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Soda Tax or Free Fruits and Veggies?

The soda wars are afizz again in two California communities. Voters in Richmond and El Monte will soon decide whether a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks is an appropriate municipal policy to help combat obesity.
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Island Press Staff Picks

This week's staff pick is from Island Press's publicity manager, Jaime Jennings. She writes:
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From Food Deserts to Healthy Cities

This generation of American children is predicted to live shorter lives than their parents–quite a shocking statistic. Even more shocking is that we know the reasons why and unlike epidemics of old they are within our control. At the root of the problem is obesity, inactivity, and unhealthful diets all centered around communities that don’t promote the kind of lifestyle that is necessary for prosperous, healthy lives.

Will Climate Change Ruin Pancakes?

In spite of the wintry landscape, the steady tap-tap-tap of maple sap dripping into a bucket announces spring with greater assurance than the calendar.  Black-capped chickadees have been si
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Hunting and the Land Ethic

I spent a dozen purple dusks and gilded dawns last December hunkered down in the hoarfrost in coulees, hiding in the rabbitbrush and sage during a late-season Colorado elk hunt. In an area with too many elk and not enough wolves, hunting cow elk provides a powerful conservation tool, because of its effectiveness in thinning herds.
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What is the Relevance of Vavilov in the Year 2010?

Ed. note: Gary Nabhan was recently given the honor of presenting the biennial Vavilov Memorial Lecture in Moscow and offering a similar lecture in Saint Petersburg, and was further honored with the gift of the Vavilov Medal. These are his reflections after years of retracing Vavilov through the centers of food diversity, while writing the book Where Our Food Comes From, and after spending time with the staff of the Vavilov General Genetics Institute in Moscow, and VIR in Saint Petersburg.
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Sowing seeds of good health and of unity

Ever since President Obama took office in January, he's kept his eye on the grand prize of making political discourse more civil. He's held up the ideal that Democrats and Republicans can find common ground and move beyond shrill partisan warring that has characterized politics for the last twenty-five years. In looking for places to boost this unifying project, the sunny patch of common ground on the White House lawn holds great promise.
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Considering bees, industrious but not industrial

Nowadays when I see bees in my garden, I pay close attention. I have noticed at least four different types. They buzz purposely—so focused on the periwinkle blue flowers of my rosemary hedge. I crouch down to examine their fuzzy bodies and the gorgeous floral interiors that are the center of their apian attention. The wondrous dance of bees and flowers has been evolving for millions of years, but in the past few, it has it become frighteningly tenuous.
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The Pleasures of a Big Fat Book

Lately, I've enjoyed giving greater attention to what I eat and where it comes from. I've canned fresh local tuna, grown leafy greens and purple potatoes in my garden, baked fresh breads, learned the stories of my apples and berries, and generally taken a slow-food approach to nourishing my body. But last fall, I realized that I've been taking far less care with my mind.