3D printed food, (keeping) Hawaii beautiful, and more…

Hi, this is Geoff,

Let’s jump right in…

Ethical Consumption: “Being an ethical consumer in today’s world requires first recognizing that consumption is not just embedded in economic relations, but also social and political ones. Because of this, what we consume matters beyond the immediate context of our lives.” All of us want to do our part in helping the planet. In this piece, Nicki Cole gives a meaningful overview of ethical consumption, what it means, how to go about applying and living it, and some of the practical dimensions involved.

Hawaii Stays Beautiful: “If you’re heading to Hawaii, or any other tropical paradise, to soak up the sun this winter, you might want to leave the sunscreen behind. It sounds counterintuitive after years of being told to slather on sunscreen to protect our skin from dangerous UV rays, but now research is showing that human use of sunscreen could be seriously damaging tropical coral reefs.” Hawaii’s response to these new findings (ban the harmful sunscreen) is wonderful to see for at least two reasons: First, it helps to preserve priceless coral, and second, it helps encourage ethical entrepreneurs to develop sunscreen products that source more natural ingredients and components; proving once again that necessity is the mother of invention, and in this case, an ethical, bio-friendly one.

3D Printed Food: “Imagine hitting a button on a machine to receive a blob of food tailored just for you, precisely calculated for your daily needs based on everything from your sweat right down to your genetic code.” So begins an almost breathlessly positive exploration of CSIRO’s “personalized fabrication of smart food systems” project. I’m all for innovation and research, but when we begin to operate in an atomistic and reductive manner – where we believe that the only value of a particular food are vitamins X and macronutrients Y – we deprive ourselves of an ocean of knowledge whose surface we have barely dipped. A siloed, disjointed view of the world is precisely the opposite of permaculture, which tries to understand synergy through interconnectedness. The whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. When things like 3D printed food blogs become the common food of humanity, the earth’s environment will be just another annoying inconvenience. And for fun, scroll to the bottom of the article and watch the short 38 second video there. What’s your answer to the question at the end? I know what mine is.

Masculinity and Gardening: “Gardening is gangsta: Mother Nature is gangsta. Being educated, creative and self-sustaining is gangsta. That whole concept was about turning a negative into a positive. If you want to be gangsta about anything, make it about building your community, sharing knowledge.” An interesting and concise profile about Los-Angeles-based community leader Ron Finley – worth a read.

In case you missed it: A few pieces of interest this week from our sister site, the non-profit Permaculture Research Institute, ably curated by PRI’s editor, Jason Freibergs (thank you, Jason!):

If you enjoy these posts, be sure to bookmark the site as several new articles go up weekly, or check out thousands of other past articles, here.  

That’s it for the Friday Five.  As always, if you have comment / reactions / a different point of view, please share below.

Cheers, and have a great week,

Your friend,


2017-07-24T07:22:07+00:00 Blog|2 Comments
  • joyce

    Thanks Geoff! Good to see Hawaii taking action to ban traditional sunscreen! Carrot Seed oil, (available online) is completely natural and is said to have an SPF of around 30. I am extremely fair, and yet have been able to garden successfully for the past three years with no resulting skin cancer or burns, as opposed to years before when I used the top over-the-counter products I had regular appearances of skin cancers. I believe the synthetic product was causing the harm to the body natural.

  • bri

    My answer is the same as yours regarding the 3D printed food. Might as well eat cardboard. I listened to some North American Indian elders videos at the weekend and one said something like many people have forgotten how to live on earth. How true that is. And now it’s even easier to spot them as they are walking around outside looking at a small screen in their hand.

    All we can do is help our kids to remember.

    I took my (nearly) 4 y.o. boy out to a local old trains attraction, we had a ride on the old train! Next to a nice lake, with geese, swans, ducks, speedboats and waterskiers enjoying the water. I took him down to the waters edge, assuming he’s gonna throw a few stones in the water. Nope. Arms in the air wanting me to pull off his T-shirt. He’s not having any of my advice. Takes the rest of his clothes off himself and paddling in the cold water. A bit of green slime, old feathers and goose shit by the water didn’t deter him. Me, still with jacket and boots on, stood and watched. Not the warmest of afternoons. The only kid around to do that. And the only Dad to let his kid do it.

    The day before had been garden shed repair day, new felt roof to fix the holes and all important gutter addition! After our day out, had to push the shed back in it’s place and clean up …he’s wanting to do more painting! So, when most kids are getting ready for bed, I put a little of the green shed preserving gloop in a pot for him, stood him on a chair and let him spatter it all over the shed door. (Not exactly painting but I smoothed it all out in 10 seconds!)
    Like the outdoor kindergarten you shared a little while back…we gotta teach our kids!

    I like technology too. Working 40hours a week on a computer. But, it’s a bit like music. You can either listen to good music or you can put on the radio – the choice is yours!