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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THIS GRASSROOTS PROJECT IS OUT TO CUT FOOD WASTE AND FEED THE HUNGRY...

Jul 5, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Food for Thought is redistributing leftover restaurant meals in Pakistan to people in need. (Photo: Courtesy Aatir Sohail) Jul 4, 2016 Jillian Frankel, TakePart Daily   It’s a scenario that takes place in restaurants throughout the world: Diners are served enormous portions but leave part of their meals uneaten while hungry people rummage through Dumpsters out back, scrounging for scraps of trashed food. Solving this problem of food waste and hunger in Pakistan is the goal of Food for Thought, a new project in Karachi that gets leftovers to people in need. Founded in February by Zara Nadeem and Zehra Hasan, 24-year-old friends who were fed up with seeing leftovers being tossed, the effort allows people to donate uneaten portions to those who don’t have enough to eat. Advertisemen “For a poverty-stricken nation...

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THE ‘STRUGGLE’ IS NOT REAL: FROM TINY HOUSES TO MY OWN LUNCH, POVERTY CHIC COMMODIFIES WORKING CLASS LIFE...

Jul 3, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The linguistic fetishization of hardship is one more way we appropriate from — and erase — people like my family Brook Bolen (Credit: SAYAN MOONGKLANG via Shutterstock/Salon) ADVERTISEMENT I was returning to my desk with my freshly heated lunch when a coworker passed me. “What is that?” she asked, motioning at my food. “Cornbread, pinto beans, collard greens, canned tomatoes, and chow chow,” I replied excitedly. “That looks like a struggle meal,” she said, crinkling her nose in what appeared to be judgment, disgust, or both. “‘Struggle meal?’” I asked, unfamiliar with the phrase. “Yeah,” she said. “A struggle meal is what you eat when it’s the last day before you get paid and that’s all you can scrape together. You can’t afford to go get Chipotle,” she giggled. “Or if you do,”...

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COURT RULES ORGANIC FARMERS CAN SUE CONVENTIONAL GMO FARMERS WHOSE PESTICIDES ‘TRESPASS’ AND CONTAMINATE THEIR FIELDS...

Jun 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Court rules organic farmers can sue conventional, GMO farmers whose pesticides ‘trespass’ and contaminate their fields Purveyors of conventional and genetically-modified (GM) crops — and the pesticides and herbicides that accompany them — are finally getting a taste of their own legal medicine. Minnesota’s Star Tribune has reported that the Minnesota Court of Appeals recently ruled that a large organic farm surrounded by chemical-laden conventional farms can seek damages for lost crops, as well as lost profits, caused by the illegal trespassing of pesticides and herbicides on its property. Oluf and Debra Johnson’s 1,500-acre organic farm in Stearns County, Minn., has repeatedly been contaminated by nearby conventional and GMO farms since the couple started it in the 1990s. A local pesticide cooperative known as Paynesville Farmers Union (PFU), which is near the farm, has been...

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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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4 Things You Can Do to Help Out Threatened Honey Bees...

Jun 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Protecting pollinator health is an issue of global importance, but individuals can make a difference. By Danielle Nierenberg, Lani Furbank / Food Tank   VIA ALTERNET bee on flower Photo Credit: DoeLay/Flickr CC According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately 80 percent of all flowering plant species reproduce with the help of pollinator animals like bees, butterflies, birds, and more. This accounts for at least one third of the world’s food crops, including tomatoes, pepper, strawberries, coffee, apples, carrots, almonds, cocoa, and thousands of others. Without pollinators, most plants could not produce fruits and seeds, and agricultural biodiversity would suffer–according to FAO, bees, bats, birds, and other pollinators, increase global food production by 87 percent. Unfortunately, the world is seeing a decline in pollinator populations. From land-use change and pesticide use...

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A NEW KIND OF URBAN FARM IN DETROIT...

Jun 16, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT   Jared Green Penrose market garden / Jared Green In the Penrose neighborhood of Detroit, two landscape architects, partners in business and life, are testing out a new model: the market garden. While Detroit has acres of non-profit-run farms growing fresh fruit and vegetables that are then donated to communities, Ken Weikal, ASLA, and Beth Hagenbuch, ASLA, who run GrowTown, want to show the residents of this poor community in Detroit and elsewhere that anyone can apply an intensive, efficient farming method to one-third of an acre, grow high-value produce in all four seasons, and make $50,000 – $70,000 a year. But their market farm model is really just one component of a more ambitious plan they are leading in the community, with support from the Kresge Foundation, non-profits, affordable housing developers...

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THIS IS WHY THE WORLD CAN’T STOP WASTING SO MUCH FOOD...

Jun 9, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Energy and Environment By Chelsea Harvey THE WASHINGTON POST (iStock) The more scientists investigate the amount of perfectly good food humans waste, the clearer it becomes that this is a huge global problem, both for the planet’s food security and for the environment. Researchers have proposed all kinds of ways to help address the issue, from improving methods for harvesting and processing crops to changing the expiration dates on packaged food. And now, experts have come up with another way to help governments and businesses all over the world keep track of the amount of food they’re losing and find better ways to cut down on the waste. A team of international experts, including representatives from the World Resources Institute (WRI), the United Nations and other organizations focused on sustainable development and the...

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DOCTOR SELLS HIS PRACTICE, OPENS UP “FARMACY” USING FOOD AS MEDICINE INSTEAD...

Jun 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Home Big Pharma Advertisements The brilliant Dr. Robert Weiss did something completely unheard of in the medical community.  He sold his medical practice and decided to teach the importance of diet and nutrition in health by opening a “Farmacy”. Dr. Weiss believes that we all need to change our focus for medicine and health and reconnect with the basic knowledge that has been shunned and suppressed by big pharma. Dr. Weiss Opens the first ‘Farmacy’ After selling his New York medical practice, Dr. Robert Weiss built the very first farm-based medical practice on his 348-acre farm.  Located in Long Valley, New Jersey the ‘farmacy’ is focused on treating patients with plant foods as the medicine. “Plant-based whole foods are the most powerful disease-modifying tools available to practitioners — more powerful than any drugs or surgeries,”...

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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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GOLD MINING HAS DEVASTATED THE PERUVIAN AMAZON...

May 31, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Alejandro Davila Fragoso THINK PROGRESS CREDIT: Aerial view taken from a police helicopter shows a jungle devastated by gold mining in an area known as La Pampa in Peru’s Madre de Dios region. Illegal wildcat mining has been ravaging pristine jungle and contaminating it with tons of mercury.   When Meraldo Umiña moved to the Madre De Dios region of Peru in 1983, the toxic gold rush that’s destroyed swaths of Amazon rainforest there was in its infancy. There were no laws regulating informal or illegal mining, and artisanal miners like him were few. “Gold was cheap,” Umiña, 59, told ThinkProgress in Spanish — “a gram was about $12.” Using simple but still harmful chemical methods, miners worked just by the rivers then, and the gold was easy to get, he said....

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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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CHILDREN IN FARM COMMUNITIES PAY A STEEP PRICE FOR THE FOOD WE EAT...

May 15, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Civil Eats About the Writer Elizabeth Grossman is a senior reporter for Civil Eats focused on environmental and science issues. She is the author of Chasing Molecules, High Tech Trash, Watershed and other books. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Scientific American, Environmental Health Perspectives, Yale e360, Ensia, High Country News, The Pump Handle, Chemical Watch, The Washington Post, TheAtlantic.com, Salon, The Nation, and Mother Jones. Photo courtesy of Bread for the World. Children in Farm Communities Pay a Steep Price for the Food We Eat The evidence linking pesticide exposure to childhood cancers and learning and behavioral problems has grown increasingly strong. By Elizabeth Grossman on May 10, 2016 Filed Under: Food Justice, Pesticides Subscribe  993  268 Tumblr1 Google +2  15 If you’re an urban parent, you might...

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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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DEAD ZONES DEVOUR OCEAN’S OXYGEN...

May 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford / Climate News Network   VIA TRUTHDIG     Extremes of heat deprive fish of the oxygen they need to survive near the ocean surface. (Naren Gunasekera via Flickr) This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Scientists in the US have identified a new hazard in a world in which the climates change and the oceans warm: measurable stretches of the seas could become sapped of oxygen. They say that parts of the southern Indian Ocean, the eastern tropical Pacific and the Atlantic are already less oxygen-rich because of global warming. And oxygen deprivation could become increasingly widespread across large regions of ocean between 2030 and 2040. Anyone who has ever kept a home aquarium knows that, in the summer, the fish in the tank are more likely to...

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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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