Disappearing sea ice in the Arctic could lead to the collapse of a vital polar food chain, scientists have warned. New research has shown algae that grow on the underside of the ice are the ultimate food source and can be traced through animals all the way up to the polar bear.Sky News filmed researchers working on Mijenfjorden in Svalbard for the Arctic Peril documentary.:: Arctic under attack - why the world must actResearch is showing algae produce a unique chemical called Ice Proxy 25 (IP25), which can be traced through the food chain.Dr Tom Brown, a marine ecologist at the Scottish Association for Marine Science, said: "You can see the transfer from ice algae to zooplankton."You can see that fish are eating the plankton, that seals are eating the fish and that polar bears are eating seals, because IP25 is present all the way to the top of the food chain."Unpublished results show the chemical has been found in every one of more than 100 polar bears tested so far.It is also present … [Read more...] about Disappearing sea ice could lead to collapse of vital polar food chain
Producer in food chain
Butter or margarine? When it comes to sandwiches and similar foods, whether you use butter or margarine is largely a matter of personal preference. Many prefer the taste of butter. But in the past, butter’s reputation has suffered due to its animal-fat content. Consumed in moderation, though, butter doesn’t pose a risk to health. And one-quarter of the saturated fat in butter is made up of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which are beneficial to health. The best oil for your salad? When it comes to salads, all plant-based oils with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids are a good choice. These oils contain the essential fatty acids that our bodies can’t produce themselves. Sunflower, corn, rapeseed, flaxseed, and walnut oils are all excellent choices. The last three of these oils are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. When these oils are extra virgin and cold-pressed – meaning they’ve been produced using traditional and natural methods … [Read more...] about What fats are best in food?
With organic products increasing in popularity across the board despite being more expensive, one might think that organic farmers are raking in the profits. But just as "bio-food" takes off in Germany's many discount food chains, farmers are taking a financial hit from the no-frills segment, which is cutting the price of organic produce in line with the rest of the cheap items on offer. For German organic farmers, seeing their eco-friendly products, laboriously grown with care and conscience, on the shelves of discount supermarkets is a bitter pill to swallow. While they're happy that more and more organic products are reaching the consumer, they must face up to the realities of dealing with the discounters whose bottom line is: "Sell the produce for less or we'll get it from abroad." Competing farmers in Poland, Italy, and the Czech Republic are at an advantage over their German competitors as they receive twice as much in government subsidies. But in a bid to remain … [Read more...] about Farmers Losing Out in German Organic Boom
It is just after working hours, and customers are slowly rolling into the Uemit Turkish supermarket in Bonn. The shelves are packed full with Turkish delicacies, and colorful fruit stands stretch across the front entrance. A handful of shoppers have made their way to the halal meat counter at the back of the store. Rabia Kasik, a young store clerk, says their customers like to shop there because it is one of the few places in Bonn where Muslims can buy halal food, including chicken patties, beef burgers - even gummi bears. "People can find halal food here, and in a few other specialty markets - but not in many other places. It is difficult for Muslims in Germany, because everything is mixed with pork," Kasik says. Halal is an Arabic term that means "lawful", and it refers to a way of life that adheres to Islamic law. Any food or drink can be halal if it meets Muslim standards. For example, meat products cannot contain pork, and food producers must clean their machines with … [Read more...] about Halal food market on the rise
Deutsche Welle spoke with Lars Thunell, who heads the International Finance Corporation, to find out about private sector investment aimed at food security in developing nations. The IFC is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. Deutsche Welle: Mr. Thunell, part of IFC's work aims to support the creation of jobs locally. Why is that important? Thunell: What we see around the world now is that jobs are the major issue. We have - especially in the emerging markets, if you look at the Middle East for example - [a situation where] some fifty percent of the population is younger than 25. They want an opportunity, they want jobs. They want to be able to sustain themselves and have a family. So, it becomes critical and that's what we see in the Middle East, in Egypt, Tunisia. And it's not that people are not educated. The unemployment rate in a country like Tunisia for university graduates is 25 percent. They want jobs. Why is the IFC focusing on agribusiness … [Read more...] about Can private sector funding increase food security?
China's troubles with air and water pollution are widely known with its smog-clouded cities and chemical-filled rivers drawing international attention. However, there is another, less visible consequence of the whirlwind GDP growth the country has experienced over the past three decades: soil pollution. "Rapid industrialization has left a legacy of soil pollution that is damaging health and livelihoods in villages across China," concluded a recent investigation titled "The victims of China's soil pollution crisis," jointly conducted by Yale Environment 360 and chinadialogue, a non-profit organization based in London and Beijing. However, soil pollution is not only affecting the health and well-being of Chinese citizens, it is also putting the nation's food security at risk. A Chinese government report released in April this year said that 16.1 percent of the country's soil was polluted. The figure for contaminated farmland is even higher, 19.4 percent. The main contaminants are … [Read more...] about Soil pollution is a ‘severe problem’ in China
Most people would avoid deliberately eating pesticides - but they don't realize that they're eating them without knowing it much of the time. With revelations of a highly toxic insecticide recently found in millions of eggs for sale in Germany and the Netherlands, and as the egg scandal spreads to other European countries such as France and the United Kingdom, it's a legitimate question to ask: How much of my food inadvertently contains toxic chemicals? Add to the discussion how increasing quantities of fake and illegal pesticides are being produced globally, as the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) has warned. The European Union's food safety watchdog also recently indicated that almost half of the food Europeans eat contains traces of pesticides - although in most cases, not at levels harmful to people. Since such substances are colorless and odorless, consumers have no easy means to identify whether their food contains toxic substances. … [Read more...] about Why toxic chemicals keep sneaking into our food
At the moment, the world has enough stock to cover 25 percent of annual food grain requirement, says Hiroyuki Konuma, the FAO's representative for the Asia-Pacific region. But he says the medium and long-term future looks bleak if agricultural production is not improved: "By 2050, we expect the world population to have grown to 9.1 billion from the present 6.9 billion. To meet this growing future population, we predict that the world needs to increase food production by 70 percent." The FAO's 2010 estimates show significant improvement in aggregate cereal outputs in Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Japan and Indonesia. However, it is thought that the outputs from the harvest in Pakistan will be low because of the severe flooding and in South Korea, Laos and Thailand because of the delayed rains. China' s mixed success Cereal production in China, on the other hand, is expected to be marginally higher. Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special … [Read more...] about UN food agency warns against a food crisis
Under the motto "we're sick of it!", people in Berlin will hit the streets by the thousands on Saturday (01.16.2016) to protest for a transformation in agricultural systems. A broad coalition of more than 50 environmental, consumer, animal and farming groups have called for the demonstration, which coincides with the opening of Green Week in Berlin - the largest agricultural trade fair in the world. Agriculture in Germany, an industrialized country at the heart of Europe, has changed dramatically over past decades. As farming has become more intensive, ever more artificial fertilizers and chemical pesticides are spread over the land. Small farmers have been hit hard, and many have had to shut down. Instead of coming from "mom and pop" farms, meat is being produced at large factories that pack tens of thousands of animals together. But Germans are raising ever more questions over such intensive, industrialized farming. Genetically altered feed imported from overseas, the … [Read more...] about Why Germans are demanding a shift in agriculture
"It's very unusual. We rarely get queries from European citizens [about applying for British citizenship] but now we get hundreds a week - email, Facebook, phone calls…We processed 35 new applications last week." Immigration lawyers at the Davidson Morris firm have been so inundated with the surge in enquiries from European nationals living in the UK about naturalization that they have hired a new staffer specifically responsible for dealing with the calls. A lot of the initial conversations they have had from people concerned about how the Brexit vote may affect their status in the UK showed that uncertainty over the outcome is causing a lot of anxiety for people who have lived in the UK for many years. In the wake of the vote to leave, Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan told the BBC that no one had suggested a change to the status of EU nationals living in Britain. However, there is a tangible sense of uncertainty for many of those in question. "Most of the people getting in … [Read more...] about Post-Brexit fears prey on EU nationals in the UK