RACE IS ON TO FEED A WARMING WORLD...

Jun 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford / Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG     Millions throughout Africa depend on maize, but new crop varieties can barely keep pace with the warming climate. (Kate Holt / AusAID via Wikimedia Commons) This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—It can take up to 30 years to improve a crop variety, test it and persuade farmers to adopt it. That means the speed of climate change in Africa could make a new variety of maize useless even before the first harvest, according to new research. But two separate studies that address the challenge of food security in a rapidly warming world suggest that the answers may lie not just in future weather but in today’s soils. One says that better soil data can be used to predict...

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Lawsuit Reveals Extent of DuPont’s Decades-Long Cover Up Behind Cancer-Causing Teflon Chemical...

Jun 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Chemical giant DuPont is in court defending their decision to poison entire communities by releasing a toxic chemical known as C8 into the Ohio River. By Farron Cousins / DeSmogBlog  VIA ALTERNET DECEMBER 2013 – BERLIN: the logo of the brand “Du Pont”. Photo Credit: 360b/Shutterstock Corporate heavyweight DuPont is back in court right now, defending their decision to poison entire communities along the Ohio River by releasing a toxic chemical known as C8 into the river. C8 is a chemical that is used in the manufacturing of the company’s blockbuster product Teflon. The case alleges that DuPont officials were intimately aware of the dangerous side effects of C8 exposure but still decided to allow exposure among workers and by releasing the chemical into the environment. Once the chemicals were dumped into the Ohio River,...

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Why Conserving Crops’ Wild Cousins May Be Critical for Human Survival...

Jun 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Food As global food requirements grow with a skyrocketing human population, genes from wild relatives of common crops could play a big role. By Kristen Satre Meyer / Ensia  VIA ALTERNET Portrait of a young woman at work in greenhouse,in uniform and clipboard in her hand . Greenhouse produce. Food production. Tomato growing in greenhouse. Photo Credit: Vlad Teodor/Shutterstock Wild cousins aren’t always appreciated at family gatherings. But when it comes to crops, the opposite is often true: Plant breeding has historically relied on genes from plants growing in the wild as a source of diversity that can be introduced into crop plants to produce new crop varieties that are more resilient, nutritious and productive than those currently cultivated. As human populations increase and shift away from traditional diets, demand for food is...

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO DUMPSTER DIVING...

Jun 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Food How to seriously cut down on your monthly food bill. By Assya Barrette / Greenhighfive   VIA ALTERNET   Photo Credit: Wikipedia I first came into contact with dumpster diving when I volunteered with the organizationFood not Bombs (FNB),Toronto Chapter. Their objective is to recover food that would otherwise have been thrown away, and cook up delicious vegan meals for whomever wants some. Although a lot of the food they get is donated from bakeries and shops (who’d otherwise dump the food), they do dumpster diving to fill in the gaps. Recently, one of the members of the group held a dumpster diving tutorial in downtown Toronto. After I attended the tutorial, I went solo in my town, with huge success. This, coupled with the times I had gone with FNB in...

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12 Fruits That Are a Cinch to Grow in Your Own Garden (Infographic)...

Jun 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] An apple pie made with apples you grow yourself tastes a lot better than a store-bought pie. By Reynard Loki / AlterNet   Smiling autumn woman picking and giving apples from tree Photo Credit: Maridav/Shutterstock Wouldn’t that bowl of cereal in the morning taste a lot better with fresh strawberries that you grew yourself? How about an apple pie made from apples picked right in your own backyard? The fact is, you don’t need to have an orchard to enjoy a steady supply of fruit all year round. Growing fruits in your backyard or even indoors isn’t that hard at all. There’s little doubt that eating fruits is good for your health. Part of any well-balanced diet, fruits contain essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber and other compounds that help support...

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FEDS FINALLY ADDRESS THE RISKS OF WIDELY USED AG CHEMICAL – ATRAZINE...

Jun 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   A new government report on the weed killer atrazine highlights risks to wildlife that researchers have been pointing to for years. (Photo: David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters) Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor.   A 500-some-page draft assessment on an agricultural chemical from a federal agency is generally not the stuff of intrigue and redemption. But just such a document could upend the American corn industry, generate strict new regulations for a chemical company in the midst of being acquired by a Chinese firm for $43 billion, and clear the name of a researcher who nearly had his reputation destroyed. The document published Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency reads, “This risk assessment concludes that aquatic plant communities are impacted in many areas where atrazine use is heaviest, and there is potential chronic risk to...

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Honey Bees Are in Decline, but There’s Another, Unsung Bee Who Could Save the Planet’s Food Supply...

Jun 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Food Gentle, good-natured and hardworking, mason bees are more efficient pollinators than honey bees—and can help orchard growers and everyday gardeners get more from their plants. By Dave Hunter, Jill Lightner / Mountaineer Books  VIA ALTERNET Mason Bee (Osmia bicornis) Photo Credit: Jaco Visser/Shutterstock The following is an excerpt from the new book Mason Bee Revolutionby Dave Hunter & Jill Lightner (Mountaineers Books, 2016): Why Keep Gentle Bees? When people hear “beekeeping,” the image they picture is almost always of honey bee keepers in white, helmeted spacesuits fretting over their hives for hours at a time and purchasing fairly heavy-duty equipment just to get started. But the options for home beekeeping are far more interesting than that image evokes, and many are much, much simpler. Social vs. Solitary There are thousands of species...

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TOO SMALL TO FAIL

Jun 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Nicholas Kristof JUNE 2, 2016 Photo Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times First, a quiz: What’s the most common “vegetable” eaten by American toddlers? Answer: The French fry. The same study that unearthed that nutritional tragedy also found that on any given day, almost half of American toddlers drink soda or similar drinks, possibly putting the children on a trajectory toward obesity or diabetes. But for many kids, the problems start even earlier. In West Virginia, one study found, almost one-fifth of children are born with alcohol or drugs in their system. Many thus face an uphill struggle from the day they are born. Bear all this in mind as Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump battle over taxes, minimum wages and whether to make tuition free at public universities....

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DOES THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES REPORT ON GMOS SETTLE THE DEBATE?...

Jun 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Brought to you by FlexPVC®  TRUTH IN MEDIA The National Academy of Sciences has released a new report declaring genetically engineered food safe for humans and the environment, but is there more to the story? The debate over genetically engineered or modified foods will likely continue despite a damning new report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine which concluded that genetically engineered (GE) foods do not pose a health or environmental risk. Critics of the report point to conflicts of interests between researchers with the National Academy of Sciences and biotechnology companies involved in the creation of GE crops. The report,Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects, also acknowledged that the GE crops are also not producing increasing yields of crops, as has been promoted by supporters of GE technology. The Associated...

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THE NUMBER ONE THING WE CAN DO TO PROTECT EARTH’S OCEANS...

May 31, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Strict agreements and governance over our bodies of water is the only way to conserve them for years to come. By Liza Gross  BILL MOYERS  & CO. Scientists know how to cure many of the ills plaguing ocean waters farther than 200 nautical miles from shore, beyond the jurisdiction of nations. Restricting fishing, shipping and deep seabed mining in biodiversity hot spots would go a long way toward restoring ocean health, they say. (Photo by Stephen Coates/AFP/Getty Images) This post originally appeared at Ensia.com. When New England fishers complained of working harder and harder to catch fewer and fewer fish, Spencer Baird assembled a scientific team to investigate. Though a fishery failure would once have seemed inconceivable, Baird wrote in his report, “an alarming decrease of the shore fisheries has been thoroughly...

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5 Superfoods You’re Probably Not Eating...

May 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] It’s time to move beyond kale and quinoa. By Reynard Loki / AlterNet By some estimates, the state of American health looks pretty grim. And much of it is directly tied to poor diets. Based on current trends, one in three American adults—about 146 million people—will be suffering from type 2 diabetes by 2050, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That year, say researchers at Harvard University, 42 percent of Americans will be obese, up from the current figure of 35 percent. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that in 2000, partially because of a surge in meat consumption, the average American ate almost 20 percent more calories than he did in 1983. The problem isn’t only that we’re eating too much, but that we’re eating a lot...

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WHY THERE’S A SEARING ETHIOPIAN DROUGHT WITHOUT AN EPIC ETHIOPIAN FAMINE...

May 15, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] governance By Andrew C. Revkin Photo Cattle are led in search of water in Ethiopia’s Oromia region.Credit Nancy McNally / Catholic Relief Services I hope you’ll read “Is the Era of Great Famine Over,” an Op-Ed article by Alex de Waal, the executive director of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University, which has a program tracking famine trends. Filing from Ethiopia, which is in the midst of a potent drought but — for a change — not a calamitous famine, de Waal made these core points:  How did Ethiopia go from being the world’s symbol of mass famines to fending off starvation? Thanks partly to some good fortune, but mostly to peace, greater transparency and prudent planning. Ethiopia’s success in averting another disaster is confirmation that famine is elective because, at its...

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This Is the County With the Worst Childhood Hunger in America...

May 14, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] In some parts of Arizona, the child hunger rate is twice as high as it is nationally. By Sarah McColl / TakePart  VIA ALTERNET hungry little girl Photo Credit: EduardSV/Shutterstock David Martinez vividly remembers a boy who visited a mobile food pantry in Apache County, Arizona, where fresh fruits and vegetables were available for free to those who needed them. “He was maybe five or six, and he was so excited about getting an orange,” said Martinez, an advocacy and outreach specialist at the Phoenix-based St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. “You’d think he would be more concerned about getting an Xbox. But he was really excited about oranges. A kid should be excited about learning and playing and growing, not worried about where their next meal is coming from.” When Feeding America issued its...

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URBAN AGRICULTURE CAN’T FEED US, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S A BAD IDEA...

May 11, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Research shows that the social and cultural benefits of city farms and gardens far outweigh the number of people they can feed. Urban farm near low-income housing in Chicago. (Photo: Linda N./Flickr) Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor.   Growing up in Iowa is a good way to become familiar with what a field of corn looks like. My eye is more readily drawn to its shiny, lopping leaves and the spike of an unopened tassel than to most any other plant. Driving across Los Angeles, as I do far too often, the crop still catches my eye, but the plots that it grows on here look nothing like the rolling farms back home that each measure in the thousands of acres. Instead, it’s a small berm pushed up against a park fence...

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3 Disturbing Facts You Need to Know If You Eat Sashimi...

May 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment One in three pieces of sashimi is from fish caught by Taiwanese fishing vessels. And that spells trouble. By Yen Ning / Greenpeace   VIA ALTERNET Phetchaburi – September 7 – Local vendors are collecting fish in famous fishing village, which 90% of foreign workers is Burmese. September 7, 2014 Phetchaburi Thailand Photo Credit: SARAPON/Shutterstock   If you eat imported seafood, chances are you’ve eaten Taiwan caught fish, so when we’re talking Taiwanese seafood, we’re talking about an industry that has an impact on all of us.   Tuna transshipment on the high seas in the Indian Ocean. In a race to make as much profit as possible, Taiwan’s fishing industry has long been linked to environmental abuse. But what is becoming clearer is that where there are environmental abuse, human rights abuses...

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HOW WILL WE FEED THE MEGACITIES OF THE FUTURE?...

May 3, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] More people are moving to urban areas, and making new connections with rural farmers will be necessary to feed them. Urban agriculture in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. (Photo: Sergio Ruiz via SPUR/Flickr) Tove Danovich is a journalist based in New York City.   Urban farms may provide a delicious source of delicate salad greens, honey, and even the occasional eggs, but they’re a long way from feeding entire cities. As rural areas continue to house much of the world’s poor, the question of who feeds these dense, agriculture-scarce areas becomes even more important. Linking small or subsistence farmers to urban markets could provide a way out of poverty for them, as well as opportunities for developing better infrastructure, creating new jobs along the way. More people already live in urban areas...

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How a Virginia Nonprofit Is Helping Veterans Launch Careers in Farming...

Apr 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Food The innovative program tackles two issues: the aging population of farmers and military veterans looking for new careers. By Lani Furbank / Food Tank  VIA ALTERNET Old farmer displays his American pride by holding the U.S. flag Photo Credit: Brocreative/Shutterstock A nonprofit organization in Virginia has designed a potentially beneficial solution to two looming social issues in American society: the aging population of farmers and military veterans looking for new careers. The Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture’s Veteran Farmer Program aims to develop a new cohort of farmers by providing opportunities and support to veterans. The Center excels at community-focused programming that provides access to healthy food and establishes connections between local farms and consumers in the D.C. metro area. These programs include a Mobile Market that distributes produce to underserved communities and...

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KANSAS GOVERNOR JUSTIFIED KICKING 15,000 PEOPLE OFF FOOD STAMPS...

Apr 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Alan Pyke THINK PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo/John Hanna) Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS)   For over five years now, Kansas has served as an economic policy experiment for anti-tax, small-government conservatives. Their lab work is costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars, crippling public service budgets, and making life harder for low-income families without reducing the state’s poverty rate at all. With his political star beginning to tarnish, Gov. Sam Brownback (R) came to Washington on Wednesday to discuss his poverty policies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. At one point, the embattled governor justified his policy of forcing people off of food stamps if they can’t find a job by likening low-income and jobless people to lazy college students. The event was convened around a policy he pioneered: Reinstating a rigid...

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The Creepy Way Processed Food Packaging Messes With Your Hormones...

Apr 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] A new study shows common plastic packaging steeps food in industrial chemicals. By April M. Short / AlterNet As if it weren’t already enough of a headache to find non-toxic, safe and healthy food to eat, a recent study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspective reveals that the packaging used to contain certain food products can impact your hormones. Researchers for the study found that people who eat more fast food have significantly increased rates of phthalates—industrial chemicals used to make plastics—in their systems. The study authors attribute the trend to those chemicals seeping from plastic packaging into foods. The study asked 8,877 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examinations Surveys between 2003 and 2010 to report all the food they had eaten within last 24 hours. Participants also donated a urine sample...

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CLIMATE CHANGE MAY TURN CROPS INTO JUNK FOOD...

Apr 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] TAKE PART DAILY   Tove Danovich is a journalist based in New York City. Rising CO2 levels will make plants produce more carbohydrates and fewer nutrients and protein. (Photos: Neil Howard/Flickr; Lew Robertson/Getty Images)   Plants love carbon dioxide. Higher levels of CO2 in the air increase the rate of photosynthesis—it’s why planting more trees helps to clean the air, after all. For a time, that love had some scientists convinced that the world’s greenery could keep CO2 levels in the atmosphere in check—but research has now shown not only that plants alone can’t halt the rise of CO2 but that the increase will make food crops less healthy for human consumption. According to one new study, higher carbon dioxide levels could turn healthy fruits and veggies into junk food. According to a report...

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INTENSE FARMING PRACTICES CAN HELP SAVE WILDLIFE...

Apr 16, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] TAKE PART DAILY Human population growth means we need to farm more efficiently so we don’t plow what’s left of the world’s natural habitat. (Photo: Chris Winsor/Getty Images) Richard Conniff is the author of House of Lost Worlds: Dinosaurs, Dynasties, and the Story of Life on Earth, and other books.   You probably don’t think agricultural intensification could ever be a good thing. And you certainly wouldn’t expect an argument for more of it in a column about wildlife. But here’s the deal: If we don’t figure out how to grow more food on less land, we’re going to have to plow under what little remains of the natural world and turn it into farmland. And we have to figure it out fast, because there are going to be 10 billion people to...

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WASTED FOOD LAYS A HEAVY BURDEN ON THE CLIMATE...

Apr 13, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] TRUTHDIG  Tim Radford     About one-third of all food produced never reaches a plate. (Taz via Flickr) This Creative Commons licensed piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—By mid-century, an estimated one-tenth of all greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture could be traced back to food waste, according to new research. Human use and misuse of land accounts for up to a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, and farming directly contributes at least 10%, and perhaps twice as much. Yet roughly one-third of all food produced never makes it to the plate. “Reducing food waste can contribute to fighting hunger, but to some extent also prevent climate impacts like more intense weather extremes and sea-level rise,” says lead author Ceren Hic, a scientific assistant at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact...

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Meet Monsanto’s Evil Twin, an Industry That Does Major Damage and Gets Shockingly Little Attention...

Apr 13, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Food Chemical fertilizer pollutes the environment, disrupts the climate and damages human and animal health. By Martha Rosenberg, Ronnie Cummins / AlterNet Farmer fertilizing wheat with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium fertilizer Photo Credit: oticki/Shutterstock What do you know about the worldwide chemical fertilizer industry? If you’re like most people, not much. There’s plenty of press coverage and consumer awareness when it comes to genetically engineered food and crops and the environmental hazards of pesticides and animal drugs. But the fertilizer industry? Not so much, even though it’s the largest segment of corporate agribusiness ($175 billion in annual sales), and a major destructive force in polluting the environment, disrupting the climate and damaging public health. Learning the facts about chemical fertilizers and the companies that produce them will give you yet another reason to boycott...

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Move Over Pesticides: Could Traditional Plants Hold the Secret to Saving Crops From Pests?...

Apr 11, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Researchers are building on age-old practices to reduce food loss in Africa. By Rachel Cernansky / Ensia   VIA ALTERNET BUIKWE REGION, UGANDA – JULY 26: An unidentified farmers working on their fields on July 26, 2004 in Buikwe region, Uganda. People in rural areas of Uganda depend on farming. Photo Credit: Pecold/Shutterstock Without any effort at all, Hawa Saidi Ibura crushes dried beans, one at a time, between her fingers outside her home in Endagaw, a village in northern Tanzania. She’s holding a basket of a type of red bean eaten all over East Africa, but these beans are skeletons of what they once were. She harvested them from her farm less than a year ago, but insects have since ravaged her storage room—eating the nutrition out of the beans and out...

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One-Third of All Food Produced Globally Never Finds Its Way Onto a Plate...

Apr 9, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Food The majority of food waste ends up in landfills where it releases methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times stronger than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. By Nicole Mormann / EcoWatch  VIA ALTERNET April 8, 2016 It’s easy not to think about food waste when your rotting tomatoes and days-old casserole dishes are hidden away in the back of the refrigerator—out of sight, out of mind. But when it comes time to clean it out, you have to face a lot of waste food, money and the resources that took to produce it. While food waste has made a rapid rise in terms of public awareness recently, new research suggests that the future effect could end up accelerating climate changeat a worrisome rate in coming years. According to a study released Thursday by Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact...

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We’ve Changed a Life-Giving Nutrient Into a Deadly Pollutant—Can We Change It Back?...

Apr 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Environment In the process of producing food, we’ve inadvertently filled our planet with toxic forms of nitrogen. By Elizabeth Grossman / Ensia   VIA ALTERNET A lot of dead fish on the beach Photo Credit: Brandon Seidel/Shutterstock Coastal dead zones, global warming, excess algae blooms, acid rain, ocean acidification, smog, impaired drinking water quality, an expanding ozone hole and biodiversity loss. Seemingly diverse problems, but a common thread connects them: human disruption of how a single chemical element, nitrogen, interacts with the environment. Nitrogen is absolutely crucial to life — an indispensable ingredient of DNA, proteins and essentially all living tissue — yet it also can choke the life out of aquatic ecosystems, destroy trees and sicken people when it shows up in excess at the wrong place, at the wrong time, in...

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5 Disturbing Facts Big Food Doesn’t Want You to Know...

Apr 5, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] A few inconvenient truths you might need to know before tucking into that next bite of shrimp, beef or bacon. By Martha Rosenberg / AlterNet April 4, 2016 Photo Credit: Franck Boston / Shutterstock From mercury in tuna and wood pulp in parmesan cheese to ground beef treated with ammonia to retard E. coli (“pink slime”), the press does a good job exposing the dangerous and deceptive practices of Big Food. The problem is, the public forgets about the food risk or contamination, assuming that reform is in the works and that is just fine with Big Food. Often nothing changes. For example, many thought the problem of mercury in tuna had been solved since it has been so widely reported. But Time recently wrote “the latest analysis shows that eating fish the way the...

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GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS CAN THRIVE AS THE WORLD WARMS...

Apr 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Alex Kirby / Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG     Rice harvesting in Indonesia. (Curt Caremark / World Bank via Flickr) This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Genetically engineering photosynthesis in plants could take advantage of rising global temperatures and increased levels of carbon dioxide, US scientists say. They believe this could achieve much higher yields on the same amount of land and help to stave off the prospect of widespread hunger as human populations increase. Researchers at the University of Illinois report in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B on their experiments with an enzyme that can determine the rate of photosynthesis—the way that plants use light to produce oxygen and organic compounds—and a molecule linked to plant growth They say field tests have shown that their...

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Attention Vegans: Your Salad Was Probably Grown With the Blood and Bones of Dead Animals...

Apr 1, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Photo Credit: Juan-Calderon/Flickr C If you want to eliminate animal products from your diet, stock-free farmers want your business. By Ari LeVaux / AlterNet Meat lovers will be forgiven if they feel like the wagons are circling around their protein of choice. The raising of animals for food has been implicated in a host of ethical, environmental, humanitarian and animal welfare problems, while eating animals is increasingly blamed for various health problems. Livestock production is widely considered responsible for some 18 percent or more of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why the United Nations and several countries have formally recommended people eat less meat in order to curb the climate crisis. Meat probably gives you cancer, notes the World Health Organization, and contributes to world hunger, according to hunger advocates who point out...

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