Posts Tagged ‘ agriculture ’

Lab Meat Burgers

As eating real animal meat becomes more and more unsustainable, scientists are turning their labs into food laboratories. CNN did a report on a lab-grown meat. Note that this meat was grown from real cow cells. One burger cost about $300,000. The lab meat has no fat — this affects its taste. And it only looks like meat due to added food coloring — lab meat is white! Yam!

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2013/08/05/rivers-serving-up-stem-cell-burger.cnn.html

Global Food Prices Are Rising

BBC Food Prices Report

The price of food around the world is set to rise as the Global Warming is causing draughts in many agricultural areas. Here’s a story from BBC: Global food prices set to rise due to severe weather

Safe Chicken

The US Agriculture Department is looking to improve chicken safety and reduce the number of Salmonella outbreaks:

Salmonella outbreaks expose weaknesses in USDA oversight

Federal regulators and poultry companies are scrambling to find new ways to reduce salmonella contamination, which sickens a million Americans annually. And the Agriculture Department is planning to expand rules to limit salmonella on chicken parts, not just whole birds.

Genetically Modified Foods

GM Purple TomatoDavid Shukman reports:

Scientists in Norwich have developed a genetically modified purple tomato, which is being produced in Canada due to European hostility to GM foods.

Their dark pigment potentially offers the same health benefits as fruit such as blueberries and could be used in everything from ketchup to pizza topping.

Read more here: “Genetically-modified purple tomatoes heading for shops

GM Purple Tomato Sliced

US Food Policy

Famines are not necessarily caused by a lack of supply, but by a failure to get the food that exists to the people who need it. — Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize Winning Economist

New York Times article “The Insanity of Our Food Policy” By Joseph Stiglitz about American Food and Farm policies provided an interesting collection of data:

  • 15% of US population and 2-% of its children live in poverty.
  • SNAP — Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program — gives $4.00 per day per person toward food purchases for those living below poverty threshold [for family of 4 this is equals to $23,492 per year (in 2012)].
  • The U.S. House of Representatives is proposing to cut an additional $40,000,000,000 from the SNAP program over 10 years after already cutting $5,000,000,000.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives is passing the Farm Subsidies worth $14,900,000,000.
  • In approximately the last 10 years, 1% of the famers received $1,500,000 each.
  • In approximately the last 10 years, 10% of all farms got 3/4 of $14,900,000,000, or $30,000 per farm per year.

You do the math!

The Insanity of Food Policy Article

The Fall of Great Civilizations and Bad Soil

Homeland Security News Wire published as story on correlation between the fall of civilizations and poor spoil management: Planet’s arable land rapidly degrading.

Great civilizations have fallen because they failed to prevent the degradation of the soils on which they were founded. The modern world could suffer the same fate. A new study describes how the productivity of many lands has been dramatically reduced as a result of soil erosion, accumulation of salinity, and nutrient depletion.

Soil degradation map

Study: Chicken is Highly Contaminated with Arsenic

Cooked ChickenRoxarsone, an arsenic-based drug used in chicken production, has been contaminating chicken sold to the American people: “Study Finds Conventional Chicken to be Highly Contaminated with Arsenic.”

The researchers found the cooked conventional chicken had the highest level of arsenic, at about 1.8 micrograms per kilogram of body weight (1.8mg/kg). Cooked organic chicken had the lowest levels, at 0.6mg/kg.

US drought may drive up world food prices

2012 July was the hottest month in American history! And there are consequences — we are starting to notice the prices of food going up and the quality of food going down. Corn, which should be cheap and plentiful and especially great this time of year, is none of those things!

Check out this video from BBC:

The True Cost of Food by the Sierra Club

We just came across this project by the Sierra Club: The True Cost of Food! Sounds familiar? It did to us! Here’s what they have to say:

The Sierra Club Sustainable Consumption Committee Mission: To encourage people to think about the environmental impacts of their consumption choices by providing specific information.

SOME SOLUTIONS:

  • Eat more vegetables, fruit, and grains and less meat. Look for meat that is produced in the least harmful way—grass fed, organic, antibiotic- and hormone-free.
  • Buy organic whenever you can.
  • Buy from small, local sources whenever you can.

They also have a nice video. Check them out! And we hope they look at our project as well.

Food for Thought: Sustainability from Counter to Compost

Just watched this video — how appropriate is this? Here’s the description from YouTube:

Food for Thought: Sustainability from Counter to Compost – Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming – 2008-02-26 – The usual reaction to scarfing down a slice of pizza is: how will this affect my diet? The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, and more and more Americans, now look at the food we all eat and ask: how does this affect our world’s carbon diet? Chairman Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and the Select Committee began looking into the process and choices our nation makes regarding food and agriculture and how those choices affect our environment, specifically the “carbon footprint” of how we grow, raise, transport, package, dispose of and otherwise provide sustenance to Americans and people around the world. And while changing the way the world creates and consumes energy is the most effective way to combat global warming, so-called “lifestyle” choices like the food we eat will play an increasing role in how to make immediate cuts in the pollution that causes global warming. Witnesses: Dan Beard, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), House of Representatives; Carina Wong, Executive Director, Chez Panisse Foundation; Patricia D. Millner, Ph.D, Research Microbiologist in the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory and Environmental Microbial Systems Laboratory, USDA; Tom Kelly, Ph.D., Chief Sustainability Officer, University of New Hampshire Office of Sustainability. Video provided by the U.S. House of Representatives.