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News at Brighter Green

Brighter Green Associate Wanqing Zhou interviewed by Our Hen House 7/23/14

Brighter Green Associate Wanqing Zhou was interviewed by Our Hen House on Brighter Green's What's For Dinner? and China screening tour in June and July 2014.

Brighter Green and Partner Global Forest Coalition Published in "Square Brackets" 7/1/14

Brighter Green and partner Global Forest Coalition published their article "Implementing Aichi Target 3 in the livestock sector" in "Square Brackets: CBD Newsletter for Civil Society".

Brighter Green Releases June 2014 Newsletter 6/27/14

Brighter Green releases its June 2014 newsletter highlighting achievements and events in the first part of 2014. You can view the newsletter here.

Brighter Green Launches "What's For Dinner?" China Screening Tour 6/15/14

Brighter Green launches the China tour of the short documentary film "What's For Dinner?". The film is screened in multiple cities through July 2014 and provinces including Beijing, Shanghai, and Zhejiang province. To learn more please click here.

Brighter Green Presents at the Global Research Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption 6/11/14

Brighter Green Associate Wanqing Zhou presented her paper, "The Triangle: Factory Farming in the U.S., China and Brazil" in Shanghai, China at the Global Research Forum on Production and Consumption.

BG Partner Global Forest Coalition Releases Paraguayan Case Study 5/22/14

Brighter Green partner Global Forest Coalition publishes Paraguayan case study on the environmental and social impacts of unsustainable livestock and soybean production.

Brighter Green and Global Forest Coalition New Report and Briefing Paper 5/22/14

Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition announce the release of a new report and briefing paper on redirecting government support for unsustainable livestock production as the key to biodiversity conservation.

Brighter Green Appears in the Scientific American Magazine 5/20/14

The Scientific American article "China's Appetite for Meat Swells, Along with Climate Changing Pollution" references Brighter Green research as well as quotes Executive Director Mia MacDonald and Associate Wanqing Zhou.

What's For Dinner? Page on Icarus Website 5/9/14

Brighter Green's short documentary film What's For Dinner? is now featured on Icarus Films' website, WFD's North American distributor. Visit the website for more information on screening or purchasing the film.

Brighter Green Releases Policy Brief of "Beyond the Pail: the Emergence of Industrialized Dairy Systems in Asia" 4/28/14

Brighter Green released the policy brief for the most recent policy paper, Beyond the Pail: the Emergence of Industrialized Dairy Systems in Asia. The brief, available here, provides a succinct summary of the paper and recommendations.

Brighter Green's film What's For Dinner? to be featured in the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital 3/21/14

Brighter Green's short film What's For Dinner? was recently selected to appear in the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. It appeared on March 19th at 12PM in the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, along with a discussion partnering with the China Environment Forum.

Associate Sangamithra Iyer Publishes eBook 3/5/14

Brighter Green Associate Sangamithra Iyer publishes an eBook entitled The Lines We Draw distributed by Hen Press, the publishing arm of Our Hen House. The book explores the boundaries — physical, biological, and ethical — evolved out of a conversation with the late Dr. Alfred Prince, a hepatitis researcher, about the use of chimpanzees in medical research, and is expanded into a larger discussion about ethics.

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Cargill in Tune with Nature?

May 13, 2010 9:17am

Greenwashed furniture foam

There's a curious ad in last month's Atlantic magazine. Courtesy of Cargill, the ad shows a sofa modeled after a field of soy, headlined with "This Sofa Design Coordinates with Everything.  Even Nature."  The caption underneath boasts of a new type of foam made from BiOH polyols, derived from soy, that "replace a portion of the petroleum-based ingredients for flexible foams."

If you travel to Brazil's Cerrado, the savannah grassland that borders the Amazon, and the site of more than half of Brazil's soy crop, 'nature' may likely be the last word that comes to mind.  Planted by Cargill and other large agribusinesses for animal feed, and now furniture foam, Brazilian soy is the poster child of habitat destruction and monoculture.  As much as 48 percent of the Cerrado has been cleared and replaced with row upon perfect row, for as far as the eye can see, of little green soy leaves punctuated by plastic yellow Round-up ready signs.

Considered a less glamorous cause than its neighbor the Amazon, the destruction of the Cerrado has occurred largely outside of the public's focus.  An interesting oversight, as the Cerrado is at least as biodiverse as the Amazon, is disappearing at twice the rate of the Amazon, and the global warming potential of the carbon dioxide emissions stemming from its destruction may even be greater than those coming from the Amazon. If the destruction of the Cerrado continues at the present rate, it is expected to disappear completely by 2050.  While Cargill boasts that its BiOH polyol production in Brazil does not contribute to the deforestation of the Amazon, it mentions nothing of how its activities affect the Cerrado. Thanks for the innovative thinking Cargill, but this is not what nature intended.