Vote for Local Hot Guys and Gals in PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door Contest

Categories: Ethical Eating

Courtesy of PETA
Meet Jennifer from Wellington. She's a sexy vegan.
Sure, you can make all the jokes you want about "hot sausage" and "makin' bacon," but when it comes down to it, vegetables and fruits are pretty darned sexy too.

First of all, cucumbers and bananas are pretty raunchy (you heard the ol' banana-in-my-pocket reference), and there's nothing sexier than feeding your significant other some ripe strawberries.

Plus, it looks like eating a vegan diet attracts an insane amount of gorgeous people.

Which is why PETA hosts its annual Sexiest Vegan Next Door contest. Each year, the hottest herbivores on the planet compete for the title and a trip to Hawaii (sans roast pork luau, we presume). Best of all? There are plenty of beautiful local men and women to vote for.

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Do Lobsters and Crabs Feel Pain? New Research Says Yes

Categories: Ethical Eating

Thumbnail image for lobster_creative_commons_pinkin.jpg
pinkin via Flickr Creative Commons
Anyone who has ever been in the same room as a lobster boiling knows the distinctive sound of its scream as it's cooked alive.

The sound is not actually a scream -- lobsters do not have vocal cords -- but for many, the question about whether they feel pain remained a cause for concern.

If anyone remembers the PETA protest, complete with giant lobster costumes, in front of Linda Bean this fall, further research indicates that, yes, lobsters, crabs, and other invertebrates do feel pain -- contrary to popular belief.

See Also: PETA Descends Upon Delray Beach's Linda Bean in Protest (Video)

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Food & Water Watch and GMO Free Florida Hosting Day of Action for Genetically Engineered Foods

Categories: Ethical Eating

Killlermart via Flickr Creative Common
Genetically Engineered (GE) also known as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) have been one of the biggest debates in the world of food for the past year.

Activists have been pushing for labeling laws citing potential health issues and lack of peer-reviewed studies deeming GE products as safe.

GE proponents, on the other hand, assert that in order to feed the world, these products are a necessary component.

As activists have been slowly making headway in educating the general public on their concerns, states have begun to pass legislation mandating labeling for all food items containing GE or GMO material. (The most recent wins for activists have occurred in Connecticut in Maine).

With bills in both the Florida House and Senate, Food & Water Watch and GMO Free Florida are calling for a statewide day of action next Thursday.

See Also: Jeremy Ring Sponsors GMO-Labeling Bill in Florida Senate

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Monsanto Parody Asks 'What's Bad About Giant Screaming Watermelons?' (Video)

Categories: Ethical Eating

Screenshot via YouTube
Organic food is for liberals.
Monsanto gets a bad rap, y'all. Sure they're genetically-altering food and people are in a huff about it. But let's play Devil's advocate here, shall we?

Maybe genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) foods aren't so bad? Maybe the whole debate was started by other corporations like Whole Foods and Fresh Market to lure you into buying "clean" and "organic"?

Don't tell us what we like, you small family farms that struggle to keep up with giant mega-corporations. Maybe we like giant, screaming watermelons!

See also: Investigation Finds GMO Sweet Corn Is a Fail in U.S. Stores

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Jeremy Ring Sponsors GMO-Labeling Bill in Florida Senate

Categories: Ethical Eating

For the most part, Florida is not known for being a progressive state.

We mean, how many times have we heard our Confederate-loving brethren in the northern part of our jurisdiction want to secede from the union?

In case you forgot: It happened in the wake of Obama's reelection just over a year ago.

It looks like there may be some progress in terms of liberal -- or even libertarian policy -- as Sen. Jeremy Ring (D-Broward County) recently sponsored a genetically modified organism (GMO) mandatory labeling initiative.

See Also: GMO Experts Jeffrey Smith and Michael Hansen Coming to South Florida for Panel Discussions

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GMO Experts Jeffrey Smith and Panel of Experts Coming to South Florida for Panel Discussions

Categories: Ethical Eating

Jeffrey Smith via wikimedia commons
Over the past couple years the debate on genetically modified organisms (GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) in food has become the hot topic amongst those into the politics of food.

While proponents of the technology claim the products are perfectly safe, and are, in fact, needed to feed the world, activists claim that labeling is necessary, because there is not sufficient testing to prove GMOs are safe to consume -- several studies have indicated more harm has been done by GMOs than good.

With bills mandatory labeling bills for GMO foods moving forward in the Florida legislature, GMO Free Florida has been working to bring experts in the field down to South Florida for panel discussions of the political issues and potential dangers of GMOs.

National figures Jeffrey Smith with the Institute for Responsible Technology and Dr. Michael Hansen of Consumers Union will be speaking to South Floridians later this month.

See Also: Representative Michelle Rehwinkle Vasilinda Files GMO Labeling Bill in the Florida House

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"Buy Local Broward" Begins Three-Month Celebration to Promote Local Food Sales

Transforming Our Community's Health
South Florida is fortunate to have a number of farmers' markets, many long-established, with a continually growing number of new farms and markets opening in the past several years. What you'll find on any given day depends on the season and the clientele the market attracts. Looking for organic produce, antibiotic-free dairy, free-range eggs, or raw honey? In Broward County, you can find it all -- and more.

Despite a recent renewal in local and sustainable farming, many area counties -- Broward included -- are losing much of their farming acreage to development. The threat of ever-impeding urban sprawl is spawning a new effort to promote local farming. At the forefront of such efforts: Fort Lauderdale-based TOUCH (Transforming Our Community's Health), which has launched a special event-based initiative known as "Buy Local Broward" in an effort to bring attention to the reemergence of local growers and availability of local produce in South Florida. Through TOUCH and the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program, an emphasis is being placed on increasing access to locally grown produce and encouraging countywide farm-to-table efforts.

Want to help? Now, you can.

See Also: South Florida Farmers Markets

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We Ate Reindeer Over the Holidays: Why You Should Too

Sara Ventiera
We know a lot of chefs over here at Clean Plate Charlie.

So when we get a crazy idea in our heads, we know who to contact.

Just before Christmas, we decided we wanted to get some ideas on how to eat Santa's favored mode of transportation for the holiday. And yes, we're fully aware that our sense of humor is slightly morbid.

To help us drum up some ideas, we reached out to The Dubliner's executive chef, Greg Schiff, who is quite the wild game enthusiast, to walk us through different ways of preparing reindeer.

Little did we know at the time that he would take that idea and run with it; after hanging up the phone with us, Schiff ordered up some reindeer sausage and stew meat to whip up in the restaurant.

Obviously, we had to get in on that; we dined on reindeer right around Christmas. As disturbing as it may sound -- sorry, Rudolph -- it's actually a more environmentally friendly, healthy, and humane animal protein to eat than anything you'll find in your corner grocery store.

See Also: Reindeer Meat for Christmas: Four Ways to Eat It

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Thanksgiving Horror Stories: Pig Abuse, Dead Presidentially Pardoned Turkeys

Matt Compton/
Turkey gets pardoned. Sentenced to death anyway.
Today, NBC ran a story about pig abuse at an Oklahoma farm that supplied animals to Tyson Foods. An undercover video shot by Mercy for Animals in September or October of this year shows workers "kicking, hitting, and throwing pigs and slamming piglets into the ground." The video, a public relations nightmare for Tyson, prompted the food giant to terminate its contract with the farm and take possession of the remaining animals. Gary Mickelson, a spokesman for Tyson Foods said, "We're extremely disappointed by the mistreatment shown in the video and will not tolerate this kind of animal mishandling."

So, does this story have a happy ending? Of course not! This isn't the only time Tyson's farms were caught in the act of animal abuse.

See also: Where to Buy Local, Free-Range Turkeys

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Where to Buy a Local Free-Range Turkey in South Florida

Categories: Ethical Eating

Although we do realize Thanksgiving is supposed to be about showing gratitude, let's face it: It's really about the food more than anything else.

It's the one day of the year in which it is completely acceptable to stuff our faces full of butter, carbs, and turkey -- skin and gravy included -- until the cows come home. (And the one day we don't typically eat cows!)

For those of us who care about local, sustainable, humane meats, however, it's a bit more work -- those frozen, store-bought, antibiotic-filled, cage-raised birds just aren't going to cut it.

Fortunately, more-ethical, nonvegan options are out there.

We've found three places in Broward and Palm Beach counties offering local, free-range turkeys for T-Day; however, time is of the essence, so you're going to have to act fast to get some.

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