I admit it; I am not a big fan of Earth Day. This aversion could stem from what happened to me on one of the first Earth Day celebrations in NYC in Central Park, when a large dog mistook my back as a tree stump and I was urinated upon; but, it doesn’t. My objection to Earth Day is more fundamental. Why must we set aside a day (or a week) to be “Earth conscious?” We should be cognizant of the planet and our effects on the planet every day – not once a year. For those of us who are trained ecologists, geologists, hydrologists, oceanographers, climatologists, and other environmental scientists; and for those that are passionate, active, and concerned citizens (AKA environmentalists), we don’t need an “earth” day. The people of the earth don’t need an Earth Day. Or do we?
With 7 billion people on this planet, increasing at 1% per year, perhaps we need to be reminded about finite resources, and unsustainable population growth and consumption. With agro-ecosystems providing the equivalent of more than 2700 Kcal per person, and with nearly 1 billion people undernourished, while obesity becomes epidemic elsewhere, perhaps we need a wake-up call. With unprecedented levels of factory farming and feedlots across the globe, loss of soil fertility and top soil, increased levels of pesticides and pharmaceuticals in groundwater, and 70% of the world’s freshwater being used by agribusiness – perhaps we need new priorities and new educational outreach.
With our climate system permanently altered by greenhouse gas emissions, with sea ice and land ice melting at unparalleled rates, with sea level rising, with increased frequency and severity of storms, with changes in the thermohaline conveyor system slowing the Gulf Stream and consequently allowing water levels to rise on the Mid-Atlantic coast of North America, and all the while, global carbon emissions still rise, perhaps we need a regular reminder that change is necessary.
While rivers cease to reach the oceans, and while ocean systems are over-harvested and polluted, we need to act now. We need to act. The dominant social and economic paradigms of consumerism and consumption as a measure of self-worth have to change. I tell my students that “business as usual” is no longer acceptable, that the dominant paradigms are outdated and self-destructive; that it’s up to all of us to work to protect the planet for the future.
My utopian world is one in which Earth Day is not necessary – until then I’ll continue to work to bring about change and hope that at some point we won’t need Earth Day any longer.
Arthur H. Kopelman, Ph.D.
SUNY Distinguished Service Professor and Professor of Science at FIT
ClimAID Webinar Series
Climate change is already affecting the people and resources of New York State, and these impacts are projected to grow. Fortunately, there are many steps that state and local government actors can take to reduce the negative impacts of climate change and take advantage of possible opportunities. The ClimAID webinars will provide vital information and resources to help local government agencies take action to reduce local impacts of and adapt to climate change. NYSERDA is pleased to offer these webinars at no cost.
The webinar series will draw heavily from findings in the comprehensive report, ClimAID: the Integrated Assessment for Effective Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in New York State. Read the whole report or its components at: http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/climaid
Responding to Climate Change in New York State: An overview of climate change, its impacts, and proactive actions that cities and towns can take to adapt to a changing climate.
Arthur DeGaetano, Northeast Regional Climate Center, Cornell University
Daniel Bader, Columbia University
Radley Horton, Columbia University
Moderator: Amanda Stevens, NYSERDA
Date: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Time: 12:00pm-1:00pm EST
Will be broadcast in the CET.
- If you wish to join on your own -Registration link: https://nyserda.ilinc.com/register/tpbwfwm
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE GREEN CUISINE?
Green Cuisine encourages a regional food supply and a strong local economy, it maintains a sense of community, encourages earth stewardship, and protects the future of small to medium-size family farms. It is approaching the farm, the ranch, the ocean, the vineyard and the dairy as an ecosystem that thrives through careful management of natural resources. It boils down to three parts: environmental, economic an social sustainability.
Join Culinary Arts for a SUSTAINABLE STIR FRY Demonstration on Thursday, November 15 at 1PM in A734
Ecological / Environmental
• Organic/Biodynamic agriculture
• More Nutritious Food and less Packaging and waste
• Improve Soil Quality
• Improve Water Quality
• Promote Biodiversity
• Energy Conservation / Food does not have to travel hundreds of miles
• Support Local / True Economy
Social / Political
• Better Tasting Food / Variety
• Help Small Farmers
• Reduce your Bodies Chemical Burden
• Protect Farm Worker’s Health
• Food Safety through traceability
Sustainable and seasonal cuisine has many benefits, not the least of which is great taste. It is also great fun to know that you are cooking and eating great food grown or harvested by local artisans. Let the flavors of seasonal produce and raw ingredients speak for themselves and inspire your cooking, the flavor will always be outstanding.
One good premise to follow is to focus on locally grown vegetables.
Here is a simple recipe for Roast Asparagus
Easy to do in a toaster oven. You can even substitute other vegetables like cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts so be creative.
Wash and trim about an inch off the Asparagus stalk. Shake dry. Place on the oven dish or cookie sheet. drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Roast at 400F for about 20 min or until the vegetables show some browning. Serve with some fresh lemon juice.
JOIN FIT CULINARY ARTS ON NOVEMBER 15th, 1-2 in A734 for a SUSTAINABLE VEGETARIAN DEMONSTRATION
That’s right FIT it’s not what you put on your skin but what goes inside that keeps you young and healthy. Antioxidant loaded fruits and veggies contain nature’s phytochemicals that beat anything that comes in a jar or tube. Plus eating more fruits and vegetables is sustainable and better for the earth.
Berries such as raspberries, blackberries, loganberries, blueberries, bilberries, and cranberries contain flavonols and anthocyanins, naturally occurring substances with strong anti-cancer properties. Frozen berries have the same nutrition benefits as fresh, so you can improve your health, even when fresh berries aren’t in season.
Citrus Fruits such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, and grapefruit-all have vitamin C, a vitamin long associated with preventing the common cold. Vitamin C may also help reduce the risk of cancer and cataracts. In addition, citrus fruits contain limonese, a compound that may help the liver detoxify carcinogenic chemicals.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, and brussels sprouts feature a substance called sulforaphane, a naturally-occurring compound in foods that neutralizes highly reactive, dangerous forms of cancer-causing chemicals before they can damage cells and promote cancer.
Garlic and other members of the allium family such as onions, scallions, shallots, chives and leeks are loaded with allicin and S-allylcysteine-compounds associated with reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.
Grapes, grape juice, and wine are sources of resveratrol, which protects against heart disease and fights the production and progression of cancerous tumors.
Nuts and seeds have heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Nuts are good sources of vitamin E, which can prevent the oxidation of “bad” cholesterol and the resulting buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. Nuts and seeds are also filled with selenium, another powerful antioxidant.
Olives and olive oil are monounsaturated fats, and this type of fat can help lower total blood cholesterol and increase the ratio of good cholesterol to bad. Improving blood cholesterol levels reduces the risk of heart disease.
Orange and yellow vegetables such as carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkin all contain beta-carotene-the substance that gives these vegetables their intense colors. Beta-carotene may reduce the risk of cancer and protect against cataracts.
Salmon although not vegetarian, is a particularly good source of omega-3 fat, a type of fat that has been shown to help thin blood and keep blood platelets from clotting and sticking to artery walls. The result is a lower risk of heart attack and stroke. Go for the wild salmon. It’s caught from a healthy wild stock with sustainable methods, is free of contaminants, and avoids the problems with farmed salmon, which can not only pollute local waters near the farm but also be polluted themselves because of the fish meal they’re fed. Plus I think it is much tastier than farmed salmon.
Tomatoes, especially in the form of tomato sauce, and other members of the nightshade family. Eggplant, tomatillos, cayenne and chili peppers contain a substance called lycopene, which research has shown may help to reduce the risk of prostate, colon, and bladder cancers. Chili peppers are a source of capsaicin, which is the compound that makes the peppers spicy hot. Capasicin has been shown to help prevent the growth of certain types of cancer and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent.
When cooking your healthy vegetables you’ll want to use healthy cookware too. In our upcoming demos we will be using the state of the art ceramic cookware for green cuisine from Xtrema.
JOIN FIT CULINARY ARTS ON NOVEMBER 15th, 1-2 in A734 for a
SUSTAINABLE VEGETARIAN DEMONSTRATION
By Alison Moodie, GreenBiz.com, 10-9-2012
For a company like PepsiCo, which oversees more than 20 brands and hundreds of different products around the world, calculating the carbon footprint of just one of its products can take weeks, and at a signficant cost to the company. To save time and money, PepsiCo teamed up with researchers from Columbia University’s Earth Institute to create a tool that can measure the carbon footprint of thousands of products all at once.
The calculator, which lacks an official name, can calculate the carbon emissions of different materials and activities in a company’s supply chain and operations, and within minutes pinpoint which of these carries the largest carbon footprint.
‘The objective was to give companies several capabilities at once with only a single effort,’ said Christoph Meinrenken, the tool’s lead researcher and associate research scientist at the Earth Institute.
The calculator was developed to follow publicly known carbon footprinting standards such as the GHG Protocol Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) standard and PAS20:2011. The methodology and software helps businesses identify which materials or activities in their supply chain and operations have the biggest effect on the total carbon footprint of one of their products, product lines, brands or regions. The calculator also reveals the accuracy of this information and how this accuracy can be improved so a company can make better business decisions.
“We saw the opportunity to use our carbon/greenhouse gas analysis as a base for building a broader decision-making tool that could help us identify other efficiency opportunities throughout our supply chian, drive innovation and improve our overall operations,” said Rober terKuile, PepsiCo’s senior director of environmental sustainability.
The tool also provides certifiable product footprints to be used in ecolabeling and for environmental measuring groups such as The Sustainability Consortium and GoodGuide. This certification requires an intensive, bottom-up assessment of each product’s entire life cycle in order to provide the required microscopic level of detail and to be auditable outside the company, said Meinrenken.
The tool is not the first of its kind. Earlier this year, Danone announced it had developed a system, in partnership with SAP, that can calculate the carbon emissions of individual products. Meinrenken said the inner workings of the Danone tool hadn’t been made public, so it was hard to adequately compare the two. He said PesiCo’s tool was developed before Danone unveiled its calculator.
The PepsiCo tool takes inspiration from sites like Facebook and Netflix, which mine huge swaths of data to figure out what users like. It analyzes data already stored in a company’s database to infer information, like what materials are in a product and where they come from. This process saves a company time and money, said Meinrenken.
‘This is just a general argument of being smart and efficient with companies’ existing data to mine and ‘milk’ it if you will, to learn additional things from the same data, rather than hiring additional staff and building up new data,’ he said.
To learn more about this approach to carbon footprinting, finish reading the article HERE.
Hey FIT – Try a Vegetarian Monday for the rest of October. You will be doing yourself and the planet a favor. Why not visit your local green market and get in on some of the Fall Harvest or order up the Vegetarian option at Aramark!
COME TO THE FIT CULINARY ARTS SALSA DEMO
on THURSDAY 10/11 at 1PM in A734
REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation. And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.
HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein. Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.
LIMIT CANCER RISK: Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer.
REDUCE HEART DISEASE: Recent data from a Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (for example, meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%
FIGHT DIABETES: Research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
CURB OBESITY: People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices. A recent study from Imperial College London also found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain.
LIVE LONGER: Red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality.
IMPROVE YOUR DIET. Consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.