Food and Farming

Your Holiday Guide to Avoiding Slave Labor

Your Holiday Guide to Avoiding Slave Labor

Pope Francis got into the holiday spirit this year by calling on shoppers not to buy products made by modern-day slaves. This is, of course, excellent advice. Odds are, most of us — whether Catholic or not — would love to take it. But how? Most products don't come...

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Chris Christie’s Pork Barrel Politics

Chris Christie’s Pork Barrel Politics

As the weather turns colder in this month of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the Winter Solstice, our hearts grow warmer and our thoughts turn to kindness and goodwill toward all. Unless, of course, you're Chris Christie. The governor of New Jersey is a mighty big...

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Why You Should Meet Your Meat

Why You Should Meet Your Meat

A beloved organic farm in San Diego recently canceled a gourmet dinner it had planned to host. Guests had already paid $150 for a local, organic five-course meal prepared by several top chefs from the region. The dinner was called Death for Food. Whose death for whose...

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A Prescription for Better Health

A Prescription for Better Health

Here's a typical scene in any American checkup: The doctor walks in to find the patient sitting on the table. "Well, your cholesterol is too high," the doctor tells the patient. "I can prescribe something for it, but the real solution will be diet and exercise." The...

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A Free Fruit-for-All

A Free Fruit-for-All

I got back from the airport just in time for the last half hour of Cider Fest, one of the Bloomington Community Orchard's large public events. This publicly owned and volunteer-run organic orchard occupies a single acre. Entering its fifth year, it has become an...

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The Real Public Health Threat

The Real Public Health Threat

As airlines, cruise ships, and hospitals cope with waves of Ebola jitters, I'm wondering whether the panic the deadly virus is inducing will distort Halloween traditions this year. No, I'm not talking about Ebola-related costumes. There are real precautions we must...

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Paying for Cheap Chocolate

Paying for Cheap Chocolate

One Halloween, my husband persuaded our kids to give away most of the candy they'd just collected while trick-or-treating. They were preschoolers and the house we were renting then had previously drawn teens with haunted tours. We'd run out of candy when a stream of...

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Walk Softly and Carry a Big Beer

Walk Softly and Carry a Big Beer

OK, that's it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. The avarice of corporate power is getting personal. I'm talking about beer, the nourishing nectar of a civilized society. Since my teen years, I've done extensive consumer research on the brewer's art, from the full array of ales...

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