food


Yes, I am writing this to avoid writing about the worst piece of Illinois energy legislation in my lifetime. But it is true that this is a great way to save energy and extend the life of your equipment. In addition the site has other useful cleaning tips.

http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/worst-cleaning-jobs-made-easy/cleaning-behind-under-refrigerator

The Worst Cleaning Jobs Made Easy

Dirty Job No. 7: Cleaning Behind and Under the Refrigerator

Time it takes: 20 to 30 minutes.

Why it matters: Lots of dust on the coils can cause a refrigerator to run inefficiently. And dust under the refrigerator can mix with moisture from the air to gum up the finish on your floor.

Step 1: Pull out the refrigerator by grasping both sides and gently wiggling it toward you; some are on wheels, so this may be easier than you think. When you can, reach behind and pull the plug (your food will survive for the short time it takes to clean). If you have an ice maker, shut off the water supply first, just in case the hose comes loose.

Step 2: To dislodge dust around the condenser coils (the wriggly apparatus in back), use a long, thin tool known as a refrigerator-coil brush (Rubbermaid, $9, acehardware.com), then gently vacuum with a brush attachment. Some refrigerators have their condenser coils behind a removable grille in the front. If yours does, snap off or unscrew the grille and clean the coils, as above.

:}

Go there, read and get clean. More next week.

:}

I never thought about the relationship between organics and renewables. This article sums it up pretty well. The site is a good site for for good news about renewables too.

http://www.goodenergy.co.uk/blog/articles/2016/08/19/why-organic-farming-is-a-friend-to-renewables

Why organic farming is a friend to renewables

Posted in: Good Energy news

Posted on: 19.08.16

Organic farming methods help take carbon dioxide from the air and lock it in the soil – a process known as carbon sequestration.

Our brainy friends at the Soil Association have calculated that if all UK farmland converted to organic farming, at least 3.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide would be taken up by the soil each year.

Organic farming and renewable energy go hand-in-hand, so we’re thrilled to be teaming up with the Soil Association to sponsor Organic September for the fourth year running.

:}

Go there and read it all. More next week.

:}

Cooking food. In the US that would not be considered either energy efficiency or even news. Yet for humans, cooking is totally necessary. In poor countries, it is a huge issue. This is good news.

India sees clean cooking as climate action that saves lives

Associated Press

GANORA SHEIKH VILLAGE, India (AP) — Kamlesh feeds the flames of a crude clay cookstove with kindling, kerosene and sunbaked discs of cow dung. She breathes in the billowing smoke, as she does for hours every day. Her eyes water and sting. Her throat feels scratchy and sore.

Kamlesh is one of hundreds of millions of Indian housewives who, with the simple act of cooking family meals, fill their homes every day with deadly airborne pollutants. The constant exposure to indoor air pollution kills some 4.3 million people every year across the world — 30 percent of them in India.

The menace of cookstove pollution, which contains high concentrations of tiny particles known as black carbon, does not stop in the home. It compounds many environmental problems as well, from glacial melt to falling crop yields.

India, the world’s third-largest climate polluting nation, has spent decades encouraging cleaner cooking technologies, with limited success. Such a shift would have little impact on India’s emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases, and many of the alternatives pollute as well.

:}

Go there and read. It’s fascinating. More next week.

:}

But had I read this article before dealing with the problem in my basement I would have known to go straight for the water sources and not messed around with the other stuff I put outside on the porch or on the compost pile. But getting rid of that stuff did not hurt. I mean pancake mix that is two years old. Plant dubris that is months old and could act as food for the midges. So the energy saved in this case is MINE and that is important too.

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/midges.htm

Residential, Structural and Community Pest Logo

NCSU logo - click for NCSU home page

http://entomology.ncsu.edu/

 

 

BIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF NON-BITING AQUATIC MIDGES

By: Charles Apperson, Michael Waldvogel and Stephen Bambara, Extension Entomology

Insect Note – ENT/rsc-15

Non-biting midge flies or chironomids commonly occur in inland and coastal natural and man-made bodies of water. These midges are commonly known as “blind mosquitoes” because they are mosquito-like but do not bite. Midges are also called “fuzzy bills” because of the male’s bushy antennae. These aquatic insects are tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions. Chironomid midges are found in swift moving streams, deep slow moving rivers, stagnant ditches, and in lakes and ponds that are rich in decomposing organic matter. The presence of certain chironomid midges is often used as an indicator of water quality.Bodies of water in urban and suburban areas are subjected to intensive human use through residential, recreational and agricultural activities. Through runoff, these ponds and lakes often become exceedingly rich in nutrients. Consequently, the variety of organisms in such habitats is usually low with just a few pollution tolerant species developing large populations. Some species of chironomid midges that are tolerant of low dissolved oxygen conditions often are a major component of the bottom invertebrate organisms of urban and suburban lakes, ponds and storm water retention ponds.
BENEFICIAL ASPECTS
Most species of chironomid midges are highly desirable organisms in aquatic habitats. Midges are an important food source for fish and predatory aquatic insects. Larvae “clean” the aquatic environment by consuming and recycling organic debris

:}

Go there and read. Got the little bastards. More next week.

:}

But food poisoning is pretty common. Just think of the energy use on the farm. Huge machines powered by diesel gasoline, and huge energy consumption in fertilizers. We then transport the food huge distances. We sell them in huge stores oh keep the lights on at the local utility companies. Finally those of us in the first world drive it home in our and put it in our always on refrigerator.  So the fact that we let this thing called food sicken us but also kills us is just inexcusable. This on top of what some of us throw away. Well here is a site thate has on the facts. Unfortunately it is done mostly in photographs and this blog has problems with pictures so go there and look.

http://www.health-science-degree.com/food-poisioning/

Health-Science-Degree.com

The need to feed billions of people efficiently (and make billions of dollars off it) has given rise to large-scale animal farming operations. But are these mega-operations helping feed us or making us all sick?

The Rise of the Factory Farm

Factory farms, more accurately called concentrated animal feed operations (CAFOs), are large-scale industrial agricultural facilities that raise animals (usually at high density and kept in confined spaces) for human consumption.
5%
Proportion of CAFOs among all U.S. animal farming operations
50%
Food animals that come from CAFOs
Due in part to these massive factory farms, since 1960 …
… milk production has doubled
… meat production has tripled
… egg production has quadrupled
Such operations also have introduced means to make animals grow heavier more quickly; chickens, for instance, grow twice as large in about half the time:
Decade Growth time Weight
1920 16 weeks 2.2 pounds
2013 7 weeks 5 pounds

The Filthy Truth

In addition to the moral and ethical problems with keeping animals in tiny pens where their natural behaviors are stunted, there’s the very real problem of what to do with all the waste they produce.
These operations can house upwards of …
1,000+ beef cows
10,000+ chickens
10,000+ hogs
That adds up to tons and tons of — well, poop.
300 million tons
Annual manure production of animals from CAFOs; that’s 65% of the waste from all animal operations in the U.S. And it’s more than double the amount of waste produced by the entire U.S. human population.
This manure contains a variety of potential contaminants, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, E. coli, growth hormone, antibiotics, animal blood, copper sulfate and more. These contaminants find their way to the groundwater and even pollute the air.
In addition to the manure concern is the possibility that keeping animals in such close quarters encourages infections that are then passed to consumers.

The Risks of Factory Meat

CAFOs are susceptible primarily to three pathogens that also make people sick.
E. coli
Introduction of a grain-based diet, rather than a grass-based diet, has raised E. coli rates among cows. While E. coli is always present in cows’ stomachs, grain-based diets have given rise to more harmful strains, such as O157:H7, which has found its way into water, produce and meat in recent years.
16%
Percentage of foodborne illnesses caused by strains of E. coli
MRSA
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus can be spread by human and animal carriers and has become abundant in our environment. European studies have shown a link between MRSA and factory pig farms.
80,000
Annual MRSA infections in humans, though many cases occur in hospital settings
Campylobacter and salmonella
Campylobacter and salmonella are most commonly found in eggs and poultry, and both pathogens have recently shown signs of drug resistance.
Positive tests for salmonella
Farms with caged hens 23.4%
Organic flocks 4.4%
Free-range flocks 6.5%
62%
Chicken sold in supermarkets contaminated with campylobacter

The Environmental Effects

Potential damage to the environment from mismanagement of the tons of waste produced by these massive operations extends to both the air and water.

  • Excess nitrogen and phosphorus in water
  • Fish kills
  • Toxic algal blooms
  • Waste and pathogens in drinking water
  • Respiratory problems from dust and odors

Factory-Farms-FB

SOURCES:
http://www.ucsusa.org
http://www.cdc.gov
http://www.organicconsumers.org
http://news.yahoo.com
http://www.epa.gov

 

:}

Go there and read. More next week.

:}

But do not ask this guy. He thinks it all is in Paul Ehrlichs head. I believe it to be real and that It started sometime around the year 2000. Furthermore this whole artificial fight is capitalism’s attack on a concept that would be its death knelll.  The “no growth” concept that it predicts would end capitalism as we know it, and that is why a Chicago economist attacked it. The problem of making predictions (as Ehrlich did) is that if they don’t come true then the nah sayer can come back and say, “see I told you so”.  It is also so first world centered, nor does it take into account the wars created by our trying to squeeze more people into a tighter spaces. The best estimate is 5 million people have died of starvation from global warming alone. But it isn’t happening here so it “ain’t happening”…in a dumb ass sort of way…

 

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/remember-future_774768.html#

Remember the Future?

The population bomb was ticking, and apocalypse was next in line .??.??.

Jan 27, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 19 • By PATRICK ALLITT

(excerpted from below the 4rth paragraph)

Julian Simon, meanwhile, became a professor of business at the University of Illinois. In the late ’60s, he, too, worried about overpopulation; but a closer look at the issue led to a change of heart. He discovered that population growth and economic growth usually went together and that there was no evidence of food shortages. The chronic problem of American agriculture, in fact, was overproduction. Population was rising because fewer children were dying and life expectancy kept increasing. That was good news, surely. Quite apart from a decline in agonizing bereavements, said Simon, children once doomed but now destined to survive might go on to be the next Einstein or Beethoven.

Simon also believed in the free market, whose long-term effect was to make products and raw materials not costlier and rarer but cheaper and more abundant. Occasional shortages stimulated increases in efficiency, the invention of better techniques, and the use of new materials.

Irritated that Paul Ehrlich was making a fortune with his apocalyptic prophecies while he, Julian Simon, labored in obscurity, Simon issued a challenge in 1980: Let Ehrlich choose any five commodities and then watch their prices either rise or fall over the next decade. If the prices rose, Ehrlich would seem to be right about shortages; if the prices declined, Simon would seem to be right that things were becoming more plentiful. Ehrlich accepted the challenge and the two men agreed on $1,000 worth of five metals: copper, chromium, tungsten, nickel, and tin. They agreed that, 10 years later, the loser would mail a check to the winner for the difference above or below $1,000.

The Chronicle of Higher Education called it “the scholarly wager of the decade,” and Ehrlich had some cause to feel confident. In the two recent oil crises of 1973 and 1979, gasoline prices had risen sharply while drivers fumed about shortages and long lines at the pump. Copper was in short supply and costlier every year. President Carter had donned a chunky sweater in the White House and ordered federal thermostats turned down to a chilly 65. Believing Ehrlich’s claim that the age of austerity was here to stay, the president had also commissioned the Global 2000 report, whose prognosis for the future was even grimmer than that of The Limits to Growth.

 

 

 

 

:}

OKOKOK this an example of bad journalism or AT LEAST cultural differences between 2 countries forms of journalism. Either way it made me slightly angry. If you read the article you will see that a fungus which is a really important food source but also a source of naturopathic medicines in Japan is at the heart of this article. (and yes, the disaster continues apace but the world has gotten tired of it and the Nuclear Power industry has wanted everything to die down) But if you actually read the article, the fungus is new and with great potential but it was discovered or at least the sample was taken in 2006 and the only connection to the Fukushima  meltdowns is that the fungus is in a village closed to the public because of its proximity to the site and the mention comes at the END of the article. Now in the US, except in the tabloids, these kinds of headlines would not be allowed. But I guess any tie-in in Japan to something that is still roiling the country is allowed.

 

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0000379803

 

New fungus discovered in Fukushima

The Yomiuri Shimbun A fungus found in the village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, in 2006 is a new species, it has been learned.

The fungus, named tsubugata-aritake, is a type of tochukaso, or caterpillar fungus, that grows and feeds on insects and is valued as an herbal remedy. The formal acknowledgment came as a German specialist journal on mycology carried a paper on the fungus earlier this month.

Unlike other caterpillar fungus in Japan, tsubugata-aritake is a “takeover” type that feeds on insects such as ants and cicadas that have already been parasitized by another tochukaso, scientifically termed Ophiocordyceps sinensis.

The Chinese and Tibetan caterpillar fungi that parasitizes larvae of ghost moths is well known as a Chinese medicine. According to the Japanese Society for Cordyceps Research, a society for caterpillar fungus researchers and enthusiasts, there are about 500 types of the fungi, 450 of which have been found in Japan, where research and studies on fungi are thriving and many new types have been discovered. In recent years, the caterpillar fungus has been attracting attention for use in health supplements.

“If it has any medicinal benefits, I’d like to commercialize it and donate sales profits to reconstruction [of the prefecture],” said Yoshitaka Kaitsu, a pharmacist in Date in the prefecture who discovered the fungus.

Kaitsu, the society’s vice chairman, has a good track record in finding caterpillar fungi. In 1986, he found another type of caterpillar fungus that also turned out to be a new species and was named “kobugata-aritake.”

 

 

 

 

 

:}

But the damage has already been done. The next question is what about next year. First, the seed corn was a total wash this year so right now they are trying to grow enough in Brazil to even get us going next year. But then the next question is when to plant and where. If anybody was a good enough predictor to get in during or right after the late frost then your corn would be fine and you would be sitting on a gold mine. This is contingent on us getting some moisture over the winter. If we don’t get enough moisture well then next year looks bleak.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/aug/30/iowa-corn-crop-drought-farmers-prices?newsfeed=true

Rain comes too late for Iowa’s corn crop as drought weighs on midwest minds

Farmers hope for better next year after summer of record drought leads to rising prices and brings tensions to the surface

Thursday 30 August 2012 10.44 EDT

Flying into Des Moines, the corn fields look surprisingly green. America’s midwest produces half the world’s corn and Iowa its largest harvest, yet amid the worst drought in living memory all the untrained eye can see is the occasional brown mark, like a cigarette burn on the baize of a pool table.

But appearances can be deceptive.

In Boone, Iowa, 30 miles away from the state capital, traffic backs up for miles bringing 200,000 people to Farm Progress, the US’s largest agricultural show one. Here, all the talk is of the drought.

Pam Johnson, first vice-president of the National Corn Growers Association, says she can’t remember one as bad as this in her 40 years of farming. “My parents say you have to go back to the 1930s for anything comparable,” she says. In June, her farm in northern Iowa got an inch and a half of rain. “We usually get that a week. In July we got seven-tenths of an inch, for the month.” Rain may be coming soon, thanks to hurricane Isaac, but it’s too late for America’s corn crop.

The US planted 97m acres of corn for this year’s crop – the most since 1937. If everything had gone according to plan, this year’s harvest would have produced a new record, at close to 15bn bushels of corn (a bushel is 24 million metric tonnes). It’s too early to say what the final tally will be, but the US department of agriculture has slashed its forecast to 10.8bn. Dan Basse, president of AgResources, an independent agriculture analyst, says that figure is likely to come down. “We’ve lost 4bn bushels of corn. That’s the largest loss in history, and we could lose another,” he says. The USDA has declared counties in 38 states to be “disaster areas”. About 72% of cattle areas are experiencing drought.

:}

Go there and read. More tomorrow.

:}

Whatever. It is real rare that I do a Purely environmental post. Yes it is true if there is no food to eat, then there is no private housing market, thus no residential energy market. But man that is a stretch. Still fishing vessels use huge amounts of energy, at least the large commercial ones do, so they pollute the water as well as strip it bare.

The end of fish, in one chart

Posted by at 08:00 AM ET, 05/20/2012

Want to see how severely we humans are scouring the oceans for fish? Check out this striking map from the World Wildlife Fund’s 2012 “Living Planet Report.” The red areas are the most intensively fished (and, in many cases, overfished) parts of the ocean — and they’ve expanded dramatically since 1950:

Between 1950 and 2006, the WWF report notes, the world’s annual fishing haul more than quadrupled, from 19 million tons to 87 million tons. New technology — from deep-sea trawling to long-lining — has helped the fishing industry harvest areas that were once inaccessible. But the growth of intensive fishing also means that larger and larger swaths of the ocean are in danger of being depleted.

Daniel Pauly, a professor of fisheries at the University of British Columbia, has dubbed this situation “The End of Fish.” He points out that in the past 50 years, the populations of many large commercial fish such as bluefin tuna and cod have utterly collapsed, in some cases shrinking more than 90 percent (see the chart to the right).

Indeed, there’s some evidence that we’ve already hit “peak fish.” World fish production seems to have reached its zenith back in the 1980s, when the global catch was higher than it is today. And, according to one recent study in the journal Science, commercial fish stocks are on pace for total “collapse” by 2048 — meaning that they’ll produce less than 10 percent of their peak catch. On the other hand, many of those fish-depleted areas will be overrun by jellyfish, which is good news for anyone who enjoys a good blob sandwich.

:}

Go there to see the graphs and maps and read. More tomorrow.

:}

We have over the past 3 or 4 years talked about getting animals to trim our grass. We live in the city, it is true but we have only talked about getting 2 animals. We think the village will be OK with it. So far we have talked about alpacas, goats and sheep. Now being small town kids, we assumed that they would roam the yard eating the grass and we would have a level and fertilized yard for free. But that is massively wrong. They require special feeds as supplements, they all require hoof care and must have a vet, and they can not tolerate the Illinois winters, so they have to be sheltered. The long and the short of it is that if you sell their hair to people who use it to make things (you do have to shear them for summer) then you can get close to break even but with only 2 animals it would be tough. So mow we shall for now.

Natural Lawn Care

Lawns do more than make your yard look good.

Lawns absorb water, which helps reduce storm runoff and improve water quality. Lawns also have a significant cooling effect, provide oxygen, trap dust and dirt, promote healthful micro-organisms, prevent erosion and filter rainwater contaminants.

Lawn care, however, has come at a high cost to the environment. According to the U.S. National Wildlife Federation:
  • 30% of water used on the East Coast goes to watering lawns; 60% on the West Coast.
  • 18% of municipal solid waste is composed of yard waste.
  • The average suburban lawn received 10 times as much chemical pesticide per acre as farmland.
  • Over 70 million tons of fertilizers and pesticides are applied to residential lawns and gardens annually. (Read Healthy lawns, healthy lungs)
  • Per hour of operation, a gas lawn mower emits 10-12 times as much hydrocarbon as a typical auto. A weedeater emits 21 times more and a leaf blower 34 times more.

Where pesticides are used, 60 – 90% of earthworms are killed. Earthworms are important for soil health.

Much of the environmental cost associated with lawn care can be avoided.
Healthy Lawn Basics   

The only way to reduce a dependence on chemical fertilizers is to develop a healthy lawn, which is naturally resistant to weeds, insects and diseases. If you need to fertilize your lawn more than once a year, consider these ways of improving the natural health of your lawn:

:}

Go there and read more then I frankly could. More tomorrow.

;}

Next Page »