Should hydroponic veggies be labeled organic?

November 20, 2017 by  
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Does produce grown hydroponically deserve the organic label? Some organic farmers don’t think so, and they gathered at a National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting where the board voted on a ban on hydroponic practices in organic farming, reports NPR . Hydroponic farmers fought back, saying they can produce food with less water . Organic farmers turned out at the NOSB meeting in Jacksonville, Florida in an attempt to have the organic label removed from hydroponic vegetables . Vermont farmer Dave Chapman of Long Wind Farm , who’s the National Organic Coalition executive director, said the founding principles of organic farming center around “ soil health, regenerating the soil” as opposed to simply providing plants with nutrients. Related: 40-foot shipping container farm can grow 5 acres of food with 97% less water Hydroponic farmers disagree. Wholesum Harvest marketing manager Jessie Gunn told NPR, “We can grow our tomatoes organically with three to five gallons of water, per pound of production, as opposed to growing tomatoes in open fields, which can use anywhere from 26 to 37 gallons of water.” Cultivating crops in fields “uses more water, more land, destroys more natural habitat. I mean, what is the true essence of organic?” Hydroponic vegetables are taking over a growing share of sales to grocery stores . Chapman said already, most organic tomatoes you’d find in a supermarket today never touched soil. He said soon virtually all organic tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, and most berries and lettuce, will be grown hydroponically, which he considers tragic. Other people, such as members of the Recirculating Farms Coalition , consider hydroponic farming to be sustainable, a sensible choice “especially for a planet with a changing climate , and assorted challenges in reducing use of water, energy , and space.” The 15-person NOSB, a federal advisory board for the United States Department of Agriculture, voted against the ban, eight to seven. Via NPR Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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Should hydroponic veggies be labeled organic?

Video: NASA tests its supersonic parachute for the first time

November 20, 2017 by  
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NASA has performed the first test of its supersonic parachute as part of its Mars 2020 mission. This essential component will allow the Mars-bound spacecraft to slow down as its enters the planet’s atmosphere whilst traveling at speeds of over 12,000 MPH. “It is quite a ride,” said Ian Clark, the test’s technical lead from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “The imagery of our first parachute inflation is almost as breathtaking to behold as it is scientifically significant. For the first time, we get to see what it would look like to be in a spacecraft hurtling towards the Red Planet , unfurling its parachute.” Take a look at the video after the jump. The first test of this parachute was conducted with the Black Brant IX sounding rocket, which launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on October 4, 2017. After the rocket reached 26 miles in altitude and a speed 1.8 times that of sound, its parachute was deployed successfully. The rocket landed off the coast of Virginia shortly after. “Everything went according to plan or better than planned,” said Clark. “We not only proved that we could get our payload to the correct altitude and velocity conditions to best mimic a parachute deployment in the Martian atmosphere, but as an added bonus, we got to see our parachute in action as well.” Related: The world’s first space nation is now officially in orbit The Mars 2020 mission aims to search for signs of life on Mars by investigating evidence on location through the use of a remote rover and by gathering drilled rock samples to be studied upon their return to Earth. As indicated by its name, the mission aims to launch in 2020 and will require new technology , such as the supersonic parachute, to complete the ambitious undertaking. Although this marked the first parachute test for the Mars 2020 mission, the parachute itself has been used before for Mars exploration. In 2012, a parachute with the same design was used to land NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory on the planet itself. Future tests will incorporate a strengthened parachute, which may be used in the Mars 2020 mission. Via NASA / NBC News Images via NASA

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Video: NASA tests its supersonic parachute for the first time

Whale mother can’t let go of dead calf likely poisoned by plastic

November 20, 2017 by  
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The impact of humanity’s pollution on nature became all too real in a heartbreaking clip from Blue Planet II . A mother pilot whale grieved her dead baby, carrying it around with her. The calf may have died because of industrial chemicals – and our plastic littering the oceans . A preview for episode four of BBC One’s Blue Planet II revealed a tragic scene: a mother pilot whale who seemingly couldn’t let go of her dead calf. The calf might have been poisoned by the mother’s milk, contaminated with pollutants of ours which enter the oceans. Narrator David Attenborough said she’d been carrying the baby for several days. “In top predators like these, industrial chemicals can build up to lethal levels. And plastic could be part of the problem. As plastic breaks down, it combines with these other pollutants that are consumed by vast numbers of marine creatures,” Attenborough said in the video. Related: Plankton Pundit video shows exact moment plastic enters the food chain Pilot whales possess large brains, Attenborough explained in the video, and have the capacity to feel emotions. He said the adults’ behavior following the death of the calf reveals its loss impacted the whole family. “Unless the flow of plastics and industrial pollution into the world’s oceans is reduced, marine life will be poisoned by them for many centuries to come,” he said. Around eight million metric tons of plastic enters Earth’s oceans every single year, according to the Blue Planet II website, and can kill ocean creatures. They offered several suggestions for how concerned viewers can get involved with ocean conservation , such as picking up trash or downloading the Beat the Microbead app, which tells users if a cosmetic or household product contains microbeads so they can avoid purchasing it (click the links to download for Android or iOS ). + Blue Planet II Images via BBC on YouTube

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Whale mother can’t let go of dead calf likely poisoned by plastic

World’s cheapest solar power to be generated in Mexico

November 20, 2017 by  
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Solar power set to be generated in Mexico will be the world’s cheapest — with prices as low as 1.77¢/kWh, according to data from Mexico’s  Centro Nacional de Control de Energía (Cenace) . Mexico’s Department of Energy recently announced the companies selected to complete new renewable power projects and the rates for which this electricity will be sold. The lowest price for solar in Mexico has been set just below that of Saudi Arabia at 1.77¢/kWh, and is expected to continue to decrease to 1¢/kWh in 2019 or sooner. In this most recent bidding round, 15 bids from eight solar and wind energy companies, including Canadian Solar, ENEL Green Power, and Mitsui, were approved in a sign that Mexico’s renewable surge is not slowing down. The clean energy projects recently approved by Mexico will be online and selling power by 2020. These projects and others are important steps towards meeting Mexico’s goals under the Paris agreement as well as regional goals established by Mexico, the United States, and Canada . In 2016, all three countries pledged to source 50 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2025. Canada is on track to meet this goal while Mexico continues to build up its renewable portfolio. As it was when the regional pledge was made, the United States still lags behind in its transition to clean energy. Related: World’s largest solar plant in a refugee camp opens in Jordan Mexico’s achievement of cheap solar energy exceeds the expectations of skeptics who believed that such a price in a country like Mexico, rather than one like wealthy Saudi Arabia , would be highly unlikely. Despite its economic challenges, Mexico is proving that affordable renewable energy is possible around the world, brightening the prospects of the Paris agreement even as the United States refuses to participate. If current trends continue, the world may soon be faced with the prospect of plentiful, clean, affordable energy, the possibilities for which are endless. Via Electrek Images via Presidencia de la República Mexicana/Flickr   (2)   (3)

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World’s cheapest solar power to be generated in Mexico

Houseplants From Produce. No Seriously!

September 28, 2015 by  
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Houseplants bring life into our homes and they can be useful too. You may not have considered it, but plants that feed can make wonderful additions to any household — and many can be had for free. All you’ll need is organic produce and a bit of…

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Houseplants From Produce. No Seriously!

Italian graphic designer helps to beautify “ugly” organic produce

January 16, 2015 by  
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Have you ever noticed that organic produce isn’t always as “pretty” as its conventionally grown kin? Most people avoid produce that’s misshapen because they assume there’s something wrong with it, even though  organic produce usually tastes far better than the immaculate, pesticide-covered offerings nearby. An Italian graphic designer named  Cecilia Marzocchi is hoping to change that: she has created a series of tags, labels, and tissue papers that organic growers can use to beautify their uniquely shaped  goods, thus making them far more appealing to the average consumer. These graphics can help the producers to get fair prices at local shops, while informing buyers about all the benefits present in each item. Hopefully this will increase the popularity of less attractive organic produce, and will cut down on the fresh, healthy food being thrown out and wasted each day. + Cortofrutta, by Cecilia Marzocchi Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment 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! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Cecilia Marzocchi , Cortofrutta , food design , food packaging , food waste , Graphic Design , graphic design for fruit , organic food , organic food waste , organic fruit , organic produce , Organic vegetables , ugly fruit , ugly organic , ugly organic produce , ugly vegetables

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Italian graphic designer helps to beautify “ugly” organic produce

Urban Cultivator Grows 100% Organic Hydroponic Greens in a Stylish and Fully Automated Indoor Garden

July 10, 2014 by  
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Many of us would love to eat fresh and local produce all year round, but doing so can be difficult and expensive unless you have the time and space to grow your own food. With the Urban Cultivator , however, growing organic and nutritious greens for your family has never been easier. No bigger than the footprint of a standard dishwasher, this fully automated kitchen appliance plugs into the existing water and electrical systems for easy installation. Once you add the all-organic plant food into the Urban Cultivator, the pre-programmed indoor garden will regulate the water and air conditions so that all you need to do is harvest and chow down on the healthy, hydroponic greens. + Urban Cultivator 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! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: fresh produce , home grown vegetables , hydroponics , indoor garden , indoor vegetable garden , local produce , local vegetables , Organic , organic greens , organic produce , reader submitted content , urban cultivator

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Urban Cultivator Grows 100% Organic Hydroponic Greens in a Stylish and Fully Automated Indoor Garden

Aqualibrium: Miniature Modular Ecosystem Grows Fresh Vegetables Indoors

October 25, 2013 by  
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The Aqualibrium is a closed-loop aquaponics system that offers city dwellers and renters an exciting new way to join the urban farming movement. The system incorporates plants, fish, and LED lights to produce a steady source of food indoors all year round. The Aqualibrium ‘s modern and modular design can be connected to other units and scaled to fit almost any abode. Read the rest of Aqualibrium: Miniature Modular Ecosystem Grows Fresh Vegetables Indoors Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aqualibrium , aquaponic system , closed-loop ecosystem , fish tank , hydroponic system , jacque fresco , kickstarter campaign , modular unit , organic gardening , organic produce , Urban Farming        

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Aqualibrium: Miniature Modular Ecosystem Grows Fresh Vegetables Indoors

16-Year-Old Student Uses Fruit Flies to Investigate Benefits of Organic Produce

May 15, 2013 by  
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Anyone who has ever taken a course in biology or left produce out on the counter for a little too long will recognize the noble fruit fly . Easy to breed, feed and observe, they are the subject of choice for many hoping to study a broad range of scientific inquiries. After hearing her parents debate the benefits of organic over conventionally-raised foods, Texas student Ria Chhabra decided to use the insect to investigate their argument. The 16-year-old looked at the rates of stress, fertility and longevity of the flies and noticed that all fared better on the organic potatoes and bananas that they were fed. She has since published her results , been named as a finalist in the 2011 Broadcom Masters national scientific challenge, and partnered with a research laboratory at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Read the rest of 16-Year-Old Student Uses Fruit Flies to Investigate Benefits of Organic Produce Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: broadcom masters , brown , Dallas , fruit fly , high school student , johannes bauer , MIT , Organic , Produce , ria chhabra , santharam kolli , southern methodist university , texas , type 2 diabetes , vitamin c        

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Self-Sustaining Aquaponic Greenhouse Coming to Vermont Park

April 21, 2011 by  
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The Root Center , a pending non-profit, is building a solar-heated aquaponic greenhouse in Vermont Park. Dubbed “Garden of the Future,” the project will house a sustainable fish pond and aquaponic vegetables

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