit: Kate SommersThe issue of time - specifically, how long it takes to cook and eat fresh, local, and organic food and how little time most people have - comes up again and again in my discussions with parents and friends who are considering making a change in their eating habits. (Not surprisingly, the other topic that comes up again and again is the cost of good food. Much has been compellingly written about the true cost of cheap food, and I encourage you to check it out.)

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6 Reasons Why It’s Fun to Eat Local

The only reasons why I do anything are because it is fun now, it allows things to be fun later, or it ensures that things will continue being fun. Eating? Fun now. Working? Fun later when I eat what I bought with my paycheck. Shoveling the walk? Ensures that when I haul my groceries into the house, I don’t slip, fall, and ruin the fun of eating them.

So, obviously, the main reason why I’d buy local food is because it’s fun in so many ways:

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Consider Banning the (Water) Bottle

Bottled water ain't all it's cracked up to be. Sure, it's better than the alternatives you'll find in a Coke machine, but filling your own bottle with tap water is even better. An excellent, recent Lighter Footstep article gives us Five Reasons Not to Drink Bottled Water. Here's an excerpt:

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"Speak Up to Stop Big Ag": The Latest Action Alert from Food Democracy Now

Obama campaigning in Iowa, January 2008.Obama campaigning in Iowa, January 2008.

While the debate over healthcare reform continues to rage in Washington, other political news can get lost in the cracks.

Case in point, did you know that President Obama recently nominated two "Big Ag" executives -- with connections to Monsanto and CropLife -- to key posts in the U. S. Department of Agriculture? The story wasn't covered by the mainstream news organizations, so I didn't hear about it until I received an action alert from Food Democracy Now.

Here's the full text:

Dear Friends,

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This Halloween, Beware of "Tainted" Chocolate

This Saturday night, as you give candy to the little ghosts, witches, pirates and princesses who've come to your door yelling “trick or treat,” you may get something in return: A piece of chocolate. And an education.

This Halloween, thousands of children across the country will be “Reverse Trick-or-Treating” to tell grown-ups the ugly truth about the chocolate industry. To do so, they will distribute chocolate samples that are Fair Trade Certified and will be accompanied by cards that say this:

Thank you for the candy that you are generously sharing tonight.

Like Halloween, chocolate should be a source of joy for all children, including those in countries where cocoa is grown. Unfortunately, that is not the case today.

Why?

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In Praise of Carrots

 Kate SommersImage Credit: Kate SommersHas there ever been a food more perfect than the carrot? Delicious raw or cooked, skinned or peeled, if I edited the dictionary, there'd be a carrot next to the word "superfood" (if I edited the dictionary, the word "superfood" would be included, yes). The picture would show those lovely orange roots (with green tops, of course) in my 7-year old boy's just-washed hands.

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Beware of the Soccer Snack Shrew!

The fall recreational soccer leagues are now behind us. And with them, the nutritional pitfalls of post-soccer snacks.

If you’re a parent with a kid who plays some kind of sport, chances are you know what I’m talking about. For some reason, snacks have become such a ubiquitous part of recreational sports that questioning their necessity is met with the same disdain as, say, suggesting that our children play their next game with their hands tied behind their backs.

Not that I’ve ever suggested such a thing – kids playing with their hands tied behind their backs, I mean. But I have, on several occasions, tried to gently convince whomever will listen that the post-game goodie grabs do more harm than good.

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