Agriculture

Broccoli compound may ameliorate skin disease
December 5, 2007 12:22 PM - By Megan Rauscher, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The natural compound sulforaphane, which is abundant in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, may have a role in the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa simplex, according to research presented during the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in Washington, DC.

Epidermolysis bullosa simplex is a genetic condition that causes the skin to become fragile and blister easily from minor injuries or friction, such as rubbing or scratching. The signs and symptoms of the condition vary widely -- blistering may primarily affect the hands and feet and heals, while severe cases involve widespread blistering that can lead to infection, dehydration and may be life-threatening in infants.

Study: Price of lower-calorie foods rising drastically
December 4, 2007 02:52 PM - University of Washington Newswire

Seattle - As food prices rise, the costs of lower-calorie foods are rising the fastest, according to a University of Washington study appearing in the December issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. As the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables and other low-calorie foods have jumped nearly 20 percent in the past two years, the UW researchers say, a nutritious diet may be moving out of the reach of some American consumers.

 

Rising food prices threaten world's poor people
December 4, 2007 08:11 AM - CGIAR

Beijing—Income growth, climate change, high energy prices, globalization, and urbanization are all converging to transform food production, markets, and consumption, according to a new report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). As a result, global food demand and prices are likely to rise, threatening the livelihoods and nutrition of poor people in developing countries. The report, “The World Food Situation: New Driving Forces and Required Actions,” was released today at the annual general meeting of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

China fires up biomass plants
December 4, 2007 07:20 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has fired up eight biomass plants in leading grain-producing provinces in hopes of cutting carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation, state media reported on Tuesday.

The plants have a total installed capacity of 200 megawatts and are expected to burn 1.6 million tons of stalks a year.

World faces food shortages
December 4, 2007 02:08 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - The world is eating more than it produces and food prices may climb for years because of expansion of farming for fuel and climate change, risking social unrest, an expert and a new report said on Tuesday.

Anna Lappe: We Are What China Eats
December 3, 2007 05:50 PM - Anna Lappé , Organic Consumers Association

At five in the morning in the small farming village of Dahokeng, a day's drive west of Shanghai, the alarm clock of rural communities everywhere rings: The rooster croaks cock-a-doodle-doo or, as they say here, goh-geh-goh-goh. The air is still damp with mist that hovers above the rice paddies and holds the faint, pleasant scent of farm animals. Kitchen gardens, with harvests of sweet potato, watermelon, green beans and peanuts, spring up between the white-washed homes. The fields along the valley are blanketed with mulberry trees and crowded with chrysanthemum plants, their white flowers aglow.

Study: More Than 20% of Staph Infections Linked to Animal Agriculture
December 3, 2007 01:14 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

WASHINGTON, - A new study published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases links a new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), once found only in pigs, to more than 20 percent of all human MRSA infections in the Netherlands.

Citrus juice, vitamin C give staying power to green tea antioxidants
December 2, 2007 05:22 PM - Mario Ferruzzi, Purdue Newswire

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - To get more out of your next cup of tea, just add juice. A new Purdue University study found that citrus juices enable more of green tea's unique antioxidants to remain after simulated digestion, making the pairing even healthier than previously thought.

The study compared the effect of various beverage additives on catechins, naturally occurring antioxidants found in tea. Results suggest that complementing green tea with either citrus juices or vitamin C likely increases the amount of catechins available for the body to absorb.

Expanding tropics could spur storms: study
December 2, 2007 01:18 PM - Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Earth's tropical belt is expanding much faster than expected, and that could bring more storms to the temperate zone and drier weather to parts of the world that are already dry, climate scientists reported on Sunday.

Cutting forests for farmland 'yields meagre financial benefits'
December 1, 2007 03:38 PM - Ella Syafputri, SciDevNet

Nairobi, Kenya - Converting Indonesian forests and peatlands for various agricultural land uses has released huge amounts of greenhouse gases with little economic benefit, according to a new report.

 

 

The report, by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Indonesian partners, was released last week (21 November).

 

 

Data on changes in land use — such as deforestation for oil palm, rubber, coffee and mixed agroforestry — and carbon emissions in the provinces of East Kalimantan, Jambi, and Lampung were collected between 1990 and 2005.

 

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