Shrimp and tsunamis

December 13, 2012

Industrial shrimp aquaculture is one of the main reasons for the destruction of coastal mangrove forests. These wilderness areas act as a natural buffer against stormy weather. Areas with intact mangrove zones suffered fewer human deaths due to the Dec 2004 tsunamis.

The tsunami disaster that occurred in the Indian Ocean is beyond comprehension – over 200,000 people dead, scores more injured, and massive destruction. Earthquakes and tsunamis are unavoidable, but the severity of ...


Tips on storing whole foods

December 13, 2012
Whole foods need to be eaten fresh for the best flavour and nutrition. Natural foods contain no chemical preservatives, so their shelf life is shorter than for refined products.

Almost half of all food is wasted in North America so it is also important to develop good shopping and storage habits to help reduce this needless waste.

Where to shop

Natural food stores, bulk stores, buying clubs and some supermarkets are the best places to find fresh whole foods. Choose ...


Minimizing food waste

December 13, 2012
Choose foods that result in less landfill waste, packaging, and energy.

Almost half of all food is thrown out

2004 study, from the University of Arizona, found that almost half of all food ready for harvest never gets eaten. The average family of four throws out $600 worth of good food every year, including 14 percent that hasn’t expired or even been unpackaged.

“We’ve lost touch with food,” says Timothy Jones, the author ...


Choose local & organic

December 13, 2012

Eating foods that are locally grown and organic can make a big difference, but it doesn’t trump eating low on the food chain as the most effective way to reverse wilderness destruction, climate change emissions, pollution and other ills.

Shifting to an entirely local diet would reduce the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions as driving 1,000 miles per year. By comparison changing to a plant-based diet for just one day per week would have about the same impact! For those who eat the average North American diet (centered on ...


Fish and sustainability

December 13, 2012

From an environmental perspective, fish is not a good alternative to meat.

Oceans are being depleted

Wild fish stocks are in serious decline. Humans have become increasingly effective at tracking down schools of fish using sophisticated sonar and satellite technologies. Capture methods include drag nets that rake the ocean floor, longlining – using miles of baited hooks, and dynamiting coral reefs to scare fish into nets.

turtleNets reel in a great number of non-targeted species ...


Foraging for wild berries in the city

June 26, 2008

Written by Stephen Leckie

Late June is mulberry season in Canada. These juicy black berries grow in great abundance on trees in Toronto and many other cities.

Saskatoon berries are also available at this time of year. You can find these purple berries in parks growing on bushes or slender trees.

Foraging for wild fruit is one of the best ways to eat local. It not only helps you get fresh, exotic and unsprayed fruit at no cost but also reduces the energy and ...


Soaring Food Prices Bring Fear but Also Hope

June 18, 2008

The current crisis is a wake up call for going vegetarian, eating local, not over-eating, and reducing waste

Anyone who likes Urban Herbivore’s delicious vegan muffins (and who doesn’t?) came face to face with the global phenomena of raising grain prices recently – the price went from $2 to $2.50. A sign posted by the muffins explained that prices for flour had risen by as much as 141% since last October.

In Canada higher prices for food is a minor inconvenience compared ...


Climate change: The inconvenient truth about what we eat

April 15, 2007

Written by Steve Leckie   

 With April being a cold month in Toronto so far, it is hard to feel too concerned about global warming. But it is worth noting that the greenhouse effect can cause weather extremes in both directions.

Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar for best documentary in 2006. The clear message in this ground-breaking movie is that governments, industry and people must cut down on fossil fuel ...


Meat and the Environment: Facts and resources

February 01, 2007

Facts on meat and the environment

Farm animals outweigh people
A meat-based diet requires 7 times more land
Farm animals naturally inefficient
Agriculture vs wilderness
Excessive use of energy & water
Livestock grazing
Fish – plundering the oceans
Facing food scarcity

PDF version: view as a two page 124k pdf file that can be printed.

Nov. 2006 news update
FAO: Livestock a major threat to environment

The United Nations Food & Agriculture ...


Five food choices for a healthy planet

April 16, 2006

Five simple food choices to help the earth.

1. Eat low on the food chain

ecological footprintMoving toward a vegetarian diet is one of the most powerful personal choices you can make for a healthier environment. Your ecological footprint (the amount of non-wild land required to sustain you) is greatly affected by the quantity of meat in your diet. Meat-eaters need far more land than vegetarians because they eat domesticated animals that have ...

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