Agriculture

Most Land-Efficient Diet: Some Dairy, Less Meat
October 14, 2007 10:41 AM - Susan Lang, Cornell University

Ithica, New York - A low-fat vegetarian diet is very efficient in terms of how much land is needed to support it. But adding some dairy products and a limited amount of meat may actually increase this efficiency, Cornell researchers suggest.

This deduction stems from the findings of their new study, which concludes that if everyone in New York state followed a low-fat vegetarian diet, the state could directly support almost 50 percent more people, or about 32 percent of its population, agriculturally. With today's high-meat, high-dairy diet, the state is able to support directly only 22 percent of its population, say the researchers.

Green New Zealand to get Greener
October 14, 2007 10:02 AM - , Private Landowner Network

Al Gore and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were headline news Friday, October 12, 2007 for winning, and sharing, the Nobel Peace Prize. But for energy, greenhouse gases and climate change equally significant news came from about as far away from Nobel headquarters in Norway as you can get: New Zealand.

Process for Certifying Asian Catfish Aquaculture Products is Underway
October 12, 2007 12:08 PM -

WASHINGTON - Asian catfish aquaculture is moving toward sustainability. The catfish is a member of the "Pangasius" family. During the inaugural meeting of the Pangasius Aquaculture Dialogue, more than 70 producers, buyers, government officials and others from around the world agreed that there is an urgent need and willingness to certify pangasius aquaculture products.

Worldwatch Perspective: Can Biofuels Make or Break Iowa’s Future?
October 12, 2007 08:32 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

A report profiling the impact of the current biofuels boom in the U.S. state of Iowa and painting a more sustainable path forward for the biofuels industry was released Tuesday in the state capital, Des Moines. The report, Destination Iowa: Getting to a Sustainable Biofuels Future, is a joint project of the Worldwatch Institute and the Sierra Club. It examines the implications of biofuel development for Iowa’s economy and environment as well as for climate change.

Survey: San Francisco, Seattle Tops For Organics Consumers; Wal-Mart, Costco #1 Organic Grocery Stores
October 11, 2007 05:20 PM -

New York – The West Coast is a stronghold for organics consumers, with 35 percent of San Francisco adults using organic foods during the past month, making it the top U.S. city for organics users. In Seattle (32 percent of Seattle adults used organic foods during the past month), Portland, OR (27 percent), Washington D.C. and Denver (26 percent, each) and San Diego (24 percent) round out the top markets for organics consumers. In the total US.,17 percent of all adults are organics users.

China and India biofuels could threaten food output
October 11, 2007 08:18 AM - Alister Doyle - Reuters

Plans by China and India to raise biofuels production from irrigated maize and sugarcane could aggravate water shortages and undermine food output, an international report said on Thursday.

The two countries, the most populous on the planet, might ease the projected water shortages by developing new biofuel technologies or boosting rain-fed crops such as sweet sorghum, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) said.

Pig manure sweet money for Thai farmer
October 10, 2007 09:50 AM - Ploy Chitsomboon and Pisit Changplayngam -Reuters

For Thai pig farmer Ong-Arj Suwunnatee, going green was not only good for business and the environment, it came as a welcome relief to his neighbors.

"Back in the old days, people knocked on my door and complained about the smell," said Ong-Arj, who owns 4,000 pigs in Nakhon Pathom, 55 km (35 miles) west of Bangkok in the heart of Thailand's hog country.

Anheuser Busch Using Genetically Engineered Rice in Beer: Greenpeace
October 9, 2007 05:24 PM -

Washington, United States — Greenpeace released the results of analyses showing the presence of an experimental genetically engineered (GE) strain of rice at an Anheuser-Busch operated mill in Arkansas that is used to brew Budweiser. An independent laboratory test, commissioned by Greenpeace, detected the presence of GE rice (Bayer LL601) in three out of four samples taken at the mill.

Bayer LL601 rice was the source of the 2006 contamination of at least 30 percent of rice stocks in the United States. The GE contamination had a massive negative economic impact on the U.S. rice industry as many countries subsequently stopped or significantly restricted the import of U.S. rice. 

National Mall To Test "Green" Lawn Care
October 9, 2007 04:57 PM -

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Attempting to prove to the nation that organic lawn care techniques are safe and effective, one of the highest profile lawns in the world is about to try a massive 'green' makeover.

The two-week project involves plowing a section of existing lawn at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., adding compost, other natural soil amendments and fertilizers before reseeding the area. The project was organized by SafeLawns.org. Representatives from the natural lawn care company will return to the Nation’s Capitol frequently in the next two years to continue an organic maintenance program on the area that measures more than four acres.

Man Wins Contest With 1,524-Lb. Pumpkin
October 9, 2007 07:54 AM - Associated Press

An Oregon man won the annual pumpkin weigh-off here, presenting a gigantic gourd that came it at 1,524 pounds. Thad Starr, of Pleasant Hill, Ore., set a contest record with the pumpkin. He'll get $6 a pound, bringing his winnings to $9,144.

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