Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Organic produce superior to conventional on every level, study finds

Written Thursday, September 02, 2010 by Jonathan Benson | NaturalNew.com

(NaturalNews) Mainstream nutritionists often claim that conventional produce is no different than organic produce. But a new study recently published in the online, peer-reviewed journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) One proves otherwise, revealing that organic fruits and vegetables pack a greater nutritional punch and produce better, healthier soil than their conventional counterparts.

John Reganold, professor of soil science at Washington State University Regents and author of the new study, and his colleagues conducted the most comprehensive analysis of its kind on commercial produce soil and the strawberries that grow in it. (Conventional strawberries, as many now know, are one of the most pesticide-laden fruits available for sale.)

Reganold and his team analyzed 31 different chemical and biological soil properties--including soil DNA--and performed tests on the quality, nutritional value and taste of 26 different strawberries from both conventional and organic fields. And what they found is truly astounding.

Organic strawberries contain far more antioxidants, vitamin C and beneficial polyphenolic compounds than conventional strawberries, and they have a longer shelf life. Organic strawberries also contain more dry matter per volume--meaning more actual strawberry--than conventional ones do.

In an unbiased taste test, samplers indicated that organic strawberries taste better overall, both in terms of sweetness and general strawberry flavor. And when viewed side-by-side, organic strawberries are more visually appealing.

But it does not stop there. In soil tests, organic soils tested extremely rich in key nutrients, enzymes and biological and chemical elements, that are otherwise lacking in conventional fields. Such soil nutrients are vital for producing nutritionally-rich fruit, as well as for maintaining healthy soil conditions that preserve and promote environmental integrity.

The study also revealed that organic produce can be raised with the same--or better--yields as conventional produce, but without all the harmful chemicals and pesticides that destroy both human health and the environment.

This article has been brought to you by Knight's Dilemma from NaturalNew.com.
Original article can be found Here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

German village generates 321 percent more renewable energy than it needs, earns millions selling it back to national power grid

(NaturalNews) Developing a renewable energy system that creates energy independence and even a considerable new source of revenue is not some sort of sci-fi pipe dream. BioCycle reports that the German village of Wildpoldsried, population 2,600, has had such incredible success in building its renewable energy system. Wildpoldsried generates 321 percent more renewable energy than it uses, and it now sells the excess back to the national power grid for roughly $5.7 million in additional revenue every single year.

By utilizing a unique combination of solar panels, "biogas" generators, natural wastewater treatment plants, and wind turbines, Wildpoldsried has effectively eliminated its need to be attached to a centralized power grid, and created a thriving renewable energy sector in the town that is self-sustaining and abundantly beneficial for the local economy, the environment, and the public.

Possessing admirable vision for the town and strong motivation to see the project as a whole succeed, Mayor Arno Zengerie has led the way for many years in making Wildpoldsried's energy independence efforts a success. As far back as 1997, the village has been investing in building and promoting new industries, maintaining a strong local economy, generating new forms of revenue, and ultimately staying out of debt. And the best way it saw fit to accomplish much of this was through the implementation of self-sustaining, renewable energy technologies.

Not only did Wildpoldsried successfully reduce the amount of time expected to generate the necessary funds to build local treasures like a sports hall, theater stage, pub, and retirement home with the revenue generated by its thriving renewable energy sector -- the village has already successfully built nine community buildings, with more on the way -- but it also achieved all this and more without going into debt.

"We often spend a lot of time talking to our visitors about how to motivate the village council (and Mayor) to start thinking differently," said Mayor Zengerle, who now gives talks around the world about the successes of his award-winning village. "We show them a best practices model in motion and many see the benefits immediately. From the tour we give, our guests understand how well things can operate when you have the enthusiasm and conviction of the people.
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

India files biopiracy lawsuit against Monsanto, says biotech giant is stealing nature for corporate gain.

Written Wednesday, September 28, 2011 by Jonathan Benson | NaturalNews.com

(NaturalNews) Representing one of the most agriculturally bio-diverse nations in the world, India has become a primary target for biotechnology companies like Monsanto and Cargill to spread their genetically-modified (GM) crops into new markets. However, a recent France 24 report explains that the Indian government has decided to take an offensive approach against this attempted agricultural takeover by suing Monsanto for "biopiracy," accusing the company of stealing India's indigenous plants in order to re-engineer them into patented varieties.

Brinjal, also known in Western nations as eggplant, is a native Indian crop for which there are roughly 2,500 different unique varieties. Millions of Indian farmers grow brinjal, which is used in a variety of Indian food dishes, and the country grows more than a quarter of the world's overall supply of the vegetable.

And in an attempt to capitalize on this popular crop, Monsanto has repeatedly tried to commercially market its own GM variety of brinjal called Bt brinjal. But massive public outcry against planned commercial approval of Monsanto's "frankencrop" variety in 2010 led to the government banning it for an indefinite period of time.

But Monsanto is still stealing native crops, including brinjal, and quietly working on GM varieties of them in test fields, which is a clear violation of India's Biological Diversity Act (BDA). So at the prompting of various farmers and activists in India, the Indian government, representing the first time in history a nation that has taken such action, has decided to sue Monsanto.

"This can send a different message to the big companies for violating the laws of the nation," said K.S. Sugara, Member Secretary of the Karnataka Biodiversity Board, to France 24 concerning the lawsuit. "It is not acceptable ... that the farmers in our communities are robbed of the advantage they should get from the indigenous varieties."

You can watch the full France 24 video report of India's lawsuit against Monsanto here:

Farmers and active members of the public in India have been some of the world's most outspoken opponents of Monsanto's attempted GM takeover of agriculture. Besides successfully overturning the attempted approval of Bt brinjal, these freedom fighters have also successfully destroyed several attempted Monsanto GM test fields.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

An unlimited supply of hydrogen energy from wastewater? New research suggests it's possible.

Written Sunday, September 25, 2011 by Jonathan Benson | NaturalNews.com

(NaturalNews) Hydrogen-based energy technology currently lacks the ability to effectively and efficiently produce hydrogen on a large scale apart from the heavy input of fossil fuels which defeats the purpose entirely. But a professor out of Penn State University (PSU) has discovered a novel new way to produce hydrogen using simple wastewater or saltwater -- and theoretically, the technology could one day produce an unlimited supply of renewable energy.

Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, research by Bruce Logan, a professor of environmental engineering at PSU, and his colleague Younggy Kim reveals that adding a precise amount of a certain "activated" bacteria to either wastewater or saltwater effectively produces hydrogen energy as its byproduct.

Upon experimenting with electrical currents, the duo discovered that the hydrogen-producing bacteria advantageously began to consume organic compounds in the water after being activated with a surge of electricity. And if connected to an energy-intensive wastewater treatment plant, which would also serve as the water source, a large-scale, hydrogen-producing bacterial facility could convert large amounts of water into hydrogen without even needing to be externally powered.

"You can hitch a wastewater treatment (sic) to a hydrogen production plant without any external energy," Logan is quoted as saying to Fast Company. "Right now the main barriers are, can we do this on a large scale, and can we do this economically?"

Logan believes that his process has incredible potential, especially if considered as an incremental advancement in the larger picture of alternative energy development. While it may not be fully refined and optimized, it stands to open the door to further advancements in viably producing energy without the use of fossil fuels, not to mention turn a theory into a reality.

"People are investing large amounts of money into technologies that have large scale impacts on energy production," added Logan. "But there are ways to make the same kind of change from the summation of smaller advances."

Like many of the other energy developments that have been announced in recent years, only time will tell if Logan's hydrogen advancement shapes up into an actual product, or if it will simply remain an unfulfilled pipe dream.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Advanced wind turbine design eliminates need for environmentally-harmful rare earth metals, generates electricity at $0.04 per kWh

Written Thursday, September 22, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson | NaturalNews.com

(NaturalNews) The bumbling, inefficient reputation of current wind energy technology just might get the game-changing overhaul it needs to become a viable form of clean energy production, thanks to a new permanent magnet generator (PMG) design created by Boulder Wind Power (BWP).

According to a recent report by Green Tech Media, the budding technology does not require the use of expensive, environmentally-damaging rare earth metals typically imported from China, and it also generates electricity at a lower cost than traditional coal-burning plants are able to do.

Most wind turbines in use today rely on complicated gearboxes that run at high temperatures, that wear out easily, and that are difficult and expensive to maintain. They also require the use of dysprosium, an expensive, rare-earth metal obtained from China, a country whose track record of environmental friendliness leaves much to be desired (http://www.naturalnews.com/028160_r...).

In other words, the lofty price of dysprosium, which can run as high as $2,000 per kilo (2.2 pounds), combined with the frequent need to maintain and replace a slew of intricate turbine parts, has made current wind energy production technologies inadequate and unable to compete in the energy market apart from government subsidization.

The PMG design, however, eliminates the gear-driven system, which BWP describes as "a bunch of very high precision, high quality steel parts in a gear box," with a direct drive system that is "basically one big moving part." And since this single part relies on neodymium, which is one-twentieth the price of dysprosium, and mined in California using an environmentally-friendly extraction process, its potential to replace current wind energy technologies is essentially a given.

But the biggest reason why the PMG wind design is sure to take off is that it actually produces energy for less than both current wind energy technologies and traditional coal technologies do. With the capacity to produce energy at a cost of roughly $0.04 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), without government subsidization, PMG's economic viability alone is enough to eventually propel it to the forefront of the clean energy market.

"We're not inventing new science," said BWP CEO Sandy Butterfield. "We don't expect the rotor to change. We don't expect the tower to change. The nacelle -- everything between the tower and the rotor -- will have significant changes. But it's all mechanical engineering."

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Monday, September 19, 2011

No Blood, No Gore, Just Megatons of Steel

Written by Seth Schiesel | www.nytimes.com | Sept. 16th 2011

When I could have been doing something healthy recently, like going to the gym, I was probably sniping with a Panzer IV from the escarpments of a desert called El Halluf. When I should have been doing something responsible, like scrubbing the tub, I was probably barreling around a European town called Himmelsdorf in an “Easy Eight” Sherman. Even when I should have been playing some other game, I was probably playing World of Tanks, a concussively enjoyable, shrewdly designed armored-combat game.

After more than 1,500 online battles, I now find myself daydreaming about obscure military concepts with vaguely suggestive names like gun depression, defilade and enfilade. To put it in blunt, even howitzerian, terms: if you have any interest in military tactics and a speedy computer (the game runs only on fairly powerful Windows PCs), you should at least give it a try. If you’re a World War II buff, the game is a must. And if you’re tiring of elves, demons and aliens, you may find the experience of watching your enemies scatter or be blown to shards by the rumbling might of your Tiger tank just a bit more visceral.

World of Tanks is about, well, yeah, tanks, specifically those of the World War II era. There are no people here, alive or dead. There are no limbs to be severed. No decapitations. In fact there is no blood at all, just a lot of nice, clean tank explosions and buildings being ground to rubble. More important, there are amazing victories just waiting to be pulled from the maw of defeat through your mastery of strategy and aim.
You know a game is good when you start hearing about it through the online communities of other games. I first learned about World of Tanks about a year ago, when it was in beta testing. 
Suddenly my fellow pilots in Eve Online, the sprawling science-fiction universe, were debating whether the Soviet IS-4 could stand up against the German Ferdinand and whether the American Pattoncould deal with the game version of the Soviet T-54....

For the rest of the article, please click here.


A fun game I play a bunch myself. ;-D 
- OnofakindKnight

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why is this "Unsafe" Food Banned When It's 35,000 Times SAFER Than Others?

Written by Dr.Mercola | mercola.com | Aug 31 2011
Excerpt compiled by Knight's Dilemma

Research by Dr. Ted Beals, MD, featured in the summer 2011 issue of Wise Traditions, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, shows that you are about 35,000 times more likely to get sick from other foods than you are from raw milk!  Statistically, you're also more likely to get injured driving to the farm to pick up your raw milk than becoming ill from drinking it.

Dr. Beals' research shows that between 1999 and 2010, there was an average of 42 cases of illness per year attributed to raw milk, and that includes both "confirmed" and "presumed" cases.
"At last we have access to the numbers we need to determine the risk of consuming raw milk on a per-person basis"… The key figure that permits a calculation of raw milk illnesses on a per-person basis comes from a 2007 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) FoodNet survey, which found that 3.04 percent of the population consumes raw milk, or about 9.4 million people, based on the 2010 census. This number may in fact be larger in 2011 as raw milk is growing in popularity.  For example, sales of raw milk increased 25 percent in California in 2010, while sales of pasteurized milk declined 3 percent."
In his report, Dr. Beals writes:
"From the perspective of a national public health professional looking at an estimated total of 48 million foodborne illnesses each year [from all foods]… there is no rational justification to focus national attention on raw milk, which may be associated with an average of 42 illnesses maximum among the more than nine million people (about 0.0005 percent) who have chosen to drink milk in its fresh unprocessed form.
… Consumption of any food has some risk of illness or adverse reaction. And the consequence of basing public policy on horrific personal experiences is that all foods will ultimately be banned, and we will not be able to participate in any activity."
If this isn't food for thought, I don't know what is. These statistics are the smoking gun proving that the war on raw milk cannot be based on food safety or protecting your health from an even remotely real threat…