Food and non-renewable resources

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Food and non-renewable resources

Post  polka23dot on Tue May 07, 2013 7:36 pm

The world has a massive food crisis... One in four children under the age of five is stunted due to malnutrition... The next world wars could be fought over resources like food and water. source: http://fortune.com/2014/12/21/why-the-next-world-war-will-be-fought-over-food/

An estimated 26 percent of the world’s children are stunted, 2 billion people suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies and 1.4 billion people are overweight, of whom 500 million are obese... Child and maternal malnutrition – in particular child underweight, child micronutrient deficiencies and poor breastfeeding practices – impose by far the largest nutrition-related health burden at the global level, responsible for almost twice the social costs of adult overweight and obesity. source: www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3301e/i3301e.pdf

Africa may be able to feed just 25% of its population by 2025 if soil degradation on the continent continues at its current pace: http://news.mongabay.com/2006/1214-unu.html

Earthlings is a documentary about farm animals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce4DJh-L7Ys

Can eating insects save the world? http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=GekDjhpnTU4

Why not eat insects? http://www.ted.com/talks/marcel_dicke_why_not_eat_insects.html

Eating live seafood: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eating_live_seafood

There is not enough of both regular helium and helium-3 to go around... The situation is worse today (for both helium and helium-3) than it when it was declared "unsustainable" in 2008, and that price has gone up by a factor of 2.5 each year since then. And demand is increasingly outstripping supply (for example, Cornell scientist Robert Richardson said that helium balloons will one day cost $100)... The situation may get much worse beginning in 2021, Halperin writes. That year, the U.S. is set to close its strategic reserve of helium, which it draws from to alleviate market pressures. source: http://www.popsci.com/article/science/how-911-made-global-helium-shortage-worse


Last edited by polka23dot on Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tick bite can turn you into a vegetarian

Post  polka23dot on Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:34 pm

A bug can turn you into a vegetarian, or at least make you swear off red meat. Doctors across the U.S. are seeing a surge of sudden meat allergies in people bitten by a certain kind of tick, and one allergist on Long Island says she's seen 200 cases... In some cases, eating a burger or a steak has landed people in the hospital with severe allergic reactions... The culprit is the Lone Star tick, named for Texas, a state famous for meaty barbecues. The tick is now found throughout the South and the eastern half of the United States... But a tick bite triggers an immune system response, and in that high-alert state, the body perceives the sugar the tick transmitted to the victim's bloodstream and skin as a foreign substance, and makes antibodies to it. That sets the stage for an allergic reaction the next time the person eats red meat and encounters the sugar. Louise Danzig, a 63-year-old retired nurse from Montauk, experienced it last summer. Hours after eating a burger, "I woke up with very swollen hands that were on fire with itching," she said. As she headed downstairs, "I could feel my lips and tongue were getting swollen," and by the time she made a phone call for help, "I was losing my ability to speak and my airway was closing." She had had recent tick bites, and a blood test confirmed the meat allergy. "I'll never have another hamburger, I'm sure," Danzig said. "I definitely do not want to have that happen to me again." source: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Lone-Star-Tick-Bite-Triggers-Red-Meat-Allergy-270422991.html
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Parallel science

Post  polka23dot on Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:48 pm

Western civilization is based in part on the Enlightenment principle of the scientific method. Yet even as we enjoy spectacular advances in health, technology and agriculture, the central tenets of scientific inquiry are under attack by environmentalists. The French academic Marcel Kuntz has coined the term “parallel science” to describe the phenomenon of campaigners sponsoring studies in which conclusions precede experimental results. These are then used to undermine public confidence in the safety of genetically modified (GM) food and other areas of research targeted by environmentalists. Over the past decade, the European Commission has spent more than €200 million ($254 million) on research into the potential risks of GM crops. This massive effort concluded that the food poses no greater risk to animal or human health, or to the environment, than conventionally bred crops. The peddlers of parallel science ignore these results. In evidence to the British parliament this month, Greenpeace U.K.’s chief scientist, Doug Parr, flatly denied the world-wide consensus on GM safety. Since no convincing evidence has ever emerged suggesting GM crops present a risk, Greenpeace asserts that the matter requires further study. In France two years ago, anti-GM academics funded by nongovernmental organizations presented data on rats supposedly showing that they developed tumors after eating GM corn. But the authors concealed the fact that a control group of rats fed with conventional corn also developed tumors. This crucial fact was lost in the media storm that followed the publication of the initial report. The paper was eventually retracted by the academic journal that published it, amid great embarrassment, but by then the damage had been done. The European Union encourages parallel science through its own funding. The European Commission, under its “LIFE” program, has earmarked €3.4 billion to be handed out to environmental NGOs over the next six years. Several NGOs that are already regular recipients of EU funds use this money to lobby EU decision-makers against GM food. One of the most strident lobbyists is Friends of the Earth Europe, which received €750,000 in EU money last year, more than half of its budget. FoEE launched a campaign called “Stop the Crop,” pressuring European lawmakers not to allow a science-based process that might eventually permit the cultivation of GM crops. Stop the Crop has also falsely accused the European Food Safety Authority, responsible for conducting EU assessments, of conflicts of interest. Last fall, we uncovered evidence that the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, which receives money from the Swedish government, had funneled cash to an anti-GM group in the Philippines that is suspected of destroying a field trial of “Golden Rice.” Golden Rice is biofortified with vitamin A to tackle a nutrient deficiency that kills or blinds hundreds of thousands of children each year. Environmental groups, such as Greenpeace, have supported parallel science reports to attack Golden Rice as risky and ineffective, despite overwhelming scientific evidence that it could save the lives of millions of poor people. The anti-GM ideology is held with an almost religious intensity, and is equally unamenable to change. For example, the Green Party member of the Swedish Gene Technology Advisory Board has publicly declared that he will vote against the approval of all GM organisms, irrespective of any scientific evidence that it is safe. European environmental NGOs have begun to attack genuine scientists in order to eliminate any competition to the parallel science that they deploy to support their political demands. Perhaps the most striking example of this came in July, when Greenpeace and eight other environmental groups sent an open letter to EU President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker, asking him to abolish the post of the EU’s chief scientific advisor. The NGOs were furious that the current advisor, Anne Glover, spoke in favor of GM crops. Instead of listening to the expert community, the NGOs want the European Commission to take advice from “independent sources”—in other words, themselves. Several scientific organizations reacted with dismay. The European Academies Science Advisory Council lamented that “policy makers or lobbyists who seek to remove scientists because they do not like their findings or advice do so at the peril of their citizens.” The practitioners of parallel science are pernicious precisely because they twist science in order to deceive rather than inform. They are exemplary in their manipulation of the traditional and online media, which in turn warps the policy-making environment. In that sense, they are a threat to democracy itself, which depends on a well-informed voting public. It is time to stand up for science as the central source of knowledge, especially when it comes to solving environmental problems that can best be understood using empirical evidence. source: http://online.wsj.com/articles/jens-sundstrom-and-torbjorn-fagerstrom-the-warped-world-of-parallel-science-1414513467
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