It’s well known that meat production has a large carbon footprint. A diet that includes meat requires more land than a plant based diet so even decreasing the amount of meat one eats can be a good thing. Some fans of vegetarian diets have created the Vegetarian Calculator that lets people know how good their diet is.
Use this form to calculate the impact you have made by being a vegetarian. Vegetarians use less resources like water, food, oil, contribute less CO2 to the atmosphere, and animals are not killed for their consumption.
Raising livestock contribute more to global warming than automobiles, and is the second leading cause of global warming behind industrial pollution.
It turns out that not only is eating organic food better for you than processed foods, growing organic food is better for everyone. Organic farms (and likely home gardens) are better at capturing and retaining carbon than farms that are focused on mass production.
Last year, researchers reexamined all 74 studies that had looked at organic farming and carbon capture. After crunching the numbers from the results of these studies they concluded that, lo and behold, organic farms are carbon sponges.
Recently, a team of scientists decided to compare the microbes in organic and conventional plots (plus one “low intensity” field that was somewhere between organic and conventional) at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station in Michigan. They noticed that there was a much lower diversity of microbes in the conventionally farmed plot [PDF]. Perhaps the more complex community is better at exchanging the carbon among themselves, rather than releasing it to the atmosphere.
Read more at Grist.
Bees are wonderful little beings that spread pollen to places that need it and, as a bonus they create delicious honey. It turns out that a spoonful of honey can help you sleep!
Suffering from yet another poor night’s sleep? Then how about trying some local beekeeper’s honey for a rejuvenating sleep!
Here’s why: Researchers found that a teaspoon or two of honey before bed ensures a restorative sleep. A human liver stores about eight hours of glycogen – an important brain food. If you eat supper at 7 p.m., by about 3 a.m. your brain releases a stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol scavenges the body, melts muscle tissue and converts it into glycogen to feed the brain. When released, cortisol causes the heart to beat faster and raises glucose insulin levels in the blood.
Read more here.
Conflict Kitchen is a take-out restaurant that serves cuisine only from countries with which the USA is in conflict. It’s located in Pittsburg and founded/operated by artists and chefs to humanize the international conflicts that the USA engages in around the world. It functions as a space to get food and a space to expand one’s understanding of the world around them.
“In contrast to the polarizing effect of broadcast media, we’ve sought to create a platform which can support a more subtle exchange of culture and politics,” notes Dawn Weleski, a multidisciplinary artist wiht a performance bent, who co-founded the project with Jon Rubin and John Peña. “With food as a mediator, it becomes easier for customers to consider the everyday life of people — they become responsive in a different way and consider more nuanced perspectives. They start to consider the people and culture behind conflicts [that are conducted] at a government or military level.”
Read more at Design Observer.
Conflict Kitchen’s website.
Thanks to Trevor!
The meat industry is very energy intensive and the raising of animals for food takes up a lot of land. It’s no surprise then that to help save the environment one ought to eat less meat, but many people find it difficult to cut back their meat intake. Over at Flexitarian there’s a nice post on eight steps one can easily accomplish to decrease their meat consumption.
3) Go Local, Go Seasonal: visit your local market or farm shop. See what vegetables are in season and plan a dish around them. If you are not sure what to do with some of them ask the vendor.
4) Try World Cuisine: some cuisines (especially the ones blending lots of flavours and spices) are particularly well suited to meatless cooking. Try Indian, Mexican, Ethiopian etc..
Read all 8 steps here.