Are you going to eat that?

BIG NUMBERS don’t have much appeal anymore. Let’s face it; in a world of mega-million dollar jackpots and mega-billion dollar deficits we’ve become desensitized to the shock value of a good million, billion, trillion stat. So hats off to the good people of GOOD and their ability to visually convey this tragic information in a pretty compelling yet simple way.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

May, 2009 in America – more than 34 million people can’t afford to eat.

That’s pretty scary. Even scarier that this kind of news usually falls under the radar. Even if it is on your radar, unless you have Bono-like funds and humanitarian celebrity (Irish accent included) you’re not feeding 30-plus million people. Good news is you don’t need to save the world. Just focal on the local, man. Odds are people in your neck of the woods are already doing some great things.

Our local food bank for instance – Community Food Share (CFS) – is run by an amazing group of people (We actually hope to have someone from CFS contribute to this blog in the near future), who help keep less fortunate families in the Boulder, Colo. area fed. Just last year they delivered more than five million pounds of food.

WhiteWavers volunteer at CFS off-and-on all year long, and every spring we participate in the Compete to Beat Hunger CFS Corporate Challenge, a campaign that brings local businesses in our area together to raise money and volunteer time at the food bank. It’s designed as a contest to see who can raise the most/volunteer the most, but obviously the real winners are the ones that won’t have to worry about their family’s next meal. The real “win” for us I think is that in volunteering our time and money locally, we actually get to see the people we’re helping, and we have a window into the perspective of the struggles they face. And thanks to the people at CFS that window stays open all year long.

Check out this site to see what people are doing to fight hunger in your area…

We make our own pickles

I know Google’s Café 150 is pretty amazing, but I’m going to go on record here and say that ours has to be in the running for second best corporate eatery in the world (only second because Google peeps eat for free).

Welcome to the Wave Café, one perk (probably the best one) of working at the WhiteWave Foods headquarter office in Broomfield, Colo. We’ll highlight the Café quite a bit on The Grazing Mind, but here’s your first view into the reason nobody orders out come meal time.

Salad Bar

Pizz.

Deli Special

We’re in the food business, so what we eat is key to how we approach our work. And thanks to Bon Appétit who manages the cafe, we get a daily reminder of the importance of not only eating healthy, but eating sustainably. This article which recently ran in the Denver Post can give you a little more detail into Chef Scott and team’s dedication to their craft. And like I said, stay tuned for more from the Wave Café…

Stay to the right
Draft Commuting

Draft Commuting

Via Treehugger.com, I present reason number 348 to love Buenos Aires – more than 60 miles of bike lanes to be built by 2011. Best part about it? The bike lanes are physically separated from the roadways. Simplesafersmarter, no doubt leading to more and more people opting to bike to work, to lunch, to the movies, etc.

I’m not a big biker, partly because I don’t want to get smoked by a veering Subaru, but mostly because of the cost. Do I want to invest in a bike and then not use it for large parts of the year due to weather, or my own laziness?

Thanks to the colaboration of TREK, Humana and Boulder-based Crispin Porter Bogusky, the cost issue is being addressed through the B-Cycle bike sharing program. It lets people pick and choose when they want to two-wheel it around town without having to drop a big chunk of dough. Another simple idea that could and should help propel the growing bike movement here in the States toward our own Buenos bike lane projects.

We actually have a pretty good contingent of dedicated road bikers here at WhiteWave. Maybe I’ll have them take me out sometime and see what this skinny-tire, shoe-locking-into-peddles balancing act is all about. Or I could just get one of these

Good Windmill Hunting
William's First Windmill

Safe from threat of veering Subaru

At age 14 William Kamkwamba of Malawai, Africa, went to the library and learned how to make his own electricity. “A simple farmer in a country of poor farmers,” Kamkwamba recently shared his story of facing adversity and the brave decision to not accept the looming dread of an impoverished future at the TED Conference.

Using resources from the library, and materials from a scrap yard William was able to build a windmill and create enough electricty to power lights and radios for his home. This didn’t change the world, but it did change his world. And in doing so, he helped change the world of others around him as well: “Queues of people, start lining up at my house to charge their mobile phones…”

Obviously cell phones don’t necessarily create or sustain life but in looking at the bigger picture, you can imagine the evolution of the situation.

  • William builds windmill, powers his home. Later builds additonal windmill to power irrigation system and pump clean water…
  • William’s neighbors cruise by, plug phones in to charge, ponder the possibility of maybe asking William to help them build their own windmills….
  • William and his neighbors build a slew of windmills, power the whole village…
  • Village famine ends. Farmers are able to feed their families, and sell extra crops for profits…
  • William becomes very popular; opens a taco bar, ladies night and free margaritas on Thursdays…

You get the idea.

William’s story is just one of the many amazing videos featured on the TED website. Good place to start if you need some inspiration…