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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.

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.

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.

Island of plastic debris in Pacific far bigger than previous estimates, study says

Island of plastic debris in Pacific far bigger than previous estimates, study says

A giant island of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean holds as much as 16 times more debris than was previously thought, posing a significant threat to the food chain, scientists said on Thursday (22nd March 2018).

The so-called garbage patch in waters between California and Hawaii consists of fishing nets, plastic containers, packaging and ropes, said the Ocean Cleanup Foundation, which headed up a study published in Scientific Reports, an online journal.

Millions more hungry in 2017 amid famine and conflict, with numbers rising

Millions more hungry in 2017 amid famine and conflict, with numbers rising

Conflicts and climate disasters, particularly drought, drove the number of people facing crisis levels of hunger up by about 15 percent last year and the situation is getting worse, a new report said on Thursday (22nd March 2018).

Last year 124 million people in 51 countries faced crisis levels of hunger compared to 108 million people in 48 countries in 2016 and 80 million in 2015, according to the Food Security Information Network (FSIN).

Communicating why pollinators matter could help save them and ensure food security worldwide, researchers say

Communicating why pollinators matter could help save them and ensure food security worldwide, researchers say

International researchers met in Leiden (Netherlands) in early March, to discuss the latest research on pollinators and stress the need to communicate their value more actively to citizens and policy advisors. Better science communication, backed by more research funding, could help ensure sustainable pollination worldwide.

Mountains become islands: ecological dangers of increasing land use in East Africa

Mountains become islands: ecological dangers of increasing land use in East Africa

The mountains of East Africa are a treasure trove of biodiversity. However, their ecosystems may be at a higher risk than previously realized. Dr. Andreas Hemp and Dr. Claudia Hemp have discovered that Mount Kilimanjaro is turning into an “ecological island”. Agriculture and housing construction have eliminated the natural vegetation that used to serve as a bridge to the surrounding area, enabling the diversity of species to develop to its current levels.

Scientists engineer crops to conserve water, resist drought

Scientists engineer crops to conserve water, resist drought

Agriculture already monopolizes 90 percent of global freshwater—yet production still needs to dramatically increase to feed and fuel this century’s growing population. For the first time, scientists have improved how a crop uses water by 25 percent without compromising yield by altering the expression of one gene that is found in all plants, as reported in Nature Communications.

Reducing the impact of fishing fleets on the most threatened marine birds

Reducing the impact of fishing fleets on the most threatened marine birds

Accidental by-catch –which affects around 5,000 birds stuck in longlines every year- is the most severe effect on marine birds by the fishing activity in the Mediterranean. The exploitation of fishing resources is threatening more and more the future of many marine birds with regression populations, such as Cory’s shearwater or the Balearic shearwater.

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