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Front Page » Authors » Bio for Megan Hill » Archives for Megan Hill

By Megan Hill on September 22, 2009

I have a hard time buying eggs.

Each time at the grocery, without fail, I stand in front of the eggs and I’m completely confused.

In short, I’m trying to buy eggs from happy chickens. With the trend towards organic food and the like, one would think it’d be fairly easy to find a carton of eggs laid by chickens in a clean, happy living situation. Not so.

I’ve recently purchased two cartons from two different companies, each with myriad descriptors likely intended to help the consumer. But there are just so many—and they can mean so many things—that slapping these adjectives all over the cartons makes things quite confusing.

Read more of this post here ...

By Megan Hill on August 31, 2009

Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon. They’re some of America’s most famous landmarks and lately, they’ve been packed.

Visitors are coming in record numbers, the National Park Service announced on Monday. Visits rose nearly 4% this year and June alone showed an increase in over 700,000 visitors compared to June of 2008.

Chalk it up to fee-free weekends, a handful of dates set aside this summer when entrance fees were waived. The economic downturn and lower gas prices compared to last summer have also been factors. Americans are choosing to visit parks—especially easily accessible ones near large metropolitan areas—as a cheap alternative to more pricey summer vacations. And with Ken Burns’ newest documentary, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” set to air on September 27, interest in the parks is sure to continue to spike.

But what does all of this mean for the parks and the fragile ecosystems they protect? It seems the flock of visitors can potentially hurt the very environments the parks are intended to preserve.

Read more of this post here ...

By Megan Hill on July 28, 2009

I'm no expert, but it's painfully clear there's a glaring omission in the current health care debate when we talk about costs.

I've heard little about trying to make people healthier as a way to bring down what will certainly be--and already is--an expensive undertaking. One reason health care costs so much is that it's pricey to keep treating people with chronic diseases for decades after they've been diagnosed. Many chronic diseases, we now know, are diet-related. Coronary heart disease, diabetes and obesity top the list, not to mention the myriad obesity-related issues. Cancer and stroke are also linked to diet. Today, CNN reported there is $147 billion on overall obesity-related spending a year.

Read more of this post here ...

By Megan Hill on July 15, 2009

As I continue to educate myself on sustainable eating, I come across many a condemnation of meat eating—even meat that is grass fed/natural/local, etc.

And that’s pretty sad, really. While I agree our culture places entirely too much emphasis on meat as the main part of each meal, I still think it’s tasty and am trying to find excuses to avoid giving it up entirely.

Yesterday, the Utne Reader posted an article pointing out new information that argues for eating meat sustainably.

Read more of this post here ...

By Megan Hill on July 1, 2009

Earlier this week, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed a law that will make it illegal for a driver in a car to pass a cyclist with less than three feet of space. The law also includes language that makes it illegal to "harass, taunt or maliciously throw objects at or in the direction of any person riding on a bicycle.'' Violators could be sent to jail for up to 30 days or fined a minimum of $200.

The “three feet rule” is fairly standard in cyclist-car interactions; anything less, a cyclist will tell you, is pretty alarming. Making the harassment of a cyclist illegal will hopefully put teeth into a law intended for the safety of cyclists. As someone who’s been passed by a car within three feet and been yelled at to “Get out of the road!” I’m excited to see this law being passed in Louisiana. I’ve not been the target of physical harassment, but I’ve read about cyclists in Seattle being pelted with objects thrown by drivers. Recently, one driver shot a flare gun at a cyclist, which grazed the bike rider’s arm and exploded behind him.

Read more of this post here ...

By Megan Hill on June 22, 2009

I am one of those people: every now and then, I'm overcome by the need to leave the city for a quiet retreat in the woods.

This weekend was one of those times. I packed the bare essentials for an overnight backpacking trip in the back country of Mt. Rainier National Park.

In the weeks leading up to the trip, I read Walking Softly in the Wilderness: The Sierra Club Guide to Backpacking. Apart from being a great read for beginning backpackers, it was also a lesson in Leave No Trace hiking and camping: how to minimize (or eliminate) one's impact on the outdoors while still enjoying them.

But as much as I love hiking, and as hard as I tried to make my trip nearly traceless, I still struggle with the very idea of hiking into wild, unspoiled places.

Read more of this post here ...

By Megan Hill on June 3, 2009

Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto is more than just insightful; it’s truly revolutionary. But then, would we expect anything less?

Pollan’s book sets out to defend food in a world where food products are increasingly pushing whole food out of our diet. And it’s a deadly diet at that. Scientists have attributed some of our society’s most prevalent (and deadly) chronic diseases to what Pollan calls the “Western diet,” including stroke, coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Pollan blames “nutritionism,” defined as the process of “adjusting various nutrients (lowering the fat, boosting the protein) and fortifying processed foods rather than questioning their value in the first place.” Further, he points to a medical community that helps people to live with these diseases instead of solving the root of the problem: the Western diet.

Read more of this post here ...

By Megan Hill on May 22, 2009

I recently came across a menu for a local restaurant boasting the superior quality of its “100% corn-fed Nebraska beef” as if feeding corn to cattle is something to be proud of.

Feeding corn to cattle is, simply put, unnatural, and yet most of the store-bought (and restaurant-consumed) beef in the U.S. is corn-fed. While corn is a cheaper feed and can ready a cow for slaughter much more quickly than a dainty diet of grass, it’s pretty awful for the animal.

Let’s have a look at the plight of a feedlot cow:

Read more of this post here ...

By Megan Hill on May 15, 2009

This morning, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 people left their cars at home and biked to work in and around Seattle. For the first time, I’m proud to say I was one of them.

It was partly because today is Seattle’s annual Bike to Work Day, so that meant plenty of free swag and tasty treats. But I also rode because I felt confident on the streets of downtown with so many other cyclists.

Seattle (and King County) has made it pretty easy on cyclists—more so than any other city I’ve lived in, at least. Bike lanes, sharrows (nifty things that designate driving lanes to be shared with cyclists), signed bike routes through many parts of the city, and countless miles of bike paths across the county make up a huge network for cyclists.

It was pretty exhilarating, knowing I was in control of my own destiny, powered not by fossil fuels or relying on a finicky metro bus to get me to the office. I rode 6 miles to work, powered by my own energy and volition. That’s pretty cool.

Read more of this post here ...

By Megan Hill on May 11, 2009

It’s kind of a cheesy slogan, but it’s true: AmeriCorps members are getting things done, every day, across the country. With President Obama recently signing legislation to expand the size of the domestic service corps and with applicant numbers swelling, let’s visit this little-discussed but important program your tax dollars are funding.

This legislation triples the size of the corps, which currently supports 75,000 members in non-profit work and disaster relief across the nation. AmeriCorps has been on the chopping block in recent years, blasted as expensive and pointless. But it’s a crucial part of the federal budget and an important investment in the health of the nation.

Read more of this post here ...

More blog posts by Megan Hill:

Want to see more blog posts by Megan Hill? We have more! By default, this page only lists a few of the most recent entries. Most of the entries that our authors post are very timeless and relevant, regardless of when their articles are originally published.

We encourage and welcome you to look back through the blog archives for Megan Hill. All of this author's archives are listed here, on the right side of this page.

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This is an archive for Megan Hill. To learn more about this author, you can also read a Biography for Megan Hill here.

Just a few of most current posts by Megan Hill are excerpted in the center of this page.

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To browse archived entries by Megan Hill, just scroll down this same sidebar column. You'll see the links for all of this author's blog entries, grouped by month and year.

Archives: Megan Hill

This list shows all of the entries ever published at this site by Megan Hill:

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