Blogs | Food & Water Watch - Part 112
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October 8th, 2009

Governor Schwarzenegger Throws Tantrum and Threatens California

Reading this article in the San Francisco Chronicle , I was reminded of my five year old twins. Sometimes when they get mad at each other, they stomp their feet and threaten to throw their toys. It’s behavior that Im sure theyll grow out ofat least I hope.

AB 1242 (Ruskin) would establish clean, affordable water as a human right for all Californians. Agreement on this principle is critical to any comprehensive water solution as there are over 150,000 Californians who currently lack access to safe affordable water.

But, those hopes were dampened a little when I read about the implicit threat coming from Governor Schwarzenegger to veto all 700 + bills sitting on his desk if the legislature does not reach an agreement with him on a water package by Friday. As we saw towards the end of the session, a package acceptable to the Governor must include more surface storage (or ‚dams” as you and I might call them), and the package discussed last month included legislation that would facilitate the construction of a costly and environmentally damaging peripheral canal. Read the full article…

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The Water Challenge Chronicles – Alex, Week 5

As promised, I made a video blog for this week’s entry. Because I’m vain, I feel the need to make the following disclaimers: My voice actually DOES match my lips in real life, but for some reason it didn’t in the very beginning of this video. Also, it was really hot in the bathroom when we were installing the new shower head. So look for me to be glistening in that scene. With that, please take a look at my video, and see how it incredibly easy (and cheap) it is to replace an aging, inefficient shower head! Read the full article…

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October 6th, 2009

If it's broken, fix it!

Over the weekend, the New York Times reported
on the unfortunate story of a 22 year-old woman who became paralyzed
due to a reaction to E.coli that she contracted from a
hamburger.  Even though preventable food-borne illnesses like this one
continue to occur, not enough is being done to ensure safe food for
consumers. Ground BeefIn 2008, USDA tested ground beef at processing facilities it regulates and found deadly E. coli contamination 54 times.  USDA already found it 31 times this year. But what happened after that? You might assume that the agency tried to find all the product in those batches that were tested so that it could be removed from store shelves before it could harm the public. That‚ where youd be wrong. Read the full article…

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October 2nd, 2009

Lawsuits Challenge Fishery Privatization in the Gulf of Mexico

This Tuesday, Food & Water Watch applauded as two separate lawsuits where filed in Florida, challenging the legality of a recently finalized program known as catch shares that would privatize access to tilefish and grouper, public fish stocks, in the Gulf of Mexico.

One challenge came from the 90,000 member-strong Coastal Conservation Association, a recreational fishing group based in Texas. The other came from an independent small-scale commercial fisherman with a strong backbone named Brian Lewis, based in Clearwater, FL. Both legal complaints cite the unfair (and likely illegal) process used to develop and finalize the privatization plan, and the unfair intended outcome: creating a program that makes a “free market” tradeable commodity of the ability to catch fish, principally to enable a handful of businesses to control public fish resources. Read the full article…

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The Water Challenge Chronicles – Jon, Week 4

Over the past several weeks, water conservation has really taken on a new meaning for me. This past week I thought of ways to conserve water, but tried to look at the bigger picture as far as how water is being misused. The comment on my last blog entry, which I had originally taken as a sarcastic one, was really eye-opening when I discovered that it was a fairly accurate statement. 90 percent of water waste comes from large agriculture companies. Some five percent comes from municipal golf courses (really amazing, I feel a little disgusted now as an avid golf fan and golf course-frequenter). The remaining five percent is used by people like you and me. How then, can we actually make a difference? Read the full article…

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October 1st, 2009

Celebrate Oktoberfish with Food & Water Watch! : Frugal Fish contest

Happy Oktoberfish! Here at Food & Water Watch, we’ve declared October the official month to celebrate sustainable seafood as we work hard to protect our oceans and ensure that consumers have access to delicious, affordable seafood that‚ healthy for them and the environment.  With that fall chill in the air, were all starting to get excited about festive, food-related occasions, so join Food & Water Watch this month to learn more and get involved in this crucial movement.

We’ve kicked off our month with our Frugal Fish contest, where were asking savvy cooks to whip up a sustainable seafood dinner using fish off our Smart Seafood Guide for under $25. We’ve already started receiving entries, and the contest runs until midnight EST on October 16. Read the full article…

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Earth to Laliberte: Solutions to Water Crisis Need Grounding

Ever wonder how far $35 million could go in helping to relieve the world‚ water crisis? For that amount of money, you could dig 23,000 wells in India, give 500,000 families in Uganda cisterns for rainwater collection, or install filtration systems for 350,000 households in Honduras. Or if youre Guy Laliberte, the founder of Cirque du Soleil, you could take one trip into space. Read the full article…

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Sustainable Chinese Fish Farms: Good Effort, or Greenwashing?

SeafoodSource recently reported that China will be hosting a forum on sustainable seafood production this November, co-sponsored by China‚ Ministry of Agriculture and Sea Fare Expositions of Seattle. While any attempt to “go green” and begin to reduce negative environmental impacts should be supported and lauded, the “Sustainable Seafood Forum” in China gives us significant pause. With so many companies now claiming their products are “ecofriendly,” it‚ important to watch carefully for greenwashing, the practice of marketing things as being environmentally friendly when they are not. Read the full article…

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September 30th, 2009

Citizens Fight to Protect the Santa Fe River from Bottlers

Last week, citizens in Florida got a strong commitment from Columbia county officials that no new water bottler on the Santa Fe River would be allowed.  The county‚ statement is expected to carry serious weight in whether the Suwannee River Water Management District, which has final say on water permits, gives the bottling facility a thumbs up or a thumbs down.

Part of the success is due to the work of Our Santa Fe River (OSFR), an organization of North Florida citizens working to protect the river. The group, a strong ally of Food & Water Watch, continues to successfully lead the fight against several dangerous bottling proposals that could harm the river‚ ecosystem and contribute to declining water levels in the region. Read the full article…

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The Water Challenge Chronicles – Alex, Week 4

Halfway through Food & Water Watch‚ own Water Challenge, Jon and I have finally seen the film that inspired the challenge- No Impact Man. This past Friday night, the two of us attended the DC premier of the movie. Actually, maybe ‚opening” is more accurate- ‚premier” makes it sound kind of glamorous, which it wasnt. While there were no celebrities or red carpets (although I did have my own entourage, consisting of my friends, my sister, my officemate, and girlfriend), it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the movie, and seeing it has made me reconsider some of my feelings about this whole project. Read the full article…

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