I just got off a fascinating interview with Dr. Gidon Eshel, a geophysicist who studies the greenhouse gas impact of food. He's probably best known for being co-author on a paper about how reducing meat in U.S. diets (or flat-out going vegetarian) could make a big improvement on this country's emissions footprint. In other words, he's usually the guy telling you to stop eating beef.
But I wanted to know whether all vegetables were created equal. If you really care about reducing your carbon footprint, are there veggies or fruits you should be shunning along with the cows? The answer, according to Eshel, is emphatically "yes".
Depending on where you live, eating baby spinach or arugula is almost like eating a burger, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. It's that intense. Sure, if you live in the Central Valley of California, or in Florida, not so. But most people live very far from those places. If you live east of longitude 100 [Draw a line through the middle of the Dakotas—MKB] and north of, say, Jesse Helms country, you have no business eating greens at all between October and June. Again, you know, you're free to do whatever you want, but if you want to be really careful about your greenhouse gas footprint, this is what you should do.
The reason boils down to the huge amounts of energy needed to run the greenhouses that grow our local baby salad mix in winter, and, to a lesser extent, the fuel burned by trucking in California-grown salad. Although, Eshel says, you'd be way better off, from an emissions standpoint, buying the California greens than buying local—if buying local means greenhouse-grown.
Want to avoid interrogating your salad supplier all winter? Eshel recommends switching to cabbage as a planet-friendly salad base alternative.
Image courtesy Flickr user timlewisnm, via CC
To demonstrate the Magnus effect, YouTuber PeterSripol grabbed a couple of KFC buckets and tricked out an RC plane. The resulting trial and error is mostly the latter.
One of the weirdest places in Antarctica is Blood Falls, a five-story cascade of blood-red liquid pouring from Taylor Glacier. Researchers finally traced its source: a saltwater lake millions of years old trapped under the glacier.
Fetal lambs survived for weeks in an experimental artificial womb, and scientists hope that the breakthrough could lead to new treatments for premature babies and perhaps the dreamed-of machine utopia where humans are kept mindlessly writhing in translucent plastic sheaths filled with psuedoamniotic liquid. Physicians at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia placed fetal lambs into […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]
Yeah, Bluetooth audio is pretty common these days, so why should you care about these earbuds? Look how happy that woman up above looks. She’s got FRESHeBUDS in. Boom. There’s your reason. She’s also at the beach and it appears to be a very nice day.But for the sake of promotion, wireless earbuds are fast becoming the […]
“Gets stuff done,” is a good way to be described by anybody. Especially by coworkers or bosses. Because whether you’re in finance or a children’s librarian, stuff needs to get done. But how do you make sure stuff gets done? You definitely can’t do all the stuff yourself, unless your company/organization/government office consists entirely of you. And […]