Results tagged “food”

It’s almost Spring!  The clocks are moving forward, and believe it or not, the snow is almost over!  Spring is also a time that encourages healthier living and when many of us start to crave fresh fruit and vegetables.  For most of us, right about now is also the time we start thinking about the summer’s warm weather and about getting fit and healthy, as we prepare for our summer “beach bodies.”

So how can your Spring fitness routine incorporate sustainability?  What about considering supporting your local COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA) PROGRAMS?

Purchasing food that was produced locally and is in-season is a great way to get the healthiest, freshest ingredients and minimize your transportation costs and environmental footprint.

What’s a CSA?

CSA is a model of farming that provides fresh produce directly to its members for the regional growing season.  Members commit to the CSA for the growing season and on a weekly basis receive a variety of produce, called a CSA share.  The money members provide up front helps support the initial costs of starting the growing season.  Depending on the program, some CSA Farms will even send you weekly emails with healthy recipes using the specific produce you receive that week!

So why not support a CSA this Spring as part of your wellness program?  It can be a great tool to help you live a healthier lifestyle.  Other benefits of joining a CSA include:

  • Encourages healthier, fresher, and more creative eating.
  • Makes the most of produce budgets by providing just-picked produce at peak nutritional value, grown locally with minimal chemical inputs.
  • Encourages community engagement by supporting a local farm and the local economy. Additionally, some CSA’s also donate any unclaimed produce at the end of the pick-up week to a local Food Pantry.

Check out for an interactive map that will help you locate farmers' markets, CSAs, farms, co-ops, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area.

The interactive Seasonal Ingredient Map at allows you to see what foods are fresh in your area during any given month and even provides recipes and shopping guides for each food!

We encourage you to consider supporting your local agriculture by joining a CSA near you and enjoy healthy, fresh produce this year.  Now is the time that many CSA’s are signing up for the 2013 growing season, so don’t delay!

Additional Massachusetts Links

Massachusetts-Grown Produce Availability Chart

MassGrown Map

Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership

A new study from the UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers found that up to half of the food produced around the world, as much as 2 billion tons, ends up in the trash every year.  With the UN estimating that the world could house up to 3 million more people by the end of the century, the group is calling for urgent measures to decrease the amount of wasted food.

Rising mercury levels stemming from practices such as small-scale gold mining and burning coal are posing an increasing threat to human health and the environment in developing countries, according to a new UNEP study.  “Mercury, which exists in various forms, remains a major global, regional and national challenges,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. 

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) announced on Thursday that the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which she chairs, will be adding a new climate change counsel position to her committee staff.  The role will be filled by Joe Mendelson, formerly the policy director of climate change and energy with the National Wildlife Federation.  “Dangerous climate change poses an urgent threat and we have a responsibility to address that threat,” Boxer said in a statement regarding the appointment. 

January is EPA’s National Radon Action MonthClick here for 10 important things that you should know about radon.

Chipotle Mexican Grill has received significant praise in recent years for its dedication to “food with integrity” (the company’s mission statement) and continued sourcing of organic, local, and hormone free foods. The company has also received its fair share of criticism for failing to act transparently and sensitively on certain supply chain and labor related issues. It also goes without saying that the rapidly growing burrito chain has also benefitted due to its departure from the McDonald’s portfolio, which many critics believed to be a conflict of interest.

However, six years after the divestiture of an increasingly valuable asset, it seems that McDonald’s seeks to follow the footsteps of Chipotle. While they certainly can’t claim to be converting solely to organic produce, or striving for carbon neutrality, it appears that the burger giant is seeking major reform within its supply chain. Executives have expressed growing awareness and concern regarding sustainability trends, supporting government initiatives, NGO’s, and the like in their quest for reduced environmental impact. That said, there have been few, if any strong verbal or written commitments (i.e., quantitative goals) regarding their supply chain. While beef production represents one of the company’s largest greenhouse gas liabilities, they are hesitant to disrupt their current level of control and efficiency in production.

McDonald’s efforts to date have not led them to any critical acclaim for industry best practices in sustainability, but there is potential for future success. It is clear that the organization is capable of making the business case for sustainability, not just for public relations purposes, but also for business efficiency and future viability. It remains to be seen whether or not they will take any drastic measures, but if they do, it could create an interesting food/restaurant parallel to Wal-Mart’s highly publicized sustainability initiatives. Although still criticized for various reasons by most LOHAS customers, Wal-Mart’s upstream impact on suppliers and manufacturers has been impressive. Perhaps, if we are lucky, McDonald’s can learn from that example and lead a strong movement towards less impactful and more sustainable food production within its gigantic global supply chain.

Massachusetts may soon prohibit commercial businesses such as hotels from discarding food waste in an effort to divert organic waste from landfills.  The regulations, currently under review by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), are expected to be implemented by mid-2014.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted to ban plastic bags at checkout counters and institute a 10 cent fee on paper bags, making LA the largest city in the country to enact such a ban.  The decision came just a week after Hawaii became the first state in the U.S. to ban plastic grocery bags.

The EPA and NASCAR announced an agreement this week to increase public awareness of environmentally-friendly products and implement green initiatives in an effort to address the nation’s environmental challenges.  According to an EPA representative, “The EPA and NASCAR partnership attests to the progress NASCAR has already made on environmental stewardship through greener fuel choices and multiple recycling initiatives for waste and automotive fluids, and highlights opportunities for these efforts.”

The Meatless Monday trend, introduced by health professionals at Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University in 2003, has increasingly gained recognition among chefs, bloggers, and the public. 27.5% of those aware of Meatless Mondays reported recent efforts to cut back on meat—and not just on Mondays! This week, however, food activist Mark Bittman reports that Meatless Monday faces a tough challenge: 4th of July.

Every Independence Day, Americans consume 150 million hot dogs, 700 million pounds of chicken, and 190 million pounds of red meat and pork. The outdoor barbeque is the symbol of summer fun, but excessive meat consumption has also become the symbol of obesity, unsustainable agricultural practices, labor injustices, fossil fuel dependence, and animal rights violations. Energy-intensive U.S. factory farms pollute American waterways more than all other industrial sources combined, and that’s not their only effect on water systems. In his book The Food Revolution, author John Robbins estimates that "you'd save more water by not eating a pound of California beef than you would by not showering for an entire year." Each pound of meat requires 2,500 to 6,000 pounds of water to produce, up to 10 times as much as a pound of wheat. Meat production also accounts for 30% of U.S. total fossil fuel emissions. Skipping chicken once a week achieves equivalent greenhouse gas reductions as removing half a million cars from national highways.

In addition, this year’s Fourth of July barbeque will cost Americans 29% more than it did in 2010, cashing in at around $200 to feed just 12 people. This is due to rising fuel costs and the diversion of corn to ethanol production, among other factors. An ear of fresh corn on the cob cost only 20 cents last year, but this year you’ll pay around 50 cents. So why not make your holiday meatless, or at least, eat less meat? Bloggers featured on Meatless Mondays’ website have some creative ideas to trick your guests into eating tofu dogs, fill up on desserts, and increase menu variety by offering a tray of local fruits & veggies. The many who go meatless on Monday enjoy trying new foods, saving money, and benefitting the environment.

For green grilling recipes, check out Planet Green’s “6 Meatless BBQ Recipes” as well as Care 2’s marinades for grilled vegetables! Portabella mushrooms, tossed on the barbeque with some olive oil and spices, are an easy hamburger alternative. Personally, I’ll be swapping out chicken for these awesome paneer kebabs—and convincing my roommate to whip up this yummy dessert with some strawberries from our weekly farm basket!

EBI Consulting would also like to take this opportunity to salute all American men and women in our armed forces, particularly those stationed overseas during this holiday. We thank you for your dedicated service.