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Where Our Food Comes From

Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine
By Gary Paul Nabhan; 266 pages, Shearwater Books, 2008

Before I moved to California, I’d seen only two types of potatoes, and naively believed there weren’t any more than that. Like most urban dwellers, I knew only the supermarket offerings of monoculture cash crops. When I first saw purple potatoes at a market in San Francisco, I felt outraged that someone had dyed them with food coloring, unaware that purple potatoes are but one of the nearly 600 varieties of potatoes…
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by: Audrey Webb – Spring 2009

Burning the Future: Coal in America

Directed by David Novack, 89 minutes

Coal generates more than half of all the electricity in the US. And, as the coal industry’s dirtiest secrets are exposed, coal also generates increased public opposition every day. Many of coal’s biggest opponents are residents of southern West Virginia, where mining companies engage in the particularly nasty form of extractions known as “mountaintop removal.” The practice’s name is hardly representative of the activity. It’s much less “removal” than it is total…
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by: Audrey Webb – Spring 2009

Watch What You Eat

The US Government Continues to Lag When it Comes to Warning People about the Risks of Mercury-Laden Fish.

Roman Greene / www.romangreene.com The Paris Parker Aveda Salon and Spa in New Orleans caters to the city’s wealthiest clientele. The tony boutique, known for its extensive range of spa and salon treatments that pamper from head to toe – from manicures to mudpacks, facials to foot massages – offers a feel-good reprieve in the still-troubled city. But in November 2008, clients at the upscale salon were offered a treatment not regularly…
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by: Audrey Webb – Spring 2009

Bargaining for Eden

The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America

As people who love the land, environmentalists often desire to have a piece of it they can call their own – a place where they can find reprieve from the pressures of the city and observe firsthand the natural beauty they wish to protect. But it is the rare environmentalist who can afford to purchase land for no other reason than to leave it completely untouched. The land was purchased to be…
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by: Audrey Webb – Winter 2009

Flow

It was a blistering hot afternoon when I watched the DVD of Flow. Before starting the film, I strolled to the kitchen, and, with the touch of a button on the front of my refrigerator, filled a mug with ice cubes and cool, clear water, then sauntered down the hallway to settle in front of my computer. I’d heard some positive buzz about the film, but was I looking forward to watching…
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by: Audrey Webb – Winter 2009

Renewal

If someone you worshipped gave you an amazing gift, you’d take incredibly good care of it, right? That’s the question many religious leaders are asking of their congregations as a way of contemplating the environmental destruction all around us. The answer can be found in the full-length documentary Renewal. Renewal focuses on religious groups across the US that are responding to environmental crises by challenging themselves to take better care of their…
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by: Audrey Webb – Autumn 2008

Crystal Durham

At age 17, Crystal Durham exhibited the growing pains typical of so many teenagers. Eager to get away from her parents’ home in northern California and find her own way in the world, she headed south to study at UCLA – away from home, but not too far away. Which academic direction to take wasn’t immediately obvious: politics, business, or medicine? Indecision is of little concern when you’re young, ambitious, and intelligent.…
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by: Audrey Webb – Winter 2008

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