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Today's Green Links

Facebook likes it energy dirty? {via: inhabitat.com}

Is this really what it's going to take to control our fuel habit? {via: green.autoblog.com}

Sign me up for one of these! Two please! {via: treehugger.com}

But wouldn't they all be jealous? {via: huffingtonpost.com}

Is your hybrid on the up & up? {via: thedailygreen.com}

Jamie Oliver and His TED Prize!

Each year TED awards the TED Prize and three remarkable winners are given their "One Wish to Change The World".  The first winner of the 2010 TED Prize is none other than "Naked Chef" Jamie Oliver. His love for food began at a very early age, helping out in the kitchen of his father's pub. This passion for food continued as Jamie showcased his love affair with fresh "real" foods as he worked his way up the ranks in the kitchen eventually catching the eye of the BBC. BBC offered Oliver his own show, aptly titled "The Naked Chef".  The name may be a bit misleading. Jamie wasn't cooking in the buff, rather cooking with "real" foods free of processing and the likes.  In 2002, putting up his house as collateral (without telling his wife), Oliver created the Fifteen Foundation. Each year, 15 young adults who have a disadvantaged background, are trained in the restaurant business, and eventually tasked with running Jamie's restaurants.  He has tirelessly used his celebrity to bring attention to better food for children, particularly in schools. In 2005, he initiated a campaign called "Feed me Better" whose sole mission is to move British schoolchildren towards eating healthier, "real" foods and cutting out sugary junk food.

Jamie Oliver has now set his sights on an all-out war against childhood obesity and educating the youth of the world to become more educated about where foods come from. One clip in his TED speech shows Jamie in an American school in West Virginia and he is doing a basic show-and-tell of some of the staple vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes and broccoli. It was sad seeing that most of the children couldn't identify these simple food items and the reason is simple... we, as adults don't utilize "real" food in the home as much as our parents, and our grandparents and as each generation passes so does the use of these foods in our homes.  Jamie Oliver delivered a powerful, hard-hitting speech to make his case and his one wish...

His TED wish was simple...

“I wish for your help to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”

Oliver's TED speech, like all others, was a very brief 20 minutes, but it was one of the most profound and eye-opening 20 minutes I've had in the last 4 years of starting Pizza Fusion. It is one of the same reasons why we teach a monthly 'Kids Organics Class' which teaches the children of our local community simply where food comes from.  I am committed to supporting Jamie Oliver and helping make Pizza Fusion a big part of the solution as opposed to the problem.
See his video below.

Pizza Fusion is committed to making our foods using only the freshest foods that have little or no processing or artificial ingredients. By using organic and local ingredients whenever possible also shows our integrity in our mission. We truly care about the health of our local community and it has to start with the businesses and restaurants that service them. Pizza Fusion is a franchise with a heart!

To find out how you can help Jamie on his mission, visit http://www.tedprize.org/jamie-oliver/

Can Pesticides Make You Fat?

Can pesticides make you fat? According to Stephen Perrine, author of "The New American" Diet, YES! It can also cause diabetes as well. Perrine's newest book discusses certain chemicals found in common foods called "obesogens" and how they play a role in the American obesity crisis.
Obesogens are chemicals that disrupt the function of hormonal systems; many researchers believe they lead to weight gain and, in turn, numerous diseases that curse the American populace. They enter our bodies from a variety of sources—natural hormones found in soy products, hormones administered to animals, plastics in some food and drink packaging, ingredients added to processed foods, and pesticides sprayed on produce. They act in a variety of ways: by mimicking human hormones such as estrogen, by misprogramming stem cells to become fat cells, and, researchers think, by altering the function of genes.

Author Stephen Perrine (editor of Children's Health, editor-at-large of Men's Health) and co-author Heather Hurlock research and discuss the link between obesogens and the American obesity crisis, as well as increases in rates of diabetes, depression, heart disease, declining birth rates and sperm counts, and possibly autism.

In the clip below, Stephen Perrine chats with The Early Show host, Harry Smith about obesogens and their role in obesity and diabetes. He also goes to great lengths about how avoiding these chemicals are as easy as switching to an organic diet and eating grass-fed meats free of synthetic hormones.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Perrine even discusses the impacts of eating foods packaged in certain plastic containers and BPA.  This guy may be onto something... Hmmm... Eating Organic is not only good for you, it can help you lose weight!

Wolf in sheep's clothing

This morning I happened to catch this interesting question on twitter; "How do vegans feel about non-vegan companies selling vegan products?" I think it's a pretty relevant question, which is why I want to extend Vegan Mainstream's concept here on the Pizza Fusion blog to see what others think. Now if you know me, you know I'm not a super strict vegan, but I do my best. I think the important thing to consider here is, what is a vegan company? I'm sure it's safe to say we're all familiar with businesses "going green", but let's get real, the only "vegan companies" must revolve around a vegan product or service, right? Or maybe I am missing the point. Sure it bothers me when company's pretend to be something they're not, but does the rising trend of cruelty-free products help or hurt the industry? I say it helps.

Either way, this post reminded me of a conversation which took place between my brother and I a few weeks ago during lunch @ Pizza Fusion Fort Lauderdale. While enjoying my Very Vegan personal pizza and him his Free Range Roasted Chicken Sandwich, he asked me, "What does free range chicken mean?" Basically, I replied, "it means your chicken got to at least enjoy it's life sort of before you ate it." We both shared a laugh and finished our lunch.

The Cost of Changing Everything

A successful businessman said, "It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power." Inspiring. But in a down-spiraling economy, what is the cost of change? For most of us, change is not something we welcome with open arms. It can be expensive and exhausting. Some of us are so resistant to change that we have decided no matter what better comes along, we are sticking to our guns and riding it out. This is a dangerous way to live.

Around the same time Pizza Fusion was born in 2006, I remember seeing something on the internet about this controversial new documentary called 'Who Killed the Electric Car?' Hybrids were the coolest thing on the block and people were already talking about "production bottleneck". I almost didn't buy into the hype. I remember finding it hard to believe that "given the quick turnaround in selling a Prius, Toyota just can't make them fast enough." The idea of people getting on waiting lists to purchase hybrid cars seemed the same as camping outside the mall for an iPhone or PS3. 1) Get a life. 2) Get it the next day. Besides, since when does the consumer chase the manufacturer? And of all industries, why would an automaker not have enough cars to sell us? In an article titled 'Union of Concerned Scientists questions true value of hybrid cars', skeptics explain that option packages and other 'forced' features increased the base price of many vehicles, balancing out the environmental value. Consider "going green" a metaphor for the new hole in your wallet.

On the other hand, those of us who are not the campers might remember feeling somewhat similar to the way we do now about the recently announced Apple iPad. First impression: "Wow, those are cool. Too bad it's not perfect. I'll wait 'til they get it right and the price comes down." Fast forward four short years and it might be time to start paying attention. After more than two years of online debating and waiting with each other, 7,000 to 10,000 'happy campers' could actually have a long-promised hybrid electric-drive vehicle sitting in their driveways this fall – at least in theory. It will be called the Chevrolet Volt and just a few thousand more competing electric cars will be available for sale this year – such as the Nissan Leaf, BYD e6, and Fisker Karma.

These are not tiny electric 'punishment' toys like the Smart Cars used by our Miami Beach store (no break problems so far!). Until now electric vehicles have been more like a golf cart. Now they have range, highway speed, and performance we've never seen before. They didn't ask for my opinion, but if they did, I would recommend WestMidWest Productions did what they could to speed up the release of their follow up documentary film Revenge of the Electric Car to drop this year instead of next.

For a study on whether hybrid cars are really better for the environment, check out EarthTalk at Physorg.com. For an inspiring story of a man who's road-tripped the country sixteen times and counting, powered by vegetable oil, visit GreaseNotGas.com. To change everything, start right now. Thanks for reading.
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