From the category archives:


Science, sustainability and the environment

Kids and factory farming: Yes, tell them the truth

February 27, 2012

We have a living-history museum nearby. One of those places with relocated old buildings and re-enactors who take you right back to the 19th century. During one visit, I was in the kitchen of a home churning butter with my daughter and chatting with another visitor, telling her we’d seen a pig-slaughtering pen being built at the village’s teaching farm. The museum, […]

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Girl Scout cookies and… a locavore badge?

November 11, 2011

Girl Scout cookie season starts early where I live. No sooner had school begun than it was time to prep legions of little girls to peddle cookies with ingredients that no kid should be eating, much less selling. (And just in time for Halloween, too. Yay.) Your council might not start until January or later, but that […]

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“Food Inc.”: Family viewing?

August 9, 2011

PBS is showing the movie “Food Inc.” tonight. So I’m pulling out a review I wrote when the movie debuted. Have you seen the film? Planning to watch tonight? Maybe recording it to watch later with your kids? (See more about kid viewing below.) You’ll never look at food the same way again. I promise. So watch […]

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Teachable moments

June 10, 2011

Last day of school. Time for a final salute to my daughter’s terrific first-grade teacher. And to all the other teachers who realize that what kids eat — and what they know about food — matters. Poet Tea, local eats I’ve written about Ms. S before (most notably in this post) and how she just… gets […]

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Eggs and chocolates and dyes, oh my

April 19, 2011

Pretty in pastels. Prettier in pinot? When I wrote about natural egg dyes last spring, I’d just started blogging and I felt compelled to go on a bit about the dangers of artificial food colors. A year later, my position on petrochemical dyes is, um, well-documented. So now I’ll just focus on the fun stuff. […]

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No fooling:
Girl Scouts are green and the FDA is making us blue

April 1, 2011

I really shouldn’t post on April Fools’ Day, since the interwebs go a little nuts today. But it’s been a colorful week, so I’m ignoring the date and carrying on. Which brings me to the news that the FDA, after two days of hearings, has decided to do exactly nothing about artificial colors in our […]

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Progress, not perfection

March 25, 2011

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, even paralyzed, by the state of our food system, the adulteration and deception, the sheer insanity of what the food industry wants us to feed our kids. It’s why a lot of people shut down, look away, give up. Know anybody like that? Been tempted yourself? Watch this. It’s a just-released TEDx talk […]

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It’s not just a cookie

February 19, 2011

When I wrote a post last month questioning Girl Scout cookies, I didn’t know what to expect. People get touchy about American icons.  Or they get afflicted with “it’s just a cookie” syndrome. But I plowed in anyway. No pain, no gain and all that. And wow. Talk about hitting a nerve. But in a good way. A really good […]

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The ABCs of GMOs:
Alfalfa, bureaucrats and a conversation with a kid

February 5, 2011

Talking GMOs with my 7-year-old: Me: “You know how cows eat grass?” Tess: “Uh, huh.” Me: “Well, some of that grass is made by scientists instead of by nature.” Tess: “How do they make it? Do they rip the plant or give it surgery?” Me: “Kind of. They put genes from bacteria into the grass cells. You remember what genes […]

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Let’s talk Girl Scout cookies

January 7, 2011

I was talking to a friend this past fall about Brownies. The Girl Scout kind. Her daughter had just joined a troop, and, remembering how much I’d loved camping and earning badges as a Girl Scout myself, I asked for details, thinking my daughter might like to join, too. I’d kind of forgotten about the cookies. Years ago, […]

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