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?
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
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.
By Helena Robling It’s always sensitive to touch upon people’s meat consumption. As a topic for discussion it’s comparable to religion or party politics, everybody has an opinion, standpoints are usually quite firm and not seldom extreme. Saying YES or NO to meat can be as decisive for social identity as religious or ideological convictions, … Continue reading Going controversial about the burger bind: how about a meat tax?
by Helena Robling As we speak, the Swedish national food agency is in the process of developing a set of environmentally sustainable dietary guidelines. The purpose is to give the population information on what to eat and maybe more importantly, what not to eat, to keep healthy and at the same time minimize the individual … Continue reading On Sweden’s Diet Debates and Governmental Food Recommendations
Heya! Anybody else excited it’s the weekend? What are your plans? I think I might go to an organic farmer’s market and possibly do a day trip outside of town – and just relax with a book and a giant heap of pineapple (I just bought 3 for $2, a crazy deal!) If you feel … Continue reading Weekend Trifecta of Studies, from Seed Laws to TTIP to Climate Change
You guys, my brain is fried – I’ve spent all day reading, reading, reading (actually, the best kind of work, but still…) On world coffee production projections, on financing schemes, on low-emission development strategies, and a ton of policy and action plans… I’m starting to figure it out, I think! But let’s start small, shall … Continue reading Costa Rica – Leading on Climate Action?
As I am sitting in a bare-walled apartment, my bags packed and my train ticket for the trip home tomorrow printed out, I have started to reflect back on my time here in Brussels, and I hope to share some of the thoughts and experiences I had soon. But until that time, I have found … Continue reading Global Pre-Christmas Roundup!
Sometimes, it´s easy to get caught up in the news of the day – Ukraine, Gaza, ISIS – that other news items go unnoticed. So, for example, that Central American agricultural producers are being hit extremely hard this year after a disease called coffee leaf rust destroyed many export crops. Now, on top of that, a drought has set in that might leave as many as 2.81 million in the need of food assistance, according to UN estimates.
Though the drought is affecting much of Latin America as well, it is countries in the ‘dry corridor’ of Central America – southern Guatemala, northern Honduras, and western El Salvador – that are suffering most. Guatemala has called out a national state of emergency after 256,000 families lost their crops. Particularly corn and beans, staple foods in the region, have seen stark reductions of up to 80 – 90%. Furthermore, thousands of cattle have died of undernutrition. The region is extremely reliant on agricultural self-sufficiency, with over 60% of the 42 million inhabitants living below the poverty line.
First of all, news! I really want to brush up my Spanish and in particular my vocabulary related to food policy issues, so in the future I will try to include little summaries of the issue at hand in Spanish at the bottom of the post. You’ll be able to access them through a link on … Continue reading Ewwwww Lake Erie – Toledo Drinking Water Ban