In Case You Missed it: This Week in Review

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This week, we follow breaking news around the ongoing U.S. drought. The U.S. Drought Monitor recently declared that 88 percent of this year’s corn crop and 77 percent of the soybean crop is affected by the severe drought.

Photo credit: Bernard Pollack

We also examine the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s reversal of support for Meatless Mondays. The USDA came under fire this week after an interoffice “Greening Headquarters Update” encouraged staff and cafeteria visitors “to participate in the ‘Meatless Monday’ initiative.”

In our Citywatch post, Wayne Roberts argues for more-walkable urban neighborhoods to cut down on driving time and improve urban quality of life. “If everyone lived in a walkable food-friendly neighborhood,” writes Roberts, “we could cut a major swath out of the total number of car trips—because a full fifth of car trips are to buy food.”

Our Saturday Series interviewee, Shirley Lewis, discusses her campaign to live as sustainably as possible, or ASAP. “Our future is in danger, and we need to wake up to this quickly,” says Shirley.

And we help broadcast the call for submissions to the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition’s Young Earth Solutions (BCFN YES) project. Students from around the world are encouraged to submit an essay on the topic, “Food and Sustainability: How to reduce our impact on the environment, while securing health and access to food for all.” The 10 best ideas will be presented and assessed at BCFN’s 4th International Forum on Food and Nutrition, November 28 and 29, 2012 in Milan, Italy!

Further highlights from the past week:

Our Innovation of the Week post looks at how the Rainforest Alliance’s is making food production more environmentally and socially sustainable. The Alliance operates a certification program, in which certified farms must meet environmental standards set by the Sustainable Agriculture Network and labor standards set by the Alliance itself. In addition, the organization works with local groups and communities to build tourism as an alternative to destructive activities such as slash-and-burn agriculture or illegal deforestation.

We profile five fish that are sustainable and (almost) guilt-free, including sardines, mackerel, and sockeye salmon. And our Indigenous Vegetable of the Week is tucumã, a palm tree that guards its tasty fruits with sharp, needlelike spikes. Tucumã has been a widely enjoyed treat in the Amazonas and nearby regions for centuries, and is packed with protein and Vitamin A.

Now it’s your turn: What were your favorite posts from the week? What do you hope we’ll write about next week? Let us know in the comments!

To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE. And to watch the one-minute book trailer, click HERE.

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