WBEZ | sustainability http://www.wbez.org/tags/sustainability Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Presidential elections in Haiti http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-01-27/presidential-elections-haiti-114627 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Haiti1.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="A demonstrator chants: Down with Martelly! during a protest against President Michel Martelly's government in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. Haiti was to hold a presidential and legislative runoff election today but it was put on hold indefinitely. Sunday was also supposed to kick off pre-Carnival celebrations, but continuing protests dominated the streets instead. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/244061124&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Haiti: Presidential Elections Delayed for Third Time</strong></span><br />For the third time, presidential elections were put on hold in Haiti. The delay has led to street protests. Government officials said the Sunday vote was halted for &ldquo;security reasons&rdquo;, but the political opposition says it&rsquo;s a ploy by the current government to keep its power. Robert Maguire is professor of International Affairs and director of the Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program at George Washington University. He&rsquo;ll tell us what he thinks has been behind the delays.</p><p><strong>Guest: </strong>Robert Maguire is a professor of international affairs and director of the Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program at George Washington University.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Australia.jpg" title="Brightly decorated ferries, accompanied by a police boat, compete during Australia Day celebrations on Sydney Harbour, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2003. January 26 has traditionally marked the landing of Captain Arthur Phillip at Port Jackson in present-day Sydney in 1788, settling Australia for the British Empire. (AP Photo/Dan Peled)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/244061137&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>World History Minute:</strong><strong> Australia Day</strong></span><br />On January 26, 1788, the first fleet of colonizers arrived in Australia. The boatload of about 1500 included 775 convicts. &nbsp;Today, this day is still celebrated as Australia&rsquo;s national holiday, known as &ldquo;Australia Day.&rdquo; Historian John Schmidt recalls why a ship full of criminals was sent to help create what we now know as the country of Australia.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> John Schmidt is a &nbsp;historian and the author of &ldquo;On This Day in Chicago History.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Botanical.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Botanic Gardens Conservation International visited the Festival of Neighbourhood in London, England last year. They gave a seminar on how to transform wheelbarrows into mobile, make-shift gardens (Courtesy of Botanic Gardens Conservation International)." /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/244061145&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>EcoMyths: How Botanic Gardens Help Fight Climate Change</strong></span><br />Kate Sackman of EcoMyths Alliance believes that with an increased focus, worldwide, on slowing Climate Change and creating sustainable livelihoods, more people are seeking to understand these problems and how to solve them. For our regular <em>EcoMyths</em> segment, Sackman joins us with Dr. Paul Smith, secretary general of Botanic Gardens Conservation International and former head of the Kew Millennium Seed Bank. They&rsquo;ll tell us why they think that botanic gardens, accessible to most city dwellers in the U.S., are the key to finding these global solutions.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong> Kate Sackman is the founder and president of EcoMyths Alliance.</p><p>Dr. Paul Smith is the secretary general of Botanic Gardens Conservation International</p></p> Tue, 26 Jan 2016 09:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-01-27/presidential-elections-haiti-114627 Fish Stocks are Declining Worldwide, and Climate Change is on the Hook http://www.wbez.org/news/fish-stocks-are-declining-worldwide-and-climate-change-hook-114210 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/sole_edited_custom-143d61edc5e4d102aee854bd44bf71d32ec7d612-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res459705256" previewtitle="A fisherman shovels grey sole, a type of flounder, out of the hold of a ship at the Portland Fish Pier in Maine, September 2015. New research finds the ability of fish populations to reproduce and replenish themselves is declining across the globe. The worst news comes from the North Atlantic, where most species are declining."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="A fisherman shovels grey sole, a type of flounder, out of the hold of a ship at the Portland Fish Pier in Maine, September 2015. New research finds the ability of fish populations to reproduce and replenish themselves is declining across the globe. The worst news comes from the North Atlantic, where most species are declining." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/14/sole_edited_custom-143d61edc5e4d102aee854bd44bf71d32ec7d612-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 456px; width: 620px;" title="A fisherman shovels grey sole, a type of flounder, out of the hold of a ship at the Portland Fish Pier in Maine, September 2015. New research finds the ability of fish populations to reproduce and replenish themselves is declining across the globe. The worst news comes from the North Atlantic, where most species are declining. (Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>For anyone paying attention, it&#39;s no secret there&#39;s a lot of weird stuff going on in the oceans right now. We&#39;ve got a monster El Nino looming in the Pacific. Ocean acidification is<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/02/23/388480482/acidifying-waters-are-endangering-your-oysters-and-mussels">&nbsp;prompting hand wringing</a>&nbsp;among oyster lovers. Migrating fish populations have<a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2015/03/13/iceland_abandons_eu_bid_it_s_all_about_the_mackerel.html">&nbsp;caused tensions</a>&nbsp;between countries over fishing rights. And fishermen say they&#39;re seeing<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/06/11/412943456/why-is-this-fisherman-selling-threatened-bluefin-tuna-for-2-99-a-pound">&nbsp;unusual patterns</a>&nbsp;in fish stocks they haven&#39;t seen before.</p></div></div></div><p>Researchers now have more grim news to add to the mix. An analysis published Monday in the&nbsp;<em>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences&nbsp;</em>finds that the ability of fish populations to reproduce and replenish themselves is declining across the globe.</p><p>&quot;This, as far as we know, is the first global-scale study that documents the actual productivity of fish stocks is in decline,&quot; says lead author&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gregorybritten.info/home">Gregory L. Britten</a>, a doctoral student at the University of California, Irvine.</p><p>Britten and some fellow researchers looked at data from a global database of 262 commercial fish stocks in dozens of large marine ecosystems across the globe. They say they&#39;ve identified a pattern of decline in juvenile fish (young fish that have not yet reached reproductive age) that is closely tied to a decline in the amount of phytoplankton, or microalgae, in the water.</p><p>&quot;We think it is a lack of food availability for these small fish,&quot; says Britten. &quot;When fish are young, their primary food is phytoplankton and microscopic animals. If they don&#39;t find food in a matter of days, they can die.&quot;</p><p>The worst news comes from the North Atlantic, where the vast majority of species, including Atlantic cod, European and American plaice, and sole are declining. In this case, Britten says historically heavy fishing may also play a role. Large fish, able to produce the biggest, most robust eggs, are harvested from the water. At the same time, documented declines of phytoplankton made it much more difficult for those fish stocks to bounce back when they did reproduce,<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/30/science/cods-continuing-decline-traced-to-warming-gulf-of-maine-waters.html?_r=0">&nbsp;despite aggressive fishery management efforts</a>, says Britten.</p><p>When the researchers looked at plankton and fish reproduction declines in individual ecosystems, the results varied. In the North Pacific &mdash; for example, the Gulf of Alaska &mdash; there were no significant declines. But in other regions of the world, like Australia and South America, it was clear that the lack of phytoplankton was the strongest driver in diminishing fish populations.</p><p>&quot;When you averaged globally, there was a decline,&quot; says Britten. &quot;Decline in phytoplankton was a factor in all species. It was a consistent variable.&quot;</p><p>And it&#39;s directly linked to climate change: Change in ocean temperature affects the phytoplankton population, which is impacting fish stocks, he says.</p><div id="res459726645"><div id="responsive-embed-map-fisheries-20151214"><iframe frameborder="0" height="699px" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/map-fisheries-20151214/child.html?initialWidth=773&amp;childId=responsive-embed-map-fisheries-20151214&amp;parentUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2Fsections%2Fthesalt%2F2015%2F12%2F14%2F459404745%2Ffish-stocks-are-declining-worldwide-and-climate-change-is-on-the-hook%3Fft%3Dnprml%26f%3D459404745" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" width="620"></iframe></div></div><p>Food sources for fish in their larval stage were also a focus of<a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/112/30/E4065.full.pdf">&nbsp;research</a>&nbsp;published earlier this summer by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.princeton.edu/aos/people/research_staff/asch/index.xml">Rebecca Asch</a>, now a post-doctoral research associate at Princeton University. Asch studied data from 1951 to 2008 on 43 species of fish collected off the Southern California coast and found that many fish have changed the season when they spawn. When fish spawned too early or too late in the season, there can be less plankton available to them, shrinking their chance of survival. She calls it a &quot;mismatch&quot; between when the fish spawn and when seasonal plankton blooms.</p><p>Knowing just how vulnerable our fisheries are to potential climate change is on the radar of NOAA Fisheries. The agency has put together a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/Assets/ecosystems/climate/documents/Fish_Stock_Climate_Vulnerability_Assessment.pdf">Fish Stock Climate Vulnerability Assessment</a>&nbsp;report expected to be released in early 2016. And like many things associated with climate change, there will be winners and losers.</p><p>Jon Hare is the oceanography branch chief for NOAA Fisheries&#39; Northeast Fisheries Science Center and a lead researcher on the agency&#39;s assessment. He says they looked at 82 fish and invertebrate species in the Northeast. About half of the species, including Atlantic cod, were determined to be negatively impacted by climate change in the Northeast U.S. Approximately 20 percent of the species are likely to be positively impacted&mdash;like the Atlantic croaker. The remainder species were considered neutral.</p><p>Similar assessments are underway in the California Current and the Bering Sea, and eventually in all of the nation&#39;s large marine ecosystems.</p><p>&quot;This is where the idea of ecosystem-based management comes in. It&#39;s not only fishing that is impacting these resources,&quot; says Hare. &quot;We need to take a more holistic view of these resources and include that in our management.&quot;</p><p>Britten says the fact that productivity of a fishery can change should be an eye-opener for fisheries management.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s no longer just pull back on fishing and watch the stock rebound. It&#39;s also a question of monitoring and understanding the ability of stocks to rebound, and that&#39;s what we demonstrated in this study. The rebound potential is affected as well,&quot; says Britten.</p><p><i>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/12/14/459404745/fish-stocks-are-declining-worldwide-and-climate-change-is-on-the-hook?ft=nprml&amp;f=459404745" target="_blank"> via NPR</a></i></p></p> Thu, 17 Dec 2015 15:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/fish-stocks-are-declining-worldwide-and-climate-change-hook-114210 High Schoolers Get CPS’ Attention with Website and Lunch Boycott http://www.wbez.org/news/high-schoolers-get-cps%E2%80%99-attention-website-and-lunch-boycott-114102 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Roosevelt Lunch.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Nearly a thousand students skipped school lunch at Roosevelt High School on the North Side Monday.</p><p>It was part of their <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/chicago-high-schoolers-launch-website-against-school-food-113980">larger project </a>(which includes a petition and<a href="https://rhsschoollunch.wordpress.com/"> website)</a> to change food in Chicago Public Schools-- food they consider unhealthy and unappetizing.</p><p>Their civics teacher Tim Meegan said that 143 boycotted on Thursday and 437 (more than a third of students) boycotted on Friday, according to lunch staff counts. Monday that number blew up to 952 (or more than 80 percent of students), Meegan said late Monday afternoon.</p><p>It was harder for the teacher to check progress Monday morning when I visited the school. That&rsquo;s because he was outside with students unloading 10,000 bags of puffed rice granola donated by health group <a href="http://www.mercola.com/">Mercola.com</a>.</p><p>It joined a shipment of organic fruit and yogurt from Chicago&rsquo;s <a href="http://dillpickle.coop/">Dill Pickle Co-Op</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;This way we&rsquo;re well-stocked in case the kids need to continue the boycott,&rdquo; Meegan said, carrying boxes from a massive white truck.</p><p>The boxes were going into the school to be handed out to boycotting students. &nbsp;</p><p>Meegan said that, in addition to the food donations, &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve gotten messages of support from teachers, students and administrators at different school districts, [and] &nbsp;food justice groups from all over the country.&rdquo;</p><p>But the teacher and his students have also gotten push back. Last week CPS Nutrition Services head, Leslie Fowler, wrote to them asking for a meeting, but also implying that their boycott could cost the Roosevelt lunch staff pay.</p><p>&quot;Lunchroom staff are paid on a sliding scale based on meals served,&rdquo; confirmed CPS spokesperson Emily Bittner in an email to WBEZ, &ldquo;and their pay will be reduced for the next school year if a large number of meals are lost.&rdquo;</p><p>Louise Babbs who&rsquo;s a lunch worker and organizer for the CPS lunch workers union, Unite Local One, however, sent this statement:</p><blockquote><p><em>&quot;CPS lunch ladies are paid by the hour, and our members will faithfully report to work regardless because the kids come first. We&#39;ve been fighting for good fresh food for years, and we support any efforts on the part of students to do the same.&quot;</em></p></blockquote><p>WBEZ is continuing to investigate the question of commissions for lunch workers based on the number of meals taken.</p><p>Meegan accused the district&rsquo;s food service company Aramark &nbsp;of trying undermine the boycott Friday by sending in premium produce.</p><p>&ldquo;I came out here for my lunch 5th period and there was a [Anthony] Murano food company truck that delivered fresh produce to the cafeteria,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;They had beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables from one of the premier produce distributors in Chicago. I only wish they would continue that effort, but instead they brought in that excellent food in order to dissuade kids from boycotting.&rdquo;</p><p>The students took pictures of the truck and the produce it allegedly delivered to their cafeteria, and posted on<a href="https://rhsschoollunch.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/food-fight/"> their site here.</a></p><p>Aramark, however, said that it has never used Murano as a supplier and doesn&rsquo;t know why the truck was spotted on Roosevelt property.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Broccoli is supposed to be green, like grass...<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/dishorditch?src=hash">#dishorditch</a> !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <a href="https://t.co/uSRaKqSlSQ">pic.twitter.com/uSRaKqSlSQ</a></p>&mdash; ANA M.MONTOYA (@anamontoya471) <a href="https://twitter.com/anamontoya471/status/672829869689085952">December 4, 2015</a></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Late Monday, CPS sent a statement saying:</p><blockquote><p><em>&ldquo;CPS has a school lunch program that provides healthy, nutritious lunches at no cost to students throughout the district. Not only does CPS exceed federal nutrition guidelines, we also enjoy working with student and parent groups to test our meals and develop menus. CPS is happy to work with the students of Roosevelt to hear their concerns and address their needs, and look forward to meeting with them this week.&rdquo;</em></p></blockquote><p>Before I left the school on Monday, I noticed a few kids munching on the donated granola and asked how they liked it.</p><p>&ldquo;Pretty good,&rdquo; said Rudy Cavillo. &ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s pretty nice that they are actually giving students this food&hellip; Usually we just skip breakfast and lunch and just like starve to death and then go home and eat.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a food and health reporter for WBEZ. Follow her at<a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng" target="_blank"> @monicaeng </a>or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Tue, 08 Dec 2015 15:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/high-schoolers-get-cps%E2%80%99-attention-website-and-lunch-boycott-114102 Chicago High Schoolers Launch Website Against School Food http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/chicago-high-schoolers-launch-website-against-school-food-113980 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Foodfight.png" alt="" /><p><p>Two years ago, something pretty revolutionary happened in Chicago Public Schools.</p><p>The district made every meal in nearly every CPS lunchroom free for every student.</p><p>The idea was to end the mountains of <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-01-13/news/ct-met-cps-lunch-fraud-20120113_1_free-lunches-reduced-price-lunches-lunch-applications">sometimes fraudulent</a> lunch paperwork, move lunch lines faster, reduce stigma on low-income kids and make it easier for everyone to get a school meal.</p><p>Given the new federally subsidized program, officials expected to see a big bump in the number of kids who take the meals.</p><p>But that&rsquo;s not at all what happened.</p><p>Instead, that number dropped by about a million lunches in the first year and more than 800,000 in the second, according to CPS records (The drop did accompany enrollment declines in the district but outpaced them).</p><p>So what happened? Why would so many kids reject food that had become completely free for everyone?</p><p>&ldquo;Because that food is disgusting,&rdquo; said one North Side high schooler who recently talked to me in a lunchroom while munching Flamin&rsquo; Hot Cheetos with a Powerade. She didn&rsquo;t want to share her name.</p><p>Junior Shirley Hernandez will share her name. She&rsquo;s one of the honors civics students (taught by Roosevelt High School&rsquo;s Tim Meegan) who this month launched the <a href="https://rhsschoollunch.wordpress.com">School Lunch Project </a>website and a <a href="http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/petition-to-improve-school?source=c.em.cp&amp;r_by=14594209">petition </a>to change food in the district. Students complain of brown lettuce, soggy gray broccoli, plastic found in burgers and frozen, mealy fruit.</p><p>They say it&rsquo;s unhealthy, unappetizing and overly processed.</p><p>&ldquo;We want bigger portions, more nutritious food and [food] partly handmade from scratch,&rdquo; Hernandez said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a human right to have decent food, not the lowest quality of food.&rdquo;</p><p>If CPS and its caterer Aramark (which also arrived two years ago) can&rsquo;t produce better food, the Roosevelt students say they want permission to eat off campus or even go home for lunch as other Chicago students have done in the past or currently do.</p><p>As it stands today, the students are presented with a menu of mostly processed fast food dominated by pizza, burgers and chicken patties. And Roosevelt civics student Duyen Ho believes this could create problems for their long-term health.</p><p>&ldquo;The fact that we eat fast food every day is going to affect us in the long term,&rdquo; said Ho. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s going to affect us a lot.&rdquo;</p><p>Recent changes to the National School Lunch Program have required that the meals deliver less fat and sodium and more fiber than previous lunches. But CPS records show that the three most frequently served entrees &mdash; pizza, cheeseburgers and chicken patties &mdash; are still <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/cps-reveals-only-ingredients-its-chicken-nuggets-arechicken-nuggets-109963">full of preservatives, fillers, stabilizers and additives.</a></p><p>The School Lunch Project website details these ingredients, shares links to research materials (including some written by this reporter) and offers a gallery of sometimes graphic lunch photos. So far the site has gained attention and comments from parents, students, teachers and a even a supportive CPS principal. &nbsp;</p><p>The CPS central office sent a statement to WBEZ saying &ldquo;the health and wellness of our students is among our top priorities, and we will look into the students&rsquo; questions about their meals.&rdquo;</p><p>Aramark, for its part, says it became aware of the website through social media and is &ldquo;looking into it with CPS and the principal.&rdquo; &nbsp;But the company said it had not heard about the specific complaints listed on the site from staff or students directly.</p><p>Still, this week the Roosevelt students plan to take their protest beyond the online world. They&rsquo;re planning a schoolwide lesson on school food Wednesday followed by lunch boycotts among upperclassman Thursday and Friday. Next Monday, they say, they plan to take the lunch boycott schoolwide, and even to partnering schools.</p><p>CPS and Aramark get a $3.15 federal payment (that they share) for each school lunch a student takes, so thousands of students brown-bagging it for even a day could cost them several thousand dollars.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s especially important for young people in Chicago &mdash; where we see so much corruption, cronyism and nepotism &mdash; that they learn how to make change within large organizations,&rdquo; said Tim Meegan, who&rsquo;s taught at the Albany Park school for 14 years. &ldquo;This is just one of many diverse tactics that we are trying to teach young people so they are fully equipped to participate as citizens in a democratic society.&rdquo;</p><p>Meegan&rsquo;s not your average mild-mannered instructor.This year he <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-33rd-ward-lawsuit-met-20150303-story.html">ran for alderman</a> in the 33rd ward, backed by the Chicago Teachers Union. And last month some of his students <a href="http://chicago.suntimes.com/news-chicago/7/71/1014017/roosevelt-high-school-students-walk-out-protest-cuts">staged a walkout</a> to protest budget cuts in the district. Meegan says he asked his five civics classes to come up with a project to work on this year. Across the board, he says, they wanted to work on changing school lunch.</p><p>The Roosevelt lunch protest adds to a chorus of complaints about school food that have appeared this year in the <a href="http://www.hancockhs.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=374953&amp;id=0">Hancock High School newspaper </a>&nbsp;and by CPS students who&rsquo;ve shared photos of their <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23dishorditch&amp;src=typd">lunch on Twitter</a>.</p><p>Still, few CPS food protests have garnered this level of attention. Tim Meegan says last week he got a call from the city&rsquo;s school board asking to arrange a meeting with the civics class students. &nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a food and health reporter for WBEZ. Follow her at </em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"><em>@monicaeng </em></a><em>or write to her at </em><a href="mailto:meng@wbez.org"><em>meng@wbez.org</em></a></p></p> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 08:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/chicago-high-schoolers-launch-website-against-school-food-113980 EcoMyths: Is food waste unavoidable? http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-food-waste-unavoidable-114733 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/EcoMyths-Food Waste.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b330-4871-eb84-f9e164e24238">According to the Worldwatch Institute research, Americans waste three times more food between Thanksgiving and New Year&rsquo;s than the rest of the year. Globally, we waste one-third of all food produced for us to eat (1.3 billion tons), according to the UN&rsquo;s Food and Agriculture Organization. For our </span><a href="http://ecomyths.org/"><em>EcoMyths</em></a> segment, Kate Sackman of EcoMyths Alliance joins us with Dr. Barbara Willard of DePaul University, to bust the myth that large holiday food bills and waste are inevitable.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/233666594&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">People spend more on groceries during the holidays, ostensibly because we expect to eat more. But, MYTH BUSTED: Turns out we&#39;re not even eating a huge chunk of that food.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">FOOD WASTE TRENDS</span></strong></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">&middot;</span> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;U.S.: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food scraps make up 20 percent of our landfills, and each year Americans toss 35 million tons of<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/11/17/364172105/to-end-food-waste-change-needs-to-begin-at-home"> uneaten groceries</a>. That&#39;s nearly enough to feed the population of California. Good news: new national goal is to cut waste by<a href="http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/09/0257.xml"> 50% by 2030</a>*</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">&middot;</span> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;GLOBAL: Food waste may seem like a uniquely American problem, but it&#39;s not. Barb can discuss examples of waste in France and the UK&mdash;and what steps those countries are taking to mitigate, such as: UK grocery chains&#39; recent success in slashing<a href="http://www.edie.net/news/5/Supermarkets-slash-food-waste-by-20-000-tonnes/"> 20,000 tonnes</a> of food waste* AND France&#39;s efforts (<a href="http://www.foodnavigator.com/Policy/France-s-food-waste-law-scrapped-on-a-technicality">thwarted, for now</a>) to require chain grocers to donate edible food to charity for human or animal consumption*.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">These steps are important because there are major&hellip;</span></p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">ENVIRO AND ECONOMIC FOOD WASTE IMPLICATIONS</span></strong></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">&middot;</span> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Environmental issues:</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">o</span> &nbsp;&nbsp;Methane is most pressing/straightforward impact: In the U.S., organic waste is the<a href="http://www3.epa.gov/region9/waste/features/foodtoenergy/food-waste.html"> second highest component</a> of municipal solid waste sent to landfills, which are the<a href="http://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/ch4.html"> third largest source of methane emissions</a> à increasing green gas emissions in vain.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">o</span> &nbsp;&nbsp;Wasted resources used in production include land, water, energy and inputs. &quot;Generally, lower losses are associated with higher efficiency in the food supply, and eventually with more effective recycling of resources, lower storage needs, shorter transport distances, and less energy use,&quot; according to the<a href="http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4068e.pdf"> FAO</a>.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">&middot;</span> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Economic issues: Individual spending money on food we don&#39;t eat simply doesn&#39;t help anyone&#39;s personal budget. And globally, the value of that food waste is estimated at US $1 trillion, according to the FAO.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">&middot;</span> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Societal issues: We won&#39;t get into this, but certainly worth mentioning that 925 million people do not have enough to eat - more than the combined populations of USA, Canada and the European Union, according to the<a href="http://www.un.org/en/globalissues/briefingpapers/food/vitalstats.shtml"> UN</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE</span></strong></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">*Policy progress</span> is listed above. Depending on the natural flow of the segment, they can be mentioned in either place.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">How to help at home?</span> Both the<a href="http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/196377/icode/"> FAO</a> and the<a href="http://www2.epa.gov/recycle/reducing-wasted-food-basics"> EPA</a> list meal-planning as their first reco for individuals looking to reduce household food waste. Other ways to curb waste include buying &quot;ugly&quot; produce, using your leftovers, and freezing surplus ingredients.</p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-18a50c70-b32c-b0c3-eb4b-67a9a5afbe22">ONE GREEN THING</span></strong></p><p dir="ltr">Save money AND GHG emissions by planning your meals during the holidays (and all year round, too).</p></p> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 09:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-food-waste-unavoidable-114733 A farm grows in a Northwest Side high school http://www.wbez.org/news/farm-grows-northwest-side-high-school-113682 <p><div class="image-insert-image ">Chef Jaime Guerrero has a dream of opening a fully sustainable restaurant in the Old Irving Park neighborhood of Chicago. To refine that model, he&rsquo;s turning to an unlikely partner: Schurz High School, located almost literally in his Old Irving backyard. &nbsp;</div><p>&ldquo;Imagine that you have a restaurant where everything you eat is grown, farmed, harvested, crafted or brewed in that facility,&rdquo; he says of the restaurant that he hopes to open by the end of next year. &nbsp;</p><p>But first he needs to perfect the indoor vertical farming model, which is the task he has put before Schurz students working in the new Food Science Lab. The lab is housed in a 105-year-old classroom that used to host industrial arts classes. But today the white-tiled room, capped with a large glass skylight, is filled with white trays and towers that are expected to be filled with lettuce, herbs and microgreens by the end of the year.</p><p>On a recent morning, lab organizer Cyd Smillie was setting up the space for a fundraiser for the last key element in the lab: LED grow lights. The fundraising <a href="https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/launch-a-food-revolution#/">continues her</a>e.</p><p>Smillie lives in the area and works for Ald John Arena&rsquo;s (45th) office.</p><p>&ldquo;I loved his idea and it seemed to me ...Schurz was the perfect place to develop some of the technology and train the staff,&rdquo; said Smillie, who is also an artist. &ldquo;We talked to [the late] chef Homaro Cantu who was an area resident, about the sustainable agriculture he was working on in his own restaurant and how training food handlers for it was already an issue in the city.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Schurz Farm2_0.jpg" style="height: 304px; width: 620px;" title="The Schurz Food Science Lab served as an English literature industrial arts classroom over the last 100 years. But it should be filled with trays of hydroponic lettuce, herbs and greens by the end of the year. (WBEZ/Monica Eng)" /></p><p>The Schurz program hopes to certify all of its students as trained food handlers. And Smillie says the lab will serve as a classroom for several AP and International Baccalaureate science classes.</p><p>But she also notes less obvious uses for the program and lab. These include use as a therapeutic space for students with low-level autism and as a business project for classes in entrepreneurship and marketing. The school&rsquo;s JROTC program has also gotten involved.</p><p>&ldquo;Those students go on to Peace Corps and National Guard and work post-disaster or war situations where they have to set up food systems,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;So they have been instrumental in helping set up the lab so far, and we&rsquo;re teaching them how to set up these very portable systems to help grow food in those kinds of post-crisis situations.&rdquo;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Schurz%20farm1.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="Schurz High School is more than 100 years old, but it’s launching a lab to refine the future of urban agriculture. (WBEZ/Monica Eng)" /></p><p>The group is working with a volunteer organization called Build Up, which will help distribute the produce to area food pantries. But Smillie says she hopes that one day the students will get to incorporate it into school food.</p><p>&ldquo;CPS has a protocol for certification so we need to be certified as a growing facility and as food handlers,&rdquo; she explained. &ldquo;But after we achieve that we have a roster of area chefs who will teach the kids how to use them and then we would like them to go into the lunchrooms here, once CPS says we are allowed to do that.&rdquo;</p><p>Principal Dan Kramer has embraced the program as a way to help restore the place of schools in communities.</p><p>&ldquo;I want to bring schools back to a role they had when they were really the heart of the neighborhood,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;not just families sending their kids there for school but places for performances, exhibits and social celebrations, really making [them] open to the public.&rdquo;</p><p>Smillie says that, if they can refine the model, it won&rsquo;t just help launch Guerrero&rsquo;s restaurant but many more food labs across the city.</p><p>&ldquo;Ideally it&rsquo;s a pilot project we can take to other schools in food deserts,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;There, it won&rsquo;t be just an academic exercise but a job training program and a food supply chain, to not just the students and school but to the communities they serve.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ food and health reporter. Follow her at</em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> <em>@monicaeng</em></a> <em>or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Fri, 06 Nov 2015 12:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/farm-grows-northwest-side-high-school-113682 New dietary guidelines will not include sustainability goal http://www.wbez.org/news/new-dietary-guidelines-will-not-include-sustainability-goal-113222 <p><p>When it comes to eating well, should we consider both the health of our bodies&nbsp;and&nbsp;of the planet?</p><p>Earlier this year, as we<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/02/26/389276051/will-the-dietary-guidelines-consider-the-planet-the-fight-is-on">&nbsp;reported</a>, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee concluded that a diet rich in plant-based foods promotes good health &mdash; and is also more&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/12/15/370427441/congress-to-nutritionists-dont-talk-about-the-environment">environmentally sustainable</a>. And, for the first time, the panel recommended that food system sustainability be incorporated into the federal government&#39;s dietary advice.</p><p>But, it turns out, the idea of marrying sustainability guidance with nutrition advice proved to be very controversial.</p><p>And now, President Obama&#39;s two cabinet secretaries who will oversee the writing of the guidelines say they will not include the goal of sustainability.</p><p>&quot;We will remain within the scope of our mandate ... which is to provide nutritional and dietary information,&quot; write U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Sylvia Burwell, secretary of Health and Human Services, in a&nbsp;<a href="http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/10/06/2015-dietary-guidelines-giving-you-the-tools-you-need-to-make-healthy-choices/">joint statement</a>.</p><p>The two secretaries went on to say that &quot;we do not believe that the 2015 DGA (Dietary Guidelines for Americans) are the appropriate vehicle for this important policy conversation about sustainability.&quot;</p><p>The statement came just one day in advance of a much-anticipated congressional hearing. Secretaries Vilsack and Burwell are scheduled to <a href="http://www.c-span.org/video/?328598-1/secretaries-tom-vilsack-sylvia-burwell-testimony-nutritional-guidelines#" target="_blank">testify before the House Agriculture Committee Wednesday morning</a> on the topic of the dietary guidelines.</p><p>Advocates have been pushing for inclusion of sustainability goals. The consulting group<a href="http://www.foodminds.com/">&nbsp;Food Minds</a>&nbsp;analyzed 26,643 written, public comments submitted to the federal government on the topic of the dietary guidelines. They found that write-in campaigns by the advocacy groups Friends of the Earth, Food Democracy Now and My Plate, My Planet were the top three sources of comments.</p><p>Last week, in an editorial&nbsp;<a href="https://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2015/09/30/science.aab2031.abstract">published</a>&nbsp;in&nbsp;Science&nbsp;magazine,&nbsp;<a href="http://gwtoday.gwu.edu/kathleen-merrigan-serve-executive-director-sustainability-institute">Kathleen Merrigan</a>&nbsp;of George Washington University and a group of co-authors wrote that adopting a reference to sustainability in the dietary guidelines would &quot;sanction and elevate the discussion of sustainable diets.&quot;</p><p>Merrigan argues that &quot;by acknowledging benefits of sustainability, the government would open itself up to greater demand for sustainability investments and would signal to consumers that such foods are preferred.&quot;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/newdiet.jpg" style="height: 359px; width: 540px;" title="The debate about sustainable diets has focused on meat production, which requires lots of land and water to grow grain to feed livestock. It also contributes to methane emissions. But the cabinet secretaries with final authority say the 2015 dietary guidelines won't include sustainability goals. (David McNew/Getty Images)" /></p><p>The debate about sustainable diets has focused on meat production. As we&#39;ve&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/06/27/155527365/visualizing-a-nation-of-meat-eaters">reported</a>, meat production uses lots of land and water to grow grain to feed livestock. It also contributes to methane emissions.</p><p>&quot;There are a lot of complex issues around livestock production that suggest &mdash;quite strongly &mdash; that we need to reduce meat consumption for sustainability reasons,&quot;Merrigan told us.</p><p>And other foods also have an environmental footprint that we should not ignore. Take, for instance, almonds.</p><p>&quot;It takes up to 2.8 liters of water to produce a single &#39;heart-healthy&#39; almond,&quot; Merrigan and company write in the editorial.</p><p>&quot;With 80 percent of the world&#39;s almonds growing in drought-stricken California, should consumers be advised to limit almond consumption and consider alternatives that consume fewer resources?&quot; Merrigan and her co-authors ask.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_101497980202.jpg" style="height: 389px; width: 540px;" title="In this Tuesday, July 21, 2015 photo, decaying almonds hang from a dead tree in an almond orchard, in Newman, Calif., abandoned by a landowner who couldn't get enough water for irrigation. Due to California's epic drought, Central Valley farmers who depend on water pumped from the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta to irrigate their crops, have seen their water allocations reduced or eliminated altogether. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)" /></div><p>The meat industry has opposed the idea of including sustainability in the dietary guidelines. &quot;In our view, this is clearly out of scope,&quot;&nbsp;<a href="https://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/d/sp/i/237/pid/237">Janet Riley</a>&nbsp;of the North American Meat Institute told us.</p><p>She says experts need a more complete understanding of how food production impacts the environment.</p><p>&quot;If you compare 10 pounds of apples and 10 pounds of meat, the meat surely has the larger carbon footprint, but it also delivers more nutrition, it nourishes more people longer&quot; in terms of calories and protein, says Riley.</p><p>She says, going forward, if sustainability is going to be included in the dietary guidelines, there needs to be more data and more experts at the table.</p><p>In a statement, the meat institute&#39;s president and CEO,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/d/sp/i/237/pid/237">Barry Carpenter,</a>&nbsp;praised the secretaries&#39; decision. He called sustainability &quot;an important food issue,&quot; but one &quot;outside of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee&#39;s scope and expertise.&quot;</p><p>The dietary guidelines are updated every five years, so it&#39;s possible that this debate will continue.</p><p>&quot;The compelling science around the need to adjust dietary patterns to ensure long-term food security cannot be ignored,&quot; Merrigan told me after the secretaries issued their statement. &quot;If not [in] the 2015 DGA [Dietary Guidelines for Americans], then maybe the 2020 DGAs.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/10/06/446369955/new-dietary-guidelines-will-not-include-sustainability-goal?ft=nprml&amp;f=446369955" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 11:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/new-dietary-guidelines-will-not-include-sustainability-goal-113222 EcoMyths: Composting Doesn’t Have to Smell http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-composting-doesn%E2%80%99t-have-smell-112594 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/EcoMyths-Composting.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Many shy away from composting because they have images of rotting food, scavenging animals and neighbors complaining about the smell. But EcoMyths Alliance wants you to know that composting can be odorless. Kate Sackman of EcoMyths and composting enthusiast, Jerome McDonnell, talk with Eliza Fournier of Chicago Botanic Garden. Fournier says, &quot;It only stinks if you&#39;re not going at it right.&quot;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/212692927&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Myth: Composting Stinks!</strong></span></p><p><strong>&quot;Hold Your Nose!&quot;&mdash;Said No Real-Life Composter We Talked To, Ever</strong> <strong>Composters: They&#39;re just like us!</strong></p><p>Mine doesn&#39;t smell at all! I think the trick is plenty of dried matter (leaves in my case) and aerating it well. This is first time with my own composter and I&#39;m very happy so far!</p><p><em>~ Corina McKendry, Colorado</em></p><p>Every nose has its own unique point of smell&mdash;but all are likely to turn themselves up at the smell of rotting trash. Why then would we assault our nasal passages by composting, aka, piling up a bunch of food and plant waste with the express goal of, gasp, <em>purposefully</em> <em>letting it rot</em>?</p><p>Answering the why is easy: For one thing, that pile of decomposed organic waste turns nutrient-rich food waste back into food for the garden, and, by reducing food waste headed to landfill, takes some heat off the earth&#39;s atmosphere by reducing methane emissions.</p><p>But before we get into a full-blown love song about composting, it&#39;s time to set the record straight about the stink.</p><p>&quot;It only stinks if you&#39;re not going at it right,&quot; says Eliza Fournier of the<a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/urbanagriculture/youthfarm/staff"> Chicago Botanic Garden</a>. &quot;After people read this article, they will do it right. Therefore composting doesn&#39;t smell!&quot;</p><p>As the leader of the Garden&#39;s Windy City Harvest<a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/urbanagriculture/youthfarm"> Youth Farm</a> program, Fournier would know if composting nose-plugs were a common request (they&#39;re not). She oversees the sites, which provide urban farming jobs to youth in food desert communities, giving them hands-on experience in the gardens&mdash;and in the compost piles around them, too.</p><p>The feds back up the case against the need for nose-plugging, too, proclaiming on the<a href="http://www2.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home"> EPA</a> website that a properly managed compost bin &quot;will not smell bad.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>COMPOSTERS: They&#39;re just like us!</strong></p><p>We compost and it does not stink at all. I&#39;m always learning when I open the lid, but I&#39;ve been doing it for four years and no bad smells yet!</p><p><em>~ Becky Staton, Chicago, IL</em></p><p>Still, because every aforementioned nose is indeed different, we also turned to<a href="https://www.facebook.com/ecomyths"> Facebook</a> for some first-hand accounts. Does your composting stink, we asked you? No! Was the resounding answer. (For more of what these real-life, non-professional composters said, check out the IRL stories sprinkled throughout this article.)</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Smells Like&hellip;It&#39;s Easy to Bench the Stench</strong></p><p>Healthy compost is easy to maintain, explains Fournier. &quot;It&#39;s like making a parfait,&quot; except you&#39;re layering in nitrogen, carbon, air, and water.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><u>Fournier&#39;s Recipe (aka, Plain Ol&#39; Compost)</u></p><p><em>Ingredients:</em></p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Greens, including fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds, and fresh grass clippings bring in the nitrogen</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Browns like dried leaves, twigs, straw, and pine needles serve up carbon</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Heat, water, air</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Optional: Top soil for a little dose of tiny, hungry arthropods to help accelerate decomposition</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<strong>SKIP</strong>: Meat, fish, and dairy. Those are the most common culprits in smelly piles.</p><p><em>* Note: </em>Quantities are irrelevant in this easy-does-it recipe.</p><p><em>Directions:</em></p><p>1. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Alternate greens and browns of different sizes.</p><p>2. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Add in water when the pile seems dry.</p><p>3. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Stir every couple of weeks to add air.</p><p>4. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Sit back, watch, and maintain balance!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>COMPOSTERS: They&#39;re just like us!</strong></p><p>At our new house they pick it up at the curb. We keep a small bin in the kitchen&mdash;it&#39;s small enough that it doesn&#39;t get too full before we have to take it to the compost can outside, which limits the smell in the kitchen. And really, if the food waste wasn&#39;t going in the compost bin, it would be going in the trashcan right next to it in the kitchen, so the smells would be there all the same.</p><p><em>~ Tiffany Plate, Boulder, CO</em></p><p>&quot;It&#39;s almost like having a pet,&quot; muses Fournier. &quot;If your pet is looking lethargic, or panting a lot, he probably needs some water. <em>Oh, he smells a little? Maybe he needs a bath</em>&hellip;</p><p>&quot;With composting, you start to do the same. It looks depleted? Give it some food. It&#39;s a little crunchy? Give it water. Too wet? Hold the water!&quot;</p><p>Like plants, pets, anything you care for, it&#39;s natural to want to observe it, and as you do, you&#39;ll be able to diagnose any issues pretty quickly.</p><p>Still, you don&#39;t need to be &quot;super precious&quot; about your compost, she says. &quot;The most important thing is balance. Everything in moderation in terms of greens, browns, soil, water, and air&mdash;not too much of any one thing.&quot;</p><p>So, let&#39;s say you strike out big time in terms of balance and somehow, against all odds&hellip;compost does stink?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>COMPOSTERS: They&#39;re just like us!</strong></p><p>We&#39;ve been composting daily for nearly three years and it NEVER stinks. But you know what does stink? Regular trash.</p><p>We had a situation with an out-of-towner who was confused and just tossed everything in the trash. We came home and thought there was a dead fish in our house. We finally figured out that his habits (just tossing whatever in the garbage) was what was causing our entire house to smell. Just a few adjusted habits and it&#39;s been easy-peasy. I love compost.</p><p><em>~ Kristin Urquiza, San Francisco, CA</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Never fear! Fournier says even if stink happens, you can stop it pretty quickly. &quot;Usually it starts smelling is if it has too many greens or is too wet. The way you deal with that is to add more browns to counter-act greens, stop watering, and get some air circulation in there.&quot; Not enough dried leaves around this time of year? No worries. Add non-glossy paper or cardboard.</p><p>As for the inside portion of the affair, just keep scraps in a lidded container and take &#39;em out every day. Apartment dwellers can try worm bins, aka<a href="http://compost.css.cornell.edu/worms/basics.html"> vermicomposting</a> systems, which are also non-stinky, and in Fournier&#39;s opinion, even easier than composting proper.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Hook, Line and Non-Stinker: Composting FTW</strong></p><p>Okay, so composting doesn&#39;t stink. But that&#39;s not the only thing it has going in its favor. We can all help reduce food waste, improve our gardens and selves, and even combat climate change, simply by returning our food scraps to the earth in an awesome way.</p><p>How awesome? Let&#39;s count the ways:</p><p style="margin-left:39pt;">&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>Beating food waste</em>: According to the<a href="http://www2.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home"> EPA</a>, food scraps and yard waste make up 20-30 percent of our nation&#39;s trash. In 2013, we threw away more than 35 million tons of food waste, roughly 95 percent of which ended up in landfills or combustion facilities. You don&#39;t need to watch a sad infomercial about world hunger to know that making the most of food is a good thing.</p><p style="margin-left:39pt;">&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>Combatting climate change: </em>All that soil-friendly food waste we trash not only takes up space in the landfill, it also becomes a significant source of<a href="http://epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/ch4.html"> methane</a>, one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases, and therefore a big bad wolf in global warming.</p><p style="margin-left:39pt;">&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>Souping up gardens, on the cheap</em>: Compost improves soil health and structure, suppressing plant diseases and pests, and supporting water retention to reduce the need for extra water and fertilizers. It&#39;s also great for city-dwellers whose soil may need extra love when it comes to nitrogen composition in the soil, adds Fournier. Oh, and it&#39;s free.</p><p style="margin-left:39pt;">&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>Feel-good fun!: </em>How cool that you can not only waste less food, but you can also have more reason to get outside, asks Fournier. Plus, she enthuses, turning your compost pile is a great workout. &quot;It&#39;s great for your core&mdash;those little muscles on your side!&quot; It&#39;s also just plain interesting, like a little science experiment right in your backyard.</p><p>To make sure we covered all our bases in terms of potential stinkage and likely benefits, we also turned to a real life farmer.</p><p>&quot;Your pile won&#39;t stink,&quot; confirms Audra Lewicki of<a href="http://dirtdoll.tumblr.com/"> Dirt Doll</a> in Chicago, an urban farm in Chicago, &quot;as long as you&#39;ve got a good mix of greens and browns, water, and air. It&#39;s important for us to compost because we get to put all those nutrients back into the soil <em>and</em> avoid using up precious fossil fuels to haul them to a landfill. It kills me to think of our nutrient-rich turnip tops and dandelion greens sitting under heaps of plastic bags for decades in a landfill.&quot;</p><p>Good point, Dirt Doll. We can all take a deep breath and help save the world, one non-smelly, composted food scrap at a time.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Myth Outcome: Busted</strong></span></p><p>Composting doesn&#39;t stink&mdash;if you stick to the basics. The only thing that might stink? The trash, when it&#39;s unnecessarily full of all those food scraps that could&#39;ve been composted!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>One Green Thing</strong></span></p><p><strong>Compost!</strong></p><p>Not sure where to start? One start by learning how much compostable food your household is currently throwing away. Not only will this will help motivate you to set up your composting system, it will also give you a sense of how big an area or system you need to set up.</p><p>Use a Tupperware (or several, depending) to store non-meat food scraps for a week. Assuming you don&#39;t already have a compost system in place, you&#39;ll want to refrigerate this so it can accumulate without stinking up the kitchen. At the end of the week, weigh the Tupperware. Measure your own Multiplier Effect by multiplying the weight by 365. It adds up!</p><p>Wanna check out composting starter items? Our composting gurus weighed in with some tips:</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;IRL composter Kristen U. recommends<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Biobag-Food-Waste-Gallon-Count/dp/B002FC6JZG/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1434997346&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=bio+bags"> this simple lidded trashcan</a> for storing food scraps in the kitchen</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;IRL composter Tiffany P. says biodegradable<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Biobag-Food-Waste-Gallon-Count/dp/B002FC6JZG/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1434997346&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=bio+bags"> BioBags</a> are great for keeping curbside containers smell-free in cities lucky enough to have composting pickup services</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;IRL composter Becky S. simply drilled some holes into a black storage bin to layer her greens and browns. (Though her dream is to have a two-compartment<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Jora-Gallon-125-Compost-Tumbler/dp/B004U7ISQ2"> tumbler</a>&hellip;)</p><p>&middot; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Eliza F. recommends<a href="http://www.amazon.com/b?node=3753631"> buying</a> or<a href="http://my.chicagobotanic.org/horticulture/how-to/the-cadillac-of-compost-bins/"> making your own</a> three-bin compost bin system if you live in an area where an open pile would be too tempting for wildlife to resist.</p><p>When you know more about how big a system you need, you&#39;re ready to advance to the next level: read the quick how-to on setting up a compost pile, courtesy of the<a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/sites/default/files/pdf/plantinfo/compost.pdf"> Chicago Botanic Garden guide</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>The Multiplier Effect</strong></p><p>The average U.S. citizen generates<a href="http://www.epa.gov/solidwaste/nonhaz/municipal/"> 4.4 pounds</a> of waste a day, roughly two thirds of which is compostable, according to<a href="https://center.sustainability.duke.edu/resources/green-facts-consumers/how-much-do-we-waste-daily"> Duke University&#39;s Center for Sustainablity &amp; Commerce</a>. That means each of us who starts composting now could, in a single year, keep a half a ton of food waste out of landfills.</p><p><em>IRL Multiplier Effect</em>: Thanks to the waste-busting combo of composting and recycling, IRL composter Kristin U. has cut her household of two&#39;s actual garbage output down to a single 10-gallon trash bag <em>per month.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Resources</strong></p><p>Learn more basics on how to compost from the Chicago Botanic Garden -<a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/conservation/composting"> http://www.chicagobotanic.org/conservation/composting</a></p><p><a href="https://center.sustainability.duke.edu/resources/green-facts-consumers/how-much-do-we-waste-daily">https://center.sustainability.duke.edu/resources/green-facts-consumers/how-much-do-we-waste-daily</a></p><p><a href="http://www.safebee.com/home/how-compost-without-attracting-pests">http://www.safebee.com/home/how-compost-without-attracting-pests</a></p><p>Also related myth: <a href="http://www.ecomythsalliance.org/2014/08/sink-disposals-vs-trashcans">http://www.ecomythsalliance.org/2014/08/sink-disposals-vs-trashcans</a></p></p> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 09:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-composting-doesn%E2%80%99t-have-smell-112594 Morning Shift: A Kid Like Jake http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-03-04/morning-shift-kid-jake-111651 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Iwan%20Gabovitch.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Flickr/Iwan Gabovitch" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Food Wednesday: Sustainable fish close to home</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">We&rsquo;re in the month of Lent when Catholics seek out vegetarian choices and plenty of fish. So does that mean you have to seek far-away aquatic species for your plate? Not really says a new <a href="http://www.sheddaquarium.org/About-Us/Press-Room1/Press-Releases/2015-Press-Releases/Eating-GL-Fish/">report</a> about the sustainability of Great Lakes fish. Here to talk to us about it and where and how you can enjoy the recommended catch is Aislinn Gauchay, the sustainability programs manager for the Shedd Aquarium.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/AGauchay">Aislinn Gauchay</a> is the sustainability programs manager for the Shedd Aquarium.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/194204875&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Food Wednesday: Fruit and veggie takeover</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">WBEZ&#39;s Chewing the Fat hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng stop by to talk about a new campaign to get folks to start eating more produce.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">Monica Eng</a> is a WBEZ reporter. </em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em><a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu">Louisa Chu</a> is a WBEZ reporter.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/194204872&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">A Kid Like Jake</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">One of the most popular parenting mantras is &ldquo;we want what&rsquo;s best for our child.&rdquo; But what happens when our fears, prejudices and agenda take precedence? And what are the consequences when child rearing philosophies between parents diverge? These are questions raised in the latest production from Chicago&rsquo;s About Face Theatre. <a href="http://aboutfacetheatre.com/productions/a-kid-like-jake/">A Kid Like Jake</a> is a moving, poignant and often intense story of two young, liberal Manhattan parents who are trying to get their just barely five-year-old only child Jake into an elite school and in the process are forced to deal with the emerging issue of gender identity that tests love, loyalty and friendship. A Kid Like Jake playwright Daniel Pearle and About Face Artistic Director Andrew Volkoff stop by to talk about the production. Purchase tickets <a href="https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&amp;e=fbca61ed8d951000e039d629ceee3cba">here.</a></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="http://www.vogue.com/873015/first-act-playwright-daniel-pearle-on-his-new-play-a-kid-like-jake/">Daniel Pearle</a> is an NYC based playwright.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pub/andrew-volkoff/3/978/182">Andrew Volkoff</a> is the Artistic Director at <a href="https://twitter.com/aboutfacechi">About Face Theatre</a>.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/194204869&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Reclaimed Soul</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">They say you can&rsquo;t judge a book by its cover. Sometimes, though, you can judge a song by its covers. This week, Reclaimed Soul host Ayana Contreras brings us a sampling of songs that were dramatically reworked by the artists that originally recorded them.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/ReclaimedSoul">Ayana Contreras</a> is the host of Vocalo&#39;s Reclaimed Soul.</em></p></p> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 07:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-03-04/morning-shift-kid-jake-111651 What happens when a Chicago mom tries to become a deer hunter? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-happens-when-chicago-mom-tries-become-deer-hunter-111390 <p><p><em>Some of the images in the slideshow above depict graphic scenes from deer hunting.</em></p><p>After years of handwringing over the ethics of meat, I decided that this year I needed to kill my own &mdash; or maybe stop eating it.</p><p>My evolution started a decade ago with meat I bought from local farmers who raised the animals outside. Before long I tried to <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-09-21/features/0809160163_1_organic-meat-sales-pig-factory"><u>attend the slaughter of every kind of meat I ate</u></a> for a summer. I moved on to<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D45zEpIzxiM"> <u>learning how to butcher</u></a> animals myself. And finally I thought I was ready to kill my own dinner. &nbsp;</p><p>It was <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/columnists/chi-110226-hunt-novices-pictures-photogallery.html"><u>part of a project that I did</u></a> with my then-colleague Barbara Brotman when I was a reporter at the <em>Chicago Tribune</em>.</p><p>We wanted to see if you could take two urban moms and turn them into hunters.</p><p>We worked under hunting mentors including Department of Natural Resources instructors Bill Boggio and Ralph Schultz, who told us &ldquo;If you can learn to walk like a squirrel, you can sneak up on anything in the woods.&rdquo;</p><p>But after freezing through several weekends in deer stands and deer blinds on the Illinois-Iowa border in 2010, we came away with nothing. A minor gun accident convinced our editors that it was probably time to stop. So that was the end of it.</p><p>Or so I thought.</p><p>As I&rsquo;ve continued to report on food ethics over the years the fact that I never faced the true cost of meat &mdash; never killed my meal myself &mdash; has gnawed at my conscience. &nbsp;</p><p>So much so, that this year I decided I had to hunt again. &nbsp;</p><p>I knew it would be a long shot. I&rsquo;d have to get licenses, guns, land, special equipment, time off from work and kids, and mentors to guide me. But somehow I managed to do it.</p><p>I revisited hunter safety. Brushed back up on deer anatomy. And relearned how to shoot a gun.</p><p>My new mentor was Kankakee county horsewoman and hairdresser Amy Strahan. She scouted a spot with me and even convinced her dad, Bill, to help us put together a tree stand.</p><p>Next I headed to the Farm and Fleet boys department for more than $200 in head to toe camo gear. Amy kept my hunting clothes in one of her horse stalls for weeks to soak up animal smells.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/HUNTER%20AMY.jpg" title="Amy Strahan agreed to become Monica Eng’s hunting partner for this year’s season in Kankakee County. She sits here in the woods just minutes before a four-point buck approached the two of them. (WBEZ/MONICA ENG)" /></div><p>Then in late November, I slipped on those clothes before dawn and jumped into Amy&rsquo;s truck. After a short drive, we crossed a craggy frozen field, climbed into our stand and sat in the darkness with the faint whine of the interstate in the distance. The warmth generated by our hike faded as the frosty predawn temperatures crept under my five layers of clothing. I started to remember that, the last time I tried the biggest challenge was just warding off frost bite. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>But I also remembered that hunting gives you a front row seat to the spectacle of mother nature turning up the house lights on the world. I sat on the east side of the tree stand and welcomed the tiny warm of the rising sun on my face. &nbsp;</p><p>Three frigid deerless hours later, &nbsp;I was thrilled to hear Amy announce that she had to get to work and we called it a day. I spent the rest of the day just thawing out and vowing to bring hand and footwarmers next time.</p><p>But by 5 a.m. the next morning I was dressed and trudging through a now-slippery rainsoaked field cradling a 12 gauge shotgun. Let&rsquo;s just say this is not my typical day as an urban food writer. And still no deer. The whole thing was startng to feel futile and a little absurd.</p><p>As we climbed out of our stand for the second morning, I asked Amy what she thought.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a little discouraging,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve usually seen something by now. But we&rsquo;ll just keep trying.&rdquo;</p><p>On the advice of farmer Roger Marcott, who was letting us use his land, we checked out another spot in a treeline across the road.</p><p>This time we had bellies full of big country diner breakfasts and a bottle of doe urine that we dabbed on cottonballs and placed in the trees.</p><p>Before we even loaded our guns, a buck appeared 40 yards away, snorted and dashed off. A doe frolicked in the distance but she was too far to shoot. My mentors always stressed that one of the worst things you can do is maim an animal with a bad shot. Waiting for a clean kill is essential.</p><p>So we settled down on a log tuning into every little crackle in woods. And then just as I was about to nod off, I heard a rustling in the tall dry weeds. A four-point buck was walking right toward us. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>My heart thudded in my chest as the deer browsed the greenery and kept advancing. He was now 15 yards away but facing us. Side shots are always a lot cleaner, but he wouldn&rsquo;t turn. Finally, he raised his head and turned his body to leave.</p><p>Amy had taken four deer in the last five years, but I&rsquo;d never shot anything.&nbsp;</p><p>She held her 20 gauge shotgun steady with her scope focused on the target and assumed I was doing the same.</p><p>But I&rsquo;d chickened out. All I had in hand was my recording equipment.</p><p>Finally, when the deer turned to leave, she took a shot. The deer leapt in the air and dashed away. I assumed she missed or just nicked him. But we followed after him anyway.</p><p>The trail of blood grew thicker as we followed it into another nearby wooded area where just 40 yards away he lay motionless, eyes wide open, tongue flopped to one side and a scarlet hole in his chest.</p><p>I was stunned that it could be over that quickly. Amy was stunned that I never lifted my gun.</p><p>&ldquo;I had no idea you were just recording,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I was waiting patiently, waiting patiently, and then when he turned to leave, I took a shot.&rdquo;</p><p>Amy is a Kankakee mom, hairdresser and horsewoman who agreed to take me hunting this season. It was part of a decade long personal and professional project to&nbsp; understand the true cost of my meat.&nbsp;</p><p>She thought today I&rsquo;d shoot my first deer, but it wasn&rsquo;t to be. She said my face had gone ashen. But we needed to move quickly, to remove his internal organs and cool him down or the meat would start to rot.&nbsp; Neither of us had ever done this.&nbsp;</p><p>So we heaved the 170 pound buck out of the forest and called, Roger Marcotte, the farmer who was letting us use his land.</p><p>While we were waiting, I asked Amy how she felt.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I think I would have been just as happy to let that buck walk on by.&rdquo;</p><p>Even though we both eat meat, the immediacy of the experience was filling us both with some remorse. She confessed that after she shot her first, &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t think I would ever be able to do it again.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Roger arrived in his tractor and we loaded the buck and ourselves into the tractor&rsquo;s bucket, the part usually used to shovel grain or dirt. As we rode across the craggy field, the buck lay at our feet like a sleeping pet. I took some video and thought about how unlike a normal day at the office this had been. But it was about to get even stranger.</p><p>Amy&rsquo;s friend Luke Chappel was waiting for us with his field dressing equipment at the edge of the field.</p><p>&ldquo;Did you bring some [rubber] gloves?&rdquo; Amy asked.<br />&ldquo;No,&rdquo; Luke replied. &ldquo;I just go in raw.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;Awwww,&rdquo; Amy responded.&rdquo;Really?&rdquo;</p><p>Luke explained the first cut is around the anus cavity to prevent any feces from spoiling the meat. Next we had to gently slice through the skin and fur on the buck&rsquo;s belly to expose and carefully remove his organs.</p><p>Luke&rsquo;s taken dozens of deer as a hunter. I asked if it ever made him sad.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If you don&rsquo;t have some remorse, there&rsquo;s something wrong with you,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;You gotta have some remorse. You&rsquo;re taking a life. But this is going to feed your kids. You&rsquo;re not wasting it. You&rsquo;re not just leaving it there and killing things for fun.&rdquo;</p><p>We left the colorful jewel-like pile of organs in the field for the coyotes to eat and brought the carcass across the road to Faith&rsquo;s Farm. Farmer Kim Snyder raises livestock outdoors and she was letting me stay at her house.</p><p>After we hosed off the carcass and cooled it down, we hung it in a barn to dry age several days.</p><p>Amy had to return to her kids but Luke said he&rsquo;d take me out the next morning--the last legal day of the month. I was still feeling pretty shaken by the day&rsquo;s events, but agreed to go.</p><p>After a third restless night of sleep and more dreams about deer, I rose at 4:45 a.m. and was out in the field by 5. Luke and I settled down behind the same log where Amy and I had hunted but saw nothing. We called it a day.</p><p>For the next two weeks, I mulled over the experience, haunted by my failure to pull the trigger. My license granted me one last weekend of hunting in early December. And I went to bed thinking about it every night, but finally decided I was done. My boss, however, thought differently. I ran into him on the Friday of the last hunting window of the season. He said I needed to follow it through.</p><p>So I returned to Roger&rsquo;s land to meet Amy on Sunday, the last day of the season. She was delayed so I struck out on my own. Roger was just a phone call away if I needed help, but the help I needed was a compass. I got lost looking for our old spot and wandered way off course. I&rsquo;m sure I angered and amused several hunters who watched me in their binoculars spook the deer on their land.&nbsp;</p><p>Eventually, I was picked up for trespassing by the landowner. Her name was Vanna. She grows pumpkins and sews American Girl Doll clothing in the off season. I apologized and got a ride back to Faith&rsquo;s Farm.</p><p>There I checked my phone and found a new text from Amy. It said:</p><p>&ldquo;I feel so bad. I&rsquo;m so sorry. I am trying to rally some troops in case you get one. If you have a shot, take it. But I will warn you, the remorse is hardest the first time. But you feel it every time.&rdquo;</p><p>With this warning echoing in my head, I ventured back out into the field--this time to the nearby tree stand. At least I knew how to get there. And I load my gun.</p><p>It was a cold, windy December afternoon and worse in the treestand. But it was also supremely peaceful up there. As a mom whose life is organized by deadlines, I can count on one hand the number of times I&rsquo;ve felt totally justified doing nothing but tuning in to nature for hours.&nbsp;</p><p>Still, as the sun began to fall, it became increasingly clear that today the deer would win and I would lose. They&rsquo;d chosen to make themselves scarce. But I wasn&rsquo;t altogether ungrateful. I honestly don&rsquo;t know if I was ready.</p><p>Farmer Kim Snyder, who was housing me during my trip, told me as much. She blamed it on my city upbringing that didn&rsquo;t prepare me for the realities of animal life and death when it comes to food. She had a point.</p><p>When and if I do go back out next year, I want to feel more confident. I want to leave behind this nagging sense of fear and doubt.</p><p>To do this, hunting expert and author Hank Shaw told me that I needed to get to the range and sharpen my shooting skills in the off season. He said I&rsquo;ll still feel sad after a kill but the least I can do is &ldquo;give any animal I shoot a death that I would be proud to have.&rdquo;</p><p>For that, I&rsquo;ll need practice and maybe even my own a gun. This was never part of the original plan.<br /><br />I still don&rsquo;t know what the future holds. But deer hunting season doesn&rsquo;t start up again&nbsp; in Kankakee County for another 11 months. So I&rsquo;ve got a little time to figure it out.</p><p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-51e5f9a0-e4d5-f7cb-20cc-67497667a133">Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</span><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> @monicaeng</a> or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Tue, 13 Jan 2015 13:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-happens-when-chicago-mom-tries-become-deer-hunter-111390