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WATCH: The Hrens Tackle the Carbon-Footprint of Meat Production

It’s clear from this video—just posted on ChelseaGreenTV—that Stephen and Rebekah Hren would much rather be doing something to help solve the problem of a de-localized food supply and excessive meat-eating than talking about it. As you can see in their book, The Carbon-Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil-Fuel Habit, these are hands-on people. They walk the walk. They put their money where their mouth(s) is (are).

Nevertheless, in this video the Hrens give some quick, useful tips for how you can help out in your own community—by forming food cooperatives with your fellow urban gardeners; cutting down on your meat consumption and eating local, sustainable meat (beef especially); and helping start a farmers market.

RH: Hi. I’m Rebekah Hren, and this is my husband, Stephen Hren. We’re the authors of The Carbon-Free Home, which is a guide to running your house and your life on renewable, sustainable resources.

And we’re talking about how to deal with the problem of carbon emissions from industrial agriculture and excessive meat-eating that’s going on in our culture. And the thing that doesn’t—it’s not something that we have to talk so much about, it’s something that we need to really start doing things about, and a big part of that is to re-localize our food supply. So we need to make available seasonal, local produce, and local dairy and meat products, having people not eat more than they need to. And what we’ve been doing is to start a food co-op in our town—[unintelligible] does not have one—to make these things available. So, for us, a lot of that energy is going towards physically making this food, this fresh food available to people, as opposed to getting the word out so much.

RH: Yeah. So what we’re really focused on is—neither of us are vegetarians, and we don’t believe that vegetarianism should be forced on anyone, but we know that eating industrially-farmed cows, particularly, leads to a multitude of problems: things like methane, which increases global warming. So, what we try and do is we try and eat meat sparingly, we try and figure out where our meat comes from, we try and know the farmers around us that are growing meat sustainably, and we also try and grow some of our own food in our yard. So we have a network of local, urban gardeners that we work with in our city.

SH: Yes, so for us it’s more a matter of doing than talking.


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Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow).In this excerpt from their […] Read More

Three Principles to Survive the Future

What guiding principles will you need to not just survive the future, but imagine a better one? Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary entries, […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More

Eight Seed-Saving Myths

You don’t have to move to Svalbard, Norway in order to have access to a seed bank.Author and plant breeder Carol Deppe believes that every gardener should have her own seed bank. Even if you aren’t a seed saver, you should have your own seed bank. Even if you never experience any disaster beyond the […] Read More
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