Monday, September 24, 2007

minnesota ranked 3rd

look at what i found out. minneapoils is ranked 3rd for the greenest city! woot GO us!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Jay's Arizona wilderness adventure

Hey there flatlanders,

I've just barely returned from an epic adventure in the Blue Range Primitive Area on the Arizona/New Mexico border. Myself and 4 others were one of 11 separate teams who were doing "recon" for the new Prescott College incoming Wilderness Orientation class. There's 150 students coming in this fall and nearly all of them will journey over three weeks into the Arizona wilderness while learning about Prescott College. As one of the orientation instructors, I went on a 5 day recon with 4 other instructors. On this trip, we check out part of our route, get to know our co-instructors, and prepare for the 3.5 week course.

This all sounds fine and exciting, except 3 days into our recon trip, 20 miles in, over 8,000 foot mesas, box canyons, steep terrain, forest glades, and cool streams, I came down with a deathly illness. We arrived at camp on day 3 after climbing Government Mesa, a tall and exposed high area on our route. Once I arrived in camp, I immediately threw on my fleece and climbed in my down sleeping bag. It was a hot day and I had just finished a long and strenuous hike, but I could think of nothing more than getting myself warm. The next 30 hours was hell: chills, nausea, vomiting, body ache, fever, and an inability to eat or drink almost at all. We were still 2 days away from our van. My group took all of my gear and the next day we hiked up and over a small pass where we camped for the night. I slept. Next morning we walked out 6 or so miles while my group again took all of my gear. What a great group, they took great care of me. We arrived on day 5 at the van, visited a stream to clean ourselves and debrief, and headed over to the Hoffman ranch where we spent a wonderful evening recovering and reuniting with others who were doing recon in the area. I was able to get hot soup, a hot shower, talk with Jen, and sleep in a soft bed.

I'm now back in Prescott and feeling nearly recovered. We meet the new students in a few days and we leave back for the field the end of next week. I'm sure I'll be fully recovered by then. I'm looking forward to the next stage, but I'm definitely relishing in the fact that I made it safe and sound out of our epic adventure. I've got a great crew of colleagues and I know that I'm better prepared with an experience like I've just had under my belt.

Overall it was a beautiful trip through "the Blue." It's one of Arizona's finest wild places and is filled with amazing canyons, waters, wildlife, and abundant vegetation. Overall, it was a great experience for everyone, we all enjoyed our time together. The entire group, including myself, performed very well within our circumstances. It may sound weird that it was a great trip, but somehow that's how we all feel.

I'll post another general update when I return from the trip with the students. For now, take a look at a few photos I took (before falling ill) on my Flickr website.

Happy trails,


Thursday, August 16, 2007

People are starting to realize.....

August 15, 2007 - With US bottled water sales growing nearly 10 percent annually - and the trash from tossed containers climbing just as quickly - calls for Americans to go back to drinking tap water have surged since the beginning of summer.
"This country has some of the best public water supplies in the world," the New York Times said in an editorial earlier this month.
"Instead of consuming four billion gallons (15 billion liters) of water a year in individual-sized bottles, we need to start thinking about what all those bottles are doing to the planet's health."
As was pointed out at World Water Week in Stockholm on Monday, US personal consumption per capita, including water from all sources, hits 400 liters (106 gallons) each day -- compared to 10 liters (2.6 gallons) a person in developing countries.
And US consumers are drinking more bottled water by the day. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, growth in bottled water sales last year was 9.7 percent, making the total market worth about 11 billion dollars.

Bottled water in the United States does not mean mineral water, even if Americans grumble more and more about paying a high price to drink water with little to distinguish it.
At the end of July beverage giant PepsiCo was forced by public pressure to explain on its Aquafina bottled water that the contents inside come from ... the tap.
Pepsi's response "is an important first step," said Gigi Kellett, director of the "Think Outside the Bottle" campaign.
"Concerns about the bottled water industry, and increasing corporate control of water, are growing across the country," she said.
From mineral springs or from public pipes, water once in a bottle is expensive. The New York Times estimated that for some consumers the bill could hit 1,400 dollars a year - for an amount that, taken from a home faucet, might cost less than half a dollar.
And it is not always better.
"Bottled water sold in the United States is not necessarily cleaner or safer than most tap water, according to a four-year scientific study," the National Resources Defense Council recently reported. It also said regulation has not guaranteed more pure water in bottles.

Saying goodbye to a great teacher.....

Jay Krienitz is no longer the envrionmental science teacher at LCB. He was a great teacher who opened my eyes to look at the world for truly what it is and what is happening to it. The good news is that I will keep posting blogs and hopefully Jay will keep us updated on how is expedition is in Arizona. Good luck Jay, and have fun.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Potato Chip Ingredient Provides Longevity Boost to Concrete

Who would've thought that the flavoring that helps give "salt & vinegar" chips their tasty tang could also help protect concrete from water damage? A new study by Awni Al-Otoom and his colleagues in Jordan has revealed that sodium acetate, a chemical commonly used in flavored chips (and a variety of other products and processes) — can work as a cheap and effective concrete sealant by providing a waterproof coating.
As they note in their study, concrete — though one of the most widely used construction materials — suffers from a high porosity that allows water to soak in and cause cracks and other problems when the water expands or changes state. And while sealants are widely available, most have serious shortcomings. In their trials, the scientists demonstrated that sodium acetate could seep into pores in concrete and crystallize upon exposure to water — blocking the entry of any further moisture. Once the crystals shrink back under dry conditions, the moisture is allowed to evaporate.
The net benefit according to Al-Otoom and his team: a large reduction in water permeability that "can be expected to increase the service life of the concrete." And though we're no big fans of concrete, it'd be nice to see a similar, more environmentally-friendly approach taken to strengthen other construction materials.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

seafood from china unscreened

In the united states we are supposed to have tight regulations on food that is imported for consumption. Then why did over one million pounds of seafood make it to dinner tables across america without being screened. This is another story of departments saying they have all of these strict rules, but somehow forget to follow them. We as americans need to hold people accountable for their actions and try to be a collective group of citizens that are worried about their well being.

Monday, August 6, 2007


by David Pimentel, Xuewen Huang, Ana Cordova, and Marcia Pimentel

Submitted for publication to Population and Development Review, New York, NY, USA

As the world population continues to grow geometrically, great pressure is being placed on arable land, water, energy, and biological resources to provide an adequate supply of food while maintaining the integrity of our ecosystem. According to the World Bank and the United Nations, from 1 to 2 billion humans are now malnourished, indicating a combination of insufficient food, low incomes, and inadequate distribution of food. This is the largest number of hungry humans ever recorded in history. In China about 80 million are now malnourished and hungry. Based on current rates of increase, the world population is projected to double from roughly 6 billion to more than 12 billion in less than 50 years (Pimentel et al., 1994). As the world population expands, the food problem will become increasingly severe, conceivably with the numbers of malnourished reaching 3 billion.


I think this a huge concern right now in the world. As our population grows the amount of areas in which there is adequate land has decreased. As the years pass and our population grows how will we be able to make up for the shortage that is already effecting our earth.

Riam Fox

Industrial agriculture and corporate power

Within past50 yrs industrial agriculture has become the dominant for producing food,instead of the small family oriented farms. why?because of high demand for more food .the smaller farms can not produce so much food so now the machines have taken industrial food system is the biggest agribusiness. /200308.13.2.02.duhtml

Expensive Water

Pablo Paster did a study of how much a bottle of Fiji water costs. It starts with the bottle made in China, the transportation of the bottle to Fiji, the cost to fill the bottle of water, and the cost to ship it to the U.S. It show the statistics to produce 1 kilogram of water and ship it to the U.S. The numbers are astonashing. To read more go to this link.........

deforestation plays critical climate change role

This article is about the role deforestation plays in adding greenhouse gases by way of slash and burning and how it will effect the worlds temps in the future. Deforestation acccounts for 20% of the carbon released into the atmosphere and will play a major part in the increase in global temps for many years to come. If it is to be stopped many governments need to inflict stronger rules as to slash and burning and strip farming. The way alot of deserts are formed in areas where they were once fertile is by clear cutting and farming until all of the nutrients are gone then abandoning the land and letting wind erosion take over. If we are to control the effect we have on the planet these all need to be carefully addressed.

Zero Waste....Or Darn Near

Zero Waste is a movement designed to end almost all waste. They are pushing for redesigned products and packing materials through reuse, recyling, or composting. Designing products for the environment, not for the dump. They are also holding manufacturers responsible for the waste and environmental impact their product and packaging creates, rather than passing on the responsibility on to the consumer. Another good point is that more jobs can be created through recycling than landfills. These options sound good to me!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Marketing Junk Food to Children

In June, Kellogg announced new guidelines for marketing to children and won praise from the people who make health policies. The Center for Science in the Public Interest,dropped a lawsuit against Kellogg after this announcement. But by the end of the month, Kellogg had introduced another product aimed at children..Froot Loops Cereal Straws, which sweetens the milk children drink as it passes through the straw, in order to get the same effect as the sweetened milk left at the bottom of a bowl of Fruit Loops.

Here are the ingredients:


140 calories, including 12g of sugar and 3.5g of fat, including 2g of saturated fat

Who is watching the food industy ??

Chris Olson

Lets not boil our pasta in sewage.

With over 70% of the earth consisting of water and the human body consiting of 81% water why do people still pollute our water? Many of us do not realize that we are polluting our drinking water. What about when you ferilize your lawn and then over water it for the fertilizer to run into the drainage systems? What about when you don't pick up after your dog each time they go to the bathroom? What about when you wash down your sidewalks or driveway and let all the leaves go down the sewer drain? Lastly what about chemicals, oil, and gas leaking and then carried into the sewer drains? Humans are very good at consuming water, but are not very good when it comes to protecting water. Please think about the next time you are going to wash those leaves down the sewer drain.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Local Foods Happy Hour

Greetings all,

Since early this year, local food lovers, supporters, and advocates have been coming together on a monthly basis to get to know one another, to dream, to inspire, to be inspired and to celebrate local foods!

Please join all of us on the first Tuesday of every month for a local foods happy hour! And, invite others whom you think would be interested!

That being said, on Tuesday August 7th we will be meeting at the newly opened Common Roots Café in Minneapolis. (To clarify any confusion, we had been meeting at Chang Bang's restaurant, which recently closed). There will be local beer and wine available and Common Roots will be offering free appetizers to our group. (Thanks Common Roots!)

The quick details....
At Common Roots Café,
Tues., Aug. 7th, starting at 5 PM, ending around 7PM
5:30PM-Danny Schwartzman, owner of Common Roots, will talk about the many ways he is implementing sustainable practices at the Café
Free street parking
Happy hour, for our group, from 5-7PM
-free appetizers
-local beers $4.75
-local wines $5.00

-4 local beer sampler with chips $5.00

Wishing you well and hoping to y'all soon!

- your local food friends

Their everywhere! Their everywhere!

Im sure my uncle Roy may have eliminated several hundred of them as he sat on his front porch in the summer afternoon's passing the time away. His backyard plot of fruit and vegetables is like and open invitation for these winged pests to deposit their eggs in the variety of food plots Roy had spent endless hours nuturing. The eggs hatch into maggots and feast on just about anything that ferments. The "fruit fly" is probably the most hated, yet most studied insect at the present time and with recent breakthrough studies some believe they may change the way scientists think about life in general.

I guess what we need now is electric cattle?

Which causes more greenhouse gas emissions, rearing cattle or driving cars? Surprise!
"According to a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation."

This doesn't mean that you can drive that gas-guzzling SUV more often than you need to.

Monasnato Goes GMO-Free?

Don't get to excited guys its only in their cafiterias. thats right in june Monsanto decided to stop feeding their employes GMO foods. they did however relese a new study that says there is still no sign of any negitive effects in the GM process.

Stop the Wine!!!

I recently came asross an article that had to do with one of my favorite subjects: wine. In it they were discussing types of stoppers used on wine bottles and which were the best to use for the environment. The three most widely used types of stoppers are natural cork, plastic stoppers or metal screw caps. Suprisingly enough the natural cork stoppers were the most environmentally friendly because harvesting cork actually keeps the relatively scarce trees alive.

deforestation for agriculture purposes

The stats are crazy. 90 percent of the worlds natural resources have been used up already, and Brazil and Indonesia are among the two largest rainforests in the world and they are being stripped at an alarming rate for logging agriculture and cattle grazing. This is an issue that is very important nopt only for us, but future generations to come. They act as the worlds filter to help in creating oxygen and repairing the damage we have caused by chemical abuse to the ozone. If you would like to know more I will be happy to post my paper on the blog when it is finished.

Jason k.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Controversy over Farming and Global Warming

Many scientists believe that global warming is due to the increse of CO2 in the atmosphere. Farmers believe that the increase in temperature will create a longer growing season for fruits and vegetables. The United States Environmental Protection Agency ( U.S.E.P.A ) predicts a 7% increase in precipitation by the year 2060 and a 5 degree increase in the temperature. A key question arises from this increase in temperature, if the plants have an increase in precipitation, they will have plenty of fruit, plus they will have plenty of CO2, why would this harm the earth?

Many scientists believe that this theory is faulty, for the rise in temperature will bring a variable in overall weather causing drought, and floods, as well as irregular growing seasons.

How Much is too Much?

We have all heard rumors of the mercury content in seafood for many years, but due to pollution and the dumping of garbage, the mercury levels in seafood has risen. Unfortuately, fish and shellfish contain a massive amount of protein, essential nutrients, are low in saturated fat, and obtain a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids. The FDA has released new information stating that the amount of mercury a pregnant women may consume could possibly harm their unborn child's nervous system and brain development. It has been advised that all pregnant women do not eat swordfish, shark, king makerel and tilefish. It has also been stated that they do not consume more than 6 ounces of fish per week.

Where have all the Tigers gone?

In the past decade, most international trading companies have focused on trading animal products such as ivory, and rhinoceros horns, paying little attention to the vast decrease of the tiger population. Three of the eight subspecies of tigers are already extinct, and the numbers of the remaining tigers is falling rapidly. Recently the medicinal purpose of tiger by product has been listed on the black market, especially in the Chinese culture. A new establishment has created an investigation system to stop the poaching of these precious animals, as well as the increse in punishment. I wonder, are these new laws enough to prevent the extinction of tigers all together?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Organic Tomatoes Have More Flavinoid Compounds

well today i red an article about tomatoes. i love tomatoes! i will eat them any time any where. and i do have to say that i get all of my tomatoes from cubs foods. i don't know how organic they can be but they sure do taste good. in this article they talk about how over a 10 year study they found that organic tomatoes can help prevent high blood pressure and reduce the likelihood of heart disease and Stokes. and maybe help stave off some forms of cancer and dementia. well if you would like to know more about this article click on this link it is about half way down the page.

Soon to be a rare delicacy?

Once again, I sit here wondering if our oceans will survive the next 50 years or longer. I am talking again about how mankind is fishing the seas to extinction. I found that our appetites are exceeding the limitations of oceans' ecological limits. The marine scientists are warning us about overfishing and that it can hurt the ecosystem. They say that overfishing the top predators like cod, marlin, halibut, and tuna can cause a shift in the marine ecosystem. Will it come down to some day that fish and chips will become a rare and expensive delicacy? If these fish disappear, all we will have is plankton to eat. I am not a big fish consumer in the first place. I agree that there should be some type of fishing policy that creates a certain area or boundaries where it is off limits to fish. That way, that area can come back to full strength and balance out the shift. Greenpeace is trying ever which way they can to help this ecosystem. I support them 100%, and would like to see a differnce ten to twenty years from now!

Healthier cookies, Nice or a bit fishy

In this article you will find out that many companies are starting to add omega 3 fatty acids to their product to help fight heart disease and hypertension. The only problem is oxidation of the omega 3 acids to deliver an off taste to the product. They need to develop a material that will help in storing the acids and will make the product last longer and taste better. The concept is their, but the procedure needs to be refined.
Jason k

Can You Dig These Spuds? You Don't Have To.

By the looks of things, it’s essentially a set of three reusable polythene sacks, each with carrying handles and drainage holes. The idea is that you plant your potatoes, and then gradually fill up the containers with compost as your spuds grow. In the UK they are trying to get people to grow their own food by selliung these potatos so you get grow you own and know they are good. Matt

Squids settling in on the beach

This article is about how in 1997 during an el nino squids were showing up on beaches while they normally remained in the warmer waters of the eastern pacific ocean. They dissapeared but showed up again in 2002 and stuck around. These large carnivorous creatures are aggresive towards their pray and are starting to devour the hake fish which are an important commercial fish in the upper west and British Columbia. The reasons for this are undetermined but it could be because of overfishing of the tuna and billfish allowing much room for reproduction and spreading also the warming of the waters are too blame. The squid are able to tolerate large temperature changes and adapt well making this coastal area the perfect place for them to stick around.

Making Necklaces to Change Lifestyles and Preserve Wildlife

This article is about some people in Zambia who are making necklaces, bracelets and decorative items out of old snares that which were once used in the poaching of animals. More than 40,000 former poachers have joined a co-op which allows them to exhange these snares for training in organic farming, beekeping, carpentry, and gardening. Sence 2002 this has made more than $350,000 for the co-op.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Grass fed

When i was living in Canada one of the staff members at my college owned a cattle ranch, but not just any cattle ranch, but an actual grass fed, black Angus ranch. They actually still move the cattle from pasture to pasture, they use no hormones or antibiotics , this was beef! From the first time I tasted the meat I was hooked, the diet and the conditions of the cattle made a huge difference in the taste, since I returned home every steak has been a disappointment. I was very interested to find this article of just such a ranch. Not only did it remind me of that great beef up in Canada, but it also talked about the environmental effects of this style of cattle raising

US organic food food and bev sales continue to rise

this article talks about how organic food sales @bev have gone up .but Europe's %is higher about 7-10% of total .US in 2006 was up 22%over the previous you.Also it talks about the supermarkets and the small chains and natural grocery stores.
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