Celebrate Food Day 2015: Encourage Greener, More Sustainable Diets
More than 300 organizations will serve meals today celebrating plant-strong diets packed with fruit, vegetables, whole grains and small amounts of lean, sustainably raised protein in celebration of Food Day, Oct. 24. Food Day’s Green Meal initiative is supported by The Humane Society of the United States, Health Care Without Harm and Meatless Monday. This year, Food Day’s goal is to raise awareness about the importance of eating less meat to support better health, animal welfare and the environment.
Tmrw is #FoodDay2015! Celebrate w/ the Apple Crunch & support local food! https://t.co/2EQ41tsKhu @FoodDay2015 https://t.co/oLVqjwcf4a— FoodPrint (@FoodPrint)1445610334.0
The Green Meal initiative is only one of several thousand events taking place on or about Oct. 24.
Millions of people around the country will crunch into an apple in a unifying action to raise awareness about access and affordability of fresh fruit, and to support local farmers. Apple crunches will take place throughout New York City, throughout the Great Lakes region and in schools in all over America.
Organizers of Food Day hope that the occasion will spur people to improve their own diets and spur city councilors, governors and members of Congress to create better food policies. Officials in Massachusetts, for instance, will use Food Day to unveil a draft Food Systems Plan for the state.
In Savannah, Georgia, the fifth annual Food Day Festival is expecting between 10,000 and 15,000 participants at a free, outdoor festival featuring live music and more than 100 exhibitors and a farmers market.
New Orleans nonprofit Sankofa will open the first ever Fresh Stop produce market in the Lower Ninth Ward on Oct. 24. The market will operate several days a week and be the first and only place to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables in the Lower Ninth Ward.
Yale University will celebrate Food Day in the heart of campus, with master chefs, the director of the Yale Sustainable Food Program and Food Network star Candice Kumai.
Minneapolis, Minnesota will hold an entire week of events from Oct. 18 to 24. Events will include a harvest BBQ and potluck, an event featuring the voices of immigrant farmers and chefs, and a public Food Day proclamation made by City Councilmember William Finney.
Our #FoodDay2015 board @ Windsor Health Ctr, w/ #UrbanAg, info on local orgs @foodforfreeorg & @CitySprouts, & more! https://t.co/92SGGAlt4c— Cambridge in Motion (@Cambridge in Motion)1445611739.0
People can participate in Food Day by making a small change, like cutting out meat from their diet one day a week.
“Meatless Monday is a great way to green your diet because it’s simple—one day a week, cut out meat,” says Sid Lerner, chairman and founder of the Meatless Monday campaign. “Make the commitment to go Meatless Monday this year on Food Day and keep it up all year long! It’s good for your health and the health of the planet.”
While Food Day emphasizes hands-on events, the Internet will be hopping with Food Day activities, such as:
- In concert with Friends of the Earth, the Food Chain Workers Alliance, Food Democracy Now and others, Food Day is urging activists to ask Darden Restaurants—the parent company of Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse—to adopt greener menus with more plant-based options and less and better meat
- A Real Food Drive with Amp Your Good, an online platform that enables food drives to obtain perishable foods, including fresh produce
- A Barnraiser crowd-sourced fundraising project is seeking donations to spread Food Day’s message. Jack Johnson, Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, José Andrés and others are backing the project with rewards and donations
- Filmmaker Susan Rockefeller is using Food Day as the online premiere of her new documentary Food for Thought, Food for Life
“It’s an honor to partner with Food Day and to play a role in helping reach millions about the food issues that affect each one of us,” says Rockefeller.
Food Day was founded in 2011 by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and led by a diverse advisory board of physicians, nutritionists, educators, entertainers, chefs and public health officials.
“Food Day seeks to inspire Americans to make meaningful changes for the better in their own diets, but also to spotlight local efforts to re-shape food policies in a healthier, more sustainable direction,” said CSPI president and Food Day founder Michael F. Jacobson.
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Transitioning to renewable energy can help reduce global warming, and Jennie Stephens of Northeastern University says it can also drive social change.
For example, she says that locally owned businesses can lead the local clean energy economy and create new jobs in underserved communities.
"We really need to think about … connecting climate and energy with other issues that people wake up every day really worried about," she says, "whether it be jobs, housing, transportation, health and well-being."
To maximize that potential, she says the energy sector must have more women and people of color in positions of influence. Research shows that leadership in the solar industry, for example, is currently dominated by white men.
"I think that a more inclusive, diverse leadership is essential to be able to effectively make these connections," Stephens says. "Diversity is not just about who people are and their identity, but the ideas and the priorities and the approaches and the lens that they bring to the world."
So she says by elevating diverse voices, organizations can better connect the climate benefits of clean energy with social and economic transformation.
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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If weather is your mood, climate is your personality. That's an analogy some scientists use to help explain the difference between two words people often get mixed up.
Size Matters<p>Climates are a bit like woven tapestries. The big picture is important, no question. But so are all the seemingly minor details found inside the larger whole.</p><p><a href="https://research-information.bris.ac.uk/en/persons/tommaso-jucker" target="_blank">Tommaso Jucker</a> is an environmental scientist at the University of Bristol. In an email, Jucker says he'd define the term microclimate as "the suite of climatic conditions (temperature, rainfall, humidity, solar radiation) measured in localized areas, typically near the ground and at spatial scales that are directly relevant to ecological processes."</p><p>We'll talk about that last bit in a minute. But first, there's another criteria to discuss. According to some researchers, a microclimate — by definition — must differ from the larger area that surrounds it.</p><p><a href="https://www.cfc.umt.edu/research/paleoecologylab/publications/Davis_et_al_2019_Ecography.pdf" target="_blank">Forests</a> provide us with some great examples. "The climate near the ground in a tropical rainforest is dramatically different from the climate in the canopy 50 meters [164 feet] above," says University of Montana ecologist <a href="https://www.cfc.umt.edu/personnel/details.php?ID=1110" target="_blank">Solomon Dobrowski</a> in an email. "This vertical gradient among other factors allows for the staggering biodiversity we see in the tropics."</p><p>Likewise, scientists observed that a 2015 partial <a href="https://animals.howstuffworks.com/insects/bees-stopped-buzzing-during-2017-solar-eclipse.htm" target="_blank">solar eclipse</a> caused the air temperature of an Eastern European meadow to <a href="https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/wea.2802" target="_blank">change more dramatically</a> than it did in a nearby forest. That's because trees provide not only shade, but their leaves also reflect solar radiation. At the same time, forests tend to reduce wind speeds.</p><p>All those factors add up. A 2019 review of 98 wooded places — spread out across five continents — found that forests are 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) <a href="https://natureecoevocommunity.nature.com/posts/47363-forests-protect-animals-and-plants-against-warming" target="_blank">cooler on average</a> than the areas outside them.</p><p>Now if you hate the cold, don't worry; there's a cozy exception to the rule. According to that same study, forests are usually 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) warmer than the external environment during the wintertime. Pretty cool.</p>
A Bug's Life<p>When does a microclimate stop being, well, micro? In other words, is there a maximum size we should be aware of when discussing them?</p><p>Depends on who you ask. "In terms of horizontal scale, some have defined 'microclimate' as anything that is less than 100 meters [328 feet] in range," Jucker says. "I'm personally less prescriptive about this."</p><p>Instead, he says the "scale at which we want to measure [a particular] microclimate" ought to be "dictated" by the questions we're trying to answer.</p><p>"If I want to know how temperature affects the photosynthesis of a leaf, I should be measuring temperature at centimeter scale," Jucker explains. "If I want to know if and how temperature affects the habitat preference of a large, mobile mammal, it's probably more relevant to capture temperature variation across [tens to hundreds] of meters."</p><p>For instance, solitary plants have the power to generate itty-bitty microclimates. Just ask <a href="https://www.colorado.edu/geography/peter-blanken-0" target="_blank">Peter Blanken</a>, a geography professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the co-author of the 2016 book, "<a href="https://amzn.to/2XN6FT8" target="_blank">Microclimate and Local Climate</a>."</p>
The urban heat island effect is a good example of how microclimates work. NOAA
Microclimates on a Grand Scale<p>It's no secret that our planet is going through some rough times at the macro level. The global temperature is <a href="https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/" target="_blank">climbing</a>; nine out of the <a href="https://www.noaa.gov/news/2019-was-2nd-hottest-year-on-record-for-earth-say-noaa-nasa" target="_blank">10 hottest years on record</a> have occurred since 2005. And by one recent estimate, roughly 1 million species around the world are <a href="https://ipbes.net/sites/default/files/2020-02/ipbes_global_assessment_report_summary_for_policymakers_en.pdf" target="_blank">facing extinction</a> due to human activities.</p><p>"One of the big questions that ecologists and environmental scientists are trying to answer right now is how will individual species and whole ecosystems respond to rapid climate change and habitat loss," says Jucker. "...To me, [microclimates are] a key component of this research — if we don't measure and understand climate at the appropriate scale, then predicting how things will change in the future becomes a lot harder."</p><p>Developers have long understood the impact small-scale climates have on our daily lives. <a href="https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/urban-heat-island.htm#pt0" target="_blank">Urban heat islands</a> are cities that have higher temperatures than neighboring rural areas.</p><p>Plants release vapors that can moderate local climates. But in cities, natural greenery is often scarce. To make matters worse, plenty of our roads and buildings have a bad habit of absorbing or re-emitting heat from the sun. <a href="https://www.google.com/books/edition/Microclimate_and_Local_Climate/LHUZDAAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=urban%20heat%20island" target="_blank">Vehicle emissions</a> don't exactly help the situation.</p><p>Still, it's not like Boston or Beijing are thermal monoliths. Sometimes, the documented temperatures <a href="https://e360.yale.edu/features/can-we-turn-down-the-temperature-on-urban-heat-islands" target="_blank">within a single city</a> vary by 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (8.3 to 11.1 degrees Celsius).</p><p>That's where metro parks and city trees come in. They have nice cooling effects on nearby neighborhoods. "Several cities around the world have developed programs to increase urban green spaces," says Blanken. "Tree planting programs and green roof programs, have been shown to lower surface temperatures, decrease air pollution and decrease surface water runoff (urban flash-flooding) in urban areas."</p>
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Note: This story was originally published on August 6, 2020
If asked to recall a hurricane, odds are you'd immediately invoke memorable names like Sandy, Katrina or Harvey. You'd probably even remember something specific about the impact of the storm. But if asked to recall a heat wave, a vague recollection that it was hot during your last summer vacation may be about as specific as you can get.
<div id="ecf36" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c2dcc9d48a6cd61f247df1544539a783"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1290959314132361216" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Naming heatwaves is a good idea—making the abstract concrete, the invisible visible. Why should hurricanes and wild… https://t.co/hDWgYb79Ob</div> — Ed Maibach (@Ed Maibach)<a href="https://twitter.com/MaibachEd/statuses/1290959314132361216">1596623660.0</a></blockquote></div>
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