We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Healthy Seafood is Sustainable Seafood
I think that people do want to know if the food they consume can be
produced both optimally and sustainably. In the past these words
were been defined by large commercial enterprises with little
incentive to worry too much about the content of their product.
After all just how sensitive is your palate?
Testability is the first line of defense and a focus on
sustainability soon leads us back to quality. That they are linked
is simply good news.
A grower in the past has had no way to properly differentiate product
for the consumer. In fact it is largely disconnected from price in
the eyes of the consumer. Yet everything can be ranked in terms of a
grade system and the consumer will support those options.
I would in fact define it as fresh, stable, and declining. Most
foodstuffs are normally sitting at the stable level for most of their
shelf life. Fresh covers a few hours in many cases and is never seen
except at the farm gate. Stable is typically good for many days.
I think consumers would support variable pricing based on time since
fresh. I certainly would and that is something we could achieve
Study finds healthy
seafood comes from sustainable fish
When ordering seafood,
the options are many and so are some of the things you might consider
in what you order. Is your fish healthy? Is it safe? Is it harvested
responsibly? While there are many services and rankings offered to
help you decide - there's even an iPhone app - a group of researchers
have found a simple rule of thumb applies.
"If the fish is
sustainable, then it is likely to be healthy to eat too," said
Leah Gerber, an associate professor and senior sustainability
scientist at Arizona State University.
Gerber and colleagues
ran an analysis of existing literature on fish to see which choices
are consistently healthier and which are high in mercury or
overfished. Their findings are published in early on-line version of
the Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, a publication of the
Ecological Society of America.
"Sustaining seafood for public health," Gerber and fellow
authors - Roxanne Karimi, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, N.Y.,
and Timothy Fitzgerald of the Environmental Defense Fund,
Washington, DC - state that their analysis is the first to bring
together several types of sustainability rankings, along with species
specific health metrics, including omega-3 fatty acid and mercury
general, larger longer-lived fish are more likely to have exposure to
toxins due to the length of their lives and their place on the food
chain," Gerber explained. "So you might be best served to
stay away from them – like Bluefin Tuna or Sturgeon. Besides, these
stocks have been depleted by fishing."
Safer choices might be
Alaskan Pollock or Atlantic Mackerel, said Gerber, a conservation
biologist and sushi lover. In fact, the research grew out of her
interest in knowing more about the fish she was eating and the
choices she and her friends made when dining on fish.
In one experience,
Gerber said, friends ordered Bluefin Tuna to her dismay.
socially- and health-conscious friends did not know Bluefin was taboo
made me think about how complicated it has become to decide what
seafood to eat," she recalled.
"How do seafood
consumers make informed decisions based on ecological risk, health
risks (mercury), and health benefits (omegas).
So Gerber, Karimi and
Fitzgerald began digging in the literature and developed a database
on both ecological and health metrics of seafood.
"We used the
database to look for patterns of similarity between ecological and
health metrics, and found that in general, choosing healthy seafood
also means that you are choosing sustainable seafood,"
"Great news for
sushi-lovers! Choose the sustainable options and you also are
boosting omega-3 intake, without risking mercury poisoning."
Next up for Gerber is
to help develop a tool that can be used to guide seafood consumers to
smarter choices in what they eat.
"We want to help
people choose fish that are both eco-friendly and healthy," she