Adrian Grenier discusses green living at 2012 Go Further with Ford event

Most Bullz-Eye readers will recognize Adrian Grenier as Vincent Chase from HBO’s “Entourage.” But there’s much more to him than that. Grenier has always been passionate about the environment and living a sustainable lifestyle, and eventually that passion led him to co-found a company dedicated to this purpose.

I recently attended Ford’s 2012 Go Further event will several hundred other bloggers, and Grenier was featured on a panel with his SHFT.com co-founder Peter Glatzer to discuss green lifestyle issues along with other experts and activists. Frankly I came away very impressed. So many activists in this area can become very preachy about the subject, and that’s particularly true with celebrities. But Grenier is much more interested in inspiring people to make their lives more sustainable, and that’s the mission of SHFT.com according to their website:

SHFT is a multi-media platform founded by film producer Peter Glatzer and actor-filmmaker Adrian Grenier. Our mission is to convey a more sustainable approach to the way we live through video, design, art and culture.

The website covers a wide variety of topics, including architecture, art, business, conservation, design, energy, fashion, food and home & garden. They’re aiming for an audience looking for innovative ways to change the way they live their lives in order to better take care of our planet.

One effort is called “The Big SHFT” which involves a partnership with Ford Motor Company.

The night before, we heard from Bill Ford who recounted his own commitment to these issues and he candidly discussed how the powers that be at Ford looked at him like he was an alien when he brought up these issues years ago. But he wouldn’t give up, and now Ford has become a leader in this area.

Among the presentations at the Go Further event involved some of the innovations coming out of Ford’s research labs that are changing the materials that go into their cars. One example is Ford’s use of soybean-based foam in seat cushions, backs and head restraints that saves about 5 million pounds of petroleum annually. The next step according to the researchers is making these foams biodegradable.

Ford is also focusing on recycled materials like plastic bottles, denim and old tires. They also working on other initiatives, like retired US currency of all things. With its strong, tensile characteristics, they are looking into shredding these old greenbacks for use in the manufacture of plastic parts like trays and bins. Currently retired currency is simply burned.

The possibilities are endless, as long as we put our minds to it. Ford is one of the many companies pushing for these solutions, and SHFT.com wants to inspire more companies and individuals to look for more innovations. You don’t have to be a multi-national corporation to make a difference.

Check out the SHFT.com website for more cool content in this area. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. For some the green issue has become very political and polarizing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. All of us can learn more about simple changes we can make for a more sustainable lifestyle, and this bottom-up approach can have a huge impact.

  

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Review: High Plains Bison

Chef JimI’ll be honest –I love food, but my adventurous palate tends to be more adventurous to things like extra spicy fare or exotic cheeses or vegetables. But when it comes to meat, I lean toward beef, chicken, turkey or pork. I might eat lamb or veal once in a blue moon. Same with seafood. So when it comes to game such as venison, duck or rabbit, you would probably catch me sneaking out the back door before sitting down for dinner.

That said, I try to have an open mind—within reason, of course. And when I was pitched to review bison from a company called High Plains Bison, I had even more of an open mind because it was pitched as an alternative and much healthier cousin of beef. And if you see the photos in the brochure or on their website, it sure does look like beef. But the numbers are staggering when you compare the fat and calories—107 calories to 243 calories for beef in a 100-gram serving. And yet, it tastes remarkably like beef, and not at all like food that is low in fat and calories.

Chef JimThe package they sent was a sampler of ribeye, ground bison, and hickory smoked sausage. The ground bison was the first one I tried, and it was very much like beef, but maybe a bit milder. The ribeye steaks were delicious too and not anywhere near as fatty as a beef ribeye but without sacrificing a ton of flavor. And then the sausages were quite honestly some of the best sausage I’ve ever tasted. These, however, had 23 grams of fat per link, but they were big links, and if it tastes that good, I don’t mind spending some fat calories. The hickory flavor was really delicious.

If you are looking for an alternative to beef, you really should consider bison. If you have an open mind already, you will love it. If you didn’t have an open mind, trust me when I say that you will be converted.

For more information, visit the High Plains Bison website

  

Food/drink product roundup: Hint Water, Hungry Man Pub Favorites and Sledgehammer Wines

Yes, trying and reviewing food and drink, and even alcoholic drinks, is a tough job. But someone has to do it. Here are a few new products that either came to me with promotions attached to them or not:

Hint flavored water–I drink a ton of flavored seltzer, so the thought of non-carbonated water scared me just a bit. But alas, this Hint stuff is pretty damn good. They sent six flavors, including Watermelon, Blackberry, Mango-Grapefruit and Strawberry-Kiwi. The Strawberry-Kiwi flavor comes with a special label–that of Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo to promote the new Yogi Bear movie that debuts in December and stars Justin Timberlake and Anna Farris. You can win tickets to the movie by visiting www.drinkhint.com/yogi. Anyway, this stuff is delicious, and it doesn’t come with a sugary aftertaste because there is no sugar at all. If you need a break from carbonation or need flavor in your water, definitely start here.

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New Food Product Roundup

Lucky us, we get to review new food products that are sent to us! Here are a few awesome new ones that we recently received:

Utz Pub Fries/Cheddar Cheese Flavor--Leave it to the folks at Utz to take a product that someone else is making and make it better. I remember the Andy Capp’s “Fries” as a kid and these are like an upscale version. There is a strong onion undertone but the burst of real cheese flavor makes up for it.

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Doritos’ new flavors bold, spicy and awesome

When I first heard about Doritos’ Burn flavor chips, I thought it was a promotional stunt or something to sell more Pepsi, which was the focus of the radio commercial I heard.  But being a snack food junkie and a lover of all things spicy, I kept looking for this stuff in stores.  Finally, I found it, at a Walgreens here in Madison, Wisconsin no less.  And let me tell you, the First and Second Degree Burn flavors are positively awesome, and spicier than any snack food I’ve ever tasted.  Frito-Lay tells me Third Degree Burn was only available for a short time, and sadly I didn’t get to try it.  But here are the ones I did try….

First Degree Burn (Blazing Jalapeno)–These chips are hot and also have a strong jalapeno flavor.  And the heat, which I’d rate as an 8 out of 10, is subtle and somewhat pleasant, like a spicy food drug.

Second Degree Burn (Flaming Buffalo)--This chip has a tangier flavor, just like, well, Buffalo wing sauce.  And like first degree, the heat sneaks up on you, but this one is more like an unexpected kick to the groin, a 9 out of 10 on the heat index.  What’s more, they get hotter and hotter the more you eat.  But if you like spicy food, that’s one of the best parts.

Late Night Cheeseburger–Not spicy at all, but part of the new Late Night lines from Doritos.  These taste like a McDonald’s cheeseburger, but you taste onions first and foremost, and, like with all Doritos, the ones coated in cheese powder are the best tasting ones.  That’s especially true here, because otherwise the onion overwhelms the cheese.

  

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