It's all connected.

I drove up to Tifie Ranch this week with Ethan Lappe, owner of Caffe Niche. Ethan gets eggs and vegetables from the folks at Tifie; their main business is developing alternate energy and housing for third world countries and disaster sites.

The name Lappe rang a bell and yes, it turns out that Ethan's aunt, Frances Moore Lappe, wrote a book back in 1971–not coincidentally, the year after the first Earth Day–that changed the world.

Diet for a Small Planet changed the way we all eat, whether we know it or not. It was the first book to criticize Americans' heavy meat-eating ways, arguing that food policies supporting grain-fed meat contributed to world hunger–that a meat-centric diet could not feed the Earth's exploding population. The original Diet for a Small Planet promoted some ideas since discredited, but the basic idea, relying more on vegetable than animal-based foods, is still sound, although whether anything will be adequate to feed the 7 billion plus people on the planet is questionable.

Still, it was a reminder to me how inseparable food is from concerns about the environment.

Like I said, all connected.

We need to eat for a healthier world, not just healthier bodies.

Sunday, April 22 HEAL Utah is hosting a fest at Liberty Park–enjoy live music by Bronco and singer-songwriter Jen Hajj, food from the Chow Truck and other vendors and the inevitable face painting and balloon animals for the kids, plus local green groups, businesses and services will offer information on Utah’s ongoing environmental battles, like the one that happened just over by the park pond where Chevron spilled its oil. Twice. For more information, go here.

We know Bambara's chef Nathan Powers is eco-conscious. So for a more high-heeled approach to saving the planet, Green Key certified Bambara and Hotel Monaco present E-Waste "Recycle Round-Up, April 18-20; bring old phones, cell phones, printers, MP3 players, small electronics, desk top towers and laptops to the hotel lobby and they'll be properly disposed of.  
Executive Chef Nathan Powers is always supportive of support of local, organic farms and ranches. For each "Powers' Lunch" sold April 16-20, $1 will be donated to The Nature Conservancy. Eat up.

On April 21, Kimpton's Green Team will join in for a Clean-Up of Rose Park Community Garden.

On April 22, Oasis Cafe celebrates Earth Day Sunday with a $25 3-course candlelight dinner focusing on local sustainable and organic farms and ranches; proceeds will benefit the New Roots, a program that seeks to build a healthier community through the development if small-scale, urban farms and community gardens in Salt Lake County, and the Global Artisan project strives to provide Refugees with the necessary equipment and exposure to achieve self sufficiency through selling their carefully constructed hand-crafted gifts.

From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Earth Day, Oasis will host a seedling and craft sale with work by refugee artisans.