Lesley Lammers

Lesley Lammers is a freelance sustainability consultant and journalist, focused on the intersection between the environment, food, social impact, human rights, health and entrepreneurship.

Trademark Controversy Spurs Outrage, Emboldens Urban Homesteaders

In the past, the Dervaes family of the Dervaes Institute has been in the national media spotlight, often portrayed as one of the leaders of the urban homesteading movement.  Referring to their project as the Path to Freedom, the Dervaes are known for turning their one-tenth of an acre property in Pasadena, CA into multiple … Continued

Goats Become Latest Battle Over Urban Animal Raising

The battle for urban backyard goats has proven itself to be a bigger challenge than that of the urban chicken, because — no pun intended — goats are a whole different animal.  Often seen as more of a disturbance, goats’ larger size, noisiness, stench, and impressive ability to chew through just about anything haven’t exactly … Continued

Big Tree Farms Bolsters Artisanal Balinese Food Producers

Blair and Ben Ripple began Big Tree Farms back in June 2000 on a humble one eighth of an acre, which has expanded to ten acres where now over 80 varieties of crops are sustainably grown all year round in the pristine, mountainous central highlands of Bali.  Picture lush green rolling terraced hills of 30 … Continued

Brooklyn Restaurant Sells Handbags Made from Hide of Animals on Menu

To eco-conscious foodies, stories about restaurants in urban centers composting food waste, growing their own garden out back, or recycling kitchen oil for biofuel are all most likely old news.  But who knew that the latest bold move toward more sustainable restauranteuring would be a fashion statement? Forward thinking Marlow & Sons is putting a … Continued

Farmer Direct Brings Fair Trade Close to Home

When it comes to the subject of fair trade, folks might conjure up images of products like chocolate from Ghana, coffee from Guatemala, quinoa from Bolivia or tea from India.  Farmer Direct Cooperative (FDC) is trying to bring that kind of association of fair trade to North America, promoting what they call ‘domestic’ fair trade.  … Continued

Organic Learning Farm Gives Indonesian Street Kids Chance at Brighter Future

While statistics on street children are difficult to verify, according to this UNICEF report, there are an estimated 230,000 in Indonesia alone.  This is mostly the result of lack of free public education for children, so families living below the poverty line cannot afford to send their kids to school and have little choice but … Continued

Walmart’s Healthy Food Plan Raises Healthy Skepticism

As mentioned by Leslie Back last week,  Walmart announced a five year plan aimed at reducing the price of healthier foods and providing a wider selection of healthy produce and packaged food items.  A recap of the major goals are as follows: Collaborate with food processors to decrease salt by 10 percent, sugar by 25 … Continued

Eden Foods Switches Tomato Products to Amber Glass Jars to Address BPA Exposure

Eden Foods recently announced that new amber glass jars will be used for all of the company’s organic tomatoes and tomato sauces.  The slight coloration of the glass helps to keep flavor and nutrients from light damage or photo-oxidation.  They claim that theirs will be the only tomatoes in the U.S. to be packaged in such jars … Continued

“Invasivore” Diet Making Headway as Next Locavore Movement

In a recent New York Times article “A Diet for an Invaded Planet,” James Gorman postulates whether folks who eat invasive species – or as he aptly names them, “invasivores” – will be the next leading food diet trend that aims at being easy on the planet.  So why are environmentally-conscious foodies concerned about invasive … Continued

Sustainability Named One of ‘Jargoniest Jargon’ Words of 2010 by Ad Age

Advertising Age named sustainability one of the “jargoniest jargon” words of 2010 that they “wish you would stop saying,” right up there with monetize, choiceful, and the new normal, among others.  They explain their decision by describing sustainability as “a good concept gone bad by mis- and overuse. It’s come to be a squishy, feel-good … Continued

The Economist Speculates on the Future of Vertical Farming

A recent Economist article asks the question of vertical farming, “Does it really stack up?”  In theory, it’s a win-win-win concept for the environment, feeding growing urban populations locally, and increasing space for agriculture without more land use.  But the reality is that vertical farming is costly energy-wise due to the need for artificial lighting … Continued

Sunflower Farmers Market to Expand in California

Sunflower Farmers Market was launched in 2002 with the slogan “Serious Food…Silly Prices!” having grown from one to 32 stores within six years and now covering six southwest markets in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Texas and New Mexico.  The successful chain’s current plan is to expand into California at the beginning of 2011, the first … Continued

Fishy Farm Creates Polyculture System for Home Use

Fishy Farm out of Hillsboro, Oregon has created both an indoor and outdoor aquaponic-horticulture-vermiculture system that can grow food and raise fish all within the comfort of your humble abode or backyard.  While non profits like Growing Power and businesses like Sweet Water Organics have brought aquaponics into the limelight on a larger, more industrial … Continued

EDF & McDonald’s Celebrate 20 Year Partnership

20 years ago McDonald’s Corp. and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) created a partnership unique for a corporation and an environmental organization at the time.  As Gwen Ruta, Vice President of EDF’s Corporate Partnerships Program explained in a recent Huffington Post article, “The alliance was very risky. Both sides stood to lose big if results failed … Continued

Walmart’s Progress on Sustainable Seafood Efforts

Five years ago, Walmart declared they would take on ambitious sustainability objectives: creating zero waste, being supplied by 100% renewable energy, and selling products that sustain people and the environment.  However, only four out of their 39 public sustainability goals deal directly with food.   Beth Keck, Senior Director of Sustainability at Walmart, admits in a … Continued