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.

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:

 

Like Beer? Get it near(er)!

Massachusetts Craft Brewers TrailEver heard of a “microbrewery”? What about “craft beer”? According to the Brewers Association, there’s a difference in definition- that being said, they’re both great options if you’re trying to make your beer purchase a little “greener”.

A microbrewery is one that “produces less than 15,000 barrels (17,600 hectoliters) of beer per year“. Pubs or restaurants that sell the beer they make on-site are called “brewpubs”.

A craft brewer, on the other hand, has an “annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less“. A craft brewer must be small, independent, and traditional* : “Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer…a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers”.

That’s great… so what’s the significance?

Wine… Fair Trade Certified?

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Here’s my challenge to all of those wine enthusiasts out there: take a look at this list on the bottom right-hand corner of Fair Trade USA’s website and promise to try at least one of these fair-trade wine labels. You may be astonished to find out that Sam’s Club and Target are two fair-trade wine vendors.

I know, it came as a surprise to me too, but fair trade wine does exist. In all honesty, it never occurred to me to look out for the fair trade logo when I went to the store;

Morning Joe – What to Know

Coffee drinkers alike will agree that this morning beverage is one of the greatest innovations of all time. I am tempted to write about the wonders of coffee… how the smell of a first brew wafts into the room with the power to revive, how the relief of the first sip clears away the morning fog…

…but that would make me appear an addict.

So the question is raised:

can we make a small, positive change by choosing a different label for our cup of Joe?

If we do a little background research and keep our eyes open in the supermarket, then the answer is yes. I have a couple of suggestions down below, but ethicalcoffee.net and consideringcoffee.com have great, well-researched articles on the various certifications you can find on a bag of coffee. NPR also published a story on the differences behind these certifications.

Here are some ways to turn your coffee addiction green (click words highlighted in green for web links):