The Growth of Community-supported Foodstuffs

Most everyone living in a big city has heard of community-supported agriculture, or CSAs. A farm, or group of farms, delivers fresh food to a...

Most everyone living in a big city has heard of community-supported agriculture, or CSAs. A farm, or group of farms, delivers fresh food to a central drop-off point. You get whatever the freshest food the farms have, and they get to cut out the middleman, putting more money in the farmers' pockets. But the CSA model has recently started expanding beyond fruit and vegetables. A great example of this is a story in the Boston Globe about community-supported fisheries on the North Shore of Massachusetts in Maine.It works basically the same way. Sign up in advance, pick up fresh fish once a week. Sure, you're getting a whole fish, but it's cheaper than at the supermarket, and you're drastically reducing the distance between your food and your plate. Besides, everyone should learn how to fillet a fish. For fishermen, they are no longer beholden to the demands of large fish buyers. And since they can sell each fish at a larger profit margin than when selling in bulk to a super market ("The percentage of income was way up, in some cases 300 percent for low-value species like pollock."), they don't have to fish as much. At a time when our fisheries are stretched to the limit, that's a really big bonus. Plus, fish is really good for you.I've also heard about community-supported meat, where farms will bring you fresh cuts of whatever they've slaughtered that week. Not for the vegetarian-inclined, but the concept is the same, and much better than buying meat at the supermarket. Community-supported programs like this take a little extra effort, but go a long way towards making sure you're eating is local and seasonal, something we all need to start doing a lot more.Here is where you can find CSAs near you. I haven't been able to find a similar resource for CSFs, but a Google search for "community supported fisheries" turned up a lot.
via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

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For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

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