Consumers Urged to Avoid Buying Salmon to Let Depleted Fisheries Recover...

Sep 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Coastal ecosystems and wildlife are impacted by disappearing salmon. By Dr. David Suzuki / AlterNet   Raw salmon fish steak with ingredients like lemon, pepper, sea salt and dill on black board, sketched image with chalk of salmon fish with steak and fishing rod Photo Credit: Martin Gaal/Shutterstock Salmon have been swimming in Pacific Northwest waters for at least seven million years, as indicated by fossils of large saber-tooth salmon found in the area. During that time, they’ve been a key species in intricate, interconnected coastal ecosystems, bringing nitrogen and other nutrients from the ocean and up streams and rivers to spawning grounds, feeding whales, bears and eagles and fertilizing the magnificent coastal rainforests along the way. For as long as people have lived in the area, salmon have been an important food...

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10 Reasons You Should Start Foraging for Your Own Food...

Sep 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Nature is teeming with edibles. You just need to look. By Pascal Baudar / AlterNet Man holding fresh Chestnuts picked from the forest floor Photo Credit: Sam Spicer/Shutterstock In the past few years, foraging—collecting edibles in the wild—has become more popular as people have rediscovered the joy of connecting with nature and enjoying its bounty. Done properly, foraging can be a fun activity, and benefit nature too. I’m not talking about commercial foraging (which can have drawbacks), but a more fun and personal approach to the concept of eating wild food. Personally I actually like to use the term wildcrafting, instead of foraging. The difference is subtle but important: Wildcrafting is not about taking from nature, but working with it and even helping the environment. Wikipedia has an excellent definition for wildcrafting:...

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THE PATENT THAT COULD DESTROY MONSANTO AND CHANGE THE WORLD …...

Sep 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] ECOSNIPPETS.COM   If there’s anything you read – or share – let this be it. The content of this article has potential to radically shift the world in a variety of positive ways. And as Monsanto would love for this article to not go viral, all we can ask is that you share, share, share the information being presented so that it can reach as many people as possible. In 2006, a patent was granted to a man named Paul Stamets. Though Paul is the world’s leading mycologist, his patent has received very little attention and exposure. Why is that? Stated by executives in the pesticide industry, this patent represents “the most disruptive technology we have ever witnessed.” And when the executives say disruptive, they are referring to it being disruptive to the chemical...

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‘A Five-Alarm Threat to Our Food Supply’: Experts Describe Bayer-Monsanto Merger...

Sep 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Food A scary future for farmers around the world. By Katherine Paul / AlterNet NEW YORK CITY – MAY 23 2015: environmental activists joined a global day out against Monsanto’s GMO programs & demanding that foods be labeled. Photo Credit: a katz / Shutterstock.com It’s been about a week since Monsanto and Bayer confirmed their intention to say “I do”—ample time for media, lawmakers, consumer and farmer advocacy groups, and of course the happy couple themselves, to weigh in on the pros and cons. Reactions poured in from all the usual suspects. Groups like the Farmers Union, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth and others didn’t mince words when it came to condemning the deal. (Organic Consumers Association tagged it a “Marriage Made in Hell” back in May, pre-announcement, when the two mega-corporations were still...

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The Dairy Industry Is Polluting America’s Waterways—and Some Babies May Be Dying Because of It...

Sep 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Cheap dairy has hidden costs most consumers don’t know about—including fatal birth defects. By Ellicott Dandy / AlterNet   Cow milking facility and mechanized milking equipment Photo Credit: Ratthaphong Ekariyasap/Shutterstock Low global milk prices and a historic dairy glut in the United States have recently prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase $20 million worth of cheese and donate it to food banks. This is excellent news for folks who typically can’t afford cheese, but cheap dairy production—paired with lax regulations—has dire consequences for too many Americans. In efforts to cut the cost of milk production, dairy farmers cut corners on pollution prevention measures necessary to protect the quality of a different beverage: water. Large dairy factory farm operations, called concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), store their manure in large lagoons and...

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We May All Have to Cut Carbs Thanks to Climate Change...

Sep 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Food Rising global temperatures will harm wheat harvests—and poor countries will be hardest hit. By Jason Best / TakePart   VIA ALTERNET Beautiful woman with fresh fragrant bread. Crispy rolls. Bread Baking. Photo Credit: SvetlanaFedoseyeva/Shutterstock It seems that as the world’s temperature heats up, more of the world may be forced to go gluten-free. Remember when climate change was commonly called “the greenhouse effect,” which seemed to suggest that at the very worst we might all end up living in a kind of perpetual summer surrounded by lush greenery? It would be a little humid, maybe, but might otherwise resemble a verdant, abundant, postindustrial Garden of Eden? Oh, those were the days. On the contrary, climate experts and agricultural scientists have long warned that climate change will likely wreak havoc on the global food...

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Researchers Just Released the Longest GMO Study Ever: Here’s What They Found...

Sep 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Hard Science   FUTURISM.COM In Brief American researchers have conducted a 14-year study on GM crops. They found GMO farms could increase the use of weed killers while decreasing the use of pest killers. THE IMPACT OF GMOs Genetically-modified crops are a contentious topic in developed societies because of the ongoing debate on the benefits and environmental drawbacks of creating our own versions of naturally occurring organisms. Now, researchers have conducted a tremendous study in the field — the longest review of genetically modified crops and pesticide use yet. The team, which included four academics led by economist Federico Ciliberto of the University of Virginia, studied data taken from 5,000 soybean and 5,000 maize farmers in the U.S. And unlike typical studies that look at data from one or two years, this was a 14-year study...

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TIME TO DRIVE FACTORY-FARMED FOOD OFF THE MARKET...

Sep 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Time to Drive Factory-Farmed Food Off the Market By Martha Rosenberg and Ronnie Cummins, Organic Consumers Association | Op-Ed (Photo: Oikeutta eläimille; Edited: LW / TO) After a decade of exposing and demonizing Monsanto and genetically engineered foods, including an intense four-year battle to force mandatory labeling of GMOs (a battle rudely terminated in July when Congress rammed through the outrageous DARK Act), the US food movement stands at the crossroads. Should we keep badgering Monsanto’s minions in Washington for the right to know what’s in our food, a sentiment shared by the overwhelming majority of consumers? Or should we focus more on single-issue reforms, such as banning neonicotinoid bee-killing pesticides, better nutrition in schools, taxes on soda, and an end to the reckless use of antibiotics in animal feed? A growing number...

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USING BIOMIMICRY TO REDESIGN THE FOOD SYSTEM...

Sep 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Using Biomimicry to Redesign the Food System By: Arty Mangan » Bioneers Blog » Eating is our most intimate relationship with nature. Every time we take a bite of food there is an ecological, economic and social consequence. Food and all its associated activities – growing, processing, distributing, retailing, etc. – impact the environment more than any other human endeavor. Bioneers, for 27 years, has been at the forefront of promoting innovative ideas and practices for developing a healthy, just, and sustainable food system. Bioneers can trace its origins to Seeds of Change and the Native Scholars Program, which worked with indigenous farmers to help conserve traditional cultural practices and seed stocks. Later on, we designed a blueprint for a statewide healthy food system with the Dreaming New Mexico project. Today, we are proud to be hosting the Biomimicry Institute’s Global Design Challenge for Food Systems Innovation at this year’s Bioneers conference. Transforming the dominant food system will require...

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HOW DIGITAL TRACKING OF ROGUE FISHING CAN SAFEGUARD VAST OCEAN RESERVES...

Sep 16, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Dot Earth – New York Times blog By Andrew C. Revkin In 2015, a Taiwanese-owned fishing vessel agreed to pay $2 million in fines and fees after the Global Fishing Watch system identified fishing patterns (the knotty track) in its movements in a marine protected area in the Republic of Kiribati. In 2015, a Taiwanese-owned fishing vessel agreed to pay $2 million in fines and fees after the Global Fishing Watch system identified fishing patterns (the knotty track) in its movements in a marine protected area in the Republic of Kiribati.Credit Globalfishingwatch.org Photo The Sheng Chi Huei 12, a Taiwanese fishing vessel. The Sheng Chi Huei 12, a Taiwanese fishing vessel.Credit Benjamin Lowy/Reportage, for The New York Times The capacity to use digital tools to rein in illegal fishing in distant oceans got...

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HUNGARIANS JUST DESTROYED ALL MONSANTO GMO CORN FIELDS...

Sep 15, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Hungary has taken a bold stand against biotech giant Monsanto and genetic modification by destroying 1000’s of acres of corn found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, according to Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar. Unlike many European Union countries, Hungary is a nation where genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned. In a similar stance against GM ingredients, Peru has also passed a 10 year ban on GM foods. “Almost 1000 acres of maize found to have been planted with genetically modified seeds have been destroyed throughout Hungary, deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar said. The GMO corn has been ploughed under, said Lajos Bognar, but pollen has not spread, he added. Unlike several other EU members, GMO seeds are banned in Hungary....

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HOW TO STOP CAPITALISM’S DEADLY WAR WITH NATURE...

Sep 14, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Paul Street  TRUTHDIG   So far, 2016 is the hottest year on record. So was 2015. So was 2014. (John McColgan / U.S. Department of Agriculture) Earth scientists now know that the history of our planet has been set for some time in our current geological age, the Anthropocene. According to leading experts Will Steffen, Paul Crutzen and John McNeill, in this era, “human activities have become so pervasive and profound that they rival the great forces of Nature and are pushing the earth into planetary terra incognita. The Earth is rapidly moving into a less biologically diverse, less forested, much warmer, and probably wetter and stormier era.” We are living in a “no-analogue state” in which “the Earth system has recently moved well outside the range of natural variability.” The...

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10 States Report Crop Damage From Illegal Herbicide Use on Monsanto’s GMO Seeds...

Sep 12, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Food Missouri has suffered the most, with damage to more than 40,000 acres of crops. By Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch tractor spraying pesticides on soy bean Photo Credit: Fotokostic/Shutterstock To the horror of farmers across America’s farm belt, hundreds of thousands of crop acres have been adversely impacted by the apparent misuse of the drift-prone herbicide dicamba on Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Xtend soybean and cotton plants. According to a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance advisory, the EPA and state agencies have received an “unusually high” number of reports of crop damage that appear related to the illegal spraying of dicamba. A soybean plant affected by dicamba drift from a nearby field, roadside or other area where the herbicide was applied. Purdue The EPA has collected similar reports of crop damage from 10 states: Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois,...

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The World’s Biggest School Meal Program Is Keeping Local Farmers in Business...

Sep 9, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Food Emphasizing local food under a radical policy of “zero hunger,” Brazil’s school lunch initiative helps small farmers buy the land they’ve been farming for generations. By Chris Arsenault / Yes! Magazine   VIA ALTERNET African girl eating at school Photo Credit: International Center for Tropical Agriculture At an elementary school in Brazil’s capital, students are not too concerned about who has produced their food as they bite into an afternoon snack of pineapple and watermelon. Nevertheless, they are among 45 million students benefiting from the world’s biggest universal school feeding program, whose meals are helping keep Brazil’s small farmers on their land. Family farmers and cooperatives have seen their fortunes rise as a result of the program, which guarantees them a local market and has helped to expand formal land rights nationwide. “Incomes...

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10 States Report Crop Damage From Illegal Dicamba Use on Monsanto’s GMO Seeds...

Sep 3, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Lorraine Chow   ECOWATCH.COM To the horror of farmers across America’s farm belt, hundreds of thousands of crop acres have been adversely impacted by the apparent misuse of the drift-prone herbicide dicamba on Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Xtend soybean and cotton plants. A soybean plant affected by dicamba drift from a nearby field, roadside or other area where the herbicide was applied. PurdueAccording to a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance advisory, the EPA and state agencies have received an “unusually high” number of reports of crop damage that appear related to the illegal spraying of dicamba. The EPA has collected similar reports of crop damage from 10 states: Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Missouri appears to have suffered the most. According to the Southeast Missourian, the...

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California’s waters, a death trap: Uncovering the Golden State’s secret whale and dolphin massacre...

Sep 3, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The U.S. announced new rules to protect whales and dolphins in international waters, but not in California Reynard Loki, AlterNet Topics: AlterNet, bycatch, California, fisheries, Fishing, Science, sustainability, Sustainability News, Business News (Credit: Masahiro Suzuki/Shutterstock) This article originally appeared on AlterNet. Until the 1980s, fishermen who fished for swordfish off the coast of California used harpoon guns to reel in their prey. As the industry modernized, the guns were exchanged for drift gillnets — gigantic nets the size of the Golden Gate Bridge that hang vertically in the water. By 1985, the catch reached a historic high, with fishermen landing more than 2,000 metric tons of fish. But there was a tragic and under-discussed consequence of that approach. A drift gillnet catches far more than just the target fish. It scoops up any marine...

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‘Like it’s been nuked’: Millions of bees dead after South Carolina sprays for Zika mosquitoes...

Sep 1, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Ben Guarino   THE WASHINGTON POST On Sunday morning, the South Carolina honey bees began to die in massive numbers. Death came suddenly to Dorchester County, S.C. Stressed insects tried to flee their nests, only to surrender in little clumps at hive entrances. The dead worker bees littering the farms suggested that colony collapse disorder was not the culprit — in that odd phenomenon, workers vanish as though raptured, leaving a living queen and young bees behind. Instead, the dead heaps signaled the killer was less mysterious, but no less devastating. The pattern matched acute pesticide poisoning. By one estimate, at a single apiary — Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply, in Summerville — 46 hives died on the spot, totaling about 2.5 million bees. Walking through the farm, one Summerville woman wrote on...

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President Obama Signs the Disastrous Federal GMO-Labeling Bill, Putting the Future of Organic in Danger...

Aug 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Max Goldberg (To follow my day-to-day organic food adventures, please be sure to add me on Snapchat: maxorganic) On late Friday afternoon, President Obama signed the sham Stabenow-Roberts GMO-Labeling bill (S. 764) which will allow, among many other things, companies to use QR codes instead of clear GMO labels on a food product’s packaging. This bill is so discriminatory and so poorly written that it potentially violates several amendments of the Constitution. Additionally, it puts the integrity of the organic seal in real jeopardy. What is arguably the most troubling aspect of this bill is that while almost every single organic consumer organization fought this bill, the organic industry’s leading trade organization praised the bill and lobbied for it to pass. Here are the key points to understand, in terms of analyzing the...

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6 Chemical Food Additives That Are Legal in America and Banned Abroad...

Aug 12, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Thanks to inaction at the FDA, Americans get, among other potential ailments, anal leakage. By Ari LeVaux / AlterNet Unhealthy food: popped wheat seeds with lots of food additive chemicals Photo Credit: Szasz-Fabian Ilka Erika/Shuttetrstock There is a long list of food additives that are legal in the U.S., despite being illegal in other countries. To be fair, just because something is banned in one country doesn’t necessarily mean that the non-banning countries have it wrong. But for the most part, the influence that the food industry exerts on the Food and Drug Administration and a confusing bureaucratic process are at the heart of the problem. The FDA curates a list of food additives that are given the designation of “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS. The GRAS list is supposed to help...

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Are You Taking This Dangerous Antibiotic?...

Aug 8, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] You could even be ingesting it without your knowledge. By Martha Rosenberg / AlterNet “I was given the antibiotic Levaquin. After 5 pills my body was burning and my right arm and legs were weak,” a reader posted after an article about underreported prescription drug dangers. “I discontinued the drug and was told I would be fine. 1 month later my feet started hurting, my knees developed chronic pain and I had stabbing pain in my quads. 13 months later, I have floaters in my vision, tinnitus, flat and deformed feet, rotator cuff damage, knee grinding, hip snapping, tendonitis and I can only walk for a few minutes.” After taking Levaquin, another patient had “multiple areas of tendinitis in triceps, biceps, rotator cuff, hip flexor, feet and lower back,” he wrote on the...

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How One GMO Nearly Took Down the Planet...

Aug 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] New law deals major blow to GMO labeling. By Thom Hartmann / AlterNet   Genetically modified fruit Photo Credit: wellphoto/Shutterstock On July 29, President Obama signed bill S.764 into law, dealing a major blow to the movement to require GMO labeling. The new law, which food safety groups call the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” (DARK) Act, has at least three key parts that undermine Vermont’s popular GMO labeling bill and make it nearly impossible for Americans to know what’s in their food. The law claims to set a federal labeling standard by requiring food producers to include either a QR barcode that can be scanned with a phone, or a 1-800 number that consumers can call to find out whether a product contains genetically modified ingredients. But according to the Institute for...

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Obama’s New So-Called GMO “Labeling” Law Is a Gift to Industry...

Aug 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH TRUTHOUT On July 29, President Obama signed a bill that is a setback for our right to know about GMOs in food. (Photo: David Goehring) You may have read that President Obama signed a so-called GMO “labeling” law on July 29. Media outlets like ABC News reported that the bill “mandate[es] GMO labeling.” However, the reality of the new legislation is what Rick North, writing on the progressive commentary forum BlueOregon, calls a “sham”: It’s a major victory for Monsanto, the biotech industry and Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, all of whom know labeling could diminish their profits. Most polls found about 90% of respondents wanted on-the-package GMO labeling, an almost-unheard-of support level for any issue. True public advocates, like the Organic Consumers Association, Consumers Union, Center for Food...

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CHILDREN’S DRAWINGS SHOW WHAT HUNGER LOOKS LIKE IN VENEZUELA...

Aug 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The South American country’s failing economy has left schoolkids subsisting on water and corn cakes. A girl eats a tropical fruit called a ‘mamon’ on a street in La Fría, Venezuela, on June 2. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters) Jul 31, 2016 Samantha Cowan is an associate editor for culture.   Arepas are a staple food item among Venezuelan families. The flat cornmeal cakes, often stuffed with grilled meat, beans, or eggs, are found at nearly every meal. But for many children in Venezuela subsisting solely on arepas, what was once just part of their cultural identity is now a symbol of growing food shortages in the struggling country. Primary school students in the capital city of Caracas are coming to school hungry, Reuters reports. After several students fainted from hunger, teachers at the...

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Solar powered floating farms: the new means of global food production?...

Jul 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by J HERMAN While the sharp growth in global population that continues to occur in the 21st Century is an indicator of many technological, economical and medical advancements our civilization has made, it presents quite a few challenges that will only grow in coming years. The largest of these? Producing enough food to feed a population that is predicted to exceed 9 billion by 2050. But one viable, creative solution is already floating around thanks to Barcelona-based design firm Forward Thinking Architecture. The company proposes that we make use of Earth’s oceans as a means of harbouring the farms of the future. A fully automated, self-sustainable system The company’s Smart Floating Systems (SFF) are designed to be smart and fully automated to make use of technological advancements in areas such as solar-power, aquaculture and hydroponics...

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HIGHWAYS CAN HELP POLLINATORS RETURN TO HEALTH...

Jul 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Compost-spreading tactics to encourage native plants that both control erosion and attract pollinators / Caltrans In the face of rapidly-declining honeybee populations, farms across the country are under threat. In California, officials are now pioneering new methods to boost the health of the honeybees and butterflies, according to a recent Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. To reiterate the importance of these efforts, Congressman Jeff Denham, who is also an almond farmer, said at the briefing: “making sure we have healthy pollinators is critical to a state like California.” There to discuss these pioneering methods was Keith Robinson, ASLA, principal of the landscape architecture program at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The purview of Robinson and the 240 landscape architects he leads is roadsides. Their primary job is to control erosion. But Robinson...

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The One Thing Hillary Cares About Most—When It Comes to Food...

Jul 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The Democratic Party platform doesn’t say much about food or farming, except on one major issue. Tom Philpott  MOTHER JONES Hillary Clinton enjoys some coffee while campaigning in an Iowa diner last year. Barbara Kinney/Hillary for America/Flickr If Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wins in November, what kind of food and farm policy can we expect from her? Like most presidential campaign seasons, the current one has been lighter than a soufflé in terms of debate around food issues. Here’s what we know so far. (1) The 2016 Democratic Party platform is mostly short on food policy details. Farm programs get all of two paragraphs, under the rubric of “Investing in Rural America.” The section nods to “promoting environmentally sustainable agricultural practices” and “expanding local food markets and regional food systems,” a likely reference...

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Microfiber Madness: Synthetic Fabrics Harm Wildlife, Poison the Food Supply and Expose You to Toxins...

Jul 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment With every wash, your synthetic fleece jacket releases microfibers that harm marine animals. By Reynard Loki / AlterNet Colourful Textile fleece sport shirts hanging in row at store Photo Credit: dvoevnore/Shutterstock Doing laundry isn’t something most of us enjoy doing. And now the evidence is clear that the world’s aquatic animals don’t enjoy it either. It turns out that clothes made from synthetic fibers shed tiny plastic microfibers in every wash. This fibrous debris goes from your washing machine, through the municipal sewage system and ends up in all sorts of waterways—marine, coastal and freshwater—where the tiny fibers are ingested by fish, crabs and other aquatic wildlife. In turn, many of these animals end up in our food supply—and on our dinner plates. It seems we are slowly, and literally, eating the...

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Healthy eating can include ‘a lot’ of (good) fat, analysis of 56 diet studies concludes...

Jul 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] To Your Health By Ariana Eunjung Cha  WASHINGTON POST (iStock) Hanna Bloomfield’s bosses at the Department of Veterans Affairs had been reading a lot about the plant-based Mediterranean diet. Some highly publicized recent studies had shown that eating lots of fresh vegetables and olive oil along with maybe a splash of red wine could have tremendous health benefits, and they wondered whether it was something the VA, as an organization, should consider recommending to its more than 9 million patients. They tasked Bloomfield with figuring out whether this health effect was real — or simply hype. Bloomfield, associate chief of staff for research for the Minneapolis VA Health Care System and a professor at the University of Minnesota, pulled 56 previously conducted studies on the subject and re-analyzed all the data. Her work...

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How an Indigenous Community Is Boosting Crop Productivity While Conserving the Rainforest (Video)...

Jul 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment “We are reforesting and restoring the land so that our grandchildren and our children have a future.” By Laura Jamison / Rainforest Alliance   VIA ALTERNET naranjilla fruit Photo Credit: Rainforest Alliance In the Napo province of Ecuador, the Kichwa people have been cultivating naranjilla—a citrus fruit that looks like a tomato but tastes like a blend of lime and rhubarb—and selling it informally in markets across the country for many years. In fact, naranjilla production has been the primary cash crop for indigenous Kichwa communities in the Hatun Sumaco parish. Unfortunately, naranjilla has also been the primary driver of deforestation in the area—and thus directly contributing to climate change. Without direct access to markets, the Kichwa had traditionally sold their harvests to middlemen, who promoted dangerous quantities of highly toxic, red-listed pesticides...

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