These are the green news stories that caught my eye this week.
Wanted to Punch Someone
Did you hear the one about the mega-corporation stepping in at the last minute to quash a ban on plastic water bottles in America’s most treasured natural environment? The NYT reports that Coca-Cola prevented a plastic bottle ban from going through at Grand Canyon National Park because “You’re not allowing people to decide what they want to eat and drink”. Wow, does this mean Coke will be giving up their exclusive beverage contracts at universities, arenas, and airports around the world?
Speaking of corporations controlling government organizations, the FDA says the seafood in the gulf is “as safe to eat as it was before the oil spill”. Too bad there’s not that much of it around this year. Mother Jones reports that the shrimp yield is about 80% less than normal and many of the shrimp don’t have eyes. Tasty.
You know what else the FDA thinks is totally OK? Canned food lined with BPAs. I say otherwise, at least after seeing the results of a recent Harvard study, showing skyrocketing levels of BPA in test participants who ate canned soup for five days.
Lots of bad news for animals this week too. Let’s start with this video of a tuna fishing operation, catching and killing sea turtles, whales, and the rest of Nemo’s buddies. Don’t fool yourself into thinking this type of thing is rare. It happens every day. The only way to stop it? Stop eating tuna.
You might want to rethink eggs as well, once you see this video showing how things go down at an industrial egg “farm”. Once this was made public, McDonald’s dropped these guys as a supplier – the (spurious) implication being that chickens at other egg suppliers are lovin’ it.
The worst news this week is, of course, for turkeys, millions of which are all trussed up and ready to become people food. Before you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, all I ask is that you get to know what’s in your tasty turkey dinner.
Had Me On the Fence
In the good news/bad news category, Yellowstone grizzly bears are still endangered. It’s good news because their endangered status means they will continue to be protected. The bad news? One reason they still need protecting is because one of their key food sources, the White Bark Pine, is disappearing thanks to global warming. Proving once again that every time we fuck up one part of the earth, we’re fucking up the whole thing.
Sharks got a minor reprieve this week, CNN reports, as Peninsula Hotels announced that shark fin soup is off the menu. The bad part? They’ll be replacing it with soup made from other fish. Tuna anyone?
Left Me Grinning
This is kind of cool. According to NYT, lupin seeds are hitting it big in Europe as a new substitute for soy in the alterna-meat world. As long as the soy farming industry uses highly damaging monoculture farming practices, any alternative sounds good to me. Also, it’s pretty awesome that there’s a shop called The Vegetarian Butcher.
I’m also optimistic about this cool bike lane that opened in downtown LA this week. If drivers can’t avoid cyclists in this 6-foot-wide lime green stripe, there’s no hope left in the world. The price tag, at more than $100,000 for a 1.5-mile lane, is not so cool!
Finally, these adorable guys just came up for adoption. So even if you are going to chow down on one of their relatives at the table this year, think about giving a little back to Turkey-kind.
Do you disagree with how I see things? Let me know in the comments below.