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Ecological News

Water policy: EPA rule proposal stumps arid Arizona.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 19:30
In a place that values its water so much, it might seem as it would be easy to find someone supportive of the Obama administration's effort to extend automatic protections to streams and creeks that officials say are vital to habitat and drinking water supplies. It's not (Part 1 of 2).
Categories: Ecological News

In Texas, the art and science of building a better cow.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 19:30
Can animal geneticists breed – or clone – a cow that will taste great and have a smaller environmental hoofprint too?
Categories: Ecological News

India's perils of irrational antibiotic use.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 19:30
Unregulated use of antibiotics in food and for treating diseases India is rendering these medicines ineffective.
Categories: Ecological News

Vermont releases draft GMO labeling rules.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 19:30
The Vermont attorney general's office on Wednesday released a draft of the rules it is writing to govern the state's first-in-the-nation law to require the labeling of food made with genetically modified organisms.
Categories: Ecological News

Exide hazardous waste dripped onto roads from trucks, records show.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 19:30
Hazardous waste from an embattled Vernon battery recycler dripped from tractor-trailers onto public roadways last year, according to recently released public documents in which a state environmental inspector called the leaks an "on-going problem".
Categories: Ecological News

Nine dead in Xinjiang coal mine cave-in.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 19:30
A 60-hour rescue operation ended Thursday morning as the body of the last trapped miner was lifted to the ground, raising the death toll to nine, said the Xinjiang Tianshan Coal and Power Co. under by China Coal Energy Co., the country's second-largest coal producer.
Categories: Ecological News

US military denied treatment to soldiers exposed to chemical weapons in Iraq.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 19:30
While the US made the search for evidence of ongoing chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons programs a priority, disposing of whatever they did find apparently was not.
Categories: Ecological News

Resurrecting smallpox? Easier than you think.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 19:30
Even if we destroy the stockpiled smallpox samples, the war is not over; the smallpox virus has now found a second host. It is not the pig. In fact, it is not even what we think of as a living thing. It is the computer. This is not some conceptual game. This is real and life-threatening.
Categories: Ecological News

Global fracking boom could mean 12% higher emissions

The Ecologist Magazine - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 17:15
A full-scale rush for shale gas would increase emissions, writes Erik Bichard, giving the lie to politicians' claims that fracking is 'climate friendly'. A new study in Nature shows that abundant shale gas would cause CO2 emissions to rise by a median 4.5%. When 'fugitive' methane is included the figure rises to 9.5%.
Categories: Ecological News

Keeping the lights on

The Ecologist Magazine - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 14:46
Last night's speech on Britain's energy choices by former environment secretary Owen Paterson's caused widespread outrage long before it was delivered. But what exactly did he say on the night? Read on, and be surprised to discover that it makes excellent sense - in parts.
Categories: Ecological News

How to Pickle Almost Anything

Yes! Magazine - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 04:25

Photo by Susy Morris / Flickr.

It began, as do many U.S. fermentation experiences, with Sandor Ellix Katz. We ran a story by him in Issue 68. Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn, the YES! designated early adopter, decided to give it a try. She gave me some of her kimchi. It was so good I had to make my own. Kali Swenson, erstwhile intern, thought it would be cool to have a low-cost source to feed her kombucha habit. Fermentation—it’s catching.

You take something ordinary and let the little beasties make it wonderful.

Why ferment? It’s practical magic. You take something ordinary and let the little beasties make it wonderful. You know exactly what’s in your pickles or kimchi or kombucha, and you make it taste just the way you want it to. And if you’re already eating or drinking ferments, you’re going to save a lot of money making your own. Plus, you can impress your friends and, once they’ve sampled your goodies and want to make their own, you can share tips, recipes, and starters.

There’s a ton of fermentation information on the Web. Get the details there. But here’s where we started.

Kimchi and kraut

What I put in kimchi: cabbage, kale, radish, turnip, greens, onion, garlic scapes, kohlrabi—whatever’s in the garden or on hand.

Chop veggies. About one and a half times as much as your container holds. Massage with 15g salt per kilo (about 1T per quart). Let rest while you mix spices. Korean red pepper (gochugaru) is worth looking for. For 2 liters, I use: head or two garlic, 1t grated ginger, 2T fish sauce, half an apple, 6T red pepper. Blend into paste. Mix with veggies. Pack into jars, just up to the shoulder. Add brine as needed to cover. Add weight to keep veggies submerged (I use marbles). Cap the jars. For the first few days, loosen the cap occasionally to release CO2.

Ferment for three weeks for full acidity—three different types of bacteria work on the stuff at different times. Then refrigerate. If you like it less sour, refrigerate after a week.­

For sauerkraut, follow above recipe, omitting everything except cabbage and salt.

Kombucha

A bit of time, some simple ingredients, and a good SCOBY can get you custom-flavored kombucha for pennies. You can buy a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast). Better yet, get one from a friend who brews.

Put 2T (or about 10 bags) of tea and a cup of sugar in a gallon jar. Add three quarts of boiling water. Let cool to room temperature. Remove the tea, add the SCOBY and starter (a bit of tea from the last batch), and cover the jar’s mouth with cloth.

Store in a warm, dark place for about 14 days—less if you like it sweeter. Remove the SCOBY and the new one it made and save for future brewing (and to give away). Add flavoring if you like, transfer to airtight bottles, and give it a week to get nice and fizzy. Refrigerate and enjoy the refreshing probiotic- and antioxidant-packed drink—even on an intern’s budget.

Yogurt

Slowly heat a half gallon of organic whole milk to 180 degrees, when bubbles form but just before boiling. This process kills any bacteria that might spoil the milk. Cover with a lid, or you’ll need to keep stirring to prevent a skin from forming.

Next, cool the milk to 110 degrees, keeping the lid on. At this temperature, the yogurt culture will thrive, so whisk in 1/4 cup of recently purchased plain organic yogurt with live cultures. If you make yogurt again within two weeks, you can use your own yogurt as your starter.

Pour the mixture into five clean pint mason jars. Fill a sixth jar with hot tap water. Put all the jars into a cooler—or anywhere the temperature will be somewhat constant and the jars not jostled for 5–8 hours. Then refrigerate.

Doug Pibel wrote this article for The End of Poverty, the Fall 2014 issue of YES! Magazine. Doug is managing editor of YES!

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Categories: Ecological News

Palm oil - the new threat to the Amazon

The Ecologist Magazine - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 20:49
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has been sharply reduced in recent years, writes Alex Kirby. But analysts say that palm oil and other cash crops are set for a major expansion, while high demand for beef, and administrative chaos, may undermine efforts to reform the ranching sector.
Categories: Ecological News

New Ebola cases may rise to 10,000 a week by December.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 19:30
The Ebola virus is killing 70 percent of the people who contract the disease, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, and as many as 10,000 new cases a week could be reported by early December.
Categories: Ecological News

Funding woes delay new Chernobyl cover.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 19:30
The casing around the ruined nuclear reactor at Chernobyl is crumbling, causing a renewed radioactive contamination risk. A new cover for the site is under construction - but the project is running out of funding.
Categories: Ecological News

Mine cited for orange sludge in Arizona waterways.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 19:30
Patagonia residents were happy for rain last month, until they noticed orange sludge, bright red trickles and liquid the color of iced tea heading toward their waterways. Those September storms brought leaks from inactive mines in the mountains, potential danger to wildlife in Santa Cruz County.
Categories: Ecological News

Whirlpool says Fort Smith pollution plume ‘continues to decrease.’

Environmental Health News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 19:30
A Whirlpool Corporation executive and one of its hired environmental consultants told the Fort Smith Board of Directors Tuesday that a third round of chemical oxidation treatments would commence at the end of October.
Categories: Ecological News

Feeding China: Safety of milk poses challenge.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 19:30
Better feed makes happier cows equals more and safer milk. That simple equation explains Iowa efforts to help China solve one of its biggest food safety and security issues. In the wake of scandals involving tainted milk, Chinese officials are pushing for U.S.-size dairy farms with thousands of cows.
Categories: Ecological News

Taming the wilderness.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 19:30
It's obvious that oil, gas, mining, dams, utility corridors, roads – the brute stuff of industrial man – are the most lethal threats to wilderness. My interest moves to the quieter, more insidious dangers. We hear much less, for example, about the ecological devastation in wilderness wrought by our beloved and iconic ranching industries.
Categories: Ecological News

Waters of the US rule deserves public attention.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 19:30
We might not have firsthand memories of the Cuyahoga River fire, but it shouldn’t take a catastrophe to prompt us to act in defense of clean water. Americans should be able to turn on the tap and know the water that comes out is safe for them and their families.
Categories: Ecological News

Whole Foods to rate its produce and flowers for environmental impact.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 19:30
Whole Foods Market on Wednesday began a ratings program for fruits, vegetables and flowers aimed at giving consumers more information about pesticide and water use, the treatment of farm workers and waste management, and other issues surrounding the food they eat.
Categories: Ecological News
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