News Roundup: Thursday 3.13.2014

Tomorrow we’ll be headed to the Permaculture Voices conference (see more below!). We see it as yet another reminder of all the work being done by positive, brilliant, effective people to make our world healthier. Our founder, Deborah Szekely, will be there, as well as some Wellness Warrior team members.

Today, in addition to learning more about permaculture, you’ll read the latest on the Farm Bill, some pretty nauseating fast food tales, a story on just how healthy your favorite veggie is, the struggle of small sustainable ranchers, the review of a fabulous book we’re reading, and a few more tidbits to keep you thinking throughout the weekend.

Words to Live By

“If we surrendered to earth's intelligence, we would rise up rooted, like trees.”

— Rainer Maria Rilke

Newest News

We’re Bringing Our Voices to Permaculture Voices
We’re getting excited about the Permaculture Voices conference happening this weekend (starts today!) in Temecula, California. In fact, we’ll have some Wellness Warrior staff as well as WW founder Deborah Szekely there this Friday soaking up all of the inspiration and brilliant ideas (be on the look out for WW live tweets from the conference!). To give you a little taste of what might be in store for this weekend, check out this article in Permaculture Magazine (a U.K. publication) on the recent Food Otherwise conference in the Netherlands--yet another great group of people gathering together to work on issues of our planetary health!
Changing the Future of Agriculture via Permaculture Magazine


Another Look at the Farm Bill
Positive and negative assessments are inevitable in a bill with such large appropriations. Marion Nestle is skeptical about claims that the Bill provided a win for “specialty crops” (fruits and vegetables) and offers a pretty compelling analysis to prove otherwise. Adding even more (and uplifting!) substance to this piece, Nestle offers a list of much smaller state bills that are designed to promote healthy and sustainable food. Let’s learn a lesson from these states and work to make the next Farm Bill a real “win” for health.
The farm bill promotes fruits and vegetables? Really? via Food Politics


Restaurants Serving Diversity
It’s no secret that societal norms around race and gender (as well as ability, age, class . . the list goes on and on) work against creating an equitable and justice world. As Wellness Warriors, we are always inspired by people who are fighting to challenge these forms of oppression, and they are out there by the millions! Tom Philpott turned his attention once again to these issues in the restaurant world this week. He gives a wonderful synopsis of an event he moderated with four mold-breaking chefs who are challenging notions of who should be leading the kitchens of our restaurants.
You Don't Have To Be a Foul-Mouthed White Guy To Be a World-Class Chef via Mother Jones


The Fast Food Frontline

Fast Food is Not For the Faint of Heart
Usually we like to provide you with content based on scientific studies and expert analysis, but every once in a while a fluff piece comes our way that is too good to ignore. The power of social media was once again used to expose the horror of fast food, this time by asking fast food workers to tell anecdotes of what fast food items they wouldn’t eat and why. If you needed a reason to swear off fast food, this little article will give you 14!


Recalling the Recall
The world of CAFOs and mass-produced meat can be a scary one, and all we need is one national recall to set the alarm bells ringing again. In light of last month’s 8.7 million-pounds recall of beef, this Civil Eats article discusses how the poor practices of the mega-beef industry have an expensive effect on smaller grass-feed operations, even though these sustainable ranchers have had no instances of contaminated meat. Offering a solution, the article looks towards the re-establishment of a local slaughterhouse meat-processing system that could solve the problem entirely.


Prevention News

Veggies v. Veggies
Any veggie is a good veggie, but some are “super stars.” The folks at Nutrition Action and the Center for Science in the Public Interest are hard at work (and have been for 40 years!) providing us with information to help make the world a healthier place. They’ve put their heads together to rank 73 of the most commonly eaten veggies by their calories and nutritional content. This quick reference can be a fun way to get inspired to bring some new veggies into your diet.


What We're Watching

Economics of the Future
The Lexicon of Sustainability is a fabulous educational program produced by the thoughtful folks at PBS.  Their videos provide simple, straightforward answers to questions that we all have about how we can achieve a more sustainable world. Their latest video addresses the concept of “Economies of Community” as an alternative to “Economies of Scale” and gives some powerful examples of people who are working towards creating more of the former ... and less of the latter.
Economies of Community via PBS


What We're Reading

Your Health is in Their Hands
As Wellness Warriors, in a world where so many of us feel powerless over corporate influences, we are standing up and fighting back. No book could embody this sentiment more than Oxford Press’s recent release Legal but Lethal: Corporations, Consumption and Protecting Public Health. It’s a steely-eyed, realistic look at the power that industries such as tobacco, alcohol, and firearms have over our health, what they do to keep that power, and what we can do to stop them. Check out an excerpt at the Corporations and Health Watch page below and pick up a copy today. While you’re at it, check  this great video of a conversation between author Nicholas Freudenberg and Marion Nestle and Laura Berry.


Porridge Gone Wild
You cannot go wrong with coconut milk, and 101 Cookbooks is its champion. Combine the two and you’ll get something simply amazing. This recipe takes a simple thing like porridge and adds a number of spices and herbs to make a delightfully green and delicious dish.
Green Curry Porridge
Photo credit: 101 Cookbooks

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 55 min  


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemongrass, minced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 3/4 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
  • 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger, peeled
  • 1 small serrano chile, seeded
  • 1 cup cilantro, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup green onion tops (reserve the bottoms for serving)
  • 1 cup sorrel (or 1 cup spinach + 2 T. lime juice)
  • 1 small delicata squash, halved, deseeded, cut into 1/4-inch thick crescents


For serving: chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, olive oil

To a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, lemongrass, garlic, coriander, and rice. Stir constantly until the rice kernels are toasted and fragrant, 7-10 minutes. Add the water, slowly and while stirring--the heat will cause the water to bubble. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the salt and let the soup simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until the rice has cooked through and many of its grains have burst.

In the meantime, combine the coconut milk, ginger, serrano chile, cilantro, green onion tops, sorrel, and remaining 2 teaspoons of salt in a blender. (Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender here.) Blend until smooth, then taste and adjust, if needed. Add the herbed coconut milk, along with the squash, to the porridge. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking.

To serve, ladle the porridge into bowls and top each with chopped green onion, a small heap of chopped cilantro, a drizzle of olive oil, and a wedge of lime.

Green Curry Porridge via 101 Cookbooks

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