Good News: Week 5

This week, we strongly agree with Mark Bittman’s Food Manifesto for the Future and were inspired by Tom Philpott’s career path. We’re very excited about new and innovative materials that can go a long way to help us live more sustainably and the prospect of sunlight being converted into hydrogen. We watched the Super Bowl and thought about what yoga can do for the players on the field. Finally, we were mesmerized by the beautiful places on our earth that we need to fight to save.

FOOD & WELLNESS: The future of eating in America
For decades, Americans believed that we had the world’s healthiest and safest diet. We worried little about this diet’s effect on the environment or on the lives of the animals (or even the workers) it relies upon. Nor did we worry about its ability to endure — that is, its sustainability. That didn’t mean all was well. And we’ve come to recognize that our diet is unhealthful and unsafe. Many food production workers labor in difficult, even deplorable, conditions, and animals are produced as if they were widgets. It would be hard to devise a more wasteful, damaging, unsustainable system.
A Food Manifesto for the Future, by Mark Bittman, The New York Times

FOOD & CAREER: Tom Philpott — From Financial Journalism to Food Writing
A path that led from a restaurant kitchen in Austin eventually took Tom Philpott  — by way of Mexico City and Brooklyn, New York — to North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, where he now serves as co-founder/core group member at Maverick Farms, while also dishing out what may be the most consistently awesome food policy reporting in the blogosphere. Along the way, then-NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani inadvertently helped him decide to make the jump from a successful career in financial journalism to food writing.
Our Hero: Tom Philpott of Grist.org, Maverick Farms, by Leslie Hatfield, Ecocentric

DESIGN & INNOVATION: 10 Wild Materials That Could Help Save the Earth
We take the stuff that makes up our world for granted. Plastic is plastic, right? And wood is wood? Absolutely not: Materials are still a hotbed of innovation, often involving ideas to help save the planet in imperceptible ways that mask their huge impact. Those innovations are highlighted in this year’s Material of the Year awards, given out by Material ConneXion.
10 Wild Materials That Could Help Save the Earth [Slideshow], by Cliff Kuang, Co.Design

SCIENCE: Turning Sunlight into Hydrogen
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a biohybrid photoconversion system — based on the interaction of photosynthetic plant proteins with synthetic polymers — that can convert visible light into hydrogen fuel. Photosynthesis, the natural process carried out by plants, algae and some bacterial species, converts sunlight energy into chemical energy and sustains much of the life on earth.
‘Tall Order’ Sunlight-to-Hydrogen System Works, Neutron Analysis Confirms, Science Daily

SPORTS & PHILOSOPHY: A Yoga Mentality on the Football Field
I was training the Tennessee Titans and had been with the team since their arrival in Nashville. I had never watched a football game until I worked with them. I got the idea to pursue a job as their trainer because I had heard that Baron Baptiste had once worked with some football players. I became the first woman trainer for the Titans. They were one of, if not the first team in the NFL, to have a yoga coach. I never missed a game.
Football and the Bhagavad Gita, by Hilary Lindsay, Elephant Journal

SUSTAINABILITY & THE ENVIRONMENT: 100 Places to Remember Before they Disappear
These are 100 rare and beautiful places around the world that are feeling the impact of climate change. Explore them quickly before they disappear.
Playlist: 100 Places to Remember Before they Disappear , Planet Green

Top photo by Reno Tahoe, Creative Commons.

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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What constitutes the good life? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves since the dawn of time and something we all strive for. To us, the good life is not a destination but a journey. We want to see more positivity in the world. Thinking happy thoughts makes for happy people, and happy people are more productive, innovative and at peace with the world. We believe in the transformative power of good news.

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