The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Will Yours Be a Sustainable Superbowl Sunday?
This Sunday, millions of Americans will sit down with friends and family to watch some of the world’s greatest athletes competing in the toughest, most physical sport of all.
No one takes health and fitness more seriously than today’s top football players. So isn’t it kind of absurd that as we watch Sunday’s game we will all be bombarded by advertisements for some of the unhealthiest junk food imaginable? And as we admire the speed, strength and agility of our gridiron heroes, chances are that most of the millions of chicken wings and burgers that will be consumed at Super Bowl parties across the U.S. will have come from industrialized livestock farming systems that are damaging to the environment, to animal welfare, and ultimately to our own health.
As two titans of the football world clash this Sunday, there is one Titan football player who is already leading by example. Will Witherspoon is linebacker for the Tennessee Titans—and a sustainable farmer. Will is passionate about producing healthy and nutritious food on his Animal Welfare Approved Shire Gate Farm near Owensville, Missouri. As a professional athlete involved in one of the world’s most physical sports, Will is particularly aware of the health benefits of grassfed, high-welfare farming.
“My cattle are raised as nature intended, on grass, and aren’t fed growth hormones, antibiotics or other unnatural additives,” says Will. “As a pro football player, I can’t take over-the-counter cold medicine without letting my trainer know about it. So why would I want my kids eating beef from cattle fed hormones or routine antibiotics?”
The truth is that if you knew what goes on behind the closed doors of most industrial farms you probably wouldn’t want to touch the meat—let alone eat it. The only farming images that Big Ag wants you to see are the bucolic, picket-fenced scenes on their food packaging—along with false messages, such as ”naturally raised” or "free-roaming” (neither of which actually means that animals were raised outdoors). In the drive to produce ever-cheaper foods, the pursuit of profit comes before all other concerns, including our health. The soaring rates of obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and diet-related cancers stand in stark contrast to the healthfulness and sporting prowess that we will all applaud this coming weekend. In today’s junk food world, where childhood obesity and diet-related ill health is epidemic, Will Witherspoon is just the kind of sporting role model we urgently need.
So when you’re out shopping for your Super Bowl party, why not make sure that at least one of your purchases is a truly sustainable choice. Seek out some high-welfare, pasture-raised chicken wings or grassfed ground beef for your burger patties—I can guarantee you’ll taste the difference. And don’t be fooled by terms like “all natural,” “naturally raised” or “cage-free”—they are used to mask the same old industrialized farming system where confinement, routine antibiotic use, and a horrific, short life are the norm. Make sure you ask for grassfed or pasture-raised meat at your grocery store. Better still, why not make a play for your local farmers market—or use our online directory to find your nearest supplier of Animal Welfare Approved meat and dairy products.
Small changes can make a big difference. As we build up to one of the greatest sporting contests on Earth, let’s use the opportunity to start reducing our consumption of unsustainable, unhealthy, intensively reared meat and dairy—and choose high-welfare, pasture-based meat and dairy products instead. Let’s make this Super Bowl Sunday really count—let’s make it a Sustainable Super Bowl Sunday.
For more information, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Emily Deanne
Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.
By Lorraine Chow
Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.
States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
By Kristin Ohlson
From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.
Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.
By Hans Nicholas Jong
Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.
It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."