On what grounds

Stimulating coffee lectures in Seattle focus on sustainability

Ever wonder exactly what goes into your morning coffee (aside from milk and sugar, of course)? A series of lectures this spring at the University of Washington attempts to answer just that question. The UW …

Poop + Marketing = Biosolids

Sludge, farmer’s friend or toxic slime?

Should what we put down our sewers ultimately wind up back on our plates?Marc Samsom via Flickr Urine, feces, menstrual blood, hair, fingernails, vomit, dead skin cells. Industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, soaps, shampoos, solvents, pesticides, household …

The Sludge Report

Regulating biosolids

Biosolids are regulated under what’s known colloquially (to those who speak colloquially about sewage) as the 503 Sludge Rule, which came into effect in 1993. Technically titled “40 CFR 503 — Standards for the Use …

Dysfunctional foods

Ethanol waste: it’s what’s for … breakfast?

It’s food, no fuel, no food…For the ethanol industry, much depends on distillers grains, the stuff that’s left over after corn has been fermeneted and distilled to make alcohol. Corn ethanol’s energy balance (net energy …

Ripe for change

Another win for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Photo: Scott RobertsonOver the past week, much attention has been focused on the “B” part of that classic U.S. sandwich, the BLT. The swine flu outbreak has quite rightly raised questions about the environemtal/public health …

Pot calling the kettle green

Smithfield brings home McDonald’s corporate responsibility prize

Larry Pope“Oh, my goodness. I think I’m extremely proud of — of how we are from a corporate social responsibility standpoint.  And, in fact, McDonald’s just gave us their first award as the most — …

Yes, it's the CAFOs

Now is not the time for timidity

I agree with the calls for some amount of caution in the search for a smoking gun in the swine flu pandemic. There’s always the danger of over-reaching and turning your target into an object …

Premature Pontification

Jumping to conclusions in health matters may have adverse side effects

The past week, the Netiverse has erupted with stories linking the Granjas Carroll confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) near La Gloria, Vera Cruz, Mexico, with the outbreak of a strain of H1N1 influenza, commonly called …

Home groan

CDC: swine flu strain has genetic roots in U.S.A.

(Another hat tip to the increasingly essential Tom Laskawy.) In an interview with Science Magazine,  CDC chief virologist Ruben Donis essentially confirmed the reading of the current swine flu strain made by New Scientist: that …

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