1 million minks culled in Spain, the Netherlands

August 6, 2020 by  
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More than 1 million minks have been killed on farms in Spain and the Netherlands due to an outbreak of coronavirus among the furry animals. According to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, there has been coronavirus outbreaks on 26 and counting Dutch mink farms. The novel coronavirus has been detected in a number of animals including dogs, cats and tigers, although none of these animals has been proven to infect humans. However, scientists are now investigating the outbreak of a coronavirus among minks on farms in Spain and the Netherlands to determine whether these animals may have infected some humans. The outbreak of mink infections in Spain and the Netherlands is believed to have started from a human, although officials are not certain. It is believed that the virus spread from workers to the minks. Related: Animal rights groups work to “Open Cages” of animals on fur farms An outbreak was discovered at one mink farm near La Puebla de Valverde in Spain in May. Seven of the 14 employees tested positive for coronavirus, prompting the closure of the farm . Two other employees tested positive after the farm had been shut down. Due to the widespread infections in mink farms, over 1.1 million minks have been killed for the fear that they may spread coronavirus to humans. Because the virus strain affecting these animals is similar to the one affecting humans, there is a possibility of the minks spreading the virus to humans, according to Wim van der Poel, a veterinarian and professor at Wageningen University & Research. The World Health Organization has noted that the spread of the coronavirus on mink farms could have transmitted both from humans to the animals and from animals to humans. However, the organization says that such an occurrence is limited. “This gives us some clues about which animals may be susceptible to infection, and this will help us as we learn more about the potential animal reservoir of (the virus),” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove of WHO. Via Chicago Tribune Image via Derek Naulls

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1 million minks culled in Spain, the Netherlands

Heatwave roasts mussels alive in California

July 3, 2019 by  
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An unusual heatwave sent droves of Californians to the beach, where they were met with hundreds of unfamiliar beach-goers – cooked mussels. Consecutive days of high temperatures caused a widespread die-off of mussels along Northern California’s Bodega Bay, a marine reserve and fishing community. Ecologists reported similar die-of scenarios throughout a 140 mile stretch of coastline. Although there was a similar die-off of mussels in 2004, this appears to be the largest in 15 years. With low-tide temperatures reaching up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the mussels were roasted right in their shells and washed up on the beaches fully cooked. Related: Trash collecting device returned to Pacific garbage patch Scientists worry that although they can see the damage to the mussel population by walking along the shore, there could be other widespread damage to other species and ecosystems below the water and out of eyesight, as mussels are a critical species within their ecosystem. “Mussels are known as a foundation species . The equivalent are the trees in a forest– they provide shelter and habitat for a lot of animals, so when you impact that core habitat it ripples throughout the rest of the system,” said marine research coordinator, Jackie Sones. “These events are definitely becoming more frequent, and more severe. Mussels are one of the canaries in the coal mine for climate change, only this canary provides food and habitat for hundreds of other species,” said Christopher Harley, a biologist at the University of British Columbia. Much research about rising sea levels and temperatures focuses on nearshore tropical ecosystems, where coral reefs are sensitive to even the slightest shifts in temperature or acidity. Less research exists for cooler coastlines and open waters such as Northern California, but the mussel die-off is evidence that the negative impacts of climate change have already reached these waters. Via The Guardian Image via joycemay

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Heatwave roasts mussels alive in California

Over half of average American’s calories come from ultra-processed foods

March 24, 2016 by  
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If you are what you eat, Americans are unfortunately artificial. For all the Food Movement has achieved, from the elevation of farmers markets to leading a national conversation about inequities in our food system , the average American’s diet still consists mainly of junk food. Researchers at Tufts University and the University of São Paulo have learned that 57.9 percent of the average American’s calorie intake comes from what the team refers to as “ultra-processed foods.” Access to healthy food and the learned habits to consume it seems to be out of reach for many Americans. Processed foods are not necessarily unhealthy. The Food and Drug Administration has defined “fresh food” as food that has been only harvested, cleaned, and coated, i.e. fruits, vegetables, mushrooms. Under this definition, if the vegetable has been frozen, it is considered processed. However, the research team focused only on ultra-processed foods, which they define as “formulations of several ingredients which, besides salt, sugar, oils, and fats, include food substances not used in culinary preparations, in particular, flavors, colors, sweeteners, emulsifiers and other additives used to imitate sensorial qualities of unprocessed or minimally processed foods and their culinary preparations or to disguise undesirable qualities of the final product.” Related: Incredible edible landscape map shows you where to find free food Beyond the 57.9 percent of calories consumed from ultra-processed sources, the study found that 29.6 percent of the average American diet consists of minimally processed or unprocessed food, which includes meat, produce, eggs, and milk. 9.4 percent comes from processed foods, such as cheese or preserved produce. The remainder is derived from “processed culinary ingredients,” such as oils, salt, and seasonings. The researchers are most concerned about the added sugar in ultra-processed foods, which has been linked to health problems such as obesity and diabetes. These sugar-packed processed foods have replaced nutrient-dense, filling foods. Those who consume ultra-processed foods may finish their dish feeling “simultaneously overfed and undernourished.” The researchers identify sugary drinks as one of the main sources of added sugar in the American diet and recommend replacing that can of soda or glass of juice with water. While individual actions can make an impact, the widespread failure to eat healthy suggests a structural failure in the American food system. Shifting subsidies from corn or corn syrup to fresh produce would be an excellent start at addressing this problem. Via the Atlantic Images via  Masahiro Ihara/Flickr  and  Rex Sorgatz/Flickr

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Over half of average American’s calories come from ultra-processed foods

Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs Widespread on British Farms

September 25, 2010 by  
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photo: Sara Novak At first these salmonella and e coli superbugs were found at a handful of British farms, but according to the Soil Association , the nearly untreatable superbugs are running rampant across the country. Find out what’s causing the frightening outbreak…. Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs Widespread on British Farms

US Postal Service: Delivering Sustainability?

January 20, 2010 by  
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While the U.S.

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US Postal Service: Delivering Sustainability?

U.K. Researchers Find Clue to Thwarting Nanoparticle Menace

December 2, 2009 by  
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The use of nanoparticles in consumer products could have hidden consequences for human health and the environment , but researchers in the U.K. have at least found a way to help remove the molecule-sized pollutants from wastewater treatment plants . Scientists from several U.K.

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U.K. Researchers Find Clue to Thwarting Nanoparticle Menace

The Governator Introduces Short Haul Fuel Cell Semi-Truck

October 29, 2009 by  
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Trucking is among the most important, yet polluting parts of our environment.

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The Governator Introduces Short Haul Fuel Cell Semi-Truck

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