Posts tagged ‘food’

Vertical farming

Dickson Despommier of Columbia University is advocating a novel idea: vertical farming. What do you think? Crazy idea, or good idea?

How far can you go on one burrito?

As Dr. Eugene Cordero took to the stage at the TEDxSanJoseCA conference last month, he showed a slide with a picture of his favorite tee-shirt and posed this question to the audience: How far do you think you could you go on the energy you get from eating one burrito? This drew an appreciative laugh from the audience as he began to explain. What do you think?  Is the claim on his tee-shirt correct? How would you go about figuring this out?

Questions like these fuel the imaginations of us here at The Green Ninja Project. Our scientists, educators, and filmmakers create engaging, fun, and creative ways for students to learn about the science behind our changing environment. The Green Ninja™ energizes, activates, and engages students (and teachers!) to make a difference.  We create resources teachers can use, such as:

Stay tuned to hear more about our upcoming projects.  In the meantime, check out Eugene Cordero’s 13-minute TEDx talk and tell us where you fall on Eugene’s burrito enjoyment index. And see the Green Ninja make his dramatic entrance with a special-delivery burrito.  You won’t believe how high he can leap. Go Green Ninja!

TEDxSanJoseCA

–Julie Noblitt, Green Ninja Team

Farmers Market or Grocery Store?

Although the lure of shopping at a farmers market includes fresh and tasty produce, a happy open-air market vibe and the plentiful free samples, isn’t it too expensive to shop at farmers markets regularly?

I tried to answer this by looking at some formal studies. The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture conducted consumer market research in June, July, and August 2009 at farmers markets in Iowa. The researchers found no significant price difference between farmers markets and the supermarkets.  In addition, they noted that price advantages at the farmers markets often occurred when there was a seasonal abundance of a particular fruit or vegetable.  A more recent study was conducted at Vermont farmers markets and grocery stores. This study evaluated conventional and organic produce and reached conclusions for each type. For conventional foods, the farmers market prices were competitive with grocery stores in many cases, while for organic foods, the farmers market prices were typically less than at the grocery store.   While small local farms don’t have the advantage or large-scale agricultural practices, buying directly from a farmer doesn’t include any profits to a middleman, so the similarity in prices tends to make sense.

So what criteria do you use when you shop for food? Is price the only factor you consider, or do you think about value and quality? So let’s check out our local farmers market and make our own comparisons?

-GN

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