Agri & Gardening

About: <p>Growing food, either commercially or as a hobby is one of the most satisfying things you can do. It is however not without challenges. Protection against natural or man-made threats, irrigation or other treatments of the soil has to be done with care.</p> <p>Agriculture is the process of producing food, feed, fibre and many other desired products by the cultivation of certain plants. The practice of agriculture is also known as &lsquo;farming&rsquo;, while scientists, inventors and others devoted to improving farming methods and implements are also said to be engaged in agriculture.<br />Subsistence farming; who farms a small area with limited resource inputs, and produces only enough food to meet the needs of his/her family. At the other end is commercial intensive agriculture, including industrial agriculture. Such farming involves large fields, large resource inputs (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.), and a high level of mechanization.</p> <p>Nowadays, critical attention is given to industrial agriculture. Alternatives are proposed such as regenerative agriculture, the use of drones, <a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/agri-gardening/smart-agriculture-will-be-data--ai--driven-agriculture">smart techniques</a> and blockchain. The use of fertilizer and water in large quantities is also criticized. The risks of monocultures are large and in combination with the depletion of agricultural land, the reduction of insects and <a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate">climate change</a>, it is necessary to change our view on industrial agriculture and growing crops.</p> <p>If there was an urge to come up with a sustainable way of agriculture and gardening solutions and share these topics globally it&rsquo;s now! WhatsOrb Global Sustainability X-change Platform is for you, storytellers and influencers to write about tiny houses, your experiences and expectations for the future at home and globally.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Global Sustainability X-change, that&rsquo;s what you can do together with WhatsOrb.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/newsletter/your-shared-sustainable-ideas-make-our-earth-a-better-place">What's in for me?</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
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Food Forest: Growing Food And Creating Biodiversity
The exploitation of a food forest can yield more than an ordinary corn field. Pioneers in The Netherlands say that. They define a food forest as a place where at least four layers grow above each other and where practically no processing takes place. There are now around 100 in the Netherlands, most of them very small, for example half a hectare. Growing Food And Creating Biodiversity They are from pioneers or hobbyists. But there is increasing interest in this form of agriculture, especially because it increases biodiversity and decreases climate change. In that view, a project has started who measures biodiversy, harvest, CO2-fixation and soil restoration. What is biodiversity and why it is important? Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play. For example, A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops. Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms The food forest is in Europe not very known, experienced Marieke Karssen from The Plant during a lecture she gave about the subject on a Forestry conference in Florence in Februar 2020. There the phenomenon of food forestry was still largely unknown. In june she goes to Dartington in Devon (UK) to speak about the subject on the International Food Forest symposium. Small scale food forest What is exactly a food forest? To give an image: in a food forest, roots grow underground, ground cover plants, herbs, shrubs, climbing plants and low and high trees. They would reinforce each other in such a way that no manure or agent is needed. A food forest offers people nuts, fruits, berries, mushrooms, herbs and roots. The cultivation in the first Dutch food forests is labor-intensive, there is no manure or crop protection agent involved and plowing or digging is not done. Some food foresters prune some, others don't. However, the construction is capital and labor intensive and the harvest is also labor intensive: everything must be picked by hand. The first real returns are only available after a few years. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Basics For Safe Food (Part 1 of 3) Food Forrest: Mankind And His Ecology The design and construction of a food forest has so far focused on strengthening an ecosystem from which not only people benefit (food). It is also there for the animals, the soil, CO2 capture and water storage. Because relatively little organic material is harvested and trees do capture CO2, the organic matter content in the soil grows. The pioneers strive to make the soil rich in soil animals and fungi. Insects, butterflies, birds and small mammals also feed on the harvest. A balance in species prevents pests, says pioneer Wouter van Eck. What is the simple definition of ecology? Ecology is the science that studies the biota (living things), the environment, and their interactions. It comes from the Greek oikos = house; logos = study. Ecology is the study of ecosystems. Ecosystems describe the web or network of relations among organisms at different scales of organization. The Ketelbroek food forest in Horst by Wouter van Eck under Nijmegen is one of the best known in the Netherlands. National media paid a lot of attention to this phenomenon. The nine-year-old forest is the most advanced food forest in the Netherlands, but with 2.5 hectares it is still an experiment. At the time, the largest food forest in Europe is built in Schijndel in Brabant: the Green Development Fund Brabant makes 20 hectares available. The Ketelbroek food forest in Horst the Netherlands Mary Fiers, director of Green Development Fund Brabant, is convinced of the added value of a large-scale, agricultural food forest. She says on the website of Stichting Voedselbosbouw Nederland: “The food forests are over the hobby. A food forest of the size realized in Schijndel must become profitable in the long term. In our opinion, this initiative is a good example of entrepreneurship with nature. With a profit for the biodiversity of the area and ultimately also a profit for the farmer who will be exploiting it.” {youtube}                                                            Biodiversity, Wageningen University Research Creating Biodiversity: Do Not Separate Nature And Agriculture The removal of the separation between agriculture and nature is a theme that occupies policy makers and researchers. Nature inclusive agriculture is the magic wordin The Netherlands these days. The food forest is a form of that. A lighter form of nature-inclusive agriculture is agroforestry, where fruit or nut trees are combined with annual cultivation or livestock farming. Indeed, the variety of species in a food forest appears large. Even larger in Ketelbroek than in the neighboring Natura 2000 area, discovered student researchers from Van Hall Larenstein. Recommended:  Regenerative Farming: Agro-Ecology In Practice (Part 2 of 3) Photo by: Morley Read.  Coffee bushes in a shade-grown plantation in the Andes, Ecuador  Food Forest Development: Regional Governments Give Space To It Proponents want the funds for nature development to also benefit this form of agriculture. The provinces are responsible for nature development and management. What do they think of it? The provinces of Limburg and Zeeland signed the Food Forest Forests Green Deal and state that they will also be filling in their provincial nature network with the construction of food forests. They also agreed in the Green Deal to make provincial subsidies for innovation, rural development and sustainability available for the construction, marketing and knowledge development of food forests, as well as for rewards for ecosystem services and monitoring. This therefore seems promising. What is a Food Forest? A food forest, also called a forest garden, is a diverse planting of edible plants that attempts to mimic the ecosystems and patterns found in nature. Food forests are three dimensional designs, with life extending in all directions; up, down, and out.  Generally, we recognize seven layers of a forest garden – the overstory, the understory, the shrub layer, the herbaceous layer, the root layer, the ground cover layer, and the vine layer.                                         The birth of a backyard food forest  At the same time, steps have been taken by the central government towards more food forests. In 2019 a crop code was included for it in the agricultural administration which takes care of EU-grants. But beware: at a local level, an agricultural destination does not always allow trees to be planted, for example because of a desired open landscape. The entrepreneur in question must also apply to the province for exemption from the obligation to replant, when there is a wish to probably stop the food forest over time. Whether existing nature area will also be transformed into a food forest is still a question. According to Karssen, that is not yet a theme for most governments. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3 of 3) Food Forest: Revenues Calculated Governments therefore offer space for food forests and idealists step into this pioneering role. But what does it deliver? This will me measured in the project Food forestry, harvestst caunted. It started in November 2019 and measures biodiversy, harvest, CO2-fixation and soil restoration. Not scienticifcally but by citizen science. Pioneers themselves measure according to agreed methods, controlled by students, and the growing quantity of them ensures the reliability of the numbers counted. In the past, Rich Forests, part of both environmental and human rights organization Both ENDS, and Stichting Voedbosbouw Nederland, already tried to quanity the harvests of food forests. Rich Forests is the most cautious in its calculations for Dutch soil: a conservative calculation of the products at world market prices has been used. In 25 years the net profit (after deduction of all costs including financing costs and labor costs) amounts to € 300 per hectare per year. The profit comes from walnuts, hazelnuts, pea bush (leguminous crop), chestnuts, almond, apples and jostabes. The costs are for the benefits: after nine years the forest starts to become profitable, based on only fruit yield. Vanilla, Shri Lanka In other countries, such as Sri Lanka, it can be much more lucrative due to the different climate and special niche products such as vanilla, cardamon, ginger, tea and cinnamon. Rich Forests comes to € 20,000 profit per hectare per year. Landscape services are not yet neglected in this, as are CO2 capture. Food Forestry Netherlands Foundation developed four models for the Welna estate: a biodiversity model, an experience / leisure model, a gastronomy model and a production model. The models are made for forestry land on the Welna estate in Epe. The last two yield the most in an economic sense. The first two are cost-effective, because they exceed the net profit of 300 euros per hectare. The four completed models were subsequently converted by The Plant into an online tool that everyone can use for their own field. The prognosis is that the net returns after a substantial investment in the initial phase will be very high and around € 20,000 per hectare. Most of it comes from selling products. Frank Gorter from Welna estate expressed the substantiation for these numbers during the final presentation of this project as follows: “The yield of a Scots pine is on average 50 to 60 euros per tree after 50 years. The yield of a walnut starts after 9 years. A few tens in the beginning, but after 20 years, one tree easily generates 150 euros a year. If you then cut it down after 50 years, you also have walnut on top of this profit. That is really worth more than pine. The revenues seem unbelievably large, but wholesale prices have been assumed. In addition, a lot of time has been budgeted for harvesting on the cost side, leasing costs are also included in the models and everyone can download the models themselves and adjust them to his or her own situation. ” Wageningen University Research (WUR): Higher Yields With Mixed Crops The WUR has not yet conducted research into food forests. However, the aforementioned mixed crops in agroforestry systems, a form that is much closer to current agriculture. Wijnand Sukkel, a researcher at the university, confirms that mixed crops on average yield more hectares than monocultures. "You need a quarter less space for two crops mixed together than two separate crops." Mixed crops on average yield more hectares than monocultures  At the same time, according to him, the edible dry matter yield of one hectare of food forest never equals the edible dry matter yield of one hectare of annual crops. “If only because apples contain much less dry matter than wheat, for example.” According to him, you can get a good dry matter yield by combining wheat or other grains with trees (agroforestry). "Then there must be 20 meters between the rows of trees." Food Forest: Start Yourself? Take a look at: Voedsel uit het bos There you can download the models of The Plant after registration and get started with your own field. You will also find interesting information about regulations here and you can participate in the modular food forestry course package. The Food Forestry Netherlands Foundation is also happy to help agricultural entrepreneurs and others to set up a food forest. For example, by offering basic courses and in the field of regulations. Visit voedsel bosbouw  or contact them at: Stichting Voedsel Bosbouw  Before you go! Recommended:  Fog Catchers: Making Water Out Of Air In Africa, Peru, Chile Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about food forests? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
The exploitation of a food forest can yield more than an ordinary corn field. Pioneers in The Netherlands say that. They define a food forest as a place where at least four layers grow above each other and where practically no processing takes place. There are now around 100 in the Netherlands, most of them very small, for example half a hectare. Growing Food And Creating Biodiversity They are from pioneers or hobbyists. But there is increasing interest in this form of agriculture, especially because it increases biodiversity and decreases climate change. In that view, a project has started who measures biodiversy, harvest, CO2-fixation and soil restoration. What is biodiversity and why it is important? Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play. For example, A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops. Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms The food forest is in Europe not very known, experienced Marieke Karssen from The Plant during a lecture she gave about the subject on a Forestry conference in Florence in Februar 2020. There the phenomenon of food forestry was still largely unknown. In june she goes to Dartington in Devon (UK) to speak about the subject on the International Food Forest symposium. Small scale food forest What is exactly a food forest? To give an image: in a food forest, roots grow underground, ground cover plants, herbs, shrubs, climbing plants and low and high trees. They would reinforce each other in such a way that no manure or agent is needed. A food forest offers people nuts, fruits, berries, mushrooms, herbs and roots. The cultivation in the first Dutch food forests is labor-intensive, there is no manure or crop protection agent involved and plowing or digging is not done. Some food foresters prune some, others don't. However, the construction is capital and labor intensive and the harvest is also labor intensive: everything must be picked by hand. The first real returns are only available after a few years. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Basics For Safe Food (Part 1 of 3) Food Forrest: Mankind And His Ecology The design and construction of a food forest has so far focused on strengthening an ecosystem from which not only people benefit (food). It is also there for the animals, the soil, CO2 capture and water storage. Because relatively little organic material is harvested and trees do capture CO2, the organic matter content in the soil grows. The pioneers strive to make the soil rich in soil animals and fungi. Insects, butterflies, birds and small mammals also feed on the harvest. A balance in species prevents pests, says pioneer Wouter van Eck. What is the simple definition of ecology? Ecology is the science that studies the biota (living things), the environment, and their interactions. It comes from the Greek oikos = house; logos = study. Ecology is the study of ecosystems. Ecosystems describe the web or network of relations among organisms at different scales of organization. The Ketelbroek food forest in Horst by Wouter van Eck under Nijmegen is one of the best known in the Netherlands. National media paid a lot of attention to this phenomenon. The nine-year-old forest is the most advanced food forest in the Netherlands, but with 2.5 hectares it is still an experiment. At the time, the largest food forest in Europe is built in Schijndel in Brabant: the Green Development Fund Brabant makes 20 hectares available. The Ketelbroek food forest in Horst the Netherlands Mary Fiers, director of Green Development Fund Brabant, is convinced of the added value of a large-scale, agricultural food forest. She says on the website of Stichting Voedselbosbouw Nederland: “The food forests are over the hobby. A food forest of the size realized in Schijndel must become profitable in the long term. In our opinion, this initiative is a good example of entrepreneurship with nature. With a profit for the biodiversity of the area and ultimately also a profit for the farmer who will be exploiting it.” {youtube}                                                            Biodiversity, Wageningen University Research Creating Biodiversity: Do Not Separate Nature And Agriculture The removal of the separation between agriculture and nature is a theme that occupies policy makers and researchers. Nature inclusive agriculture is the magic wordin The Netherlands these days. The food forest is a form of that. A lighter form of nature-inclusive agriculture is agroforestry, where fruit or nut trees are combined with annual cultivation or livestock farming. Indeed, the variety of species in a food forest appears large. Even larger in Ketelbroek than in the neighboring Natura 2000 area, discovered student researchers from Van Hall Larenstein. Recommended:  Regenerative Farming: Agro-Ecology In Practice (Part 2 of 3) Photo by: Morley Read.  Coffee bushes in a shade-grown plantation in the Andes, Ecuador  Food Forest Development: Regional Governments Give Space To It Proponents want the funds for nature development to also benefit this form of agriculture. The provinces are responsible for nature development and management. What do they think of it? The provinces of Limburg and Zeeland signed the Food Forest Forests Green Deal and state that they will also be filling in their provincial nature network with the construction of food forests. They also agreed in the Green Deal to make provincial subsidies for innovation, rural development and sustainability available for the construction, marketing and knowledge development of food forests, as well as for rewards for ecosystem services and monitoring. This therefore seems promising. What is a Food Forest? A food forest, also called a forest garden, is a diverse planting of edible plants that attempts to mimic the ecosystems and patterns found in nature. Food forests are three dimensional designs, with life extending in all directions; up, down, and out.  Generally, we recognize seven layers of a forest garden – the overstory, the understory, the shrub layer, the herbaceous layer, the root layer, the ground cover layer, and the vine layer.                                         The birth of a backyard food forest  At the same time, steps have been taken by the central government towards more food forests. In 2019 a crop code was included for it in the agricultural administration which takes care of EU-grants. But beware: at a local level, an agricultural destination does not always allow trees to be planted, for example because of a desired open landscape. The entrepreneur in question must also apply to the province for exemption from the obligation to replant, when there is a wish to probably stop the food forest over time. Whether existing nature area will also be transformed into a food forest is still a question. According to Karssen, that is not yet a theme for most governments. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3 of 3) Food Forest: Revenues Calculated Governments therefore offer space for food forests and idealists step into this pioneering role. But what does it deliver? This will me measured in the project Food forestry, harvestst caunted. It started in November 2019 and measures biodiversy, harvest, CO2-fixation and soil restoration. Not scienticifcally but by citizen science. Pioneers themselves measure according to agreed methods, controlled by students, and the growing quantity of them ensures the reliability of the numbers counted. In the past, Rich Forests, part of both environmental and human rights organization Both ENDS, and Stichting Voedbosbouw Nederland, already tried to quanity the harvests of food forests. Rich Forests is the most cautious in its calculations for Dutch soil: a conservative calculation of the products at world market prices has been used. In 25 years the net profit (after deduction of all costs including financing costs and labor costs) amounts to € 300 per hectare per year. The profit comes from walnuts, hazelnuts, pea bush (leguminous crop), chestnuts, almond, apples and jostabes. The costs are for the benefits: after nine years the forest starts to become profitable, based on only fruit yield. Vanilla, Shri Lanka In other countries, such as Sri Lanka, it can be much more lucrative due to the different climate and special niche products such as vanilla, cardamon, ginger, tea and cinnamon. Rich Forests comes to € 20,000 profit per hectare per year. Landscape services are not yet neglected in this, as are CO2 capture. Food Forestry Netherlands Foundation developed four models for the Welna estate: a biodiversity model, an experience / leisure model, a gastronomy model and a production model. The models are made for forestry land on the Welna estate in Epe. The last two yield the most in an economic sense. The first two are cost-effective, because they exceed the net profit of 300 euros per hectare. The four completed models were subsequently converted by The Plant into an online tool that everyone can use for their own field. The prognosis is that the net returns after a substantial investment in the initial phase will be very high and around € 20,000 per hectare. Most of it comes from selling products. Frank Gorter from Welna estate expressed the substantiation for these numbers during the final presentation of this project as follows: “The yield of a Scots pine is on average 50 to 60 euros per tree after 50 years. The yield of a walnut starts after 9 years. A few tens in the beginning, but after 20 years, one tree easily generates 150 euros a year. If you then cut it down after 50 years, you also have walnut on top of this profit. That is really worth more than pine. The revenues seem unbelievably large, but wholesale prices have been assumed. In addition, a lot of time has been budgeted for harvesting on the cost side, leasing costs are also included in the models and everyone can download the models themselves and adjust them to his or her own situation. ” Wageningen University Research (WUR): Higher Yields With Mixed Crops The WUR has not yet conducted research into food forests. However, the aforementioned mixed crops in agroforestry systems, a form that is much closer to current agriculture. Wijnand Sukkel, a researcher at the university, confirms that mixed crops on average yield more hectares than monocultures. "You need a quarter less space for two crops mixed together than two separate crops." Mixed crops on average yield more hectares than monocultures  At the same time, according to him, the edible dry matter yield of one hectare of food forest never equals the edible dry matter yield of one hectare of annual crops. “If only because apples contain much less dry matter than wheat, for example.” According to him, you can get a good dry matter yield by combining wheat or other grains with trees (agroforestry). "Then there must be 20 meters between the rows of trees." Food Forest: Start Yourself? Take a look at: Voedsel uit het bos There you can download the models of The Plant after registration and get started with your own field. You will also find interesting information about regulations here and you can participate in the modular food forestry course package. The Food Forestry Netherlands Foundation is also happy to help agricultural entrepreneurs and others to set up a food forest. For example, by offering basic courses and in the field of regulations. Visit voedsel bosbouw  or contact them at: Stichting Voedsel Bosbouw  Before you go! Recommended:  Fog Catchers: Making Water Out Of Air In Africa, Peru, Chile Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about food forests? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Food Forest: Growing Food And Creating Biodiversity
Agricultural Waste Turned Into Food: Green Alternatives
Biomass has always been quite the headache for anyone working in the food industry. This term encompasses anything related to the agricultural waste left behind, never to be seen by the consumer - including stems, leaves, seed pots, and so on. The amount of these by-products is staggering.   Agricultural Waste: A Large Burden On The Environment Worldwide, the crop-remainders on the field, left behind after harvesting, add up to some 5 billion metric tons. For farmers, it is quite a task to get rid of those residues - and a task that adds to their carbon footprint. Roughly 13% of industry-wide emissions can be contributed to the processing and removal of biomass in any shape, form or size. Potatoes left behind to rot So we are not just leaving quite a lot of product on the table, its ultimate removal and cleanup places an additional burden on the environment as well. For those who think that there should be a better way, you are absolutely right. Thankfully, we are now looking into ways of actually doing so, by turning the waste left behind into useful food products or packaging.   The concept is fantastic, as it does not only solve the big problem of waste, but it also provides farmers with a much needed additional income stream from this new product. Plus, it is quite easy to implement in the current day-to-day business. Recommended:  Bioplastic From Fish Scale And Skin Composts Quickly: UK Waste Turned Into Food: Create More Chocolate The cacao bean, for instance, is a notorious waste-generator. For one pound of cacao produced, there is about twelve pounds of biomass. This is something that can potentially be turned into something useful. Colombian researchers were able to create new products using the cacao waste, such as beer, desserts, juice and nutraceuticals.   In similar experiment, researchers found that they were able to create chocolate using cacao beans and cacao bean waste. This chocolate claims to be 100 percent cacao, while tasting a lot less bitter than traditional forms of pure chocolate. This is the result of the replacement of ‘traditional’ chocolate ingredients like cane sugar, milk and soy lecithin with sweeteners and emulsifiers from the cacao fruit, ingredients that were previously thrown away. It is commercially available under the brand name 'Betul'. Recommended:  Are Bio Based Bottles Good For The Environment? Recommended:  Dumpster Diving: A Hobby That Helps To Combat Food Waste Turning Agricultural Waste Into Eco-friendly Products & Packaging {youtube}                                                            Rice Husks Dinnerware,100% Biodegradable European researchers are finding ways of turning agricultural waste into ecofriendly packaging. A double win, as it does not only reduce waste, but also cuts back on the amount of plastic used for packaging. Packaging can be created using residues such as spoiled fruit juices, wheat straw, grapevine shoots and cattle manure - or this is what researchers united in the project GLOPACK have found. The downside of this packaging project is that it is more costly. The cost of eco-friendly packaging will be anywhere between € 3 and € 4 per kilogram; whereas regular packaging plastic averages around € 1,50 per kilogram. Yet when looking at the real, true price of plastic vs. ecofriendly alternatives, this will surely tip the scale. Besides, this ecofriendly solution will not just decrease agricultural waste, it will also allow the industry to become less reliant on petrochemical products and decrease their emissions. Recommended:  Vegetables, Fruit, Edible Flowers, But Also Bees In Cities Urban Farming Green Alternatives: Fruit Pigments And Antioxidants Make Care Products Meanwhile, in Australia, researchers are figuring out how to use agricultural plant waste to harvest molecules useful in medicine, cosmetics and food additives. This is working particularly well for mushroom residue for medicinal use, leftovers from vegetables such as cauliflower and kale for sulforaphane, a component that boosts specific health benefits - and, most notably, fruit pigments and antioxidants for beauty and skin care products, These leftovers do not usually have any value, although they are very easy to extract and process into products that actually do have value. In particular the pigments found in blueberries en blackberries are extremely suitable for this purpose, although similar kinds of biomolecules are also produced for apples, cherries, other berries, black olives, and the skins of onions and potatoes.   Reducing Agricultural Waste While Creating More Products These examples of Australian, European and Columbian initiatives are just mere examples of the many ways in which we can re-use our agricultural waste and previously unused by-products of our food production. It is definitely something that should be pursued for anyone working with biomass, not only because it is the more sustainable thing to do, but also because it can really enhance the producer’s bottom line by introducing one or several extra products.   So if the green element does not do it for you, the green numbers below your profit line might.   Before you go! Recommended:  Sustainable Bicycle Is Made From Recycled Plastic In Brazil Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about recycling? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Biomass has always been quite the headache for anyone working in the food industry. This term encompasses anything related to the agricultural waste left behind, never to be seen by the consumer - including stems, leaves, seed pots, and so on. The amount of these by-products is staggering.   Agricultural Waste: A Large Burden On The Environment Worldwide, the crop-remainders on the field, left behind after harvesting, add up to some 5 billion metric tons. For farmers, it is quite a task to get rid of those residues - and a task that adds to their carbon footprint. Roughly 13% of industry-wide emissions can be contributed to the processing and removal of biomass in any shape, form or size. Potatoes left behind to rot So we are not just leaving quite a lot of product on the table, its ultimate removal and cleanup places an additional burden on the environment as well. For those who think that there should be a better way, you are absolutely right. Thankfully, we are now looking into ways of actually doing so, by turning the waste left behind into useful food products or packaging.   The concept is fantastic, as it does not only solve the big problem of waste, but it also provides farmers with a much needed additional income stream from this new product. Plus, it is quite easy to implement in the current day-to-day business. Recommended:  Bioplastic From Fish Scale And Skin Composts Quickly: UK Waste Turned Into Food: Create More Chocolate The cacao bean, for instance, is a notorious waste-generator. For one pound of cacao produced, there is about twelve pounds of biomass. This is something that can potentially be turned into something useful. Colombian researchers were able to create new products using the cacao waste, such as beer, desserts, juice and nutraceuticals.   In similar experiment, researchers found that they were able to create chocolate using cacao beans and cacao bean waste. This chocolate claims to be 100 percent cacao, while tasting a lot less bitter than traditional forms of pure chocolate. This is the result of the replacement of ‘traditional’ chocolate ingredients like cane sugar, milk and soy lecithin with sweeteners and emulsifiers from the cacao fruit, ingredients that were previously thrown away. It is commercially available under the brand name 'Betul'. Recommended:  Are Bio Based Bottles Good For The Environment? Recommended:  Dumpster Diving: A Hobby That Helps To Combat Food Waste Turning Agricultural Waste Into Eco-friendly Products & Packaging {youtube}                                                            Rice Husks Dinnerware,100% Biodegradable European researchers are finding ways of turning agricultural waste into ecofriendly packaging. A double win, as it does not only reduce waste, but also cuts back on the amount of plastic used for packaging. Packaging can be created using residues such as spoiled fruit juices, wheat straw, grapevine shoots and cattle manure - or this is what researchers united in the project GLOPACK have found. The downside of this packaging project is that it is more costly. The cost of eco-friendly packaging will be anywhere between € 3 and € 4 per kilogram; whereas regular packaging plastic averages around € 1,50 per kilogram. Yet when looking at the real, true price of plastic vs. ecofriendly alternatives, this will surely tip the scale. Besides, this ecofriendly solution will not just decrease agricultural waste, it will also allow the industry to become less reliant on petrochemical products and decrease their emissions. Recommended:  Vegetables, Fruit, Edible Flowers, But Also Bees In Cities Urban Farming Green Alternatives: Fruit Pigments And Antioxidants Make Care Products Meanwhile, in Australia, researchers are figuring out how to use agricultural plant waste to harvest molecules useful in medicine, cosmetics and food additives. This is working particularly well for mushroom residue for medicinal use, leftovers from vegetables such as cauliflower and kale for sulforaphane, a component that boosts specific health benefits - and, most notably, fruit pigments and antioxidants for beauty and skin care products, These leftovers do not usually have any value, although they are very easy to extract and process into products that actually do have value. In particular the pigments found in blueberries en blackberries are extremely suitable for this purpose, although similar kinds of biomolecules are also produced for apples, cherries, other berries, black olives, and the skins of onions and potatoes.   Reducing Agricultural Waste While Creating More Products These examples of Australian, European and Columbian initiatives are just mere examples of the many ways in which we can re-use our agricultural waste and previously unused by-products of our food production. It is definitely something that should be pursued for anyone working with biomass, not only because it is the more sustainable thing to do, but also because it can really enhance the producer’s bottom line by introducing one or several extra products.   So if the green element does not do it for you, the green numbers below your profit line might.   Before you go! Recommended:  Sustainable Bicycle Is Made From Recycled Plastic In Brazil Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about recycling? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Agricultural Waste Turned Into Food: Green Alternatives
Agricultural Waste Turned Into Food: Green Alternatives
Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water And Energy
Nature Sustainability published a paper about agrivoltaics. The article presents the first field-data evaluation of the results of a multi-year study of agronomy (agrivoltaics) in dry areas led by UA-geographer Greg Barron-Gafford. Creating resilience in renewable energy and food production is a crucial challenge in today's evolving world, especially in regions that are sensitive to heat and drought. Agrivoltaics, the co-location of agriculture and photovoltaic solar panels, suggests a potential solution. With a new study under the guidance of the University of Arizona, research has shown a positive impact on food production, water-saving and the efficiency of electricity production. Solar sharing Agrivoltaics, also referred to as solar sharing, is an idea that has been on the rise in recent years, but few studies have checked all aspects of the associated food, energy and water systems. What should be mentioned is that no research has focused on dry areas or regions. These regions are facing food production problems and water shortages but on the overabundance of solar energy. "Many of us want more renewable energy, but where do you place all of those panels? Recommended:  Solar Sono Motors Car: Developed in Germany, Made In Sweden There are a lot of more solar installations now than there was before, but mostly on the edges of the cities", commented Greg Barron-Gafford. Barron-Gafford is an associate professor in the School of Geography and Development and lead author on the paper that was published today in Nature Sustainability. Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water and Energy Do we prefer to use the land for food or energy production? Researchers started to ask, "Why not produce both in the same place?" So, that is what happens right now: growing peppers, crops of tomatoes, herbs and kale all in the shadow. "So what do you prefer for land use: food or energy production? This challenge strikes right at the intersection of human-environment connections, and that is where geographers shine!" said Barron-Gafford, who is also a researcher with Biosphere 2. "We started to ask, 'Why do we nog produce them both in the same place?' And we have been growing crops like tomatoes, peppers, chard, kale, and herbs all in the shadow of the solar panels. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3 of 3) {youtube}                                             Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water and Energy                                                                   Biosphere 2 Agrivoltaics Measure the crops With the help of photovoltaic solar panels or PV panels and regional vegetables, the team created the first agrivoltaic research location in Biosphere 2. Professors and students measured everything from the moment the plants sprouted to the number of carbon plants they released from the atmosphere and water to their total food production during the entire growing season. During an average three-month summer growing season, the researchers monitored the incoming light levels, the relative humidity and the air temperature above the soil surface at a depth of 5 centimetres. They focused on chiltepin pepper, cherry tomato plants and jalapeños that were positioned under a PV array. Both the traditional area as the agrivoltaics area got the same daily irrigation. The researchers discovered that the agrivoltaics system has a significant impact on three factors that affect plant growth and reproduction: - air temperature - direct sunlight - the demand for water In the agrivoltaic area, the plants were placed in the shadow of the PV-panels. This resulted in cooler daytime temperature opposite to warmer night temperatures. There was also more humidity. Beneficial for: food, water and energy They found out that a lot of food crops grow better in the shadow of the solar panels because they cannot get direct sunlight. "The total chiltepin fruit production was three times greater under the PV panels in an agrivoltaics system, and tomato production was twice as high, according to Baron-Gafford. Jalapeños produced a similar amount of fruit in both the agrivoltaics system and the traditional one, but with almost no water loss. The researchers also discovered that we could support every crop growth for days with the agrivoltaics systems, not just hours in the current traditional plots. We can reduce water use but maintain the level of food production. There is not only beneficial to the plants but also to energy production: agrivoltaics systems increase the efficiency of energy production. Due to the use of solar panels for cultivating crops, researchers were able to reduce the temperature of the groups. The researchers say that more research with additional plant species is necessary. They also indicate the impact that agrivoltaic products can have on the physical and social well-being of farmworkers, which has not yet been studied. Preliminary data show that the skin temperature can be about 18 degrees Fahrenheit cooler when working in an agrivoltaic area than in traditional agriculture. Climate change There is already a lot of disruption in food production because of climate change. Agrivoltaic systems could help, not only for the crops but also for the farm labour. They work in the heat, which can cause heat strokes. Agrivoltaic systems can help diminish heat and maintain humidity. Recommended:  Climate Change: Water Scarcity, Hunger, Agriculture And Food
Nature Sustainability published a paper about agrivoltaics. The article presents the first field-data evaluation of the results of a multi-year study of agronomy (agrivoltaics) in dry areas led by UA-geographer Greg Barron-Gafford. Creating resilience in renewable energy and food production is a crucial challenge in today's evolving world, especially in regions that are sensitive to heat and drought. Agrivoltaics, the co-location of agriculture and photovoltaic solar panels, suggests a potential solution. With a new study under the guidance of the University of Arizona, research has shown a positive impact on food production, water-saving and the efficiency of electricity production. Solar sharing Agrivoltaics, also referred to as solar sharing, is an idea that has been on the rise in recent years, but few studies have checked all aspects of the associated food, energy and water systems. What should be mentioned is that no research has focused on dry areas or regions. These regions are facing food production problems and water shortages but on the overabundance of solar energy. "Many of us want more renewable energy, but where do you place all of those panels? Recommended:  Solar Sono Motors Car: Developed in Germany, Made In Sweden There are a lot of more solar installations now than there was before, but mostly on the edges of the cities", commented Greg Barron-Gafford. Barron-Gafford is an associate professor in the School of Geography and Development and lead author on the paper that was published today in Nature Sustainability. Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water and Energy Do we prefer to use the land for food or energy production? Researchers started to ask, "Why not produce both in the same place?" So, that is what happens right now: growing peppers, crops of tomatoes, herbs and kale all in the shadow. "So what do you prefer for land use: food or energy production? This challenge strikes right at the intersection of human-environment connections, and that is where geographers shine!" said Barron-Gafford, who is also a researcher with Biosphere 2. "We started to ask, 'Why do we nog produce them both in the same place?' And we have been growing crops like tomatoes, peppers, chard, kale, and herbs all in the shadow of the solar panels. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3 of 3) {youtube}                                             Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water and Energy                                                                   Biosphere 2 Agrivoltaics Measure the crops With the help of photovoltaic solar panels or PV panels and regional vegetables, the team created the first agrivoltaic research location in Biosphere 2. Professors and students measured everything from the moment the plants sprouted to the number of carbon plants they released from the atmosphere and water to their total food production during the entire growing season. During an average three-month summer growing season, the researchers monitored the incoming light levels, the relative humidity and the air temperature above the soil surface at a depth of 5 centimetres. They focused on chiltepin pepper, cherry tomato plants and jalapeños that were positioned under a PV array. Both the traditional area as the agrivoltaics area got the same daily irrigation. The researchers discovered that the agrivoltaics system has a significant impact on three factors that affect plant growth and reproduction: - air temperature - direct sunlight - the demand for water In the agrivoltaic area, the plants were placed in the shadow of the PV-panels. This resulted in cooler daytime temperature opposite to warmer night temperatures. There was also more humidity. Beneficial for: food, water and energy They found out that a lot of food crops grow better in the shadow of the solar panels because they cannot get direct sunlight. "The total chiltepin fruit production was three times greater under the PV panels in an agrivoltaics system, and tomato production was twice as high, according to Baron-Gafford. Jalapeños produced a similar amount of fruit in both the agrivoltaics system and the traditional one, but with almost no water loss. The researchers also discovered that we could support every crop growth for days with the agrivoltaics systems, not just hours in the current traditional plots. We can reduce water use but maintain the level of food production. There is not only beneficial to the plants but also to energy production: agrivoltaics systems increase the efficiency of energy production. Due to the use of solar panels for cultivating crops, researchers were able to reduce the temperature of the groups. The researchers say that more research with additional plant species is necessary. They also indicate the impact that agrivoltaic products can have on the physical and social well-being of farmworkers, which has not yet been studied. Preliminary data show that the skin temperature can be about 18 degrees Fahrenheit cooler when working in an agrivoltaic area than in traditional agriculture. Climate change There is already a lot of disruption in food production because of climate change. Agrivoltaic systems could help, not only for the crops but also for the farm labour. They work in the heat, which can cause heat strokes. Agrivoltaic systems can help diminish heat and maintain humidity. Recommended:  Climate Change: Water Scarcity, Hunger, Agriculture And Food
Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water And Energy
Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water And Energy
Vegan Food: About Money And Dairy, Cattle Industry Collapse
Since the earliest of days, mankind has fed itself on a couple of major food groups - most significantly nuts, seeds, fruits and meat. Whether we were hunting or gathering, we were happy and satisfied with our diet. Our bodies seemingly adjusted to whatever was available at the time, interchanging scarce seasonal products for other options. Vegan Food Versus 'Extravagant' Diets Today, our dietary options are slightly more extravagant. Whether we are craving tropical foods in the winter or something Christmassy in June, there will be options on hand. Likewise, we can choose to restrict ourselves to certain foodstuffs only - the dietary equivalent of only eating the blue M&Ms. Whether you are on the Paleo diet or the low-carb diet, we all got our own food quirks.   Is the food industry growing? Food Industry. The global food and beverage industry is growing at around 5% a year and global expenditure on food products by consumers is expected to reach US$20 trillion by 2030. Key trends for new product development are in health, convenience, naturality and sustainability. Let’s talk about one of those specific food crazes some pride themselves on. Vegan food, or completely eliminating all and any animal products from our plates. For some, it is a real passion. For others, it is merely another political or economical ploy.   {youtube}                                              Vegan Food: About Money And Dairy, Cattle Industry Collapse                                                                 Food and Money A Political Hot Potato   Vegan Wars: About Money And Dairy, Cattle Industry Collapse What are the trends in food service industry? Here are the top foodservice trends to watch for 2019. Plant-Based Cuisine Beyond Instagram Over the past few years, Instagram and other photo-sharing apps have revolutionized the food industry Cooking with Cannabis Mushroom Mania Alternative Proteins Food Technology Food Waste Big Flavours Traceability Labour-Saving Innovation Food is an important commodity in the marketplace that we like to call our global economy. It is exactly this importance to our economies that makes it such a political hot potato - pun fully intended. Small agricultural businesses are struggling hard to stay afloat in a sociopolitical landscape that favours the large, industrial farm organisations.   The true craft of agriculture and livestock farming is disappearing and making room for factory-like processes that serve one main goal - to keep costs down. Today, food is mostly created using the cheapest available ingredients, allowing for the fattest bottom line. In order to create most of the stuffs we like to stuff down our throats, manufacturers rely on a wide range of cheap ingredients that are preferably acquired in bulk from big, ‘trustworthy’ producers.   In a futuristic sounding twist, some of those producers have even moved beyond ‘traditional’ farming - instead heavily investing in biotech and genetically manipulated food. From so-called ‘fake meats’, including fake dairy and fake eggs, to entirely new products that Mother Nature never would have been able to foster on her own; they are no longer hypothetical but factual. Recommended:  Food Future: Serving Lab-Meat In Restaurants Reality? This has only added fuel to the fire of vegan enthusiasts, who are now able to replace their favourite animal-based foods with completely acceptable yet similar tasting alternatives. In the past few years, the vegan food market has grown with a staggering 10% annually, a trend that is not expected to slow down anytime soon. Big multinationals and small farm business alike are jumping on the idea of creating fully plant-based produce. Recommended:  Sustainable Food? How Environmental Friendly Is Your Diet? Some have suggested that this means that we are on the verge of the greatest agricultural shake-up that the world has ever seen; with businesses that previously created animal-based products either being forced to adapt or to get out of business altogether. By 2030, the entire cattle and dairy industry might find itself flat on its behind, losing out fast to companies working on so-called ‘precision fermentation’ - or the production of animal proteins using microbes. Who profits from veganism? In January 2018, Ethical Consumer magazine warned its readers about vegan brands owned by meat and dairy parent companies. Alpro, one of the largest vegan milk alternatives, is owned by Danone – a French multinational company with a 24.4 per cent share in the global fresh dairy product market. Bad news for cattle farmers, both big and small. Livestock forms the livelihood of many who are able to escape hunger and poverty by tending to their animals. Yet it is also bad news for those living in developing regions, including India and Africa. While us Westerners might in some ways benefit from moving away from animal-based foods, people living in near poverty often rely on it and will not be able to get the same nutritional value from the more expensive alternatives. Vegan Food: Follow The Money Vegan food fanatics often do not understand what impact their dietary preferences have on those living in poorer regions. Not only does it severely impact local economies, it also influences the fragile food balance. In countries like India, a political and economical debate is waging as to what constitutes a proper diet, in particular when it concerns young children. Although the World Health Organisation has included animal products as a crucial element of what we eat, there are political interests at play in deterring those very same products from entering the market. Recommended:  Getting Healthier By Eating Sustainable Food And Taking Exercise In Africa, similar political interests have led to more and more land being allocated to large-scale farming activities. Crops are now growing on fields where animals used to roam - another profit-driven decision that favours non-animal products and severely disadvantages local businesses and the local population. Do humans need meat? As a new study in Nature makes clear, not only did processing and eating meat come naturally to humans, it's entirely possible that without an early diet that included generous amounts of animal protein, we wouldn't even have become human—at least not the modern, verbal, intelligent humans we are None of that, of course, means that increased meat consumption—or any meat consumption at all—is necessary for the proto-humans’ 21st century descendants.  Despite the grandeur and pretence of enthusiastic vegans, it is not really their passion and concern for animal welfare that drives the trend that they embarked on. Instead, political interests determine what people are to eat and/or produce, while the big food manufacturers are finding themselves in a position where they can actively steer their consumers to food stuffs that provide the greatest economical benefits. The result? Large groups of people that are unwillingly becoming vegan, leading to nutritional deficiencies, biodiversity-destroying monocultures and a dangerous demand-driving attitude. Veganism is as much about politics and profit as much as it is about ethics. And now that companies and governments are telling us what to eat, we should be very careful to not let it get out of hand. Before you go! Recommended:  Hunger, Not Global Warming Will Impact Our Future Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about vegan food? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Since the earliest of days, mankind has fed itself on a couple of major food groups - most significantly nuts, seeds, fruits and meat. Whether we were hunting or gathering, we were happy and satisfied with our diet. Our bodies seemingly adjusted to whatever was available at the time, interchanging scarce seasonal products for other options. Vegan Food Versus 'Extravagant' Diets Today, our dietary options are slightly more extravagant. Whether we are craving tropical foods in the winter or something Christmassy in June, there will be options on hand. Likewise, we can choose to restrict ourselves to certain foodstuffs only - the dietary equivalent of only eating the blue M&Ms. Whether you are on the Paleo diet or the low-carb diet, we all got our own food quirks.   Is the food industry growing? Food Industry. The global food and beverage industry is growing at around 5% a year and global expenditure on food products by consumers is expected to reach US$20 trillion by 2030. Key trends for new product development are in health, convenience, naturality and sustainability. Let’s talk about one of those specific food crazes some pride themselves on. Vegan food, or completely eliminating all and any animal products from our plates. For some, it is a real passion. For others, it is merely another political or economical ploy.   {youtube}                                              Vegan Food: About Money And Dairy, Cattle Industry Collapse                                                                 Food and Money A Political Hot Potato   Vegan Wars: About Money And Dairy, Cattle Industry Collapse What are the trends in food service industry? Here are the top foodservice trends to watch for 2019. Plant-Based Cuisine Beyond Instagram Over the past few years, Instagram and other photo-sharing apps have revolutionized the food industry Cooking with Cannabis Mushroom Mania Alternative Proteins Food Technology Food Waste Big Flavours Traceability Labour-Saving Innovation Food is an important commodity in the marketplace that we like to call our global economy. It is exactly this importance to our economies that makes it such a political hot potato - pun fully intended. Small agricultural businesses are struggling hard to stay afloat in a sociopolitical landscape that favours the large, industrial farm organisations.   The true craft of agriculture and livestock farming is disappearing and making room for factory-like processes that serve one main goal - to keep costs down. Today, food is mostly created using the cheapest available ingredients, allowing for the fattest bottom line. In order to create most of the stuffs we like to stuff down our throats, manufacturers rely on a wide range of cheap ingredients that are preferably acquired in bulk from big, ‘trustworthy’ producers.   In a futuristic sounding twist, some of those producers have even moved beyond ‘traditional’ farming - instead heavily investing in biotech and genetically manipulated food. From so-called ‘fake meats’, including fake dairy and fake eggs, to entirely new products that Mother Nature never would have been able to foster on her own; they are no longer hypothetical but factual. Recommended:  Food Future: Serving Lab-Meat In Restaurants Reality? This has only added fuel to the fire of vegan enthusiasts, who are now able to replace their favourite animal-based foods with completely acceptable yet similar tasting alternatives. In the past few years, the vegan food market has grown with a staggering 10% annually, a trend that is not expected to slow down anytime soon. Big multinationals and small farm business alike are jumping on the idea of creating fully plant-based produce. Recommended:  Sustainable Food? How Environmental Friendly Is Your Diet? Some have suggested that this means that we are on the verge of the greatest agricultural shake-up that the world has ever seen; with businesses that previously created animal-based products either being forced to adapt or to get out of business altogether. By 2030, the entire cattle and dairy industry might find itself flat on its behind, losing out fast to companies working on so-called ‘precision fermentation’ - or the production of animal proteins using microbes. Who profits from veganism? In January 2018, Ethical Consumer magazine warned its readers about vegan brands owned by meat and dairy parent companies. Alpro, one of the largest vegan milk alternatives, is owned by Danone – a French multinational company with a 24.4 per cent share in the global fresh dairy product market. Bad news for cattle farmers, both big and small. Livestock forms the livelihood of many who are able to escape hunger and poverty by tending to their animals. Yet it is also bad news for those living in developing regions, including India and Africa. While us Westerners might in some ways benefit from moving away from animal-based foods, people living in near poverty often rely on it and will not be able to get the same nutritional value from the more expensive alternatives. Vegan Food: Follow The Money Vegan food fanatics often do not understand what impact their dietary preferences have on those living in poorer regions. Not only does it severely impact local economies, it also influences the fragile food balance. In countries like India, a political and economical debate is waging as to what constitutes a proper diet, in particular when it concerns young children. Although the World Health Organisation has included animal products as a crucial element of what we eat, there are political interests at play in deterring those very same products from entering the market. Recommended:  Getting Healthier By Eating Sustainable Food And Taking Exercise In Africa, similar political interests have led to more and more land being allocated to large-scale farming activities. Crops are now growing on fields where animals used to roam - another profit-driven decision that favours non-animal products and severely disadvantages local businesses and the local population. Do humans need meat? As a new study in Nature makes clear, not only did processing and eating meat come naturally to humans, it's entirely possible that without an early diet that included generous amounts of animal protein, we wouldn't even have become human—at least not the modern, verbal, intelligent humans we are None of that, of course, means that increased meat consumption—or any meat consumption at all—is necessary for the proto-humans’ 21st century descendants.  Despite the grandeur and pretence of enthusiastic vegans, it is not really their passion and concern for animal welfare that drives the trend that they embarked on. Instead, political interests determine what people are to eat and/or produce, while the big food manufacturers are finding themselves in a position where they can actively steer their consumers to food stuffs that provide the greatest economical benefits. The result? Large groups of people that are unwillingly becoming vegan, leading to nutritional deficiencies, biodiversity-destroying monocultures and a dangerous demand-driving attitude. Veganism is as much about politics and profit as much as it is about ethics. And now that companies and governments are telling us what to eat, we should be very careful to not let it get out of hand. Before you go! Recommended:  Hunger, Not Global Warming Will Impact Our Future Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about vegan food? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Vegan Food: About Money And Dairy, Cattle Industry Collapse
Vegan Food: About Money And Dairy, Cattle Industry Collapse
Does Rising CO2 Benefit Plants?
Although the title of this article might sound like something taken straight from a weird conspiracy theory, it is actually a real debate that is going on right now. The main takeaway? The effect that climate change will have on plant life in general could possibly be more positive than negative. Meaning, there are voices claiming that the positive effects of climate change on plants in general may end up outweighing the negative sides but there is doubt if it is about agricultural plants. Rising CO2 And Climate Change This idea of rising CO2 levels actually being good for plants is not that revolutionary, even though it might result in some raised eyebrows. It is not a very popular opinion to proclaim that climate change might actually be a good thing, Climate change sceptics are eager to point at the reasons why we should not cut our emissions. These range from an all-out denial of the urgency of the problem to actually claiming that there are benefits of climate change. How does CO2 increase plant growth? Plants extract CO2 from the atmosphere via the plant's stomates, which are the pores that plants ‘breathe’ through. Photosynthesis begins as the plant uses CO2 in combination with light bulbs or light from the sun to produce both sugar and oxygen. As such, it has been asserted that a higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will aid the process of photosynthesis, eventually adding to increased growth of plants. In turn, this could lead to higher food production and better quality food - or so proponents of this theory claim. Recommended:  Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water And Energy CO2 Fertilization Effect Let’s first find out whether there is an element of truth in this. At the surface, it does indeed seem to hold true. There is something called the CO2 fertilization effect, and it is commonly accepted as a real phenomenon. If you increase the amount of CO2 that plants are exposed to, the process of photosynthesis is increased. Or, at least, this is what happens in a lab setting.   Why CO2 is necessary for photosynthesis? Carbon dioxide is needed for photosynthesis. The lower part of the leaf has loose-fitting cells, to allow carbon dioxide to reach the other cells in the leaf. This also allows the oxygen produced in photosynthesis to leave the leaf easily. Carbon dioxide is present in the air we breathe, at very low concentrations. The issue is that this effect has not yet been consistently documented in the ‘real’ world, where other factors are at play. Plant growth is a notoriously complex process, influenced by a lot of elements besides CO2. Take nitrogen, for instance, that has the potential to offset the positive influence of this CO2 increase if it happens to be only available in limited supply. A series of trials on this CO2 fertilization effect has found that, when testing on outdoor forest areas, an artificial doubling of CO2 levels when compared to pre-industrial levels led to an increased productivity of the trees of about 23 percent. Yet in a confirmation of the nitrogen hypothesis, a limitation of nitrogen has led to a significant diminishing of this effect. Or, as one of the scientists involved put it, “ we cannot assume the CO2 fertilization effect will persist indefinitely .” {youtube}                                                                         Does Rising CO2 Benefit Plants?                                                                  Is Our Food Becoming Less Nutritious? This brings us to an important point, being that the effect will not last forever. Rather, there is a certain cap to the productivity boost it may generate, a long-term outlook that many sceptics ignore. In a similar manner, they ignore the fact that the negative consequences of climate change are sizeable. These include drought and heat stress, which will put a great strain on plant life - one that is likely to offset the benefits. So although the CO2 fertilization effect may be real, one should not overlook the long-term effect and the fact that there are many, many downsides to global warming as well. Recommended:  Global Cooling Or Warming: CO2 Matters Because It Doesn’t Rising CO2 Levels Effects On Agricultural Plants One specific implication of the fertilization effect is that it may, ultimately, lead to higher food production and a better quality of food. In order to test this statement, scientists have studied the effect of rising CO2 levels on agricultural plants. Once again, the fertilization effect has held up: most crops will benefit from having this extra material in the atmosphere, that will help them grow. This holds true for most of the crops that are a part of our diet, including wheat, rice and soybeans.   The limitation as imposed by diminishing nitrogen levels is largely irrelevant for agricultural plants, as fertilizer can take over the role of nitrogen and other nutrients if needed. This does, however, not mean that the effect will last indefinitely. Although these plants benefit from rising CO2 levels, they will quickly be saturated - leading to fewer and fewer benefits for the extra CO2 added.   So, this means that one of the two main caveats of the fertilization effect also holds true in agriculture: the long-term outlook is not nearly as rosy. As for the other caveat, with the drawbacks of global warming outweighing the positive sides, it is not hard to see how this would be applicable for agricultural plants as well, with shortages of water, extreme heat and weather events, and the increase in weeds and pests having a direct and significant impact on crops. Recommended:  Renewable Energy Turns CO2 Into Fuel For Hydrogen Batteries Rising CO2’s Effect On Crops Could Harm Human Health Another fact that was found is that food grown under higher CO2 levels is less nutritious. So yeah, productivity may rise in the short term, but this will lead to an output of food of lower quality. In particular, food crops will lose valuable iron, zinc and protein - important nutrients in our daily diet. The levels of CO2 that are predicted to hit our atmosphere mid-century would lead to such a loss of those nutrients that it will cause deficiencies in billions of people. The reasons as to why the rising CO2 levels cause this drop in nutritional content are still unknown. Knowing that it is the case should, however, suffice as a warning for those who rely on the fertilization effect in choosing not to combat global warming. The public health threats associated with rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere are dire and not to be underestimated. Sceptics who are happy to use the argument of the fertilization effect should therefore be warned that there is a much larger downside - and that ultimately, rising CO2 levels do not exclusively benefit plants. Before you go! Recommended:  Climate Change Efforts On Reducing CO2 Why Not Recycle It? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about CO2 And Food? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Although the title of this article might sound like something taken straight from a weird conspiracy theory, it is actually a real debate that is going on right now. The main takeaway? The effect that climate change will have on plant life in general could possibly be more positive than negative. Meaning, there are voices claiming that the positive effects of climate change on plants in general may end up outweighing the negative sides but there is doubt if it is about agricultural plants. Rising CO2 And Climate Change This idea of rising CO2 levels actually being good for plants is not that revolutionary, even though it might result in some raised eyebrows. It is not a very popular opinion to proclaim that climate change might actually be a good thing, Climate change sceptics are eager to point at the reasons why we should not cut our emissions. These range from an all-out denial of the urgency of the problem to actually claiming that there are benefits of climate change. How does CO2 increase plant growth? Plants extract CO2 from the atmosphere via the plant's stomates, which are the pores that plants ‘breathe’ through. Photosynthesis begins as the plant uses CO2 in combination with light bulbs or light from the sun to produce both sugar and oxygen. As such, it has been asserted that a higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will aid the process of photosynthesis, eventually adding to increased growth of plants. In turn, this could lead to higher food production and better quality food - or so proponents of this theory claim. Recommended:  Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water And Energy CO2 Fertilization Effect Let’s first find out whether there is an element of truth in this. At the surface, it does indeed seem to hold true. There is something called the CO2 fertilization effect, and it is commonly accepted as a real phenomenon. If you increase the amount of CO2 that plants are exposed to, the process of photosynthesis is increased. Or, at least, this is what happens in a lab setting.   Why CO2 is necessary for photosynthesis? Carbon dioxide is needed for photosynthesis. The lower part of the leaf has loose-fitting cells, to allow carbon dioxide to reach the other cells in the leaf. This also allows the oxygen produced in photosynthesis to leave the leaf easily. Carbon dioxide is present in the air we breathe, at very low concentrations. The issue is that this effect has not yet been consistently documented in the ‘real’ world, where other factors are at play. Plant growth is a notoriously complex process, influenced by a lot of elements besides CO2. Take nitrogen, for instance, that has the potential to offset the positive influence of this CO2 increase if it happens to be only available in limited supply. A series of trials on this CO2 fertilization effect has found that, when testing on outdoor forest areas, an artificial doubling of CO2 levels when compared to pre-industrial levels led to an increased productivity of the trees of about 23 percent. Yet in a confirmation of the nitrogen hypothesis, a limitation of nitrogen has led to a significant diminishing of this effect. Or, as one of the scientists involved put it, “ we cannot assume the CO2 fertilization effect will persist indefinitely .” {youtube}                                                                         Does Rising CO2 Benefit Plants?                                                                  Is Our Food Becoming Less Nutritious? This brings us to an important point, being that the effect will not last forever. Rather, there is a certain cap to the productivity boost it may generate, a long-term outlook that many sceptics ignore. In a similar manner, they ignore the fact that the negative consequences of climate change are sizeable. These include drought and heat stress, which will put a great strain on plant life - one that is likely to offset the benefits. So although the CO2 fertilization effect may be real, one should not overlook the long-term effect and the fact that there are many, many downsides to global warming as well. Recommended:  Global Cooling Or Warming: CO2 Matters Because It Doesn’t Rising CO2 Levels Effects On Agricultural Plants One specific implication of the fertilization effect is that it may, ultimately, lead to higher food production and a better quality of food. In order to test this statement, scientists have studied the effect of rising CO2 levels on agricultural plants. Once again, the fertilization effect has held up: most crops will benefit from having this extra material in the atmosphere, that will help them grow. This holds true for most of the crops that are a part of our diet, including wheat, rice and soybeans.   The limitation as imposed by diminishing nitrogen levels is largely irrelevant for agricultural plants, as fertilizer can take over the role of nitrogen and other nutrients if needed. This does, however, not mean that the effect will last indefinitely. Although these plants benefit from rising CO2 levels, they will quickly be saturated - leading to fewer and fewer benefits for the extra CO2 added.   So, this means that one of the two main caveats of the fertilization effect also holds true in agriculture: the long-term outlook is not nearly as rosy. As for the other caveat, with the drawbacks of global warming outweighing the positive sides, it is not hard to see how this would be applicable for agricultural plants as well, with shortages of water, extreme heat and weather events, and the increase in weeds and pests having a direct and significant impact on crops. Recommended:  Renewable Energy Turns CO2 Into Fuel For Hydrogen Batteries Rising CO2’s Effect On Crops Could Harm Human Health Another fact that was found is that food grown under higher CO2 levels is less nutritious. So yeah, productivity may rise in the short term, but this will lead to an output of food of lower quality. In particular, food crops will lose valuable iron, zinc and protein - important nutrients in our daily diet. The levels of CO2 that are predicted to hit our atmosphere mid-century would lead to such a loss of those nutrients that it will cause deficiencies in billions of people. The reasons as to why the rising CO2 levels cause this drop in nutritional content are still unknown. Knowing that it is the case should, however, suffice as a warning for those who rely on the fertilization effect in choosing not to combat global warming. The public health threats associated with rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere are dire and not to be underestimated. Sceptics who are happy to use the argument of the fertilization effect should therefore be warned that there is a much larger downside - and that ultimately, rising CO2 levels do not exclusively benefit plants. Before you go! Recommended:  Climate Change Efforts On Reducing CO2 Why Not Recycle It? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about CO2 And Food? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Does Rising CO2 Benefit Plants?
Does Rising CO2 Benefit Plants?
Agri & Gardening

Growing food, either commercially or as a hobby is one of the most satisfying things you can do. It is however not without challenges. Protection against natural or man-made threats, irrigation or other treatments of the soil has to be done with care.

Agriculture is the process of producing food, feed, fibre and many other desired products by the cultivation of certain plants. The practice of agriculture is also known as ‘farming’, while scientists, inventors and others devoted to improving farming methods and implements are also said to be engaged in agriculture.
Subsistence farming; who farms a small area with limited resource inputs, and produces only enough food to meet the needs of his/her family. At the other end is commercial intensive agriculture, including industrial agriculture. Such farming involves large fields, large resource inputs (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.), and a high level of mechanization.

Nowadays, critical attention is given to industrial agriculture. Alternatives are proposed such as regenerative agriculture, the use of drones, smart techniques and blockchain. The use of fertilizer and water in large quantities is also criticized. The risks of monocultures are large and in combination with the depletion of agricultural land, the reduction of insects and climate change, it is necessary to change our view on industrial agriculture and growing crops.

If there was an urge to come up with a sustainable way of agriculture and gardening solutions and share these topics globally it’s now! WhatsOrb Global Sustainability X-change Platform is for you, storytellers and influencers to write about tiny houses, your experiences and expectations for the future at home and globally. 

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