Debunking the Farm Bureau’s Attack on the Clean Water Act

A well-coordinated attack is being waged on a proposed federal rule aimed at clarifying Clean Water Act protection for the nation’s water resources – the same environmentally and economically vital waterways on which, it bears mentioning, our food, water and energy systems are highly dependent. For more than a decade, lack of clarity has left many of our nation’s waters unprotected. According to Clean Water Action, this includes “20 million acres of wetlands, 60 percent of all streams, including headwater, intermittent, and ephemeral streams that supply public drinking water systems that serve 117 million Americans – 5,646 public water supply systems.”

Why are streams and wetlands so vital? In short, it’s their connection (or “connectivity”) to downstream waters. Read more

Wasted Food = Wasted Water

Grocery stores do it. So do restaurants. Schools, farmers, you and I. We all waste food. At the local, state and federal level, discarded food is widely recognized as a serious environmental and socioeconomic problem. Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a national Food Waste Challenge to encourage reduction of food waste. Read more

Cookie Controversy! An Expert Weighs in on Food Waste and the Girl Scouts

Thin Mints, Samoas, Peanut Butter Patties… Girl Scout cookie selling season is underway. This year, however, it kicked off with some unwanted controversy. No, not the hullabaloo about the Girl Scout who was rebuked for trying to sell cookies online. I’m referring to the ruckus that followed a CBS Los Angeles story that investigated what happened to 13,200 boxes of “perfectly fine” – not even expired – Girl Scout cookies. Reporter David Goldstein tracked the cookies back to the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council in Redlands, California, and got video footage of a tractor crushing the boxes before they were sent to the landfill. A worker looking on joyfully cheered “Goodbye, Girl Scout cookies!” Read more

18 Little-Known Facts that Will Motivate You to Cut Back on Food Waste

With nearly 100 percent certainty I can assure you we won’t be hearing President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, or their respective surrogates, talking about America’s food waste dilemma (or what I and others would describe as a crisis) in the months ahead.  That’s too bad since food waste is creating significant social, economic and environmental consequences for the US (and the world).

This growing crisis and the fact that discarded food provides a unique lens through which to view the water/energy/agriculture nexus (a topic of great interest to us here at GRACE and Ecocentric), prompted me to take a closer look at the food that goes uneaten and how it impacts Americans.  While researching this trending topic, I learned some interesting facts I thought I’d share. Read more