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Things Are Good: Vertical Kelp Farming

Farming the Sea: why eating kelp is good for you and good for the environment from Patrick Mustain on Vimeo.

GreenWave is a new non-profit that wants to improve our food sources while cleaning the seas. Kelp usually grows on the ground or sides of anything inorganic underwater, what GreenWave has done is to build an efficient way to harvest kelp from these sources. A benefit of this is that kelp naturally cleans the water around it so now we can get kelp in a faster way while cleaning the water.

As a result of their approach, GreenWave has won (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Cuba Shows Off Its Biotech Industry

Cuba has an amazing farming system which is impressive from farm to fork. The way they grow crops to how they ensure that food distribution is effective is impressive to say the least. The island nation was hit hard with the collapse of the USSR and the embargo from the USA, as a result they have a robust and advanced farming system in the nation.

At one of the largest farming conferences Cuba is showcasing its advanced biotech. Cuba has had to use natural (and locally produced) ways to increase farming production instead of relying on imports.

Among them was, (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Detroit to Have the Largest Urban Farm in the USA

Detroit was once a great city, then the economic collapse of car-dominated industry in the city happened. Because of the prescence of Ford and GM in Detroit the city’s urban planning focused on cars; this led to poverty and neglect of needed infrastructure.

The collapse of Detroit occurred, and now they are rebuilding. One aspect of remaking Detroit is to bring it into the 21st century by focusing on people instead of cars. An example of this is the recent announcement that Detroit will host the largest urban farming setup in America.

One surprising growth industry in the city is (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Cut Out Sugar and Improve Everything

Some new research points out by simply cutting out sugar one can improve basically all that ails them. In a recent research study children gave up sugar for nine days and found that much about their health improved. This implies that it might be more important to monitor one’s sugar intake more than one’s caloric intake for some aspects of increasing health.

“The whole goal was that they don’t lose weight when they switch over to the diet. It’s just they’re removing sugar to see what that effect will be,” explained Lin.

“They noticed everything got better.”

Blood pressure (Read more…)

Things Are Good: More People Eating Less Meat

With every passing year more and more research points out that eating a diet with less meat (than the average amount consumed per person) is good for your health and really good for the planet. This is good news in itself, and what’s better is that the post-boomer population are forcing restaurants to change their menu.

People are ordering less meat at restaurants, eating more veggie meals, and less likely to go to meat-focused resturants. This will decrease the carbon footprint of most people since veggie food requires less energy to make.

Earlier this year, the Chicago-based food research firm (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Harvest Time

Had to pick the tomatoes, frost is coming tonight to Regina. Got a single, awesome butter-nut squash, and some baby squashes.

Things Are Good: A Farm in a Bomb Shelter

Zero Carbon Food is a new company that has started a farm in downtown London. If that doesn’t sound strange enough, the farm is a in a bomb shelter.

The company is using hydroponics and other modern technological approaches to food harvesting in order to make food even more local for Londoners. Has shipping costs and the time it takes to transport food increases there will be growing demand for urban farms.

Hopefully we’ll see even more hydroponic farms in dense urban centres soon!

The subterranean farm is optimized for growing crops like pea shoots, coriander, mustard leaf, rocket, radish (Read more…) The edible helium balloon!

I don’t have an actual bucket list, but if I did, inhaling helium would have been on it. I finally got my chance to do it a couple of weeks ago, in the most unlikely of places. An edible helium balloon was served as a dessert course in a fancy restaurant!

I took GC to Atelier for a very special birthday dinner. It’s tucked away in a nondescript house on Rochester near Carling, and from the street it looks like nothing special. There’s no sign, and no hint that it’s even a restaurant. Inside it’s pretty understated too – it’s (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: GMO labeling shows that "states’ rights" is just a convenient lie for the GOP

Imagine that the Democrats wanted to pass a federal law requiring food companies to label their products if they contained genetically modified organisms. What would be the Republican response? Undoubtedly a big piece of their argument would be the appeal to states’ rights. That is, the federal government shouldn’t be going around impose their will and view on the states, and that it would be horribly wrong for the federla Democrats to impose their view on GMO labelling on the states.

Except, the US House did this exactly backwards. The Republicans (with some Democratic support) have passed a GMO labelling (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Eating Less Meat is Getting More Popular

Having a vegetarian or vegan diet can be difficult for some people even though such a diet can make you happier than meat eaters. The message that eating less meat is being heard though – the benefits of a reduced meat diet are huge.

By eating less meat you can: save wildlife, save the environment, live longer, and even help save our forests.

To help people eat less meat (even though it’s already easy) there’s a new movement that people can identify with: reducetarian.

According to Mintel’s report, though, the rise of vacillating, part-time vegetarians who (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Finally Americans Are Eating Less

The obesity problem in the USA may start to shrink. After years of constantly increasing they caloric intake Americans seem to be getting the message that eating too much can be bad for you. This is the first year that caloric intake has decreased and hopefully it’s a trend of things to come.

As calorie consumption has declined, obesity rates appear to have stopped rising for adults and school-aged children and have come down for the youngest children, suggesting the calorie reductions are making a difference. … The reversal appears to stem from people’s growing realization that they were harming (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Scared to Dumpster Dive For Food?

Don’t be. Be proud about recovering good food that has been wasted.

If you’re staying away because of a fear you might have to pay a ticket, in the unlikely case you’re ticketed for some messed-up bylaw in your city? Rob will pay your fine.

If you get arrested or ticketed for dumpster diving for food I promise to pay the ticket(s), get media coverage to the issue, and make sure that you are in safe hands. I will even travel to your town to be there in person if it will add to the positive impact of the event.

(Read more…)

Scripturient: The Geometry and Toplogy of Pasta

I’ve always had a geeky appreciation – and awe – of mathematics. I have spent countless hours tinkering with programs that create math-based designs like fractals and Spirograph-style curves. As a young teenager I spent hours playing with an oscilloscope making sound waves dance on the tiny screen. But I never really thought much about […]

Scripturient: More Pasta Making

My first attempt at ravioli was, I admit, a disaster. But you learn from trying what you need to do the next time. And you also learn from reading what tools you might need to do better. Sure, you can make ravioli and other stuffed pasta by hand, but what I wanted was a plaque. […]

Things Are Good: A New Documentary Looking Into Food Production

Voices of Transition is a new documentary film with limited release but you can buy it online now! The film examines how we grow our food and ideas around how to make the whole agriculture system make more sense.

The film deals with community building, resilience and sustainability through urban farming. It draws on the experience of community and organic farming initiatives in France, the UK and Cuba and highlights how environmental and economic challenges to our current food system can be turned into positive stories, help create resilient communities, and to build a future in which soils and people (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Soylent is here, and its not green

Soylent Purple is purple people? They’d be purple people eaters.

It’s an actual meal replacement product that you make the day before, put into your fridge, and eat as liquid meals the next day.

“I wouldn’t eat you, cause you’re so tough!”

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Shared Knowledge Conference – Regina

These videos are from the second day of the Shared Knowledge Conference at the Core Ritchie Centre, the second weekend of June.

Jim Elliott with many interesting (and terrifying) facts about Regina’s watershed system.

We are on the Plaza @MarketRegina today. Find us beside @TrogiFoods #honey #salsa

— Zee-Bee Honey® (@_zeebeehoney_) June 24, 2015

James and Brooke of Sound Solar Systems:

Next, I presented on Bitcoin and alternate currencies being used to build alternate economies apart from the monetary systems provided by governments.

Dan B. of Tradebank Regina

Lindsay H. wraps up with what’s in store for (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Shared Knowledge Conference – Regina

Scripturient: Resting, Relaxing and Rising

I’ve been reading of late about gluten. How it works, how it develops, why it matters. Gluten is the key to good bread and pasta (the gluten-free fadists notwithstanding, gluten-free anything is an aberration that should be shunned by anyone not diagnosed with celiac disease*). I’m learning more about how gluten links with itself to […]

Scripturient: Update: expanding my pasta making

I’ve just ordered a pasta extruder – the Marcato “Regina” pasta machine, which I expect to arrive in another week. This will allow me to make hollow pasta types like penne and rigatoni, not just the flat varieties I’ve been making to date. The machine got fairly good reviews online at various cooking sites. These […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: The Boom With the Bomb Train Boom

CBC is a funny beast now. Along with their story parroting what the latest Canadian Energy Research Initiative report says, is RBC/tarsands shill Amanda Lang staring at you from the sidebar. Also we learn about “Dollarama’s winning formula” of selling Chinese mass produced garbage to Canadians, a “retail success story”, and again with “Amanda Lang takes you inside the world of business.”

Back to the oil train story. Outpacing oil trains apparently are wheat and coal. Coal shouldn’t even be burned anymore, now that we know how deadly and damaging it is. The report makes no mention of the (Read more…)

Scripturient: The Paleo-Fantasy

Perhaps the best – and certainly the funniest – description of what happens to your life when you pursue pseudoscience fads like the “paleo” diet is here on Popsugar. It’s laugh-aloud funny and too good not to be shared. I loved so many lines it’s hard to pick one or two, but from the description […]

Scripturient: Late Spring Pastas

I’m still working on a formula for the perfect pasta dough, trying different mixes of flour and other ingredients to get both the best consistency and taste. And to experiment with texture so the pasta has the best mouth feel. I make fresh pasta once or twice a week now. My efforts so far have […]

The Common Sense Canadian: Agricultural Land Commission CEO fired by BC Liberal govt

Peace River Valley farmland (Damien Gillis)

Read this May 14 story by the Richmond Review on the BC Liberal government’s decision to fire Agricultural Land Commission CEO Richard Bullock after he pushed back on the province’s erosion farmland protections.

The B.C. government has fired Agricultural Land Commission board chair and CEO Richard Bullock, and will pay out his five-year contract until it ends in November, Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick said Thursday.

Bullock will be replaced effective immediately by long-time Saanich mayor Frank Leonard, who was voted out after nearly 20 years in last fall’s civic elections.

Letnick said with (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: American and Canadian Food Waste Both Staggering

Here’s a very interesting and instructive blog post about American food waste.

See Stunning Photos of What Rob Greenfield Finds After Dumpster Diving Across America

— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch) April 30, 2015

As my last blog entry on food waste, Rob Greenfield brought the previous link to my attention. Canada’s $31,000,000,000.00/year of wasted food has to change, as does America’s “food waste fiasco“.

Everything you need to know about #FoodWaste in 11 short films. #DonateNotDump

— Rob Greenfield (@RobJGreenfield) April 22, 2015

Regina lost one of (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: New interactive map reveals largest farmland exclusion in ALR history for Site C Dam

Screen capture from

“On April 8, 2015, with the stroke of a pen, the BC Government made the largest exclusion of land from the Agricultural Land Reserve in BC history,” said Hudson’s Hope Mayor Gwen Johansson, upon the release of a new interactive map which visualizes the enormous loss.

“Without Agricultural Land Commission review or public hearings, 3715 hectares (9180 acres) of ALR land was removed from production for Site C dam.”

Yet the overall impact of the dam on BC’s increasingly scarce agricultural land base is even worse than that, according to two expert agrologists who presented their findings (Read more…)