Agriculture

Bring on Enviropig?: Can Genetic Engineering Make Meat a More Sustainable Food?
October 12, 2010 12:14 PM - Editor, Justmeans

Food safety advocates may shudder at the thought, but a team of scientists in Canada have come up with a new breed of pig that is intended to make meat a greener, more sustainable food. The Enviropig is engineered to have the same meat quality as your typically breeded Yorkshire pig, with all the ideal protein and fat content developed for the market. But in addition, it is also engineered to produce less toxic manure that releases fewer pollutants into the atmosphere, thereby making it a more environmentally sustainable option for large scale pig farmers.

Scientists warn of livestock greenhouse gas boom
October 5, 2010 03:47 PM - Benjamin Kolb, SciDevNet

Soaring international production of livestock could release enough carbon into the atmosphere by 2050 to single-handedly exceed 'safe' levels of climate change, says a study. Scientists combined figures for livestock production in 2000 with Food and Agriculture Organization projections for population growth and meat consumption by 2050. They found that the livestock sector's emissions alone could send temperatures above the 2 degrees Celsius rise commonly said to be the threshold above which climate change could be destabilising.

America's Food Waste Equates to Wasted Energy
October 5, 2010 11:29 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

America is certainly the land of plenty. This country has been blessed with an overabundance of natural resources and some of the world's most fertile agricultural land. However, every year millions of tons of food is wasted. According to a new study published in the journal, Environmental Science & Technology, the amount of food wasted in the US each year is equivalent to wasting approximately 350 million barrels of oil.

Florida orange groves still shrinking
September 24, 2010 07:16 AM - Jane Sutton, Reuters, Miami

Florida's orange groves are still shrinking as the state battles the tree-killing citrus greening disease and farmers sell their land, the annual Department of Agriculture census showed on Thursday. The number of commercial orange trees and total acreage devoted to orange groves have steadily shrunk over the last five years in Florida, which accounts for two-thirds of U.S. citrus fruit production. The state has 63.78 million commercial orange trees, down about 1.9 percent from 2009, the USDA said.

US delays approval for fast-growing GM salmon
September 23, 2010 02:03 PM - Editor, Ecologist

The US has delayed its decision to approve a new breed of fast-growing genetically modified (GM) salmon for human consumption. The salmon, owned by biotech company AquaBounty Technologies, has been genetically altered to grow faster than conventionally farmed salmon and would be the first GM animal allowed to be sold to and eaten by consumers. Campaigners say approval for the genetically modified salmon would carry 'great risk' and pave the way for more GM animals to enter the market

Agropolis: The Future of Urban Agriculture?
September 16, 2010 09:06 AM - Editor, Justmeans

Last week at the Nordic Exceptional Trendshop 2010, held in Denmark, one presentation took urban agriculture to the next level. A collaboration with NASA, you might even say it launched urban agriculture out of this world, and into the future.The idea is called Agropolis, a combination grocery store, restaurant, and farm all in one building, employing the most advanced technologies in hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic farming.

Killing frost touches western Canada
September 16, 2010 06:20 AM - Rod Nickel, Reuters

Killing frosts hit crops in northwestern Alberta on Tuesday, but a widespread frost across the Canadian Prairies looks to arrive a day later than expected, a Canadian Wheat Board analyst said on Wednesday. The frost may have left little damage in the Peace region because wheat and canola crops there are mature enough to withstand it, said Mark Cutts, a crop specialist for the Alberta government. Frost is of particular concern to Western Canadian farmers this year because many crops are one to two weeks behind normal growth, leaving them vulnerable to damage that reduces quality.

Strange fruit: 8 tempting ideas from the orchard to brighten your week
September 15, 2010 06:38 PM - Emma Cooper, The Ecologist

Fruits are the jewels of any kitchen garden, but if you like unusual edibles then you're in for a treat, because many of the most productive and unusual plants produce delicious fruit that you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

Indigenous tribes, ranchers team to battle Amazon fires
September 15, 2010 08:40 AM - Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM

Facing the worst outbreak of forest fires in three years, cattle ranchers and indigenous tribesmen in the southern Amazon have teamed up to extinguish nearly two dozen blazes over the past three months, offering hope that new alliances between long-time adversaries could help keep deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon on a downward trajectory. The voluntary fire brigades, which have now spent more than 400 hours battling fires, are the product of partnership between Aliança da Terra, a Brazilian nonprofit working to improve land stewardship by cattle ranchers in the heart of the Amazon; Kayapó and Xavante Indians; local authorities; and the U.S. Forest Service.

Could Eucalyptus Trees be the Kudzu of the 2010s?
September 13, 2010 08:44 AM - Global Justice Ecology Project, Organic Consumers Association

There was a time in the South when planting kudzu was not viewed as botanical vandalism, but as a community-spirited gesture. The vine, imported from Asia, was intended to control erosion and provide forage for livestock. Some things just don't work out.

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