A recent University of Minnesota survey published in the American Society for Horticultural Science's Hortscience found that, of 365 attendees at the Minnesota State Fair polled, consumers said they were willing to pay a premium for both organic and local produce, and that they'd be willing to pay about the same amount for each. But when it comes to actual purchases, consumers say they buy local much more frequently, with 54% saying they always or most times purchase local food, compared to just 21% who say the same of organic food.
Part of the reason seems to be in what people value most about the vegetables and fruit they purchase: That they are fresh, safe to eat and healthy.
Half of the fish consumed around the world is farmed, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That might sound like a good thing, given how thoroughly the oceans have been overfished. But, in an indicator that the industry is far from sustainable, fish farming still relies on traditional fishing ... to gather enough small fish to feed the carnivorous farmed fish, like salmon, trout and tuna. The small wild fish are caught by the millions (billions?) and chopped up for fish meal and fish oil -- and since it takes as much as five pounds of wild fish to produce one pound of farmed fish, the equation is not working out in favor of ocean health.
Want to help? Try barramundi, a vegetarian fish that is sustainably farmed in freshwater ponds, and try these 9 things you can do to protect the ocean. (Other vegetarian farmed fish, like the barramundi, include tilapia and carp.)
A recent report by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies found that more than 1,000 products are now being manufactured with nanomaterials -- a promising but completely unregulated technology that allows scientists and manufacturers to manipulate substances at such minute scales that the very properties of those substances changes. Some worry that these new particles can be harmful to human health and the environment, but few studies have yet assessed the safety of many of the substances being developed. So what's nano in your kitchen?
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