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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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When British economist David Fleming died unexpectedly in 2010, he left behind his great unpublished work, a masterpiece more than thirty years in the making—an intellectually evocative and inspiring dictionary, Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. In it, Fleming examined the consequences of an economy that destroys the very foundations—ecological, […] Read More

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To Create Climate-Secure Foodscapes, Think Like a Plant

The techniques and prophetic vision for achieving food security in the face of climate change contained in Gary Paul Nabhan’s Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land may well need to be implemented across most of North America over the next half-century, and are already applicable in most of the semiarid West, Great Plains, and […] Read More

The Future Is Hopeless, So Give it Your All

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