Ethical Eating

"Ladies of Manure" Calendar: The Perfect Gift for The Ethical Eater?

Generally, when you think of beautiful women, you don't think of poop. The two are definitely not synonymous--unless, of course, you're into that sort of thing. And hey, we won't judge. 

So, why, then would a local nonprofit put together the 2013 Ladies of Manure Calendar? Shock value, of course.

Clean Plate Charlie caught up with Lanette Sobel, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Miami Beach-based Fertile Earth Foundation, to find out more about the calendar and its images.

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The calendar, which is currently available for purchase on kickstarter for 25 bucks, features portraits of women surrounded  by manure. It is the organizations latest fundraising initiative. According to Sobel, the concept is "honestly to shock people into thinking. We want to make people think - better yet, REthink their waste.  So we decided to take something most find universally appealing (beautiful women) and pair it with something most find universally disgusting (manure).  It's a way to draw eyes to the conversation and from there we have the opportunity to educate."

Aside from the usual organizational functions of a calendar, this one includes tips on composting, including an explanation of how and why your should get into it, advice on which types of manure suit specific needs, and a plant growing calendar. 

The organization has been involved in a number of initiatives attempting to combat and raise awareness of food waste and other environmental issues. Fertile Earth currently has a food redistribution project where edible food is taken from restaurants and hotels that was once destined for landfills and instead feed it to people. Food that is not considered suitable for human consumption goes to animal organizations. In addition, the organization encourages organic growing and has an online shop, which sells various worm products. "Worm castings and tea are probably the most amazing, organic fertilizers and pest repellants out there," says Sobel.

Fertile Earth is also working with TREC (University of Florida's Tropical Research and Education Center) to help commercial farmers and nurseries convert to organic practices.

Overall, the goal is to achieve a greater level of environmental consciousness. According to Sobel, "To have people think about how their actions affect the planet and those around them.  There are very simple things we can do every day that do not take much effort, if only we think about them instead of living life on auto-pilot.  Everything from using reusable water bottles and grocery bags to, of course, recycling and composting.  Everyone can do something."

We all know the saying "sex sells," but will dirty sex sell even better? For that, we'll have to wait and find out.

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Sara Ventiera