Quick: think of a hip hop song that addresses urban farming or vegetarianism. You might have a tough time… doesn’t most of the music associated with this style revolve around glorifying gangstas? Not according to the organizers of this weekend’s sixth annual Organic Hip-Hop conference: “Just as Hip Hop as a culture was birthed in activism with the goal of saving lives, we seek to continue in that tradition by providing an alternative lifestyle that will garner better physical as well mental and spiritual health.”
Killer spices: Rosemary, Mint, and Thyme
If you like to cook, or just enjoy a good meal, than you’re probably a fan of spices such as rosemary, thyme, clove, and mint. Turns out these seasonings can be deadly… to bugs. A group of Canadian scientists are researching the insecticidal value of these spices, and that could be good news for farmers looking to meet growing demand for organic fruits and vegetables.
Cranberry Bog, Ohio Governor’s Mansion
When Michelle Obama announced plans for a White House kitchen garden, local foodies, gardeners, and health advocates rejoiced: what better way to promote the value of home-grown food than get the first family involved. It turns out that the Obamas aren’t the only executive family growing vegetables on the grounds of the official residence: a number of governors and their spouses have taken up the cause of not just planting vegetables, but also implementing more sustainable landscaping practices at governors’ mansions and even state capitols.
The next time you’re at the wine shop trying to figure out which wineries produce vintages that fit your palate and green values, you may want to consider a bottle from Chile: according to wine writer Tim Pawsey, the country “already practices significant sustainable viticulture, and is a leader in biodynamic farming.” Currently, thirty-two wineries in the country use organic production methods, and about 2% of wine-growing land is devoted to organic agriculture.
If singing isn’t your thing, and you’d rather not have Simon Cowell dress you down in front of millions of people, the Organic Institute and Organic Trade Association are holding a greener, friendlier version of American Idol. These organizations have taken their search for a consumer ambassador on organic farming and products to YouTube, and invite you to submit a thirty-second video “explaining the moment you realized organic products are worth it.”
If raising a glass is part of your Earth Week celebration plans, you have many options for wines that leave a lighter footprint. But what’s the difference between biodynamic and organic? What exactly is a “sustainable wine?” And how do you know that any of the eco-friendly claims made by wineries are substantive? In both…