News for August 30, 2011

News Today includes stories about Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Undocumented Labor, Guatemala Experiments, Green Dog Products, Dairy Farms Pollute Lake, kitchen apprentice, Meat-Loving Chef Eats Mostly Vegetarian, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, vegan wine, Sprout City Farms, Pandas, Compost Can Kill Dogs, Farming Theme Park, Tesla, LovingEco, Monsanto Superinsects, Anti-Bacterials Are Safe, Nestle, food justice, Bull Run, Sell More Dogs to Labs, Guide To A Healthy Heart, Minimum Wage, Vegan Doctors, and Recipes.

Film Analysis: “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

An animal liberation revolution is happening on the silver screen. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011, directed by Rupert Wyatt) provides the ultimate liberation fantasy as it traces the genesis of a new era on our planet, while telling the story of a special kind of leader — Caesar – a chimp born in an animal testing facility to a genetically enhanced mother.

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Undocumented Labor is the Dairyland’s Bread and Butter

There is a crisis in America. Initially, both political parties disagree about how to fix it. The rhetoric is heated — but finally a majority moves towards a common-sense solution. Unfortunately, a small minority refuses to budge. For them, compromise is a dirty word and they will have none of it. If necessary, this minority is willing to inflict serious damage on the economy in the name of “principle.”

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Guatemala Experiments: Syphilis Infections, Other Shocking Details Revealed About U.S. Medical Experiments

A presidential panel on Monday disclosed shocking new details of U.S. medical experiments done in Guatemala in the 1940s, including a decision to re-infect a dying woman in a syphilis study.

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Green Dog Products

Whether you’re looking for organic dog toys, recycled beds or other natural pet products, you’ll find great ideas here.

Throw the earth a bone and reduce your dog’s carbon paw print with these organic and natural dog products. Doug Mazeffa, research director at, rates products based on safety and sustainability. When shopping for pets, Mazeffa recommends buying items made out of post-consumer recycled materials that don’t have as large of an impact as items that rely on virgin material production.

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Dairy Farms Pollute Lake

The most polluted lake in New Zealand, Lake Ellesmere, will require almost $12 million and decades of time to clean up pollution from dairy farms.

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Into the inferno: Coming from a place of ‘yes, chef!’

My first order of business: get rid of the manicure. The very last impression I wanted to leave was my “Belle of the Ball” nail polish chipping into someone’s orzo.

For the next 48 hours, I was venturing straight into Escoffier’s inferno at a Michelin-starred kitchen in New York City as a stagiaire or kitchen apprentice.

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Meat-Loving Chef Eats Mostly Vegetarian. We All Should Too.

Anthony Bourdain’s argument that we should eat less meat took me a little by surprise. But he’s not the only carnivorous chef making the case for veg-centric eating. In fact, British celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstal—whose River Cottage Meat Book graces the shelves of many a meat-loving environmentalist, and whose Fish Fight campaign has created a massive consumer cry for more sustainable fishing—has dedicated his latest book to celebration of the vegetable.

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Hold the steak: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s vegetable recipes

While the glut of high summer may be past, this time of year still sees an abundance of fantastic British produce in our shops, markets and gardens. All those lovely, fleshy fruit-vegetables – I’m thinking aubergines and peppers, tomatoes and courgettes – are really at their peak, while other treats that have been around all summer – beans, potatoes, carrots and spinach – are still going strong. In short, there’s no excuse not to pile your plate with delicious, home-grown or locally sourced veg.

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Nigel Slater’s beetroot and summer carrots recipes

The heart of the vegetable patch is a tangle of annual flowers, fruit and vegetables. The garlic stems have toppled into the chard; the sweetpeas are winding their way through the green tomatoes and the wayward jack-o’-lantern pumpkin seems to be heading for Glasgow. Somewhere under the bright orange marigolds, wandering nasturtiums and strawberry plants is a row of beetroots. I call it romantic. Better gardener-cooks may be less generous.

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Wine: the veggie options

If you’re cooking some of Hugh’s amazing recipes for veggie friends, I wonder if you’ll think of buying vegetarian- and vegan-friendly wines to go with them? Animal products are commonly – perhaps surprisingly – used in the winery for fining, a process that makes wine clearer and more stable. No-no products for veggies and vegans are gelatin, isinglass – derived from fish bladders – egg white and casein – derived from milk.

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From Nothing Into Something, Sprout City Farms Grows a Thriving Urban School Garden in Denver

School gardens are becoming more and more popular around the country, but they’re harder to establish in some places than in others—in the middle of a city, for example, where the soil is deficient and needs work before it can support growth of plants and vegetables.

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Panda Poop May Hold Key to Major Breakthrough in Biofuels

Pandas are easily among the most beloved species in the world, delighting animal-lovers with their cuddly, plush appearance and playful demeanor — so much so, in fact, it almost seems they’re poop doesn’t stink — though figuratively at least, that may be true. According to the latest research into the viability of alternative energy, panda droppings actually hold a treasure trove of uniquely powerful bacteria that could revolutionize the production of biofuels. And no, I’m not being fecestious.

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Compost Can Kill Dogs. Here’s How To Save Them.

This awesome infographic on which composting method is right for you proved a big hit, and videos on DIY compost tumblers and how to build a worm bin continue to generate thousands of views. The fact is that there are millions of enthusiastic composters out there, and millions more who just need a gentle push. So I am hoping this post does not put anyone off—but if you have pets or young children, you may want to take precautions to ensure their safety. On very rare occasions, a poorly managed compost heap can kill. The Ottawa Citizen has a Q&A on a letter from reader on the risk of poisoning to pets caused by compost. The prime moral of the story is not, of course, whether or not to compost—but rather how to do it right:

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Wacky Farming Theme Park Aims to Fix Our Food Problems with Barn Dances and Giant Robot Animals

For your next vacation, forget about Disneyland and the amusement park, and give Farmland World a shot. The “agro-tourist” resort, where you ditch the bathing suit for overalls, is the new hot destination for families looking for some good old fashioned tractor rides, corn mazes and reflection on the relationships between humans, animals and machines, and how we produce our food. The fact that it’s only a concept vacation spot doesn’t mean the whole family can’t enjoy the thought-provoking renderings.

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Tesla’s Elon Musk Bets $1 Million (for Charity) that Model S Will be Ready on Time

It’ll be there in late 2012, I swear! Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX and the chairman of SolarCity, has made a $1 million bet with auto journalist Dan Neil (well, Neil is only betting $1,000, so it’s an asymmetric bet). The dispute is about the timing of the Model S electric sedan’s production and commercialisation.

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Simple Strawberry and Basil Bruschetta

If you’ve been fortunate enough to sample a ripe strawberry plucked straight from the vine, you know just how intoxicating this simple fruit can be. They are so sweet and the berry is just tart enough that you could eat a whole bucket’s worth (or at least I could). I used basil in this recipe because the herb is perfect for amplifying a fruit’s natural flavors, like the tomato for example. Enjoy this bruschetta with an off-dry or mineral white wine.

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Weekday Vegetarian: Curried Lentil, Wild Rice and Orzo Salad

My husband and I attended a wedding this past weekend of a young woman we have watched grow up, year after year, at our cottage. Her wedding was the antithesis of what now seems to be the modern wedding. No expensive or exotic locale, the service was held in the tiny country church in our tiny town and the reception was held in her father’s building shop, transformed into a beautiful party room by her cousins. No expensive caterers, the cooking was done by her mother, her sister, her aunt and her cousin and the flowers, potatoes, tomatoes and garlic all came from her mother’s garden. That’s about as local as it gets. The guests scraped their and washed their own dishes in tubs of water provided and then we danced the night away at a ceilidh. Their honeymoon is a bike trip.

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join LovingEco & save the planet in style!

You can find the best eco fashion, accessories and natural beauty at up to 70% off! And they give a portion of each purchase back to charity. Membership is free – discover new brands & save every week.

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Attack of the Monsanto Superinsects

Over the past decade and a half, as Monsanto built up its globe-spanning, multi-billion-dollar genetically modified seed empire, it made two major pitches to farmers.

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Is the Soap Lobby Right That Anti-Bacterials Are Safe?

By now, you’ve probably heard of triclosan, an anti-microbial agent present in all kinds of personal hygiene products, from soap to deodorant to toothpaste. The New York Times recently reported on the raging debate between public health advocates and the soap industry over the product’s safety.

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Nestle’s chairman wants you to be scared of organic food

In eye-opening comments to Fast Company this weekend, Nestlé’s chairman and former CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe offers a lengthy disquisition on the “problems” associated with organic foods and covers all the classic anti-organic arguments, from “organic can’t feed the world” to “organic isn’t any better for you.” He concludes by declaring that organic food sales in the U.S. and Europe have likely hit their peak. “I don’t think it will grow much more,” he adds.

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On the road for food justice

Nothing says commitment to a cause like 11 young adults willing to spend several weeks crammed into a 15-passenger van traveling across the country. Dubbed “from the hood to the heartland,” the Food and Freedom Ride is a 2,000-mile voyage from Birmingham, Ala., to Detroit, Mich., intended to spread awareness about food justice issues in the U.S.

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Zucchini Tofu Scramble

Tofu and zucchini are seasoned with turmeric, fresh basil, oregano and rosemary, then scrambled together on the stove. This breakfast is easily adaptable to include your favorite spices, but seasoning the tofu with kala namak gives it a delicious flavor mimicking scrambled eggs.

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Town Says NO to Pamplona-Style Bull Run

Hats off to officials in the Arizona town of Cave Creek for revoking a permit sanctioning a bull run when the organizers failed to procure sufficient insurance coverage. This may be enough to stop the event, since it means that liability for any injuries now becomes the responsibility of the promoter and the owner of the local ranch where the run is supposed to take place.

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Breeder Wants to Sell More Dogs to Labs

B&K Universal in Yorkshire is owned by New York–based Marshall Farms, which has been repeatedly cited for federal Animal Welfare Act violations. B&K applied for planning permission to open a new facility where dogs would be confined to indoor kennels. The females would be repeatedly impregnated, and their puppies would be sold to laboratories for use in painful toxicity tests and other experiments, perhaps similar to those conducted at Professional Laboratory and Research Services, which PETA investigated last year.

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Your A To Z Guide To A Healthy Ticker

We’re (finally!) getting the message that heart disease is an equal opportunity threat, affecting women and men alike. But not enough women are taking the message personally and swinging into action to protect their hearts, says Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director of the New York University Women’s Heart Program and author of Dr. Nieca Goldberg’s Complete Guide to Women’s Health.

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New Hampshire Rep: Young People Aren’t Worth Minimum Wage

One New Hampshire lawmaker verbally insulted thousands of hardworking young Americans in a recent statement, saying they aren’t worth the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

State Rep. Carol McGuire made the comment in a statement that called a minimum wage requirement “discriminatory” and argues that young people would take $5 per hour work if offered.

“It’s very discriminatory, particularly for young people. They’re not worth the minimum,” the Republican legislator said.

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Yes, Doctor, I am a Vegan: Finding a Health Care Provider You Can Work With

My teenage daughter’s usual pediatrician just retired from the practice so her most recent visit was with a new doctor. “How did it go?” I asked in the car. “Fine,” my daughter said and told me a few things the pediatrician had told her. “But did she ask about your diet?” I couldn’t help asking. “She did ask some questions about what I eat,” my daughter said, “but I answered all of them and she said it sounded like I knew what I was doing.” This is exactly what I hoped would happen – information was exchanged and our family’s vegan diet would not be a major focus of my daughter’s relationship with her doctor.

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About James Lucas

James has been a graphic designer for over 18 years and owns Wave Hound Surf Shop. James started Doylestown Movie Fans, who meet once a month to see movies at the County Theater in Doylestown, PA. He and his wife Chris started Bucks County Vegan Supper Club in 2009, whose members meet once a month to have a vegan potluck dinner. They are currently working through the Veganomicon cookbook, which inspires experienced and recent vegans to try new recipes. James is proud to support Farm Sanctuary and The Surfrider Foundation.

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