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Adolescents’ cooking skills strongly predict future nutritional well-being

Adolescents’ cooking skills strongly predict future nutritional well-being

Confidence in cooking ability led to fewer fast food meals, more meals as a family, and more frequent preparation of meals with vegetables in adulthood, according to a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

Evidence suggests that developing cooking and food preparation skills is important for health and nutrition, yet the practice of home cooking is declining and now rarely taught in school. A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that developing cooking skills as a young adult may have long-term benefits for health and nutrition.

Plants are great at storing CO2. These scientists aim to make them even better.

Plants are great at storing CO2. These scientists aim to make them even better.

Many strategies aimed at mitigating global warming involve huge shifts in human behavior: stop burning coal for electricity, stop driving gas-powered cars, stop destroying rainforests. These are all necessary — and all involve complex political, cultural and socio-economic hurdles for humans. But what if we could also change the behavior of a far more pliant group of organisms, those that consume the carbon dioxide we emit? It’s a demand-side approach to reducing the threat of climate change, and lately it’s been gaining some extra research steam: capturing and storing that excess carbon by boosting the capacity of nature’s own carbon-storing technology, plants.

Colombia takes ‘unprecedented’ step to stop farms gobbling forests

Colombia takes ‘unprecedented’ step to stop farms gobbling forests

Indigenous communities that depend on Colombia’s Amazon rainforest for their survival will have more say over their ancestral lands, as Colombia adds 8 million hectares to its protected areas in an effort to stem forest loss.

The new measures announced by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on 10th April 2018 aim to create a buffer zone for the country’s southern Amazon region.

Farmers are pushing deeper into forests, cutting down more trees to clear land for cattle-grazing and agriculture.

Tough times, tough birds: Kenyan farmers swap back to hardy chickens

Tough times, tough birds: Kenyan farmers swap back to hardy chickens

In Elly Joy Kanini’s farmyard in Kenya’s Tharaka Nithi County, a few chickens perch while others peck for food, and a cock runs after a hen.

But when Kanani, dressed in a blue chequered apron and carrying a container of grain, walks past the chicken house and gives a familiar call, the yard is in no time packed with birds of many different colours, snapping up the grain almost before it hits the ground.

Kanini has been raising chickens for about four years, along with crops and other livestock, but she has not always reared the local variety of chickens that now make up her flock.

Sustainable shopping: save the world, one chocolate at a time

Sustainable shopping: save the world, one chocolate at a time

Cocoa is probably the most sustainable of all internationally traded commodities, so there are several “feelgood” reasons for eating the chocolate made from it this Easter – at least when the cocoa is grown by smallholder producers and traded by processors that are committed to equitable sharing of profits.

Here are some ways to tell if you are onto a good thing.

Is your Easter egg bad for the environment?

Is your Easter egg bad for the environment?

A recent study by researchers at The University of Manchester and published in the journal Food Research International has looked at the carbon footprint of chocolate and its other environmental impacts. It has done this by assessing the impacts of ingredients, manufacturing processes, packaging and waste.

The study estimates that the UK chocolate industry produces about 2.1m tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHG) a year. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of the whole population of a city as large as Belfast. It also found that it takes around 1000 litres of water to produce just one chocolate bar.

Too late to plant green seed among world’s forgotten palm oil farmers?

Too late to plant green seed among world’s forgotten palm oil farmers?

When palm oil farmer Isnin Kasno eventually retires, his three children will turn their backs on the family’s small plantation in Malaysia’s southern state of Johor. Like many ageing oil palm growers in Southeast Asia, the 58-year-old struggles to make ends meet from his 2 hectares (5 acres), and his adult children have little appetite for the physically demanding work and dwindling financial rewards.

“It makes me very sad,” said Kasno, who planted his land in 1983 after working in Singapore’s construction industry. “Soon, when I no longer have the energy to help with the harvesting, my only option will be to lease my farm.”

We need to rethink our moral obligations to create a better world

We need to rethink our moral obligations to create a better world

Our collective overuse and misuse of antibiotics is accelerating resistance to these universal drugs, leaving people increasingly vulnerable to infections that can no longer be treated. This applies not only to the use of antibiotics in human medicine, but also in animal industries. Antibiotic resistance is an example of a collective action problem. These are problems where what is individually rational leads to a collectively undesirable outcome.

Eider down farming – a living cultural tradition

Eider down farming – a living cultural tradition

Birgitta Berglund has studied eider down farming areas and the special culture along the Norwegian Helgeland coast since the 1970s. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Archaeology and Cultural History at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) University Museum.

The coastal communities included eider duck egg and down harvesting, sealing and fishing villages, but Berglund’s greatest interest lies with the practice of eider farming.

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