Vegetarian diets could help avert one-third of early deaths, new research finds

April 26, 2018 by  
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Vegetarians, rejoice! While scientists have long touted the health benefits of  plant-based diets , they may be even more effective than we thought. According to new calculations from Harvard University scientists, one-third of early deaths might be avoided if people switched to a  vegetarian diet. The scientists’ research suggests that we have underestimated the positive effects of a vegetarian diet. For example, while figures from the United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics  suggested that 141,000 deaths a year in Britain were preventable, the new research from Harvard has produced a much higher figure: about 200,000 lives could potentially be saved each year if people removed meat  from their diets . Related: Here’s what could happen if America went 100% vegan Harvard Medical School epidemiology and nutrition professor Walter Willett, a speaker at the Unite to Cure Fourth International Vatican Conference , said, “We have just been doing some calculations looking at the question of how much could we reduce mortality shifting towards a healthy, more plant based diet, not necessarily totally vegan , and our estimates are about one third of early deaths could be prevented. That’s not even talking about physical activity or not smoking, and that’s all deaths, not just cancer deaths. That’s probably an underestimate as well as that doesn’t take into account the fact that obesity is important and we control for obesity.” Committee for Responsible Medicine president Neal Barnard, another speaker at the conference, agreed that people should be more aware of the health benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets. He said, “I think we’re underestimating the effect. I think people imagine that a healthy diet has only a modest effect and a vegetarian diet might help you lose a little bit of weight. But when these diets are properly constructed I think they are enormously powerful.” Via The Telegraph Images via Lefteris kallergis on Unsplash and James Sutton on Unsplash

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Studio Gangs 40 Tenth Avenue "Solar Carve" tower tops out near NYCs High Line

April 26, 2018 by  
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New images reveal  40 Tenth Avenue  — formerly called the Solar Carve Tower  — has officially topped out near New York City ‘s 1.45-mile-long High Line park. Designed by Studio Gang , 40 Tenth Avenue features a chiseled shape that works with the sun’s light angles to avoid casting unwanted shadows on its surroundings. With an abundance of outdoor space and large glass windows, this commercial building is designed to nurture the relationship between the building’s occupants and the natural world. The 10-story, LEED Gold -targeting 40 Tenth Avenue building topped out earlier this month in the Meatpacking District . Developed by Aurora Capital , the commercial tower draws on Studio Gang’s solar carving strategy: sculpting the building with the sun’s angles in mind to avoid casting shadows on the street or the High Line. Related: New renderings of Studio Gang’s Solar Carve building reveal a faceted jewel that hugs the High Line Studio Gang said, “The tower takes its form from the geometric relationships between the building’s allowable envelope and the sun’s path.” The designers kept efficiency in mind when choosing building materials and methods, and they worked with an Italy-based manufacturer to create custom curtain wall units to “efficiently and seamlessly maintain the mass of the glass carve.” High-performance glass with low reflectivity also minimizes the building’s impact on the surrounding environment . High ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows  — affording panoramic views for those working inside — allow natural light to reach every work space in the tower. Studio Gang said, “Large, diamond-shaped panels tilt downward to dramatically capture direct overhead light for corner work spaces.” 40 Tenth Avenue boasts more than 20,000 square feet of outdoor space, including a 10,000-square-foot shared roof deck, private outdoor spaces for eight floors and an 8,000-square-foot outside area on the second floor right next to the High Line. The building is slated for completion in March 2019. + 40 Tenth Avenue + Studio Gang Images courtesy of Max Touhey and Studio Gang

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Studio Gangs 40 Tenth Avenue "Solar Carve" tower tops out near NYCs High Line

20% of US population produces 46% of food-based emissions

March 22, 2018 by  
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A monumental new study demonstrates that one-fifth of the American population is responsible for nearly half of all food-based emissions. Popsci reports that people who eat a lot of animal protein, especially beef, account for a larger share of greenhouse gas emissions — although, author Sara Chodosh also illustrates the extreme complexity behind the study’s potentially groundbreaking conclusions. Read on for a closer look. Published in Environmental Research Letters specifically sought to understand how diet and associated emissions varies among the American population. Martin Heller, an engineer at the University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems and study contributor, told Popsci it was surprising to realize just how varied they are. “I don’t think any of us really had a strong sense of how distributed the greenhouse gas emissions would be,” he says. “That was perhaps the most striking result.” Getting to the meat of the matter (sorry, I couldn’t resist) involved consulting several different databases and picking apart the life-cycle analysis of every morsel. Chodosh writes : “The NHANES survey results can tell you what a broad spectrum of American plates look like on any given day, but tells you nothing about the environmental impact of those foods. To do that, you have to go to the Food Commodities Intake Database, run by the EPA, and figure out how much meat might be in that meat lasagna, or how many tomatoes are in a generic salad. From there, you have to link the quantities of each type of food to the emissions associated with producing it.” Related: Garlic may be the key to slashing methane emissions from cows When evaluating the emissions of a single tomato, it was necessary to know how much fertilizer was used in its production, and then how much fuel was used to transport that tomato. With poultry, the researchers had to also consider feed production, and when analyzing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with eating beef, they had to calculate the amount of methane released by cow burps. I urge you to head over to Popsci to read the full details , because this short synthesis doesn’t do their reporting justice, but here’s the bottom line that we found so interesting: What next? Now that we know one-fifth of the American population is producing nearly half of food-based emissions — which in their turn are helping to melt glaciers and unleash devastating wildfires, not to mention the numerous adverse health hazards attributed to climate change — what do we do with that information? Heller tells Popsci, “Clearly we’ve not been very good at encouraging people to shift their diets for their own health. Relative to what our recommended healthy diet is, Americans do pretty poorly,” he says, “But I’ve started to try to think about it as the secondhand smoke of diet choice.” Fascinating. If you understood that your dietary choices directly hurt your neighbor, would you make a switch? + Environmental Research Letters Via Popsci Images via DepositPhotos 1 , 2

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Vegan Interior Designer Talks Cruelty-Free Home Decor

March 2, 2018 by  
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We nap on pillows stuffed with down feathers. We warm … The post Vegan Interior Designer Talks Cruelty-Free Home Decor appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Vegan Interior Designer Talks Cruelty-Free Home Decor

TGI Fridays to sell Beyond Meat’s plant-based burger in hundreds of stores

November 28, 2017 by  
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When you’re hunting for tasty vegan eats, TGI Friday’s probably doesn’t top your list. But the American restaurant chain will start offering Beyond Meat’s plant-based, vegan Beyond Burger in over 465 stores starting in January. The Beyond Burger – which launched in May of last year – has become Beyond Meat’s most successful product, and it’s currently available in over 5,000 supermarket meat cases next to ground beef. Beyond Meat announced the soft launch of their Beyond Burger in an eight-week trial at six TGI Friday’s outlets in the Boston area back. Now their meatless alternative will roll out in over 465 stores as part of their revamped Burger Bar. TGI Friday’s is the biggest restaurant brand to partner with the plant-based meat company, which also offers a precooked frozen pea protein burger patty, meatless chicken strips, and a ground beef alternative called Beyond Beef Crumble. Related: Impossible Foods cruelty-free burger added to more West Coast restaurant menus While reviewers have raved about the meat-like quality of Beyond Meat’s products, it’s their recently-launched Beyond Burger that’s really shined. People can purchase the burger in over 5,000 grocery stores in America at chains like Safeway, Kroger, Hy-Vee, Wegmans, and Raley’s. The burger boasts 20 grams of plant-based protein, largely from peas, and the company says it looks, cooks, and tastes like real meat, so it’s sold in the meat section of supermarkets. The company aims to offer meat alternatives that will appeal to a wide audience; Fast Company quoted CEO Ethan Brown as saying, “Our products are so good there’s no reason to consider it a sacrifice.” The company’s goal, per their website , is to change the meat case to the protein case by providing food that attracts even burger-loving carnivores. + Beyond Meat Via Fast Company and Beyond Meat Images via Beyond Meat Twitter ( 1 , 2 )

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TGI Fridays to sell Beyond Meat’s plant-based burger in hundreds of stores

Here’s what could happen if America went 100% vegan

November 14, 2017 by  
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What if America threw out its hot dogs and hamburgers in favor of vegan fare? You might say that would never happen, but two scientists – from Virginia Tech and the United States Department of Agriculture – decided to explore how such a choice would impact the country’s greenhouse gas emissions . Their study discovered that annual agricultural emissions would fall from 623 million tons to 446 million tons. Eating vegan wouldn’t solve all of America’s greenhouse gas problems. But it would definitely make an impact. Animals currently comprise 49 percent of the US’ agricultural emissions. In a vegan America, agricultural emissions could drop by 28 percent. But total US emissions would only fall by 2.6 percent, according to the study . Related: 10 vegan sources of protein you can grow at home The study authors also noted a plant-only system wouldn’t meet the American population’s dietary needs for calcium, a few fatty acids, and vitamins A and B. Lead author Robin White of Virginia Tech told Science Magazine , “With carefully balanced rations, you can meet all of your nutrient requirements with a vegetarian diet. But the types of foods that seem to do that, we don’t currently produce in sufficient quantities to make it a sustainable diet for the entire population.” The study did find that without animals, total food production could increase by 23 percent – mostly in grains, according to Gizmodo . Not every expert agrees with the study’s assumptions. Nutritionist Joan Sabate of Loma Linda University told Science Magazine, “[We] could yield a better nutrient profile if we do restructure the land use.” Agricultural researcher Mario Herrero of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization said America going vegan could impact other countries as well – if the United States ceased importing so much meat , greenhouse gas emissions of other countries could fall too. Even if going vegan doesn’t solve all of the US’ climate change woes, it is clear a diet with less meat and more plants could help the planet. Project Drawdown – a coalition of scientists, entrepreneurs, and advocates – ranked a plant-rich diet as the number four solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America published the study online yesterday. + PNAS Via Science Magazine and Gizmodo Images via Tim Wright on Unsplash , Brooke Cagle on Unsplash , and Alexandra Andersson on Unsplash

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Britain’s first zero-waste store is packaging-free and only sells ethical goods

September 1, 2017 by  
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Next time you plan a trip to Devon, UK, be sure to visit the Earth.Food.Love grocery store. The unique supermarket sells up to 200 pesticide-free products which are ethically-sourced. The store is also completely packaging-free, which is great for the environment and people’s peace of mind. Earth.Food.Love was started by Richard Eckersley, 28, and his wife, Nicola, 27. The couple became infatuated with the idea of receiving one’s groceries packaging-free after visiting Unperfekthaus in German, an anti-waste outlet. “We walked in and immediately thought, why doesn’t this exist in the UK?” Richard told Metro . “We came back to the UK and decided to open our own sustainable store. We wanted to go somewhere that we felt would make a difference to the local community – that’s why we moved to Devon.” At Earth.Food.Love, one will find grains, pastas and even maple syrup. The supermarket also stocks regionally-grown oats, sanitary products, metal shavers that the blade can be swapped on and bamboo toothbrushes. Because the store seeks to deliver “ethical, wholesome and organic ” goods, milk and alcohol are nowhere to be found. Chips are banned, too, as they can have up to seven layers of packaging. While the lack of packaging might deter some customers, it is incredibly appealing to others. Reportedly, the “grind-your-own” nut butter machines are the most popular. “Filled with both almonds and peanuts, you can re-use your nut butter jar again and again and again, each time filling it with delicious, sticky goodness that’s been ground right in front of you,” said Richard. Shoppers are required to bring their own containers — which can range in type and shape — to the store. After the containers are weighed, shoppers pay for their purchases by the gram. For first-time customers, the store keeps compostable paper bags. Related: These amazing zero-waste buildings were grown from mushrooms Earth.Food.Love exists to educate consumers and increase access to ethically-sourced, healthy goods. The shop’s owners aren’t actually interested in making money. “It’s not about price for us. We don’t want to stock items just for the sake of it, it has to be ethical,” Richard said. “At the same time, we don’t want to compete with local farms – there are many around here that sell fresh produce already.” He added, “We’re adding products all of time, but the supplier has to be right for us. We want to live in a world where consuming doesn’t have to cost the earth. We believe returning to these simple ways will benefit not only our health, but the planets too.” The couple says the store has inspired many shoppers, which is why they created their very own guide to “Setting up your Own Zero-Waste Shop.” Richard and Nicola’s ultimate goal is to see similar businesses erected worldwide so the environment may be preserved while humanity is nourished. + Earth.Food.Love Via Metro Images via Earth.Food.Love, SWNS

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Britain’s first zero-waste store is packaging-free and only sells ethical goods

Old coal crane in Denmark converted into swanky hanging retreat and spa

September 1, 2017 by  
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Although stress relief comes in many forms, soaking in a swanky sauna hanging over the water may just be the new trend in spa design . Danish firm Arcgency has converted a former coal crane into The Krane, a multi-tiered structure topped with a soothing spa retreat that overlooks Copenhagen’s industrial harbor. The Krane space was carved out of a former coal crane that has sat overlooking Nordhavn’s industrial port for years. The creative adaptive reuse project was a collaboration between owner Klaus Kastbjerg and architect Mads Møller from Arcgency, who wanted to convert the old crane into a useful space for the city. Related: World’s first ‘cranehouse’ hoisted over Bristol harbor is completely carbon neutral The first floor of the crane was converted into a glass-enclosed meeting space called the Glass Box. A calming spa and wraparound terrace are on located on the second floor, and on the top floor, guests can enjoy a calming lounge space and additional terrace that looks out over the water. Paying homage to the crane’s industrial history, the structure was clad entirely in a stark black, on the interior as well as the exterior. The monochromatic color scheme was used to reduce distractions, intentionally putting the sole focus on the beautiful 360-degree views of the harbor. The space was decorated with minimal furnishings made out of leather, wood, stone and steel – most of which were custom built so they could disappear into wall panels. Local artists were commissioned to create various pieces, which are also subtly embedded into the walls. Møller explains that the monochromatic color scheme was inspired by the crane’s new use as a soothing getaway , “It’s all part of the vision, where the focus has been the integration of sensations—sight, sound and stemning (the Danish word for atmosphere). The Krane involved a 360-degree inside-outside approach. Natural light directly affects how we feel in a space and our happiness overall. So we optimized the inside to capture natural daylight and set the stage for the views of the water outside.” + The Krane + Arcgency Via Dwell

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Old coal crane in Denmark converted into swanky hanging retreat and spa

Abused piglet dumped at animal shelter undergoes miraculous transformation

July 4, 2017 by  
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Though we may never know why some people abuse animals (or other people), it’s heartening to know compassionate individuals do still exist. The Dodo shares a story about the folks at Sale Ranch Sanctuary , who saved a young piglet’s life. The pig, named Cherry Blossom, lived in unspeakable conditions before she was finally dumped at an animal shelter in California that primarily cares for cats and dogs. Though she wasn’t expected to survive due to a severe case of sarcoptic mange, Cherry Blossom made a complete recovery. Hit the jump to hear her story. The Dodo reports that Cherry Blossom was abandoned at a shelter near Temecula, California. The staff says the man who dropped her off claimed she was a stray. However, it is suspected she was previously owned and developed conditions due to improper care. Said Jen Sale, CEO and founder of Sale Ranch Sanctuary, “She had an incredibly severe case of  sarcoptic mange,  which is one of the most severe types of mange you can get. If it’s not treated, it can be fatal.” “They [the shelter workers] think it was the rancher who actually brought her in. He didn’t care for her when she got sick. Instead, he just dropped her off and said he found her,” she added. Because the shelter doesn’t care for pigs, employees quickly contacted the nearby farm sanctuary . Sale, who has worked with livestock for years, suspects Cherry Blossom lived in “overcrowded, filthy conditions.” She said, “As a baby, her immune system was still developing, and she kind of got walloped.” The mange didn’t just look bad, it was also causing Cherry Blossom a lot of pain. Despite this, she was very friendly toward Sale and her husband. “She still wanted comfort from us,” Sale said. “We’d come and put the medicine on her, and she learned very quickly that we were helping her. And even though she was in so much pain, she’d snuggle up and want us to rub her belly. She’s just a testimony for how forgiving and loving animals are.” Related: Rombaut makes cruelty-free leather shoes from discarded pineapple leaves After seeing a veterinarian , the pig began receiving healing cream rubs and laser light therapy. Two months later, her mange has cleared up and, as a result, Cherry Blossom’s hair is regrowing. “Her hair is fully growing in, and her skin is totally good,” Sale said. “The transformation really is amazing.” Feeling better, Cherry Blossom’s personality is also coming out. “She’s super silly,” Sale said. “She’ll play with her ball. She loves her little mud hole. And she gets along with everybody. She runs around with our dogs, she goes over to our barnyard to visit the animals there. She’s just a sweetheart, and all she wants is attention and affection from people.” Remarking on the deed of restoring the piglet to proper health, Sale said, “We’re just really grateful and blessed that we were able to bring her home and take care of her and get her healthy. Even though she kind of had a rough start to life, she’s doing very well. She’s going to have a really beautiful life.” If you feel inspired, consider donating to the Sale Ranch Sanctuary . Via The Dodo Images via Sale Ranch Sanctuary

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Abused piglet dumped at animal shelter undergoes miraculous transformation

Light-filled cancer center harnesses the healing power of nature

July 4, 2017 by  
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The healing powers of nature have been put to good use in the recently completed Maggie’s Oldham. London-based architecture studio dRMM completed this cross-laminated timber building, one of the United Kingdom’s many Maggie’s Centers that provide free practical, emotional, and social support for people with cancer. Nature surrounds the light-filled building both inside and out, from the garden that the center floats above to the tree that grows through the building. Built on the grounds of an NHS cancer hospital in Oldham, the recently completed Maggie’s Center is the first permanent structure of its kind built of sustainable hardwood cross-laminated timber . The architects write: “In wood there is hope and warmth, its use at Maggie’s Oldham is part of a bigger design intention to reverse the norms of hospital architecture, where institutionalised environments can leave patients dispirited.” All the surfaces show off the natural timber finish and the thermally modified tulipwood cross-laminated timber was carefully detailed to bring out its natural beauty. Cut-offs from the CLT fabrication process were recycled for use in the slatted ceiling. Related: Beautiful light-filled Maggie’s Cancer Center opens up to nature in Manchester To lift the spirits of whoever comes by, Maggie’s Oldham greets visitors with airy, light-filled spaces and unexpected views towards the garden below, the sky above, and out to the Pennine horizon. Large windows with American white oak frames let in copious amounts of natural light. The minimalist boxy building is elevated on slender columns above a garden framed by pine, birch, and tulip poplar trees. A tree grows up through the building at its heart, creating a central oasis that brings nature inside. The use of timber, rather than cold metal, complements the greenery and gives the building a sense of warmth. Wood fiber insulation is used for a breathable healthy environment. + dRMM Via ArchDaily Images © Alex de Rijke

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