America the Beautiful Thanks to the EPA- an open letter to Scott Pruitt

Dear Mr. Scott Pruitt (President Trump’s Nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency), On warm winter afternoons, my daughter Estrella and I head to the beach.  She sits in the matching beach chair beside me with her sketch pad and Harry Potter book. But the books are quickly tossed on the beach towel. Instead, she…

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Boycott Pesticide Food! Si Se Puede!

Protective gear is essential when dealing with contagious viruses, or radioactive cleanups, but shouldn’t be a necessity on the farms that grow the food we eat.

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Drought Bill and Water (and how it relates to Oprah)

A guest on the Oprah Winfrey show was a young woman in over her head in debt. Oprah said to her something like the following, “I would pay your debt right now if I thought it would help you….but all you will do is run up the debt again.” Instead, she gifted her financial coaching,…

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“The Third Thing” That Makes Water

D.H. Lawrence wrote, “Water is H2O, hydrogen two parts, oxygen one, but there is also a third thing that makes it water. And nobody knows what it is.” It was 75 degrees at 4:30 P.M. at the beach. I’d just dropped my eldest daughter off at ballet class and was heading home to start dinner…

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Climate Change and five things you can do about it.

From my dry spot in California (too dry) the devestation of Hurricane Sandy spilled from the television screen. I felt the heartbreak for all that the ‘super storm’ swept away. The sea receded but left in its sediment evidence of climate change. Climate change is fundamentally about water. Too much water, too little water, rising…

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‘Sustainably Farmed’ Defined

“What does sustainably farmed mean?” I asked at the farmer’s market. The word sustainable is a word that is often thrown around to describe anything from food to underwear. “Sustainably farmed means we don’t use chemicals when we don’t need to and use them when the conditions don’t allow for organic farming.” “What do you…

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Believe in Mermaids

By Florencia Ramirez I believe in mermaids. Not the existence of mermaids even though much of the ocean is swallowed in mystery. It is estimated that only five percent of the ocean has been explored according to the NOAA. The mermaid is my muse for my Eat Less Water book project. She swims in our…

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The Grip of Severe Droughts

Ninety percent of agriculture worldwide is rain-fed, grown with green water. Rain-fed food requires no irrigation because the crop is sustained during the dry summer months with spring rainfall. But our global climate is moving us into unchartered territory. According to the United Nations World Water Report, our planet will warm anywhere between 2 and…

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Swollen Rivers

For the past five days I have swam in a small bay on the Pacific Ocean at Xinalani. Under the shade of a white canvas umbrella I have contemplated the forms of boulders that make up a cliff that separates the small beach from a river. I had given little thought to the river the…

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Limits of USDA Organic on Water

Organic farming is better than conventional farming at reducing gray water runoff, largely because it avoids the use of synthetic fertilizers, but organic farming methods alone have limitations when it comes to achieving water-sustainable food production as do organic Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). A sign posted on a field I often pass reads, Organic…

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Rainy Day Schedule

Today I watch raindrops fall. In my slice of the world raindrops have been few and infrequent. We Southern Californians pride ourselves with our endless string of sunny days, but we need rain. According to the Southern California Weather Notes, our rainfall is 51% of normal. Rain and snow naturally moves fresh water from the…

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Organic Is “Better” for Water

“Why can I have only organic cereal?” my daughter whined in the aisles of the supermarket. “Because organic is better for water,” I answered. The details I left for some day when my daughter is old enough to understand are the following: A study released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)…

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