Friday, November 21, 2014

#CyberSpaceWar: Norway To Grow Food Crops In Space

from A team of scientists in Norway are set to research the possibility of growing plants and food crops in outer space, it was revealed on Friday.

A new EU-funded research project is set to 'take-off' researching how food plants grow in space and how the horticulture could supply space travellers with oxygen and food.

The 10-year project called TIME SCALE will be led by Ann-Iren Kittang Jost, research chief at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Space (CIRiS) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.

The research team has not yet decided what plants they will try and grow, but are looking at tomatoes, lettuce and soybeans.

The Trondheim research unit has been trying to grow plants in space since 2006. Under the Norwegian research team's guidance, plant growing experiments were carried out at the International Space Station (ISS). The research focused on the flowering weed, Arabidopsis thaliana.
It is a complex journey of investigation for the scientists who must learn about the interaction of the plants to their new, very different environment.

"One of the big challenges is to administer exactly the right amount of water and nutrients to the plants in such little gravity,” said Kittang Jost to Science Nordic.

Researchers from the MELISSA space program believe a closed ecosystem can be fully functional in space by 2050. With this goal in mind, the Norwegian researchers' work is a critical part of giving space explorers the means to survive and eat in a self-sustaining fashion, many thousands of miles away from Earth.

SOURCE: The Local

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

#GoodNewsNextWeek - McDonald’s Japan Sees Profits Fall Into The Red

from On the 6th November, McDonald’s Holdings Co. (Japan) reported a substantial, ¥9.4 billion ($82 million) net loss for the July-September period – a stark contrast to the ¥1.8 billion net profit from the same period last year.

Still reeling from the scandal of “Mc-Nugget Gate” , the company has revised its annual projections from a ¥6 billion profit to an expected net loss of around ¥17 billion – this will mark the first time in 11 years that the company’s full-year earnings have fallen into the red.

Bad news comes in threes, it seems. In October, one month before McDonald’s Holdings Co. (Japan) released their report, American McDoanld’s Corp posted a nearly one-third drop in its quarterly profit, promoting the corporation’s CEO Don Thompson to admit that the company was currently contending with some ‘image problems’.

The mounting troubles on both sides of the Pacific Ocean, paired with the relative successes of their leading competitors, has led some commentators to question whether McDonald’s reign at the top of Japan’s fast food restaurants has finally come to an end.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Slow Decline of #FastFood In America

The Slow Decline of #FastFood In Americafrom Sales of McDonald's in the United States fell 3.3 percent in the last quarter. The consumption of sodas fell last year to 1995 levels, according to the industry specialist Beverage Digest. Americans drank on the average 51 gallons (nearly 200 liters) of soda per person in 1998; last year, it was 44 gallons. The fall is more marked for light sodas, which fell six percent amid concerns sparked by studies suggesting some synthetic sweeteners were carcinogenic. "There's a shift away from the perception of food that is mass-produced towards food that is perceived to be more homemade or artisanal or sustainably produced," said Keith-Thomas Ayoob, associate clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. "Consumers want to feel that they're doing healthier things and eating a healthier diet." More and more Americans are making the link between fast food and sodas, and life-long health problems like obesity and diabetes, said Sriram Madhusoodanan, an organizer of the anti-fast-food campaign "Value [the] Meal" at Corporate Accountability International.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

#YesOn92 Poll Shows #GMO-Labeling Initiative Leading Prior to Nov. 4 Election

#YesOn92 Poll Shows #GMO-Labeling Initiative Leading Prior to Nov. 4 Electionfrom Supporters of a mandatory GMO-labeling initiative say their own polling shows that Measure 92 is ahead with only days to go before votes are counted Nov. 4. The poll, conducted by Washington D.C.-based GBA Strategies, has the measure leading by eight percentage points, 52 to 44. The result differs from a poll released Tuesday, which showed Measure 92 trailing, 48 to 42. That poll, conducted by Elway Research of Seattle, was commissioned by The Oregonian and KGW. Yes on 92 campaign representatives said they decided to release the results of their poll to The Oregonian to counter the Elway poll. "Our own polling shows we have a small lead and that we have a good chance of winning this," said Paige Richardson, a campaign spokeswoman.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Taiwan Food Tycoon Faces Nearly 140 Fraud Charges

from A Taiwanese tycoon has been charged with nearly 140 counts of fraud over his alleged role in the country’s latest food safety scare, prosecutors say.

Wei Ying-chung (pictured center), one of the country’s richest men, has been indicted on 60 counts of fraud and 79 instances of aggravated fraud as well as violating food safety laws for selling tainted cooking oil, prosecutors in the central city of Changhua said.

The court has been asked to seize around Tw$440 million (USD 14.67 million) of illegal profits from selling the adulterated oil.
“Wei ignores the law and disregards the danger to public health and his corporate responsibility to manufacture and retail cooking oil made from feed oil to seek personal gains,” prosecutors said in a statement.
Wei was taken into custody on October 17 and faces a 30-year jail term if convicted of the crimes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Something To Stop Doing Today: Drinking Soda

from Are you one of hundreds of millions of people around the world who drink soda every day? I hope not. New reasons why...and they're scary.

Monday, October 27, 2014