Thursday, November 4, 2010

RealiTEA Update

The garden is nearly put to bed, with a great first season despite the setbacks and challenges we encountered along the way (late planting, loss of some seedlings due to missed watering, a tree falling on half the garden...)

We produced a cool couple wheelbarrows worth of daikon radish, and a decent quantity of tea is now drying in the almost-completed tea racks in the Hive Cafe (shout outs to Jessica for the design and the fall FSG interns for the construction!)

We had many enjoyable and well attended workshops through the summer and have gotten the campus thinking about what's possible other than... grass. 

Lennard made this short film about the project in September for the Sustainable Food Festival - enjoy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's Big

Leah Chandler, Fall FSG Intern, loads the daikon harvest into a wheelbarrow for transport while other interns look on. Photo: John Kenney for the Gazette

We made the papers last week, part of a feature article in the Montreal Gazette exploring food security movements on Montreal campuses (McGill, University of Montreal, UQAM, and us).


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Upcoming Events - Part of ASFA/CSU Green Week @ Concordia

Finished Product - Yum!

Come learn how to harvest and preserve daikon radish, a companion crop planted in the RealiTEA garden out at our lovely Loyola campus.

We'll meet at 3pm at the RealiTEA garden behind Hingston Hall (walk to the back of the campus, near the smaller soccer field behind the Science Complex, and you'll find the Solar House and the Garden). We'll harvest our daikon radish and then head over to the Hive Cafe to undertake the preparation and pickling of the radishes!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Add some poison, makes it last longer / pour thicker / taste good

It's the night before the Food Festival, and me and Morgan Pudwell, the VP Sustainability for the CSU, have just finished putting together our additives series. We've covered a decent amount of ground:

  • Carageenan
  • Aspartame
  • MSG
  • Soya Lecithin
  • Maltodextrin
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Artificial Flavour
  • Natural Flavour
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
I've learned a lot doing this - because distilling the information down to the basics has required a fairamount of sifting, reading, filtering... There's a lot out there. On top of the wikipedia entries, the health food sites, the doctors' sites, the academic papers and the blogs, there's the industry groups and companies manufacturing the stuff.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What is Hunger?

I got a link to this new campaign, One Billion Hungry. Their goal is to get a billion people to sign a petition against hunger, to "put pressure on politicians to end hunger." I wish it said "put pressure on politicians to radically change the organizing principles of society" or "put pressure on politicians to redistribute my wealth and place limits on what I am allowed to access by recognizing the inequity the so-called free market perpetuates."  Just something a bit more nuanced, a bit more realistic, then "make the people in charge stop the problem and eliminate me from the equation."

Reading through the site, I am struck by their argument on why hunger exists.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's a Sad State of Affairs...

...when you have to divide up your shopping list into foods more or less likely to kill you. But that's essentially the jist of the 'Dirty Dozen' list proposed by the Environmental Working Group, a San Francisco based chemical watchdog organization, which is carefully documenting and raising awareness about toxins in our food, air, water, and environment. They advise buying the following organic as often as possible, because the selected fruits and vegetables tend to take on a heavier pesticide load, through increased exposure and retention.