Monthly Archives: March 2011

Wasting Food = Huge Hidden Water Costs

There’s nothing newsy about the imbalances in world food supplies that has fueled things like the obesity epidemic in the United States and other developed countries where food is cheap and abundant, while parts of the developing world face chronic hunger, malnutrition, famine, and high mortality rates. Humanitarians and policy wonks have wrung their hands over these issues for years over. Now researchers are looking at the problem from another pressing angle: All the rotten produce, meat and moldy grains means the huge quantities of water required to grown them was also wasted.

The U.K. newspaper The Guardian reports on new research by the British government’s Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap) and the environmental group  WWF that examines the average UK household’s water and carbon footprint. Conclusion: “we throw away, on average, twice as much water per year in the form of uneaten food as we use for washing and drinking.” The Guardian goes on to say: “What is worse, increasing amounts of our food comes from countries where water is scarce, meaning the food we discard has a huge hidden impact on the depletion of valuable water resources across the world.

Read the entire article here.


The Importance of Forests, Farmers + Product Safety

A few news stories of note this morning:

Seeing the forest’s role: “By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in regions with absolute water scarcity and two-thirds of the world’s population may experience water-stress conditions. Forests capture and store water and can play an important role in providing drinking water for millions of people in the world’s mega-cities.” The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization calls on countries to recognize the links between healthy forests and drinking water supplies and do a better job protecting both.

Small farmers lead the way: In a just released short film series, TVE Asia Pacific profiles farmers in Cambodia, the Netherlands, Niger, and South Africa who are members of Prolinnov, a global network  that promotes local level innovation by small farmers.

New Consumer Product Safety Database targeted by “Koch congressman” – Quick, before U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo gets his way! Check out the government database Pompeo has targeted for extinction, some say as a way of paying fealty to his political patrons at Koch Industries.

The nature of corporate power over environmental groups

Robert Greene, author of “The 48 Rules of Power” and I discuss why environmental groups get little out of their dealings with corporate polluters on the “Tierra Verde” radio show today. We taped the half-hour discussion last night. Greene had some interesting insights into the “soft power” approach corporations have used over the last three decades to co-opt the movement. The show airs today at 1 pm PST (4 pm EST) on KPFA 94.1 FM in Berkeley, Calif.

Second Grade Projects are Cooler Today


When I was in second grade, kickball was just about all the excitement – nothing like Cole Rasenberger’s second grade experience.