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On our blogs: local produce and green cars

February 24, 2009 |  2:35 pm


EASY-ACCESS MEAT AND EGGS: Purchasing locally grown produce is a fast-growing trend, and is now becoming easier.  The Union of Concerned Scientists introduced a new feature of community-supported agriculture, or CSA, programs that provide sources specifically for finding locally produced meat and eggs.  CSAs are membership-based and the annual or seasonal fee helps support the provider's operating costs while allowing members to receive weekly or monthly shares of the harvest.  Successful programs are currently operating in California, as well as in New York and Ohio. 

FACEBOOK FOR FIESTA: To promote the Fiesta, a fuel-efficient car that will be arriving in the U.S. in 2010, Ford has launched the "Fiesta Movement," a marketing strategy that will use social-networking websites to reach the younger generation of consumers. A hundred of these "specially selected people" will be able to test the model, which has already received good reviews in Europe, and report their experiences on popular sites such as Flickr and Facebook.  To apply as a tester, get more information from the LA Times' Up to Speed blog.   

CLEAN COMPETITION: While major auto companies continue to produce green cars for everyday drivers, smaller automobile companies are busy entering the X Prize competition to win a $10 million prize. The goal is to create a clean, production-capable vehicle with fuel economy ratings of better than 100 miles per gallon, and must also be able to dominate a stage race to be held next year in various U.S. cities.  Some contenders include the Green Giant, a four-wheel-drive SUV that runs on photovoltaics, hydrogen, and electricity from rechargeable batteries, and the E4 Sport Hatch, a diesel-electric hybrid that uses solar and thermal energy.  The Times' Martin Zimmerman has more details here.

WHALE WRANGLE CONTINUES: Whale-hunting battles remain controversial as Australian Federal Police officers boarded and searched the Steve Irwin ship of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society last week, when the ship pulled into port in Tasmania.  Most of the items confiscated by the police officers were materials for the second season of Discovery Channel's "Whale Wars."  The complaint may have been filed by Japanese authorities, while Japanese ships continue to hunt whales in the Antarctic.   

-- Stephanie Chang

Photo: Dry, cracked earth runs between wilting plants. California's dry weather may put small farmers in the country's largest agricultural area out of business. Credit: Phil Hawkins / Bloomberg News