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FOOD THAT'S GOOD FOR MOTHER EARTH
Heirloom Tomatoes More often than not, diners focus on how a dish is prepared rather than the more important aspects of food: how the vegetables are raised, where the fish is caught using what system, how the goats graze to give the milk that turns to cheese. On Earth Day, at the Shangri-La Hotel Makati, our questions were answered by tuna fishermen, chocolate and coffee farmers, goat herders, chocolate makers, and vegetable growers, all of them suppliers of the hotel, all of them practicing organic and sustainable methods aimed at treating Mother Earth with kindness and care. READ MORE...
ALSO: Environmentalism or Environmental rights
[In the Philippines, according to the Asian Development Bank, the Pasig River is one of the world's most polluted rivers]
Environmentalism or Environmental rights is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental protection and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements. Environmentalism advocates the lawful preservation, restoration and/or improvement of the natural environment, and may be referred to as a movement to control pollution or protect plant and animal diversity.For this reason, concepts such as a land ethic, environmental ethics, biodiversity, ecology and the biophilia hypothesis figure predominantly. At its crux, environmentalism is an attempt to balance relations between humans and the various natural systems on which they depend in such a way that all the components are accorded a proper degree of sustainability. The exact measures and outcomes of this balance is controversial and there are many different ways for environmental concerns to be expressed in practice. Environmentalism and environmental concerns are often represented by the color green, but this association has been appropriated by the marketing industries for the tactic known as 'greenwashing'.. Environmentalism is opposed by anti-environmentalism, which says that the Earth is less fragile than some environmentalists maintain, and portrays environmentalism as overreacting to the human contribution to climate change or opposing human advancement.READ MORE...
READ FULL REPORT HERE:
Food that’s good for mother earth
SHANGRILA-LA HOTEL IN MAKATI
MANILA, MAY 18, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi May 14, 2015 - More often than not, diners focus on how a dish is prepared rather than the more important aspects of food: how the vegetables are raised, where the fish is caught using what system, how the goats graze to give the milk that turns to cheese.
On Earth Day, at the Shangri-La Hotel Makati, our questions were answered by tuna fishermen, chocolate and coffee farmers, goat herders, chocolate makers, and vegetable growers, all of them suppliers of the hotel, all of them practicing organic and sustainable methods aimed at treating Mother Earth with kindness and care.
“Rooted in Nature” is the campaign of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts at all 80 properties scattered around the world in diverse locations—from Hong Kong to Paris, from Tokyo to Sydney, from Kota Kinabalu to Guilin.
FOOD FROM EARTH Natural and deliciously healthy food from Mother Earth. Gourmet stuffed bangus,
Gourmet gumamela jam
Theo and Philo handmade chocolates
Giant tuna and mahi mahi caught by artisanal fishermen
Flavored chocolate from Davao
Paul Lenz -Area Executive Chef at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
Area executive chef Paul Lenz and his team go out of their way to assist not just the hotel’s customers, but the kitchen’s suppliers as well.
A perfect example is Green Produce Farm in the highlands of Bukidnon. Shangri-La’s executive chef Franco Brodini worked with the farm, even providing imported seeds and mentoring farmers on the production of imported crops.
Today, GP Tarms is well-known in the culinary world as producer of organic arugula, mint, basil, oak lettuce, butter lettuce, romaine, deep red lettuce, thyme, heirloom and cherry tomatoes, yellow peppers, thin French beans, and other rare vegetables that Philippine hotels used to import.
We tasted buttered toast spread with a jam the color of deep garnet made from the petals of gumamela, or hibiscus, produced by The Fruit Garden. Aside from the jelly, the company also introduced hibiscus tea, hibiscus sugar, and hibiscus sea salt from the Sambali beach farm in Zambales.
Organically raised bangus (milkfish) is processed by another hotel partner, Fisher Farms, a leading supplier of farm-raised seafood. We especially enjoyed their all-natural fish frankfurters, fish patties, and bangus loins with roasted garlic. Leading export products of the company are large boneless smoked bangus and gourmet baked stuffed bangus that Pinay party hostesses around the world love to show off as their own.
Philippine chocolate has come a long way since Larry Cruz reacquainted city folk with tableya and batidor at Café Adriatico. The back-to-nature movement has rediscovered Filipino chocolate and, with the ingenuity of young entrepreneurs, Philippine chocolate products are reaping medals and trophies in international competitions. The most innovative chocolate products in the market are produced by Theo & Philo using cacao grown on the foothills of Mount Apo in Davao. It is the only company that produces chocolate bars from scratch, meaning from the cacao bean.
The flavors are truly Pinoy: calamansi, barako, adobo, labuyo, pili, and green mango.
SINGLE HOOK FISHING
The lunch and dinner buffets at Shangri-La are famous for the quality of tuna and salmon sashimi and sushi, which are not only extremely fresh and good for you, but also kind to Mother Earth. The tuna is supplied by Artesmar, which only purchases fish caught with traditional single-hook handline by some 3,000 fishermen all over the archipelago. The company provides technical coaching and training for fishermen and tuna traders for improved handling and food safety.
Environmentalism or Environmental rights
Environmentalism or Environmental rights is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental protection and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements.
Environmentalism advocates the lawful preservation, restoration and/or improvement of the natural environment, and may be referred to as a movement to control pollution or protect plant and animal diversity.For this reason, concepts such as a land ethic, environmental ethics, biodiversity, ecology and the biophilia hypothesis figure predominantly.
At its crux, environmentalism is an attempt to balance relations between humans and the various natural systems on which they depend in such a way that all the components are accorded a proper degree of sustainability.
The exact measures and outcomes of this balance is controversial and there are many different ways for environmental concerns to be expressed in practice. Environmentalism and environmental concerns are often represented by the color green, but this association has been appropriated by the marketing industries for the tactic known as 'greenwashing'.
Environmentalism is opposed by anti-environmentalism, which says that the Earth is less fragile than some environmentalists maintain, and portrays environmentalism as overreacting to the human contribution to climate change or opposing human advancement.
Environmentalism denotes a social movement that seeks to influence the political process by lobbying, activism, and education in order to protect natural resources and ecosystems. The word was first coined in 1922.
An environmentalist is a person who may speak out about our natural environment and the sustainable management of its resources through changes in public policy or individual behavior.
This may include supporting practices such as informed consumption, conservation initiatives, investment in renewable resources, improved efficiencies in the materials economy, transitioning to new accounting paradigms such as Ecological economics and renewing and revitalizing our connections with non-human life.
In various ways (for example, grassroots activism and protests), environmentalists and environmental organizations seek to give the natural world a stronger voice in human affairs.
In general terms, environmentalists advocate the sustainable management of resources, and the protection (and restoration, when necessary) of the natural environment through changes in public policy and individual behavior. In its recognition of humanity as a participant in ecosystems, the movement is centered around ecology, health, and human rights.
While the term environmentalism focuses more on the environmental and nature-related aspects of green ideology and politics, ecologism as a term combines the ideology of social ecology and environmentalism.
Ecologism as a term is more commonly used in continental European languages while environmentalism is more commonly used in English but the words have slightly different connotations.
A concern for environmental protection has recurred in diverse forms, in different parts of the world, throughout history.
For example, in Europe, King Edward I of England banned the burning of sea-coal by proclamation in London in 1272, after its smoke had become a problem. The fuel was so common in England that this earliest of names for it was acquired because it could be carted away from some shores by the wheelbarrow.
Early environmental legislation
Levels of air pollution rose during the Industrial Revolution, sparking the first modern environmental laws to be passed in the mid-19th century.
The origins of the environmental movement lay in the response to increasing levels of smoke pollution in the atmosphere during the Industrial Revolution.
The emergence of great factories and the concomitant immense growth in coal consumption gave rise to an unprecedented level of air pollution in industrial centers; after 1900 the large volume of industrial chemical discharges added to the growing load of untreated human waste.
The first large-scale, modern environmental laws came in the form of Britain's Alkali Acts, passed in 1863, to regulate the deleterious air pollution (gaseous hydrochloric acid) given off by the Leblanc process, used to produce soda ash.
An Alkali inspector and four sub-inspectors were appointed to curb this pollution. The responsibilities of the inspectorate were gradually expanded, culminating in the Alkali Order 1958 which placed all major heavy industries that emitted smoke, grit, dust and fumes under supervision.
The late 19th century also saw the passage of the first wildlife conservation laws. The zoologist Alfred Newton published a series of investigations into the Desirability of establishing a 'Close-time' for the preservation of indigenous animals between 1872 and 1903. His advocacy for legislation to protect animals from hunting during the mating season led to the formation of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and influenced the passage of the Sea Birds Preservation Act in 1869 as the first nature protection law in the world.
For most of the century from 1850 to 1950, however, the primary environmental cause was the mitigation of air pollution. The Coal Smoke Abatement Society was formed in 1898 making it one of the oldest environmental NGOs. It was founded by artist Sir William Blake Richmond, frustrated with the pall cast by coal smoke.
Although there were earlier pieces of legislation, the Public Health Act 1875 required all furnaces and fireplaces to consume their own smoke. It also provided for sanctions against factories that emitted large amounts of black smoke.
The provisions of this law were extended in 1926 with the Smoke Abatement Act to include other emissions, such as soot, ash and gritty particles and to empower local authorities to impose their own regulations.
It was, however, only under the impetus of the Great Smog of 1952 in London, which almost brought the city to a standstill and may have caused upward of 6,000 deaths that the Clean Air Act 1956 was passed and pollution in the city was finally brought to an end.
Financial incentives were offered to householders to replace open coal fires with alternatives (such as installing gas fires), or for those who preferred, to burn coke instead (a byproduct of town gas production) which produces minimal smoke.
'Smoke control areas' were introduced in some towns and cities in which only smokeless fuels could be burnt and power stations were relocated away from cities. The act formed an important impetus to modern environmentalism, and caused a rethinking of the dangers of environmental degradation to people's quality of life.
First environmental movements
Early interest in the environment was a feature of the Romantic movement in the early 19th century.
The poet William Wordsworth travelled extensively in the Lake District and wrote that it is a "sort of national property in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy".
John Ruskin an influential thinker who articulated the Romantic ideal of environmental protection and conservation.
Systematic efforts on behalf of the environment only began in the late 19th century; it grew out of the amenity movement in Britain in the 1870s, which was a reaction to industrialization, the growth of cities, and worsening air and water pollution.
Starting with the formation of the Commons Preservation Society in 1865, the movement championed rural preservation against the encroachments of industrialisation. Robert Hunter, solicitor for the society, worked with Hardwicke Rawnsley, Octavia Hill, and John Ruskin to lead a successful campaign to prevent the construction of railways to carry slate from the quarries, which would have ruined the unspoilt valleys of Newlands and Ennerdale. This success led to the formation of the Lake District Defence Society (later to become The Friends of the Lake District).
An early "Back-to-Nature" movement, which anticipated the romantic ideal of modern environmentalism, was advocated by intellectuals such as John Ruskin, William Morris, George Bernard Shaw and Edward Carpenter, who were all against consumerism, pollution and other activities that were harmful to the natural world.
The movement was a reaction to the urban conditions of the industrial towns, where sanitation was awful, pollution levels intolerable and housing terribly cramped. Idealists championed the rural life as a mythical Utopia and advocated a return to it. John Ruskin argued that people should return to a small piece of English ground, beautiful, peaceful, and fruitful.
We will have no steam engines upon it . . . we will have plenty of flowers and vegetables . . . we will have some music and poetry; the children will learn to dance to it and sing it.
Practical ventures in the establishment of small cooperative farms were even attempted and old rural traditions, without the "taint of manufacture or the canker of artificiality", were enthusiastically revived, including the Morris dance and the maypole.
These ideas also inspired various environmental groups in the UK, such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, established in 1889 by Emily Williamson as a protest group to campaign for greater protection for the indigenous birds of the island.
The Society attracted growing support from the suburban middle-classes as well as support from many other influential figures, such as the ornithologist Professor Alfred Newton.
By 1900, public support for the organisation had grown, and it had over 25,000 members. The Garden city movement incorporated many environmental concerns into its urban planning manifesto; the Socialist League and The Clarion movement also began to advocate measures of nature conservation.
Original title page of Walden by Henry David Thoreau.
The movement in the United States began in the late 19th century, out of concerns for protecting the natural resources of the West, with individuals such as John Muir and Henry David Thoreau making key philosophical contributions.
Thoreau was interested in peoples' relationship with nature and studied this by living close to nature in a simple life. He published his experiences in the book Walden, which argues that people should become intimately close with nature.
Muir came to believe in nature's inherent right, especially after spending time hiking in Yosemite Valley and studying both the ecology and geology. He successfully lobbied congress to form Yosemite National Park and went on to set up the Sierra Club in 1892.
The conservationist principles as well as the belief in an inherent right of nature were to become the bedrock of modern environmentalism.
In the 20th century, environmental ideas continued to grow in popularity and recognition. Efforts were starting to be made to save some wildlife, particularly the American bison.
The death of the last passenger pigeon as well as the endangerment of the American bison helped to focus the minds of conservationists and popularize their concerns. In 1916 the National Park Service was founded by US President Woodrow Wilson.
Silent Spring by Rachael Carson, published in 1962, included an endorsement by William O. Douglas.
In 1962, Silent Spring by American biologist Rachel Carson was published. The book cataloged the environmental impacts of the indiscriminate spraying of DDT in the US and questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without fully understanding their effects on ecology or human health.
The book suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds.The resulting public concern led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 which subsequently banned the agricultural use of DDT in the US in 1972.
The limited use of DDT in disease vector control continues to this day in certain parts of the world and remains controversial. The book's legacy was to produce a far greater awareness of environmental issues and interest into how people affect the environment.
With this new interest in environment came interest in problems such as air pollution and petroleum spills, and environmental interest grew. New pressure groups formed, notably Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth (US), as well as notable local organizations such as the Wyoming Outdoor Council, which was founded in 1967.
In the 1970s, the environmental movement gained rapid speed around the world as a productive outgrowth of the counterculture movement.
Another milestone in the movement was the creation of an Earth Day. Earth Day was first observed in San Francisco and other cities on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring.
It was created to give awareness to environmental issues. On March 21, 1971, United Nations Secretary-General U Thant spoke of a spaceship Earth on Earth Day, hereby referring to the ecosystem services the earth supplies to us, and hence our obligation to protect it (and with it, ourselves).
Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year.
In the Philippines
The Environment of the Philippines is prone to natural disasters, particularly typhoons, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis, lying as it does astride the typhoon belt, in the active volcanic region known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, and in the geologically unstable region between the Pacific and Eurasian tectonic plates.
The Philippines also suffers major human-caused environmental degradation aggravated by a high annual population growth rate, including loss of agricultural lands, deforestation, soil erosion, air and water pollution, improper disposal of solid and toxic wastes, loss of coral reefs, mismanagement and abuse of coastal resources, and overfishing.
Further information: Water supply and sanitation in the Philippines
The Pasig River in Manila, one of the world's most polluted rivers.
Although water resources become scarce in some regions and seasons, the Philippines as a whole has more than enough surface and groundwater. However, the neglect of a coherent environmental policy led to the actual situation, in which 58% of the groundwater is contaminated.
The main source of pollution is untreated domestic and industrial wastewater. Only one third of Philippine river systems are considered suitable for public water supply.
It is estimated that in 2025, water availability will be marginal in most major cities and in 8 of the 19 major river basins. Besides severe health concerns, water pollution also leads to problems in the fishing and tourism industries.
The national government recognized the problem and since 2004 has sought to introduce sustainable water resources development management.
Only 5% of the total population is connected to a sewer network. The vast majority uses flush toilets connected to septic tanks.
Since sludge treatment and disposal facilities are rare, most effluents are discharged without treatment.
According to the Asian Development Bank, the Pasig River is one of the world's most polluted rivers.
In March 2008, Manila Water announced that a wastewater treatment plant will be constructed in Taguig. The first Philippine constructed wetland serving about 700 households was completed in 2006 in a peri-urban area of Bayawan City which has been used to resettle families that lived along the coast in informal settlements and had no access to safe water supply and sanitation facilities.
Main article: Deforestation in the Philippines
Over the course of the 20th century the forest cover of the Philippines dropped from 70 percent down to 20 percent. In total, 46 species are endangered, and 4 were already eradicated completely. 3.2 percent of total rainforest has been left.
Based on an analysis of land use pattern maps and a road map an estimated 9.8 million ha of forests were lost in the Philippines from 1934 to 1988.Illegal logging occurs in the Philippines and intensify flood damage in some areas.
According to scholar Jessica Mathews, short-sighted policies by the Filipino government have contributed to the high rate of deforestation:
The government regularly granted logging concessions of less than ten years.
Since it takes 30–35 years for a second-growth forest to mature, loggers had no incentive to replant. Compounding the error, flat royalties encouraged the loggers to remove only the most valuable species.
A horrendous 40 percent of the harvestable lumber never left the forests but, having been damaged in the logging, rotted or was burned in place.
The unsurprising result of these and related policies is that out of 17 million hectares of closed forests that flourished early in the century only 1.2 million remain today.
Recognizing the need to tackle the environment issues as well as the need to sustain development and growth, the Philippines came up with the Sustainable Development Strategy.
The nation for the Sustainable Development Strategy includes assimilating environmental considerations in administration, apposite pricing of natural resources, conservation of biodiversity, rehabilitation of ecosystems, control of population growth and human resources development, inducing growth in rural areas, promotion of environmental education, strengthening citizens’ participation, and promoting small to medium sized enterprises and sustainable agricultural and forestry practices.
One of the initiatives signed in part of the strategy was the 1992 Earth Summit.
Upon signing the 1992 Earth Summit, the government of Philippines has been constantly looking into many different initiatives to improve the environmental aspects of the country.
Currently, the Philippines' Department of Environment and Natural Resources has been busy tracking down illegal loggers and been spearheading projects to preserve the quality of many remaining rivers that are not yet polluted.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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