Tag Archives: Natural resources

Research for More Sustainable Food Production

46The Meat Site – Safer food, less waste, more efficient food production and better use of natural resources are just some of the goals inspiring the work of a new research group at the University of Lincoln in the UK.

The Agri-Food Technology Research Group aims to develop new technological solutions for all stages of food production including cultivation, harvest, processing and packaging.

Agri-food is the largest industry in Lincolnshire and food security is also one of the major challenges identified by the UK Research Councils.

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Water expert calls for more collection of rainfall

Sistema coleta de aguaThe Korea Herald – In 2000, a stifling heat blanketed many parts of Korea for months, triggering severe water shortages especially in rural areas and islands.

The prolonged drought had put top water expert Han Moo-young at bay by “depriving him of the stuff to treat,” as he put it. But it was also a watershed moment in his career as it brought home to the engineering professor at Seoul National University the worth of a very basic component of nature: rain.

“Then it finally rained, but people didn’t really like it because it makes you wet and causes inconvenience,” he said in a recent interview with The Korea Herald.

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Source and Photo: The Korean Herald, 15th April, 2013
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Growth of ethanol fuel stalls in Brazil

“A new moment for mankind.” That was how Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, described his country’s biofuel boom in March 2007. Back then, Brazil was the poster child of ethanol fuel, its output second only to that of the United States. Fermenting the sugars in the country’s abundant sugar cane produced a motor fuel that lowered carbon dioxide emissions, and many saw Brazil as a model for how the world could shed its addiction to oil, creating jobs along the way.

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Source and Photo: Nature, November 27th, 2012
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Latin America leads the way in creating shared value

By Dane Smith

The Guardian – In “Creating Shared Value,” the Harvard Business Review cover story written by FSG co-founders Michael Porter andMark Kramer, the authors cite numerous examples of multinational corporations (MNCs) that are increasing their competitiveness by addressing significant social issues. Companies like Nestlé, GE, Coca-Cola, and Cisco have increased their profits by hundreds of millions of dollars and had a profound impact on poverty, health, environmental, and educational challenges, by carefully considering the intersection between their business models and global social challenges.

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Source and Photo: The Guardian, December 22nd, 2011
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Ethanol Production Using Corn, Switchgrass and Wood; Biodiesel Production Using Soybean

David Pimentel and Tad Patzek

SpringerLink – In this analysis, the most recent scientific data for corn, switchgrass, and wood, for fermentation/distillation were used. All current fossil energy inputs used in corn production and for the fermentation/distillation were included to determine the entire energy cost of ethanol production. Additional costs to consumers include federal and state subsidies, plus costs associated with environmental pollution and/or degradation that occur during the entire production process. In addition, an investigation was made concerning the conversion of soybeans into biodiesel fuel.

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Food Versus Biofuels: Environmental and Economic Costs

By David Pimentel, Alison Marklein, Megan A. Toth, Marissa N. Karpoff, Gillian S. Paul, Robert McCormack, Joanna Kyriazis and Tim Krueger

SpringerLink – The rapidly growing world population and rising consumption of biofuels intensify demands for both food and biofuels. This exaggerates food and fuel shortages. The use of food crops such as corn grain to produce ethanol raises major nutritional and ethical concerns. Nearly 60% of humans in the world are currently malnourished, so the need for grains and other basic foods is critical. Growing crops for fuel squanders land, water and energy resources vital for the production of food for human consumption. Using corn for ethanol increases the price of US beef, chicken, pork, eggs, breads, cereals, and milk more than 10% to 30%. In addition, Jacques Diouf, Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, reports that using food grains to produce biofuels is already causing food shortages for the poor of the world. Growing crops for biofuel not only ignores the need to reduce fossil energy and land use, but exacerbates the problem of malnourishment worldwide.

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Fighting for Water: Ownership, Use on Crops, Factors for the Future from CSSA’s President

Crop Science Society of America – The Lonestar State’s water woes is pushing many agribusinesses to prepare for the worst. Ronald Gertson’s family grows rice in the claylike soil near Lissie, in Southeast Texas. He believes it’s the first time in five generations, there’s worry about the water supply. Gertson says, “I can grow about a third of my rice using groundwater. If I push it, I might get 45-percent of the acres I normally plant. But many of my neighbors and I are already looking at what we can do to cut costs in what is clearly going to be a hard year.” Texas usually produces 5-percent of the nation’s rice but the region is implementing emergency plans now, which may mean water will not be released from lakes and rivers for irrigation this summer, following one of the most severe droughts in state history last year…. Read More.

Source and Photo: Crop Science Society of America
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