Posted on October 11, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Report eyes energy footprint of typical consumer food basket
The EU’s food production industry has some catching up to do when it comes to adopting renewable energy, according to a new report that took a close look at the food sector.
Overall, renewable sources now account for 15 percent of the EU’s energy mix, but in the food production sector, that share is only about 7 percent, according to study, which acknowledges the challenges of of decarbonizing food production. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, Food | Tagged: carbon, energy, food | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 29, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Bees are dying in huge numbers, and conservation groups are concerned the EPA is not doing enough to protect them. @bberwyn photo.
Beekeepers accuse pesticide industry of trying to ‘hijack’ public policy
FRISCO — The public comment period for proposed EPA rules on bee-killing pesticides may be over, but the battle over pesticide policies will continue, as conservation groups suspect that the pesticide industry may have exerted undue influence over the rule-making process.
Those concerns are reinforced by some of the country’s beekeepers, who say the proposed rule doesn’t do enough to address federal responsibility to address the impact of pesticides on bee deaths. The Pollinator Stewardship Council recently submitted a letter to the EPA detailing its concerns about the proposed new rule. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Food | Tagged: colony collapse, Environment, EPA, honeybee die-off, neonicotinoid pesticides, pesticides, pollinator crisis | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 18, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Cutting food waste would save huge amounts of water
Food waste has a huge environmental footprint.
FRISCO — Food waste doesn’t just mean that a few scraps end up being tossed in the garbage bin. There’s a huge environmental footprint, including the waste of water associated with the production of the food.
In the EU, according to a new study, the surface and groundwater footprint from avoidable food waste has reached an average of 27 liters per person, per day, which is slightly higher than the average amount per capita municipal water use. The rainwater footprint is even higher, at 294 litres per capita per day, equivalent to the amount used for crop production in Spain.
And the amount of nitrogen contained in avoidable food waste averaged 0.68 kg per capita per year. The food production nitrogen footprint was 2.74 kg per capita per year, the same amount used in mineral fertilizer in both the UK and Germany put together. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, Food | Tagged: Environment, food, food waste, sustainable food, water | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Findings suggest human health risks from inhaling pollen laced with neonicotinoids
FRISCO — Scientists with Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health say their new study examining pollen and honey shows there’s a need to develop public policies that aims to reduce neonicotinoid exposure.
After working 62 Massachusetts beekeepers who volunteered to collect monthly samples of pollen and honey from foraging bees, the researchers found more that 70 percent of the samples contained at least one neonicotinoid, a class of pesticide that has been implicated the steep decline of honeybee populations, specifically colony collapse disorder, when adult bees abandon their hives during winter.
The study will be published online July 23, 2015 in the Journal of Environmental Chemistry. Not only do these pesticides pose a significant risk for the survival of honey bees, but they also may pose health risks for people inhaling neonicotinoid-contaminated pollen, Lu said. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Food | Tagged: Colony collapse disorder, Harvard University, honeybees, neonicotinoids, pesticides, public health | 1 Comment »