Tuesday, January 03, 2006

mindful eating

A couple of days ago, I finished reading the book Harvest for hope: a guide to mindful eating, by Jane Goodall, with Gary McAvoy and Gail Hudson, 2005. A lot of this was not new to me, looking at the food we produce and consume, the issues regarding the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, GMO's, packaging, additives, animal cruelty, factory farms...etc.

However, I was very glad to read someone as well respected as Jane Goodall, in her gentle way, making her suggestions for change. using water filters, eating organic, shopping locally at farmers' markets, buying shade-grown & fair trade coffee, and so on. To anyone who is not familiar with the issues, this book is a must-read primer.

Here are some of the resources that I liked from the back of the book:

Blue Planet Project, an international effort to protect the world's fresh water from the growing threats of trade and privatization: http://www.blueplanetproject.net

Earth Day Network's Footprint Quiz; find out how big a footprint you make upon the earth: http://www.earthday.net/footprint

New England Heritage Breeds Conservancy works to conserve historic and endangered breeds of livestock and poultry in an effort to preserve a more diverse gene pool, and encourage the production of these breeds on today's farms: http://www.nehbc.org

Organic Consumers Association, is a grassroots, nonprofit that deals with issues of food safety, representing the views and interests of organic consumers in the U.S. : http://organicconsumers.org

Slow Food. Founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy, Slow Food promotes food and wine culture, defending food and agricultural biodiversity worldwide: http://slowfood.com

The Edible Schoolyard, offers its program as a model for other organizations engaged in creating organic gardening and cooking projects for children: http://www.edibleschoolyard.org

Compassion in World Farming Trusts' mission is to work toward ending factory farming systems and practices that cause suffering on farmed animals: http://www.ciwf.org

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is the largest animal rights organization in the world: http://www.peta.org

Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods, is concerned with the growing acreage of unlabeled and inadequately tested genetically engineered crops. As GMO's are used in the manufacture of so much foodstuff, and labelling is not required in Canada or the US, I think this campaign is very important: http://www.thecampaign.org

Percy Schmeiser, Farmer/Activist, seeks financial assistance with the legal challenge of going up against the giant Monsanto. Read about his struggle on the Web site and support him if you can: http://www.percyschmeiser.com

I will post more resources most likely in a soon-to-be upcoming blog.


Blogger Siel said...

Wow -- I'll have to add this book to my froogle list!

In the meantime, as a fair trade advocate, perhaps you might be interested in the Starbucks Challenge?

1:01 a.m.  
Blogger Melissa said...

I am currently reading this same book and have just finished Chapter 5, Animal Factories: Farms of Misery. And there I was, left blubbering like a baby and asking, "Why are we such fools?"

The chicken cacciatore I was to make tonight got scratched from the menu and was replaced with pasta, using all organic ingredients. The milk and eggs I chose were organic as well. Thank goodness I shop at Wegman's, which has a wonderful organic and all-natural section (a well-stocked one, no less!).

This book, even without finishing it yet, has changed my life forever. I do believe I will never be able to walk past the meat case without feeling a bit of revulsion in the pit of my stomach. I'm sure my carnivore-of-a-husband will feel repulsed as well, but mainly due to the fact there will be a bit more green on the table from now on.

And GMO's . . . holy cow! That's a different problem altogether!

3:43 p.m.  
Blogger lauren said...

I totally agree that this is a worthwhile book even if the information is not new to you. It has reignited my passion about a lot of these issues, and it reminds me why I think that our food choices are some of the most important decisions we make in a day.

5:47 p.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

thanks to siel regarding the tip on the Starbucks Challenge. It not only sounds like fun, but worthwhile. Every little bit helps!

12:58 a.m.  

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