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?
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
Hi hi! So sorry to be out of commission for so long! It’s been a busy couple of weeks with applications and paper edits and work, but I’m back and all backed up with stories to write about! Here is one that needs little words and just a lot of imagination, since I will take … Continue reading Photo Story: The Chocolate Tale
“To be honest, organic coffee could become a dying breed in Costa Rica.” Leland Westie and I stare at each other, neither of us quite sure how to continue the conversation. Westie seems startled by his own frankness. After a long pause, he qualifies his statement with an apologetic smile: “I mean, I hope it will … Continue reading Organic Coffee in Costa Rica: A Battle of David vs. Goliath?
Last week, I turned down the possibility to attend a training on “How to Deal with Lobbyists” (so glamorous) to instead learn about the sustainable food policy agenda in Europe – and I have to say, I have no regrets! The LiveWell for Life conference was really well organized, had interesting panellists and great speakers, … Continue reading Recap: LiveWell for Low-Impact Food In Europe conference!