Tag Archives: food

Wildfire smoke adds apocalyptic hellscape to Disneyland’s attractions.

Sorry to ruin the party, but a report from the Food Climate Research Network casts doubt on recent suggestions that pasture-raised cattle could sequester massive amounts of carbon in the soil.

By nibbling plants and stimulating new root growth, the old argument goes, cows can encourage deeper root networks, which suck up more carbon. Proponents of grass-fed meat have embraced these findings, saying that pasture-raised livestock could mitigate the impact of meat consumption on the environment.

The new report — cleverly titled “Grazed and Confused?” — acknowledges that pastured cattle can be carbon negative, but this depends on the right soil and weather conditions. In most places, according to the report, grazers produce much more greenhouse gas than they add to the ground. It is an “inconvenient truth,” the authors write, that most studies show grass-fed beef has a bigger carbon footprint than feedlot meat. “Increasing grass-fed ruminant numbers is, therefore, a self-defeating climate strategy,” the report concludes.

Fortunately, grass-fed beef is not the only solution being bandied about: Research shows that a small dose of seaweed in livestock feed could drastically reduce methane emissions. And if you really want to reduce your impact on the climate you could, you know, stop eating meat.

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Wildfire smoke adds apocalyptic hellscape to Disneyland’s attractions.

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World hunger rises after decades of decline.

“Clearly, our environment changes all the time,” the Republican leader said after touring Irma’s devastation. “And whether that’s cycles we’re going through or whether that’s man-made, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which one it is.”

It’s good to see Scott pondering those wacky ideas we’ve all heard floating around: Human-caused climate changemore intense hurricanesrising sea levels, etc. Coming to terms with climate change is a journey we all must pursue at our own pace! It’s not urgent or anything.

So what is Scott feeling sure about? Let’s hear it:

This is a catastrophic storm our state has never seen,” he warned on Saturday before Irma hit Florida.

“We ought to go solve problems. I know we have beach renourishment issues. I know we have flood-mitigation issues,” he said in the wake of Irma.

“I’m worried about another hurricane,” he shared with reporters while touring the Florida Keys this week. We feel ya, Scott.

Big ideas! Perhaps a fellow Florida Republican could illuminate their common thread.

“[I]t’s certainly not irresponsible to highlight how this storm was probably fueled — in part — by conditions that were caused by human-induced climate change,” Florida congressman and Grist 50er Carlos Curbelo said this week.

In fact, it just might be necessary.

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World hunger rises after decades of decline.

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Hurricane Irma flattens homes and causes power outages in the Caribbean.

One would think that the demise of ticks and tapeworms would be cause for celebration (especially if your introduction to parasites was, as in my case, an encounter with zombie snails at a mercilessly young age).

But hold the party, say researchers. After studying 457 species of parasites in the Smithsonian Museum’s collection, mapping their global distribution, and applying a range of climate models and future scenarios, scientists predict that at least 5 to 10 percent of those critters would be extinct by 2070 due to climate change–induced habitat loss.

This extinction won’t do any favors to wildlife or humans. If a mass die-off were to occur, surviving parasites would likely invade new areas unpredictably — and that could greatly damage ecosystems. One researcher says parasites facilitate up to 80 percent of the food-web links in ecosystems, thus helping to sustain life (even if they’re also sucking it away).

What could save the parasites and our ecosystems? Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “Reduce carbon emissions.”

If emissions go unchecked, parasites could lose 37 percent of their habitats. If we cut carbon quickly, they’d reduce by only 20 percent — meaning the terrifying (but helpful!) parasites creating zombie snails will stay where they are.

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Hurricane Irma flattens homes and causes power outages in the Caribbean.

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After farmed salmon break-out, Washington state says: “Please, go fishing.”

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative announced yesterday that it plans to curb power plant emissions by 30 percent between 2020 and 2030.

The participating states — Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont — will finalize the agreement on Sept. 25. According to the Washington Post, Massachusetts wanted to set the bar higher by “reducing carbon emissions 5 percent a year. But Maryland balked and threatened to pull out of the pact, saying it would lead to higher energy costs for consumers.”

The agreement caps the emissions from the power generation only (unlike California’s system, it does not include other industry, transportation, or agriculture), and allows those electricity generators to buy and sell emissions rights. This latest move simply lowers the cap.

Even though Washington, D.C., tends to suck up all the oxygen in the conversation, local and regional leaders are trying different approaches to suck all the carbon out of the economy. In these statehouses, it’s a lot less hot air, and a lot more action.

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After farmed salmon break-out, Washington state says: “Please, go fishing.”

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Biology Through the Eyes of Food – J. José Bonner

READ GREEN WITH E-BOOKS

Biology Through the Eyes of Food
Biology of Food
J. José Bonner

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $38.99

Publish Date: January 6, 2016

Publisher: J. José Bonner

Seller: Jose Bonner


Food .  Who doesn’t like food?   We all like food — but why make it so difficult for students, teachers, and the general public to visualize and understand the processes that happen inside us when we eat food, or the ecological impacts of food production, or the evolutionary histories of humans, plants, and animals that have produced the present-day “food landscape?”  Traditional biology textbooks tell us the facts, but rarely relate these facts to the world as both teachers and students experience it.  Traditional biology texts and the teaching methods that support them lead far too often to students thinking that biology is “just something you do in school,” divorced from the Real World. It doesn’t need to be this way. The author has been fortunate enough to have spent a dozen years working with non-biology majors at a large state university.  This textbook has grown out of a concerted effort to make biology more accessible and more clearly relevant to the world outside the classroom.  Using students’ writing as a window into students’ thinking, the author sought to learn what conceptions students developed as a result of different teaching strategies.  Similarly, the author sought to discover alternate conceptions that students brought with them to the classroom, and whether those conceptions were built from prior teaching or from popular culture.  Not surprisingly, developing scientific understanding depends strongly on seeing why learning it matters.  The relationship to food helps provide this link.  Scientific understanding also depends critically on visualizing scientific processes — just as understanding a novel depends on visualizing the setting, the characters, and their actions.  It is challenging, however, to visualize processes that occur on a molecular level, and are far too small to see directly.  It is similarly challenging to visualize processes that occur far too slowly to be perceived.  It is, perhaps, even more challenging to link multiple processes together to build the Big Picture, when human working memory is limited to manipulating only a handful of items at one time. For challenging topics, the author tested alternative teaching strategies, in an effort to develop a strategy that would foster more-accurate and more-durable student learning.  Frequently, this meant discarding the traditional teaching methods and creating something quite different.  Therefore, the reader may find strange (even heretical!) the order of presentation, the methods of presentation, and the relative emphases of topics, compared to traditional biology textbooks.  The effect, however, proved to be successful for a great many of the author’s students.  Many remarked that, for the first time, biology made sense. It is hoped that this textbook can offer insights to high school and college biology teachers, and inform their own searches for more-effective teaching methods.  It is also hoped that students will find it a useful resource, and that anyone interested in food and biology enjoys it. Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t. Polonius, Hamlet , Shakespeare

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Biology Through the Eyes of Food – J. José Bonner

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How to Share Extra Bounty from Your Garden with the Community

You?ve frozen, dried and canned all the fruit and vegetables you can use over winter. But your garden keeps on producing. Now what?

Your extra fruit and veggies can easily find a loving home. And there?s good reason to make sure your entire harvest makes it to someone?s table.

About 50 percent of all fruits and vegetables grown worldwide go to waste. This staggering number is especially tragic considering that one in nine people in the world suffer from chronic undernourishment, including one in approximately 650 people in developed countries.

You can make a difference in your community by using some of the following suggestions to share the food you grow.

Donate to Charitable Organizations

Many different organizations will welcome your extra fruit and vegetables, such as food banks, homeless shelters, community or seniors? centers, spiritual groups and churches, or home-delivered meal programs.

AmpleHarvest.org has an extensive listing of different organizations throughout the United States that will accept extra produce. You can search for one near you on their website.

FeedingAmerica.org also has a searchable listing of food banks throughout the U.S.

Contact Your Local Gleaners

Gleaning is the act of collecting fresh foods from farms, gardens or other sources to share it with those in need. Many communities have a gleaning group that can come to your home and collect your excess produce.

Food Rescue has a listing of groups you can contact in the U.S., or you can search the internet for groups in other countries.

Can?t find any gleaners near you? The United States Department of Agriculture has published a good guide on how to start your own gleaning program.

Put Up a Stand

A simple table on your front lawn with some veggies and a ?Free? sign on it should encourage most of them to find a new home.

A more elaborate option is to build a stand or booth to shade your fruit and vegetables. You could also add a basket or lockbox for donations to your favorite charity in exchange.

Feed It to Your Pets and Livestock

Your animal friends don?t need to miss out on your harvest. Many pet birds, rodents, horses, goats, reptiles and other animals would appreciate your extra produce. It?s even been shown that some vegetables are healthy for dogs.

Related: Best & Worst Fruits and Veggies for Pets

Advertise Your Bounty

RipeNear.Me is a great site designed for home growers to share their overabundance with others. You can choose to give away your produce or charge a fee for it.

You can also advertise to trade, give away or sell your extra fruit and veggies in your local newspaper, community newsletter or online at sites like Freecycle.org, Kijiji.ca, EbayClassifieds.com, or Craigslist.org.

Community sites like Nextdoor or your community Facebook page are other excellent places to post.

Organize a Group Cook-off

Cooking big batches of food is a fun excuse to get together with friends and try making something new. And the best part is, everyone has some healthy meals to take home for later.

Check out MamaBake.com for suggestions on organizing group cooking and some big batch recipes.

It?s also a great idea to donate extra prepared food you make to a neighbor in need.

Host a Meal

This can be as basic as inviting a few friends over for a meal featuring lots of your home-grown fruit and vegetables.

If you?re interested in something a bit more ambitious, try hosting a pop-up restaurant. You can register on sites like EatWith.com that matches up hosts and diners to share meals worldwide.

Swap with Other Gardeners

Ask your friends, neighbors and around your community to find people interested in trading their excess fruit and veggies with yours.

You can also throw a produce swapping party and invite guests to bring their overabundance to be redistributed.

Check out programs like Food Is Free that helps communities grow and share fresh food.

Donate to Animal Rescue Organizations

Certain animal shelters can use excess fruit and veggies to feed plant-eating animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, parrots, iguanas and turtles. Check with your local shelters to see if they have these types of animals before bringing over your produce.

Save Your Seeds

It?s not a loss if your crops have become over-mature or gone to seed. That?s a great time to keep them for harvesting seeds for next year.

You can also give your seeds to organizations like Seed Savers Exchange or Seedsave.org, who work towards saving and distributing non-GMO, heirloom and organic seeds for now and into the future.

Another option is to start a seed library for your local community. Shareable has detailed instructions on how to create your own seed lending library.

Recycle Your Produce

There?s no shame in rounding up your bolted lettuce and the zucchinis that somehow grew 3 feet long, and tossing them on your compost pile. All their goodness will go towards nourishing next year?s bountiful crop.

Related
9 Mistakes to Avoid When Planting a New Vegetable Garden
10 Hot Ideas for a Drought-Resistant Garden
Edible Landscaping: A Delicious Way to Garden

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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How to Share Extra Bounty from Your Garden with the Community

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Arkansas just banned the weedkiller that damaged hundreds of farmers’ crops this year.

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Arkansas just banned the weedkiller that damaged hundreds of farmers’ crops this year.

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More peas or less Pepsi? Researchers compare how food policies could save lives.

There’s been much high-profile gushing over the spaceship-in-Eden–themed campus that Apple spent six years and $5 billion building in Silicon Valley, but it turns out techno-utopias don’t make great neighbors.

“Apple’s new HQ is a retrograde, literally inward-looking building with contempt for the city where it lives and cities in general,” writes Adam Rogers at Wired, in an indictment of the company’s approach to transportation, housing, and economics in the Bay Area.

The Ring — well, they can’t call it The Circle — is a solar-powered, passively cooled marvel of engineering, sure. But when it opens, it will house 12,000 Apple employees, 90 percent of whom will be making lengthy commutes to Cupertino and back every day. (San Francisco is 45 miles away.)

To accommodate that, Apple Park features a whopping 9,000 parking spots (presumably the other 3,000 employees will use the private shuttle bus instead). Those 9,000 cars will be an added burden on the region’s traffic problems, as Wired reports, not to mention that whole global carbon pollution thing.

You can read Roger’s full piece here, but the takeaway is simple: With so much money, Apple could have made meaningful improvements to the community — building state-of-the-art mass transit, for example — but chose to make a sparkly, exclusionary statement instead.

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More peas or less Pepsi? Researchers compare how food policies could save lives.

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Barring a miracle, Republicans will cut food for the hungry.

There’s been much high-profile gushing over the spaceship-in-Eden–themed campus that Apple spent six years and $5 billion building in Silicon Valley, but it turns out techno-utopias don’t make great neighbors.

“Apple’s new HQ is a retrograde, literally inward-looking building with contempt for the city where it lives and cities in general,” writes Adam Rogers at Wired, in an indictment of the company’s approach to transportation, housing, and economics in the Bay Area.

The Ring — well, they can’t call it The Circle — is a solar-powered, passively cooled marvel of engineering, sure. But when it opens, it will house 12,000 Apple employees, 90 percent of whom will be making lengthy commutes to Cupertino and back every day. (San Francisco is 45 miles away.)

To accommodate that, Apple Park features a whopping 9,000 parking spots (presumably the other 3,000 employees will use the private shuttle bus instead). Those 9,000 cars will be an added burden on the region’s traffic problems, as Wired reports, not to mention that whole global carbon pollution thing.

You can read Roger’s full piece here, but the takeaway is simple: With so much money, Apple could have made meaningful improvements to the community — building state-of-the-art mass transit, for example — but chose to make a sparkly, exclusionary statement instead.

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Barring a miracle, Republicans will cut food for the hungry.

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Dear climate visionaries: Resist France’s allure

Back in February, when France’s then-presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron thumbed his nose at President Donald Trump and invited jaded U.S. scientists and inventors to come build a sustainable future in France, I applauded and played along.

“[L]et’s face it,” I wrote. “France is a tough sell. The food is irritatingly fresh, the architecture tends to distract people from their cellphones, and the high-speed rail lines get in the way of SUVs.”

But now that Macron is president and has backed up his words with substance, setting up a program to bring American climate visionaries to France, it’s no longer funny. If you’re an entrepreneur, scientist, or engineer disillusioned with Trump’s America and tempted by this offer, please don’t go. It’s a terrible idea. Do you hear me, Katharine Hayhoe?

Mais porquoi? you say, after thumbing through your French phrasebook. Because the United States, the world’s second-biggest polluter, is a much more pernicious driver of climate change than France, the 18th. We need you here. The world needs you here. The future needs you here.

OK, I’ll cop to getting a little carried away. We should give Macron his due. He’s offering a four-year grant to people from anywhere in the world, so they can come work on climate change projects in France. That’s great! Science, technologies, and companies created in France won’t be constrained by French borders. We’ll all benefit. And it’s just for four years, the nominal length of Trump’s (first) term. But c’mon, be real: Nobody goes to France to live for just four years.

This screenshot from Macron’s new website, titled “Make Our Planet Great Again” seems to confirm my concerns that France wants to keep our smarties forever.

I’m worried about a brain drain. We can’t afford to lose the political heft of scientists as communicators and U.S. citizens. The United States needs people who weigh evidence and allow that evidence to change their minds. We need men and women like this of all political stripes living in American towns, talking to their American friends, going to American churches, and helping to make this country sane again. If we all sort ourselves into like-minded factions, and a chunk of the rational faction moves to France, we’re screwed. We really can’t afford to lose Neil DeGrasse Tyson to the Riviera. James Hansen, Pam Ronald … stay!

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Dear climate visionaries: Resist France’s allure

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