Awesome Stories 302

This week Awesome Stories brings you less beef, mothers for peace, food waste, and creativity for kids.

Bailing on Beefenvironmental impact beef, Awesome Stories

I’ve been all over the map on eating meat, from meat lover growing up to vegetarian for 12 years in my 30s, and then in my 40s returning to meat in small quantities. It might be time to completely ditch the beef. From an environmental perspective, growing and eating beef is a disaster, especially modern day methods of feeding them grains instead of natural grasses. Compared to other meats, beef is far worse on land use, water use and emissions from the methane gas they emit. And compared to eating the grains directly instead of feeding them to cattle, the numbers are really bad. Beef uses 160 times more land and produces 11 times more greenhouse gas. Scientists estimate that giving up beef would have a greater environmental impact than giving up cars!

Mothers for Peace

Yael Deckelbaum is an award-winning Israeli/Canadian singer-songwriter and activist. She created this beautiful video that has become the anthem of hope in the march for peace by women around the globe. Singing from an early age, she has solo albums, hit singles and various other successes, but only recently found her passion as an activist. In the spirit of singers like Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, she has inspired a movement called Women Wage Peace working toward creating peace in the mid-east and inspiring more women’s peace movements around the world.

Food Waste Guidelines

I am a mother, urban farmer, graduate student, native Arkansan, world traveler, pattern thinking, community engaging, grant writing, food systems solutionary. ~ Melissa Terry

Melissa Terry inspires me in how much she impacts our local community. I first learned of her work at Feed Communities to address food security and help build resilient local food systems. After becoming aware of how much food is wasted in schools, Melissa created a program to reduce waste at a local elementary school. It was so successful it has become a model for other local schools. Currently, while working on her MPA, she created a national guideline for auditing food waste in partnership with the USDA, EPA, and other state organizations. The intention is to give students and teachers a guide for evaluating food choices and how they impact both personal and environmental health. Thank you Melissa for helping make our world a better place.

Creativity for Kidscreativity, kids, Awesome Stories

Philadelphia has started an innovative program in its libraries, offering spaces for creativity to the underserved kids of Philadelphia. The program is called Maker Jawn signifying a space to make or create. The children are given free reign to create what they want with a variety of materials including paint, glue, 3D printers, ipads, building materials and more. What I most like is how the creations are self-directed, helping them develop both creativity and confidence. Way to go Philadelphia!

May you find your creative potential and use it to bring more peace, love, and sustainability into the world.

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31 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 302

    • Yes David, we have done much harm to people and planet. It will take a more compassionate and inclusive approach (generally the feminine) to heal and move us forward. I hope many women and men step up to live from their hearts.

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  1. That was a wonderful video! I used to play Joan Baez’ song when I was a teenager …and still love them 🙂 On the beef issue, I have now arrived to a point where we still eat SOME beef sometimes, but only grass fed etc. etc. More than a year ago I stopped buying any ‘normal’ beef products just because how they are produced. Great, inspiring post, as always.

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  2. Wow – what an incredible collection! I’ve shared the video of the song on my Facebook – really stunning! And I love the idea of a space to lets kids create whatever THEY want. They seem to get so little open/un-directed time these days…and it’s so important to create space for imagination, innovation and empowerment…because left to self-direct they discover how many awesome things they can create. Wonderful way to uplift my day – reading this 🙂 Thank you! Blessings, Harula xxx

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    • You’re most welcome Harula. I agree that kids need more unstructured time and opportunities to explore, create or do nothing. We push them too much in the quest for learning and excellence. May we nurture and uplift the children of the world. ❤

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  3. That is a beautiful video Brad.. May we all Sing and march with our hearts for Peace. Loved that Video
    And I totally agree with you about Beef… We should all of us reconnect again with our inner child and be creative..
    I have so enjoyed painting again this weekend..

    Lovely awesome stories Have a wonderful Sunday .. 🙂 Sue

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  4. I’m with you on the beef: I gave it up years ago for health reasons: my grandfather passed away from a heart attack, my dad had a heart attack – and survived – and my oldest brother had heart troubles before passing away. Red meat was the culprit according to all their doctors. That was enough to begin eliminating it from my diet. Then I read Fast Food Nation and with the exception of bean burritos from Taco Bell, I don’t eat fast food. But I was also glad to find out about how giving up beef is good for the planet, too. In that same line of thought, I’m working on eliminating other sources of meat. J and I are down to avian sources of meat, and it’s not that often we eat it. We’re trying to limit our consumption of avian meat given how their living conditions are often terrible, too. But…we have to balance it with the fact that if husby doesn’t get enough protein, he literally starts withering away as his body will consume his muscle mass. So…we’ll continue weaning off and see if we can do it. That video on peace is awesome, too. Beautiful music!!
    And…if I ever work from home again, I think I’d have to teach Spanish to underprivileged kids – learning another language boosts brain development in other ways. That creativity program for kids just inspired me!

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  5. Once again you feature three very important topics. I am one of those meat eaters who sometimes goes weeks without it and then I might have some chicken….If I am invited out, then I will eat whatever is presented to me, but at home I would say that I am a 99.9% veggie person. Mothers for Peace – so important and what glorious music….I highly endorse.
    As for creative spaces in Philadelphia library – a great idea and one that I believe should be adopted everywhere. It gives many children an opportunity to explore their creative expression in ways that they might not otherwise be able to do. Hope you are enjoying a lovely Tuesday…Janet:)

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  6. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes, that’s okay, but most of the time it’s not. As human beings, we should always be looking to improve (and not only in the sense of efficiency). Given the space to experiment and express our unique creativity is essential, to children and adults alike. I am happy to see the children of Philadelphia setting such a good example for us adults 😉

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    • Wise reminders Dave. I have a tendency to keep doing the same things and yet wishing things were different. 🙂 I’m glad you and the kids are making room in your lives to experiment, learn and grow. blessings.

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  7. Excellent collection of good news! I gave up beef and pork about 40 years ago for ethical reasons and I don’t miss them one bit. These huge environmental benefits reinforce that decision. The chicken and fish are a little more of a challenge for me though.

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  8. Reblogged this on Anything is Possible! and commented:
    Brad has a way of collecting the most awesome stories. No rubbish here! But I’m jotting about it for Just Jot It January. 🙂 One more impressive reason to give up beef, a powerful video on peace, increased awareness of food waste and how to stop it, and creativity are all topics dear to my heart. Thanks, Brad!

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  9. Just found your blog. Love it! These short stories, designed to shine a spotlight on the efforts of other’s work with important issues, is such a great way to connect with the blogosphere without focusing attention on yourself. Very refreshing.

    And an interesting point about the enormous carbon footprint of our grazing animals(I have to give credit to the author’s of “Think Like a Freak”): Did you know that in the early 1900’s, we were facing worldwide crisis in urban centers. Horses were essential. Cities relied on them for transportation (people and goods). They were everywhere. and so was their crap. Aside from the smell, it was making people sick. Cities around the world couldn’t find a way to dispose of it quickly enough. Huge toxic methane producing mountains of crap littered the suburbs. Imagine the streets…

    No one could figure out a reasonable solution (and lots were tried). Then, the streets began to clear. The piles of manure stopped growing. The cities were saved.

    What miraculous solution saved our cities?

    The automobile.

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  10. In reading the intro to this post your concerns echo that of writer Simon Fairlie. Have you read his book? Eye opening. I see your concerns, but the food production system is way more complicated that what first seems to meet the eye. For example, land such as the majority of Nebraska’s cattle country where a huge percentage of America’s beef is raise for most its life before feed lot (or direct processing for grass fed) isn’t arable. Furthermore, livestock consume massive amounts of waste products from crops such as cotton, soy, corn, even oranges. What happens to that waste when livestock are removed from the equation? What happens when manure isn’t available for crop fertilization? Chemicals? Crop rotation only goes so far before land needs to rest, then how much land would be used in crop production? How much more plant based foods need to be consumed to meet the protein and energy efficiency of beef?

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