In my blog post, “Social Purpose, Millennial style,” I wrote about how I came to begin writing about the food waste reduction movement and Third Age instead of the obvious topics of restaurants and recipes. The reason is that it would be very hard to motivate myself to write about said topics because, while I love fine dining, I’m no food critic and have only basic cooking skills. Plus, there is no shortage of folks writing in this space. But as an inveterate recycler and someone who rarely discards food, the food waste reduction movement hits close to home―and the social, economic, and environmental issuesRead More →

In my June 3, 2016, blog post, “PARO, CHARLI, Pepper, and the debate around robot caregivers,” I noted the public policy trend toward, and seniors’ preference for, aging in place (i.e., at home). I also talked about geriatrician Louise Aronson’s difficulty with gracefully taking her leave from a loquacious [read: lonely] elderly client who seems to need more than the skeletal support framework she has in place. In closing I said that next time I’d share my own idea for helping the homebound lonely and disabled. Enter 22-year-old Matt, whom I have not spoken with in a few years. Without our ever comparing notes aboutRead More →

In a National Geographic cover story earlier this year, Garbage Land author Elizabeth Royte follows Tristram Stuart as he darts around New Jersey, New York, Colombia, and Peru on food-rescue missions that culminate in soup-kitchen-style events to feed scores of people, sometimes as many as 5,000. The son of a naturalist, Stuart is the high-profile British food activist and author of Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal. Stuart’s food-waste consciousness was shaped in adolescence in rural East Sussex where he raised pigs he fed with the [shocking amount of] leftovers he gathered from local shops. At times Royte paints a caricature reminiscent of Road RunnerRead More →

I’ve never been a fan of exercise. Ever since high school I’ve disliked the change-sweat-shower-change-back routine. As an adult when I did manage to get myself into periodic gym routines, I always marveled at others who looked like they truly enjoyed the challenge of pushing the personal-best envelope. I lament that I wasn’t dealt the I-love-working-out gene. For me, 40 minutes on the treadmill is an Olympic feat. But with the passage of time, being undisciplined in the working-out department has become a luxury I can no longer afford. Besides cardio, my need for strength training is now crystal clear. I’m a youngish baby boomerRead More →

Today I was tooling around the internet looking for updates and news on the food waste reduction front. Honestly, it was a bummer. Yes, the vast majority of the world’s hungry live in developing countries, but hunger afflicts many in our midst. This time of year there are lots of stories about low-income families’ anxiety over the loss of meals from school programs. Thankfully, the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) will address the nutrition needs of a good number of children under age 18 at approved SFSP sites. Still, one in five kids in the U.S. struggles with hunger. But college students are alsoRead More →

In a 2014 New York Times article, “The Future of Robot Caregivers,” Louise Aronson, associate professor of geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote about her difficulty in parting with her elderly “house call” clients. She talks about staying “much longer than I should” because she can’t gracefully disengage from a clenched hand or doesn’t have the heart to cut off a reminiscing patient mid-story to take her leave. Ms. Aronson notes that one client has a faraway daughter (who may, or may not, call regularly―she doesn’t say), twice weekly caregiver visits, a friend who checks in now and then, and regular callsRead More →