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 June 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Study suggests that greenhouse gas pollution will have a fundamental impact on plant-nutrient cycles and food production
FRISCO — Increased concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide is hindering some plants from absorbing nitrogen, the nutrient governing crop growth in most terrestrial ecosystems.
Concentrations of nitrogen in plant tissue is lower in air with high levels of carbon dioxide, regardless of whether or not the plants’ growth is stimulated, University of Gothenburg (Sweden) researchers found in a new study, published in the journal Global Change Biology.
The study examined various types of ecosystems, including crops, grasslands and forests, and involves large-scale field experiments conducted in eight countries on four continents. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, climate and weather, Food, global warming | Tagged: climate change, climate change impacts, food, greenhouse gas pollution, health | 2 Comments »
Posted on June 3, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Organic community garden in Frisco, Colorado.
More profits and more sustainable food production is a win-win
FRISCO — The selection of organic foods at your local supermarket may be growing, but globally, organic agriculture still only accounts for about 1 percent of total production.
That may change, however, as farmers start to learn that organic agriculture is more profitable — despite lower yields — according to a new study done led by University of Washington researchers. The study shows that the profit margins for organic agriculture were significantly greater than conventional agriculture. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment | Tagged: Environment, food, Organic farming, sustainable food | 5 Comments »
Posted on May 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A widely used class of pesticides is probably responsible for a massive honeybee die-off. @bberwyn photo.
Annual survey shows disturbing rise in summer bee colony losses
FRISCO — Commercial beekeepers took another big hit last summer, reporting that they lost more than 40 percent of their honey bee colonies during the past year. Summer losses were higher than winter losses for the first time in five years, stoking concerns over the long-term trend of poor health in honey bee colonies, according to University of Maryland scientists. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, biodiversity, Environment | Tagged: agriculture, Environment, food, honey bee colony collapse, honey bee decline, neonicotinoids, pesticides | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 11, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Less meat, more vegetables!
Feds eye update to key food guidelines
FRISCO — Conservation activists say that a recent round of comments and petitioning by the public show growing support for a more sustainable federal dietary guidelines, with a shift toward more plant-based food.
At issue is a proposal by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to update those guidelines based on the recommendations of a science committee that recommended the changes. Continue reading
Filed under: climate change, Food, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Environment, food, health, public health, sustainable diet | 3 Comments »