Why do environmentalists advocate that people “eat locally?” Most people don't understand the connection between patronizing local food producers and

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Why do environmentalists advocate that people “eat locally?” Most people don't understand the connection between patronizing local food producers and environmental quality.

I do. Only because a few years ago me and the fellas, (including Kukla), scoped out Farm Aid. It was a full day event held on Randalls Island in New York City, and besides some great music, I was very impressed by the tasty food. Most, if not all the food vendors were selling items from "local farms". I remember thinking: "What does that mean; some of these vendors came from as far away as Indiana to sell their food!" I then learned that local farms really meant family run, organic, but most of all healthy farms.

While listening to Neil Young jam with Willie Nelson, I also took the time to read the literature being handed out by volunteers. Most of the articles (on recycled paper of course), were about the many differences between corporate farming and local farming and how and why we need to support the "local farms". There were also newsletters available that focused on "how to's" such as composting, etc.

In our modern age of food preservatives and additives, genetically altered crops and E. coli outbreaks, people are increasingly concerned about the quality and cleanliness of the foods they eat. Given the impossibility of identifying the pesticides used and the route taken to grow and transport, say, a banana from Central America to our local supermarket, foods grown locally make a lot of sense for those who want more control over what they put into their bodies...Earth Talk

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Today's Blog

7 Green Summer Camps Sending Kids (and Future Environmentalists) into the Great Outdoors

This is certainly different from when I went to camp!

We did have "pollution patrol" but this takes it to a whole other level!!!

There's nothing like a week or two at sleep-away camp to get your kids off the couch, away from the Wi-Fi, and detached from their cell phones in favor of hiking, swimming, and exploring the great outdoors. These camps focus on getting kids in touch with Mother Nature -- from working in gardens that provide the camps with food to taking daily walks to look for different plants and animals -- so that they come back more in touch with their environmental side than ever. And though it may be too late to book a trip for this year, it's never too early to start planning for 2011...read on

Would you send your kids to one of these camps??? ... I would

Check out our blog and feel free to post your comments...

The Business of Eating Healthy

Environmentally Friendly Food Facts:

US:
* Organic food is the fastest growing sector of the American food marketplace.
* Organic food sales have grown by 17 to 20 percent a year for the past few years while sales of conventional food have grown at only about 2 to 3 percent a year.
* In 2003 organic products were available in nearly 20,000 natural food stores and 73% of conventional grocery stores.
* Two-thirds of organic milk and cream and half of organic cheese and yogurt are sold through conventional supermarkets.

Canada:
* Organic food sales surpassed $1 billion in 2006, accounting for 0.9% of food sales in Canada.
* Organic food sales by grocery stores were 28% higher in 2006 than in 2005.
* British Columbians account for 13% of the Canadian population, but purchased 26% of the organic food sold in Canada in 2006.

Europe:

In the European Union (EU25) 3.9% of the total utilized agricultural area is used for organic production. The countries with the highest proportion of organic land are Austria (11%) and Italy (8.4), followed by Czech Republic and Greece (both 7.2%). The lowest figures are shown for Malta (0.1%), Poland (0.6%) and Ireland (0.8%).

source of statistics used

Company Spotlight

Water Resources Group

Water Resources Group LLC produces, markets, & distributes premium specialty beverages under the icebox™ brand.

Their mission is to provide the highest quality beverages, to the broadest possible market, while addressing three core societal concerns:

1. Environmental Protection
2. Natural Resource Conservation
3. Good Health

Q & A: Steve Weymer, CEO Water Resources Group, LLC

What motivated you to start Icebox?
Having been in the business of producing private label products for over a decade, when we decided to launch our own brand, we wanted to provide an alternative to the plastic bottle, and the multitude of problems associated with this item.

Is this a container company or a water company, or both?
We are a water company that is utilizing a novel eco-friendly packaging for a most familiar product.

Please describe your product(s). Where do you get your water?
Our product is ultra-premium glacier fed spring water imported from Norway. We have three sizes, ½ liter, 1 liter and 5 liter, all packaged in eco-friendly cardboard cartons.

How do you determine pricing? Are you marketing to a wholesale or retail client?
Ultra Premium Import Water at a competitive price – We are the ‘green’ alternative and we market to retail but deliver through distributors. We are priced with other imports, Evian, FiJi, Pelligrino, Perrier, Volvic, Ty Nant.

What stage is the company in and what are your future plans, (3-5 years out)?
We are an early stage company, national distribution and retail placement, definitely no longer a start up with a few years in development and product roll out now completing its first year. The consumer response has been fantastic . Consumers want to particpate in the green movement but do not know quite how – we offer them a simple opportunity to change their purchasing habits without sacrificing quality . Having said this, we believe that our growth curve will be exponential with proper funding. *For more information about funding opportunities please email Daryl Dworkin

How does your product help the environment?
We primarily use a sustainable resource for our packaging – completely re-cyclable with the majority of the packaging being bio-degradable. So, little or no use of petroleum products.
We can ship more product in less space – this means lees fuel consumed in transport –
Our carbon footprint, inclusive of ocean freight, is still only 20% of the carbon emissions form a similar sized plastic bottle (or 80% smaller carbon footprint).

Advantages of icebox water-in-a-box: Pressed-paper cartons are based on the concept of source reduction. They use minimal material and energy to produce and distribute thus resulting in minimal waste and fuel emissions at the end of the product life cycle.

· 100% RECYCLABLE
· SUSTAINABLE - Cartons are made almost entirely of paper, which comes form wood, a renewable resource.
· No PET, means no potential for plastic leaching…No health threat.
· Cap is poly-ethylene – a fully recyclable, non leeching material which is used in IV solution bags - presents no health threats.
· This reduces the use of traditional petroleum based bottles which in turn reduces the use of petroleum.
· These cartons are printed with water-based solvent-free printing inks, making them acceptable to re-cycle – No Wax coating.
· The cartons reduce the amount of refuse into the landfill by 97% - Squash and Recycle – simple enough!!!
· Less packaging , more product which translates into less energy used in transportation and more efficient storage.
· CARBON FOOTPRINT is only 24% of the Carbon Footprint of a comparable plastic bottle (76% less).

All retailers want to be perceived as actively addressing the environmental issue confronting us all – Their customers demand it, and they want to offer alternatives to the traditional packaging, especially in the area most severely attacked as the ‘epitome of excess’, the single serve water bottle of which 80 billion are produced in the USA, 80+% ending up in the landfill
The benefits are 1) not worrying about potential health threats from drinking from a plastic bottle, 2) not being part of the problem of wadsting a non-renewable resource, and 3) no longer contributing to the mountain of waste from sigle serve beverage containers.

Thank you, and if you would like to sample our product please contact Doug Shindler.

Doug's company: Tiki-Hut Coffee.com , is one of the exclusive distributers of our Icebox product. In addition to Icebox, Tiki-hut offers a plethora of beverages and coffee products to wholesale and retail customers alike.
-Steve Weymer

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proSeed's picks: environmental news

Sports stadiums rack up gag-worthy food violations (especially Florida’s)...According to a report prepared for ESPN (via The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn), Florida boasts seven of the eight stadiums nationwide in which 75 percent or more of food vendors were in violation of food safety regulations...Full Story

Food Industry continues move to sustainable packaging... The food and beverage industry including processors, packagers and tableware manufacturers continues to deliver a greater number of sustainable products to meet growing demand from environmentally-conscious consumers and retailers to lower the environmental impact of their packaging...Full Story

The High Costs of Cheap Food..."We have very, very expensive food in this country." "It's just that the prices are cheap." So said Paul Hawken, the environmentalist, entrepreneur and author...Read More

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proSeed is a journal of environmental finance. proSeed is a weekly publication which reports on the environmental finance space. In future journals we will continue to provide compelling information, relevant news, interviews with industry professionals, and a whole lot of other interesting material. Please enjoy and feel free to contact me with any comments, questions, or ideas that you may have regarding environmental finance at dd@dfdcapital.com.

Have an idea for a story? Email us at info@dfdcapital.com.

-Daryl Dworkin

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