Certification, certification, certification…

There was a news story last night about the “Made in Brooklyn” fad that has gently carried itself into New York culture over the past three years. There is no doubt that this bustling borough has recently become an icon for the public eye– even Vogue was daring enough to compare Brooklyn with the most romanticized city in the world, Paris.

Unmistakably branching out of locavore mentality, Made-in-Brooklyn-lovers are seeking products such as chocolate and beer that are solely produced in the western-most county of Long Island. The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce now agrees, however, that the manufacturer’s word will no longer suffice.

"Made in Brooklyn" Gold Seal-- Image Captured from News12 Report from June 25, 2014
“Made in Brooklyn” Gold Seal– Image Captured from News12 Report from June 25, 2014

All goods that want to boast their origins in Brooklyn will now have to obtain one of three “Brooklyn Made” seals. The seal will be gold, silver, or bronze depending upon a variety of determinants in the production process (i.e. amount of product production that takes place in Brooklyn, amount of product assembly in Brooklyn, etc.) all of which are still under consideration by the NYU Wagner Capstone Team. Seeing that the certification standards are not yet clearly established, the Chamber of Commerce does not provide much information on its website.

Digital Essay On Student Dining: How Much Control Do You Have Eating On-Campus?

We’ve all heard the stereotype: college food is universally considered less than perfect* in terms of health, variety, and quality. But do students have control over what they eat on-campus? I’d like to argue that although our meal plans can be strong limiting factors on what we eat, Student Dining at College of the Holy Cross is opening avenues so we have more control over the food served at Holy Cross. Watch this Prezi, my digital essay, to explore this question; watch interviews and video clips, listen to a podcast, and look over surveys of what students had to say about their college dining experience. Hope you enjoy!

*I happen to like our main residential dining hall for the most part, but it is true that finding a variety of options as a pescatarian has its setbacks

A sneak peek on student dining…

Next week I will be posting my digital essay about student dining at college. If you want a sneak preview of some of the topics I plan to explore, click the link below to listen to my latest podcast (featured in the essay) with Emma, a fellow classmate and close friend, as we discuss both the difficulties and positive aspects of having a meal plan on-campus.

Podcast 2: Student Dining on a College Campus

44 Years of Earth Day… Moving Towards Green Cities

earth day 1
Front: Denis Hayes, 1970. Source: National Geographic

Yesterday marked the world’s 44th Earth Day. At its heart, Earth Day aims to raise awareness and encourage consciousness about the environmental movement. Today, over 1 billion people celebrate Earth Day. Growing from a national rally of 20 million Americans, Earth Day has become the largest secular international holiday.

This year, the Earth Day Network (EDN) promoted the international holiday under a “Green Cities” campaign: the goal was to decrease climate change emissions while encouraging the growth of “green” urban practices. The EDN is simultaneously aware that while cities emit a large percentage of the emissions that increase global warning, they are also a huge source for potential sustainability projects such as urban gardening, solar energy intake, education, and more. 

Om nom Ngam…Farm Fresh (Thai) Food in New York City!

This past week was Easter Break at my school, so I’ve been home on the island. After visiting the city with my parents on Saturday, I joined my friend Astrid* (or as I like to call her, Asid) who invited me to dinner with her and a friend she knows at Columbia University.

ngam 3After scoping out the East Village for an open table (note: it may be keen of you to make reservations if you’re eating out on a Saturday night in NYC), we finally snagged three bar stools at a narrow, bustling Thai food place called “Ngam”. The interior vibrated with that “cool” attitude so often associated with NYU’s neighborhood: a diverse crowd of students mixed with native New York men and women were squeezed into the long tables running down either side of the main aisle, and the exposed ceiling dripped at its center with light bulbs dangling at various lengths. Instead of blasting music over an ominous radio speaker, the walls bounced back noises of laughter and joyful conversation. In front of us, three or four chefs cooked away at an open kitchen, pounding out bean sprouts and searing sustainably sourced shrimp.

Yes: I said sustainably sourced shrimp!

What’s “Behind the Brands” of the World’s 10 Biggest Food and Beverage Companies?

After years of receiving evaluations from school or work, it’s time for you to give a report card. That’s right- Oxfam, one of the leading international non-profits battling poverty and social injustice, created a Company Score Card for the world’s ten largest food and beverage companies. Let me emphasize: Oxfam is grading THE WORLD’S ten largest food and beverage companies, and it needs your help. Read more to learn who these ten companies are and what you can do to improve their score…

What is “WooFood”?

woo foodOne of the requirements is that “A WooFood dish must taste good”. In my opinion, that’s a pretty good start.

The WooFood certification was created by three medical students from Massachusetts who decided that healthy eating shouldn’t be reserved for meals at home- it should be an option anywhere you eat.

How often have you gone out to dinner and felt overwhelmed by lists of unhealthy options with little to no alternative? Well, here’s the good news: several restaurants in Worcester already have multiple WooFood dishes on their menus, and the movement is gradually swelling in popularity.

I bet you didn’t know you could eat these.

pea shoots
Photo by urbanfoodie33 on Flickr

It’s April and it’s time to discuss our next in-season vegetable: Pea Shoots in Massachusetts! That’s right- you can eat those springy green curlicues on the stem of a pea plant.

Sound strange? Well, it’s time to try something new! (Don’t live in Massachusetts? Check out our post “Spring Forward: Eating Fruits and Veggies in Season” to find out what’s in season in your state.) There are actually a whole variety of plant shoots that are deliciously edible: asparagus, sweet potato vine, ostrich fern fiddleheads and bamboo are only a few examples.

What should you know about pea shoots (also known as pea tendrils and pea greens)?

Guest Post from “Kelly Green”

kelly Hi everyone! My name is Kelly Dyer; I’m a college student, environment lover and the author of “Kelly Green,” a blog about eco friendly living. One of the themes of my blog, “Kelly Green,” is creating change through simple, everyday swaps. Alexandra’s “Go Green Cuisine” also advocates for making changes in your daily routine, but focuses her efforts on the kitchen. While I absolutely love food, I can’t say I’m the best cook… I’ve been known to burn a thing or two (or twenty), and I’m not the best at following recipes. My philosophy when it comes to following directions is often, “eh who needs ‘em?” So I’ve decided to leave the cooking part to the expert at “Go Green Cuisine,” and instead I’m tackling some fun new tips for greening your kitchen experience!


So check out these easy ways to green up your kitchen routine: