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Biology

This category contains 243 posts

Taking care of industrial food waste

In the US, approximately 30-40% of all food is wasted according to the USDA. Generally, on this topic the discussion focuses on how to reduce this number with strategies for every stage of the chain from farm and manufacturing to the consumer. But Saba and colleagues (2023) have taken a different approach. Focusing specifically on … Continue reading

Submissive or not?

Do you know how to make your diet more sustainable?

I’ve looked into research on food sustainability and to say it’s complex is an understatement. Local good but meat bad; what if it’s local meat? Fruits and veggies good; what if they’re grown with lots of fertilizer and pesticides? What about farming practices and transportation distances and water use? I have a good background to … Continue reading

How sustainable are sustainable foods?

I remember a few years ago when a friend shared that they were going to try a vegetarian option for something until they discovered that it wasn’t healthier than the meat option. This kind of assumption is relatively common in my experience: the plant based option is assumed to be healthier and more sustainable. But … Continue reading

Higher Protection Means Higher Benefits

The oceans are, without question, under pressure. Overfishing, habitat degradation, pollution, and acidification are all taking their toll. There are however a growing number of marine protected areas. But that requires that these areas are actually effective. This is the question that Jacquemont et al (2022) asked. Specifically they were looking at the impacts of … Continue reading

Rewilding and Food Sustainability

Rewilding is a conservation approach that focuses on restoring natural processes. It involves less human management compared to many approaches to managing landscapes including both natural and agricultural areas. Keystone species, those that impact many other species, are fundamental to the success of rewilding, as is the return of wild versions of both plants and … Continue reading

Forests, water quality, and climate change

I know that nature provides great water filtration. I’ve read studies and reports about how restoring wetlands improves water quality and can cost less than building a water filtration plant to produce the same results. I haven’t considered how much filtration forests do before. It makes perfect sense though. Any time you have water moving … Continue reading

What will happen to the boreal forest in climate change?

I spent the weekend paddling in the middle of the boreal forest. It was a great mix of good stress navigating rough water and realizing that I had forgotten matches and had to light my stove with a flint and steel and relaxation with sunset paddles and listening to the loons. It also got me … Continue reading

What are the benefits of plant based meat alternatives?

I have switched to a number of plant based meat alternatives. Generally, I’ve done this where I’m trying to keep a particular style of meal like a burger (although I also enjoy a portobello mushroom burger). So convenience and familiarity play a role. But I admit to wondering whether these alternatives are actually environmentally better … Continue reading

To talk about money or not

I just read two recent articles. The first, by Masood (2022) reflects on a recent report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. This report basically says we should 1) stop relying on short term economic value of nature and 2) consider multiple types and sources of value including sociocultural value. I … Continue reading

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