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Sustainable Philadelphia

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the grid guide to philadelphia

eco-fashion Concerned teachers and parents push for healthy food in the cafeteria

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ring Gard Finder SpFashion en St We’ll show you places to shop thrift, upcycled, consignment and vintage, and where to find ecoboutiques with our detailed two-page map. 16 17

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5 ideas for Dressed for Success | Get some your fall style from our 1st annual eco-fashion 6 photo feature. photos by marco roldan

One-Stop Swap Learn how to create a commerce-free community to trade clothes.

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Good Reads | Grid reviews new books about school garden curriculum, educated eating and embracing a sustainable diet.

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Active Cultures Discover how to help shape the future of school food in our grassroots activism 101. by will dean

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Recycling Challenge | A new mattress means95 sound sleep, Cathari ne old one? but what to do with your by samantha wittchen

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How-to | Follow step-by-step instructions for two ways to sew a button. by reesha grosso

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Souof Policy | The Mayor’s Office th 33 31 Sustainability has Director; meet Bainabnew ridge 40 36 Katherine Gajewski in our Q&A. 39 by natalie hope mcdonald

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A Network of Nests | A local activist promotes community education through mass neighborhood networking. by paul glover

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Have a Healthy Lunch Beat lunchbox fatigue with ideas and tips. by katie cavuto-boyle In Season: Peppers

These fruits come in a myriad of colors and varieties. Learn why.

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Peck of Peppers | Three recipes feature local peppers.

Crisis School lunch reform is in progress in the Philadelphia School District. by will dean

Teach Your Children Well Empowering our youth with hands-on learning could change the course of our nation’s obesity epidemic. by alex mulcahy and stephanie singer

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Profile | Local shoe company greens its headquarters right outside 47 of Philadelphia in West Grove. k Ave unby y s s natalie hope mcdonald a P

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News & Events | Festivals Galore: 46 PA Energy, Philly Green, Off the Grid and more.

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GRID Picks | Our staff chooses their 45 favorite eco-friendly cleaning products.

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Sports | The Philadelphia Eagles start their season looking to lead the league in eco-efforts. by einav keet Lomb

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Chef’s Plate | Chef Marshall Green’s peppers travel from his garden to your plate at Café Estelle. by stephanie singer

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help grid. win groceries. s, Dear GRID Reader ve gotten to We hope that you’ better in know us a little sues. Now, the past seven is to know you. we’d like to get nute online Complete our 5-mi be entered survey and you’ll ole Foods to win a $200 Wh ificate. Go Market gift cert (and, while to gridphilly.com gn up for our you’re there, si enewsletter). s, Sustainably Your GRID

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Food, For Thought W

hen I was a freshman in high school, two soda machines were installed in our cafeteria. School lunches cost a dollar, but the truly rebellious kids bypassed the lunch lines entirely and would buy a soda for 50 cents and two 25 cent bags of chips. Katie Cavuto-Boyle (p.37) would not have approved! One day, however, I couldn’t resist the forbidden fruit (fructose?), and, after leaving the brown bag lunch mom had packed at home, ate the soda/chips combination. Hours later, I felt awful, and in one of those rare moments of teenage self-awareness, I vowed to never do that again. Eating junk food as a meal has certainly lost its appeal to me as an adult, and, as we all see the effects it has on our health, it’s losing its appeal to us as a society. Over the past 10 years, a massive awakening in the United States has occurred. When kids eat healthy food, they feel better, think better and perform better. Considering the positive economic benefits of buying locally as well, and how growing our own food makes us a more selfreliant community, transitioning towards a new model is a grand slam—a 450-foot Ryan Howard moon shot of a grand slam. As Will Dean reports in our cover story (p.30), $25,000 has been allocated here to buying fresh, local food. While that number is very small—a pittance when divided over five schools—it’s a commendable step in the right direction, and everyone involved should be applauded. So far, 24 states have passed legislation supporting farm to school initiatives, including our nearby neighbor Rhode Island, where a five percent income tax credit based on the cost of production is given to farmers who sell to local schools. It’s inspiring to see policy passed that seems to have people’s health and well-being at its core. Grid will continue to monitor this issue on a local level very closely.

Since we love food so much, we have more in-season recipes (p.40), and, beginning this month, we will spotlight a fruit or vegetable—for September, it’s the pepper (p.39) —that we hope will enhance your appreciation of our produce. Grid faithful might be surprised to see a fashion shoot (p.21) in our pages, but we wanted to demonstrate that it isn’t necessary to trudge to a mall or a chain store to look fashionable. Reusing—in the form of clothing from vintage, thrift and consignment stores—is front and center in the shoot. Sprinkle in a few garments from some ecoboutique shops, and you can see that style need not be sacrificed. When it’s time for you to spruce up your wardrobe, be sure to also check out our guide to mindful shopping in the city (p. 26-27). The photo shoot was a massive undertaking, and we couldn’t have done it without a lot of help. Thanks to all of our model citizens—we picked a few people from local businesses and nonprofits—who took the time out of their busy days to play dress-up. Many thanks to all of the stores who generously lent us their clothing, as well as Arcadia Boutique, who let us borrow a steamer, and The Wardrobe Boutique, who shared a clothing rack with us. Grid wishes to acknowledge our issue sponsor, Dansko. Part of their mission is to be a positive force in their local community; we’re excited and grateful that they view our efforts as something worth supporting. Finally, we wanted to put the power in your hands as well, so our how-to this month is Reesha Grosso’s step-by-step on how sew a button (p.18). I’m not sure if the revolution will be televised, but if it is, we should all look sharp.

publisher

Alex Mulcahy 215.625.9850 ext. 102 alex@gridphilly.com director of marketing

Stephanie Singer 215.625.9850 ext. 107 stephanie@gridphilly.com art director

Jamie Leary jamie@gridphilly.com distribution

Claire Connelly 215.625.9850 ext. 114 copy editors

Andrew Bonazelli, Patty Moran associate editor

Will Dean production artist

Lucas Hardison interns

Grace Antonini Charissa Morningstar customer service

Mark Evans mark@gridphilly.com 215.625.9850 ext. 105 writers

Katie Cavuto-Boyle Paul Glover Reesha Grosso Einav Keet Natalie Hope McDonald Samantha Wittchen photographers

Lucas Hardison Marco Roldan illustrators

Headcase Design Jacob Lambert Melissa McFeeters published by

Red Flag Media 1032 Arch Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19107 215.625.9850

Alex J. Mulcahy Publisher alex@gridphilly.com

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Printed in the usa on Leipa’s 43.9 lb Ultra Mag gloss paper. It’s 100% recycled, 80% from post-consumer waste. s e pt e m b e r 20 0 9

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Chemical-free Cleaning It’s hard to know which earth-friendly cleaners get the job done. GRID rolled up our shirtsleeves to test some contenders—here are our picks. With a refreshing, citrus scent, this locally produced (King of Prussia, PA) alternative to noxious mainstream cleansers is completely biodegradable, plant-derived and free of petroleum-based solvents. Sun and Earth’s All Purpose Cleaner is best to use, well, anywhere. (Big Green Earth Store, 934 South Street; $3.79, refill-your-bottle, $3.08) Streak-free and containing no ammonia, Ecover’s Ecological Glass & Surface Cleaner is made from plant derivatives and is completely biodegradable. This cleaner, with recyclable bottle, gives a beautiful shine on mirrors, tile, countertops and other surfaces around your home. (Whole Foods Market, 929 South St.; $4.79) Earth Friendly Products’ Dishmate is a plant-derived cleansing product that makes washing your dishes safe for both you and the environment. Enjoy the sweet-smelling organic lavender oil scent, while you get those dirty dishes clean. (Natural Goodness Market, 2000 Walnut St.; $4.59) Your dirty countertops and hard-to-clean dishes are no match for this two-faced sponge. One side is a soft and white, unbleached sponge; the other is a rough, down-to-business loofah for grease and bakedon messes. Twist’s Loofah Sponge is all natural and 100 percent biodegradable; you’ll find no artificial coloring, plastic or chemical dyes. (Essene Natural Foods Market, 719 S. 4th St.; $4.99) Made in Ardmore, PA, Dropps Laundry Pacs are not only more ecological than conventional detergents, they are also easier to use. Approved by the EPA Design for the Environment Program, they are safe for the septic tank and completely biodegradable. These lightweight “pacs,” sold in bags of 20, dissolve completely and leave you with clean clothes that won’t irritate your skin. (Whole Foods Market, 929 South St.; $8.69) Adios, mold. With an attack from this veggie-based powerhouse, there will be no mildew left behind in your shower. Ecodiscoveries’ Moldzyme Mold and Mildew Remover’s plant-derived enzymes are extracted from sugarcane fermentation and coconut surfactants. Reuse the bottle with concentrate refills to boost your eco-ness. (Essene Natural Foods Market, 719 S. 4th St.; $10.99) pho to by l u c as h ard is on

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/ news & events

Pennsylvania Renewable Energy & Sustainable Living Festival Solar panel installation workshop; below Tilling the old-fashioned way; bottom Car conversion workshop

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ou might not have heard of Kempton, PA, but if you’re interested in renewable energy, you should be there this September. The fifth annual Pennsylvania Renewable Energy & Sustainable Living Festival will be held on Sept. 18, 19 and 20 at the 66-acre Kempton Community Center. Featuring everything from classes on how to make alcohol-based fuels to talks about climate change, the energy fest will fill its three days with demonstrations, speakers, entertainment and food. There will be over 60 lectures, hands-on workshops about renewable energy systems and the opportunity to talk to local renewable energy providers. You can learn how to install a solar panel, how to make biofuel and what kind of water heating system is best for your house. Transport will be another big focus, with efficient vehicles on display, demonstrations of future technologies and a raffle to win a hybrid.

4th Annual GreenFest Philly

To offset all that efficiency talk, there will also be plenty of entertainment going on: live music from Paul Winter and Makoto Taiko, a farmers’ market, an organic fashion show and an art show. Check the website (below) for info on specific events and times. → Pennsylvania Renewable Energy & Sustainable Living Festival, Sept. 18 – 20, $12 adults, $6 ages 13 – 21, free for kids under 12, Kempton Community Center, 82 Community Dr., Kempton, PA 19529, paenergyfest.com

Food is a big part of sustainability, so it’s no surprise that this year’s GreenFest—to be held on September 13 at Headhouse Square—is focusing on what we eat. With a farmers’ market, prepared vegetarian food, information on composting and a food symposium, any organic, green foodie will have plenty to check out. Once you’ve had your fill of food, there will be plenty of other things to check out among the over 200 exhibitors. You can avail yourself to the bicycle valet, practice some yoga, enter a green raffle and watch a fashion show. You can also get some new threads and get rid of your old kicks at the clothing swap and sneaker recycling sections. Or you can just wander the street fair and enjoy the late summer weather (and check out Grid’s table). → 4th Annual GreenFest Philly, Sept. 13, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., free, 2nd and South Sts., greenfestphilly.org

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NEW S F LA S H

Drexel Lights Up Drexel University is well-known for being a center of engineering and technology, and now their electricity grid will set them apart from other universities. Working with Viridity Energy, a Conshohocken-based energy services company, Drexel has upgraded their electricity system to an independent, smart grid—a setup that will allow the institution to control its energy use more efficiently and generate electricity to sell back to the national grid. The smart grid technology will have computers monitoring energy use to help control demand during high-use (and thus, more expensive) times.

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Urban Sustainability Forum: “No Vacancy”: Re-imagining Vacant Land in Philadelphia Find out how you can help transform the vacant lots in your neighborhood into farms, parks and community spaces at this iteration of the Academy of Natural Science’s long-running sustainability forum series. Speakers will talk about how they made use of vacant land in their areas and how you can, too. → Urban Sustainability Forum, Sept. 17, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Academy of Natural Sciences, ansp.org

Urban Girls Farm Every Tuesday in September and October, enjoy locally grown, organic produce from Gina Humphreys’ Urban Girls Farm. Humphreys has become well-known for her delicious organic produce, grown at her South Jersey farm, and is a favorite at Philly farmers’ markets. Mention Grid and receive a complimentary quart of potatoes, onions or two heirloom tomatoes while supplies last. → Urban Girls Farmstand, Tuesdays in Sept. and Oct., 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education’s main building, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Rd., schuylkillcenter.org

PARK(ing) Day 2009

Part art, part politics and sure to confound motorists, PARK(ing) Day is a one-day event where people turn metered parking spots into public parks. With some change, you can create your own park, set up some chairs, and enjoy the honking and cursing. The idea is to get people thinking about the use of public space, as participants explain why they’ve put a lawn chair—and few quarters—into a metered Center City parking spot. → PARK(ing) Day, Sept. 18, around the city, parkingday.org

through effort and determination—and, fittingly, a part of the offbeat Fringe Fest—Off the Grid has both a catchy name and an important message. → OFF THE GRID Festival, Sept. 4 – 19, $15, Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St., offthegridfest.org

OFF THE GRID Festival

Farm Tours With Fair Food

For a truly independent festival, the Off the Grid Fest, at the Painted Brides’ New Studios from Sept. 4 – 19, is unique. Powered by solar panels, wind panels and bicycles, the Fest will showcase theater that is unconnected to the electricity grid. An example of what can be accomplished

Take a tour of some local farms with Fair Food and see where some of your delicious favorites come from. In September, you can spend a day at Mother Earth Mushrooms, a producer of organic mushrooms, and check out the 24th Annual Mushroom Festival.

In October, you can tour some of New Jersey’s cranberry bogs at Paradise Hill Farm. You’ll get to see the natural wonder of the Pine Barrens, where the farm is located, and see the farm’s historic processing facility (and eat cranberries). → September Tour, Sept. 12, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., $25 adults, $12 for ages 6-13, free for kids under 6, those eligible for Farmers Market Nutrition Program (WIC and seniors) receive a 50 percent discount, destination is Mother Earth Mushrooms, West Grove, PA. → 24th Annual Mushroom Festival, Sept. 12 – 13, $2 for 12 and up, Kennett Square, PA, mushroomfestival.org → October Tour, Oct. 25, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., destination is Paradise Hill Farm, Vincentown, NJ. fairfoodphilly.org

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profile

Fancy Footwork A local shoe designer gets LEED-certified

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by natalie hope mcdonald

hen it was time to expand its headquarters, shoemaker Dansko put its best foot forward and went green. The footwear designer may be best known for its comfortable clogs, sandals and shoes inspired by traditional Danish design, but as of this year, this suburban Philadelphia-based company was awarded LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, thanks to a multi-million-dollar building project at its new 80,000-square-foot headquarters in West Grove, PA. This eco-conscious company also received the first LEED Innovation Credit in the state for using Green Advantage-certified contractors W.S. Cumby, Inc., based in nearby Springfield. “From day one, Dansko has always had a philosophy of philanthropy and to be a good corporate neighbor,” says Marc Vettori, the company’s employee relations manager. “Part of the heritage is to focus on being reusable and earth-friendly.” Vettori says Dansko has been taking small steps for years to reach the point of being energy- and ecologically-efficient. The company even has its own Green Team committee and Clog Log newsletter, which shares helpful tips about 10

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everything from recycling to trading in plastic for reusable grocery bags. “It’s ingrained in our culture,” says Vettori, who claims that most Dansko employees get so used to the culture that they tend to take these habits home to share with family and friends. Visitors to the new headquarters also get a crash course in going green. They’re not only greeted by company founders Mandy Cabot and Peter Kjellerup’s two friendly dogs, but by one of the largest “living walls” in the Philadelphia area, a two-story vegetative divide that’s fed entirely by solar energy, a special air filtration system and repurposed rainwater. “We wanted to reduce overall consumption

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and improve resource management around the building,” explains company spokesperson Cara Hungerford. “We wanted to act as an example,” adds Hungerford, who says Dansko worked with architectural firm Re:Vision in Manayunk to create the green office space. The headquarters was designed to take advantage of available resources, like natural light and rainwater. Large windows with solar shades, for example, keep sunlight out in the summer and warm the office come winter. The facility also features curved roofs that collect rainwater, which is used in toilets and for irrigating the vegetative roof, a lunchtime sanc-


← Owners Mandy Cabot and Peter Kjellerup proudly hold their LEEDgold certification plaque awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council in front of the living wall at Dansko’s West Grove, PA headquarters.

Mt. Airy’s Focus on LocAL Art

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fri nov 6: 6-9pm sat nov 7: 10am-6pm interested artists from the greater philadelphia region should email promotions@ mtairybiz.com by 9.30.09 mtairyphilly.com/focus presented by :: Mt. Airy Business Association

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Photo by Andrew Curtis Photo by Andrew Curtis Photo by Andrew Curtis

tuary for the staff thanks to its exotic plant life and sprawling views. “The green roof reduces the overall temperature and manages storm water runoff,” says Hungerford. “And triple-pane windows and smart lights adjust when sunlight is present.” Even the flooring and countertops are made from locally-produced, post-consumer materials. And the paint used in the facility contains no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which Hungerford says reduces the need to repaint and creates a healthier work environment. People who visit Dansko’s retail outlet for a new pair of kicks or to take a tour of the ecofriendly facility often say the office doesn’t look or smell like most offices. There are no fluorescent lights and the entire HVAC system is located underneath the floor, creating soaring ceilings with an abundance of natural light. It also allows employees to adjust heating and cooling via personal floor vents to regulate variable temperatures. The almost 150 employees also enjoy parking lots with grass pavers that catch rainwater and several storm water ponds on campus, not to mention gourmet kitchen, lunchroom and childcare facilities, as well as a yoga and fitness room open during the workday. Overall, Dansko clocks fewer sick days and overall lower energy costs, claims Hungerford. And 100 percent of the company’s electricity comes from renewable wind power. “The project has pushed all departments to be more efficient,” says Hungerford, who adds that all paper is recycled and all marketing materials are printed on 100 percent post-consumer waste paper. Even the IT department does its best to reuse tech equipment. “Getting LEED-certified was the next step for us,” says Vettori. “The new building ties into everything else that’s going on with the company culture.” In fact, Dansko’s sustainability can even be tracked among employees, who each receive 16 hours of paid time to use for volunteering within the community. “Last year we exceeded our goal, and 112 people out of 130 used the bulk of their hours to volunteer,” says Vettori. This year, they’re already way ahead of that goal. So what’s next for Dansko? A second LEED certification, says Vettori, this time for excellence of an existing building. He assures that the company is always looking for better ways to improve upon its efficiency, one step at a time. ■

2009 2009 2009 Philadelphia Philadelphia Philadelphia September September September 4-19 4-19 4-19 Live Live Live Arts Arts Arts Festival Festival Festivallivearts-fringe.org livearts-fringe.org livearts-fringe.org Philly Philly Philly Fringe Fringe Fringe

Mortal Mortal Mortal Engine Engine Engine

Chunky Chunky Chunky Move Move Move (Australia) (Australia) (Australia) This This This intensely intensely intensely physical, physical, physical, sensual, sensual, sensual, and and and visually visually visually daring daring daring work work work uses uses uses aa cuttinga cuttingcuttingedge edge edge fusion fusion fusion ofof laser of laser laser technology technology technology and and and dance dance dance toto morph to morph morph human human human figures figures figures into into into light light light and and and sound sound sound and and and back back back again. again. again. This This This production production production contains contains contains partial partial partial nudity, nudity, nudity, smoke, smoke, smoke, laser laser laser and and and strobe strobe strobe lighting lighting lighting effects. effects. effects.

Sept Sept Sept 17 17 - 19 17 - 19 -/19/$20–$30 /$20–$30 $20–$30 ($15 ($15 ($15 forfor students) for students) students) / /55/55 minutes 55 minutes minutes / /The /The The Wilma Wilma Wilma Theater Theater Theater

Buy Buy Buy tickets tickets tickets atat livearts-fringe.org at livearts-fringe.org livearts-fringe.org The The presentation The presentation presentation of of Chunky of Chunky Chunky Move's Move's Move's Mortal Mortal Mortal Engine Engine Engine is made is made is made possible possible possible by by a by a a grant grant grant from from from The The Pew The Pew Center Pew Center Center forfor Arts for Arts & Arts Heritage & Heritage & Heritage through through through Dance Dance Dance Advance. Advance. Advance.

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The Philadelphia Eagles tackle sustainability

Knowledgeable Staff

hen Christina Lurie, wife of Eagles owner Jeffrey, started chanting “Go green!” a few years ago, she wasn’t just cheering for a McNabb-to-Westbrook screen pass, but also heralding the organization’s ramped-up effort to reduce waste and energy use on and off the football field. “The Go Green campaign was founded in 2003 when Jeffrey and I saw the need for the team to dramatically lessen its impact on the environment,” says Lurie. “Go Green began with a simple recycling program, but over time it has evolved into a company-wide sustainability initiative that we know has led the way for many organizations across the country.”   Pushed along by the growing national movement toward greener practices, the Eagles quickly checked off a long list of eco-sensitive efforts. The team purchased 14 million kilowatt hours of wind power last fall to allow their entire base of operations to run on 100 percent clean energy. In addition, the Eagles offset away game-induced carbon by planting trees in the 6.5 acre Eagles Forest at Neshaminy State Park; serve up food and beverages with biodegradable cups and utensils; print on postconsumer, chlorine-free, recycled paper in all offices; reward employees for implementing green practices in their homes. “Even the paint we use to line the fields has been selected due to its eco-friendly properties,” Lurie proudly notes. Furthermore, they have partnered with like-minded, eco-friendly paper tissue company SCA to supply the Linc with 100 percent recycled soft tissue products. The infectious campaign has made its way into the stands, too. “On game day, we’ve had illustr at io n by jac o b lambert

a very positive response both through the use of our recycling containers in the stadium and our blue recycling bags we provide for recycling while tailgating,” Lurie says. “And more than 150 fans have bought their own trees in the Eagles Forest.” While Go Green earned the team a Philadelphia Sustainability Award from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Lurie and crew have new goals to stretch the effort even further. “It’s one thing to purchase clean energy, but it’s another when one can say that we are using 40 percent less energy just by being more efficient,” she explains. The Eagles’ sustainable success has earned props outside of Philly, with other National Football League teams taking cues from the Eagles—and putting rivalries aside—to create the NFL’s new Green Team. Even the Cowboys. —einav keet Check out philadelphiaeagles.com/gogreen

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policy What will you be working on as the new director of sustainability? I am essentially in charge of overseeing the mayor’s sustainability agenda, and the implementation of the Greenworks sustainability plan. It’s a framework unveiled this year that sets up main target areas ranging from energy conservation [and] open space [to] quality of life goals. We’re also focusing on things like pollution levels and urban agriculture. What do you anticipate will be the biggest challenge in your role? We face all the things people are facing across city government because of budget constraints and staffing constraints. We’re trying to figure out how to put together a network of folks that will help get us where we need to go as far as sustainability. At the core, our greatest challenge is also our greatest opportunity: education. We can only be successful by working with people within the community. I look forward to that the most.

Queen of Green

Philadelphia’s new director of the Office of Sustainability has an important goal: Make ours the greenest city in the U.S. by Natalie Hope McDonald

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n some ways, she has it easy. As the city’s new director of sustainability, Katherine Gajewski has walked into one of the most progressive posts in the mayor’s office during a time when more people than ever are talking about eco-conscious issues. The 29-year-old former special assistant to the mayor’s chief of staff was appointed to the post this summer as solarpowered trash compactors began dotting Center City streets, while City Hall embarked on a plan to clean up neighborhoods, create jobs and introduce healthy food into low-income communities. After only three days on the job, the admitted “outdoors woman” sat down with Grid to discuss her plans for unrolling Greenworks, a multi-tiered plan to make the city more sustainable in the next six years. 14

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What does sustainability really mean to people these days? Sustainability is a difficult word because it means so much. It’s hard to come up with one single definition. It really comes down to making decisions that look forward and plan for the future. In some neighborhoods, it’s a focus on ← Katherine clean and green streets; peoGajewski ple take a lot of pride in that. stands next to There’s also a huge move to one of the 500 conserve resources—both natuBig Belly Solar Compactors ral and energy resources. We’ve in Philadelphia. already expanded the recycling program and we’re making decisions now that will have implications in the future. How has the recycling program been expanded? The mayor made a pledge to bring recycling to Philly city-wide, and to do it weekly and curbside. The Streets Department has rolled out singlestream recycling with the largest participation to date. Every household can recycle at the curb when they put their trash out. We want people to not necessarily spend a lot of time thinking about it, but making it become a way of life. The city also added solar-powered trash compactors. There are currently 500 compactors and 210 recycling units in Center City. How will you appeal to people about other green issues? We want to have a presence in neighborhoods working with civic groups, CDCs and other community organizations, and to see what they’re al-


A green city would be a city in which people have good jobs in new industries. It would be an efficient city. An educated city. And it would be a healthier city. ready doing in their communities. We want these groups to be regularly communicating with us, and we want to be a presence in neighborhoods across the city to make our goals relevant. You also organized the first city-wide cleanup—the largest in the U.S. at the time. Can we expect more of the same? We’d like to make it an annual event. At first, we focused on removing litter from parks and streets. We also gave out mini-grants to neighborhood groups to fund clean-up projects. They have an interest and they have the volunteer manpower, but they may need a little money to pull it together. In what ways has the city already gone green? Recycling is the most obvious thing to look at and see there’s a real change in the last year. More than that, there’s a heightened conversation going on across the city—people are talking about these issues now more than they were a few years ago. People are starting to consider the way they do business and the way they understand their organizations and households. People are recognizing that these are important issues. We’re hearing from people from all walks of life who are coming to us for more information and to pursue programs and projects that are laid out in Greenworks. That interest and willingness to learn will help us succeed. You’re charged with turning Philadelphia into one of the greenest cities in the country in the next six years. Do you really think that’s possible? We will become one of the more green cities in the country. It may seem like a daunting task for people because it may feel so different from what they think Philly is. But these are already things Philly values, like open space preservation and neighborhood clean-up. Nothing Greenworks proposes is radical. We didn’t put out a plan we didn’t think was achievable. We put out a plan that would make us work hard and be innovative.

So what would the green Philly of the future be like? A green city would be a city in which people have good jobs in new industries. It would be an efficient city. An educated city. And it would be a healthier city. We’re thinking about how we’d position Philly to take advantage of new energy markets—a shift toward wind and solar. We’re also asking how Philly could become a location for those new industries with how we can ready a labor force to take on those new jobs. It also means a better understanding of your home and how to save energy and money, and to understand about healthy food choices. It’s about the decision to take public transportation over driving and keeping communities clean. Will there be a plan for more community gardens and other forms of urban agriculture that may take advantage of vacant spaces that tend to attract illegal dumping and crime? Definitely. We’re hoping that will be where we make some forward movement this year. You’ll also be seeing us create and convene the Food Policy Council in the next few months. With so much information available online, do you have any plans to start a new blog about some of these announcements and sustainability issues? We’re going to have a blog pretty soon. And we already have a Facebook page. We’re starting to increase our email lists; the goal for us is to increase our networks. And on the blog, we’re going to share progress in terms of where we are in advancing Greenworks goals. We’ll let people know what we’re doing and highlight interesting projects in neighborhoods, volunteer opportunities and what kinds of resources are out there. We’re hoping to be a hub of information. New job aside, what do you like most about Philadelphia? I love the diversity. And I love its walkability. I’m one of those people who talks to strangers all the time. ■

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it’s ok to go out with other cars.

Cars by the hour or day. Gas and insurance included. Join at zipcar.com and get $75 FREE driving. Use promo code GRID75

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by samantha wittchen

We’ll be at Greenfest Philly! Will you? Now in its 4th year - Greenfest Philly is Philadelphia’s biggest annual street festival for all things green - this year that relates to Sustainable Food! Visit SCA Americas’ booth at Greenfest Philly on September 13th! www.greenfestphilly.org SCA makes Tork® towel, tissue and napkin products and TENA® bladder control protection solutions

The Mattress

Our products are essential and improve the quality of everyday life.

E

ven in the world of landfilling—a world created by unwanted and discarded items—mattresses are unwelcome residents. They’re bulky and difficult to compress, and they frequently damage landfill machinery. Nearly 40 million mattresses are discarded each year, and with each mattress occupying up to 23 cubic feet, that’s over 900 million cubic feet of landfill space, or Lincoln Financial Field filled to the top row of seating nine times. Over 90 percent of a mattress’s components are recyclable, so it only makes sense to keep them out of landfills. Only a handful of companies and municipalities across the country have taken it upon themselves to handle mattress recycling. A quick Earth911. com search for facilities in Philadelphia yielded no results within 25 miles and only a few within 50 miles, most of which were only for residents of a particular municipality. It’s no wonder abandoned mattresses have become a staple of vacant lot detritus here in Philly. However, there is a ray of hope on the mattress recycling horizon. Rubicon National Social Innovations, a California-based nonprofit committed to scalable social enterprise, wants to open a mattress recycling facility in Philadelphia. In March 2009, the nonprofit partnered with Goodwill Silicon Valley to open a pilot facility in San Jose, CA that employs homeless veterans to process the mattresses. Now that they’ve worked out the kinks, they’re ready to scale up the operation, according to Jonathan Harrison, Rubicon National’s Director of Operations. The facility in Philadelphia will process at least 10,000 mattresses per month, and it

will provide work for community residents who are the most difficult to employ, such as homeless veterans and the formerly incarcerated. Harrison says that Rubicon National, working with Goodwill and Resources for Human Development, has completed the business plan and feasibility studies for the facility, and they are ready to go live once they receive commitments from industry and municipalities—including the City of Philadelphia—that they will provide the necessary supply of mattresses to make the operation viable. The hope is that the facility will open later this fall, although Harrison would not identify an exact timetable or facility location since there is no final operating agreement in place yet. In the meantime, the best option is to make sure you purchase a mattress from a company with a program to take your used mattress and recycle it when it’s worn out. Residents can urge the city to offer mattress recycling and commit to the new facility by contacting their councilperson and the Streets Department. Not only would the city save money on disposal costs, but it might even help clean up those vacant lots. ■

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Our strong commitment to sustainable practices has been recognized worldwide. Together, let’s make Philadelphia The Greenest City in America.

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SCA Americas, Cira Centre, Suite 2600, 2929 Arch Street, Philadelphia PA 19104 610-499-3700 www.sca.com

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/ how-to

1

How to Sew a Butt n T

story and photos by reesha grosso

here’s no right or wrong way to sew a button. As long as the button stays put, you have done your job. If you have lost your button, check the hem for extras, remove one from somewhere less conspicuous, or buy a button of the same size (look to the other buttons on the garment for guidance). Note the thread color, the thread pattern on the face of the button (X or =), and if there’s a thread shank (a loop of thread under the button) that you’ll want to replicate. 4

2

1. Thread a needle with a piece of thread the length of your arm. Double it and knot the ends. 2. Mark where the button will go with a pencil. 3. Line the button up with this mark or with the holes it left behind. Starting from the back of the fabric, push the needle up through the first hole and down though the second. Do the same with the third and fourth hole. Repeat twice for a total of six stitches. The thread should attach the button firmly to the garment without being so tight that it’s hard to button. Occasionally check the back of the fabric to make sure that the thread is completely pulled through.

3

4. Tack off thread on the underside of the fabric by making three small stitches, one on top of the other. Clip thread.

Optional: If your button needs a shank, (a) place a toothpick between the button and the fabric after the (b) first two stitches. Finish the last four stitches and then push the needle up between the face of the fabric and the button. Remove the toothpick and (c) wrap the needle thread around the button thread several times. Push the needle through to the back and tack off thread.

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A

sep tember 2009

B

C


4th Annual GreenFest Philly Sunday, September 13 11am-6pm 2nd and South Streets greenfestphilly.org

Join more than 200 exhibitors and 25,000 patrons in Philadelphia’s largest & most visible “green” event! **This year’s theme is sustainable FOOD** ORGANIC, Chemical Free & Non-GMO

BUYING LOCALLY

vegetarian, VEGAN, or free-range DIET

Write down everything you eat for 3 days and get a FREE consultation with a nutritionist! Learn about the impact our food choices have on the environment from the green leaders in the Organic Food Industry at our Food Symposium. Come and try some of the eco-friendly foods available. Find out how easy it is for you to grow your own food- even if you are living in a studio apartment in Center City! GreenFest Philly is looking for interns, VOLUNTEERS, and SPONSORS & is currently accepting applications for EXHIBITORS. To get involved: email jen bendik at greenfest@urbangreenpartnership.org or call 215-764-6182. We look forward to partnering with you to make a GREENER Philadelphia!

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the 2009

get your

new fall look

guide

from a store that sells

vintage, thrift, upcycled or eco-fabric, or support a company that

respects the environment in its business practices.

photos by marco roldan / styling by camille d’attilio Elijah is on the go in his hand-medown plaid button down shirt and jean shorts.

Sadie thinks school is funny in a skirt made from recycled t-shirts (Sardine Clothing Company, $32); pink t-shirt (Arcadia Boutique, $16.95); and a hand-me-down navy long-sleeved shirt.

Nate is too cool for school in an organic cotton onesie (Arcadia Boutique, $38).

Props Seven Stars Farm vanilla yogurt from Fair Food Farmstand, fruit and nut granola from Essene Market & Café, stuffed sock dolls and book from Mew Gallery, fair trade soccer ball from Fair Trade Sports and table from Rejuvenated Furniture and Finds.

Livity makes breakfast in an organic cotton t-shirt (Vix Emporium, $18) and hand-me-down brown skirt.

Miko is ready to skateboard rocking a tan button down shirt (Restrospect Vintage, $6); hand-me-down jeans; and his Fightin’ Phils baseball hat.

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Jill (Mugshots Coffeehouse Fairmount and Manayunk, mugshotscoffeehouse.com) means business in a dark gray organic cotton, asymmetrical dress (Arcadia Boutique, $278); black belt ($140); and black and gold chain necklace (Topstitch Boutique, $48).

Annie (Milk and Honey, milkandhoneymarket. com) consults in a maroon skirt (Retrospect Vintage, $12); white floral blouse (Sazz Vintage Clothing, $16); cashmere, beaded cardigan (Vintage Connection, $75); locally crafted flower ring (Arcadia Boutique, $64); and brown pumps (Wardrobe Boutique, $15).

Mau (Milk and Honey, milkandhoneymarket.com) takes notes in a yellow-striped long sleeve buttondown shirt (Second Mile Center, $2.45); gray dress pants (Philly AIDS Thrift, $5); black belt (Philly AIDS Thrift, $3); black shoes (Restrospect Vintage, $18); and maroon screen-printed tie (Vix Emporium, $28).

the 2009

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guide


Mike (Stoudt’s Brewing Company, stoudtsbeer.com) enjoys his morning coffee in a vintage 1960s brown suit (Sazz Vintage Clothing, $100); marigold shirt (Sazz Vintage Clothing, $30); and floral silk tie (Sazz Vintage Clothing, $25).

Dhyana (Dhyana Yoga, dhyana-yoga.com) files in an ivory silk camisole (Philly AIDS Thrift, $6); brown, yellow and blue striped skirt (Philly AIDS Thrift, $3); brown short-sleeve blazer (Sazz Vintage Clothing, $28); opentoe heels (Philly AIDS Thrift, $7); feather hoop earrings (Topstitch Boutique, $54); and clock ring (Topstitch Boutique, $50).

Props coffee, sugar, milk, mugs from Mugshots Coffeehouse Fairmount and Manayunk; eco-office supplies from GreenLine Paper Company; and table from Rejuvenated Furniture and Finds.

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Annie (Milk and Honey, milkandhoneymarket.com) waves wearing a purple bamboo dress (Arcadia Boutique, $159); vegan-suede low boots (Arcadia Boutique, $238), gold-studded black bag (Wardrobe Boutique, $10); long leather earrings (Topstitch Boutique, $54); vintage sunglasses (Topstitch Boutique, $24); bird ring (Topstitch Boutique, $310); and gold snake belt (Topstitch Boutique, $58).

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Spenser (Waterbox, facebook.com/waterboxart) pours a local beer while wearing a pink shirt with screen-print design (Mew Gallery, $40); denim jeans (Buffalo Exchange, $23.50); and brown shoes (Dansko, $130).

Sandy (e3bank, e3bank.com) chats with Spenser while wearing a short-sleeve western shirt (Sazz Vintage Clothing, $22); gray pants (Buffalo Exchange, $14.50); black jacket (Buffalo Exchange, $24); and clog shoes (Dansko, $120).

Props Local cheese and fruit from Fair Food Farmstand; crackers from Whole Foods South Street; local beer—Stoudt’s Brewing Company; Yards Brewing Company, Flying Fish Brewing Company, Philadelphia Brewing Company —from the Foodery; and table from Rejuvenated Furniture and Finds.


the 2009

Kendra (PASA, pasafarming.org) toasts to good times in a white sheer dress (Buffalo Exchange, $32.50); tan belt (Restrospect Vintage, $5); gold fabric hoop earrings (Topstitch Boutique, $138); wicker bag (Restrospect Vintage, $24) and brown Mary Jane shoes (Dansko, $120).

Camille (juju salon and organics, jujusalon.com) celebrates wearing a navy racerback tank top (Topstitch Boutique, $68); skirt designed with vintage fabric (Topstitch Boutique, $78); vegan clutch purse (Arcadia Boutique, $120); and low boots made from sustainable materials (Bus Stop Boutique, $265).

guide

Brett (Whole Foods South Street, wholefoodsmarket.com) raises his glass in dark denim jeans (Buffalo Exchange, $31.60); West Philly-inspired t-shirt (Vix Emporium, $18); orange hat made from recycled fabric (Vix Emporium, $39.50); handmade bracelet (Vix Emporium, $36); and slip-on sneakers (Buffalo Exchange, $20).

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Jill (Mugshots Coffeehouse Fairmount and Manayunk, mugshotscoffeehouse.com) makes an appearance in a black pencil skirt (Vintage Connection, $60), cream beaded tanktop (Vintage Connection, $68) cropped wool coat (Vintage Connection, $250), feather hoop earrings (Topstitch Boutique, $54) black boots (Dansko, $225), and patent leather bag (Vintage Connection, $35).

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the 2009 guide

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48

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45

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36

35

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20

13

12

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thrift Store, 2448 W. montgomery ave circle thrift, 2007 Frankford ave thrift Fair, 2403 aramingo ave St. benedict’s thrift Shop, 439 W. girard ave the wardrobe boutique , 1822 spring garden st god’s testimonial thrift Shop, 736 n. 42nd st d&d thrift Store, 5456 Walnut st toviah thrift Shop, 4211 chestnut st # 13 Second mile center, 214 s. 45th st Salvation army, 2140 market st ort resale Shop , 29 s. 19th st buffalo exchange, 1713 chestnut st the curiosity Shoppe, 525 s. 4th st antiquarian’s delight, 615 s. 6th st Philadelphia aidS thrift, 514 bainbridge st circle thrift, 1125 s. broad st goodwill, 2200 W. passyunk ave american thrift, 747 Wolf st goodwill, 2601 s. Front st

thriFt arcadia boutique ,819a n. 2nd st natural Shoe Store inc., 226 south 40th st benjamin lovell Shoes , 119 s. 18th st benjamin lovell Shoes, 318 south st bus Stop boutique, 750 s. 4th st

ViX emporium, 5009 baltimore ave topstitch boutique, 54 n. 3rd st mew gallery llc, 906 christian st

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34

32

30

29

22

13 Ri dg e

Av e 1

Sophisticated Seconds, 2019 sansom st Sophisticated Seconds, 2204 south st yesterday’s treasure, 603 s. 9th street green Street, 700 south st bella boutique, 527 s. 4th st Fabulous Finds, 1535 s. broad street

conSignment

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15

uPcycled

43

38

25

14

7

eco-boutiQue

611

42

41

40

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26

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8

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5

Diamon d St

Lehigh Ave

reverie merchants, 205 W. girard ave millésimé, 1001-13 n. 2nd st oma, 716 n. 3rd st Sugarcube, 124 n. 3rd street Vagabond, 37 n. 3rd st Sazz Vintage clothing, 38 north 3rd st immortal uncommon resale, 125 s. 18th st Philadelphia Vintage, 2052 locust st Vintage connection, 701 s. 9th street retrospect Vintage, 534 south st decades Vintage, 615 bainbridge st astro Vintage boutique, 720 s. 5th st wilbur, 716 s. 4th st

Vintage

The golden rule of sustainability is to consume only what you need, and to avoid all unnecessary purchases. However, since being unclothed remains illegal—and we know you want to feel comfortable not just in your clothing, but with the purchases you make—here is the Grid guide to shopping.

get your look for less from these local businesses

Fashioning a Movement

25th St

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11

15

d an dl o o W

e Av

13

12

14

ve unk A Passy

Walnut St

Chestn ut St

76

Market St

47

29

22

24

9

46

27 26 25

21

South S t

28

20

Washin gton Av e

22nd St

45

Broad S t

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Oregon Ave

48

44

30 31

Spring G arden S t

31

30

49

16 18

19

8

7

6

32

C95 atharine

Fitzw ater

40

South 36

6th 41

Lombard

39

33

676

42

95

43

38

3

Bainbrid ge

34

35

4th

5

Bainbrid ge

17

4

7th

10

Broad S t

5th

Girard Ave

9th

Fr a n k ford Ave 5th

5th St 8th

2

4th

76

Fitzw ater

3rd

La nc as ter Av e

6th

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the 2009

guide

Swap It! T

rade the clothes you no longer wear for someone else’s. After all, what’s old for them is new to you! Here’s how to host your very own clothing swap with advice from Megan Haupt, Head Coordinator for Philadelphia Swap-O-Rama-Rama.

Location

Door fees

Audience

Hygiene

Donations

Crowd control

Swaps can be small and informal (somebody’s living room), or large and structured (a community-wide swap held at a school or community center). Though not really a consideration for a large, inclusive community swap, smaller ones might want to focus on a swap theme— couture, kid’s clothing, plus-sized, etc.

Swaps can generate A LOT of clothes— usually there is much left after everyone has swapped. Find a local partner to donate unwanted clothes—a homeless shelter, a charity shop, etc.

For smaller swaps, collect enough to cover for snacks; for larger events, door fees can help to offset rental and advertising costs. Make sure you stress that swappers bring clean, gently used clothing to avoid issues; politely remind people not to try to swap used underwear or swimwear.

For larger events, consider having volunteers to help sort clothes and keep the crowd happy. People really get into swapping and it’s important to keep things running smoothly.

Philly Swap-O-Rama-Rama will be held on Sunday, October 11 from 12 to 5 p.m. at Old Pine Community Center, 401 Lombard St.

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phot o by F LICK R us e r s teevi th a k


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An audacious plan to reform school food in Philadelphia by will dean

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ray meat, gelatinous gravy and dried-out pasta made cafeteria food the butt of jokes at the lunch table. However, with obesity and diabetes rates skyrocketing among our country’s youth, the poor quality of the food offered at school isn’t so funny anymore. Many people have turned their focus on the food served in schools as a cause of these health problems, and a place to start fixing them. the school of the future (sof), which opened in 2006, overlooks parts of Fairmount Park and Parkside Avenue in West Philly. As its name suggests, SOF is a forward-thinking high school. Focusing on technology and innovation, SOF— which was helped along, though not funded, by the Windows-purveying Microsoft Corporation— uses a project-based curriculum instead of the test-centric model common in U.S. public schools. Although the SOF is a part of the Philadelphia School District and not a charter school, its students spend their school years working on long projects that incorporate many academic disciplines, challenging them to use creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Three years ago, Charlie Baltimore then a health and physical education teacher, noticed that “there’s a disconnect between what schools are serving and what kids should be getting.” Baltimore, now an assistant principal at SOF, saw what was being offered in the cafeteria and came up with an idea to incorporate fresher, healthier and more local food into the menus, and couple it with nutrition education. He took the plan to the administration, which was very supportive of the idea, and, along with help from local nonprofits the Food Trust and Fair Food, Baltimore devised a plan for the school to begin ordering a portion of its food from local farms. Since the school district runs the food service program for all of its schools, Baltimore needed to get approval and money to implement the program. To expedite this new plan, they decided to start small—the initial program now covers just under $25,000. Furthermore, it will also cover four schools in addition to SOF. University City, Overbrook, Central and Girl’s High will adopt this innovative plan based on three factors: location, interest and appropriate kitchen facilities. The Philadelphia-based local food wholesaler Common Market—created with a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture—was chosen to provide the fare, and classes were set up to teach food service managers about the new options. Managers learned about seasonality of local foods, how to incorporate them into their menus and how to prepare a fresh spinach salad. “The food service managers saw all the great local produce available and were really excited,” says Deb Bentzel, the Farm to Institution manager for Fair Food, which partnered in the effort.

For most of these institutions, the program will begin this fall, but SOF was fortunate enough to taste local kale, lettuce and strawberries this past spring. Schools will be allowed some leeway in what they can order; although the money is split between the five institutions and must last the entire year, under this plan, they will have access to produce like potatoes, nectarines, peaches and broccoli. “This is only the beginning,” Baltimore promises. “We want to start a movement.”

The Cost of Production In other ways, the food in Philly’s schools is just like the rest of the country’s. According to a menu from the Food Services website, the daily fare—similar to most public schools in America—is fast, easy and very unhealthy: stuffed crust pizza, turkey hoagies and nachos grande with beef. One day’s meal may contain up to 1,604 mg of sodium, over half the recommended daily value for a fit adult. Another day’s consists of 26 grams of fat, around a third of a daily value for an adult, and 10 grams of saturated fat, half an adult’s recommended value. A handful of the food items on school menus are the beloved foods of Philadelphia: hoagies, cheese steaks and pizza. The problem is a lack of healthy alternatives. However, working in the confines of the current food system, processed foods are cheap and plentiful, and schools have only limited funds. In places like Philadelphia, where most meals are subsidized, schools receive $2.57 for a free lunch, $2.17 for a reduced-price meal and 24 cents for paid meals. That money goes towards the entire cost of food production, including equipment, staff salaries and the food itself. “Many schools have less than 70 cents for food [per meal],” says Tegan Hagy, who runs the Food Trust’s Farm-to-School Program in the mid-Atlantic region.

The Bright Side Baltimore and his colleagues, with the approval of the district, are challenging the status quo. As a result, students at the selected Philadelphia schools will have a chance to eat healthier options this year. Next year, if the program succeeds as expected, perhaps all students at Philly schools may get the same chance. There are other groups in Philly, such as the Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI) and the Food Trust, that have been working for years to improve nutrition in the city’s schools and share Baltimore’s desire to raise healthier kids. UNI manages programs at several schools that teach students about eating, cooking and growing healthy food. The Food Trust additionally organizes food and agriculture programs in some Philly schools, and advocates for food reform and set-up of the network of farmers’ s e pt e m b e r 20 0 9

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National Child Obesity Rates

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Gardens at the School of the Future

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data from cdc.gov

15% markets in Philly. ■ Ages 2–5 ■ Ages 6–11 ■ Ages 12–19 There have been successes to show for their efforts. In 2004, the Philadelphia 10% Coalition for Healthy Children, which was partly organized by the Food Trust, advocated for and enacted a tough beverage policy that banned juices with less 5% than 100 percent juice content, and any beverages with artificial sweeteners from Philly schools. 0% The Coalition used an action network of parents and activists, and creative vi1971–74 1976–80 1988–94 2003–06 suals like jars full of sugar to illustrate what goes into many popular sodas and According to the CDC, child obesity is defined as a body mass drinks. index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile for children (ages 2 - 18 Recently, they have also noted an increase in interest in better food at Philly’s years) of the same age and sex. schools. “I get calls from parents every week about doing something about school food,” says Hagy. A Broader Focus “I firmly believe in the old adage ‘you are what you eat,’ ” says The nutritional problems facing Philly’s youth require Baltimore, a soft-spoken Harrisburg native who has worked as looking beyond just the schools. “A lot of food policy happens an educator for 13 years. “So, when you’re pumping these kids at the state level,” says Bentzel, “so it’s important to do things at a state level.” full of garbage, you’re lowering their abilities.” The School of the Future has started a small garden, and BaltiPublic schools are tied into the USDA commodities program, more hopes to get a one-acre parcel of land from Fairmount Park where the government takes food from all across the country, to turn into a greenhouse and urban farm. “Changing the food sets prices and makes it available to schools (and partially subis only the start,” insists Baltimore. “We want to fold healthy sidizes the purchases). eating into the curriculum.” With help from UNI, SOF is also “The commodities program was originally a way of making making nutrition part of the school’s project system. Students prices affordable, but it has got to the point where the quality is will be able to study life science by planning and working in the poor and schools don’t get much choice,” says Bentzel. Getting a garden, use math skills in studying the nutritional contents of local school to adopt a set of local buying practices is a good start, different foods and social skills by teaching fellow students how although the pilot program debuting at the five high schools in to cook. They are planning on growing produce like cucumbers, Philly this year is using extra money set aside for this purpose tomatoes, basil, pears and apples. (not the general funding schools get for lunches). In order for schools to switch to healthier—and local—produce, something needs to change at a level far higher than the local school board. This year, the Child Nutrition Act is up for renewal in Congress. The act, which governs the school breakfast program and helps set standards for nutrition, has enormous sway over what kinds of foods go into the schools. It will be reauthorized this September and, if it is given the necessary funding and directives, it could allow schools all around the country to utilize healthy, local produce. (For more info, check the next page.) Health is a long-term investment, both in terms of human welfare and economics. “Clearly, funding is not going to be thrown at us,” says Hagy. “But [with farm-toschool programs] you’re also supporting the local economy. Who doesn’t want to help family farms? Who doesn’t want to help schoolchildren?” ■


The more they know, the better they’ll eat Involving young students is a key piece to the nutrition puzzle by Alex Mulcahy and Stephanie Singer

A

round the world, there is a movement towards reconnecting people with how food is grown and produced. Empowering our youngest citizens may be our strongest strategy to create a healthier world. More and more innovative school food programs have been developed over the last 10 years. The National Farm-to-School program, an organization that works to bring healthy foods from local farms to schoolchildren through the creation of community-based systems and education nationwide, counted three Farm-to-School programs in three states—California, Florida and North Carolina—in the 1995-96 school year. Their program has grown to over 2,000 in 40 states in 2008-09. “I heard a story,” says Debra Eschmeyer, Director of Media and Marketing at the National Farm to School Network, “about a girl that was served watermelon for the first time in the cafeteria. She chewed it and said, ‘I’ve had this before! This is bubblegum.’ Access to healthy food is something that can be taken for granted, and these programs can fill the disconnect.” It’s important to show that “food doesn’t come out of a package; it actually comes out of the ground.” Here in Philadelphia, the Kindergarten Initiative, which was developed by the Food Trust, is an early intervention program in 18 schools in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. It’s a comprehensive program that combines food and agriculture education with locally grown, healthy snacks that are eaten inside the classroom as part of their curriculum. The program has a three-pronged attack: First, teachers are trained throughout the year to present lessons about food that are integrated into their school day. Next, the students participate in some tasty experiential education. The teacher distributes locally grown or produced foods and, with the help of flash cards, teaches the basics and some nuances about what they are eating. For example, in the fall, students will learn the different colors and varieties of apples in between bites. Finally, parents are involved, too. The class goes on trips with parents to local farms two to three times per year, visiting the same farm during different seasons to witness planting and harvesting. Teachers also send an order form home with students so families can eat the same things that their kids are, i.e. apples, squash, peppers, sweet potatoes, spinach or purple beans.

1

“Bearing Fruit: Farm to School Program Evaluation Resources and Recommendations,” National Farm to School Network, Center for Food & Justice, Occidental College, 2008.

The joy of produce!

Research proves the success of this model in a 10-year evaluation. A 2008 study showed that farm to school meals result in students eating, on average, one additional serving daily of fruits and vegetables.1 Joan Nachmani, the Director of Philadelphia’s School District’s Eat.Right.Now program, reaches 152,315 students at 211 K-8 and 36 high schools each year with nutrition education. “We have a responsibility to educate, and can give the tools for kids to make better food choices,” she claims, adding, “When you have a chef come into the classroom, it becomes more special.” Indeed, last year, she joined forces with local celebrity and founder of the Health Education Initiative, Christina Pirello, who uses hands-on learning to engage students to become part of the process. Pirello made hummus from scratch with six kindergarten classes. “Out of 120 kids, only two did not eat the vegetable hummus wraps,” she claims. “When kids are part of the process, they want to eat what they made.” ■

+

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Get Involved in School Food There are many ways to help improve school food in Philly, and the nation by will dean

I

f you are a concerned parent, you can start by asking your child about the food served at his or her school. Consider taking a trip to the school’s lunch line. Not happy with what you see? Start talking to other parents and school administrators. Let the school know that you are concerned about your child’s health and want them to serve better food. “It’s really important for parents to talk to people at all levels of a school,” says Deb Bentzel, head of the Farm to Institution Program at Fair Food. Try to make allies within the school’s administration who will help you make change. The new purchasing pilot program in the Philadelphia School District came from a concerned teacher who advocated for fresh food. Local allies can help you advocate for better food at your child’s school: →→ →→

→→ →→

The Food Trust thefoodtrust.org The Urban Nutrition Initiative urbannutrition.org Fair Food fairfoodphilly.org Healthy Food Initiative christinapirello.org

Nationally, the Child Nutrition Act (CNA) is up for renewal this year, and if legislators are pushed enough, it could include support for healthier, local food. Contact your legislators and tell them you support an act that gives schools more funding to purchase better food, sets higher standards for what kinds of foods they can use and gives incentives to buy fresh, local produce.

Pennsylvania Senators Robert P. Casey, Jr. (202-224-6324) Arlen Specter (202-224-4254) New Jersey Senators Frank Lautenberg (202-224-3224) Robert Menendez (202-224-4744) More contact information can be found at senate.gov and, for members of the House of Representatives, at house.gov. If you want more information on reforming the CNA, try looking at groups like Slow Food USA (slowfoodusa.org). Slow Food’s Time for Lunch campaign has a detailed platform that advocates for better school food and supporting local farms, and also includes tools to help you organize others in your area around these issues.

More resources for your activism needs:

The National Farm to School Network farmtoschool.org → → Center for Ecoliteracy’s Rethinking School Lunch Program ecoliteracy.org → → Two Angry Moms Documentary angrymoms.org → → Chef Ann Cooper chefann.com

→→

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Have a Healthy Lunch Foods that will satisfy and energize by katie cavuto-boyle ms, rd

A Katie’s Picks Hummus

Bobbi’s Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic, equally CSA

Red Hill Farm September produce

tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplant, corn and cantaloupe

Katie’s nut butter recipe Ingredients

1 cup favorite nut ( I love almonds ↘ ) 2-3 tbsp. water pinch sea salt Add nuts and water to food processor. Process for 2 minutes or until desired texture. Add more water for a creamier consistency. Add a pinch of sea salt for flavor.

s the quest for healthy food in the cafeteria continues, consider taking the matter of feeding your children (and yourself) into your own hands. We asked Philly food celebrity Katie Cavuto-Boyle for some guidelines to help us make the brown bag delicious and nutritious. Use better breads. You can upgrade your sandwich with whole grain bread. Break through the norm with sprouted grain breads, spelt bread, pita, lavash, naan, a wrap or even flavored breads like a whole grain olive loaf. Pack healthy proteins. Lunch meats are often loaded with preservatives and sodium. Go for the real deal like fresh, oven-roasted turkey breast and local, free range chicken left over from last night’s dinner (always plan to make extra for the next day). Choose an organic, natural peanut butter, almond butter or hazelnut butter, and pair it with a 100 percent fruit spread for a healthier PB&J. Make your own chicken salad, egg salad or tuna salad and swap the mayo for Dijon mustard, which adds flavor without the calories and fat. Slather your sandwich with hummus or fresh pesto for added flavor and load it up with fresh veggies like cucumbers, roasted peppers, sprouts or dark leafy greens.

Add variety to your meal. Prepare a whole grain pasta salad with seasonal veggies. Be creative with beans, wild or brown rice, and grains such as quinoa and millet for a nutritiondense meal. Pack a salad in a reusable container (vinaigrette dressing on the side). Load it up with veggies, the more colorful, the more nutrients. Add some protein in the form of beans, nuts, or even fish, chicken or lean beef. The possibilities are endless. Snack smart. Skip the chips and opt for baked pita chips or popcorn for crunch. When seasonally appropriate, pack fresh fruit in its whole form or cut up in a fruit salad. Enjoy fruits year-round by stocking up on unsweetened dried varieties when the fresh stuff is out of season. Pair dried fruits with some nuts for added protein, as well as heart-healthy fats. Organic yogurt is a great fruit dip or snack on its own. For a balanced, tasty snack, try raw veggies with hummus or an apple with peanut butter. Drink water. Water is the beverage of choice since every system in your body relies on it. Skip the sodas, juices and sweetened drinks, as they add calories with little to no nutrition. Flavor water with lemon or orange slices; even brew some herbal, fruit-flavored tea. katie cavuto-boyle, ms, rd is a local registered dietitian, personal chef and owner of Healthy Bites (healthybitesdelivery.com)

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compound inherent in chile peppers that gives them that intense spicy heat. When choosing bell peppers at the market, look for ones that boast a deep, glossy sheen and feel heavy for their size. The rich color of these peppers is yet another indicator to go by—red is the ripest, followed by orange, yellow and, finally, green, which is an unripe (and thereby pungent and slightly bitter) bell pepper. Eat these fruits raw or in salads, stuffed with rice, roasted with garlic and olive oil, or sautéed with onions and vegetables.

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To Prepare for Slicing

with a knife, remove ribs and seeds from the four pieces (this is essential when preparing chile peppers, as the seeds contain the most heat—be careful to rinse hands after prepping to avoid irritation to eyes and skin)

T o S l i c e lengthwise along each piece, cut long strips— or—crosswise, cut pieces into squares

Chile Peppers The chile pepper represents a large variety of capsaicinsporting fruits that range from mildly hot to downright dangerous. Known for their flavor and complex intensity in dishes, chile peppers offer just about any level of heat preferred. Look for a poblano, cubanelle (also known as the banana pepper) or Anaheim pepper for a mild spice, or aim slightly higher with a jalapeño, serrano or Thai pepper. For those who want to play with fire, choose a Scotch bonnet or habanero. Fresh hot peppers vary in color—the jalapeño is a deep, glossy green when ripe, whereas the Scotch bonnet sports a fiery red-orange. Most important to remember when selecting chile peppers is that they should be firm, glossy and deeply colored (green, yellow, orange or red). Also, the rule of thumb with hot peppers: the smaller, the hotter! Use these peppers on the grill, roasted, pureed in marinades, or put in sandwiches, salads or pizza to liven up the taste! pepper pl an t ph o t o by FLICKR user p i erre lascott

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/ local flavor

Peck of Peppers Set your table for the fruit of summer’s labor Roast Pepper

[appetizer]

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus by stephanie singer 2 8 1

cans cooked chickpeas tbsp. tahini red pepper, or roasted red pepper (Lancaster Farm Fresh) 2 cloves garlic (Overbrook Herb Farm) 2/3 cup olive oil 2 tsp. salt 1 lemon, juiced fresh ground black pepper cayenne pepper (cut ingredients in half for smaller portion)

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˜˜Coat each pepper with olive oil. ˜˜Place on an oiled baking sheet and put in the oven on broil for five to seven minutes. ˜˜Flip to cook other side for another four minutes, or until skin is slightly blackened. ˜˜Remove from the oven and let cool. ˜˜Remove skins, seeds and stem. Make Hummus

˜˜Add oil, lemon juice, tahini, roasted pepper, chickpeas and garlic to food processor and process until smooth. ˜˜Add salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper in increments. ˜˜Process again to blend spices, tasting and adding as necessary. ˜˜Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle cayenne to serve.

sep tember 2009

[first course]

Goat Cheese and Basil Ravioli With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce [serves 4] Sauce

4

1 8 2 1 1 Pasta

2 1 2 2 1

by erin gautsche

sweet red peppers (Meadow Valley Organics) sweet yellow onion (Red Earth Farm) cloves fresh garlic (Red Earth Farm) tbsp. olive oil tbsp. balsamic vinegar tsp. sea salt fresh ground black pepper to taste

cups white flour tsp. salt eggs (Countryside Organics) egg yolks tbsp. olive oil

Filling

8 1/3

oz. goat chevre (Shelbark Hollow Farm) cup basil leaves (Green Acres Organics)

phot o by luca s h a rd i s o n


˜˜Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. ˜˜Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and ribs. Place them cut side down on an oiled baking sheet with the onion, peeled and cut into eighths. Leaving the skins intact, separate the garlic cloves and add them to the pan. Drizzle another tablespoon of oil over the vegetables, brushing the skins to coat with a pastry brush. Place the pan on the top shelf of the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the pepper skins blacken and blister and the onions soften. ˜˜Place the softened cheese in a medium bowl. ˜˜Slice basil leaves thin and add to the cheese, mixing with a spoon until smooth. ˜˜Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. ˜˜Place the flour and salt in a food processor. Pulse once, add the eggs, egg yolks and the oil. Pulse until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a bowl. Add a few drops of water if the dough is too dry. Pat the dough between your hands, form a round ball and place on a lightly floured surface. Using a heavy rolling pin, roll the dough, turning and flouring as needed, until it is 1/6-inch thick. (Alternatively, use a pasta machine to roll the dough to the

correct thickness.) Cut the dough into quarters about five inches wide. ˜˜On one dough strip, place a heaping teaspoon of goat cheese about a quarter of an inch from the side of the dough. Leave one half-inch space below the spoonful of filling, then repeat until you have about five spoonfuls down and two across (or 10 spoonfuls on one quarter). Use a pastry brush to dampen the pasta on all four sides around the filling, creating a grid pattern. Place another quarter of dough on top of the first, press lightly between each filled square and slice the dough to separate each individual ravioli. ˜˜With a fork, press down and seal each square. Repeat the process with the remaining two quarters of pasta dough. Salt the water and place five ravioli in the pot. When each ravioli floats to the top (about four minutes), remove from the water and place in a warmed dish. Cover, and repeat until all the ravioli are cooked. ˜˜Remove the vegetables from the oven and pull the charred skin from the peppers and place them in a large food processor or blender. Add the onions, and the roasted garlic, squeezing the paste from the dried skins. Add just a few tablespoons of water and blend until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan. Add

the tablespoon of balsamic and salt, and fresh pepper to taste. Cover and heat over medium until it bubbles lightly. Remove from the heat; either add to the ravioli, or serve on the side. Garnish with grated parmesan, if desired.

[second course]

Lamb-Stuffed Peppers by kevin parker 4-6 1 1/2 1/2 1 2 ¾ 1

medium green bell peppers, tops removed and cored and seeded (Red Earth Farm) lb. ground lamb (Meadow Run Farm) lb. new potatoes, diced into bite-sized pieces (Red Earth Farm) cup cherry tomatoes, halved (Red Earth Farm) small leek, washed and sliced in 1/4” thick rounds (Red Earth Farm) tbsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped (Red Earth Farm) oz. grated cheese (Hendricks’ Farms and Dairy “Keystone Classic”) egg, lightly beaten (Meadow Run Farm) salt and pepper

˜˜Add potatoes to a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for approximately 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain, add to a large mixing bowl and roughly mash with a fork. ˜˜In a sauté pan, brown the ground lamb over medium-high heat. With a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to the large mixing bowl. Drain off all but two tablespoons of the fat. ˜˜Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the leeks to the sauté pan with a pinch of salt and cook until softened. Lower the heat to medium low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add the leeks to the large mixing bowl. ˜˜Add tomatoes, oregano and grated cheese to the large mixing bowl and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow the mixture to cool. Meanwhile, arrange the peppers in a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes to soften them. ˜˜Remove the peppers and cool. Add the egg to the large mixing bowl and stir until just mixed through. Spoon the mixture into the cooled peppers. ˜˜Return to the oven and cook an additional 30 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

get inVolVed!

Join our Street team! email getinvolved@gridphilly.com

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/ chef ’s plate

Local Ingredients at Café Estelle Taste the homestyle flavor at this open-kitchen eatery by stephanie singer

O

n the evening that his grandmother, Estelle, passed away, Marshall Green told her that he would open a restaurant and name it after her. That promise was fulfilled on November 1, 2007, when Café Estelle opened its doors. Located between Spring Garden and Callowhill Streets, the restaurant is set back off of 4th Street in the 444 N. 4th condo building. Its menu features locally grown and organic vegetables, free range organic brown eggs, and house-smoked and -cured meats and fish. “Philadelphia is such a rich agricultural area,” Green enthuses. The restaurant’s owner and head chef isn’t just talking about Jersey tomatoes and corn, but “local cheese, eggs, lamb, coffee and so much more. I want to serve the best, freshest ingredients because it tastes better.” Green grew up in a house that his family rented on a corn farm outside of Philadelphia. From a young age, he and his mother canned toma42

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toes and pickled beets with produce harvested from their garden. “I grew up around homemade food,” says Green. And that’s what he serves. Every August and September, Green also grows peppers in front of his South Philly home in containers from his father’s business, Primex Garden Center in Glenside. After he harvests his peppers, he creates a spicy Thai style chile paste (see recipe on right). “Peppers are easy to grow, and I love heat,” he exclaims. Enjoy this tasty topping with salt cod fritters and poached egg or a small salad at Café Estelle this month!

sep tember 2009

Thai Style Chile Paste by marshall green, café estelle 1 4-6 ¼ 2 1½

lb. mixed ripe chiles washed cloves garlic cup sugar tbsp. salt cup white vinegar

˜˜Wash and dry chiles. Roughly chop, removing and discarding stems. Add all ingredients to a medium non-reactive pot. ˜˜Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring to prevent scorching. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20-30 min. until chilies are soft. Remove from heat. ˜˜Add contents to the bowl or a food processor and pulse until smooth but chunky; taste to adjust seasonings. ˜˜Cool completely and store covered in refrigerator for up to three months. Note Chiles should be of mixed varieties. Chef suggests: Jalapeño, Habenero, Cayenne, Serrano, Italian hot, or any other hot ripe pepper, depending on personal tolerance for heat.


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What to Eat

by Marion Nestle North Point Press, $16

Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea by Alice Waters, chronicle; $24.95

W

hen Alice Waters used to drive by the Martin Luther King Jr. middle school near her neighborhood in Berkeley, CA, she thought it was deserted. The schoolyard looked abandoned, overgrown with weeds and cracked concrete. After mentioning the use—or rather, misuse—of vacant land in a newspaper article about her restaurant, Chez Panisse, and criticizing the school for wastefulness, the school principal challenged Waters to come up with a solution. She suggested a school teaching garden and, remarkably, in 1995, the cash-strapped school agreed. Over a decade later, the one-acre garden is a model of both how to grow food for an institution and how to educate kids about nutrition and ecology. With plenty of pictures and illustrations, Waters’ book documents the creation of the school garden, from all of the volunteer work the teachers put in to how students helped design and build the growing beds. The pictures vividly demonstrate the transformation of vacant land into a vibrant green space, and the simple writing leads you through the garden’s story. In Waters’ words, everyone gets something: troubled kids find a fulfilling outlet in the school’s growing garden, teachers get a new way to engage their pupils and Waters ends up with a new food source for her restaurant. Now, the garden is a big part of the school’s curriculum. Students have classes outside in the shade, learn how to cook, study the nutritional content of different foods and grow beautiful produce. The book feels like something you could read to a group of kids, which is partly the point. Waters thinks the Edible Schoolyard model can be spread throughout the country, and inspire a whole new generation of learners and growers. For more information about the organization, go to edibleschoolyard.org. 44

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Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics and nutrition professor at New York University, has been fighting the good food fight for years now, and her latest book continues her critical approach to what we put in our bodies. What to Eat sounds like a question, and the book provides many, many answers in over 600 pages. Food consumers are bombarded by choices; over 30,000 products are offered in many supermarkets, and knowing what is good—both in the nutritional and environmental sense—isn’t easy. In her usual mix of hard information and pointed prose, Nestle examines what the USDA organic rating really means (not that much), how useful the fats in dairy are (not very) and the state of our safety regulations (not very good). Nestle also advocates educating yourself about nutrition and being aware of who is telling you what to eat. She mentions that many reports on the health properties of certain products come from industry sources. Nestle has always been a smart and able critic of our broken food system, and with this book she offers yet more reasons to follow her advice and start advocating for a better way to eat.

Food Matters:

A Guide to Conscious Eating With More Than 75 Recipes by Mark Bittman Simon & Schuster, $24.95

Mark Bittman has been many things in the world of food: chef, traveler, writer and, now, advocate. With Food Matters, Bittman has come around to the sustainable food movement and offers a book with a mixture of the stick and the carrot. By describing the environmental devastation that factory farming is creating—polluting waterways with chemical fertilizers, eroding land with monocultures and other things Grid readers are probably familiar with—he creates an urgency to change the way you eat. Bittman, who has written cookbooks before, doesn’t just leave you there, though; he goes on to provide recipes that lean towards healthy and sustainable foods. Bittman is an engaging writer, and offers his own past as an overeater as a way of showing he’s not perfect either. He describes how switching to a more sustainable diet, which included cutting down on meat, helped him become healthier. The most important thing the book does, though, is offer a practical approach to eating better (for you and the environment) that is both empowering and doable. Recipes, like a delicious and light frittata, make both your belly and conscience feel better.


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New School of Thought NESTS could become the education model of the future

D

espite dedicated teachers, many Philadelphia public schools are so irrelevant to students’ lives that most enrollees (up to 88 percent) drop out. State curricula and testing serve bureaucracy only. To fix this mess, a green school system that relies on neighbors to teach and the larger community to donate resources is now beginning. Young people will learn most easily from people they respect who teach skills that are fun and useful. They will keep learning if the neighbors around them love learning, too. And they’ll give back to a community that cares about them. Neighborhood Enterprise SchoolTeachers (NESTS) therefore invite adult neighbors (including ex-offenders) to teach life skills to neighborhood kids, stimulating self-respect among young and old. NESTS networkers knock on doors to list the skills of neighbors ready to teach. Weightlifting, cooking, house painting, hairdressing, house repair, health aides, gardening, mechanics, storytelling, knitting, sculpting, dance—all such subjects are welcome. Teachers are paid for teaching—and students for learning—with certificates, which further enhance esteem and employability. Perhaps, they may also receive neighborhood currency that can be spent with local businesses and corporate sponsors, or traded with one another. At the same time, NESTS’ teams visit places 46

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of worship, recreation centers, parks or yards to teach how to build, install and maintain simple green technologies that reduce heating and electric bills. They provide free tools and materials. They issue certificates to those who attend the sessions. Neighbors then teach others, and start their own businesses. Dozens of categories of “green collar” jobs such as solar, wind and insulation installation, recycling and repair will prepare people for ecological reindustrialization of this city. NESTS are built in community trees starting in the toughest areas surrounding the worst schools. For example: →→

City of Philadelphia and School district provide land and/or buildings

sep tember 2009

by paul glover

→→

→→

→→

→→ →→ →→

→→ →→ →→

Landlords provide storefronts, churches provide meeting rooms Nonprofit organizations provide skilled networkers and talent Construction companies provide building materials and playgrounds Banks provide interest-free loans and grants Foundations provide grants Manufacturers provide solar power and insulation Unions provide electrical and plumbing Courts provide community service credits Universities and colleges provide scholarship credits

Our first NESTS builder is Big Picture Philadelphia (bigpicture.org), which provides “transformational educational experiences for under served youth in the Metropolitan Philadelphia area.” They will be opening two new schools: Eastern University Academy Charter School and El Centro de Estudiantes. Bringing this wealth of skills and community resources together proves that poverty can be overcome by networking, cooperation and respect, with less reliance on dollars. For more information, visit paulglover.org illus t r at ion by me lis s a m c feeters


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**MSRP,city including destination handling charges. excludes license, registration, taxes and options. featuresdriving may beconditions, optional. Actual price determined by your dealer. *37 hwy/28 MPG MINI Cooperand Hardtop with manualPrice transmission. EPA estimate. Actual mileage will varyCertain with options, driving habits and vehicle operation. © 2009 MINI, a division of BMW of North America, LLC. The MINI name, model names and logo are registered trademarks. **MSRP, including destination and handling charges. Price excludes license, registration, taxes and options. Certain features may be optional. Actual price determined by your dealer. © 2009 MINI, a division of BMW of North America, LLC. The MINI name, model names and logo are registered trademarks.


Grid Magazine September 2009  

Towards A Sustainable Philadelphia

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