This week’s sweet links – Bowling for sustainability
Allow me to (re) introduce myself

Hello everyone. I’m Katie. I’ll be contributing to The Grazing Mind, helping Jarod out by posting on a lot of topics related to WhiteWave. But first an introduction.

I recently started working at WhiteWave for the second time. I’m an old Horizon employee from back in the day (1999). In my first few years I was officially in Marketing, but  lucky enough to to do a little bit of everything: testing an egg nog recipe (I ended up with scrambled eggs); tasting potential single serve milk flavors (I personally campaigned for Root Beer); preparing sell sheets for Jels and Puddings (R.I.P). And somewhere along the line before leaving in 2005, I joined Molly in Communications and hired an intern named Jarod (one of my best contributions. You’re welcome).

Anyway, it’s great to be back at WhiteWave. When accepting the opportunity to work with the team again, I told them it was a lot like coming home. But while I was away my parents moved to a mansion in a new town and adopted some more kids. Not the best analogy perhaps, but I’m trying to say: as much as it feels brand new, there is a whole lot that feels familiar. The level of passion and engagement; the desire to make good food accessible to everyone; the sense of responsibility to do right by people and the planet.

Obviously, some things are different this time around. I have a badge. I have to park further away from the building. There’s an elevator that goes up higher than one floor. There are about 350 more people. Oh, and Jarod no longer has to sit at an abandoned reception desk by the front door.

I’m glad a lot has changed while I’ve been away because not only is change inevitable, it’s also good. If you are not somehow always changing and always in transition, then you are standing still. Change is important as long as you keep your focus and your purpose intact.

So, whether trying to change the world one organic acre at a time or striving to become the Earth’s favorite food company, the driving force remains the same: use what influence you have to make the world a little better than it was yesterday. That’s what attracted me to the job back in 1999, and it’s what brought me back in 2010.

This week’s sweet links – best wheelbarrow race move ever, and unicycle basketball

Food in space

Orange drink, etc.

Apparently, Space is exhausting.

Yet, that’s not our impression, is it? Jumping, skipping, hitting golf balls is a lot harder to do when you’re in a near weightless atmosphere. According to studies done after the Apollo 11, Buzz Aldrin expended around 300 calories an hour. So just about everything he did in space was a real physical challenge, making what he ate, and how much he ate all that more important.

Clearly, flavor was not top of mind for NASA.

Holy Solar Sahara

Slide1-300x225

As noted in yesterday’s post, the smallest of things can be an important first step in achieving something great. But as this post from INHABITAT points out, so can the BIGGEST of things…

Is it me or did it just get really, really bright in here?

“You put solar panels… on a DeLorean?”

Horizon Organic Dairy in Kennedyville, Maryland. Photographed by Keri Pickett on September 17, 2008.

If Back to the Future had been set in 2010 rather than 1985, would Emmett “Doc” Brown have opted for solar panels over plutonium to power the DeLorean? And if so, how would that minor change affect the movie’s overall plot?

In Marty McFly’s world even the smallest of things can make a giant impact. And here’s proof that things in our world, aren’t so different.  A seemingly insignificant step, making a pretty significant impact at our organic dairy farm in Kennedyville, Maryland.

Awhile back Farm Manager Greg Heidemann and crew had solar panels installed on the roof of the farm’s shop… just a small shed storing maintenance tools and gadgets. The panels produce energy needed to heat the shed and provide hot water, taking a first step in reducing the farm’s dependence on fossil fuels. A minor change? You bet. But just like adding solar panels to the DeLorean, it’s led to a larger plot twist. Most notably, a sustainable dam structure designed to keep residue out of a nearby creek leading to the Chesapeake Bay. The dam also enables the farm to utilize runoff water for crop irrigation… about eight million gallons of runoff water. That’s eight million gallons of water not being pulled from wells, not burning electricity… all because someone decided to use solar panels to heat a small shed with tools. Great Scott.