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

‘World’s smallest computer’ could be manufactured for under 10 cents

March 22, 2018 by  
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Need a computer that’s smaller than a single grain of salt ? IBM has got you covered. Mashable reported the company unveiled what they’re calling the world’s smallest computer, that, according to IBM , “packs several hundred thousand transistors into a footprint barely visible to the human eye.” The world’s smallest computer is one-by-one millimeter in size, according to The Verge . IBM says it can have as many as one million transistors and will cost under 10 cents to create. Features include an LED communications unit and photo-detector, static random-access memory (SRAM), and an integrated photovoltaic cell. The photo above is actually a set of 64 motherboards, according to The Verge, each of which contain two of the world’s smallest computers. Below is a solo computer on salt to give you an idea of its small size: Related: IBM creates first-ever artificial neurons that behave like the real thing The miniscule computer is among the IBM Research team’s 5 in 5 technology predictions, which they “believe will fundamentally reshape business and society in the next five years,” according to a blog post from IBM Research head Arvind Krishna. Krishna called the computer a cryptographic anchor, or crypto-anchor — defined in an IBM video as “tamper-proof digital-fingerprints” to be embedded into products to ensure authenticity and detect counterfeit items. The company is showing off their 5 in 5 at the IBM Think 2018 conference. Mashable said testing of the first prototype is still underway, so there’s no word yet on when exactly the world’s smallest computer will be available, although Krishna said cryptographic anchors “will be embedded in everyday objects and devices” in around five years. + Changing the Way the World Works: IBM Research’s “5 in 5” + IBM 5 in 5: Crypto-anchors and blockchain Via Mashable and The Verge Images via IBM and IBM

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‘World’s smallest computer’ could be manufactured for under 10 cents

Vegetarian Dogs: 5 Surprising Facts

January 4, 2018 by  
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What’s the big deal about feeding your dog commercial pet … The post Vegetarian Dogs: 5 Surprising Facts appeared first on Earth911.com.

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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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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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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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12 scrumptious vegan slow-cooker soup recipes

December 31, 2016 by  
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There’s nothing that keeps the winter chill away as much as a hearty bowl of soup. Make that soup uber-healthy and super easy to make and you’ve got a winning combo. We’ve got 12 vegan soup recipes that you can make in a slow cooker – read on to check them all out.

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How to Eat Vegan at Disney World

December 19, 2016 by  
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A trip to the Disney theme parks isn’t usually synonymous with healthy eating. The Dove dark chocolate Mickey ears, deep-fried churros and Carnation Café creations don’t exactly scream conscious cuisine. As a vegan, a recent family trip to Disney…

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This gluten free sweet potato miso will add some color to your day

December 11, 2016 by  
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These brilliant purple sweet potato noodles are more than just colorful: they’re healthy, delicious, vegan, and gluten free! This veggie-stuffed miso recipe is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Read on for the complete recipe.

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10 Unexpected new recipes that feature delicious winter vegetables

November 12, 2016 by  
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For many people, the idea of eating seasonally is a brilliant idea. That is until the colder months roll along. After all, there’s a spectacular amount of produce available to be played with from early spring to mid autumn, but once Halloween passes, the culinary palette seems to be comprised of a few scant offerings. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Root vegetables, brassicas, winter greens, and hard-fleshed fruit can be fabulous when paired the right way. Below are a few ideas for using seasonal produce to its greatest potential. Cabbage and Ramen Noodle Salad This salad may sound a bit weird, but the flavors all combine gorgeously into a fun, crunchy autumn/winter dish. 1 head of napa cabbage, shredded finely 1 bunch of green onions, sliced 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 package of ramen noodles, broken up into small pieces 1 cup slivered almonds 1/4 cup cider vinegar 3/4 cup vegetable oil 2-3 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari Blend the cabbage and green onions in a large bowl, and refrigerate until ready to serve. In a large skillet, melt the butter or margarine on medium-high heat, and toss in the ramen noodles and almonds. Use a spatula to turn this mixture often, and remove your pan from the heat once the majority of it has been browned. Set aside. For the dressing, heat the vinegar, oil, sugar, and soy sauce in a small pot on medium-high heat. Allow it to boil for about a minute, then set aside to allow it to cool for a bit. Combine the cabbage and ramen-nut mixture with a set of salad tongs, and mix the dressing into it just before serving so it doesn’t get soggy. Root Veggie Chips Take a quick jaunt over to Amy’s Cooking Adventures for an incredible tutorial on how to make perfect root vegetable chips . These are great alternatives to chips for scooping up your favorite dips, and if you use veggies like watermelon radish, heirloom carrots, and a bunch of different beets, you’ll have a veritable rainbow of snacks to nibble. I like to spice mine up with cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and onion salt, but they’re delightful plain as well. Stems and Roots Slaw You can use whatever root vegetables you have in the house for this, and adapt it to your own tastes. I like to add in grated apple on occasion, or switch out the lemon juice with orange instead. Sometimes I’ll even throw in toasted nuts and dried cranberries. Be creative! 2 carrots (different colors, if available), julienned 1 bulb fennel, shredded 2 radishes (if you can get 2 different colors, all the better), grated or julienned 1 golden beet, grated 2 broccoli stems, peeled and julienned 1/2 small celeriac root , peeled and julienned 1/2 red onion, peeled and sliced thinly 1 cup plain yogurt (dairy or soy) 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon lemon juice Salt and pepper Combine all the shredded vegetables into a large bowl. Blend the yogurt , lemon juice, and mustard together and pour over the vegetables, tossing the lot to combine it. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Now, this isn’t so much a recipe as a basic idea that you can add to with whatever suits your own whims. I usually use one sweet potato per person eating, and fill with a variety of different bits, depending on what I have in the house. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Poke a few holes in your sweet potatoes , and bake for 1 hour or until soft and tender. You can also cook your potatoes in the microwave for 10 to 15 minutes or until soft, but since I haven’t had a microwave in over a decade, I can’t vouch for this method. When the sweet potatoes are cooked,  slice a piece off the top lengthwise, and scoop out the flesh so you have a nice big bowl to fill up. At this point, I generally use a bit of what I’ve scooped out as part of the filling that’ll go back in (the rest goes into soups and such). I like to create a spicy, smoky black bean veggie chili, into which I pop some of the sweet potato and a bit of cooked quinoa. That gets ladled into the potato shells, topped with cubed avocado, corn salsa, and a dollop of plain yogurt. Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup This is a great warming dish for a chilly day, and it’s packed with iron and protein. 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup yellow onion, diced 4 large garlic cloves, chopped coarsely 4 cups vegetable or onion broth/stock 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped finely 4 cups chopped kale 1 large can Italian-style diced tomatoes 1 tablespoon tomato paste Salt, pepper 2 large carrots, peeled and diced 1 large can of white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (use white kidney beans if cannellinis aren’t available) Sautee the onion in the olive oil until it softens, and then add in the garlic. Cook for an additional minute or so, but don’t allow the garlic to brown. All all remaining ingredients except the beans, cover with a lid, and cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Add in the beans, stir thoroughly, and season with the salt and pepper to taste. I generally deglaze the onions with a bit of wine before adding in the veggies, and I tend to add a kick of spice with some cayenne pepper and smoked paprika, but do what you like to make this soup your own. Squash and Winter Greens Salad I don’t have a recipe for this per se, as it depends on many variables, so feel free to adapt it however you like. To make this, I grab an acorn or delicata squash, slice it into half-moons, remove the peel, drizzle it with olive oil and salt, and roast it at 425 F for about 20 minutes, or until it’s browning and fork-tender. Set that aside to cool. In a large bowl, mix together whichever winter greens you like best (I like spinach, sliced endives, and arugula that I’ve grown on my windowsill, but massaged kale works well too), nuts of your choice (try sunflower seeds or walnut pieces), and any other produce you think would work well in here. I’m fond of adding sliced of pears, but if you prefer a salad that’s less sweet, you can use halved cooked fingerling potatoes, shredded beets, etc. For the dressing, whisk together a simple vinaigrette with a couple of tablespoons each of lemon juice and vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup. Toss the greens together and top with the squash. If you’re not vegan, feel free to add some crumbled feta or chèvre on top for a lovely, creamy note. Roasted Purple Potato and Beet Tarte Tatin This gorgeous, gluten-free dish is as delicious as it is colorful. It’s perfect for a special occasion brunch, or even a light supper with a side salad and bowl of soup. The recipe can be found on the Canelle etVanille website, and is absolutely worth trying out as soon as you can. Sweet and Sour Cauliflower Say that out loud a couple of times and just try to stop yourself from smiling. This is fabulous with rice, or even on its own as an appetizer or light lunch. 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal 2 tablespoons water 1/3 cup water 1/3 cup corn starch 1/4 cup flour 1 teaspoon oil Oil for frying Mix all of the ingredients together and let sit for a few minutes to form a batter. Its consistency should be that of a thick pancake batter, but if you feel that it’s too gummy, add a bit more water. Heat approximately 1/2 a cup of oil in a large skillet until it spits when a water droplet is flicked at it. Dip each cauliflower floret into to batter, and then fry in the oil until browned and crispy. Drain on some paper towels or newspaper. For the sauce: 4 garlic cloves, minced 5 or 6 green onions, sliced thinly 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 tablespoon sesame oil 2 tablespoons of soy sauce or tamari 2 tablespoons white or rice vinegar The zest and juice of 1 orange 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon corn starch Saute garlic in a bit of oil for a minute or so, then add the green onions, and both the orange zest and juice. Cook for another minute or so, and then add in the rest of the ingredients. Whisk this together as it comes to a boil, and then remove it from the heat. Toss your cauliflower nuggets into this sauce, ensure that they’re coated well, and then serve immediately. Perfect Brussels Sprouts Most people cringe at the thought of eating these mini brassicas, but they’re one of my all-time favourite veggies. The key is to roast them in order to bring out their natural sweetness. 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon black pepper Preheat your oven to 400 F. Use a sharp knife to cut the stem ends off the Brussels sprouts, and be sure to remove any loose or yellowed outer leaves. Cut the larger sprouts in half lengthwise, and then toss the lot in a large bowl with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Pour these into a shallow baking dish or baking pan and roast for about 40 minutes, until the outsides are crunchy and the insides are slurpy-soft. Sprinkle with a bit more salt (if desired) and serve hot. Pear, Fig, and Goat Cheese Pizza A vegan version of this can be created by using a sour cashew “cheese” in lieu of chèvre.   1 lb pizza dough 1/4 to 1/3 cup fig jam 1 large bosc pear, sliced thinly 1/3 cup goat cheese (soft chevre), or soft cashew cheese Additional cheese (dairy or vegan) of your choice. (I like to dot this pizza with bits of gorgonzola, but it’s also lovely with fontina, gruyere, or even mozzarella Daiya shreds) Slices of prosciutto (if you eat meat and happen to like it) Preheat oven to 450 F. Oil a round cookie sheet, and then place a couple of pieces of parchment onto it. Oil that too. Soften the fig jam by placing the jar in warm water for 5-10 minutes, and then spread the jam over the crust, leaving a 1-inch border, since it’ll ooze as it warms up. Top with pear slices, and crumble the goat cheese around fairly evenly. If you’re using prosciutto, now’s the time to lay it on, and then sprinkle with any remaining cheese, if desired. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges of the crust are brown, and the cheese is bubbly. Shake the pizza free from the sheet onto a wire cooling rack, let it sit until it’s less likely to burn your face off from the inside, then place upon a large cutting board, slice up, and serve. All images via  Shutterstock

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