Posts Tagged ‘sustainable food’


Lets Get Energized says:
January Prize Draw: Win a year’s subscription to STIR Magazine

Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Sustainable Living
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A very happy new year to you all, from everyone at Dorset Energized and Lets Get Energized! We hope you enjoyed a lovely Christmas break, and are ready to make 2015 a super year for the development of renewable technologies, and green living…

To help you get 2015 off to a great start, this January, we are offering an annual subscription to the fantastic inspirational living magazine STIR – that’s 4 copies of STIR delivered in print, straight to your door, for FREE!

STIR Into Action

STIR started as an online magazine and has now launched as a quarterly print magazine that features articles and interviews on the international co-operative movement, the emergence of the commons and collaborative networks, and other community-orientated alternatives in technology, agriculture, food, sports, energy, education and other important aspects of our lives.

The competition ends at midnight UK time on 31st January 2015 and the lucky winner will be picked at random from all our e-newsletter subscribers on 2nd February.


Simply sign up to our e-newsletter, if you haven’t already, for the chance to win!

Click here to enter our prize draw >>


Lets Get Energized says:
Visit us at the Eden Natural Lifestyle Fair in Buckland Newton Dorset

Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Sustainable Living
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Eden Natural Lifestyle Fair hosted by Primrose’s Kitchen
Saturday 4th October, 10am – 4pm
Eden Park, Buckland Newton, Dorset DT2 7DJ

Come and meet some of the Dorset Energized team and find out about renewable energy here in Dorset at our first holistic fair, which will also be a celebration of holistic therapies, natural food producers and natural lifestyle products.

Our friends at Compassionate Dorset will also be there promoting the benefits of eating less meat and vegetarian and vegan diets so will have some vegan cakes and treats for sale and lots of recipes.


Anna Celeste Watson says:
The Moo Man is coming to Dorset!

Category: Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living
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In keeping with today’s cow theme (!) and as its also World Food Day (16th October), plus we are also celebrating Bake With Compassion month…
I am very excited to present…

OCTOBER Saturday 19th, Doors Open 7.00pm

At West Stafford Village Hall, West Stafford near Dorchester, Dorset

Saturday 19th October will see the remarkable story of a maverick farmer and his unruly cows come to Dorset for a special screening of the British documentary film everyone is talking about!

The Moo Man is a film by Andy Heathcote and Heike Bachelier filmed over four years on the marshes of the Pevensey Levels. In an attempt to save his family farm, organic dairy farmer Stephen Hook decides to turn his back on the cost cutting dairies and supermarkets, and instead stay small and keep his close relationship with the herd. However farmer Hook’s plans to save the farm do not always go down well with his 55 spirited cows. The result is a laugh-out-loud, emotional roller-coaster of a journey. You will never see cows in the same way again!

Hailed as “The number one movie of the Sundance 2013 Film Festival”, the film is receiving rave reviews and recognition around the world.

The Moo Man is a heart warming, tearjerker of a movie about the incredible bonds between man, animal and countryside. According to Variety magazine it is “An endearing portrait of the kind of age-old family farm that’s becoming extinct”.

And as the Daily Telegraph say: “This story cannot fail to leave you moo-ved!”.

Local animal welfare group Compassionate Dorset have been granted special permission by the filmmakers to have this fundraising film night in aid of the farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming which was itself founded by a concerned dairy farmer, on a mission to improve the lives of farm animals.

There will be a fully licensed bar, cakes, a raffle and they will have their popular funky farm animal t-shirts for sale too.

The film will be followed by a short Q & A session headed by Compassion in World Farming where people can feedback on the film and its implications for farm animal welfare.

Remember to check out the Dorset Energized tips and links on food and farming on our Sustainable Living section.


Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Cows Save the Planet!

Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Living
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It happens to World Food Day today (16th October) and I’ve just finished reading a book called Cows Save the Planet (And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth) by Judith D Schwartz, which is a fascinating book with many practical examples of how some farmers are working to bring back health to the soil (and thus create healthy plants, and interestingly helping the soil itself absorb atmospheric carbon – which improves the microbial health of the soil, assists it in retaining water and of course works to reduce the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide emitted as a result of burning fossil fuels).

Another area explored in the book is nutrient levels in food and it seems that even though modern agriculture has produced vastly increased quantities of food, much of that food (vegetables and so forth) contains much less in the way of nutrients (70% in some cases) than food grown using older and more traditional methods.

One possibility put forward for the rising obesity rates is that people seek out the nutrients they need when eating, and as these nutrients are not present, they keep on eating and thus become obese. It’s as if the body has it’s own wisdom and knows it needs certain things and yet as those things (nutrients) are not there it is dissatisfied and keeps seeking (eating) – its/our natural appetite thwarted.

It’s known that cats can detect by smell whether a certain food contains what they need and if it doesn’t the cat will not eat it (as many a frustrated cat owner knows – cats can be picky). Perhaps we have a similar ability – hidden, unconscious, forgotten even – but still there and working?

Anyway Cows Save the Planet is a book I’d recommend for anyone interested in the environment, farming, horticulture, or food and health. And as to the title – well it seems that the activities of herds of browsing animals on the land can assist in improving the health of the soil (so it can absorb/take up more carbon dioxide) – and interestingly if the method as developed by Allan Savory (at is used, then more animals can be supported on a given acreage of land, and it continues to improve. Thus Cows (or other browsing animals) helping to save the planet!

For more tips and links on food and farming see our section on Sustainable Living.


Wendy Pillar says:
Green Bananas

Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Living
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When thinking about our carbon footprint, our attention naturally goes to transport, holidays, heating – all things that clearly use oil. However, for most households, their weekly food shop makes up a greater proportion of their carbon footprint than transport. Unlike driving your car, though, it is not immediately obvious where you are clocking up the carbon, or how you can reduce it.

It’s not all about food miles. More important is how the food travels those miles. Bananas and oranges, for example, travel huge distances, but do so by boat because they store well and are naturally well-packaged, and so their carbon footprint is modest. On the other hand, those out-of-season luxuries grown in Africa or South America and air-freighted to the UK, like asparagus, blueberries and mange tout, have a colossal footprint. To put some figures on it, a kilo of bananas has a carbon-equivalent footprint of 480 g; that of a kilo of air-freighted asparagus is 14 kg, that’s nearly 30 times as much!

Another major factor is how food is grown. Again, bananas are grown in the tropics with no input of heat and light – it definitely wouldn’t be ‘green’ to grow them locally! Major offenders in this respect are the salad and mediterranean vegetables grown in artificially heated and lit Dutch greenhouses and trucked to the UK. It actually uses less carbon to grow them naturally in Africa and air-freight them, but neither option makes any sense. Tomatoes grown in artificial conditions in winter can have a carbon footprint of up to 50 kg per kilo, compared with 0.4 kg when grown in unheated greenhouses locally in summer.

The third main factor in your food carbon footprint is whether it is animal or plant based. When you feed soya or grain to animals instead of directly to humans, they use most of the calories to walk around, keep warm and generally do their thing, and little to actually make meat or milk. Beef has a carbon footprint of around 16 kg per kilo, compared with less than 1 kg for wheat. Chicken and pork have a far smaller footprint than red meat, because they are ready to eat at a much younger age and they don’t produce methane in digesting their food.

All of these figures are obviously approximate, but they make it easy to see the difference between different kinds of food. Cutting down on winter tomatoes or having a meat-free day once a week will have a major impact on your food carbon footprint, as will sticking to the UK season for asparagus, but its not worth depriving yourself by cutting out bananas and oranges.

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