Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Talking Trash

Former sea captain, Mary Crowley, was interviewed by More magazine about her mission to try to clean up ocean trash. It's really our mission too, since we inadvertantly produce trash that ends up in the ocean, including bottles, toys and even lawn chairs! Read about Mary's project and let's get some ideas about how we can limit trash on our end to preserve our oceans.

Monday, June 27, 2011

First Zero Packaging Store Opens

Americans throw away 1.4 billion pounds of waste every day, and 40% of it comes from one-time packaging.

A new store which forgoes packaging has opened in Austin, TX, warming the hearts of all zero waste advocates. Read about it or, if you're in the Austin, TX area this summer, why not visit and let us know about it. Go Austin!

Can we reduce our packaging at the Coop and in NYC in general?
Take a look at 4 Radical Solutions to Packaging Waste and see
what you think.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Politics of Nutrition

NYC Green Carts: Healthy Food Deserts and the Politics of Nutrition

Wednesday, June 22 at 6:30 pm
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Ave. at 103rd St.

How do geography and income level affect New Yorkers' access to a healthy, nutritious diet?

Is the disparity in healthy options a product of the marketplace or an unintended consequence of policy or both?
  • Beth Weitzman, Associate Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs and Professor of Health and Public Policy at New York University; with

  • Barbara Brenner, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine; and

  • Cathy Nonas, Director of the Physical Activity and Nutrition program, New York City Health Department, discuss access to healthy food and the health of New York City's neighborhoods.
Reservations required: 917-492-3395 or e-mail
$6 museum members; $8 seniors and students; $12 non-members
$6 when you mention Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC)/COMFOOD

Monday, June 13, 2011

Warming Planet and Food Supplies

Environmental Committee member Regina Weiss has a letter to the editor in today's (6/13/11) New York Times, in response to the 6/4/11 article
A Warming Planet Struggles
to Feed Itself

To the Editor:
Your article is not a moment too soon in sounding the alarm over how rising temperatures affect agriculture. But there is a widespread misconception that more food is needed to feed a growing world population, when what we really need is to eat differently.

While the use of grain to produce meat was mentioned in the article, it bears a closer look.

Today, half of the world’s corn and 90 percent of all the soy grown are used to feed livestock — a serious misdistribution that diverts billions of pounds of grain away from people who could be eating it. In addition, the millions of acres of precious arable land used to grow animal feed leave less land — far less — available to grow the wide variety of vegetables and fruits needed for a healthy diet.

In China, the average amount of pork eaten per person rose 45 percent in just the dozen years ending in 2005. In the United States, the amount of chicken consumed rose from an average of 21 pounds to 86 pounds a year per person between 1950 and 2005, while the amount of beef eaten by the average American rose from 44 pounds to 65 pounds a year.

Put simply, more people who can afford to are simply eating too much grain-intensive meat, severely shrinking the land available to produce plant-based food for human consumption.
Regina Weiss

Monday, June 06, 2011

Say No to Food Coop GMOs

The GMO Shelf Labelling Committee is very concerned about how many Coop products contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). U.S. Manufacturers do not have to include information about GMOs on their labels—that's why the MO committee investigates and puts warning labels on our shelves. Advocates are also trying to enact more truthful labelling laws.

The amount of products we have with GMOs is staggering, and this goes against the Coop's mission statement, which says:
"Sell no products that are genetically engineered or contain products of genetic engineering, except that sales of genetically engineered products shall not be discontinued unless there is a similarly priced equivalent product that is not genetically engineered. Genetically engineered products for which there are adequate substitutes as described above shall be replaced as quickly as possible by the substitute product."
Read more of the Food Coop's environmental policy.

See the GMO committee's new brochure on their blog, urging members to speak up and say, "No!" to GMOs.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

HS Students Help Pass Pharma Waste Law

An Illinois high school teacher and his students helped pass a state-wide pharmaceutical disposal law. This ecology teacher is the director of the national Prescription Pill and Disposal Plan, which has already spread to 13 states (though not New York).

Improper disposal of meds (putting them in regular trash or flushing down the toilet) leads to a dangerous environmental imbalance. A 2000 U.S. Geological Survey found pharmaceuticals in some 80% of streams sampled in 30 states. We need a good pharmaceutical disposal law in New York. Read more about the new legislation.