Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On the Youth Panel at the Governors' Global Climate Summit 2

Sorry for the lack of posts for a while; I've been busy with school and such. I was asked to be on a youth panel at the Governors' Global Climate Summit in Los Angeles two weeks ago to discuss the role of youth in the climate change movement. I think it was a great success, especially considering all the cool panelists I got to talk with.

In any event, you can watch the video here: http://climatesummit.greenstreetscene.com/channel/conferences/globalclimatesummit2/education-green-jobs/idx1/youth-leadership-and-education

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Check out this very well-written article on the environmental, health, social, and fiscal costs of our current food system. It's certainly nice to see the mainstream media picking up on this, especially with such a big debate regarding health care going on right now (considering the enormous cost of treating conditions and diseases related to obesity and being overweight, which, in turn, relates to our "American" diet).

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Perfect Slow Food Day–Touring Île D’Orléans

After having spent a couple of days busily walking around Old Québec City, my family and I were ready for a more relaxing day. The Île d’Orléans, an island 47 miles in circumference, is a model of food sustenance, with crops ranging from maple trees to hayfields. Luckily for us, there was an very navigable single loop that circled the island, with posted signs along the way guiding us to numerous “agrotourisme” stops, which collectively provided the day’s very drawn out lunch.

Beginning our culinary journey was a stop at the Confiserie Mignon–literally “Cute Candy Shop,” where we sampled almond nougat among some other homemade candies. Essentially this one guy–the shop’s proprietor–transformed one half of his house–kitchen included–into a candy “factory” and shop where he had all of his handiwork proudly on display in glass jars along the perimeter the room. When I think of other professions my dad could have, his comes to mind. This, I’d say, was a good place to start the day.

From there, we headed to two different cidreries, where I did a cider and cider-product tasting, which included all the in-house jams, jellies, chutneys, mustards, and, of course, ciders. I can’t say I’m a big fan of straight cider, but the homemade duck confit with maple jelly was incredible.

The fromagerie was the next destination. Apparently, this was the site of the first manufacturing of cheese in North America. For better or for worse, this cheese was not for sale, so we instead opted for some cheese curds. They weren’t the best, I’ll admit, but the squeak-squeak of biting down on them kept me sufficiently entertained.

As we continued on our journey by car, I very luckily spotted a small sign that read, Érablière, with an arrow pointed down a long road into the woods. As I had discovered a couple of days earlier, sirop d’érable is French for maple syrup, so, not wanting to pass up another potential source of sugar, my Dad made a U-turn to go check it out. Driving up to a small cabane à sucre surrounded by trees, we were greeted at our car window by a third-generation érablière–Mr. Richard Boily. Knowing very little English but recognizing the my brother Scott and I spoke almost as little French, he kindly spoke very slowly for us in French, explaining the entire syrup-making process, from the three ideal syrup collection conditions to the boiling process that transforms 45 liters of maple sap water into just one liter of syrup. The best part was the sample–a delicious medium clear syrup he made in the very room in which we were standing.

The next stop was at the northern-most end of the island–the tour d’observation. While there was no food at the top of this sixty-or-so-foot tower, the view was amazing. All around one could see the St. Lawrence River rushing past the island which split it in two at its tip. Meanwhile, the views of the farm fields for miles around were breathtakingly beautiful, especially given the variety of crops (and thus colors) of the island.

Unfortunately, feasting with our eyes did nothing to satiate the hunger we were starting to develop; despite our best attempts, we could not survive on nougat, cheese, cider, and maple syrup alone, so we headed to Boulange, or bakery. Our “lunch” consisted of a loaf of a dark brown walnut loaf and then, just because the guy took them out of the oven as soon as we got the the cash register, two huge palmiers (also called “beaver tails” up north). My mom says that in San Francisco growing up she called them “elephant ears.” I haven’t yet decided which one makes less sense.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

UNESCO World Youth Conference

Greetings from Stuttgart, Deutschland! I’m here attending the UNESCO World Youth festival. Essentially, the festival is a chance for youth to exchange ideas and culture as well as to be educated on particular issues affecting the world. For two of the days, there has been a World Youth Congress, which was focused on energy and climate change. I’m one of fourteen International Climate Champions from six countries who came to help lead the climate change workshops and speak at the opening ceremony.

This evening, several ICCs and I spent time with staff from the festival to formulate all the ideas borne in the workshops into a single, cohesive Stuttgart Declaration. Although the language of the document in itself is nothing of note, the fact that such a diverse crowd of youth is assembling to discuss solutions to these problems without attention to national pride, patriotism, or selfishness is significant. Regardless of the actual substance produced on paper, the real benefits of this festival, albeit intangible, are the connections and friendships made amongst youth of such myriad cultures. It is when people have these experiences early in their lifetimes that they grow up to treat and respect others’ cultures with zeal unseen in those who have only been confined to their own people. It is an experience I wish others could be so lucky to also enjoy!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Video from Climate Camp!

There will be no winners if we don't work together . . . from Jason Bade on Vimeo.

Tonight finishes up International Climate Champion Climate Camp, at which there were Climate Champions from not only California but also from Canada and Brazil. It was hugely fun, and getting to know people even from Canada (which is surprisingly different from a cultural perspective) and Brazil was an amazing experience. In this video was Kaitlyn Kellsey, Soraya Okuda, and Tom Henbest.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009