A new study published in the Royal Society’s journal for biological sciences analyzed over 20,000 bee-flower interactions in New Jersey to assess the value of bee diversity in wild plant communities. The researchers found that the number of functionally important bee species increased with the number of plant species in a community. Put more plainly, diverse ecosystems require greater bee diversity.
Tag Archives: agriculture
Bulletin: Reinventing meat to stave off climate crisis—and the next pandemic
Are we eating our way into climate crisis?
The global food system is responsible for between 21 and 37 percent of annual emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Roughly half of the world’s land surface is used for agriculture, and 96 percent of the world’s mammalian biomass is either human or livestock, chiefly pigs and cattle. And the global appetite for meat is only predicted to grow.
Bruce Friedrich believes that there is a better way to make and eat meat. He founded the Good Food Institute to advance the future of alternative meats, including plant-based meat made from—duh—plants (like pea protein and coconut oil), and cultivated meats, which are grown from animal cells.
In this interview with Bulletin associate editor Jessica McKenzie, Friedrich elaborates on Good Food Institute’s theory of change, why it is working with—not against—meat companies, how alternative meats could help prevent the next pandemic, and how they can achieve taste, texture, and price parity with meat. He also responds to criticisms that alternative meats are nothing more than corporate greenwashing.
The Counter: Can canners still trust the Ball Blue Book, cornerstone of the American canning canon?
Last August, the Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach—the arm of the land-grant university that works directly with farmers, business owners, and families on practical science applications—quietly informed 4-H members that canned goods made with recipes from the Ball Blue Book would no longer be accepted for exhibits at county fairs. A year later, the news that ISU Extension was no longer recommending the Ball Blue Book, not just to 4-H, but to any home canner, roiled the Canning subreddit, an online community with nearly 80,000 members.
The Counter: Gardening could be an essential part of astronaut self-care
Indoor farming is helping an isolated NASA crew thrive in Antarctica, and could reap future psychological benefits for space explorers.
The Counter: What does a vertical farm taste like?
Indoor farming companies—like Kimbal Musk’s Square Roots—claim their methods can replicate any climate on earth, resulting in better-tasting produce.