Urban Farming

What is urban farming?

Urban farming is when traditional farming such as growing food, bee keeping and raising animals or fish is practiced in urban areas. This can be within or around cities and in villages. In recent years urban farming as become more popular due to environmental awareness and a demand for organic food.

Benefits of Urban Farming

Urban Farming in sustainable – Whether on a small scale like a personal garden or a larger scale with green spaces if managed and looked after it can provide food for many years. Jobs can be created too if it is a larger space.

Urban farming helps the environment – The fruits and vegetables planted benefits the local air by using carbon up in our air due to pollution. Because the food is grown and distributed locally it also reduces the carbon footprint left by the usual transportation of food from farms to supermarket.

Better quality nutrition – Growing and nurturing locally gives you control of how you feed and grow your plants. Pesticides can be avoided, it is well known organic food is better for us. It can also be a family or communal project, in particular it teaches children about food and encourages them to eat their veggies.

Food brings people together – For centuries food has brought communities together whether due to a religious holiday or traditional festival. Urban Farming in communal areas can bring the sense of pride in community back.

Makes the concrete jungle green again – Having a urban farming space brings green back to a typically grey space. Here is a great example of how Chicago brought some green back to its city:

Urban Farming Chicago

Urban Farming is a worldwide movement and cities all over the world are taking a step to improve their cities:

Prinzessinnengarten, Berlin, Germany:

Urban Farming Berlin

Lufa Farms, Montreal, Canada:

Urban Farming Canada

Sky Greens, Lim Chu Kang area, Singapore:

Urban Farming Singapore

How can I start Urban Farming?

We can all contribute to making our planet a green place. You don’t need access to a huge garden, it can be a small herb pot, chilli or tomato plant. Here are some easy options to get you started for any budget in a variety of styles. Links added for you already:

Grow Me – Hot stuff chillies – £6.99

grow me chilli

Grow It Chilli Plant – £12.99

Grow it Chilli Plant

Indoor Allotment (Grow your own herbs) – £24.99

Indoor Allotment Herbs

Personalised Wooden Planter – £29.99

Personalised wooden planter

*Prices correct at time of posting.*

Whether it is for yourself or a gift, Urban Farming is accessible to anyone and we can all reduce our carbon footprint. These small and affordable ideas are how to can begin to dip your toes into growing your own food. What One Change Now will you make to start your own green space?

Urban farming is when traditional farming such as growing food, bee keeping and raising animals or fish is practiced in urban areas. This can be within or around cities and in villages. In recent years urban farming as become more popular due to environmental awareness and a demand for organic food. Benefits of Urban Farming […]

via What is urban farming? — One Change Now

* Health Plan via Worldwatch

via Wellness Wednesday – Volume 3 – Week 11 — TRC’s STARS Enhanced Health Plan

Univ. of Utah study finds increased temperatures reduce toxin tolerance of some animals

Add this to the growing list of environmental complications due to global warming.

PatriceKurnathWoodrat5788_300dpi.jpg

U Study Finds That Increased Temperatures Reduce Toxin Tolerance of Some Animals

on January 20, 2016 at 6:00 am

Research conducted by U Ph.D. student Patrice Kurnath finds that at warmer temperatures the toxin tolerance of certain mammals is reduced — adding yet another problem to the growing list of environmental complications due to global warming.

Plants often generate toxins as a natural defense. Desert woodrats, the plant-eating species used by Kurnath and chair of the U’s biology department Denise Dearing in the study, generate certain enzymes to counteract the effects of these toxins that are ingested when consuming the plants.

“We’re answering the big question of how warmer temperatures might be affecting animals that eat plants and how they deal with the toxins produced by those plants,” Kurnath said.

The diet of desert woodrats, which are common in Utah and western North America, consists mainly of creosote bush, which produces so many toxins in its resin that laboratory rats often die eating the same amount as the desert woodrats.

The idea behind the experiments hypothesized that as woodrat toxin tolerance levels decreased with temperature increases, that they would reduce food intake and lose weight. Woodrats were removed from the experiment if they lost more than 10 percent of their body weight.

“[Kurnath] really pushed the envelope with this work and expanded knowledge from a different study,” Dearing said. “Not only did she work with different species and a different toxin, she did processes and experiments we have never done before.”

Desert woodrats were able to eat more food at cooler temperatures in both experiments at the end of the research, while almost all of the woodrats in higher temperature climates were removed due to weight loss.

“The most recent study found that warmer temperatures resulted in reduced tolerance in rats,” Kurnath said.

This research adds another dimension to the problems associated with global warming for these species as they deal with an increasingly more toxic diet.

“Not only are surface temperatures increasing, severe weather storms, this is another obstacle that these woodrats and other species are going to have to face,” Kurnath said.

Kurnath plans to extend the study by “digging deeper” into the liver functions and genetic structure of these mammals consuming a highly toxic diet and by “stepping back” and examining their behavior in lab settings. Dearing is working on studying this same trend in marsupials and expects to see results by next year.

Dearing said, “We hope that it will inspire research in other species of mammals.”

b.hart@dailyutahchronicle.com

@BeauHart13

Source: Univ. of Utah study finds increased temperatures reduce toxin tolerance of some animals

Time mag recommends Sunscreens with titanium oxide or zinc oxide.

Coral Reef Bleaching
Sunscreens with titanium oxide or zinc oxide have not been found to harm reefs, according to the National Park Service.
Pic courtesy of Time

Sunscreens with titanium oxide or zinc oxide have not been found to harm reefs, according to the National Park Service. Additionally, swimmers can cover their upper body with long sleeve shirts or other apparel to reduce sunscreen use.

Researchers urge consumers to consider carefully what sunscreen they buy before swimming in the ocean. Sunscreens with titanium oxide or zinc oxide have not been found to harm reefs, according to the National Park Service.

Sunscreen is part of a long list of threats to coral reefs that includes pollution, overfishing and climate change. Beyond their impressive appearance, coral reefs play an important role for local communities and the world at large. For one, they contribute to local economies through tourism and sustain ecosystems where people can fish. One estimate from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration put the economic contribution of coral reefs around the world at $30 billion each year. Reefs also protect the global environment by serving as carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide that would otherwise contribute to global warming.

Sunscreens with titanium oxide or zinc oxide have not been found to harm reefs

Source: How Sunscreen Is Helping Destroy Coral Reefs

Related articles: Healthy Lifestyle Blog

Tomatos

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»» HERE ARE THE RECIPES ««

Spiced Tomato… http://ift.tt/1t49dZI

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Does having a hobby help you live for longer?

SOMEONE SOMEWHERE

An international study has suggested that having a hobby can give older people a greater purpose later on in life, which could have a positive impact on their health. 1

The study, which was carried out by a combination of British and US universities, found that those who reported a greater sense of purpose in life were generally healthier and lived for longer than those who claimed to have little purpose.

The study could not prove hobbies directly affect your chances of living for longer however, especially with other more recognised causes of ill health to be considered too. That said, it did add to the link between health and mental wellbeing.

The study found that the relationship appeared to go both ways, with unhappy people developing illnesses, while ill people could become unhappy. The latter was certainly found to be prevalent amongst those with typical ageing illnesses, such as 

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The Dangers of Over-Prescribing Antibiotics

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CDC: Over-prescibing Antibiotics promotes stronger More Resilient Bacteria Growth. This new Bacteria Growth is more resistant to medications, and often causes infections and cancer-type skin spots (these spots appear red and brown) that are much more serious than the original infection being treating.

Antibiotic prescribing in hospitals is inconsistent and often inappropriate—contributing to the emergence of antibiotic resistance, according to an analysis of hospital antibiotic prescribing by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But simple steps, such as implementing checklists, could help hospitals more wisely use these vital medications, the CDC says.

The CDC has launched an increasingly urgent campaign to combat antimicrobial resistance. A report issued by the agency last fall found that antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect 2 million US individuals each year, causing 23 000 deaths and accounting for $20 billion in health costs. The report also raised the specter of the emergence of untreatable infections.

But in a March press briefing, CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, said that it is possible to reduce drug resistance rates by establishing antibiotic stewardship programs at hospitals and improving coordination between facilities. “We want to develop the infrastructure in every hospital, so every physician knows how to prescribe properly in the context of [his or her] hospital,” said Arjun Srinivasan, MD, associate director for health care–associated infection prevention programs at the CDC.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises more judicious use of antimicrobials to treat urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

For its part, the CDC is providing checklists for hospitals and physicians. And with the help of an additional $30 million in funding in the Obama Administration’s proposed 2015 budget, the CDC also plans to build an improved surveillance system to rapidly detect the emergence of antibiotic resistance.

More than half of hospital patients receive an antibiotic during their stay, and nearly a third receive a broad-spectrum antibiotic, according to the CDC’s analysis of data from 323 hospitals. These statistics aren’t terribly surprising, but the wide variations among hospitals are. Frieden noted that some of the 26 hospitals reporting data to the National Healthcare Safety Network prescribe 3 times more antibiotics than others.

“This provides a warning bell that improvement is possible,” Frieden said.

The analysis found frequent mistakes in the treatment of common conditions. Using data from its Emerging Infections Program, which included information on about 11 000 patients at 183 hospitals in 2011, the CDC found that half of all antibiotics were prescribed for 3 conditions: lower respiratory infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and gram-positive infections that are presumed to be resistant. In a review of 296 cases at 36 hospitals in which physicians treated patients with intravenous vancomycin or treated patients with a UTI who did not have a catheter, the CDC found that more than one-third of those cases involved mistakes that could contribute to resistance. For example, samples were not taken before initiating therapy, doses were incorrect, therapy was not reevaluated after 48 hours, or antibiotics were administered for too long.

“The data on surveillance are no surprise, but it is important to have numbers to support stewardship programs,” said Helen Boucher, MD, a physician at Tufts Medical Center and a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s board of directors. She noted that the society has advocated for better stewardship of antibiotics for years.

More judicious use of antimicrobials in hospitals could have a big effect. Based on its models, the CDC estimates that a 30% reduction in the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in hospitals—representing a 5% reduction in overall hospital antibiotic use—could prevent 26% of Clostridium difficile infections related to antibiotic treatment. These reductions could also help prevent spillover transmission of C difficile into the community.

To aid all these efforts, the CDC plans to use its anticipated funding boost to build the infrastructure necessary to more quickly identify the emergence of resistant strains. Boucher explained that European public health officials are far ahead of the United States in this regard and can provide detailed information on resistance patterns by country and region.

John R. Combes, MD, senior vice president at the American Hospital Association, said that hospitals recognize the need for improvement and that the association is partnering with other organizations to build a toolkit for stewardship programs.

“We must improve our processes, not only to protect our patients, but to protect our antibiotics,” he said.

STEWARDSHIP INFRASTRUCTURE

The CDC recommends that each hospital build an antibiotic stewardship program to provide physicians with the information and tools they need to make the right decisions.

“Antibiotics are a precious resource, yet for decades we have not had a systematic approach in hospitals across the US to ensure they are used wisely,” said Sara Cosgrove, MD, MS, chair of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America antimicrobial stewardship taskforce, in a statement. “Antimicrobial stewardship programs are a critical step toward stemming the tide of antibiotic resistance and ensuring patients are receiving the right antibiotic, at the right dose and for the right duration.”

The CDC recommends that stewardship programs include 7 components:

  • Dedicated human, financial, and technology resources

  • A physician or other leader responsible for overall outcomes

  • A pharmacist leader focused on prescribing

  • An action to improve prescribing, such as requiring reassessment of prescriptions after 48 hours for drug choice, dose, and duration

  • Monitoring of prescribing and resistance patterns

  • Regular reporting of resistance information to clinicians

  • Education about resistance and judicious prescribing

Boucher, who was hired by Tufts to lead its stewardship program, said that not only were these steps reasonable, but that taking them may also bring other benefits for hospitals. She explained that Tufts has saved millions of dollars by improving its stewardship of antibiotics.

Combes emphasized that the recommendations are not intended to limit physicians’ autonomy but to give them the information they need to provide the best care possible. In an age when “health care has become more of a team sport,” he said, the expertise of pharmacists and infectious disease specialists can help a physician choose the right drug.

“This shouldn’t be viewed as a bureaucratic obstacle to good clinical care,” he said. “This is good clinical care.”

The CDC is also recommending that hospitals work more closely with local public health agencies and neighboring health care facilities to better control the spread of microbes between facilities.

“Our hospitals are just one part of a continuous system of care,” said Combes. Courtesy of: Zedie @ wordpress.com

Using Antipsychotics for Elderly Patients Boosts Kidney Risks .

SOMEONE SOMEWHERE

Older adults treated with atypical antipsychotics are at increased risk of kidney injury, according to a study published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The findings add to previous evidence that this class of drugs is risky for older adults.

Although atypical antipsychotics are commonly prescribed for older adults to treat agitation and other behavioral symptoms of dementia, the US Food and Drug Administration has not approved the drug for this purpose. In fact, since 2005 the agency has warned that use of these drugs to treat older adults with dementia was associated with a 2-fold increased risk of death. An agency analysis of 17 placebo-controlled trials found the risk of death among patients with dementia taking olanzapine, aripiprazole, risperidone, or quetiapine was 4.5% compared with 2.6% among those taking a placebo.

Using antipsychotic drugs to treat older patients with dementia increases the risk of kidney injury, a new study found. (Image: JAMA, ©AMA)

Use of atypical antipsychotics is associated with a range of adverse effects, including hypotension, pneumonia, heart…

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New AIDS Vaccine Comes in a Capsule

SOMEONE SOMEWHERE

Wanted: Volunteers to test an experimental new AIDS vaccine that is needle-free. The catch? You have to be willing to stay locked up in your room for 12 days.

The new vaccine comes in a capsule and it’s made using a common cold virus called an adenovirus, genetically engineered with a tiny piece of the AIDS virus.

It’s only a very early stage experiment, meant to show the vaccine is safe. However, if it is, it could be a start not only towards a much-needed vaccine against the AIDS virus, but needle-free vaccines against many different infections.

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center are testing it in their specially designed facility usually used to test live influenza vaccines. The trial, which started Tuesday, is being paid for by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“We’ve had success doing this before. The facility is very nice,” says Dr. John…

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How hugs can help fight the flu

Hugs can actually ward off stress and protect the immune system, according to new research from 276347-5e1f6c0e-8867-11e4-a68f-3946861404f8Carnegie Mellon University. It’s a well-known fact that stress can weaken the immune system. In this study, the researchers sought to determine whether hugs — like social support more broadly — could protect individuals from the increased susceptibility to illness brought on by the particular stress that comes with interpersonal conflict. “We know that people experiencing ongoing conflicts with others are less able to fight off cold viruses. We also know that people who report having social support are partly protected from the effects of stress on psychological states, such as depression and anxiety,” the study’s lead author, psychologist Dr Sheldon Cohen, said in a statement. “We tested whether perceptions of social support are equally effective in protecting us from stress-induced susceptibility to infection and also whether receiving hugs might partially account for those feelings of support and themselves protect a person against infection.” In the experiment, over 400 healthy adults who filled out a questionnaire about their perceived social support and also participated in a nightly phone interview for two weeks. They were asked about the frequency that they engaged in interpersonal conflict and received hugs that day. Then, the researchers exposed the participants to a common cold virus, and monitored them to assess signs of infection. They found that both perceived social support and more frequent hugs reduced the risk of infection associated with experiencing interpersonal conflict. Regardless of whether or not they experienced social conflicts, infected participants with greater perceived social support and more frequent hugs had less severe illness symptoms. “This suggests that being hugged by a trusted person may act as an effective means of conveying support and that increasing the frequency of hugs might be an effective means of reducing the deleterious effects of stress,” Cohen said. “The apparent protective effect of hugs may be attributable to the physical contact itself or to hugging being a behavioural indicator of support and intimacy … Either way, those who receive more hugs are somewhat more protected from infection.” If you needed any more reason to go wrap your arms around someone special, consider this: Hugs also lower blood pressure, alleviate fears around death and dying, improve heart health and decrease feelings of loneliness.

 

SOMEONE SOMEWHERE

WE know that hugs make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. And this feeling, it turns out, could actually ward off stress and protect the immune system, according to new research from Carnegie Mellon University. It’s a well-known fact that stress can weaken the immune system. In this study, the researchers sought to determine whether hugs — like social support more broadly — could protect individuals from the increased susceptibility to illness brought on by the particular stress that comes with interpersonal conflict. “We know that people experiencing ongoing conflicts with others are less able to fight off cold viruses. We also know that people who report having social support are partly protected from the effects of stress on psychological states, such as depression and anxiety,” the study’s lead author, psychologist Dr Sheldon Cohen, said in a statement. “We tested whether perceptions of social support are equally effective in protecting…

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DEPRESSION: IT’S NOT YOUR SEROTONIN

SOMEONE SOMEWHERE

serotoninMillions believe depression is caused by ‘serotonin deficiency,’ but where is the science in support of this theory?

“Depression is a serious medical condition that may be due to a chemical imbalance, and Zoloft works to correct this imbalance.”

Herein lies the serotonin myth.

As one of only two countries in the world that permits direct to consumer advertising, you have undoubtedly been subjected to promotion of the “cause of depression.” A cause that is not your fault, but rather; a matter of too few little bubbles passing between the hubs in your brain! Don’t add that to your list of worries, though, because there is a convenient solution awaiting you at your doctor’s office…

What if I told you that, in 6 decades of research, the serotonin (or norepinephrine, or dopamine) theory of depression and anxiety has not achieved scientific credibility?

You’d want some supporting arguments for this shocking…

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How Often You Really Need To Shower (According To Science)

SOMEONE SOMEWHERE

Some people see showers as a necessary (and lovely) ritual that all decent human beings do daily…

How Often You Really Need To Shower (According To Science)

While others believe it’s a chore to avoid until the last possible minute and then do as quickly as humanly possible.

How Often You Really Need To Shower (According To Science)

If you’re in this category and have ever wondered how often you actually need to clean your body, the answer is: not as often as most Americans probably think.

Two dermatologists tell BuzzFeed Life that most Americans shower way more than is necessary.

How Often You Really Need To Shower (According To Science)

According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, how frequently we shower and what we perceive as body odor is “really more of a cultural phenomenon.” Boston dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch echoes this sentiment. “We overbathe in this country and that’s really important to realize,” she says. “A lot of the reason we do it is because of societal…

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