Category Archives: books

VS 13.04.2008: Waste = Food

Thanks to orangemenace at ArchitectureMNP for this documentary on the work of Michael Braungart and William McDonough, authors of Cradle to Cradle. If you haven’t read it, this is the type of book that will blow your mind. It introduces an entirely new (or actually, timelessly old) way of thinking about design, consumption and waste. This video does a good job of showcasing several successful projects which have followed the Cradle to Cradle concepts and philosophies:

An inspiring documentary on the Cradle to Cradle design concept of the chemist Michael Braungart and the architect William McDonough. Winner of the Silver Dragon at the Beijing International Science Film Festival 2006.

Here’s an interesting + informative documentary on McDonough + Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle concept in action – in essence showing us that waste is unnecessary, and that with smart design we can basically eliminate it. Of particular interest is that they’ve been pretty successful in convincing corporations of their cradle to cradle theory, because these businesses want to get the most for the money. Funny that being environmentally friendly is, in the end, economically friendly as well – we seem to have fought nature for so long to get ahead, and we’re now finally at a point where working with it is the next step in our development. Should be great.

::Video Sundays, or VS, is a weekly feature here on architecture.MNP. For more architecture-related videos, click on any Sunday in the sidebar calendar – or on the ‘videos’ category in the ‘archjutsu’ section. Additional videos that have been featured on any of the MNP sites can be found here on our YouTube page::


What is GRUB?
1. grub is healthy, local, sustainable food for all
2. grub is food that supports community, justice, and sustainability
3. grub should be universal


Eco-chef, ‘food justice activist’ extraordinaire and co-author of Grub, Bryant Terry, has a new book in the works: Organic Soul.

While there are conventional cookbooks that present low-calorie, no-fat, salt-free, versions of soul food dishes, most of them still suggest unhealthy ingredients such as denatured white sugar, acrid table salt, genetically modified fats, refined grains, processed flours, and sometimes canned food items. Rather than counting calories, sacrificing flavor enhancing ingredients like salt and “good” fat, and recommending unhealthy industrial ingredients, Organic Soul will be the first book to offer modern healthy recipes inspired by traditional soul food dishes and to suggest best-quality, health-supportive ingredients and healthful cooking techniques that will actually enhance the flavor of soul food.

A few words on Grub, if you haven’t heard already:

Combining a straight-to-the-point exposé about organic foods (organic doesn’t mean fresh, natural, or independently produced) and the how-to’s of creating an affordable, easy-to-use organic kitchen, Grub brings organics home to urban dwellers. It gives the reader compelling arguments for buying organic food, revealing the pesticide industry’s influence on government regulation and the extent of its pollution in our waterways and bodies. With an inviting recipe section, Grub also offers the millions of people who buy organics fresh ideas and easy ways to cook with them. Grub’s recipes, twenty-four meals oriented around the seasons, appeal to eighteen-to forty-year-olds who are looking for fun and simple meals. In addition, the book features resource lists (including music playlists to cook by), unusual and illuminating graphics, and every variety of do-it yourself tip sheets, charts, and checklists.

Check Terry out on his blog Organic Soul and newly launched Black & Green, a collaborative green blog with Adrienne Maree Brown, Omar Freilla, Latham Thomas and Pandora Thomas. All ninjas.


I am still dying for that roasted red pepper cajun spice open face frittata sandwich

Seeds, Genetic Engineering, and Our Future


Last week, in the frozen north of Norway, the seeds began to pour into the Global Seed Vault — the “doomsday vault,” some have called it. Five hundred feet of a super-secure cave in an Arctic mountainside is filling now with millions of seeds from all over the world.

As climate change and genetic engineering put new pressures on the traditional spectrum of natural seed, scientists want to preserve an archive, a bank, that could pull us out of a pinch.

Check out this episode – Seed, Genetic Engineering, and Our Future – of ‘On Point with Tom Ashbrook‘ on NPR from March 6th – where Claire Hope Cummings is his guest, discussing her new book Uncertain Peril – along with the new seed vault, sustainable farming and more.

Related: check out The Land Institute, and our post on Janine Benyus + Biomimicry.

cradle to cradle


“In Cradle to Cradle, McDonough and Braungart argue that the conflict between industry and the environment is not an indictment of commerce but an outgrowth of purely opportunistic design. The design of products and manufacturing systems growing out of the Industrial Revolution reflected the spirit of the day-and yielded a host of unintended yet tragic consequences.”