As we are approaching our hottest year yet and historical climate talks, meat-free diets are still a political taboo. Even the official sustainable menu of COP21 has eschewed opening this Pandora’s box. Yet, animal agriculture is one of the greatest contributors to global warming and resource overuse. How long can we keep up the pretense? An … Continue reading Please Don’t Stop the Moo-sic: Is Less Meat Still No Option?
For cultures of the past facing the vagaries of an unpredictable environment, wastefulness was often dangerous. It invited death. Modernization has largely enabled us to turn our backs on that mindset. We’ve created a decentralized waste machine, easy to overlook at the local scale, but devastating from a larger perspective. Starvation may seem impossible when … Continue reading Food: Wasted, Celebrated, Fought Over. A Cross-Section.
Aaand… back to regular scheduled programming. The past month has been pretty overwhelming with writing assignments, seminars, cross-Atlantic flights and the like. Now I’m back in my Costa Rican garden and a somewhat more relaxed schedule, and have so much to talk about up my sleeve! Thanks for the patience. As a group, the Mercator … Continue reading Urban Gardens and Lifestyle Choices
The coffee supply chain is famously shaped like an hourglass (or, if you will, a drip coffee machine): the broad demand at the top is connected to the millions of small producers at the bottom by a handful of powerful roasters. In 2013, the ten largest roasters controlled more than 40% of total world coffee … Continue reading Too Strong Coffee? Concentration at the Top and Anti-Trust Concerns
The finalized text for the Sustainable Development Goals was published on August 1st. I was curious to see what it had to say on sustainable food and agricultural systems. I summarize my thoughts below for a quick impression; thereafter you can find a blow-by-blow list of all instances where the SDGs mention food or agriculture … Continue reading Food In the Sustainable Development Goals: Great Ideas, But What About Demand?
I can’t forget the wistful stares. “How lucky you are to come and visit us! We’d like to travel as well and see the world.” Legally, there is no problem anymore since the exit visa requirement was abolished in 2013. Yet, economically it is impossible for the vast majority of Cuban citizens. Average public-sector … Continue reading Cuba: Lessons to be Learned for Sustainable Living?
When we visited the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), they received us with smiles full of passion, but also visibly exhausted. In this country, trying to ensure the protection of political, economic and social rights with a staff of six and a minuscule budget could seem like a quixotic battle. … Continue reading Flashback to Cambodia: Of Land Titling and Land Grabbing
This is supposed to be the beginning of the rainy season. Normally, this means sunny mornings and a few hours of rain in the afternoon (sometimes real deluges) in the afternoon. But normally doesn’t exist here anymore. “We have never had overcast mornings until a couple of years ago. Now I feel like I am … Continue reading Climate Change is Felt in Costa Rica! An Example from Coffee Producers.
One of my favorite things about writing this blog is that it enables me to have really interesting conversations with really interesting people. Case in point: when I visited Monteverde, I knew that this was where Kenneth Lander, the co-founder of one of the most interesting business models in the coffee world out there, had … Continue reading A Transcontinental Farmers’ Market: Exclusive Interview with Kenneth Lander from THRIVE Farmers
Hello? Is anybody still out there? I have to give a heartfelt apology for my absence recently, but it came with much work, much travels, and much activity that have left me scrambling to tend to my little blog. However, I am back now, and hopefully for good! The content and intensity of this blog … Continue reading Things I’ve … Written!