By using less plastic, hanging more unmentionables on the clothesline, and stocking our cabinets with Chocolate Blasters instead of Coco Pops, many of us “go green” on a daily basis. But some people take it all the way. And those are the ones that I reviewed as part of an interesting panel of judges for this year’s Growing Green Awards.
Each year, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Growing Green Awards honor the continuing work of four outstanding food innovators. These winners must demonstrate that they are innovative in promoting a sustainable food system, encourage wide-scale change, and advance the health and well-being of farmers and rural communities. The NRDC is one of the most effective, inspiring, and important environmental groups out there, and I am a big supporter of its work. So I was happy to agree to be a judge for its awards.
Stone Barns and Blue Hill Executive Chef Dan Barber; author and food hero Michael Pollan; director of Agricultural Sustainability Institute at University of California–Davis, Dr. Tom Tomich; and myself (preferred title: Organic Ninja) sifted through numerous entries to choose the winners. Some of the candidates were big, bad (in a good way), powerful food-change personalities; some were small-scale everyday folks doing big and bad (in a good way) things in their own backyards. It was hard to choose when every single entry was worthy of recognition! At first we did not agree, but after polite debate we came to consensus on who should be the winners in each category. But we were all inspired by the creativity, determination and commitment of everyone we reviewed. I can’t wait for you to read the stories of these clean food-fighting all-stars when the NRDC announces the winners at the end of this month.
To find out who won, check out NRDC.org on April 26. But I also encourage you to support and get involved with the NRDC, since it works tirelessly to defend the environment from all assaults. What’s unusual about it as an environmental group is that it is primarily a group of lawyers (yes, LAWYERS) who are willing to fight the good fight on behalf of the one woman who needs our help most (planet Earth).
I’m willing to bet that the majority of my blog readers deserve a Growing Green award, even by doing everyday things in your own communities already, such as shopping at farmer’s markets and voting to promote organics through your spending habits (like voting for Chocolate Blasters). For that, I hope you feel honored daily.
But if you could nominate someone you know as a Growing Green champ, who would it be?