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Nourishment for mind, body, spirit and environment
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Architecture, Recycled: Beautiful Homes Rising From Scrap Heap

Architecture, Recycled: Beautiful Homes Rising From Scrap Heap | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Architecture, Recycled: Beautiful Homes Rising From Scrap Heap @Worldcrunch Worldcrunch - Great stories from the world's best news sources
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Recycling used materials can take a more traditional aspect, for economic reasons for instance. When she returned to Switzerland after working for ten years in Africa, architect Barbara Buser from Basel architectural firm In Situ, rebelled against the huge amounts of perfectly good construction materials thatwere being wasted.

 

“It’s possible to build entire houses using recycled materials, their used aspect even adds charm to the structure.” Buser knows that in Switzerland this is still a niche market, tied to economic aspects more than innovation.

Only a few architects use this second-hand exchange or use recyclable objects. This is not because of legislation, because the same fire safety and security rules apply to new and used material, explains Thomas Muller from the Swiss Association of Engineers and Architects. On the contrary, recycling is encouraged in Switzerland through specific construction standards.

 

According to Muller, the reluctance of architects to work with reclaimed objects is the main reason why they are not used more widely. For architects, recycled materials causes artistic limitations, especially in the case of visible elements. And even though clients want to be alternative and innovative, are often hesitant of taking the actual step of building their homes with old materials.

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Free Water | Andrew Brown - FOCUS FORWARD on Vimeo

Free Water | Andrew Brown - FOCUS FORWARD on Vimeo | reNourishment | Scoop.it
FREE WATER is a Semifinalist in the $200,000 FOCUS FORWARD Filmmaker Competition. View more Semifinalist films at vimeo.com/focusforwardfilms/semifinalists.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

The city of Tucson receives more rainfall than it uses annually, yet the city still imports the great majority of their municipal water via the Colorado River. Where does all that rainfall go? This short video touches upon ideas for harvesting rainwater in the city instead of sending it to the sewers.

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Fermentation of the Future — International Milk Research

Fermentation of the Future — International Milk Research | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

        Traditional fermentation of raw milk into cheese, creme fraiche, yogurt, lassi and other dairy products is a form of natural preservation with many health benefits. The identities of the micro-organisms that generate medicinal molecules in raw milk dairy products are often known. Lactic acid bacteria are examples of important fermenters. They enrich milk with vitamins and also make small proteins called bacteriocins—antibiotics that work by perforating bacterial cell membranes. One bacteriocin, lacticin 3147, destroys the diarrhea-inducing germ Clostridium difficile. Other important fermenters include strains of Lactobacillus, Propionibacterium, Bifidobacterium, and Enterococcus. These fermenters serve double duty synthesizing conjugated linoleic acid, an anti-clotting and anti-cancer agent. (Curiously, aged cheeses contain less of this acid than cheeses with a short ripening period.)

           Moreover, bacteria that could have a hand in improved fermentation are being revealed all the time. One such strain is Lactobacillus helveticus BGRA43 which breaks apart key proteins as it ferments milk such that it imbues the milk with anti-microbial, anti-hypertensive, and immunomodulatory properties.

           But in most cases, the enrichment of health-promoting substances was an unintended, and until recently, an unnoticed, side effect of making tasty foodstuffs that last. It isn’t always clear whether the chemicals involved survive digestion in the human gut and go on to do good things around the body. This point needs examining before fermentation science can be used to design healthier dairy products in the future.

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GreenWhey to open $28 million food waste-to-energy project using whey

GreenWhey to open $28 million food waste-to-energy project using whey | reNourishment | Scoop.it
The byproducts of cheese production will be converted into electricity, heat and fertilizer, as part of a renewable energy project expected to be completed this summer.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

"This is so much more than green electricity production," Norrbom said. "You help Wisconsin food processors become more competitive and you use their waste to create electricity. And then the waste heat off those engines, you're able to return to a local plant that they can use for their process heat."

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Emotional Smarts Tied to General IQ: Scientific American

Emotional Smarts Tied to General IQ: Scientific American | reNourishment | Scoop.it
The same brain regions that perform cognitive tasks may also provide social intelligence, according to a new study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

In the past, scientists believed that emotional intelligence and general intelligence were distinct, and books and movies are rife with depictions of intellectually brilliant but socially clueless nerds.

But Barbey and his colleagues wondered whether emotional intelligence and IQ were more tightly coupled than previously thought. To find out, the team used emotional intelligence, and intelligence tests drawn from 152 Vietnam veterans.

Barbey's team found that as IQ test scores went up so did measures of social abilities.

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Gina Stepp's comment, January 23, 2013 6:15 PM
Great minds think alike. I posted this same researc this morning (the press materials from the Urbana-Champaign site). There's a great video along with it--readers won't want to miss that!
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Evidence grows for narcolepsy link to GSK swine flu shot | Yahoo! Health

Evidence grows for narcolepsy link to GSK swine flu shot | Yahoo! Health | reNourishment | Scoop.it
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Emelie is plagued by hallucinations and nightmares. When she wakes up, she's often paralyzed, unable to breathe properly or call for help.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

In his glass-topped office building overlooking the Maria Magdalena church in Stockholm, Goran Stiernstedt, a doctor turned public health official, has spent many difficult hours going over what happened in his country during the swine flu pandemic, wondering if things should have been different.

 

"The big question is was it worth it? And retrospectively I have to say it was not," he told Reuters in an interview.

 

While estimates vary, Stiernstedt says Sweden's mass vaccination saved between 30 and 60 people from swine flu death. Yet since the pandemic ended, more than 200 cases of narcolepsy have been reported in Sweden.

With hindsight, this risk-benefit balance is unacceptable. "This is a medical tragedy," he said. "Hundreds of young people have had their lives almost destroyed."

 
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Gender differences in autoimmune diseases: Blame them on bacteria?

Gender differences in autoimmune diseases: Blame them on bacteria? | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Why are women more prone to autoimmune diseases like lupus , multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis ? A new study in mice points to a possible contributor: different types of bacteria that populate our guts.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

These gut bacteria cause altered blood levels of the sex hormone testosterone as well as the amounts and types  of certain fatty chemicals in male and female mouse blood. In other words, they can truly affect the biochemistry of the body in ways that depend on the animal’s sex. 

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Food Politics » Predictions for 2013 in food politics

Food Politics » Predictions for 2013 in food politics | reNourishment | Scoop.it

What's ahead for 2013? Approval of genetically modified salmon? GM labelling? Food safety? Menu labelling rules? Marion Nestle gives her annual predictions—and she has usually been spot on in years past. Here's her list for 2013.

Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Food politics predictions from Marion Nestle—From 1986-88, she was senior nutrition policy advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services and managing editor of the 1988 Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health. She has been a member of the FDA Food Advisory Committee and Science Board, the USDA/DHHS Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and American Cancer Society committees that issue dietary guidelines for cancer prevention. Her research focuses on how science and society influence dietary advice and practice.

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Alice Ruxton Abler's curator insight, January 22, 2013 11:33 AM

Food politics predictions from Marion Nestle—From 1986-88, she was senior nutrition policy advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services and managing editor of the 1988 Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health. She has been a member of the FDA Food Advisory Committee and Science Board, the USDA/DHHS Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and American Cancer Society committees that issue dietary guidelines for cancer prevention. Her research focuses on how science and society influence dietary advice and practice.

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California relaxes laws so entrepreneurs can sell homemade food

California relaxes laws so entrepreneurs can sell homemade food | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Editor's Pick New legislation approved in September and effective from the start of 2013, allows chefs to sell food that is cooked in a home kitchen.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

To qualify to start a cooking business from home, an individual or small business owner must run a “cottage food operation,” meaning they can retain only one non-family or household employee and generate no more than $35,000 in gross annual revenue. This does not allow for foods related to meat or dairy products, but allows for items like baked goods and jams. Cooks need a registration number to conduct direct and indirect sales from home, and their kitchen will need to meet health and safety regulations.

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USDA ERS - Chart: Farmers’ markets concentrated in metro counties

USDA ERS - Chart: Farmers’ markets concentrated in metro counties | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

This chart, courtesy of the USDA's Economic Research and its Amber Waves publication, shows the locations of over seven thousand farmers' markets across the United States. Interesting to see the concentrations.

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How a gardening novice tackled urban farming

How a gardening novice tackled urban farming | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Steven Wynbrandt sticks his hand deep beneath the layers of straw that blanket his enormous compost heap and pulls out a fistful of black gold, sweet and earthy.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

His journey began in 2009, when, as a surfer, teacher, musician and self-described “spiritual seeker,” he returned home after traveling for four months in Central America and moved back in with his mother in West L.A. Looking through her kitchen window, he had an epiphany.

“I wanted to become more self-sufficient and know where my food comes from,” he recalls. He wanted to grow his own food free of pesticides and other chemicals. He wanted to become a farmer.

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Why Tesco's Fresh & Easy turned Americans off

Why Tesco's Fresh & Easy turned Americans off | reNourishment | Scoop.it
From its name to its decor, there was confusion about what kind of store Fresh & Easy was...

 

Tesco bagen by saying they were infiltrating America's food deserts, bringing fresh foods to down-market areas. But that strategy soon changed. Early advertising by Tesco made middle-class Americans think they were getting a rival to their beloved Trader Joe's, a sophisticated but simple chain which markets a warm and fuzzy feeling to customers with relaxing music, "trading post" decor, an emphasis on organic food, community involvement and even in-store competitions for children.

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Americans are fatter, but not lazier, than Europeans

Americans are fatter, but not lazier, than Europeans | reNourishment | Scoop.it

How do Americans compare with Europeans when it comes to alcohol consumption, physical activity and obesity? The answers are not necessarily what one would expect!

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Free Water | Video by Andrew Brown

Free Water | Video by Andrew Brown | reNourishment | Scoop.it

FREE WATER is a three-minute video showing a practical way to capture rainwater for irrigation in the cities.

Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

The city of Tucson receives more rainfall than it uses annually, yet the city still imports the great majority of their municipal water via the Colorado River. Where does all that rainfall go? This short video touches upon ideas for harvesting rainwater in the city instead of sending it to the sewers.

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The Women Who Feed the World | Slow Food International - Good, Clean and Fair Food

The Women Who Feed the World | Slow Food International - Good, Clean and Fair Food | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people‚ where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food...
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

In many parts of the world, women traditionally have an important role in providing food for the community and for their families. They cultivate the soil, look after the seeds of traditional plants, and safeguard recipes of the local cuisine. Yet the situation of women farmers is too often a story of a denial of the fundamental and inalienable right to feed themselves. 

We tend to forget that the future of many developing countries is in the hands of women. According to FAO, if women farmers had access to the same opportunities and resources as their male counterparts, their productivity would rise significantly and the food security of millions of people would be improved. Our job is to support them, put their demands for rights at the center of debates on development, campaigns and actions of political pressure from civil society.

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Mediterranean Diet Can Cut Heart Disease, Study Finds

Mediterranean Diet Can Cut Heart Disease, Study Finds | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Until now, evidence that the Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of heart disease was weak, and some experts had been skeptical that the effect of diet could be detected.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Many studies rely on people's recollection of what they ate. But in this study, funded mainly by the Spanish government, the researchers actually checked people's consumption of olive oil and nuts with lab tests.

 

The researchers didn't set any limits on calories or give targets for exercise, but the results were still astounding.

 

The study was stopped early (after a median follow-up of 4.8 years) because the benefits from the Mediterranean diet were readily apparent. Overall, the people consuming the diets rich in olive oil (at least 1/4 cup per day!) or nuts had about a 30 percent lower risk of having a heart attack, stroke or dying from a cardiovascular cause when compared to those on a low-fat diet.

 

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The ReUse People of America—Los Angeles

The ReUse People of America—Los Angeles | reNourishment | Scoop.it
“It has a lot of potential.” Such a simple sentence. Just a few short words, but those words began a …Continue reading »
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

They ”de-construct” (instead of demolish) houses and other buildings, and sell the parts at great prices to people like you and me. According to their Web site, “TRP is able to salvage up to 80 percent of the materials and channel them back into the marketplace through donations and sales at its network of retail outlets.” Not only does this keep the materials out of the landfills, but it gives each of us an opportunity to use materials of quality and character that you simply don’t find at the typical home improvement store. Often these material are hand-crafted and would be out of the budget for a typical homeowner, like that massive NCC-1701 range hood.

 
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BPA Replacement Also Alters Hormones: Scientific American

BPA Replacement Also Alters Hormones: Scientific American | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Just like the controversial compound it's designed to replace, a chemical used in consumer products messes with the endocrine system, according to new research
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

“People automatically think low doses do less than high doses,” said Cheryl Watson, a University of Texas biochemistry professor and lead author of the study published in Environmental Health Perspectives. “But both natural hormones and unnatural ones like [BPS] can have effects at surprisingly low doses.”

 

Laura Vandenberg, a postdoctoral fellow at Tufts University who studies BPA, said one limitation of the research was that it used rat cells, but she was quick to point out the method is “extremely informative about predictions for a whole animal.”

 

The study “is a great first research step on BPS and, in my opinion, should be sufficient to say this is an estrogen and we don’t want it in our bodies,” Vandenberg said.

 

As its name would suggest, BPS has a similar structure to BPA, which has been used since the 1950s for a variety of purposes, including the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics.

 

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7000-year-old evidence of cheese-making found in shards of vessels

7000-year-old evidence of cheese-making found in shards of vessels | reNourishment | Scoop.it
The shards of old pottery are poked with little holes, remnants of vessels that would have looked a lot like colanders.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

"It's gratifying to finally see solid, chemical evidence that the sieves were used for cheese-making, said Oliver Craig, a biomolecular archaeologist at the University of York in England. But to him, it also presents a bit of a mystery.

DNA studies show that genetic mutations giving adults the ability to tolerate lactose swept through the people of Europe during the period from which the sieves date. The rapid spread means the mutation must have offered a big advantage to those who carried it."

 

Doesn't seem like a big mystery unless you are stuck in a modern pasteurization paradigm. Raw milk contains the enzymes necessary for lactose digestion, but pasteurization kills those enzymes. (Hence the proliferation of "lactose intolerance" today—most of the time it's just "pasteruization intolerance.") Since  they would have used raw milk, lactose intolerance would not have been an issue. And knowing what we do about epigenetics, couldn't that have been a factor? 

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Study finds chronic brain damage in retired football players

Study finds chronic brain damage in retired football players | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Doctors have discovered a way for professional football players to see how much damage their brains have suffered through a bruising career before it’s too late, according to a new study.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Retired NFL players have a higher-than-average risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a 2012study of 3,400 retired players by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  


On the whole, the players were more depressed and showed more cognitive loss, such as a loss of short-term memory, than other men of comparable age, education and stature, researchers found.

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Education gets personal, teaching methods evolve

Education gets personal, teaching methods evolve | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Mention a traditional classroom setting, and most people think of a teacher in front of a blackboard disseminating knowledge to 30plus kids who later need to regurgitate that information on a test paper.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

"We are looking at the individual and seeing what they need to be successful. But that cannot replace a committed teacher who is connected with their students."

This teaching style has been fully embraced by Glyn Davies, a Grade 6 and 7 teacher at Anderson elementary. Well-known for turning his classroom into the dark reaches of space complete with stars and planets, he said the way he and his colleagues have approached teaching has changed dramatically over his 16-year career.



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LA Times: Abler's rain garden captures water before it becomes urban runoff

LA Times: Abler's rain garden captures water before it becomes urban runoff | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Watching water stream under parked cars and through the gutters every time it rained made Alice Abler cringe.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Abler, a resident of Shadow Hills, expanded her rain garden and even created a blog about it on ReNourishment.org. 

On a recent morning Abler stood in her yard and showed off the triangular garden in front of her three-stall barn. She has added a moat made from a salvaged wooden gate and several ornamental features, including a white stone duck and a watering tray where mourning doves come to drink.

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Dan Buettner: How to live to be 100+ | Video on TED.com

TED Talks To find the path to long life and health, Dan Buettner and team study the world's "Blue Zones," communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age.
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Observations from populations around the world where longevity is common include moderate consumption of mostly plant-based diets, meat and dairy from grass-fed animals, a weekly day of rest, a sense of purpose and a strong sense of community. Definitely worth watching.

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Third Annual Real Food Symposium DVDs now available!

Third Annual Real Food Symposium DVDs now available! | reNourishment | Scoop.it
Although I blogged about this year’s Real Food Symposium live from the event, my fingers only move so fast and …Continue reading »
Alice Ruxton Abler's insight:

Good news for those who read the blog posts and wanted more information on home beer brewing, raw milk, kombucha, raw cheese making, beekeeping, organic gardening and more. The valuable information from this year's Real Food Symposium is now available on DVD . . .

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Which Europeans are fattest, laziest and drink most, in charts

Which Europeans are fattest, laziest and drink most, in charts | reNourishment | Scoop.it

There’s nothing like tales of butter-eating, wine-guzzling, yet somehow-still thin Europeans to add to American angst over holiday calories and upcoming resolutions.
“If my fellow Americans could adopt even a fraction of the French attitude about food and life…managing weight would cease to be a terror, an obsession, and reveal its true nature as part of the art of living,” writes Mireille Guiliano, author of the diet book “French Women Don’t Get Fat.”

 

Here’s a look at which Europeans are most obese, most inactive and drink most.

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