World-saving media...

Monitored by Jenni

Every day there are stories in the news about research or discoveries that can help us save the world. Jenni’s an expert on spotting these, and this page highlights some of their recent finds. If there is a link provided, you can click the box to follow it to the full story. If the story was something found offline, we’ve tried to include the whole thing. And if YOU find any stories you think are worth mentioning, please let us know!! xx

Stop wasting food to achieve huge energy savings, say scientists
Sunday, October 3rd, 2010
Scientists have identified a painless way to achieve huge energy savings: Stop wasting food.
They say that the United States could immediately save the energy equivalent of about 350 million barrels of oil a year, if they stop wasting food.
Their study found that it takes the equivalent of about 1.4 billion barrels of oil to produce, package, prepare, preserve and distribute a year”s worth of food in the United States...
Moneyless man - proves we don’t need money for things - yay recycling!
It appears that Homo sapiens – the self-proclaimed wise man – is not so wise after all. In fact, it is the most deluded species on the planet. Almost all of its members believe that you require money to create things and so, on hearing I live without lucre, often ask me how we could build houses, make tables and chairs, or create clothing without cash. My response: the same way a bird builds a nest...
Olive oil protects against breast cancer by launching multiple attacks against tumours
By FIONA MACRAE - 2nd July 2010 (Daily Mail)
A drizzle of olive oil a day could help keep breast cancer at bay. Research shows that the Mediterranean oil mounts a multi-pronged attack on the tumours, stunting their growth, driving their cells to implode and protecting against potentially-cancerous damage to DNA...
UN urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet: Lesser consumption of animal products is necessary to save the world from the worst impacts of climate change, UN report says
Wednesday 2 June 2010
The UN says agriculture is on a par with fossil fuel consumption because both rise rapidly with increased economic growth. Photograph: HO/Reuters
A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change, a UN report said today.
As the global population surges towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, western tastes for diets rich in meat and dairy products are unsustainable, says the report from United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) international panel of sustainable resource management...

Fareshare is tackling the crime of waste

Rosie Boycott, The Evening Standard (UK) 03.06.10

Up on the shelf there were six full pallets of breakfast cereal. Fareshare, the food re-distribution charity based in south London, has received 200 such pallets this month from the same source, equating to just under 80,000 boxes of cereal which would otherwise have been sent to landfill. The cereal had ended up in Fareshare because the supermarket that originally ordered it about a year ago had revised its order downwards and the manufacturer was left with an enormous amount of surplus breakfast food in its warehouse.

Fareshare has been a charity since 2004 and it is a simple idea. Get hold of the food that is wasted at the manufacturing end of the chain and give it away to the homeless and the very poor. Since that date, the charity has redistributed 8,800 tons of food, provided more than 13. 5 million meals and reduced carbon emissions by 57 per cent. Even so, it's a drop in the ocean.

Fareshare's Jonathan Pelluet estimates that the UK food sector produces some 17 million tons of food waste every year. About 75 per cent of that is genuine waste and cannot be eaten. But 25 per cent of it is fine: maybe near its sell-by date, but perfectly edible. Fareshare gets just one per cent of that 25 per cent. Even though supermarkets blithely claim to redistribute all their wasted food, back at the manufacturing end this is still just an option, not an automatic part of the system.

Inside the warehouse, there is a vast array of food waiting to be repacked into plastic trays and loaded into a van which will deliver it to homeless centres around London: capers, Belgian chocolate, Dorset cereal, mangoes and bananas, olives, bread, butter, instant stuffing mix, Bisto gravy. It's a bit like a very chaotic shop which sells everything you might need if only you knew where to look.

The homeless centres place an order in the morning and the food is on their doorstep by the afternoon. There's a stack of fruit juice boxes in one corner. Fareshare currently receives all the surplus product from one major manufacturer. The company only wastes 0.04 per cent each year, but as they make more than 800 million litres, this tiny amount adds up to 320,000 litres. The olives I found in another box had been sent to Fareshare because some of the olives in the jars were damaged: the best before date was 2012.

Pelluet says Fareshare provides food for 70 community organisations, including hostels for the homeless and night shelters. A second depot is due to open near Park Royal by the end of the year which will allow them to support another 30 organisations. Eighteen months ago now,
I spent 10 days living on the streets of London as part of a homeless documentary for the BBC. I ate a few meals in night shelters and other facilities set up to help people on our city streets. Maybe some of it passed through Fareshare. It's a brilliant charity, serving a huge need and helping the environment at the same time.

Nutrition: Study Finds Eating Nuts Helps Cholesterol

By Roni Caryn Rabin

The New York Times - May 17, 2010

Eating about two and a half airplane snacks’ worth of nuts every day helps lower total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol, and improves the ratio of total cholesterol to “good” HDL cholesterol, a study reports.

Researchers pooled the results of 25 clinical trials that involved 583 participants over all. The study reported that eating just 2.4 ounces of nuts of any kind was associated with declines of 10.2 milligrams per deciliter in bad cholesterol, a drop of about 7.4 percent, and 10.9 milligrams in total cholesterol, or 5.1 percent.

The study, which appeared in the May 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, was partly financed by a nut-industry foundation, and two of the authors receive research money from other organisations representing the nut and peanut industries.

Take This Supplement for Your Colon
Courtesy of - May 2010
Your colon may not ever get to go sunbathing at the beach, but it sure does love an ample supply of the sunshine vitamin. 
In a study, people with the highest blood levels of vitamin D -- the nutrient your body synthesizes when exposed to sunlight -- were 40 percent less likely to develop colon cancer compared with people who had the lowest blood levels of D....http://www.realage.comhttp://www.realage.comshapeimage_11_link_0


Pollution cuts rate of success for IVF

A study by Penn State College of Medicine has claimed that air pollution is reducing women's chances of getting pregnant through IVF, after finding a link between air pollutants, particularly nitrogen dioxide, and an increased risk of the treatment failing.

The Daily Telegraph says burning fossil fuels and diesel are the main causes of nitrogen dioxide production, and experts claimed the findings could also be useful in studying the effects of air pollution on human reproduction in general. Dr Duanping Liao, one of the researchers, said numerous studies have consistently shown a relationship between air pollution and human health, with significant links between pollution and inflammation and blood clotting. These factors are also associated with reproductive health, Dr Liao added.

The Daily Mail notes that the study found that IVF patients who regularly breathed in traffic fumes were up to 24% less likely to conceive than those who lived in less polluted areas. When levels of nitrogen dioxide were higher than the average reading of 0.019 parts per million near a woman's home or IVF clinic, her chances of having a baby fell. Even a 0.01 rise cut the odds by between 13% and 24%. Scientists have yet to discover how nitrogen dioxide causes harm, but it may be that the fumes damage the eggs themselves or cut blood flow to the womb and placenta. Study author Dr Richard Legro said test-tube babies would be especially vulnerable to any damage from air pollution and natural conceptions would not necessarily be affected in the same way.

Researchers link soy beans with production of sperm

By Steve Connor, Science Editor -Monday, 10 May 2010

A naturally-occurring ingredient of soy beans has been found to interfere with a part of the male reproductive system involved in sperm production. Soy products are increasingly sold as substitutes for dairy-based food but there is evidence to suggest they contain natural chemicals that mimic the effect of female sex hormones. Soy contains genistein, known to interact with the "receptor" molecules on cells designed to respond to oestrogens.

A laboratory-based study by Ren-Shan Ge of the Wenzhou Medical College in China found that genistein can interfere with the production of vital enzymes involved in producing sperm.

"Following ingestion, soy isoflavones are known to reach the reproductive organs. Thus, excessive exposure to agents that exhibit oestrogenic activity may affect male reproductive tract developments and functions," the researchers say in the study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology.

"With regard to this concern, it has been estimated the genistein and daidzein can reach high concentrations in infants who consume large amounts of soy-based products," they say.

The concentrations of genistein used in the laboratory study are roughly equivalent to the levels that can build up in the human body following a diet rich in soy products. However, Professor Ieuan Hughes of the University of Cambridge said that a comprehensive inquiry into the oestrogenic chemicals found in soy and other food has failed to find any adverse effects on male reproductive health.

"I suspect the genistein effect is of little relevance to male human health... there was no evidence that soy products had adverse effects on male reproductive health, either via testis function or any other mechanism such as androgen [male hormone] action," he said.

Mice 'feel pain' just like humans

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

Monday, 10 May 2010

Laboratory mice grimace when they feel pain much like humans, according to a controversial study into measuring painful discomfort in animals, published in the journal Nature Methods.

The researchers subjected mice to moderately painful stimuli and found that they could estimate the level of pain the animals felt by monitoring facial expressions such as closing the eyes, flattening the whiskers against the face or puffing out the nose and cheeks. Professor Jeffrey Mogil of McGill University and the University of British Columbia in Canada, said that the resulting "mouse grimace scale" was similar to the way humans express pain and could be used to assess how much discomfort animals feel during vital medical experiments aimed at alleviating pain.

"The mouse grimace scale provides a measurement system that will both accelerate the development of new analgesics for humans, but also eliminate unnecessary suffering of laboratory mice in biomedical research. There are also serious implications for the improvement of veterinary care more generally," Professor Mogil said.