Posts tagged Sustainability

Blue-Green Algae – What’s Lurking in Your Swamp Might Save the World

The headlines are wreaking of investments in algae – yes that yukky stuff that can actually be very toxic to sea life. Wouldn’t you know, the Swamp Thing is poised to have big value. 49302168

According to an article by ScienceDaily “Algae are tiny biological factories that use photosynthesis to transform carbon dioxide and sunlight into energy so efficiently that they can double their weight several times a day.

As part of the photosynthesis process algae produce oil and can generate 15 times more oil per acre than other plants used for biofuels, such as corn and switchgrass. Algae can grow in salt water, freshwater or even contaminated water, at sea or in ponds, and on land not suitable for food production.”49302194

This oil can be used for gas, diesel, and jet fuels. Algae biofuel is also compatible with existing engines, existing storage, distribution, and delivery infrastructure. However the most important aspect is that algae-based biofuels have a low carbon footprint as they do not require the use of forests or large areas of land for production.

Some other wonderful aspects of algae-based biofuels:
– Algae biofuel is carbon neutral; only emits C02 that it absorbs.
– Algae reproduces very quickly, maximizing biofuel yields.
– Algae biofuel can scale to even possibly replace oil.

The world’s first algae fuel-powered vehicle, dubbed the Algaeus. The plug-in hybrid car, which is a Prius tricked out with a nickel metal hydride battery and a plug, runs on green crude from Sapphire Energy — no modifications to the gasoline engine necessary.

The world’s first algae fuel-powered vehicle, dubbed the Algaeus. The plug-in hybrid car, which is a Prius tricked out with a nickel metal hydride battery and a plug, runs on green crude from Sapphire Energy — no modifications to the gasoline engine necessary.


– Algae biofuel is commercially viable on an industrial scale.
– Algae biofuel can become price competitive with oil.
– There are no soil requirements for algae biofuel.
– Algae can be produced locally for food and fuel.
– Algae biofuel does not damage food prices.
– The algae biofuel industry is growing quickly with a bright future.
– Algae yields much more biofuel per acre than other fuels.
– Algae photo-bioreactors require very little land.
– Algal fuels do not impact fresh water resources.
– Algae biofuel can grow in salt water, freshwater or contaminated water.
– Human waste and sewage can be used to grow algae biofuel.
– Algae can be used to filter C02 from coal plants and create biofuel.
– Algae biofuel is more practical than solar power.
– Algae does not compete with food resources like other biofuels.

Pulled from the headlines – look whose investing in algae biofuels:
“One of the nation’s wealthiest American Indian communities is a major investor in a start-up with the twin goals of making fuel from algae and reducing emissions.”

“Exxon to Invest Millions to Make Fuel From Algae”

“Dow Chemical’s long-term interest in the ethanol produced by the algae is as a replacement for natural gas to make plastic.”

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Why Go Organic?

two women on the fruit market
As a healthy foods advocate, many people often ask me whether or not it really makes a difference if they eat organic food? My response has always been an emphatic yes! There are several reasons why eating organic is not only recommended but also essential to maintaining personal vibrant health and the health of our planet.

Primarily, organic foods are grown without the use of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and inorganic fertilizers, which not only protects the food, but also preserves the soil, keeping it well-stocked with vital nutrients that end up in what you eat. Chemical pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and other inorganic additives show up in the food when it is used in the growing/raising process which will accumulate in your body when you eat them. These chemicals also interrupt the microbiotic activity in the soil according to The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA). MOFGA also documents that: “Natural, undisturbed soil is alive with microbiotic organisms that exist in harmony with the native plant life and the inorganic minerals that provide the soil’s substrate.”

If avoiding chemicals and preserving soil nutrients are not good enough reasons, maybe avoiding GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) ingredients would be? Over the years, the amount of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and inorganic fertilizers used on crops grown in the United State and Canada has also rapidly accelerated due to the introduction of GMOs into our food supply. Happily, Organic foods DO NOT contain GMO ingredients.

It’s not just the avoidance of chemicals that is of concern but also the food and ingredients made from GMO crops that are strongly questionable for health safety reasons.

Against strong opposition from the scientific community, the FDA approved GMOs in 1992 for commercial use labeling them as GRAS or “Generally Recognized as Safe.” However, the GRAS label was given without meeting the guidelines of undergoing a substantial amount of peer-reviewed published studies and by achieving an overwhelming consensus among the scientific community that the product is safe. As of today, food grown and manufactured from GMO ingredients has not been adequately tested on the human body and there is no clear scientific evidence supporting its safety for human consumption. In fact there is credible evidence showcasing how GMO foods are indeed harmful. Another disturbing point is that foods containing GMO ingredients do not have to be labeled and there are no required review processes or regulation protocols currently in practice.

We have essentially become human guinea pigs and there are more and more accounts of people getting sick. According to a report published by the Institute for Responsible Technology, The FDA’s “Non-Regulation” Of GM(O) Foods, “Their influence on health has been largely ignored, but recent studies show serious problems. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been linked to thousands of toxic or allergic-type reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals. Nearly every independent animal feeding safety study shows adverse or unexplained effects.” This information has been well documented in Jeffrey M. Smith’s book, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.

When it comes to making a decision between organic and conventional, the choice is clear – choose organic for your own health and for the health of the planet and future generations. If money is an issue, the last place you want to cut back on is on the quality of the food you buy and consume. After all you are what you eat, and replacing organic food with mass-produced chemically enhanced produce and ingredients will cause your body more harm down the road, which in turn increases the dollar amount you spend on healthcare. Spending a little more money now will save you a lot of money and illnesses later. Also anecdotally and from personal experience organic food just tastes better!

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