Agriculture

Chocolate Goes Green: Kraft Rolls out Sustainable Sweet Treats
November 2, 2009 10:55 AM - Jace Shoemaker-Galloway , Triple Pundit

Kraft Foods recently announced it is launching a type of chocolate derived from sustainable cocoa farming. The premium dark chocolate, Cote d’Or, contains cocoa from farms that meets Rainforest Alliance Certified standards.

Unanticipated Long Term Consequences of Nuclear Waste From Bomb Making
November 1, 2009 09:50 AM - Frank Clifford, L A Times

Radioactive debris has been found in canyons that drain into the Rio Grande, but officials at the Los Alamos National Laboratory say there's no health risk. More than 60 years after scientists assembled the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, lethal waste is seeping from mountain burial sites and moving toward aquifers, springs and streams that provide water to 250,000 residents of northern New Mexico. Isolated on a high plateau, the Los Alamos National Laboratory seemed an ideal place to store a bomb factory's deadly debris. But the heavily fractured mountains haven't contained the waste, some of which has trickled down hundreds of feet to the edge of the Rio Grande, one of the most important water sources in the Southwest.

Cash Cows: Farm Converts Cattle Manure into Electricity
October 30, 2009 10:01 AM - Jace Shoemaker-Galloway, Triple Pundit

A Vermont dairy farm is producing something other than milk. Earlier this month, state officials were on hand to visit Vermont’s newest methane facility. Westminster Farms Inc., along with Green Mountain Power (GMP), have been working together in an on-site plant that converts methane gas released from cow manure into electricity.

Water Use in the US Less in 2005 Than in 1975
October 29, 2009 11:35 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Just when you think all human activities are making the environment worse, news comes that our efforts to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impacts (0ur environmental footprint) are doing some good. According to a new U.S. Geological Survey report, the U S is using less water now than during the peak years of 1975 and 1980, despite a 30 percent population increase during the same time period.

Chickens Immunized by Genetically Modified Peas
October 29, 2009 10:15 AM - Wagdy Sawahel, SciDevNet

Genetically modified peas that can protect chickens against a common infection have been successful in trials. Scientists inserted a gene that caused the plants to produce an antibody that stops a harmful parasite from invading a chicken's gut cells.

In Japan’s Managed Landscape, a Struggle to Save the Bears
October 29, 2009 09:53 AM - Winifred Bird, Yale Environment 360

Although it is a heavily urbanized nation, fully two-thirds of Japan remains woodlands. Yet many of the forests are timber plantations inhospitable to wildlife, especially black bears, which are struggling to survive in one of the most densely populated countries on Earth.

U.S. Climate Bill Will Create Jobs, True or False?
October 29, 2009 06:24 AM - Timothy Gardner, Reuters

Leaders at companies that develop low-carbon energy told a Senate panel that climate legislation would create millions of new jobs, but lawmakers from fossil-fuel dependent states said the bill would hit employment in the traditional energy economy.

Smart Grid to be Stimulated
October 28, 2009 06:46 AM - Reuters and other sources

President Barack Obama will announce the largest investment of economic stimulus funds in clean energy during a visit to Florida, an Obama administration official said on Monday. The announcement will involve the smart grid, which will help bring energy from clean domestic sources to consumers in 49 states and help build a strong and more reliable electricity grid

Why We Get aflatoxin in Our Peanut Butter
October 27, 2009 04:24 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Aflatoxin, found in mold on nuts and grains can cause liver cancer if consumed in large quantities. University California, Irvine researchers for the first time have discovered what triggers the toxin to form, which could lead to methods of limiting its production. Sheryl Tsai, lead author of a study appearing Oct. 22, in the journal Nature that reports the finding. Dr. Tsai is an associate professor of molecular biology & biochemistry, chemistry, and pharmaceutical sciences. "It's shocking how profoundly these molds can affect public health," said Dr. Tsai

U.S. Public Still Unconvinced on Climate Change
October 27, 2009 03:39 PM - Ben Block, Worldwatch Institute

Fewer U.S. citizens consider climate change to be a "serious threat" compared to two years ago, even as scientific evidence demonstrates that the problem has become increasingly severe, according to a recent nationwide public opinion poll. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press survey suggests that climate change campaigns are not adequately explaining the latest science to an audience that needs to reduce emissions substantially in order for the world to avoid the most damaging effects of global warming.

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