Feb 17, 2009 | 3
In recent decades, China has pushed the use of nitrogen fertilizer to help wrest as much food out of farms as possible, in part to stave off the famines of the past. Of course, such overuse of nitrogen results in air pollution and ocean dead zones—as well as, paradoxically, less fertile soil.
Now new research shows that by using just one third of typical amounts—presently as much as 600 kilograms per hectare—farmers could get the same or better results growing corn, rice and wheat, the main staple crops. The key is applying the fertilizer to seedlings rather than adding it to soil while planting, write Ju Xiao-Tang of China Agricultural University in Beijing and his colleagues in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.
Oct 15, 2008
We recently asked, is keeping kosher good for the environment? We tried to answer the question by running the carbon footprint numbers based on what you substituted for forbidden foods like pork and shellfish.
Now, the New York Times Magazine offers its own spin on the question. An emerging movement among kosher-keeping Jews infuses modern-day ethics into the practice, taking care that workers at processing plants and the animals themselves are well cared for. In a widely reported story, immigration authorities in May raided the country's largest independent kosher manufacturer, Agriprocessors, arresting nearly 400 workers, and last month, Iowa's attorney general slapped the company with more than 9,000 criminal misdemeanor charges, including child-labor violations. At that time, company spokesman Chaim Abrahams said the workers "lied about their age" to Agriprocessors. "We look forward to our day in court,” he said in a statement then.
Sep 29, 2008 | 1
The Jewish High Holidays, which begin at sundown tonight, celebrate the turning of the calendar with symbolic foods (apples and honey to signify a sweet new year) and ask the observant to reflect on their actions. Sermons by rabbis often touch on issues of social justice, including the environment, and ask congregants how their choices in those realms do — or do not — represent Jewish values.
So what better time to ask: Is keeping Kosher good for the environment? Turns out, the green perks of keeping kosher are sometimes offset by what's eaten instead of no-nos like pork and shellfish, Emily Gertz reports.
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