TTIP could open EU to ‘new biotech’ GMO seeds and foods – The Ecologist

… generation’ biotech crops to escape the EU’s legislation on GMOs and therefore to go unregulated. Is there a link between this new push, and TTIP? Emails obtained via a Freedom of Information request show this might indeed be the case. Responding to public concerns, the European Commission has fervently denied any claims that EU food safety standards, or other standards for that matter, would be lowered as a result of TTIP. In early 2013, for example, the New York Times reported …

Weighing The Costs of Not Eating Organic

… example online, “one study showed that lamb raised in New Zealand and shipped 18,000 kilometers to the UK still produced less than one quarter of the greenhouse gases than local British lamb. Why? Because local flocks were fed grains, which takes a lot of energy to grow, while the New Zealand flocks were grazed on grass. Shipping the lamb to the UK was responsible for only 5% of the overall greenhouse gases, whereas 80% of the emissions were from farm activities. Similar lifecycle assessments …

Organic farming can actually be more profitable than using fertilizers and pesticides – Quartz

… study found, often include a price “premium,” or markup, of 29-32%. Only a 5-7% premium is needed to break even. True, organic farmers spend more on labor—7-13% more according to the study. They use hands-on pest control methods, for example, like introducing a predator insect to get rid of a pest species, instead of pesticides applied en masse. But farmers offset those costs by skipping the expense of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. To continue reading this article, please click on …

‘Alternative’ Investments: Marijuana and Climate Change

By John Kimelman | June 9, 2015 Most investors can do just fine by buying a fund pegged to the S&P 500 or focusing on a list of 10 stocks with solid dividends. But that would be so square, man. Indeed, most investment stories churned out each day are the kind your parents’ generation could easily relate to. But sprinkled in amidst the conventional fare are occasional stories that play on themes that might have once seemed suited only for the counterculture. In recent months, for example, …

Big Food Brands Lose Consumer Trust | CMO Strategy – Advertising Age

… “re-establish our identity in the natural foods movement.” The RFP, which was recently obtained by Ad Age, is a small but telling example of how the food industry has been shaken from its core, forced to reinvent itself in the face of shifting consumer demands. Families once reliably heaped their plates with products such as Stove Top stuffing from Kraft Foods, Hamburger Helper from General Mills and Kellogg cereals, along with similar products from other processed food titans. But …

Just Because Your Chicken Is Organic Doesn’t Mean It Was Raised Humanely | Mother Jones

… label to its line of cheese. “The USDA organic program really is failing to meet both the spirit of organic and consumer expectations around animal welfare,” says an ASPCA representative. “Organic is about what the cow is eating and what you’re doing to the land,” Meerman says. “AWA is about the cow.” He takes special care to manage his animals’ pain, and keep young cows with their mothers for a week after they’re born, for example. And those …

Insect-inspired eye may allow drones to navigate their environment more naturally

… provided the robot with the ability to navigate even greatly sloping terrain without requiring an accelerometer. As seen in the video below, the robot was successfully able to navigate a tunnel with moving walls, while avoiding obstacles. Though some drones already incorporate a form of object avoidance, it is generally one based on proximity to an object – for example in the infrared system used by the palm-sized Zano drone – rather than the premise of optic flow as incorporated in the …

CNN Explores the World’s Most Endangered Places – MensJournal.com

… which places to include on the list? We wanted it to be as diverse as possible, and as surprising as possible and not just make it a series about a changing climate or species extinction, but to touch on all of these, and then throw in some unexpected ones like this island in Greece, one of the so-called blue zones, where people live to 100 at a staggering rate. Using that episode as an example, there are a dozen different reasons these folks have figured out how to beat the grim reaper, but …

Can a new form of accounting save animals from extinction? | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

Over the past few years, businesses have increasingly talked about the need to assign monetary value to forests, wetlands and other ecosystems. The concept has been gaining momentum, and leading companies are already factoring it into their sustainability planning. Walmart, for example, has worked to examine how threats to the natural world pose risks up and down its supply chain. It has begun advising its suppliers on how to make their products more climate resilient by reducing greenhouse gas …

Toyota follows Tesla, makes hydrogen patents open source

… when good ideas are shared, great things can happen. … By eliminating traditional corporate boundaries, we can speed the development of new technologies and move into the future of mobility more quickly, effectively and economically.” Toyota generates a lot of patents each year – 1,491 in 2012 in the US alone, for example – but it did not see fit to make them all open to competitors. via Toyota follows Tesla, makes hydrogen patents open source. …