Half the world’s food ends up in the trash, report warns
Guardian: As much as half of all the food produced in the world – equivalent to two billion tonnes – ends up as waste every year, engineers warned in a report published on Thursday.
The UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) blames the “staggering” new figures in its analysis on unnecessarily strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free and Western consumer demand for cosmetically perfect food, along with “poor engineering and agricultural practices”, inadequate infrastructure and poor storage facilities.
Photo: A man collects food waste at the main food market on December 28, 2011 in Madrid, evidence of Spain’s stalled economy, and a queue of five million jobless people. (Pedro Armestre/AFP/Getty Images)
Posts tagged news.
Disgusting, shocking expose by Agence France-Presse. Hong-Kong. After people complained, tens of thousands of shark fins were brought to the roof tops to dry. The article says they did this to hide the fins from the public because of increased awareness of animal cruelty.
Shark fin traders in Hong Kong have taken to drying freshly sliced fins on rooftops since a public outcry over them drying the fins on public sidewalks forced them to move the trade out of sight.
Activists have raised concerns that the over-harvesting of fins is causing an environmental calamity. Although sales have fallen in recent years Hong Kong remains one of the world’s biggest markets for shark fins, which are used to make soup that is an expensive staple at Chinese banquets. NBC
I can’t stomach watching the process of shark finning (more videos here). Basically, they catch the shark, cut off its fins, and throw the shark back into the ocean - alive and awake. The sharks bleed to death and/or suffocate since they can’t swim.
But saying “gross” or “I’m sad” is not enough. There are a variety of ways you can help stop finning.
Sharks are threatened by climate change. Increased temperatures are affecting their habitat and food supplies around the globe. Changes to their habitat threaten their survival.
Last year, Discovery reported the world’s first hybrid shark and speculated it had adapted to climate change. They speculated that two separate shark species paired as a result of climate change. It was the first time a shark hybrid has been found and scientists speculated they were evolving, e.g., they adapted to increased temperatures.
The Australian black-tip is slightly smaller than its common cousin and can only live in tropical waters, but its hybrid offspring have been found 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) down the coast, in cooler seas.
It means the Australian black-tip could be adapting to ensure its survival as sea temperatures change because of global warming.
“If it hybridizes with the common species it can effectively shift its range further south into cooler waters, so the effect of this hybridizing is a range expansion,” Morgan said.
“It’s enabled a species restricted to the tropics to move into temperate waters.” Via Discovery
Adaptation is not fast enough. Habitat and food supplies are quickly being destroyed, not to mention ocean currents are shifting, adding additional pressure on marine life. Most importantly, the incredible increases wealth in China and Asia generally has increased demand for shark fin soup, which is considered a delicacy.
Gordan Ramsay, an A-list celebrity chef, was doused with gasoline and held at gun-point while exposing shark finning on his TV show last year. He tried the soup and deemed it unremarkable and bland, comparing the soup to eating salted potatoes.
He was horrified and sickened at the process (warning: very tough to watch. Several sharks are hacked live). Chef Ramsay subsequently advocated for the finning of these amazing animals to stop. He helped contribute to the passage of a bill banning shark fin soup in the U.S.
There are several ways to stop finning: Pressuring grocery stores and Asian markets, writing congress (it works, I swear), contributing cash and volunteer time to anti-finning campaigns, passing the word around to educate others, and signing petitions.
- And thanks for reading my post. m
Oh god this made my day today.
Tribes raise $9M for sacred SD land
After months of high-profile fundraising that drew celebrities’ attention and dollars, a group of Native American tribes has raised $9 million to buy a piece of land in South Dakota’s Black Hills that they consider sacred, an official with an Indian land foundation said Friday.
The Indian Land Tenure Foundation president Cris Stainbrook told The Associated Press that the tribes raised enough money to purchase the land from its current owners. The foundation was one of several groups and organizations leading the effort to buy the land.
The deal was finalized Friday, which was the deadline for the tribes to raise the money.
The land, known as Pe’ Sla, went up for sale after being privately owned. Members of the Great Sioux Nation have been allowed to gather there every year to perform rituals. The site plays a key role in the tribes’ creation story, and members fear new owners would develop it.
Tribal leaders from three Sioux tribes – Rosebud Sioux President Cyril Scott, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Chairman Charlie Vig and Crow Creek Chairman Brandon Sazue – released a joint statement Friday, saying they are happy to be able to reclaim one of their sacred sites.
Those three tribes were the only ones to contribute to the purchase, Scott said. Tribal leaders would not say how much each tribe contributed to the purchase.
The three leaders said they exercised their tribal sovereign authority.“It’s a great day for Indian Country,” Scott said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. Scott also said that all Sioux tribal members are invited to the land and that tribal leaders plan to form a commission to preserve the land.
More than $900,000 was raised through online contributions, said Standing Rock Sioux tribal member Chase Iron Eyes. His company, Last Real Indians, led the online effort. Earlier this year, landowners Leonard and Margaret Reynolds canceled a public auction of the property after tribal members expressed outrage. The Reynolds’ then accepted the tribes’ bid to purchase the land for $9 million.
The couple has repeatedly said they will not speak publicly about the land sale and did not return a message from The AP on Friday seeking comment.
The fundraising effort drew support from several celebrities. P. Diddy tweeted about it as did Bette Midler, who also donated. Midler said she was “happy and proud” to have helped out with the purchase.
“I’ve been talking about it to my friends, tweeting to the world and donating through my foundation because I think it’s important for the soul of our nation,” she said in a statement Friday.
Actor Ezra Miller, who appeared in the recently released film “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and music producer Sol Guy flew to South Dakota last month to film a nine-minute documentary-style video about the land that was used as part of an online campaign to raise funds. The fundraising effort has been a monumental and controversial undertaking for the Sioux tribes. An 1868 treaty set aside the Black Hills and other land for the Sioux, but Congress passed a law in 1877 seizing the land following the discovery of gold in western South Dakota.
A 1980 U.S. Supreme Court ruling awarded more than $100 million to the Sioux tribes for the Black Hills, but the tribes have refused to accept the money, saying the land has never been for sale. There are Sioux tribes in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska and Canada. Some members of the Sioux tribes didn’t agree with trying to purchase the land. Bryan Brewer, president-elect of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, said his tribe did not allocate any money to the land purchase.
“I’m still against buying something we own, but I’m thrilled the tribes’ are buying it. I’m very happy about it,” he said.
With the average temperature on Earth in October becoming the 332nd consecutive month at a higher-than-normal mark, we’re defining the new normal for a whole generation.
And that’s not a “new normal” that we should be okay with. Because a warming Earth with frequent droughts and supercharged storms could make Hurricane Sandy look like an afternoon sprinkle.
The United Nations has voted overwhelmingly to recognize a Palestinian state. In an extraordinary lineup of international support, more than two-thirds of the world body’s 193 member states approved the resolution upgrading the Palestinians’ status from an observer to a nonmember observer state on Thursday. It passed 138-9, with 41 abstentions. The vote was a victory decades in the making for the Palestinians after years of occupation and war. It was a sharp rebuke for Israel and the United States.
[Read more: Theguardian.co.uk]
Remember last week when everyone reported that John Grotzinger, one of the NASA scientists manning the Curiosity mission, told an NPR reporter that a recent find would be “one for the history books”?
Well, that was all a giant misunderstanding, apparently. Those pesky reporters and their pesky tape recorders!! NASA has since been backpedaling away from that comment like Michael Jackson during his Thriller days. Basically, yes, the instruments are finding cool stuff, but Grotzinger was saying that the whole mission would be one for the history books and this is all just gone too far …
Anyway, something cool will still be coming out in the next couple weeks, just not, like, coooooool. Dig into the Curiosity saga over at Slate.
I’m sorry guys, don’t be mad, it’s still going to be awesome. Maybe this is like when your parents told you that you weren’t getting a bike for Christmas so that when you got one you were even more excited.
A massive crack in the ice may herald an enormous rift in the ice of the Pine Island Glacier in western Antarctica.
Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Satellite images suggest that the glacier is poised to calve off an iceberg or icebergs that size of New York City. Sea ice has kept the unstable region locked in, but as this Oct. 26, 2012 Landsat 7 image reveals, the spring melt has cleared the sea in front of the glacier’s calving face.