News, Articles and Interviews

Rethinking the Big Mac? Environmental Limits to Meat Production

October 31, 2013

Big Macs all around the world! Sounds great, right? Maybe not. The resource intensity of meat production can’t be ignored as neighbors in developing countries emulate the meat-heavy Western diet. Will the current industrialized meat production system meet growing future demand and feed the world when trends point toward a crowded planet as the population […]

Why Meat Eats Resources

October 29, 2013

The large water footprints for beef, pork and other meats indicate the large volumes of water used for their production. They also suggest a great use of resources beyond water. The question then becomes, why is raising livestock and poultry for meat so resource-intensive? This is the second of three posts about the possible limits […]

Smithfield Pork Deal Trades US Water for Waste

October 28, 2013

The monumental merger between Smithfield and Shaunghui (now WH Group) – two giant pork producers – was a foregone conclusion, as it turns out. One big question lingers: Was the deal a trade of water for waste? This post about Smithfield foods is the first of three posts about the possible limits to global meat […]

How Not to Dispose of Your Unused Pharmaceuticals

October 26, 2013

Pharmaceuticals, personal care products and a whole host of other compounds — classified as ‘emerging contaminants,’  — are increasingly being detected in surface water and they’re causing problems. Emerging Contaminants Found in Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products Require Careful Disposal Recently, I was filling a prescription at a local pharmacy and I brought some unused prescription drugs […]

US Water Conservation: How’s Your State Doing?

June 20, 2013

Water conservation plans in many states are more or less effective because many states have laws and policies that hinder their effectiveness. How’s your state doing? Find out in this Alliance for Water Efficiency report. [The Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard was updated in 2017. See if your state improved from 2012.] State Water […]

Emerging Contaminants, Water and a Whole Lot of Questions

January 4, 2012

Emerging contaminants are pollutants that pose a real or perceived threat to human health or that lack a published health standard. Some are endocrine disruptors or can cause cancer. Over 80,000 Known Chemicals on the Market; EPA-Required Full Toxicity Testing for Only 200; Just Five Are Regulated Miss those chemistry experiments in high school? Well then it’s time […]

Triclosan: What the EPA and FDA Think You Should Know

November 2, 2011

Triclosan is the antibacterial part of antibacterial hand soap. It is used in many personal care products to stop the growth of bacteria, fungus and mildew, as well as to deodorize. It is in just about everything (including 75 percent of people tested for it) and it has been listed as a possible endocrine disruptor. Triclosan […]

FIJI Water and Parent Company Still Rolling in the Water

August 29, 2011

FIJI Water’s parent company faces problems with the 125,000-acre Paramount Farms almond and pistachio orchards in California’s San Joaquin Valley. FIJI Water versus Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District So far, 2011 has been a tough year for scandal-prone California agribusiness giant and holding company, Roll International, which might be part of the reason for the […]

Beef: The “King” of the Big Water Footprints

August 1, 2011

Prince Charles Spoke about farming, sustainability and water at the Future of Food conference in May 2011. When a prince talks farming, you listen. The “Prince” in question is sadly not his Purple Majesty but rather, Charles, the Prince of Wales, who issued a stern warning at the Future of Food conference – and in […]