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OCT 09

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​Flaws in the "Organic Food" Study
Written by Philip Proefrock on 09/10/12   

Last month there was a great deal of media attention paid to a study about organic food (Are Organic Foods Safer or Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives?: A Systematic Review), which was widely cited for concluding that "[there is online cheap viagra no] evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods." But the study is more spin than significant science.

A critique of the study in the New York Times by columnist and tramadol pain killer without a prescription food writer Mark Bittman points out the weaknesses and oversimplifications in the study that have been used to "debunk" organic food based on criteria that are significantly immaterial to the organic label.

Bittman says of the study, "[it] was like declaring guns no more dangerous than baseball bats when it comes to blunt-object head injuries. It was the equivalent of comparing milk and Elmer’s glue on the basis of whiteness. It did, in short, miss the point." The other half of the conclusion of the study, "Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria," was much more overlooked.

Organic food has never been about some perception of super-food with extra nutritional value, except perhaps to buy now viagra those who don't understand organic in the first place. But this study was so narrow in its definitiion of "nutritious" (which was taken to mean "containing more vitamins") that, as Bittman points out, "you can claim that, based on nutrients, Frosted Flakes are a better choice than an apple."

The benefits of organic farming are numerous, and are far beyond relative comparison of the amount of some vitamin content. Not only are there potential individual benefits (the aforementioned reduced exposure to pesticide residue and so forth), but contributing to such broader environmental benefits as reduced pesticide use and more sustainable farming practices are also worthwhile goals.

image: CC BY-SA 3.0 by Ragesoss

via: NY Times (apologies; this may be behind their paywall)


NOV 15

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Google Supporting USGBC on Green Building Materials
Written by Philip Proefrock on 15/11/12   

A grant of $3 million from Google to the US Green Building Council (USGBC) was announced during the annual Greenbuild conference which is taking place in San Francisco this week. Google has been a leader with the just try! brand cialis for sale greening of its own facilities and has taken a very proactive step in avoiding the use of "red list" construction materials in its own facilities.

The grant is meant to be used for furthering green building materials research and very good site cheapest prices on levitra the promotion of communications in and around the green building process. "The grant supports three related efforts: research on building materials and their effect on health, development of new building transparency tools, and encouraging conversation between industry stakeholders." More specific detail about how this grant will be applied by USGBC remains to be announced.

Google's grant gives the USGBC some leverage of its own since some credits in the LEED building rating system have been targets of objection by strong monied interests.  These include the credit for use of certified sustainable wood and the proposed materials credits that incorporate open reporting of chemical content of products and "for selecting products for which the chemical ingredients in the product are inventoried using an accepted methodology and for selecting products verified to minimize the buy super cialis use and generation of harmful substances."

via: Eco-Structure


MAR 07

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Cree LED Light Bulb Hits Milestone Price Point
Written by Philip Proefrock on 07/03/13   

Several years ago, the $10 level was a turning point for the widespread adoption of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). Once the bulbs were priced that low, people were willing to take a chance to try one or two and see how they liked them and how they performed. Now, the same point has been reached in the development of LED lights.

A couple of years ago, 60-watt equivalent LED bulbs were priced around $30 to $40, and a couple years before that, they were closer to $100. Now, Cree is offering three LED bulbs with a price close to $10 (though only one of the three is actually under $10 retail price).

Cree is offering three different LED bulbs: a warm white 60-watt replacement, a daylight 60-watt replacement, and a warm white 40-watt replacement. These bulbs have the performance we've come to expect from LEDs, with a 25,000 hour lifespan rating and use only about 15% of the energy used by and equivalent incandescent bulb.

The Cree bulbs also have a "normal" looking package as compared to the now-familiar curly CFL. These LED bulbs also have a coated glass bulb, rather than a plastic covering like many other LEDs have had. Although the LED bulbs are not drastically more efficient than CFLs, the LED bulbs are also instant-on and are dimmable, which are features many CFLs do not have.

Cree is rolling out a selection of order viagra no perscription slogans to try to promote these bulbs, including "The Biggest Thing Since the Light Bulb," and "Its non-weird shape emits non-weird light." The company also is touting the below $10 price, although both of the 60-watt equivalents are priced somewhat higher. Nevertheless, this is cheap levitra generic still a big move in the lighting market.

Hat tip: Studio Z


FEB 20

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New Database to Help Increase Environmental Responsibility of Ocean Power
Written by Sarah Rich on 20/02/13   

In collaboration with the International Energy Agency, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) recently launched a new database that brings together environmental monitoring and worldwide ocean energy development efforts. Called Tethys, the database will show the interrelationship between processes in nature and ocean power technology, and will function as a resource to help keep environmental responsibility at the forefront of ocean-based energy production projects.

Named after the Greek titaness of the ocean, Tethys will help industry regulators and energy project developers alike identify possible environmental effects of the efforts to gain sustainable, clean energy from the world’s oceans. Tethys offers real-world data that accounts for the interconnectedness of cialis online sales oceanic ecosystems and technology, and offers insight on the interactions between energy-producing machines, marine wildlife, and the physical processes of the ocean. Having all of this data compiled together-- from tidal current turbines projects to published studies on offshore wind farms and marine mammals--will allow for a safer expansion of ocean power. According to the DOE’s announcement, the database also has an accompanying report that highlights research on ways to ordering viagra online monitor ocean energy projects and possible environmental effects.

The world’s oceans offer immense potential for alternative energy development. As with any alternative energy resource, however, ocean power developers must taken into account any negative environmental impacts from the technology in order for ocean power to be a truly renewable source of energy. As a living document, Thethys will constantly increase our global understanding of the ocean as new projects and new research data arise. In order to expand Tethys’s usefulness for current and future ocean power projects, the DOE encourages researchers to submit their studies to the database.

You can view an interactive map of Tethys here, and check out the technological developments in and environmental research on oceans around the world.

image: CC by 2.0 by Phil Manker

via: US Department of Energy


APR 22

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Enhanced Plant Oil Production May Boost Biofuels
Written by Philip Proefrock on 22/04/13   

A new development using genes from algae to engineer plants to store oils in their leaves could lead to best price cialis improvements in both biofuel production and the manufacture of animal feed. Researchers from Michigan State University have made plants with oily leaves, which were demonstrated when worms fed these leaves grew fatter than worms fed the unmodified version of the plants.

Most plant oils are stored in the seeds of the plant, and can be difficult to extract. But plants that store oils in their stems and leaves can be more easily processed to extract those oils. They also may produce greater quantities of oil than the original plants.

In addition to the potential use in biofuels, producing plants that store more oils in their leaves could also be a benefit for animal feed. Greater nutrition density from the same amount of crop could help feed more animals from the same area of cropland.

The lead scientist, MSU professor of biochemistry and molecular biology Christoph Benning, stated, "Many researchers are trying to enhance plants’ energy density, and this is another way of approaching it. It’s a proof-of-concept that could be used to boost plants’ oil production for biofuel use as well as improve the nutrition levels of pill price viagra animal feed."

Ongoing research will next move from demonstration of the concept to begin to explore specific applications "to enhance oil production in grasses and 100 mg viagra us pharmacy algae that have economic value."

image: by Rosendahl/Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain


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