Q&A with Food Chains Director Sanjay Rawal, March Planned Monday at West Palm Beach Publix

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Screen shot from Food Chains trailer.
Less than a decade ago, the Everglades farming town of Immokalee was often described as the headquarters of agricultural abuse in the United States. Stories of bosses beating, forcing free labor, and using horrifying intimidation tactics were commonplace.

The abuses were so widespread, that Immokalee was described by the Department of Justice as "ground zero for modern day slavery [in agriculture] in the United States."

Much of the dire poverty of the workers and exploitive practices of the agribusiness is chronicled in journalist Barry Estabrook's Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Detroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit.

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EarthSave Talks Turkeys, Hosts Free Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck Saturday

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EarthSave Miami

Did you know turkeys are incredibly social creatures, have excellent hearing but no external ears, love eating peanuts (so much!), and were once so prized that Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the wild turkey the national bird before the bald eagle eventually won out? Nope, had no clue?!

While an estimated 45 million turkeys are used for Thanksgiving meals, there is a shift afoot to turkeyless dinners, vegan-friendly potlucks, and cruelty-free meal plans where everyone leaves full and happy with wishbones intact.

Whether you are oddly curious, wanting to get some ideas for what a vegan Thanksgiving spread looks like ahead of the actual holiday, or are a lifelong vegan in search of sharing a meal with other like-minded eaters, EarthSave is hosting a free community vegan Thanksgiving this Saturday (November 22) with its Zero Turkey Feast.

See also: Where to Eat Vegan on Thanksgiving in Broward and Palm Beach Counties


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Dreamers Corp Attempting to Change the World, One Community Garden at a Time

Categories: Ethical Eating

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Photo courtesy of Dreamers Corp
Anyone and everyone who is into food is used to hearing the value in local produce: it tastes better, it's better for the environment, it supports the local economy, etc.

And hey, that sounds great. We like all of those things.

While buying from a local farmer is definitely a step in the right direction, that conversation is usually directed at those with some spending power, those who have a choice between Whole Foods, Publix, and a local farmers market -- that group does not include large segments of the population.

Florida Institute of Technology student Adrian Devezin (20) and his board of directors (two fellow students at the university) with the Dreamers Corp want to change that. The group hopes to change the world, one community garden at a time, starting with Florida.

See Also: Arts & Eats Guide 2014: Valentino Cucina Italiana Chef/Owner Giovanni Rocchio Creates Authentic Italian Fare

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Hallandale Beach Passes Resolution on GMO Labeling and Antibiotics in Livestock

Categories: Ethical Eating

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Courtesy of Wikimedia
The genetically modified organism (GMO) issue rages on.

While states are facing lawsuits for mandatory labeling legislation, some cities are attempting to take things into their own hands.

Hallandale Beach is one.

Recently, "The City of Choice" became the first town in Florida to pass a resolution in favor of GMO labeling and a resolution supporting a ban on the overuse of antibiotics in livestock.

See Also: GMO Free USA Pushing Petition Encouraging Publix to Label GMO Products

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Bottled Water Still Coming From Drought-Stricken California: Which Brands to Avoid

Categories: Ethical Eating

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Wikimedia unattributed author
Right now, California is knee-deep in the third driest year in its history (since we've been recording, anyway).

To combat the issue, in July, the state enacted drastic actions to reduce water consumption, including $500 fines for watering gardens, washing cars, or hosing down sidewalks. It's pretty serious.

With forceful measures in place, one would think that there would be a ban on exporting water from the nearly barren state.

Apparently not. Many of the big bottled water companies are still tapping California's supplies and sending it to wetter, more fertile states.

See Also: Corona Beer 12-Ounce Glass Bottles Recalled

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Affordable, Sustainable, Cholesterol-Free: Just Mayo Making Its Way to Walmart Shelves

Categories: Ethical Eating

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Courtesy of Just Mayo

Hampton Creek's Just Mayo is taking its affordable, sustainable and cholesterol free mayo to Walmart.

This egg-free sandwich spread (made from pea protein) is billing itself as the everyman's mayo: affordable, wildly delicious and better for you. After Andrew Zimmern himself picked it over Hellman's in a taste test, their path to becoming the world's go-to mainstream mayo brand seems pretty attainable.

Come September 24th, in the next step of their consumer journey, they'll be on the shelves at the everyman's consumer mecca.

See also: Hampton Creek Foods Seeks to Replace Eggs With Plants


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Coconut Water May Not Be All It's Cracked Up to Be

Categories: Ethical Eating

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Crisco 1492 via wikimedia
Every other month, it's something new on the health front.

Pomegranate juice will cure all your ailments. Never mind; it's ridiculously high in sugar.

Kombucha is a miracle immune booster. Oh, wait -- it can kill you.

Now, coconut water is all the rage. Billed as yet another miracle liquid, global sales are reaching $400 million per year.

Great for the coconut industry, but according to an article by the New York Times, most consumers are unaware that marketers have scaled back on their claims of healthful benefits.

See Also: Riverside Market Hosting Water Conservation Fundraiser All Summer Long

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SKYY Vodka and Freedom Freedom to Marry Hosting #ToastToMarriage Party at Georgie's Alibi This Weekend

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Doug Fairall
Activism and award-winning burgers at Georgie's Alibi
This past week has held big news on the gay marriage front for the state of Florida.

Last Thursday, Circuit Judge Luis Garcia in the Florida Keys struck down the state ban of gay marriage, stating it violated the right to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. He ordered the Monroe County Clerk of Court to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting on Tuesday.

He later rejected the emergency motion filed by bartenders Aaron Huntsman, 44 and William Lee Jones, 43, after republican Attorney General Pam Bondi announced she planned to appeal it.

While the later ruling was a major disappointment for the LBGT community and anyone who supports equal rights, this weekend offers a chance for solace and celebration for hopes of future progress. SKYY Vodka and Freedom to Marry are hosting a #ToastToMarriage event at Georgie's Alibi.

See Also: Riverside Market Hosting Water Conservation Fundraiser All Summer Long

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Beer Geeks and Farmers Take on FDA and Win (for Now)

Categories: Ethical Eating

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Hubble ESA via Flickr
For those into local and sustainable farming and food production, the FDA is akin to a bullying older sibling always trying to suppress your desire to express your creativity -- actually, it's more like the big brother who sits on your head and farts in your face.

Earlier this year, the FDA proposed a ruling that would have dramatically increased the cost of beer. The agency was going to attempt to regulate (or prohibit) the centuries-old practice of trading and selling spent grain between breweries and farmers under the Food Safety Modernization Act -- it's the same piece of legislation that threatened artisanal cheese just a couple of months back.

Just like the cheeseheads and producers, craft beer geeks and farmers fought back, prompting the FDA to lay off its ruling.

See Also: FDA Backs Down After Cheese-Heads Fight Back

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Humane Educator James Wildman Presents "101 Reasons to Go Vegan" Saturday

Categories: Ethical Eating

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CandaceWest.com
If you poll a room full of vegans and ask what their reasons were for deciding on a diet free of animal products, you'll hear a laundry list of reasons.

Many times, it was the first time they made the connection that the cheery Old McDonald's Farm we recited as a kid was perhaps not as advertised and little more than propaganda sing-a-long for the meat and dairy industry.

Others would say it was the first time they made a connection with their companion animal and realized the potential hypocrisy of loving one animal but eating the other.

And other times, initial reasons for going vegan were far less altruistic but still valid - weight loss, better skin, the way to avoid a triple bypass surgery, the gateway to the fountain of youth, you saw Queen Bey and Jay Z do it for 30 days and wanted to give it a go, or you heard it was a way to combat impotency.

For Animal Rights Foundation of Florida's Humane Educator James Wildman, the goal of his work is not necessarily to get everyone to pledge a vegan diet (although, that would be awesome!), but to at the very least start to re-think what they are eating and get people to see that our diet is a learned behavior based on a cultural story (i.e. - you believe you need cow's milk to be healthy and strong because you have been hearing it 'does a body good' since birth).

See Also: Six Places to Get Dairy-Free Ice Cream in South Florida for National Ice Cream Month


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