Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thoughts on a Seedling

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A pine cone sprouts from the burnt forest floor the spring after a wildfire. Of all hopeful metaphors, a germinating seed might be the most deeply rooted (pun intended). Yet the metaphor gives a dark warning as well: you reap what you sow. The importance of literally planting good seeds can’t be overstated, but the idea is also a useful… Read more »

Violence’s Voracious Appetite

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Food is the polar opposite of violence; neither feels significant until it’s personal. Hunger is in the belly. It feels different to see a bombing on the news versus noticing plumes of smoke from your window. Modern history forces us to consider starvation as a weapon… but is it a useful weapon? Food insecurity and civil unrest form a vicious… Read more »

What Does the Average Family Eat?

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What does the average family grocery list look like? Photographer Peter Menzel must have pondered something similar before travelling to 24 countries to find those average families and photograph them with their weekly groceries. He published the pictures in his book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats in 2005. While all his photos are thoughtful and expertly captured, the families… Read more »

The Battle for Land and Water

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If you want to grow food, you’ll need fertile land and a reliable supply of water. It’s important to realize that these two resources are very tightly linked and neither is infinite. When either is compromised, food is harder to grow and bad things start to happen. Farmland has been a cause for conflict throughout history, but as agriculture has… Read more »

Beefy Industry

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In his book Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, Richard Robbins weighs the environmental costs of a staple of the US diet: beef. In mathematical number of calories, beef is an inefficient food that requires huge food input. Cattle feed accounts for 80% of US grain production and about half of US water consumption. This inefficiency is magnified as… Read more »

Blog Post 2

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Any significant drop or raise in population would dramatically change the state of the economy, and ultimately, the function of the market. If something simple, such as wheat, were to suddenly become scarce, the impact would be dramatic. Since wheat is used in such a great many other products, those products relying on wheat would also become scarce and would… Read more »

Evolution of Food Industrialization

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What I found interesting this week was the evolution of food systems, from it’s beginning to it’s present forms. The lifestyles of humans have evolved dramatically. In a hunter gatherer society, food was consumed as it was available, and groups would migrate to find more food resources once theirs become scarce. However, as these evolved into settlements and communities, humans began to deplete… Read more »

When Conservation Means Control

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Paul Robbins begins his book Political Ecology defining it as a place where knowledge of diverse fields and modes of thought intersect. It’s a common language to study the many ways humanity relates to the world ecosystem, taking more into account than the local effects humans have on the environment. Robbins introduces five theses of Political Ecology; the first two… Read more »

Climate Complexity

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I found it hard to connect with the last four contemplative practices with the exception of week 7, Climate Complexity. It felt good to just sit and take a deep breath. As I sat on my couch listening to this practice, I focused on my breathing, calming my overwhelming sense of stress as of late. Climate change is a big… Read more »

A Stressful Process

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I have spent weeks working on my Food Solutions Research Paper. Every-time I thought I was getting somewhere, the feedback I would receive would change my direction yet again. Now having completed the process and as I contemplate posting my paper, I find myself continuously rereading it, asking myself it I have done enough. Finding a specific solution was probably… Read more »