In the news, you’ve probably seen a million articles talking about Copenhagen.  What does this mean exactly?

Yesterday, started the 15th meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15).  It’s a meeting on climate change to follow up the Kyoto Protocol.  The Kyoto Protocol was an international agreement adopted at the end of 1997, as a way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the world.  The goal was to reduce GHG emissions to the level that they were in 1990.  As of now, 187 national governments have ratified the Kyoto Protocol.  The US has not (this is not to say the US is not doing anything to prevent climate change).

If you click on the Kyoto Protocol link above, it takes you to the UNFCCC website that has a good summary of the Kyoto Protocol and the mechanism of implementation (for some reason I’m a fan of the “carbon market” idea).  Although the Kyoto Protocol doesn’t expire until 2012, preparations are being made for a new program to reduce GHGs.

Since the meeting at Copenhagen just started, I can’t say too much about it.  But I encourage everyone to read the news. Here is the first press briefing (only 2:39 long… pretty short):

Here are a few key points I find particularly interesting and I hope are discussed in Copenhagen:

  • Tension between environmental protection/prevention of climate change and development.  Can we have both?
  • How are we financing this?
  • What are the governance structures and power relationships involved?
  • Where are they looking to cut GHG emissions?  Transportation? Agriculture?

You may be wondering what this has to do with food security… I think it’s a crucial aspect as one of the causes of food insecurity is natural hazards.  Granted the changes in the global climate may be small, but this could effect food production in the future.

Also, food production produces a significant amount of GHGs.  While I don’t think may politicians would promote reducing food production to reduce GHG emissions, it could interesting to see if green agriculture is talked about.

What are your thoughts on Copenhagen?  Are you interested in this or not a whole lot?

Should we be worrying about this now?

I know as a planning student, I’m surrounded by people who feel very strongly about it and are working toward solutions, but I’m always interested in hearing other perspectives.


December Recipe Challenge: Quinoa Mediterraneana

Ordinarily, when invited to a gathering, I bring a baked good.  I like to bake and I’m not too bad at it, so I figure why not.  However, I’m trying to break out of my comfort zone and get a little healthier.  So in the spirit of the December Recipe Challenge, I’m bringing Quinoa Mediterraneana to my department’s Dish-to-Pass Holiday Party today!

I found this recipe on Food Network.  I made a few changes and omitted pine nuts (because they’re just too expensive and they didn’t have any in the bulk food section so I couldn’t just just a handful) and parsley (because I’m not a fan so why would I waste 99 cents! Every penny counts!)

Here’s my version:

Quinoa Mediterraneana

adapted from Food Network Quinoa Mediterraneana

2 cups dry quinoa
3 and 1/2 cups water (The recipe calls for 4.5 and I used that but my quinoa turned out WAYYY too mushy, so try less water)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 canned artichoke hearts
1/4 cup or 1 small 2.25 oz can of black olives
1/2 bunch about 3 cups of chopped spinach (you can chiffonade–cut into strips– as the recipe says, fancy right??)
2 Roma tomatoes diced
Greek Dressing (recipe follows)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

First gather your ingredients…

Rinse your quinoa and put in a big big pot with water, salt and oil.  First I thought I was going to use my littler bit pot but turns out I needed the jumbo pot!

Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-2o minutes.  Let the quinoa chill for a bit while you do the rest.

Chop up your ingredients and set them aside

Then start making your dressing

Greek Dressing:

zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 orange
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

To make the dressing:

Zest your lemon and juice squeeeze your orange juice.  You can use a zester or a microplane (I want one of these so bad but haven’t been willing to pony up the dough for it).  You can also use store bought orange juice(recipe actually calls for this).  I didn’t because I don’t like orange juice and it was cheaper for me just to buy an orange.

Combine all the ingredients and set aside.

Add the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives spinach and dressing to the cooked quinoa.

Mix it up and top with crumbled feta!

It was pretty quick and easy to make, not mention colorful!

Enjoy!  I tried a little bit and I really like it!  Great flavor combination.  I just wish my quinoa hadn’t turned out mushy but that can be fixed next time with less water 🙂

I hope everyone at my party likes it 🙂

Have a great day!!