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Have we figured out what is causing honeybee colony collapse disorder?

13. October 2010

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Have we figured out what is causing honeybee colony collapse disorder?

The New York Times recently reported on a new discovery in understanding the devastating phenomenon of bee colony collapse disorder (CCD).  Apparently a cocktail of a rare fungus and a virus have been teaming up to decimate bee populations. Image credit: emrank, flickr

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Why the SOLE Food Movement is Failing

12. October 2010

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Why the SOLE Food Movement is Failing

A friend of mine sent me an article from a publication called Zocalo that reviews American Terroir: Savoring the Flavors of Our Woods, Waters, and Fields by Rowan Jacobsen. I'm not going to review this title (you can read the one from the Zocalo here) nor am I going to pick on Jacobsen. I'm sure his book is an interesting take on terroir foods as he calls them, picking up where Pollan's Botany of Desire left off. What I am going to do is explain why I think this book represents another step backwards in gaining wider acceptance of SOLE foods.

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Winds of Change: Antibiotics in Livestock

16. September 2010

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Winds of Change: Antibiotics in Livestock

The New York Times has a really good piece on the coming rules regarding the amount of antibiotics that can be given to confinement livestock. Now, after decades of debate, the Food and Drug Administration appears poised to issue its strongest guidelines on animal antibiotics yet, intended to reduce what it calls a clear risk [...]

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Entering the Genetic Age: Enviropig and GMO animals

15. September 2010

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Entering the Genetic Age: Enviropig and GMO animals

The October 2010 edition of Popular Science landed in my mailbox today with a brief overview of the genetically modified Enviropig.  I would give you a direct link but, for some reason, Popular Science does not publish its magazine articles online.  It’s not that big of a deal because the article isn’t even good enough to [...]

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Organic Food Isn’t For The Birds

3. June 2010

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Organic Food Isn’t For The Birds

It turns out birds aren't bird brains when it comes to what they eat. A number of species of birds have been shown to choose foods that contain higher levels of healthy things like protein and antioxidants and lower levels of not-so-healthy things like heavy metals and pesticides. Since they're such finicky eaters, scientists figured to let them choose between conventionally and organically grown food, and see which they deemed better for them. The vote was unanimous: birds prefer non-organic.

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Why Don’t We Just Eat Better?

21. April 2010

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Why Don’t We Just Eat Better?

Why is it so hard for us to eat a healthy diet? It would appear to be the easiest solution in the world. Just choose wisely at the grocery store and - Poof! - you can feel better, lose weight, and look fantastic. Of course, we all know that eating healthy is never as easy as it sounds. So what is in the way of making good food choices?

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Book Review: The Fluoride Deception by Christopher Bryson

30. March 2010

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Book Review: The Fluoride Deception by Christopher Bryson

Few public health issues in American history have riled people quite like fluoride. Its story is replete with famous figures in American history, dramatic tales from the Manhattan Project, corporate cover-ups, redacted research, shattered careers of those that spoke against it's use and the tragedy at Donora in 1948. The tide that binds all these accounts together is a fascinating book called, “The Fluoride Deception” by Christopher Bryson. His work paints a picture with enough intrigue to be nominated for an Oscar but remains deftly aware of itself long enough to stay away from hyperbole – most of the time at least.

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The Protein Problem: Eating Healthy While Making The Least Ecological Impact

10. March 2010

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The Protein Problem: Eating Healthy While Making The Least Ecological Impact

It would be great if we could just stop eating meat all together. But there's one problem - we need complete dietary protein, and about 60 grams a day of it. This is what I call the Protein Problem: the problem is that we need a lot of protein, nutritionally speaking, but producing it is an ecological nightmare. If you've read my post about why protein is so nutritionally important, you know that meat is simply the best source of complete dietary protein. But is becoming vegetarian and eating tofu the solution to our protein problem? Unfortunately, it's not that simple.

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GMOs: Does Regulation Ensure Safety?

17. February 2010

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GMOs: Does Regulation Ensure Safety?

The public's biggest concern when it comes to GMOs is their safety. There are a lot of misconceptions about genetic engineering. When pressed on science of GMOs, I have often heard people fear that the genetically modified material in the foods they are eating will somehow mutate their DNA too. While logically it sounds like that makes a bit of sense, scientifically its nonsense. So how do we test for and ensure that GMOs are safe? Allow me to introduce you to the complex world of genetic technology regulation. Image credit: kevin dolley on flickr.

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Where are Africa’s Farming Superheroes? A Look at African Child Malnutrition

15. February 2010

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Where are Africa’s Farming Superheroes?  A Look at African Child Malnutrition

As a part of her African agriculture series, Rachel Zedeck of the Medea Group wants to shift your perceptions of a food crisis away from the image of the starving child (above) to that of new opportunities crucial in changing the way we respond to childhood malnutrition.

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