International Year of Yum

2016 is the year of the pulse. Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family and they are delicious! Pulses are super easy to cook with and really good for the environment. They are really good for your healthy to. This means you should hop on the pulse bandwagon!

To launch the year off to a healthy start you can take the Pulse Pledge.

EATING PULSES CAN HELP MAINTAIN A HEALTHY BODY WEIGHT
Pulses are rich in protein and fibre, and a low in fat, which can all help with body weight management. Protein and fibre help you to feel fuller longer. In addition to fibre, pulses also have other carbohydrates that are complex and take longer to break down compared with other carbohydrates (simple sugars). This means they provide energy for a longer time after you eat them compared with a quick energy source like sugars. The carbohydrates in pulses include oligosaccharides and resistant starch which can increase production of good bacteria for a healthy gut.

Learn more about pulses.

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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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