My tour of the new Tofurky LEED plant Foods, Hood River, Oregon (10/20/14)

I heard Tofurky was located in Hood River where I was headed to enjoy the Columbia River Gorge after attending the Animal Law Conference at Lewis & Clark.  I never imagined what I would find.  Lucky me that Wes, a graphic designer at Tofurky, saw me standing outside the main entrance and asked if he could help.  And he did with a detailed tour of this amazing facility, not yet fully operational.  The administrative offices are there but the processing plant is not yet up and running at this site.  The solar panels on the roof (see photo) will power the administrative offices and also power the free electric car charging station out front!

When this plant opens next year, it will be the 6th food processing plant in the world to receive a LEED Platinum certification. There are other LEED platinum industrial plants but food processing plants are hard to obtain this level of certification due to the large amounts of energy consumed.

Way to go Seth!  Thank you Wes for the great tour.  (BTW, I learned that Jamie, Seth’s stepson, just took over as CEO.)

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Entrance, new Tofurkey Headquarters, Hood River, Oregon, October 20, 2014

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Overlooking production floor (not yet in use) for deli slices at new LEED certified plant.

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Roof top at Tofurky. Solar panels will create enough energy to run the administrative offices. The soft white roof covering reflects heat rather than absorbing it.

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R & D room on lower level adjacent to Quality Control room.

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A peak at the Quality & Control room at the new facility. The table in the foreground was used as a boat (prior to pontoons). Apparently Seth started counting the tree rings and got to 400 about 2″ in.

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Okay, count me in!

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Warehouse in background (behind sign). The new LEED building is down the street on the other side.

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National Honey Bee Day

nthua:

August 16 – National Honey Bee Day

Originally posted on MOM's Organic Market Blog:

national honeybee day smallYou’ve probably heard about the declining bee population, maybe from the news, the Vanishing of the Bees, or Save the Dandelions.  Maybe you haven’t heard that National Honey Bee Day is Saturday, August 16th!

There are a bunch of factors that contribute to the declining bee population.  A big one that is getting more and more attention is the neonicotinoid class of pesticides.  These are systemic pesticides, which means that once they are applied, that are absorbed and present throughout the entire plant.  And like all pesticides, they don’t disappear – they stay in our soil and water systems, wreaking long-term havoc.

The problem is that even the tiniest amount of these pesticides (“sublethal” exposure) can hurt bees.  Low exposure can…

  • reduce the amount of pollen that bees gather, which is what the bees eat.
  • impact development of bee memory and sense of smell, which makes it harder…

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Hip Hop Song “Kick the Meat Habit”

Chad Harper wrote this song to honor vegans. Thank you Chad!

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Reboot with Joe Cross at Barnes & Noble

ImageThis week while I was in B&N in Bethesda I caught an event with Joe Cross who spoke about his past while promoting his new book.  The event was packed and people asked lots of questions.  Joe is a charismatic and dynamic speaker and he knows how to win friends and influence people.  One of the most interesting points Joe made was our historical reliance on plant-based food.  The trend towards animal protein is a relatively recent occurrence in human history.

It was interesting to happen upon the event after recently showing his film ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead’.  Someone asked about Phil, the truck driver in the film.  Unfortunately Phil had a relapse which made me sorry to hear.  Joe said his weight has fluctuated but he has maintained around 240.

While I have a Vitamix, I have not gotten into juicing.  For one thing I prefer to eat whole foods and keep the fiber; however, I agree with on the benefit of a juice fast or cleanse.

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