Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Devil
The Ugly (source)
This is something I'd like to make a regular weekly post - when winter kicks in and not much is going on around the farm. For now, it will be an occasional one. 

The Good

Los Angeles County is starting to get it. One of the Supervisors on the County Board has proposed a tax break for property owners who turn vacant lots into community gardens. Beautiful! Learn more here.

The Bad

A few months ago an acquaintance was talking about how she was changing her eating habits for the better. When she mentioned almond milk, I had to bite my tongue. The reason is almond milk is essentially over-priced flavored water - something you can make at home for a fraction of the cost and environmental impact. (While almonds are still not the best crop to be supporting since they come from drought-stricken California, we need to keep in mind that much of the produce in grocery stores also comes from that state.) If you want the nutrition provided by almonds, eat them; if you want flavored water, make it yourself (rice milk is easy to make, too). Mother Jones gives the low down on almond milk here

The Ugly

I was stunned when I read that Volkswagon had schemed to fool emissions control testing with sophisticated software that could tell when a car was being tested versus when it was actually being driven and thereby cheat on the test. By allowing some vehicles to produce 40 times the amount of allowed nitrogen oxide, the company could report much better performance figures. Find out more in this New York Times article.

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