Something fresh is growing in Indiana. The number of farmers' markets in the state has increased at double the rate of other US states; between 1994 and 2004 the number of farmers' markets in Indiana increased by an impressive 222 percent. Researchers at Purdue have published an insightful study that identifies the reasons behind this unprecedented growth. The most important factors to customers included: the number of products available, cooking demonstrations and the number of vendors.
Air quality in homes and offices is becoming a major health concern. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in indoor air emanate from adhesives, furnishings, clothing, and solvents and have been shown to cause illnesses in people. Researchers tested ornamental indoor plants for their ability to remove harmful VOCs from indoor air. The study concluded that simply introducing common ornamental plants into indoor spaces has the potential to significantly improve the quality of indoor air.
One way to maximize the eco-friendly factor of a structure is to include a green roof-and this doesn't refer to the paint color. "Greening" a roof, or covering a roof with vegetation, is gaining popularity in North America, where the number of green roofs increased 30% from 2006 to 2007. Benefits of green roofs include improved storm water management, energy conservation, reduced noise and air pollution, improved biodiversity, and even a better return on investment than traditional roofing. [...more]
Results of the first study evaluating the use of human urine mixed with wood ash as a fertilizer for food crops has found that the combination can be substituted for costly synthetic fertilizers to produce bumper crops of tomatoes without introducing any risk of disease for consumers. [...more]
If the Hippocrates maxim that "food should be considered as our first medicine" is right, we are on the brink of some really bad medicine. Recently, Obama selected as his "Food Czar", a former Monsanto executive and FDA manipulator, Michael Taylor. More recently, the Orwellian labeled Food Safety Enhancement Bill (HR 2749) was passed easily by the House of Representatives. [...more]
The state of our environment has gotten so bad, that if you’re paying attention and have a bone of compassion in your body, it’s more than a little disturbing. A lump of trash is floating in the water near the North Pole twice the size of France; it’s about 33 feet deep. Landfills around the world are overloaded. "First world" trash is shipped to "third world" countries and people living near the dump sites are getting sick. Even our healthy foods have become nutrient deplete because of improperly cared for soils, and all while literally millions of pounds of pesticides are dumped onto the land daily. [...more]