Health/Food Posts Tagged as 'Waste'
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Solar Panels Are Starting to Die, Leaving Behind Toxic Trash
Solar panels are an increasingly important source of renewable power that will play an essential role in fighting climate change. They are also complex pieces of technology that become big, bulky sheets of electronic waste at the end of their lives—and right now, most of the world doesn’t have a plan for dealing with that.
But we’ll need to develop one soon, because the solar e-waste glut is coming. By 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency projects that up to 78 million metric tons of solar panels will have reached the end of their life, and that the world will be generating about 6 million metric tons of new solar e-waste annually. While the latter number is a small fraction of the total e-waste humanity produces each year, standard electronics recycling methods don’t cut it for solar panels. Recovering the most valuable materials from one, including silver and silicon, requires bespoke recycling solutions. And if we fail to develop those solutions along with policies that support their widespread adoption, we already know what will happen.
Solar Panels Are Starting to Die, Leaving Behind Toxic Trash
Restaurant in China ‘deeply sorry’ for weighing customers
A restaurant in China has apologized after weighing diners in an effort to prevent food waste.
The restaurant in the central city of Changsha asked customers to stand on scales and scan their data into an app that recommended food choices based on their weight, Agence France Presse reported.
Restaurant in China ‘deeply sorry’ for weighing customers
Lettuce Left To Die In California Fields As Produce Demand Withers Under COVID-19
Americans stuck at home to help curb the spread of the coronavirus can’t buy enough toilet paper, cleaning supplies and alcohol, but there’s plenty of lettuce and leafy greens. In fact, there is so much that West Coast growers are letting some crops die in the field. That's because in good times the majority of lettuce and broccoli are actually sold to restaurants and schools, not supermarkets.
“This thing has been just like hitting a brick wall, and we don’t know how long it's gonna last,” Larry Cox, owner of Salinas, California-based Coastline Family Farms, tells Forbes. Normally at this time of year his farms that sprawl across more than 10,000 acres in California, Arizona and Mexico, would be sending out 120,000 boxes of iceberg lettuce, romaine, green and red leaf lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower a week. About 70% of that would be going to food service companies and 30% to supermarkets. “We’re lucky if we harvest much over 60% of what we have ready and scheduled to harvest the last couple weeks.”
Fad diets DO work... but only for a year: Health benefits such as weight loss and blood pressure vanish after 12 months, new study suggests
After months of counting calories and saying no to desserts, those on a diet will not want to hear this.
But improving eating habits will only keep weight off for less than a year and improvements in blood pressure will also disappear, according to a study.
Scientists looked at 14 popular food fads, including fashionable Atkins and Paleo diets, which were followed for an average of 26 weeks.
The Atkins diet encourages people to limit their carbohydrate intake while Paleo diets mean eating the foods ancient hunter-gatherers used to.
Americans are hitting bars and bragging about not social distancing
The nation's top infectious disease researchers have repeatedly warned, if not begged, Americans to practice social distancing as the contagious coronavirus spreads through the population.
That's because, due to a woeful lack of testing in the nation, no one knows how many Americans are infected — and the resulting respiratory disease (COVID-19) is 10 times more lethal than the flu. Sunday morning, Marc Lipsitch, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Harvard University, emphasized this point, noting that the true number of infections is certainly "much higher" than confirmed cases.
But, though some folks are social distancing, many still clearly aren't. Some are even actively bragging about not doing it. This weekend, journalists and others reported that bars across the nation were packed in Boston, Chicago, Nashville, and New York City.
The Earth needs, on average, about 10 million years to recover from a mass extinction of the planet's species, far longer than most scientists thought, according to a new study by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and Duke University.
Would you give up having children to save the planet? Meet the couples who have
When people ask her if she has children, Münter, who is 44, has a prepared answer: “No, my husband and I are child-free by choice.” Saying child-free, she argues, doesn’t imply you are deprived, as the more standard “childless” might. And by letting them know it isn’t a sad topic to be avoided, she says, “it opens up the door for them to ask: ‘Oh, that’s interesting, why did you choose not to?’” Münter wants to move the awkward topic of overpopulation into the mainstream. “The more we talk about it, the more comfortable people will feel talking about it and then, maybe, things will change.”
For too long, she feels, the issue has been swept under the rug. “We can talk about emissions and climate change, but talking about population gets such an emotional reaction.”
The last thing she wants to do is make parents feel guilty, or to shut them out of the conversation. Procreation, after all, is natural. And if you have two children, you are only replacing their parents, rather than adding extras. But if you’re not yet a parent and can’t suppress your parental instincts, says Münter, “my ask is that you consider adopting one of the 153m orphan children that are already on the planet and need a home. Or, if you are dead set on having your own, my hope would be that you just have one and then if you want more, adopt.” Ultimately, she says, “your kids and your kid’s kids will be the ones who benefit from humans deciding to slow down our rate of growth. It will slow down climate change, ocean acidification, cutting down the wild places.”
More than half of U.S. beaches have fecal bacteria, environmentalists say
While Massachusetts beachgoers may be worried about sharks this summer, environmentalists are warning about a much smaller organism. E. coli, a bacteria present in animal and human waste, could hurt many more people—and it shows up on half of America's beaches, according to new research from Environment America and the Frontier Group.
Half the beaches in the U.S. have at least one day per summer season in which it's not safe to swim because of elevated bacteria levels in the water, according to a report the group released recently. Some states had it much worse. In Louisiana, all of the 24 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day last summer. In Mississippi, all 21 of 21 beach sites sampled were.
There are several ways for bacteria to get into water, but two of the most common ones are overflows from sewage treatment plants or runoff during heavy rain.
Cambodia to send plastic waste back to the US and Canada
Cambodia has become the latest Asian country to reject shipments of waste sent to its shores by Western companies for processing.
Cambodian officials announced Wednesday that they were sending 1,600 tonnes of trash back to their source -- the United States and Canada.
How can city dwellers help with climate change? Buy less stuff.
CITIES CAN PLAY a major role in the global effort to curb climate change, a new report says—and a major step they can take is helping their inhabitants consume a whole lot less stuff by making changes in the way cities are run.
Even the most forward-thinking cities have a long way to go to neutralize their carbon emissions, the report says. That’s partly because for years, cities have been doing carbon math wrong, adding up only the carbon costs that occur within city limits. But much of city dwellers' climate impact actually comes from the things they eat, use, or buy that originate far outside the city—from food to clothes to electronics and more.
To keep emissions in check, the report suggests, cities should aim to trim their carbon emissions by 50 percent in the next 11 years, and then by a total of 80 percent by 2050. And because, as the researchers found, a hefty portion of those emissions can be traced back to consumer goods, food, and energy produced outside city limits, one of the best things cities can do is help their residents pull back on consumption.
Patients’ Needs, Not Personal Beliefs, Come First in Health Care
Since taking office, the Trump administration has launched a systematic attack on laws that exist to protect all of us from discrimination when we seek basic health care. Today, we’re taking them back to court over it.
Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) resurrected a policy that allows health care providers — including hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices — to use their religious beliefs to withhold critical information and obstruct patient’s access to health care. In 2009, the ACLU challenged the original version of the rule. Ten years later, we filed a lawsuit to, once again, preserve access to evidence-based, nonjudgmental health care and ensure that medical standards — not religious belief — guide health care.
The Worst Patients in the World
Rise in homeless numbers prompts outrage and alarm across L.A. County
Most nights, Jeremias Ortiz has to shoo away homeless people who sleep and panhandle outside his restaurant, El Salvadoreño in Duarte.
The men and women living in the parking lot are bad for his business, but as their ranks swell, it has become a fact of life — as has cleaning up broken glass, urine and feces.
“They don’t have a place to put [homeless people] in this area. I think it’s where all the problems start.” Local officials, Ortiz said, “are just ignoring the people’s needs.”
According to the latest point-in-time count released Tuesday, the number of homeless people in the San Gabriel Valley jumped 17% from 4,282 in 2018 to 5,021 this year — the second largest bump in Los Angeles County. The largest was on the Westside, up 19% from 4,401 homeless people in 2018 to 5,223 this year. Both outpaced the overall increase of 12% across the county.
Caterer blasts her boss for banning staff from taking home leftover food after a wedding and insisting it goes in the trash - but Facebook users claim it's a matter of food safety
A woman has sparked a lengthy debate after revealing that the catering company she works for doesn't allow staff to take home leftover food.
The employee, from Quebec, took to Facebook to vent her fury after she was almost fired for trying to sneak off with the remains of a dish served at a wedding.
She claimed that staff often work 10 hour shifts and go home starving at 2am, while uneaten food is thrown in the bin.
The Facebook user received a divided response from contributors, with many arguing that the decision on what to do with leftovers is most likely due to health and safety regulations.
AirPods Are a Tragedy
Future Relics is a column about the objects that our society is currently making, and how they may explain our lives to future generations. In each article, we'll focus on one item that could conceivably be discovered by someone 1,000 years from now, and try to explain where this item came from, where it's going, and what its existence explains about our current moment.
AirPods are a product of the past.
They're plastic, made of some combination of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine, and sulfur. They’re tungsten, tin, tantalum, lithium, and cobalt.
The particles that make up these elements were created 13.8 billion years ago, during the Big Bang. Humans extract these elements from the earth, heat them, refine them. As they work, humans breathe in airborne particles, which deposit in their lungs. The materials are shipped from places like Vietnam, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Peru, Mexico, Indonesia, and India, to factories in China. A literal city of workers creates four tiny computing chips and assembles them into a logic board. Sensors, microphones, grilles, and an antenna are glued together and packaged into a white, strange-looking plastic exoskeleton.
These are AirPods. They’re a collection of atoms born at the dawn of the universe, churned beneath the surface of the earth, and condensed in an anthropogenic parallel to the Big Crunch—a proposed version of the death of the universe where all matter shrinks and condenses together. Workers are paid unlivable wages in more than a dozen countries to make this product possible. Then it’s sold by Apple, the world’s first trillion-dollar company, for $159 USD.
Most people waste more food than they think—here's how to fix it
Food waste, that scourge that sends more than a third of our food supply to rot and is a major contributor to climate change, seems like it should be easy to address.
Waste less food, advocates cry, and you can save money! You can save time! You can save farmland and fuel, and, since agriculture drives habitat loss, you can even help save the tiger.
And yet, here we are in the thick of Earth Month, on a day designated as “Stop Food Waste Day,” and you probably don’t need to look further than your own kitchen or cafeteria to see edible food dumped. In the U.S. more than 80 percent of food waste has been traced to homes and consumer-facing businesses.
So why is this problem so hard to solve? Because, researchers say, we’re only human. We have some irrational tendencies, some aspirations that don’t match reality, and some major blind spots. Not to mention busy schedules that don’t always align with when the avocado on the counter finally ripens. Here in the U.S., food waste is often invisibly baked into how we shop, cook and entertain.