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Magic Meditation with Marco The Nature Yogi.

Posted on September 19, 2020 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

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Urban Yoga with Marco Promo on Instagram & Pinterest

Posted on June 20, 2020 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Urban Yoga with Marco Promo starring DJ Marco Andre

Photographer: Artist, Sheldon Smith

Wardrobe: Funny Zipper Sleeveless Hoodie by Coofandy, Cargo Sweatpants & Square Neck Fitted Tank by PCX Apparel

Marco's Pranic Sonic Chillout Sessions

Crystal Meditation with Marco

Nature's Natural Bling Bling Promo




Underground Intelligence #Music & #Media - #Research #Motivation #Counseling #Inspiration #Nutrition #Natural #IntegrativeMedicine #HealthEducation #PeerEducation #RLC

#DJ #DJMarcoAndre #Music #MusicTherapy #Fashion #BrandAmbassador #PromotionalModel #BrandAficionado #Influencer #Marketing #AffiliateMarketing #Muscle #Fitness #Yoga #Straight #Gay #Bi

Miracle-Gro Performance Organics All Purpose Plant Nutrition, 1 lb. - All Natural Plant Food for Vegetables, Flowers and Herbs -

Posted on April 4, 2020 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Miracle-Gro Performance Organics All Purpose Plant Nutrition, 1 lb. - All Natural Plant Food for Vegetables, Flowers and Herbs -

Castanea sativa Mill. Flowers amongst the Most Powerful Antioxidant Matrices: A Phytochemical Approach in Decoctions and Infusions

Posted on November 11, 2019 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Infusions and decoction of chestnut tree flowers have been used for different medical purposes, but their phytochemical profile and antioxidant activity are still mostly unknown. Herein, decoctions and infusions of flowers from the two most appreciated chestnut cultivars (longal and judia) in Trás-os-Montes, Portugal, were prepared and characterized with regard to their content in free sugars, organic acids, and phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids and hydrolyzable tannins, and their antioxidant activity. Overall, the decoction of the cultivar judia was the sample with both the highest quantity of flavonoids and antioxidant activity. The phenolic compound with the highest abundance in all samples was trigalloyl-HHDP-glucoside, followed by pentagalloyl glucoside. The sample with the highest quantity of total phenolic compounds was judia infusion, closely followed by longal decoction, which also gave the highest quantities of ellagitannins. Regarding sugars and organic acids, the profiles were more similar. These results corroborate ancestral claims of the health benefits of infusions and decoctions of chestnut flowers....

Antioxidant Potential of Chestnut (Castanea sativa L.) and Almond (Prunus dulcis L.) By-products

Posted on November 11, 2019 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

The antioxidant properties of almond green husks (Cvs. Duro Italiano, Ferraduel, Ferranhês, Ferrastar and Orelha de Mula), chestnut skins and chestnut leaves (Cvs. Aveleira, Boa Ventura, Judia and Longal) were evaluated through several chemical and biochemical assays in order to provide a novel strategy to stimulate the application of waste products as new suppliers of useful bioactive compounds, namely antioxidants. All the assayed by-products revealed good antioxidant properties, with very low EC50 values (lower than 380 μg/mL), particularly for lipid peroxidation inhibition (lower than 140 μg/mL). The total phenols and flavonoids contents were also determined. The correlation between these bioactive compounds and DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) radical scavenging activity, reducing power, inhibition of β-carotene bleaching and inhibition of lipid peroxidation in pig brain tissue through formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, was also obtained. Although, all the assayed by-products proved to have a high potential of application in new antioxidants formulations, chestnut skins and leaves demonstrated better results.......

Can Light Emitted from Smartphone Screens and Taking Selfies Cause Premature Aging and Wrinkles?

Posted on November 9, 2019 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Since the early days of human life on the Earth, our skin has been exposed to different levels of light. Recently, due to inevitable consequences of modern life, humans are not exposed to adequate levels of natural light during the day but they are overexposed to relatively high levels of artificial light at night. Skin is a major target of oxidative stress and the link between aging and oxidative stress is well documented. Especially, extrinsic skin aging can be caused by oxidative stress. The widespread use of light emitting diodes (LEDs) and the rapidly increasing use of smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers have led to a significant rise in the exposure of human eyes to short-wavelength visible light. Recent studies show that exposure of human skin cells to light emitted from electronic devices, even for exposures as short as 1 hour, may cause reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, apoptosis, and necrosis. The biological effects of exposure to short-wavelength visible light in blue region in humans and other living organisms were among our research priorities at the Ionizing and Non-ionizing Radiation Protection Research Center (INIRPRC). Today, there is a growing concern over the safety of the light sources such as LEDs with peak emissions in the blue light range (400-490 nm). Recent studies aimed at investigating the effect of exposure to light emitted from electronic device on human skin cells, shows that even short exposures can increase the generation of reactive oxygen species. However, the biological effects of either long-term or repeated exposures are not fully known, yet. Furthermore, there are reports indicating that frequent exposure to visible light spectrum of the selfie flashes may cause skin damage and accelerated skin ageing. In this paper we have addressed the different aspects of potential effects of exposure to the light emitted from smartphones’ digital screens as well as smartphones’ photoflashes on premature aging of the human skin. Specifically, the effects of blue light on eyes and skin are discussed. Based on current knowledge, it can be suggested that changing the spectral output of LED-based smartphones’ flashes can be introduced as an effective method to reduce the adverse health effects associated with exposure to blue light.


Keywords: Smartphones , Mobile Phones , Selfies , Skin Damage , Skin Aging , Blue Light.......

Yoga May Elevate Brain GABA Levels, Suggesting Possible Treatment For Depression

Posted on November 5, 2019 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)


May 22, 2007


Boston University


Researchers have found that practicing yoga may elevate brain gamma-aminobutyric levels, the brain's primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. The findings suggest that the practice of yoga be explored as a possible treatment for depression and anxiety, disorders associated with low GABA levels.

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and McLean Hospital have found that practicing yoga may elevate brain gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels, the brain's primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. The findings, which appear in the May issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, suggest that the practice of yoga be explored as a possible treatment for depression and anxiety, disorders associated with low GABA levels......

Nutritional therapies for mental disorders

Posted on October 28, 2019 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4 out of the 10 leading causes of disability in the US and other developed countries are mental disorders. Major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are among the most common mental disorders that currently plague numerous countries and have varying incidence rates from 26 percent in America to 4 percent in China. Though some of this difference may be attributable to the manner in which individual healthcare providers diagnose mental disorders, this noticeable distribution can be also explained by studies which show that a lack of certain dietary nutrients contribute to the development of mental disorders. Notably, essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids are often deficient in the general population in America and other developed countries; and are exceptionally deficient in patients suffering from mental disorders. Studies have shown that daily supplements of vital nutrients often effectively reduce patients' symptoms. Supplements that contain amino acids also reduce symptoms, because they are converted to neurotransmitters that alleviate depression and other mental disorders. Based on emerging scientific evidence, this form of nutritional supplement treatment may be appropriate for controlling major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), addiction, and autism. The aim of this manuscript is to emphasize which dietary supplements can aid the treatment of the four most common mental disorders currently affecting America and other developed countries: major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Most antidepressants and other prescription drugs cause severe side effects, which usually discourage patients from taking their medications. Such noncompliant patients who have mental disorders are at a higher risk for committing suicide or being institutionalized. One way for psychiatrists to overcome this noncompliance is to educate themselves about alternative or complementary nutritional treatments. Although in the cases of certain nutrients, further research needs to be done to determine the best recommended doses of most nutritional supplements, psychiatrists can recommend doses of dietary supplements based on previous and current efficacious studies and then adjust the doses based on the results obtained......

Herbal Remedies and Synthetic Drugs: A Comparison - Do It Green

Posted on October 28, 2019 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Prior to the U.S. Civil War, native healers, midwives, herbalists and witches – mostly women – were the primary caregivers. By 1865, the discipline of scientific medicine was imported from Europe, particularly from Germany. The germ theory of disease, specific disease etiology (cause), and the discovery of the tubercle bacillus by Koch, Virchow and Pasteur lent credence to the notion of a specific cure for a specific ailment. Otherwise known as the biomedical model, it became the basis for the production of synthetic drugs, with less emphasis on the whole person or the environment.

Beginning in the 1930s, synthetic drugs gradually replaced the herbals that previously lined the shelves of drugstores throughout the U.S. Synthetic penicillin ushered in the synthetic drug revolution. Synthesized drugs were then given a boost by the Durham-Humphrey Act of 1954, legally designating drugs as ‘prescribed’ by a physician, or ‘over-the-counter’ for self-selection. Herb medicines made their way to food supplement stores.

Herbs are medicinal plants (also called phytomedicinals) that can be administered as the whole plant or plant parts or by extracting one or more ingredients with solvents to yield tinctures, tea or other extracts. Synthetic drugs (what the drug industry calls “pharmaceuticals” are synthesized chemically in the laboratory to produce drugs not found in nature. One quarter of these drugs used in the U.S. are derived from plants (i.e., opiates, digitalis, Taxol) by extracting the active ingredient from a plant, replicating its structure in the lab and mass-producing it.

Herbal drugs are considered less potent than prescribed medicines. The latter usually contain one highly concentrated active ingredient, while herbs may have several active ingredients that are chemically similar. Herbal ingredients work synergistically to contribute to, or detract from, the therapeutic effect of each individual ingredient.

Whether human-made or natural, the most important criteria for a medicine’s use is safety, effectiveness and quality: identity, purity, potency and stability. Because of a law passed in 1994 designed to cut costs for the corporate dietary supplement industry, herbal medicines are not required to indicate proof of the above. Indeed, this law was not established with the interest of public health in mind. Thus, if one purchases an herbal product, the labeling will contain a disclaimer that reads: “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” Some companies market the benefits of herbs in breakfast cereals, snack foods, and fruit drinks. Products containing St. John’s wort, echinacea, gingkobBiloba and kava are used to “enlighten your senses” and be “mind-enhancing.” The corporate food industry calls these “functional foods” and accrues an estimated $16 billion in revenues. Such claims about the herbs in these products can mislead consumers about their health benefits.

In the absence of patents and exclusive control of markets, larger drug companies are still reluctant to invest in researching herbals. However, small to medium scale studies have shown that medicinal herbs hold much promise. The U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) is now conducting large-scale randomized controlled trials on Ephedra, St John’s wort for depression, ginkgo biloba for memory loss, saw palmetto for benign prostate problems, and potential herbal cancer therapies.

Currently, herbs are much less expensive than their human-made counterparts. The average prescription drug price is about $50 for a month’s supply. Herbals cost between $10 and $20 per month supply. Total sales of herbs in the U.S. in 2000 was $16 billion compared with $130 billion for outpatient prescription drugs.

In the future, the use of herbs and synthetic drugs in complementary fashion can reduce toxicities and maximize therapeutic outcomes. Not just the therapies, but the whole system itself will need to operate in a complementary, ethical and inclusive way for the public to receive the most cost-effective and productive healing options.....

Oil Spills - Earth Repair

Posted on October 27, 2019 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Oil spills are one of the most undeniably catastrophic and visible cost of global society’s addiction to oil. And the stakes are getting higher too.

As current pipeline infrastructure ages, spills and leaks become more of a risk. And as easy-to-access oil becomes more scarce, companies and governments dismiss mounting risks and impacts associated with the pursuit of the more unconventional and dangerous sources of oil (e.g. tar sands, offshore and arctic drilling).

From March 11th, 2013 to April 9th, 2013, 13 different oil spills spilt 1,185,000 gallons of oil into the environment. And these are just the ones that actually got reported. From pipeline leaks in Arkansas and the North West Territories, to train derailments in Minnesota and Ontario, it’s a dirty business moving oil!

Contaminants to watch out for: Some of the main contaminants found at oil spills are crude oil, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and heavy metals. In oil spill cleanup, dispersants, surfactants, fertilizers, and detergents can also be added and will contaminate the environment.

The human health impacts of oil spills: Many of the chemicals present in the spilled oil, dispersants and other chemicals being used (solvents, detergents, fertilizers) are known to cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, kidney damage, altered renal function and irritation of the digestive tract. They can also cause lung damage, burning pain in the nose and throat, coughing, pulmonary edema, cancer, lack of muscle coordination, dizziness, confusion, irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat, difficulty breathing, chemical oversensitivity, delayed reaction time and memory difficulties. Further health problems include stomach discomfort, liver and kidney damage, unconsciousness, tiredness/lethargy, irritation of the upper respiratory tract, hematological disorders and death. If that isn’t a list peppered with skulls and crossbones, I’m not sure what is. The main pathways of exposure to the chemicals and their resulting impacts are through inhalation, ingestion, skin and eye contact. Oil spills, especially large ones where conventional cleanup techniques like dispersants are being used, are dangerous situations.

The environmental impacts of oil spills: Ecosystems and the wild beings that depend on them suffer greatly from oil spills – many never fully bounce back or recover. These impacts range from population decline and collapse of some wildlife species, disruption and toxification of the food chain, habitat destruction and more!

What personal protection gear/equipment is needed in an oil spill situation: Make sure you are wearing the appropriate protective gear and limit your exposure as much as you can! Oil spills are dangerous and toxic situations and, as you can see from the list of health impacts above, they can tragically impact the lives of those who live in their shadow or who do cleanup work on their front lines. Companies and governments cannot be counted on to tell you the truth about what chemicals are being used in cleanup and their health and environmental impacts . Companies also have a nasty habit of not providing volunteers and workers with necessary and lifesaving protection gear, like respirators. Full and impermeable body coverage should be worn! Finally, the company and the government will not necessarily prompt you to leave the area or to make arrangements for more sensitive communities members, so it is up to you to make the call. Elders, children, pregnant women, any one with autoimmune disorders, cardiac or respiratory illnesses should be evacuated/relocated away from spill and definitely not stay downwind in the week following the spill, especially if dispersants or in situ burning are used as cleanup methods.

Grassroots Bioremediation Oil Spill Cleanup: .........

Milkweed could be nature's answer to oil spills

Posted on October 27, 2019 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

The milkweed plant has a super power that we're just discovering. The fibers of the seed pods of the plant have a hollow shape and are naturally hydrophobic, meaning they repel water, which helps them to protect and spread the seeds of the plant. But the surprising thing is that the fibers are also really great at absorbing oil.

With those attributes, the milkweed fiber becomes a new tool in cleaning up oil spills because it can absorb the oil, while repelling the water it is spilled in. In fact, the fibers can absorb more than four times the amount of oil that the polypropylene materials currently used in oil clean up can.

The Canadian company Encore3 has starting manufacturing oil clean-up kits using the milkweed fibers. The technology is made by mechanically removing the fibers from the pods and seeds and then stuffed into polypropylene tubes that can be laid on oil slicks on land or water. Each kit can absorb 53 gallons of oil at a rate of 0.06 gallons per minute, which is twice as fast as conventional oil clean-up products.

Once saturated, the kit is removed from the site and new ones can be applied if needed.

The company is already supplying the kits to Parks Canada where they're taken on boats and vehicles and used wherever petroleum products are found, like fueling areas.

Encore3 has partnered with Quebec’s Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture Canada to set up a cooperative of 20 farmers in the province to grow milkweed on 800 acres of land. Another 35 farmers are on a waiting list to grow the plant. The plant is indigenous to the region, but the farms will make the world's first industrial crop of milkweed and it will be grown without pesticides or fertilizers.

Each hectare (2.4 acres) will produce enough milkweed fiber to produce 125 kits, which can clean up 6,600 gallons of oil. And all of those acres of milkweed will have another great purpose: supporting the endangered monarch butterflies that take up residence in Southern Canada during the summer before starting their migration south to Mexico for the colder months. The butterfly lays eggs on the plant which is the main food source for the monarch caterpillar......

The essential oils from Melissa officinalis L. and Lavandula angustifolia Mill. as potential treatment for agitation in people with severe dementia

Posted on October 24, 2019 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Agitation is a common symptom in people with severe dementia and is often treated with neuroleptic drugs which demonstrate severe side effects and limited efficacy. An encouraging alternative treatment involves the use of aromatherapy using essential oils from melissa (Melissa officinalis L.) or lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Mill.), both of which have recently been shown to reduce agitation in dementia patients. The present study has determined the receptor binding properties of essential oils from M. officinalis and L. angustifolia from four different suppliers at a number of ligand-gated and G-protein coupled receptors implicated in agitation. In addition, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis has been conducted to compare the chemical composition of the different oils. While both lavender and melissa oils significantly inhibited binding of radioligands to the muscarinic M1, 5-HT 2A, histamine H3 receptors and GABAA receptor channel site, melissa oil also affected binding to 5-HT1A receptors and the agonist site of the GABAA receptor. Moreover, melissa oil generally demonstrated greater potency than lavender oil with effects significant at concentrations of 0.1 mg/ml. The melissa oils obtained from different sources exhibited similar receptor binding and GC-MS profiles as did the lavender oils. This work represents the initial laboratory-based phase of a wider study examining the effectiveness of aromatherapy in the treatment of agitation in severe dementia. The purpose was to select one oil demonstrating maximum bioactivity to be used in a forthcoming clinical trial and to determine its chemical composition. With consideration given to the pharmacological and GC-MS data obtained in this study, melissa oil from Fytosan was chosen for use in the clinical trial......

Are Organic Foods More Nutritious?

Posted on October 24, 2019 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

More Vitamins and Minerals

There is mounting evidence that organically grown foods generate more nutrients and fewer nitrates. In a review of 400 published papers comparing organic and nonorganic foods, Soil Association Certification Ltd. Of the United Kingdom reported that organic crops were higher in essential minerals, phytonutrients, and vitamin C. Phytonutrients are plant compounds other than vitamins and minerals (such as enzymes, antioxidants, bioflavonoids).

In a 2002 University of Missouri study, chemists were shocked to discover that the smaller organically grown oranges delivered 30 percent more vitamin C than the large conventionally grown ones. Certified nutritionist Virginia Worthington found that a serving of organic lettuce, spinach, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage provided the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. but not so for the same veggies grown by conventional farming. Worthington reported that organically grown fruits and vegetables outpaced their conventional counterparts with as much as 27 per cent more vitamin C, 21.1 percent more iron, 29.3 percent more magnesium, 13.6 percent more phosphorus, and 18 percent more polyphenols. Polyphenols are a group of plant compounds such as bioflavonoids, flavanols, and pycnogenols. They are anti-inflammatory and have a wide range of health benefits, including protection against allergies, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and more. The organics also showed 15.1 percent fewer nitrates and heavy metals than the conventional foods.

Here’s another interesting point. These phytonutrients, such as polyphenols and antioxidants, protect both people and plants. Pesticides–insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides–actually block a plant’s ability to manufacture these important plant compounds. Without them, plants are handicapped and too weak to fight off pests. The organic farmer, on the other hand, builds up these important nutrients by feeding the soil, emboldening the plants to naturally defend themselves against pests and disease. In a study of antioxidants in organic and conventionally grown fruits, scientists found higher concentrations of valuable vitamin C, vitamin E, and other antioxidants in the organic foods. They theorized that the organically grown fruits developed more antioxidants as a defense and repair mechanism against insects when grown without the use of pesticides.

Another important plant compound is salicylic acid. It is a major anti-inflammatory agent and among other things provides protection against rheumatism, hardening of the arteries, and colon cancer and reduces the death rate from heart attacks. It was so useful that chemists synthesized part of it and called it aspirin! If you want the original version, eat organic vegetables. Biochemists at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary and at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland analyzed dozens of brands of organic and nonorganic soups and compared their levels of salicylic acid. The organic soups had, on average, 600 percent more healthful salicylic acid than the other soups. The highest, an organic carrot and coriander soup, contained 1,040 nanograms of salicylic acid per gram compared with 20 nanograms in the average nonorganic soup...... Immerse Yourself in a Forest for Better Health

Posted on October 21, 2019 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Most of us sense that taking a walk in a forest is good for us. We take a break from the rush of our daily lives. We enjoy the beauty and peace of being in a natural setting. Now, research is showing that visiting a forest has real, quantifiable health benefits, both mental and physical. Even five minutes around trees or in green spaces may improve health. Think of it as a prescription with no negative side effects that's also free.

Health Benefits From Forests

The reference list at the bottom of this page has links to specific studies on these benefits.

Exposure to forests and trees:

boosts the immune system

lowers blood pressure

reduces stress

improves mood

increases ability to focus, even in children with ADHD

accelerates recovery from surgery or illness

increases energy level

improves sleep

Forests Make Us Healthier

Numerous studies in the U.S. and around the world are exploring the health benefits of spending time outside in nature, green spaces, and, specifically, forests. Recognizing those benefits, in 1982, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries even coined a term for it: shinrin-yoku. It means taking in the forest atmosphere or "forest bathing," and the ministry encourages people to visit forests to relieve stress and improve health.

Research is casting light on how spending time outdoors and in forests makes us healthier:

people enjoying an urban forest

Exposure to forests boosts our immune system. While we breathe in the fresh air, we breathe in phytoncides, airborne chemicals that plants give off to protect themselves from insects. Phytoncides have antibacterial and antifungal qualities which help plants fight disease. When people breathe in these chemicals, our bodies respond by increasing the number and activity of a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells or NK. These cells kill tumor- and virus-infected cells in our bodies. In one study, increased NK activity from a 3-day, 2-night forest bathing trip lasted for more than 30 days. Japanese researchers are currently exploring whether exposure to forests can help prevent certain kinds of cancer.

Spending time around trees and looking at trees reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and improves mood. Numerous studies show that both exercising in forests and simply sitting looking at trees reduce blood pressure as well as the stress-related hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Looking at pictures of trees has a similar, but less dramatic, effect. Studies examining the same activities in urban, unplanted areas showed no reduction of stress-related effects. Using the Profile of Mood States test, researchers found that forest bathing trips significantly decreased the scores for anxiety, depression, anger, confusion and fatigue. And because stress inhibits the immune system, the stress-reduction benefits of forests are further magnified.

Green spaces in urban areas are just as important as rural forests. About 85% of the US population lives in suburban and urban areas and may not have access to traditional rural forests. That's O.K. Gardens, parks and street trees make up what is called an urban and community forest. These pockets of greenspace are vitally important because they are the sources of our daily access to trees.

Spending time in nature helps you focus. Our lives are busier than ever with jobs, school, and family life. Trying to focus on many activities or even a single thing for long periods of time can mentally drain us, a phenomenon called Directed Attention Fatigue. Spending time in nature, looking at plants, water, birds and other aspects of nature gives the cognitive portion of our brain a break, allowing us to focus better and renew our ability to be patient.......

Study Shows How Badly Smog Can Cripple Solar Farms

Posted on October 11, 2019 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

New research finds that severe air pollution can eliminate all profits from solar panel installations.

A lot can keep solar panels from generating electricity, from cloud cover blocking the sun to simply being nighttime. But according to recent research, one of the biggest obstacles facing solar farms is smog and haze from air pollution.

It’s not surprising that air pollution can make solar panels less effective since it can cut down on visibility and reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the ground. In the past, researchers have found that air pollution can lead to dust buildup on solar panels that can dramatically reduce their effectiveness......

Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?

Posted on October 7, 2019 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Because of soil depletion, crops grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today

It would be overkill to say that the carrot you eat today has very little nutrition in it—especially compared to some of the other less healthy foods you likely also eat—but it is true that fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. The main culprit in this disturbing nutritional trend is soil depletion: Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows. Sadly, each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant carrot is truly less good for you than the one before.

A landmark study on the topic by Donald Davis and his team of researchers from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was published in December 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. They studied U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from both 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits, finding “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century. Davis and his colleagues chalk up this declining nutritional content to the preponderance of agricultural practices designed to improve traits (size, growth rate, pest resistance) other than nutrition.

“Efforts to breed new varieties of crops that provide greater yield, pest resistance and climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and more rapidly,” reported Davis, “but their ability to manufacture or uptake nutrients has not kept pace with their rapid growth.” There have likely been declines in other nutrients, too, he said, such as magnesium, zinc and vitamins B-6 and E, but they were not studied in 1950 and more research is needed to find out how much less we are getting of these key vitamins and minerals.

The Organic Consumers Association cites several other studies with similar findings: A Kushi Institute analysis of nutrient data from 1975 to 1997 found that average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped 27 percent; iron levels 37 percent; vitamin A levels 21 percent, and vitamin C levels 30 percent. A similar study of British nutrient data from 1930 to 1980, published in the British Food Journal,found that in 20 vegetables the average calcium content had declined 19 percent; iron 22 percent; and potassium 14 percent. Yet another study concluded that one would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of Vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one.

What can be done? The key to healthier produce is healthier soil. Alternating fields between growing seasons to give land time to restore would be one important step. Also, foregoing pesticides and fertilizers in favor of organic growing methods is good for the soil, the produce and its consumers. Those who want to get the most nutritious fruits and vegetables should buy regularly from local organic farmers.

UT’s Davis warns that just because fruits and vegetables aren’t as healthy as they used to be doesn’t mean we should avoid them. “Vegetables are extraordinarily rich in nutrients and beneficial phytochemicals,” he reported. “They are still there, and vegetables and fruits are our best sources for these.”....