Hi. I’m Isabel, I cook and scribble. I make a lot of food and do a lot of writing, and Bread & Courage is what I have to show for it. It started as a simple food blog called TASTE but evolved into something more—a place where I express my love of food, community and the environment. Thanks for spending some time here—and be in touch!

 




Environmentalism

When you grow up in an old New England farmhouse with no neighbors and no television, you spend a lot of time exploring the great outdoors. Virtually all of my childhood afternoons were passed in the acres of woods and fields that spread behind my house. One of my favorite activities was clearing wet leaves from our backyard brook with a stick—I really believed that if I didn’t do it, the Atlantic might dry up.

Inevitably, the bubble burst: high school and college in a big city left me pondering French nihilism in lieu of American transcendentalism. But when finally the term papers were written and the degrees were granted, I couldn’t help but get back to my roots.

I have been working as an environmental journalist since June of 2008, when I began blogging for the Green section of the Huffington Post. Since then I have also become a board member with Legacy Land Trust, an organization that has preserved thousands of acres of Texas wilderness.

More often than not, I feel overwhelmed by what needs to be done to save our planet—from conservation to slowing the devastation of global warming. I have found it extremely satisfying to work for both Urban Harvest and Recipe for Success, two Houston-based non-profits that bringing organic gardening and cooking to local public schools. I believe that how we eat and how we teach children to eat are immediate, applicable ways we can make a difference to our environment.

I hope the information you find on Bread & Courage will inspire and encourage you to make a difference in your own home.

Late Fall, Vermont.

Late Fall, Vermont.

Nov 13, 2011

Thank God I am still in Vermont! It gets better and better, if a bit colder. We had dinner recently, with new friends who have lived here a while, and the gentleman said he didn’t mind the cold because the sky tends to stay blue. That’s been true. In the morning, though, it’s often pink. […]

Just Food … and a Few Hard Truths

Sep 30, 2010

Read the original on The Huffington Post. In the days of contaminated produce and factory-farmed meat, it’s comforting to seek out simple, transparent food sources. But according to James McWilliams, author of Just Food, embracing a quaint relationship with what we eat often inhibits a necessary exploration of the challenges facing global sustainability. According to McWilliams, […]

You Are What You Eat. Are You Comfortable With That?

Aug 16, 2010

Read the original on The Huffington Post. How much do we need to learn about factory farms before we stop supporting them? The New York Times recently published a short article on the lives of 97% of laying hens in America–those raised in battery cages. According to the report, hens are allotted about 8″ x […]

Big Advancements for Little People: Two Great Products for Eco-Babies

Jul 24, 2010

Check out the original on The Huffington Post. In this world of carbon counting, it turns out that the smallest feet can have the biggest footprint. The thought dawned on me recently as I watched a friend wrap up her child’s used diaper and place it in a trashcan, already half-filled with shiny, plastic lumps. […]

And God Created the Microbe…

May 26, 2010

Read the original on The Huffington Post. Dr. Venter’s creation of life could not have come at a more appropriate moment: as a months’ worth of gushing oil begins to shore up on the gulf, an increasing number of scientists and environmentalists have touted the efficacy of bioremediation in mitigating the damage caused by the […]

Fat and Fated? The Changeable State of Low-Income Communities, Part III

Jan 13, 2010

Read the original on The Huffington Post. Despite the potential that farmers’ markets and community gardens have for changing eating habits and consumer behavior, they need government support in order to succeed, especially in low-income communities and in neighborhoods where they have never existed. Unlike large-scale farms that receive massive government support, and whose output […]

50 Nifty Ways to Green 2010

Dec 31, 2009

Read the original on The Huffington Post. Resolutions are easy to make and even easier to abandon. Righteousness gives way to guilt as my commitments fall by the wayside: disappointment clouds every February and leads me to reject my resolutions entirely in favor of a better year eleven months hence. It’s a vicious cycle indeed. […]

Roasted Squash with Cherries and Spinach

Roasted Squash with Cherries and Spinach

Nov 12, 2009

As I mentioned recently, there’s little I like more than to cook away a Sunday. I’m particularly happy for my Sabbath kitchen this time of year, when starchy root vegetables take center stage: roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots and delicate fingerlings really make my heart sing. We don’t get a lot of it around […]

Fat and Fated? The Changeable State of Low-Income Communities, Part I

Aug 20, 2009

Read the original on The Huffington Post. Prevention is at the heart of the health care debate, but low-income and minority communities are often deprived of the nourishing options they deserve. Worse still, they’re frequently blamed or held in contempt for the diseases that result. Needless to say, the health of all Americans has never […]

Reclaiming America, Bite by Bite

Jun 10, 2009

Because food is so enmeshed in our bodies, our communities and our environment, it can also be a source of tremendous cultural complication. Robert Kenner’s new documentary Food Inc. explores some of America’s seemingly unrelated ills and ties them together within the subversive–and shrinking–network of American factory farms.

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