A Sustainable Food Cycle, Part 2

As a follow-up to my previous post, A Sustainable Food Cycle, I have done some research recently in the interest of covering some more ideas surrounding the subject. Talks from the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference, pro-business magazines like Fast Company have both been covering the topics recently and I think it’s worth noting. Admittedly this entry will not have nearly as narrow a focus as part 1, but I don’t think that will really matter.

First off it’s worthy to note that Fast Company, a magazine & website all about business innovation, recently put up an article entitled the Ten Best Green Jobs for the Next Decade. The very first job listed? Farmer. Why? Because the move to a sustainable food cycle invites urban/vertical farming to be a part of the solution. Translation – we’re not going to replace the farmers we currently have, we’re going to offset the lack of supply during non-growing months. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Indeed, it may be high time for a former client of mine to realize his dream of it “being a good time to be a farmer” fairly soon. And the message that Mark Bittman, cookbook author, journalist and TV personality, has been espousing recently just lends more credence to that.

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OPA Awards 6 New Wind Power Projects

The Ontario Power Authority’s latest RFP for wind power projects has resulted in the OPA awarding 6 new projects, mostly in southern Ontario, that will provide Ontario with another 492.1MW of renewable energy. OPA also estimates that this will create approximately 2,200 jobs both directly and indirectly.

All of the pertinent information is located at the link in the paragraph above. Why this is newsworthy is that all of the provinces are boosting their wind power generating capacity by considerable amounts; and that’s a great thing, because studies I’ve read have shown that Canada is one of the best places in the world to harness the wind. The Ontario Wind Atlas helps prove the point, providing a great visual way to tell where the best places (and how high the towers need to be) in Ontario are.

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A Sustainable Food Cycle

One of the largest contributors to problems in our society in general has got to be the way we’re eating right now. There are people in Canada who crave things like watermelons, cantaloupe and pineapple even in the middle of winter. Clearly none of those things can be grown in either Canada or the US in January without being grown in a greenhouse, so typically those fruits and others are flown/trucked in from thousands of kilometres away.

The result is a vastly inefficient food cycle. Things are even poorly managed locally during the past few years. E. coli outbreaks, listeria, salmonella, etc. The solution? It may be vertical farming.

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Software Review: reQall

At times you can find me on my cell phone leaving what seems to be a very odd voicemail to someone else. Other times you’ll find me online adding things to a to-do list that I can access almost anywhere. What am I doing? Adding an item to reQall.

ReQall is a terrific service I started using earlier this year. Basically it lets me keep a virtual to-do list active, all the time, and accessible via my phone and the Internet. If you click here you can see that reQall has built plugins for several different platforms.

Not only does this save paper, but it’s far more convenient than keeping a proper to-do list around. I can set due dates for items, create lists (like a shopping list) and if you sign up multiple people in the same home, you can share lists (as seen on the site).

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The Big Three's Problems

And here we stand on the brink of oblivion, if you believe what the executives of Ford, Chrysler and GM had to say to the U.S. Congress this week.

And if you read this very well-written article at The Globe & Mail, it could very well happen. Personally, I think we all need a reality check on how we got here and the many players that have played parts in the problems that Ford, Chrysler and GM are having right now.

1) Ford, Chrylser & GM – For many years now, Detroit has succeeded in creating reputations for themselves of putting out unreliable products and pairing them with expensive and poor service. Clearly I’m generalizing, but it’s necessary in order to avoid a very long explanation of what products and services don’t fall into this trap. If you walk up to almost anyone on the street and ask them how long a Ford engine will last compared to a Toyota engine, I’m willing to be a significant amount of money that the majority of those surveyed will tell you that a Toyota engine will last roughly twice as long. When I tell people that my Chevrolet Aveo has gone 187,000km without any issues they are amazed. Unfortunately the Aveo is a poor example since it’s built in South Korea.

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