Project Updates

This is all of the information we have so far.

The True Cost of Food by the Sierra Club

We just came across this project by the Sierra Club: The True Cost of Food! Sounds familiar? It did to us! Here’s what they have to say:

The Sierra Club Sustainable Consumption Committee Mission: To encourage people to think about the environmental impacts of their consumption choices by providing specific information.

SOME SOLUTIONS:

  • Eat more vegetables, fruit, and grains and less meat. Look for meat that is produced in the least harmful way—grass fed, organic, antibiotic- and hormone-free.
  • Buy organic whenever you can.
  • Buy from small, local sources whenever you can.

They also have a nice video. Check them out! And we hope they look at our project as well.

Wasted Food

There was an amazing article on CNN today: Moldy matters: How wasted food is destroying the environment.

A third of all food products worldwide go uneaten! — from a 2011 U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization report

We’ve been collecting data on the food people buy, but it is equally important to keep track of the food people waste! Please read!

Also, we’ve entered the data in the article into our Crowdmap: https://costofchicken.crowdmap.com/

Food for Thought: Sustainability from Counter to Compost

Just watched this video — how appropriate is this? Here’s the description from YouTube:

Food for Thought: Sustainability from Counter to Compost – Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming – 2008-02-26 – The usual reaction to scarfing down a slice of pizza is: how will this affect my diet? The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, and more and more Americans, now look at the food we all eat and ask: how does this affect our world’s carbon diet? Chairman Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and the Select Committee began looking into the process and choices our nation makes regarding food and agriculture and how those choices affect our environment, specifically the “carbon footprint” of how we grow, raise, transport, package, dispose of and otherwise provide sustenance to Americans and people around the world. And while changing the way the world creates and consumes energy is the most effective way to combat global warming, so-called “lifestyle” choices like the food we eat will play an increasing role in how to make immediate cuts in the pollution that causes global warming. Witnesses: Dan Beard, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), House of Representatives; Carina Wong, Executive Director, Chez Panisse Foundation; Patricia D. Millner, Ph.D, Research Microbiologist in the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory and Environmental Microbial Systems Laboratory, USDA; Tom Kelly, Ph.D., Chief Sustainability Officer, University of New Hampshire Office of Sustainability. Video provided by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Cost of Chicken Video

So here it is: The Cost of Chicken video! This is our 2 minute video submission to the EDF Sustainable Design Challenge. All the kids you see in this video worked hard to make this project happen!

Scientific American Article: How to Feed the World While the Earth Cooks

Scientific American just published an article: How to Feed the World While the Earth Cooks.

In it, there were a few interesting facts that will help up develop the Cost of Chicken App:

It takes 8 kilograms of feed to make one kilogram of cow, 4 kilograms of feed for one kilogram of pork and two kilograms of feed for one kilogram of chicken. “The number one thing you can do if you care about climate change is cut down on meat consumption,” as Dawn Moncrief, executive director of meat reduction group A Well-Fed World, noted the following day.

Cost of Chicken on TEDxSilkRoad

Cost of Chicken was mentioned on TED!

Here it is:

Cost of Chicken App Idea

So we’ve started the design of our Cost of Chicken App: Eco-Footprint Tracker. (We’re still working out the name.)

It would work something like this:

  1. Work with food producers to place QR Codes on their products. Each code provides a URL with information on the true cost of food: how far it has been trucked to be available locally; how long it has been stored (e.g. apples are stored for months prior to being delivered to supermarkets); how much energy it took to produce the food; and how much the packaging costs. Distance, production and manufacturing, storage, and marketing are all factors that contribute to the total expenditure of our planet’s resources.
  2. Once we have the QR codes, we can quickly add up all of the groceries that are being purchased and generate an approximate size of the eco-footprint for that consumer for that day.
  3. Each person (or family) could have an account that tracks all of their food purchases. This data could be graphed (or displayed in other ways) to allow people to visualize their choices in terms of the ecological consequences.

The app could work even without the QR Codes: a consumer can just enter the type of food they bought, and the app calculates the approximate eco-footprint.

It could look something like this:
QR code tracks the cost of chicken to generate eco-footprint

Packaged Food Makes Girls Hyper!

On March 16th, Scientific American Magazine published an article: How Packaged Food Makes Girls Hyper, by Aimee Cunningham. It’s about the chemical bisphenol A, known as BPA. In our house, we threw away all of our plastic containers, cups, and drinking bottles. We now use only glass and metal. Not only are we sure that they are BPA free, but the glass and metal lasts longer. So given that kids get hyper when exposed to BPA and it makes better conservation sense, why is anyone still use plastic?

Over 200 Food Reports!

Today, we’ve reached 200 reports! Thank you all!

2012-02-20 200 Reports Map

Cost of Chicken on PBS!

Heather Leson, a Ushahidi evangelist, liked our project! She interviewed our mom and Ms. Leson’s article, which featured the Cost of Chicken and other cool crowdmaps, was featured on PBS. Hope this results in tons of data points! THANK YOU!