Cutting food waste would save huge amounts of water
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.
Labeling may actually reduce opposition to GMOs among some demographic groups
FRISCO — A new Vermont study suggests that consumers don’t necessarily see GMO lables on food as a negative warning. In some cases, such labels may actually increase consumer confidence, the researchers said after analyzing five years worth of data.
A new study released just days after the U.S. House passed a bill that would prevent states from requiring labels on genetically modified foods reveals that GMO labeling would not act as warning labels and scare consumers away from buying products with GMO ingredients.
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.
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 “Study shows economic benefits of organic farming”→
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 “Environment: Honeybees take another big hit”→
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.
‘Sustainability has to be core to dietary guidelines’
FRISCO — Guided by an advisory panel, federal health experts last week set the stage to nudge American consumers toward a more sustainable diet that’s higher in plant-based foods and lighter on animal-based foods.
In the long-term, the changes would improve individual health and result in a smaller environmental footprint, according to panel, which submitted its recommendations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The new scientific report spelled out the fundamental realities of diet and health. About half of all American adults — 117 million individuals — have one or more preventable, chronic diseases, and about two-thirds of U.S. adults — nearly 155 million individuals — are overweight or obese, patterns that have persisted for more than 20 years. Continue reading “Advisory panel eyes shift to more sustainable diet in U.S.”→