Search Results for Tag: food
World Water Day: Humans are guzzling too much water
With World Water Day, the United Nations will draw attention towards mankind’s water consumption, especially in industrial nations. Today, about 7 billion people live on our planet. The number is expected to grow by about 2 billion by the year 2050. Of course, each one of them will need water. That includes drinking water as well as water used in every day life, like for showering or food production. All together, that adds up to a lot of water. Just keep in mind, producing one kilo of beef consumes 15,000 liters of water, and one kilo of wheat guzzles up 1,500 liters.
The United Nations recommends a sustainable diet. That means we should be aware of how water-intensive products are. We also should reduce the amount of food we waste, says the UN. 30% of the food produced worldwide is thrown away. The water used to produce it is therefore lost forever. You can learn more about the World Water Day on the official UN website. The latest Environmental Outlook report by the OECD also draws a bleak picture on rising sea levels that are swallowing cities and millions of people who will be suffering water shortages.
The UN also provides a very interesting FAQ about the value of water. Facts and figures about water can be found from the National Geographic. If you are a U.S. resident, the National Geographic provides another interesting feature, a water footprint calculator to estimate your water use on a daily basis.
DateMarch 22, 2012
7 billion, and counting
There are now more than 7 billion people living on our planet! It’s a reason to celebrate and a stark reminder of how many people live and depend on the planet’s resources. Human population looks like it will continue to grow at breakneck speed, and that means it’s vital we make sure the earth can meet the needs of all 7, 8 or even 9 billion people – when we get to that point.
Climate change poses the biggest threat to meeting the basic food supply needed to nourish the world. Severe weather, changing rain trends and other turnarounds in global climate patterns have put important basic crops at risk – from wheat and corn to coffee. As the supply falls, the prices for food soar, making it too expensive for many in the world’s developing countries.
On top of that, more people means more energy use, and the need for clean, eco-friendly energy on a wide scale will become even more crucial in the coming years. So you’re now one of more than 7 billion people on the planet. What can every person do to keep the world safe?
DateNovember 1, 2011
Cooking smoke a greater killer than Malaria
Lots of money and effort has gone into awareness raising, public health campaigns and law suits in a bid to wean the world off smoking. Lots of money and effort also continues to go into the prevention and treatment of malaria. But there’s another type of smoke that some three billion people around the globe can’t escape and that, according to recent findings, kills more than Malaria.
According to the World Health Organization almost half the world’s population cook their food and heat their homes using open fires or leaky stoves that run on wood, coal or biomass. And nearly two million people die prematurely as a result of inhaling the smoke day in and day out. That makes it a greater killer than malaria. Women and children are particularly affected as they tend to spend more time at home while men are working outside.
But there are also other problems with open wood fires. They emit CO2 and the wood used for cooking is often logged unsustainably. GLOBAL IDEAS has reported on clean and safe alternatives.
Efficient stoves in Peru Click here to learn more
Solar cookers in India Click here to learn more
DateOctober 14, 2011
”Taste the Waste”
German director Valerie Thurn has come out with a new documentary called ”Taste the Waste” that highlights the effect of wasting food on the environment. It’s an eye-opening glimpse into the way food is produced and consumed around the world, and how much we end up throwing away. Did you know that 50% of all groceries end up in the trash? It’s not just at home, either – bakeries, supermarkets and convenience stores all end up tossing a big percentage of their products that aren’t sold.
Agriculture is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to greenhouse gases, and when half of it ends up in the garbage, it’s even worse: rotting food releases methane into the air, contributing to global warming. The US Department of Agriculture and CleanMetrics Corp. did this study to show how different foods produce greenhouse gases:
In the U.S. alone, people waste 55 million tons of food a year – about 40 percent of the food supply. So what can be done? Go check out the movie if you can, the director has some interesting solutions to the waste problem…
DateOctober 11, 2011
Turning orange peel into plastic?
Next time you eat an orange, think twice about chucking the peel into a bin – it might just help generate low-carbon plastic or energy in the future. An international group of scientists has come up with an innovative way of recycling food waste such as orange peel or coffee grounds.
Researchers at the universities of York, Sao Paulo and Cordoba have found that high-powered microwave heating can help activate cellulose in a variety of food waste, triggering the release of several chemicals. These include limonene, used in various household chemicals, and bio-ethanol which can be used as a substitute for diesel fuel. These chemicals could ultimately be used to make many of the chemicals and materials that we currently need oil for. And it could help tackle the growing problem of food waste.
The project called OPEC, or the Orange Peel Exploitation Company, plans to tie up with the juice-making industry in Brazil, a huge producer of orange peel residue. As a first step, there are plans to build a pilot plant in York that would process about 10 kilograms of waste per hour.
DateSeptember 21, 2011