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An Environmentalist at Microsoft

Why is this environmentalist at the Microsoft HQ?! 👩🏻🌾💻🔬 To learn about one company’s food, health, waste, agriculture and sustainability initiatives… and have my mindblown by worldclass technologists focused on real world solutions!

We need new ways to produce food in line with our earth where we live and eat. 💡🌱💦🌎🔍🔋♻️💭 “If the environment had a way to talk back to us, how would that change our interactions?” We must learn to listen, to apply hybrid thinking from science, art and technology, to layer interdisciplinary intelligence and diverse expertise to make the tech, solutions and systems accessible to broader audiences… mainly those of us who don't have countless sensors, cameras and computers to crunch data, track numbers and optimize processes in the quest to most effectively tackle our pressing global issues like climate change, environmental degradation and food security.

 

Passionate individuals and teams are driving a culinary revolution, an ingredient revolution, a food revolution – that champions widespread sustainability, scratch cooking, urban farming and food of the future solutions, and robust local farmer-chef-restaurant partnerships – with strategic goals, authentic approaches and community engagement.

 

10 days is all it takes to grow a full, luscious, crispy, organic head of romaine lettuce on site at a restaurant to be enjoyed via hi-tech systems. 🌱 Perfect bites can be topped of with organic microgreens grown in simple, bountiful setups year round. 💚 100% vegan, 100% glutenfree, 100% sustainable offerings include beer-battered cauliflower with waffle fries and chipotle mayo in miniature cast iron skillets, eggless salad atop cucumber brioche rounds, marinated tofu skewers over sticky rice, vegan chickpea curry with fragrant spices ground from scratch daily. 🌿Gourmet restaurants, like Boardwalk by James Beard award-winning (and Iron Chef Morimoto-besting!) Chef Maria Hines, highlight all things organic, valued farmer relationships, and holistic approaches to sustainability throughout the food system.

 

Simple shifts demonstrate a commitment to health and wellness, like flavored water in place of soda, made fresh daily with imperfectly delicious produce, ugly fruit, and culinary scrap rinds (always organic for the Dirty Dozen, most highly sprayed fruits and veggies!). Farmers markets in community centers, urban areas, university campuses, and office complexes connect the masses with fresh, flavorful, seasonal offerings from and build relationships with local farmers and food purveyors. Menu engineering supports specific meat reduction goals, in a food landscape that already offers increasing options for vegan, vegetarian and other dietary restrictions, noted with proper labeling. Carbon footprint tracking systems calculate precise impacts of purchasing with full transparency for targeted reduction.

 

I am a proud activist who believes in grassroots movements, organizing and education, but also one who recognizes the power of business to operate at a scale larger than non-profits and speed faster than government in many cases. We cannot let perfect be the enemy of the good in pursuit of paradigm shifts – and corporations have a critical role to play in accelerating change through employees, consumers, purchasing, corporate culture, communications and beyond. It takes a village.

 

 

 

We need new ways to produce food where we live and eat. Hydroponics and aquaponics fascinate me. Here at HQ, @Microsoft is applying hybrid thinking from science, art and technology, interdisciplinary intelligence, and diverse expertise to make the tech, solutions and systems accessible to broader audiences... mainly those of us who don't have countless sensors, cameras and computers to crunch data, track numbers and optimize processes to most effectively tackle our pressing global issues like climate change, environmental degradation, and food security. 

 

 

 

 

 

10 days! That's all it takes to grow a full, luscious, crispy, organic head of romaine lettuce ON SITE at the restaurant where it will be enjoyed with this hi-tech hydroponics system. Cool or cool?! @Microsoft walks it's talk when it comes to sustainability in food. #growyourown

 

 

 

 

NBD. Just nibbling on beer-battered cauliflower with waffle fries and chipotle mayo from miniature cast iron skillets, as well as eggless salad stop cucumber brioche rounds. This is 100% vegan, 100% glutenfree and 100% made sustainably by the phenomenal chefs at @Microsoft. 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin sorbet by one of the great chefs and my new friend @MariaHinesRestaurants. Maria champions all things organic, values farmer relationships, approaches #sustainability from a holistic POV, runs three *certified* #organic gourmet restaurants in Seattle, won James @BeardFoundation best chef PNW... and bested @Chef_Morimoto on Iron Chef. Her food, spirit and mission are precisely what we need more of in our world. #vegandessertquest #poweroffood #girlboss

 

 

 

 

Why have I never thought to make a miniature burrito bowl!?! 'Tis a truly perfect bite, topped off with organic microgreens grown right here at @Microsoft. #genius #eeeeeats #thefoodieadventures 

 

 

I wanna grow my own microgreens and herbs! And seeing the simple, bountiful @Microsoft setup reconfirmed that. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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© 2019 by Erin Schrode - About ErinContact

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