Vertical Kelp Farming

Farming the Sea: why eating kelp is good for you and good for the environment from Patrick Mustain on Vimeo.

GreenWave is a new non-profit that wants to improve our food sources while cleaning the seas. Kelp usually grows on the ground or sides of anything inorganic underwater, what GreenWave has done is to build an efficient way to harvest kelp from these sources. A benefit of this is that kelp naturally cleans the water around it so now we can get kelp in a faster way while cleaning the water.

As a result of their approach, GreenWave has won the Buckminster Fuller 2015 challenge.

This new approach moves us from growing vulnerable monocultures to creating vibrant ecosystems, which work to rebuild biodiversity and produce higher yields. The infrastructure is simple: seaweed, scallops and mussels grow on floating ropes, stacked above oyster and clam cages below. From these crops ocean farmers can produce food, fertilizers, animal feeds, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, biofuels and much more. The farms are designed to restore, rather than deplete our ecosystems. A single acre filters millions of gallons of ocean water every day, creates homes for hundreds of wild marine and bird species and absorbs the overabundance of nitrogen and carbon (with kelp sequestering 5x more carbon than land based-plants) that are killing billions of organisms. The design requires zero-inputs—there is no need for fresh water.

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Cuba Shows Off Its Biotech Industry

Cuba has an amazing farming system which is impressive from farm to fork. The way they grow crops to how they ensure that food distribution is effective is impressive to say the least. The island nation was hit hard with the collapse of the USSR and the embargo from the USA, as a result they have a robust and advanced farming system in the nation.

At one of the largest farming conferences Cuba is showcasing its advanced biotech. Cuba has had to use natural (and locally produced) ways to increase farming production instead of relying on imports.

Among them was, “Gavac,” an immunogen that provides for better control over ticks and tick-related infections in cattle, according to Doctor Hector Machado of Cuba’s Heber Biotec company.

Cuba has been attracting attention in recent years for its model of agriculture, as it has been able to develop cheap and eco-friendly technologies that have helped the country to reach a certain level of food security without damaging the environment. With the environmental and financial challenges the world is now facing, the Cuban model – built in a time of crisis, after the USSR collapsed – is seen as offering potential solutions to many countries in the world.

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Detroit to Have the Largest Urban Farm in the USA

Detroit was once a great city, then the economic collapse of car-dominated industry in the city happened. Because of the prescence of Ford and GM in Detroit the city’s urban planning focused on cars; this led to poverty and neglect of needed infrastructure.

The collapse of Detroit occurred, and now they are rebuilding. One aspect of remaking Detroit is to bring it into the 21st century by focusing on people instead of cars. An example of this is the recent announcement that Detroit will host the largest urban farming setup in America.

One surprising growth industry in the city is urban farming. Recovery Park, a nonprofit, confusingly runs a program called Recovery Park Farms, which is a for-profit. Anyway, Recovery Park and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced last week an ambitious plan to create a 60-acre urban farm (35 acres of which comes from the government, through the Detroit Land Bank Authority) to be settled not with new houses for people but greenhouses and hydroponic systems for specialty produce. Recovery Park already operates a pair of smaller urban farms, growing vegetables like radishes, greens, and edible flowers and selling them to restaurants in the city.

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Cut Out Sugar and Improve Everything

Some new research points out by simply cutting out sugar one can improve basically all that ails them. In a recent research study children gave up sugar for nine days and found that much about their health improved. This implies that it might be more important to monitor one’s sugar intake more than one’s caloric intake for some aspects of increasing health.

“The whole goal was that they don’t lose weight when they switch over to the diet. It’s just they’re removing sugar to see what that effect will be,” explained Lin.

“They noticed everything got better.”

Blood pressure decreased, cholesterol decreased, liver function tests improved, and even fasting blood sugar and insulin levels in their bodies dropped.

“The freaky part of this study was that it was only nine days long,” Lin said.

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More People Eating Less Meat

With every passing year more and more research points out that eating a diet with less meat (than the average amount consumed per person) is good for your health and really good for the planet. This is good news in itself, and what’s better is that the post-boomer population are forcing restaurants to change their menu.

People are ordering less meat at restaurants, eating more veggie meals, and less likely to go to meat-focused resturants. This will decrease the carbon footprint of most people since veggie food requires less energy to make.

Earlier this year, the Chicago-based food research firm Technomic surveyed 1,500 people online and concluded that in order to attract millennial customers, restaurants must offer vegetarian and vegan meals. The report showed 45 percent of younger consumers either regularly eat vegetarian and vegan food or follow a vegetarian diet. The number falls to 30 percent in older people.

With the number of vegetarian dishes on restaurant menus growing and the number of vegetarian products in stores on the rise, it seems logical to assume the number of vegetarians is also growing. But the numbers, which have remained relatively flat in recent years, don’t support that.

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