April 6, 2009

Happy 75th Birthday to Dr. Jane Goodall!

Dr. Jane Goodall is a Primatologist recognized worldwide for spending her life studying chimpanzee behavior. In 1965 Goodall earned her Ph.D. from Cambridge University. Her lifetime of work and profound scientific discoveries, such as the discovery of toolmaking by chimpanzees, laid the foundation for all future primate studies.
Dr. Jane Goodall
Photo courtesy of Jeekc

Born April 3, 1934 in London, Goodall traveled to Tanzania, East Africa to study primates in 1960, although it was unheard of for a woman to venture into the wilds of the African forest at that time. In 1977 Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute, now based in Arlington, Virginia. The institute is dedicated to the well-being of all living things.

Goodall's many honors include the 1996 Caring Award, the Sigma Xi society's 1996 William Proctor Prize for Scientific Achievement, Commander of the Order of the British Empire (Awarded by Queen Elizabeth II), the Ark Trust Lifetime Achievement Award, the Encyclopaedia Britannica Award, the Animal Welfare Institute's Albert Schweitzer Award, and she is the only non-Tanzanian to have received the Medal of Tanzania.

My Life with the Chimpanzees is Dr. Goodall's 1996 autobiography.

Chimpanzees I Love: Saving Their World And Ours is her 2001 children's book for the scientists of tomorrow.

Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating was co-authored by Dr. Goodall in 2006 and makes a terrific case for sustainable food production.

April 1, 2009

Obama's White House Victory Garden Not the First

After decades of lobbying and petitioning, there is finally an organic kitchen garden on the White House lawn. Tended by the Obama family and community volunteers, it's a delicious victory for fresh, wholesome, healthy food. With the Obamas as role models, it could also help to overturn the common perception of organic food, farmers markets and gardens as the preserves of the elite.

"Nothing could be more exciting," said Alice Waters, chef of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., who has been lobbying for a garden on the White House lawn for years. "The symbolism of putting a seed in the ground is a promise of a real nourishment and education for the population who visits, the people who plant the crops and the people who pick from it."

According to the Washington Post, the Obamas' garden will not be the first at the White House. John Adams, the first tenant, planted a garden shortly after taking up residence in 1800. Woodrow Wilson brought in sheep to mow and fertilize the White House lawn in 1918, an effort to conserve resources for the war effort. In 1943. Eleanor Roosevelt planted a victory garden, inspiring millions of Americans to grow their own food during World War II.