Jennifer Copley

Fish Farming

Fish Farming

Rapid industrialization of the fishing industry has come at the expense of sustainability. If current consumption rates persist, some scientists have estimated that our fish stocks will collapse by the middle of this century, crushing the livelihoods of millions of people and eliminating a critical food source. Industrial fishing is associated with a number of problems, including overfishing of various species and unnecessary killing of commercially useless bycatch including dolphins, whales, sharks, other fish, and seabirds. Certain industrial fishing methods also damage ecologically sensitive areas. However, fish farming can also create problems. Ecologically valuable habitats have been destroyed and local… read more

Bats: Ecologically Vital

Bats - ecologically vital

Bats can be found on all continents except Antarctica. They fulfill three ecological roles that are highly beneficial to humans: pollinating food plants, dispersing seeds, and controlling insect populations. More than 300 fruit plant species require bats for pollination, including bananas, guavas, and mangos. Without bats, there would also be no Tequila, as the Agave plant from which it’s derived depends on bats for pollination. In addition to the pollination services they provide, bats play a critical role in the seeding of tropical forests, which rely upon fruit-eating animals for seed dispersal. When animals consume fruit, they protect seeds from… read more

Baking with Whole Foods

Healthier Baking with Whole Foods

1. Replace fats with fruits and vegetables: You can replace some or all of the butter or oil in many recipes with apple sauce, mashed banana, pumpkin puree, or other healthy substitutes. 2. Use whole wheat flour: Brown flour is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, making it a far healthier choice (white flour loses most of its nutrients during processing). 3. Replace up to half the sugar with molasses: Molasses is a great source of iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Use 1+1/3 cups of molasses for each cup of sugar, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and reduce… read more

Mass Soybean Production

Soybean Farming

Is mass production of soybeans sustainable? Evidence from South America suggests that the answer is “no.” Making way for soy farms requires not only clearing the land needed to grow the beans, but also the development of infrastructure to transport inputs and harvested produce. To make matters worse, most soy farms grow genetically modified crops, which present additional risks to the environment. When soybean farms take over, natural ecosystems are destroyed and biodiversity is diminished. Massive monocultures displace diversified subsistence farms, leaving local people short of food and afflicted with pesticide-induced health problems. Government funds are diverted to subsidize soybean… read more

Free Range Eggs Are Best

Benefits of free range eggs

In addition to being a great source of protein, eggs contain antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and other health-promoting substances. However, recent studies have shown that not all eggs are created equal. There are many types of eggs available, including organic, free range, free run, and regular eggs with no special classification. Free range hens are not kept in cages and they have outdoor access at least part of the time. Eggs labeled “organic” are also free range because to obtain the organic label, the hens that produce them must be allowed to go outdoors. However, there are much stricter guidelines… read more

Whole Grain Benefits

Whole Grain Health Benefits

Antioxidants protect against the oxidative cell damage that can cause a variety of deadly diseases. Many people are aware that fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, but few know that whole grains are also rich sources of these beneficial substances. Modern diets are abundant in refined grains such as white flour and white rice, which have been stripped of much of their nutritional value during processing. Whole grains contain the plant’s embryo (germ) and food for that embryo (endosperm), as well as a protective covering (bran). These parts of the grain contain many health-promoting ingredients including antioxidants, dietary fiber, and omega-3… read more