Is Organic Food Healthier?: All the Factors Analyzed

November 15, 2017 by  
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Organic food has become incredibly popular in the past five … The post Is Organic Food Healthier?: All the Factors Analyzed appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Is Organic Food Healthier?: All the Factors Analyzed

Inspiring urban farm teaches kids how to grow their own organic food

August 14, 2017 by  
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A tree may grow in Brooklyn, but an amazing urban farm flourishes on Governors Island . An inspiring GrowNYC initiative is teaching inner city kids how to plant, water, harvest, and cook pesticide-free fruits, herbs, and vegetables. Located on Governors Island just a quick ferry ride from lower Manhattan, the Teaching Garden is a 21,000-square-foot urban farm that offers free educational field trips to NYC students—many of whom have never seen how food is grown. Now in its fourth season, the half-acre Governors Island Teaching Garden comprises raised planters, a fruit orchard, an outdoor kitchen with a large solar oven , high-tunnel greenhouse, and even an aquaponics system housed inside a converted shipping container . The Teaching Garden currently has 69 individual planting beds built from recycled plastic lumber with over 40 plant varieties during the summer season. Although the urban farm isn’t certified organic, all the fruits, herbs, and vegetables are grown with all-natural and pesticide-free practices. Earth Matter NY supplies the compost. “There are students here every day of the week so we want to encourage students to be able to eat straight from the plant so we don’t want to put anything harmful in the plants,” said GrowNYC to Inhabitat during a farm tour. “But we do have natural pest management such as introducing ladybugs to eat the unwanted insects.” Related: Project Farmhouse community space with wall of edible plants coming to Union Square The majority of students who visit are from immigrant families, such as the group of fourth graders from PS 503 present on the day we visited. The educational journey begins with an introduction about the fruits and vegetables the participants harvest as well as a lesson on their nutritional value. The group is then led to the different planting beds and orchard to pick ingredients, followed by a trip to the outdoor kitchen for a lesson on cooking what they harvested for a true farm-to-fork experience. The students also plant seeds for future harvests and learn about sustainable initiatives ranging from renewable energy to recycling and composting. “We feel that young people in the city don’t have the same opportunities to experience the natural world,” said GrowNYC. “So we want to provide that for them and hope that when they leave they feel a connection and feel more comfortable with eating healthy fruits and vegetables, or even in cooking. Almost all the food we grow here the students eat. We wanted to make sure that we didn’t have to bring more food onto the island so we made an expansion to grow more food to reach self-sufficiency . Now we only bring on olive oil and spices. Expansion also lets us to bring more students out here and slightly larger classes. It also shows students what a small scale farm would look like.” In addition to expansion, the Teaching Garden is in the process of building a solar-powered aquaponics system designed by Harbor School students and housed inside a shipping container. The nitrate-rich water taken from the tilapia holding tanks will be pumped up to the roof where it’ll be used to irrigate vegetables. Other sustainably minded projects are being built with the help of corporate volunteers. CSR programs help subsidize most of the costs of the Teaching Garden to keep the educational program free for students. In addition to school visits, the urban farm is open to the public on weekends during Governors Island’s open season that runs until mid-autumn. + Governors Island Teaching Garden Images © Lucy Wang

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Inspiring urban farm teaches kids how to grow their own organic food

Floating Cloud lamp adds levitating magic to any room

August 14, 2017 by  
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Take your home to new atmospheric levels with this incredible floating cloud lamp. Designed by Richard Clarkson Studio and Crealev , Floating Cloud is a magnetically levitating ambient lamp that adds a magical touch to any room it hovers in. The designers just announced a limited production run of these unique and fluffy lamps—read on for more details and to see the cloud come alive. Floating Cloud is the latest iteration of an ongoing collaboration between Richard Clarkson Studio’s cloud-themed designs and Crealev’s innovative levitation technology. Made from PETG and hypoallergenic polyester fiber, the fluffy cloud-like mass floats approximately 2.75 inches off its base using magnetic levitation. The Cloud is entirely wireless and the base is powered with a rechargeable lithium ion battery. The cloud spins and bobs side-to-side for a “more realistic atmospheric experience,” while hidden sound-reactive RGB LEDs create the powerful illusion of a storm cloud with lightning. To reduce weight and size, the Floating Cloud does not include a speaker, however it will react to existing sound systems and voices. The Cloud flashes to the beat of the music in four different styles using an embedded microphone. An infrared remote controls a range of ambient lamp modes from white to colored versions. Related: This water-filled lamp makes it rain in your home “The Cloud is held in place using both rare earth magnets, electromagnets, and a location sensor,” write Richard Clarkson Studio. “There is a discrete infrared locating beam in the center of the Cloud, which, if obstructed by an object (such as a hand) will result in the Cloud “falling off” it’s levitating balance point. In such an event the Cloud has a soft felt bottom to cushion the fall. To return the Cloud to its floating position, use your fingers to pry the Cloud off the base and with two hands hold the Cloud roughly in position, slowly move the Cloud from side to side until you feel it ‘lock’ in place.” The studio has released a limited 100-unit production run of the Floating Cloud, available on their website for $4,620 USD . + Richard Clarkson Studio

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Floating Cloud lamp adds levitating magic to any room

This farm in New York only grows food for donation (10 tons and counting)

July 17, 2017 by  
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Artist Dan Colen needed an escape from New York City. So he purchased Sky High Farm in New York’s Hudson Valley region in 2011, and worked with Berman Horn Studio to create a gorgeous haven with structures reminiscent of old farm buildings. Not only is the farm architecturally beautiful, it’s on a mission to do good. The 40-acre farm donates all of its organic produce – and eggs and meat from grass-fed animals – to food pantries and banks throughout the state. Sky High Farm is home to a striking Black Barn , designed by Berman Horn Studio. The L-shaped building has black wood siding – the color comes from Benjamin Moore’s Black – and a corrugated metal roof. Livestock reside in the barn, which also serves as a harvest processing center. Interns also dwell inside. Related: Beautiful modern barn produces food sustainably in Utah Berman Horn Studio said in their design statement that changes in materials in the interior speak of the changing functions of the space, while the black exterior lends a cohesiveness to the entire structure. Heavy timber construction is found in the livestock wing; light-filled interiors for the interns. The processing center has industrial finishes. Architect Maria Berman told Gardenista Colen “very much appreciates the integrity of vernacular working farm buildings, and wanted to create a building that felt like it could have been on this very old farm for many years.” The farm’s mission is food security ; the produce and meat products from the farm go to soup kitchens and food pantries or banks in New York City and other areas of the state to feed the hungry. Out of the 40 acres, 25 are used for animal pasture, and two are dedicated to vegetable production. The farm is currently in its fifth season and estimates they’ve been able to donate over 36,000 healthy, organic meals – emphasizing quality of food as much as quantity. On their website they put the donation of produce and meat in tons, saying they’ve donated more than 10 tons. + Sky High Farm + Berman Horn Studio Via Gardenista Images via Sky High Farm

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This farm in New York only grows food for donation (10 tons and counting)

Farm 360 in Indianapolis grows veggies with 100% renewable energy and 90% less water

October 26, 2016 by  
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Farm 360’s hydroponic growing system relies on an array of thousands of energy-efficient LED lights which bathe rows upon rows of vegetables with pink light. Nutrient rich water is pumped below the plants through large, plastic drums and is then channeled to each individual through small tubes. “We’re going to keep redesigning to become as efficient as possible,” said farm manager Jim Bloom. “We’re even looking into solar power. We really want to be as self-sufficient as we can.” There are currently five separate growing areas within the warehouse that are used to produce basil, mint, kale, lettuce, spinach, chard, and arugula. “In total, the farm grows around 35 different types of greens,” Bloom said. “And we can turn a head of lettuce in about 30 days.” Related: Freight Farms are super efficient hydroponic farms built inside shipping containers Sustainable Local Foods Indiana in partnership with the Englewood Community Development Corp.  selected the warehouse site with the goal of injecting  energy and resources into an area that has been federally designated as a “Promise Zone,” highlighted by the Obama Administration as high priority for redevelopment. “We like to repurpose what we consider to be underutilized buildings in communities where it can add real value,” said Bloom. In 2015, the neighborhood had a 47 percent poverty rate and about 24 percent unemployment rate. Since opening, Farm 360 has created living-wage twelve jobs within the community and will be staffed with thirty employees by the end of 2016. “We want people to be able to walk or ride their bike to work,” Bloom said. “The goal is to have 70 to 75 percent of our employees live right here on the east side. These are the people who want to revitalize the area.” + Farm 360 Via No Mean City Images via Esther Boston

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Farm 360 in Indianapolis grows veggies with 100% renewable energy and 90% less water

2017 Countryman crossover is the first MINI plug-in hybrid

October 26, 2016 by  
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It’s been six years since the last electrified MINI, the MINI E was made available. Although BMW has confirmed plans to introduce a new fully-electric MINI in the next few years, if you’ve been hoping that MINI would introduce a plug-in model sooner, your prayers have been answered. MINI has unveiled the all-new 2017 Countryman crossover, which marks the introduction of the automaker’s first plug-in hybrid . The new Countryman is now the biggest MINI to date, but at the same time it is also the greenest model in MINI’s current lineup. Standard versions can be equipped with efficient three- and four-cylinder engines, but even more noteworthy is the new plug-in hybrid version. The Countryman plug-in hybrid is powered by a 1.5L three-cylinder mated to an electric motor for a total combined output of 221 horsepower, which is more than either of the standard gasoline powered versions. The 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery gives the Countryman plug-in hybrid an electric driving range of 24 miles at speeds up to 77 mph. Related: MINI Unveils Three of the World’s Tiniest Luxury Campers “The addition of the plug-in hybrid option is a major milestone for the brand and we look forward to bringing this exciting new vehicle into one of the top performing market segments,” said Thomas Felbermair, Vice President MINI of the Americas. MINI hasn’t announced the pricing for the Countryman plug-in hybrid , but when it arrives next summer it will be called the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. + MINI All images @ MINI

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Here’s why only 1% of U.S. cropland is farmed organically despite voracious demand

July 29, 2016 by  
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Only around one percent of U.S. cropland is dedicated to organic farming even though consumer appetite for organic foods reached an estimated $13.4 billion last year. The reason more farmers haven’t converted to organic farming has to do with the high costs of getting certified , a process that takes three years before the U.S. Department of Agriculture can stamp a farm as meeting the requirements of being free of products such as certain synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. “When you look at the percentage of the marketplace, what consumers are buying versus what farmers are producing, farmers aren’t producing as much organic as consumers are consuming,” Alexis-Badden Mayer, political director of the Organic Consumers Association, an organics advocacy group, told The Guardian. Related: Benefits of organic food go far beyond vitamins and minerals, despite study results Food companies such as General Mills and Kashi are starting to help organic farmers financially during the three year transitional period. For example, General Mills recently teamed with dairy cooperative Organic Valley on a plan to pay a higher-than-market price for organic milk during the three year transition, with the extra money going into a fund to pay for the expenses accumulated. There are also efforts going on to create a transitional organic certification that would enable farmers to raise their prices in the second and third years of the transition before obtaining the official USDA seal of approval. According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), California is the top state in organic sales. The 2014 Organic Survey found that the Golden State accounted for $2.2 billion in organic sales. According to the survey, the top commodity sold by U.S. farms was milk with $1.08 billion in organic sales. + USDA Organic Agriculture Via The Guardian Images via Wikipedia

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Here’s why only 1% of U.S. cropland is farmed organically despite voracious demand

6 Michigan state workers charged with misconduct over the Flint Water Crisis

July 29, 2016 by  
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Residents of Flint, Michigan are one step closer to justice in the aftermath of the Flint Water Crisis . Today Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed misconduct charges against six state workers. Three employees are from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services , and three employees are from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality . The workers (including one former employee) are charged with misconduct for a variety of reasons, including allegedly misinterpreting federal regulations, manipulating reports, and conspiring to misconduct. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services employees charged are Nancy Peeler, Robert Scott, and Corrine Miller. In addition to misconduct, their charges include ” willful neglect of duty related to allegedly concealing or disregarding test results ” after tests revealed high levels of lead in the blood of Flint residents. Peeler and Scott both work in a “childhood lead poisoning prevention program” for Michigan. Miller is the Michigan Director and State Epidemiologist. Related: 33 other U.S. cities have cheated water tests that detect lead The sole state employee fired so far over the Flint Water Crisis has been Liane Shekter Smith, who was the chief of Michigan’s Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance. She is among the charged employees. The other two employees to receive charges are water regulators Adam Rosenthal and Patrick Cook of the Department of Environmental Quality. Emails show Rosenthal manipulated reports about the lead levels in Flint water, and other emails show Cook wanted to quiet EPA expert Miguel Del Toral who asked about the corrosion control chemicals Flint lacked. According to The Detroit News , it is still considered unsafe to drink Flint water. In a statement, Schuette said “The families of Flint will not be forgotten. We will provide the justice they deserve. And in Michigan, the justice system is not rigged. There is one system of justice. The laws apply to everyone, equally, no matter who you are. Period.” Via The Detroit News Images via screenshot and Wikimedia Commons

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6 Michigan state workers charged with misconduct over the Flint Water Crisis

Seattle embraces urban farming at ten acre Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands

June 17, 2016 by  
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What was once a tree nursery is now home to Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands (RBUFW) , Seattle’s largest urban farm and home to a host of community programs run by Seattle Tilth . Through a community design process, the ten-acre former tree nursery was reshaped into the largest urban agriculture project in the Northwest. The farm is a successful effort in bringing community members of all ages together to volunteer, learn to grow food organically, and supply fresh food via Good Food Bags: Community Supported Agriculture and weekly market. Related: Nation’s first K-8 urban farm school teaches kids how to grow their own food The farm’s education center houses a multi-purpose assembly space, commercial kitchen for community meals and cooking demonstrations, restrooms, and storage. A translucent canopy covers the primary assembly space and creates a 500 square foot outdoor gathering area out of the persistent Seattle rain. The design, by CAST Architecture and The Berger Partnership landscape architects, also includes substantial wetland restoration , aquaponics , permaculture , 11,295 square feet of greenhouse, 30,000 square feet of in-ground farming, a market stand, solar power, composting, administration, produce wash/pack areas, and farm storage. Currently the Farm produces 20,000 pounds of fresh food per year, makes 5000 meals, and provide training to 3,600 Rainier Valley residents. + Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands + CAST Architecture + The Berger Partnership Images via Seattle Tilth Facebook page The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Old Philips factory turned into a charming Retro Fondue Restaurant in Eindhoven

September 30, 2015 by  
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