Wednesday, November 11, 2009

EPA Orders Employees to Remove YouTube Climate Video

Re-posted from Twighlight Earth.

The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered two of its attorneys to remove a video they posted on YouTube about problems with climate change legislation.

The couple had received clearance for posting the video but EPA took issue with its content following publication of an op-ed piece by the two in The Washington Post on October 31.

On November 5, 2009, EPA ethics officials ordered the two veteran employees to –

  • “Remove your climate change video from You Tube by the close of business on Friday, November 6, 2009″;
  • “Edit your You Tube video…by:
    • Removing the language starting at 1:06 min – ‘Our opinions are based on
      more than 20 years each working as attorneys at the U.S. Environmental
      Protection Agency in the San Francisco Regional Office.’
    • Removing the images of EPA’s building starting at 1:06 min…
    • Remove [sic] the language starting at 6:30 min – ‘In my work at EPA,
      I’ve been overseeing California’s cap-and-trade and offset programs for
      more than 20 years.’”
  • “All future requests for approval of an outside writing activity must be accompanied by a
    draft of the document that is the subject of the approval request…”
“EPA is abusing ethics rules to gag two conscientious employees who have every right to speak out as citizens,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, who has re-posted the original video and its script. “EPA reversed itself because someone in headquarters had a tantrum about their Washington Post essay.”

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Food waste - to - energy

This is a great way to close the cycle! San Francisco area utility turns food waste into green energy. My friend Andy Sarjahani did a fabulous presentation at the American Dietetic Association Food and Nutrition Conference on Food Waste. Glad to see San Francisco take the lead. Now, if I could just get my neighborhood to learn how to recycle an the city to pick it up consistently. Argh.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Abused calves at Vermont veal slaughterhouse

Not for the faint at heart. USDA ordered this plant to close this week. Thank God.

Issue 2 in Ohio - Livestock Care Standards

I couldn't let the day go by without blogging on Issue 2 voting going on Ohio. Today marks a huge change to the Ohio constitution that will create a 13-member Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board for the purpose of establishing standards governing the care of livestock and poultry. While this sounds like a great idea, the "board" will be comprised of

thirteen Ohio residents including representatives of Ohio family farms, farming organizations, food safety experts, veterinarians, consumers, the dean of the agriculture department at an Ohio college or university and a county humane society representative,

1o of whom are chosen by the Governor, and the others appointed by other government officials. Those who understand the political clout of "big agriculture" know where this is headed. The move is said to be the largest "power grab" by special interests to control the way animals are produced since, well, rBGH.

The establishment has pulled out all of the stops to get the votes: good for the economy, good for the food supply, good for safe fact "Safe Local Ohio Food" is the industry sponsored (Ohioan's for Livestock Care) propaganda page which has done a great job of studying "green", "progressive", and "good food" websites. The bottom line: big agriculture business in Ohio wants business as usual and right now, it feels a real threat to their bottom line. Seven states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, and Oregon—have banned the use of inhumane confinement devices for farm animals. Ohio is trying to set a precedent before they are next.

Here are the Humane Society of the United States Six Reasons to Vote No on Issue 2.

Here are the Ohioan's for Livestock Care Seven Reasons to Vote Yes on Issue 2.

Here is Progressive Ohio's standpoint.

It's heating up in Ohio. I will be listening to AgriTalk radio today to hear the results, as well as monitoring Ballot-opedia -- my new favorite site!


As of 8:45 PM EST Issue 2 was leading with 69% of the votes tallied.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Friedman Sprout

The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (my school) at Tufts University has published their (our) inaugural issue of The Friedman Sprout student newspaper.

The theme is surviving finals, but there are other interesting articles. I contributed in the Kathleen's Korner Column, highlighting the news of Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan, as well as an Opt-ed -- "Why isn't nutrition part of the healthcare debate?"

Other columns include recipes, restaurant reviews, alumi spotlights, and tips on health and wellness.

To subscribe to the monthly paper email "subscribe" to

Pepsi Raw

Thanks to my friend Chuck for sending me Pepsi's new shenanigans. Pepsi Raw is the new trial run of products by the muliti-national corporation Pepsi.

I am a little unsure about the target audience: the health conscious? the elite? the gullible?
This is cola made with sparkling water and naturally sourced ingredients. That means no artificial flavours, sweeteners, preservatives, or colours.

With its lighter sparkle and unique ingredients such as apple and natural plant extracts, it has a cleaner, fresher taste that’s not only great on its own, but also makes a fantastic mixer. So if you’re someone who appreciates premium spirits, RAW is the perfect accompaniment as it allows the individual flavour of the spirit to cut through.
I am a little unsure what "naturally sourced ingredients" means. So they may be derived from plants, but what is the relevance?

The ingredients:
Sparkling water (bubbles) --no sure the difference between carbonated water, but okay.
Cane Sugar (sugar cane) -- HFCS, but I laugh that sugar is now being hustled as a marketable choice. I would be interested to know where they get their sugar from. (A 2004 report by WWF, titled “Sugar and the Environment,” shows that sugar may be responsible for more biodiversity loss than any other crop, due to its destruction of habitat to make way for plantations, its intensive use of water for irrigation, its heavy use of agricultural chemicals, and the polluted wastewater that is routinely discharged in the sugar production process.)
Apple extract -- fruit serving? does it count?
Colour- (plain caramel) derived from sugar thanks to the Malliard effect-- emphasis on "plain" ?
Natural Plant Extracts -- including natural caffeine, kola nut extract (from the rain forest in Africa)
TarTaric Acid (bunch of grapes), citric and lactic acid -- what's soda without some acid!?
Gum Arabic- Acacia tree branch & Xanthan gum -- how exotic.

And you have a "Natural Born Cola," and I have a headache.

Where the buffalo roamed - McDonald's settled

I like this article Where The Buffalo Roamed « Weather Sealed, where the author describes the monstrosity of the strip mall. I joke that urban sprawl is where they cut all the trees down and name streets after them-- Oak Ridge Road, Pine top Street, Sycamore Hallow Cove etc, which is only part of the disgust.

As a person who studies food policy, access, and security this map by Steven Von Worley was affective. The nation is discussing health care reform. Could we possibly look at the built environment as part of the problem. Is this many McDonald's really necessary? What if all of these lights were farmers markets?