Chelsea Green Publishing

The Blogging Community at Chelsea Green

Huge energy increase in US food production

Energy used by the US food system was responsible for 80% of the increase in American energy use for the most recent period surveyed, according to a report from the United States Department of Agriculture. Apparently, this means we are becoming more dependent on food processing and farm mechanization. Americans are eating higher and higher on the food chain. As resources become increasingly scarce, this is not a good trend. The following post provides an excellent summary of this report (and to some extent, its importance).  I like the idea it mentions of listing energy consumption on packaged foods, but unfortunately it’s more likely we’ll have another oil price spike before we get around to that type of legislation/regulation. As soon as oil prices shoot up again, your wallet will tell you which food choices are most energy intensive, because they’ll suddenly be doubling and tripling in price. That will force us back to basics, but based on the trends indicated in this report (not least of which is the marked decrease in farm labor), we’ll have a harder fall than we would have had a few years ago.

Furniture from Mycelium

The house is filled with the earthy smell of mushrooms cooking. It’s not a welcome-to-winter soup simmering or a ragout thickening; I’m baking a little mushroom footstool in the oven. That’s not all that’s baking in that house, you may be thinking… Read more: Read More..

Roasted Squash Soup (Recipe)

Roasted Squash Soup This recipe makes some delicious squash soup, which is a healthy way to keep yourself warm as the evenings turn cool. If you like a creamy, herby, or spicy soup, there are some flavor variations included below. I recommend using a sweet, dense-fleshed winter squash such as butternut, buttercup, or kabocha. Alternatively, […] Read More..

Grameen is installing 1000 solar home systems a day…in rural Bangladesh!

In one of the poorest countries on the planet a renewable energy service company is installing one thousand solar home systems – a day. Not in its capital or busy urban centers, but where 80 percent of the population lives – in rural Bangladesh. The company, Grameen Shakti, literally translates as rural energy. By the […] Read More..

Long Orange Firecrackers

In our home garden, we just picked carrots this week. From one raised bed, my kids unearthed an armload of long orange firecrackers. Picking carrots, potatoes, and root/tuber vegetables is such a satisfying harvest. There is something special about bringing up buried treasure: you’re never quite sure what is hidden until you pull it out […] Read More..

Some Sick Chickens and Eggs in Your Food Supply

The U.S. government is attempting to cut the jobs of 1,000 poultry inspectors to save $85 million per year. The new plan is to have the poultry industry “self inspect” themselves (after all, the same concept worked well with Wall Street, right?). One poultry industry inspector will now be responsible for “inspecting” the dizzying number […] Read More..