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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

A Lunch Lady Serves Up Healthy Schools, Starting In The Cafeteria (VIDEO)

I never imagined myself cooking for kids. I spent most of my first three decades as a chef not knowing or caring what kids ate, and not really wanting to feed them. In fact, as a restaurant chef, my worst nightmare was the host coming into the kitchen on a Saturday night, saying, “Chef, there’s a screaming kid on table 19. What do I do?”

My response: “Tell them to leave. Why did they bring kids here on a Saturday night, anyway?”

What a difference a decade makes. Today all of my work surrounds feeding kids healthy food, teaching them how to eat well, and working nationally to assure that all kids have access to delicious, nutritious food in school every single day. Read more

Water: The Lifeblood in the Body of a Biodynamic Winery (VIDEO)

Each year, NRDC recognizes sustainable food pioneers across the United States through the Growing Green Awards. OnEarth is publishing blog posts from this year’s four winners and two of the judges. All of the posts can be found here.

As a family, we at Benziger Family Winery think of our land much like a human body.

The soil and geology act like its skin and bones. Water functions like blood, the vines, gardens and insectaries are the lungs, and engineered wetlands for our water recycling ponds act as the kidneys.

For the entire organism to run properly and function at the highest level, we have to create a synergy between each of the parts. So we try to grow grapes and produce wine the best way we know how – with Biodynamic® and natural farming practices.

We didn’t always approach our farming in this holistic way. Read more