Wednesday, April 15, 2009

earth day

hi guys-

i subscribe to a very cool e-newsletter called 'the daily green' and on most days, i barely have time to read it. but today, their headline was 'selling earth day.' yikes, i thought! really? but then i remembered that we market and promote everything for profit, so why not earth day?

the daily green really called a spade a spade with this one. it seems that everyone from tropicana (who will plant trees when you buy their newly re-branded products...and harvest your information for sales pitches when you enter the accompanying sweepstakes) to marcal paper products (who point out how much paper we waste in an attempt to sell their new recycled line of paper products) is out to 'sell' us on what a good job they are doing for our fragile planet. ay, ay, thing you know, we'll see an earth day festival sponsored by enron or cargill (and don't even get me started on their ads about how they love and support the small family farm...what a crock!)

i did an interview last evening with a young, inspired (and inspiring) college student who, for one of her courses, had to apply a modern problem to antiquity and find literary references to support her arguments. it was one of the most interesting interviews i have ever done. the naivete of youth is so great. as she asked me questions and i ranted about corporate greed, the corruption of our food supply, the mockery being made of healthy cooking by every corporation and self-help guru as they water down its true meaning, she listened with an intensity that i have not seen in some time. her questions were pointed and came from the place of being so young. 'so who do we turn to?' 'how do we really change this and save the planet and humanity's health?' she talked about being the butt of many a joke with friends and family because she chooses a plant based diet. (i should note that her parents are completely on board, but extended family...well...) she talked about finding answers before it's too late...and she came to her own conclusion...change must happen person to person, one at a time, a completely grassroots, independent movement to making better choices. she discovered that you must turn inward for inspiration and strength and then find a voice that resonates with you and follow that vision. she realized that change, real change is hard work.

the most inconvenient truth we face as we approach earth day is this. while it has become a day of festivals and parties (yielding, ironically, tons of trash that end up in the landfill), earth day is about commitment...commitment to preserving precious resources, to conserving energy, reducing waste, reducing your footprint and working to salvage our planet before it's too late.

so how do we really change? well, let me tell you that we won't save the planet simply by carrying canvas totes or using a sigg bottle in place of plastic ones (although they are a step in the right direction). in order to effect the kind of change that will preserve life as we know it, we need to change our food...big time; not just moving to skinless chicken breasts.

the nhs, the largest health care system in europe wants to remove meat from all hospital menus. ironically, they do not want to do this because of health, but because they discovered that their system of health care made a footprint on the planet equal to that of 18 nations...and since meat is 'not necessary in a healthy diet,' why not just take it off the menu and leave a lighter footprint behind?

so many people are realizing the truth. so many are seeing that arby's, mc donald's, wendy's, olive garden and all the other fast food, junk food-peddling hucksters behind the marketing do not have the health of america or its children at the heart of their campaigns and marketing strategies. they want your money. so since that's the case, go for it. demand better quality. let's all tell them that if they want our hard-earned dollars, they have to earn them. they have to create products, services and foods that improve our quality of life...we have to say 'enough!!!' no more foods that make us obese, unhealthy and dependent on pharmaceuticals. we have to tell them that we want healthy children and healthy lives...and a healthy planet.

so this earth day, vote with your dollar. money speaks loudly and it's the only language marketers hear...use it!

this one was for you, grace...




christea said...

Hi Christina ~ Great post today! Some uplifting Earth Day News from Cape Cod ... Tim Friary, Cape Cod Organic Farm, is renting more farm space in Barnstable. He is offering a CSA for the first time (it's already sold out), but he will be operating a farmstand now in Barnstable and will be taking on volunteers to help work the fields and learn about organic gardening. Jean Iversen, Kelly Farm on 6A in Barnstable, is still going strong and will be opening her farmstand again once her crops begin producing (mid-late June?). Jack Stacy of Matt's Organic Gardens in Dennisport is opening May 1st to begin selling his bevy of organic herbs and veggie plants. Today I'm going to a seminar on organic container gardening at the Barnstable Unitarian Church (free and open to the public). I'm working with a young woman who is helping me expand my own 2 (4 x 8) raised beds with organic veggies and incorporating edible organic perennials & herbs into my other garden beds. We're incororating edible groundcover instead of mulching with the traditional bark mulch. I got rid of my landscaper (even though I was maintaining my yard organically) and purchasing a no-motor, old-fashioned lawn mower to mow the yard ourselves. We're working on issues with compost bin. I'm new to all of this. I would love other to hear what others are doing and any sharing of suggestions/ideas would be greatly appreciated. This is a wonderful blog! Happy Earth Day!!!!!

melissa said...

Amen and hallelujah! Reminds me of a quandary I was in recently where I had to decide whether or not to be a taste-tester for Solae soy products. I found out that Solae is owned by DuPont and Bunge and did not want anything to do with those companies so I backed out. Then a fellow vegan said that it would be an opportunity to show my support for vegan products and to bring up the issue of GM soybeans.

I thought about it and decided that most likely Solae is just another way for DuPont and Bunge to make money. Why would they care what I had to say? And my friend went to their orientation and said the building was big, modern, & beautiful and she had to listen to a recorded presentation that went on & on about how green their new building was. Not much mention of their products! I'm glad I backed out.

Christina, I love everything you do and aspire to do all the things you do! I want to learn all I can about vegan nutrition but don't know where to start. I've been vegan for 9 yrs. and have no interest in learning about standard nutrition using the food pyramid. So where does one go to learn plant-based holistic nutrition? If you have any suggestions I'd LOVE to hear them!

Peace and good health! :)

veggie4me said...

Hello Christina,
I just purchased your "This crazy vegan life" book and love it! I am putting together my grocery list to begin the program and am stumped on a meal that I can't find a recipe for - you state to eat "herb-scented kasha pilaf" on day 3 for lunch - I have searched your site for the recipe with no success. Also interested to know if anyone has taken the time to develop a detail grocery list for the first 7 days of the "plan". I look forward to your response.

Scott Watson said...

To veggie4me, the recipe appears to be misnamed in the book. Herb-scented kasha pilaf is mentioned only in the plan and garlic-scented kasha pilaf is mentioned only in the recipe section. I suspect they are one and the same.