Friday, July 2, 2010

Does it Take a Radical?

I’ve never been the greatest fan of handouts, but I believe hand-ups to be very beneficial. I’ve tried to recollect some of the people who have made a difference in my green evolution. Some of these people went off of the deep end, but I’ve learned that radical people change the world and so if they evoke change for the better, I’ll go off the deep end with them! I would like to encourage you to post and tell us of that special person, book, or movie which spurred you towards sustainability.


Morgan Spurlock’s movie: Super Size Me was my first step into living a healthier lifestyle. Wanting to demonstrate the impact of fast food on the American Diet, Morgan turns himself into a living experiment. Mission: Live off of nothing but McDonalds for 30 days. He does a really good job of demonstrating the effects of fast food on the body as well as the fast food culture.


Owner of Polyface Farm, Swoope, VA- Joel is my hero!!!! I first learned of Joel’s plight in the book Omnivore’s Dilemma. Polyface Farm is a model for sustainable agriculture. Joel refuses to use synthetic fertilizers to boost the production of his farm. Instead he opts for maintenance intensive farming. Example: He moves cows to pasture which eat the grass right at the pinnacle of its growth cycle. After the cows move out of the pasture, the chickens move in to pick the larvae out of the cow patties.

His book, aptly titled Everything I Want to do is Illegal, explains how tight government regulations control how his business is run. He can sell a live pig from his farm, but not a dead one. Slaughtering is not permitted in areas zoned agriculture. One might think you can simply send him out for processing and bring him back, but retail sale is not a function of agriculture either. It’s important to note that processing an animal in a slaughterhouse doesn’t make the food any safer. OR

You can slaughter a chicken on your farm in Virginia but crossing over into the D.C. area somehow makes the chicken unsafe unless a federal inspector looked at it first. That’s right… If you live 1 miles from the state line, you can move your produce 200 miles to the other side of the state put not 10 miles into the next metropolitan area.

Joel is an advocate for local farming. He would encourage each one of us to find and support local farmers.


I gained a wealth of perspective out of this book and it’s a must read for every American. If you learn nothing else, you will understand how important fossil fuels are to our food supply production, how much we rely on corn, and how little we understand about how to feed ourselves if that time ever comes.


In his book, The Maker’s Diet, Jordan, a Jewish expert on nutrition, explains how modern science backs the diet God laid out for his people in ancient days.


An advocate for healthy eating, Jamie’s lessons impacted me by letting me know what was making it’s way into school lunches. I made my kids watch his message and my daughter opted for plain milk over chocolate the rest of the school year! You can see his very important message here:


A 2009 documentary on a wealth of topics centered around the industrial food supply, it’s lack of accountability, and the havoc it wreaks on the American landscape.


Most people believe that a landscape architect’s place is on a rich man’s land placing roses and patios. Contrary to that belief, only a small number of architects can make a living like that. Parks, school campuses, libraries, malls, and cities are laid out and designed in part by this profession. The great thing about landscape architects is that they have one foot in science and one in art. They truly have the best of both worlds. The more time I spend with my professors and colleagues, the more I understand a landscape architect’s first responsibility is not to the client, but to nature. These people are one of the first to advocate for green areas such as drought mitigation, storm water runoff, rainwater harvesting, green building, and sustainable developments to name just a few. -Jason

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