Food & Beverage

04/04/2011

5 Tips for Green Grocery Buyers

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1.   Reduce waste! Buy just the amount you need – Whether it’s a pound or a pinch, put a stomp on food waste by buying just the amount you’ll use. Pay attention to the amount you select (or scoop, in the bulk foods section) when experimenting with a new spice in your favorite spaghetti sauce recipe or stocking up on trail mix for the kid’s lunches. Overdoing it only means you’ll pay, literally, the next time you rid your cupboard of outdated food.

2.   Reuse it and get rewarded! Bring your own bags and containers – Whole Foods and top supermarket chains praise (and sometimes pay) shoppers who use their own bags. Invest in glass Tupperware or give that empty cottage cheese container a second use by filling it with brown rice from the bulk foods section or a quinoa salad from the deli counter. Just ask the cashier to weigh your container ahead of time. While you’re at it, BYOB (bring your own bag). If you must go with single-use, opt for paper! 

3.   Buy natural and organic, whenever possible – Not only are the pesticides and synthetic chemicals used in non-natural and non-organic foods often toxic to our health – they’ve been linked to cancer and other diseases – they’re bad for the environment. Tainted runoff from conventional farms washes into rivers and lakes, which contaminates waterways and threatens wildlife. Plus, the added benefits of buying natural and organic don’t have to mean added costs. By buying natural and organic in the bulk foods section of the grocery store, shoppers can pay 30 to 96 percent less on their grocery bill. 

4.   Make it a one shop stop – Save gas, time and the environment by picking up all your groceries in one efficient trip. Visit your local co-op or all-in-one supermarket, or consider cooking recipes made almost entirely with ingredients from one section of the grocery store, such as the bulk foods aisle to save time. 

5.  Turn the shopping over to the kids Get your little ones excited about being green by allowing them to select natural, organic or Fair Trade treats and snacks themselves. Be it in the natural foods section or the bulk foods aisle, they’ll enjoy the freedom and you’ll enjoy getting healthy and eco-friendly food into the grocery cart without a fight.

02/25/2011

Organic Coffee Options

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By Samantha Gasco

 Organic coffee Blended, iced, or piping hot, it’s what gets the majority of us through our busy days. Coffee, a substance drank so often it’s worth knowing where it comes from and it tastes even better organic.

Farmed without harmful pesticides, organic coffee costs only pennies more than your traditional cup of joe. And it’s well worth it considering most organic coffees are also fair trade, meaning farmers are paid fair wages to produce a quality product. So on your next shopping trip, try one of these great options and see if you can taste the difference.

Wild Oats'Organic Daylight Blend is supplied by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, a progressive Vermont-based company that has introduced organic coffee into convenience stores and fast-food chains throughout the Northeast.

Arbuckles' rich, aromatic Organic Ariosa Coffee comes with a peppermint stick tucked inside.

Equal Exchange sources the fragrant beans for its heavy-bodied Ethiopian blend from a cooperative of small farms in Africa.

Click here for more eco friendly advice and tips.

02/18/2011

Cook Your Way to Green Goodnewss

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By Liz Kaadou

Greencooking Creative and eco-conscious cooks around the world bring your water to a bubbling boil and prepare for an exciting and environmental lesson in “green” cuisine! While lettuce, broccoli and cucumbers technically fit the greens category of cooking, we are talking about engaging in food preparation methods that are consciously conducive to promoting eco-awareness. Follow these quick and tasty tips to transform your kitchen into an appetizing eco-oasis.

 

1) Opt for local produce from farmers markets.  They are a great alternative to the standard supermarket and can be a superb source of local, organically grown products.  By satisfying your shopping needs at these niche markets, you are helping to promote a healthy and happy environment because their products do not need to be shipped, which reduces gas usage.  In addition, you are supporting the local economy!

 

2) Start your own organic garden! Purchase seeds and some soil and you are on your way to having healthy produce in your own backyard.

 

3) Make the microwave your friend! These energy-efficient cooking machines are great options to avoid using your stove. Although you may not be able to create gourmet meals in the microwave, it is great for quick and easy cooking!

 

4) Keep your refrigerator door closed.  How many times have you been quickly trying to prepare dinner and you leave the fridge open so you can keep grabbing ingredients? Instead, make a list before you begin your cooking adventure so that you only open the fridge once and check off the items as you go.

 

5) Reduce cooking time! Why keep food on the stove longer than it has to be.  Once you bring vegetables to a boil for instance, you can turn off or lower the stove temperature and just let the veggies cook in the already scorchingly hot water.

 

6) Utilize eco-friendly cookware and kitchen utensils, like Cusinart's Greenware cooking collection, Click Here to buy.

 

7) Cut your food into smaller pieces, this reduces cooking time and of course requires less energy.

 

For more eco-friendly cooking advice, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.

 

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08/27/2010

It's Not A Stretch: Obesity Affects Global Warming

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Fast foodHere's yet another example of how much our food choices impact the world around us. Eating less meat and take-out; and more organic and locally produced foods is not only healthy but environmentally responsible. It can solve the obesity epidemic as well as lightening food's ecological impact. A new report reveals that staying slim is as important for the planet’s health as for our own.

Countries with normal rates of obesity (3.5%) consume almost 20% less food and produce up to one gigatonne fewer greenhouse gases than a population with a 40% obesity rate, concluded the article published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

A higher rate of obesity would mean both an increase in emissions from food production, which today accounts for around a fifth of manmade greenhouse gases, and from transport. Also, leaner populations are more likely to walk and cycle, and cars and planes use less fuel when transporting lighter people.

The higher the obsesity rate, the higher incidence of fast-food and take-out, which means more containers and plasticware thrown in landfills. Obesity is often due to overconsumption - which is the main reason humans can be held responsible for environmental problems like dwindling natural resources and global warming. 

(Source: Green Futures)

For more green news, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.

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07/27/2010

Organic Chocolates The Key to the Eco-Heart

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Valentine_109 Chocolate: the key to the heart of many. Well if you are planning on giving a gift of chocolate, or just plan on getting some for yourself. Organic and Fair Trade chocolates are not only a more environmentally-friendly option, they taste way better!

Fair Trade chocolates are made using sustainable practices and eliminate the nasty chemicals normally used on cocoa. Fair Trade benefits not only the consumer but the farmer’s and their families as well.

Organic chocolates come in all the same delicious and decadent flavors you love at costs that are no higher than traditional quality chocolates. Here are a few options where you can find your favorite flavors.

Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates offers organic sweet treats perfect for any gift giving occasion.

Dagoba Organic Chocolates offers the highest quality candies made with sustainable practices.

Sjaak’s Chocolates makes chocolates that are not only organic but also available for vegans, a treat everyone can enjoy.

07/09/2010

Xanterra Parks & Resorts Offer Green Cuisine

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Xanterra-Parks- Resorts

For those looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle all around, more and more restaurants are adopting sustainable menus. Restaurants operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, a restaurant located at many of the nations national parks, feature a variety of green cuisine offerings as well as new sustainable restaurant renovations.

Xanterra has a company-wide policy to purchase as many sustainable food and beverage items as economically feasible. The restaurant’s menu includes local foods as sustainable in addition to organic and fair trade or products otherwise certified as sustainable or environmentally preferable by a third party.

Xanterra’s gourmet green cuisine offers Oregon Country Natural Beef, Montana Ranch Natural Lamb, organic Fair Trade-certified Coffee from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, local dairy, organic soy milk, as well as antibiotic-free elk, bison, chicken and venison.

Xanterra has 68 locations throughout the United States, and is not the only restaurant practicing sustainable eating. Next time you venture to a new city ask the server if any locally grown or organic products are used in the menu.

03/21/2010

How to Eat Meat Without Guilt

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By Erin Marquis

The debate continues to rage over whether or not meat is healthy for your body and the planet. Currently, most animals are raised in industrial feed lots, which cause a lot of pollution in both the air and water, as well as provided an inhumane life for the cattle.

    However, eating meat is an excellent source for not only protein, but of essential fatty acids and nutrients found in abundance only in meat. Plus there is no evidence that vegetarianism is healthier than an omnivorous diet. So how can you reconcile your meat eating ways with your love of the environment? Saving the planet is as easy as making the right decisions about what you eat.

1.    Buy it local and organic: Local meat is often from smaller producers which raise their meat more humanely and produce much less pollution as they use their animal waste as fertilizer.

2.    Buy grass fed: This means your meat ate a more natural diet, which causes less greenhouse gas emissions. It also means your chicken or cow lived outside in pasture land. Grass-feeding improves the taste as well!

3.    Buy meat less: Meat consumption has gone up dramatically in Western countries over the past few decades. By having a meatless day you can focus on the other food groups you may be leaving out, as well as cut down on the need for industrial meat production.

03/16/2010

A Different Kind of Green Beer

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Beer2 By Erin Marquis

For St. Patrick’s day, we wanted to consider a different kind of green beer; a beer that has little impact on the planet and has sustainability and environmentalism in mind. Here are some top picks for eco-friendly brews for St. Patrick's Day celebrations. 

1. Sierra Nevada: Brewed in one of the greenest breweries in the world, Sierra Nevada brewery sports one of the country's largest private solar panel arrays, combined with a fuel-cell power plant that runs on waste heat from the beer-making process. Sierra Nevada diverts 98.2 percent of its waste from landfills.

2.  New Belgium Brewery: 70 percent of their energy comes from wind power–the remaining 30 comes from a process where they reclaim their waste water, cultivate bacteria, and then combust the methane to provide power for the plant. The water is then cleaned, used in the plant again for cooling, and treated before being pumped back to the city for use.

3. Brooklyn Brewery: A good option for folks on the east coast. This brewery produces 100% of its energy needs from wind power. They also take all waste from their grain production and feed it to livestock, making what was once considered waste useful again.

4. Great Lakes Brewing Company: “Take, Make and Remake” is this brewery’s motto.  Great Lakes is aiming for 100% sustainability, creating a closed loop in production. They are dedicated to recycling grains from the brewing process to be used for baked goods, planting urban gardens, recycling and the use of natural lights and alternative energies.

5. Stone Brewing Company: This brewery is covered in solar panels which is responsible for offsetting an estimated 538000 lbs of carbon emissions. Stone also has a fleet of bio-diesel delivery trucks.

Click here for more environmental articles from Road & Travel Magazine.

03/14/2010

Eco Friendly Wines

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Wine By Erin Marquis

Making wine is a dirty business. From pesticides and herbicides to heavy machinery and shipping, getting a truly green glass of wine can be difficult. But wine must be more than just environmentally friendly, it must be rich in aroma and flavor. Can you get a wine that is both environmentally friendly and delicious?

There can never be a truly carbon neutral wine because the very act of fermenting grapes releases a lot of carbon dioxide. Some so called ‘green wineries’ simply buy carbon offsets or plant trees to make up for the carbon emissions, a controversial practice.

What makes a wine organic? Wine produced in the United States has to adhere to strict guidelines to be awarded the green sticker of organic; no pesticides, no artificial yeasts and no added sulfites, which can be great for people who get headaches from red wine, as sulfites are usually the cause. Green wines will usually also have real cork corks, as it helps the wine breath. Cork is also a sustainable renewable material. Foam or plastic corks make for bad wine and bad environmentalism.

Another great way to go green while buying wine is to buy local! All fifty states have some kind of wine production and winery circuit. Unless you live in California, these are usually smaller outfits that do less damage to the environment. Buying local also cuts down on pollution from transporting heavy wine bottles all over the world and creates a unique and unusual drinking experience.  

Click here for more environmentally friendly products from Road & Travel Magazine.  

03/09/2010

A Greener, Cheaper Vegetable Garden

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By Erin Marquis


Gardening There are a lot of reasons to grow your own food. Gardening at home protects the environment, plus you know exactly what your food has come into contact with. Also food picked and eaten closer to ripening has more nutrients and antioxidants. You can grow an organic garden for very cheap with things you already have around the house. Check out these tips for a perfect organic garden.

1. Containers: You don’t have to buy the plastic seedling starters to get a jump on Mother Nature! Some paper towel rolls cut in half not only make a great place for seeds to start, but can be planted directly into the ground when the seedlings are ready to grow.

2. Seeds: Let’s say you find the perfect tomato and want some of them in your garden, instead of scouring the planet for seed packets, just use the seeds from produce you already have at your house!

3. Water: Nothing says green like a rain barrel. Summer is always a time of drought, so put a large container in a shady spot of your garden and you’ll have free water all summer long.

4. Fertilizer: Every good gardener knows compost is the only green way to get a garden moving. What cheaper way to boost your garden then by using your own food waste?

5. Pest control: Though many home improvement stores sell organic pesticides and herbicides now days, you can’t go wrong with clever planting. Be sure to plant daisies to attract lady bugs that will defend your garden from aphids, mites, whiteflies and scale. You’ll have tiny garden watch dogs as well as happy flowers without a whiff of chemicals. You can also use things like vinegar and beer to protect your plants.   

Click here for more green Home and Gardening tips from Road & Travel Magazine