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Archive for the ‘food’ category: Page 189

Sep 21, 2015

This tree produces 40 different types of fruit (Science Alert)

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

An art professor from Syracuse University in the US, Van Aken grew up on a family farm before pursuing a career as an artist, and has combined his knowledge of the two to develop his incredible Tree of 40 Fruit.

In 2008, Van Aken learned that an orchard at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station was about to be shut down due to a lack of funding. This single orchard grew a great number of heirloom, antique, and native varieties of stone fruit, and some of these were 150 to 200 years old. To lose this orchard would render many of these rare and old varieties of fruit extinct, so to preserve them, Van Aken bought the orchard, and spent the following years figuring out how to graft parts of the trees onto a single fruit tree.

Working with a pool of over 250 varieties of stone fruit, Van Aken developed a timeline of when each of them blossom in relationship to each other and started grafting a few onto a working tree’s root structure. Once the working tree was about two years old, Van Aken used a technique called chip grafting to add more varieties on as separate branches. This technique involves taking a sliver off a fruit tree that includes the bud, and inserting that into an incision in the working tree. It’s then taped into place, and left to sit and heal over winter. If all goes well, the branch will be pruned back to encourage it to grow as a normal branch on the working tree.

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Sep 19, 2015

This Is How Much Food It Would Take to End World Hunger

Posted by in categories: food, security

There are over 500 million hungry people in the world—but that number only tells part of the story. The other part of it is the amount of the actual food shortfall. So how much food would we need to make up the gap? There’s now an exact number.

The latest International Food Security report is out, and the good news is that global food insecurity has been falling—and it’s projected to keep on doing that over the next 10 years. The bad news? It’s not falling everywhere. Sub-Saharan Africa is especially being shut out of these gains.

But how much food would it take to close the gap for every food insecure person on the planet to have access to 2,100 calories a day? The USDA has calculated a figure: 11.8 million tons of grain.

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Sep 15, 2015

Can A Healthy Gut Help You Live Longer?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health, life extension

Our gut and the microbiome play a crucial role in our health, but could better understanding of that role help us avoid disease and live longer?

The microbiome weighs 2–3 pounds and contains 10 times more cells than our own, but we’ve neglected our microbial tenants for a long time. These little denizens help us break down food, provide key nutrients and even play a role in inflammation and the integrity of our intestinal tract. It’s no surprise then that fermented foods and probiotics are gaining popularity as we become more aware of how important our gut is. Recent evidence even links poor digestive health to chronic inflammation and Parkinson’s disease.

New research suggests that both gut integrity, and the amount and type of bacteria that reside within it, can actually predict an individual’s health. They may even quicken or slow the pace of aging.

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Sep 11, 2015

Skyscraper Farms, Lab-grown Meat & Soylent — Meeting the needs of the 21st Century

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, energy, existential risks, food, sustainability

Meeting the basic needs of humanity is increasingly brought into question as we begin to resemble a cancer to the living organism we inhabit. As mass extinction continues to become an omnipotent reality, it’s apparent that more humans equals more problems. To fix this, we have to approach them in the same way farmers do: with resiliency. Farmers try to nurture their crops and hope for the right season. Although, even the predictability of spring, summer and fall’s outcome can be misleading. Nature has a way of leading things in the exact opposite direction than they seem to be headed. And it is those who’ve treaded, but still embark that truly encounter the rewards. For if farmers were to give up after an adverse season, there’d be no food next year. There’d be no continuity of supply for society. There’d be no method of feeding the hungry. No solution to ease the growing population and its rising demands.

So, with exponential gain in human births this century, how do we combat such problems? One possible solution is to build “green skyscrapers” for the sole purpose of farming, where we are able to control the environment and have multiple levels of plant growth. This could be done by utilizing an array of mirrors to redirect sunlight to every floor, while supplementing with multi-spectral, energy-efficient LED’s. With advanced humidity control and water-recycling techniques, we’d contribute towards the global conservation of water and open up valuable land to reforestation — all through subjugating the unpredictability of nature. This ensures the utmost quality and care goes into producing local, high-quality food, with the added benefit of honing the technology needed for interplanetary colonization.

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Sep 11, 2015

The 5 common traits of negligibly senescent species

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, life extension, neuroscience

The biology of aging is traditionally studied in fast-living organisms such as mice, worms and fruit flies. Short-lived species certainly have a role to play in this field, but they are only the tip of the iceberg.

Within the natural ecosystem, organisms display a range of aging processes, most often accelerated aging, or gradual aging (in the case of humans), but also, a range of species with slow or even negligible aging, which is known as negligible senescence. Unlike humans, such species have a constant mortality rate for the duration of their lifespan, as well as a constant or even increasing fertility rate. The number of negligibly senescent species which we are currently aware of is likely to grow as more and more are studied and discovered, both in the wild and in the lab.

By studying the processes which give these creatures longer lifespans, there is the possibility that they could be recreated in humans in order to extend our own. How negligible senescence is achieved by each individual species varies, but here are five of the most common traits.

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Sep 9, 2015

Can Calorie Restriction Actually Reduce Lifespan? Take A Look At This

Posted by in categories: food, life extension

Calorie restriction (CR) is big news in the anti-aging world, but how effective is it really? The evidence might be more mixed than you think.

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Sep 5, 2015

7 real NASA technologies in sci-fi movie The Martian

Posted by in categories: food, habitats, space

1. The Habitat.

2. Farming in space.

Continue reading “7 real NASA technologies in sci-fi movie The Martian” »

Sep 2, 2015

Sky Greens brings farming into a bountiful vertical future

Posted by in categories: energy, food, innovation

Sky Greens, vertical farming, vertical farming Sky Greens, vertical farming Singapore, vertical farming INDEX

When it comes to growing food, the sky’s the limit thanks to innovations like the Sky Urban Vertical Farming System. Designed and pioneered by the Singapore-based company Sky Greens, the vertical farming system is a revolutionary modern spin on the ancient practice of agriculture. Using cutting edge technology, the system demonstrates an energy efficient, environmentally friendly method of producing food that could be a powerful tool in feeding the ever-growing, increasingly urbanized, global population.

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Sep 1, 2015

Melt-resistant ice cream coming soon to a cone near you

Posted by in category: food

Ice creams and hot summer days seem to go together perfectly, until you realise the heat of the latter is turning the former into a melting mass of deliciousness oozing down the side of your cone.

Luckily for us, scientists have discovered a naturally occurring protein that can be used in ice cream to make it more resistant to melting than the ice creams we enjoy today. According to researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee in Scotland, the protein, which is called BslA, will allow ice cream to stay frozen for longer by binding together the air, fat and water in the product.

Not only will this make ice cream more impervious to things like heat, but the researchers say it also results in a super-smooth consistency. The protein, which can be made inside friendly bacteria, adheres to fat droplets and air bubbles, making for a more stable ice cream mixture that prevents the development of ice crystals.

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Aug 20, 2015

A Vacant Lot In Wyoming Will Become One Of The World’s First Vertical Farms

Posted by in categories: employment, food, sustainability

A unique conveyer belt design allows the three-story greenhouse to be efficient and sustainable, providing jobs and fresh produce to the Jackson community.

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