Plastic Bottle Poison

We all drink/eat out of plastic bottles/containers at some stage but do the chemicals within the plastic leach into our food and water? Common sense would suggest that there would be some chemical leaching especially when the plastic is subjected to microwaves, strong acids/alkali or heat from dish washing but is this a concern?

A lot of plastic materials have recycling numbers imprinted into the plastic. For example most disposable water bottles are made from PET which is recycling number 1. This plastic if fine for single use but can decay allowing microbe contamination to grow which can be a health hazard. They should only be used for single use.

Since PET is meant to be single use we may turn to sports bottles which are commonly made of a harder plastic as they are designed for multiple use. These are commonly made from recycling number 7. Recycling number 7 contains a chemical called Bisphenol A. This chemical has been found to mimic hormones in our body. Bisphenol A has shown in rat studies to effect reproductive and fertility function. Pregnant or expecting mothers need to be particular aware of this problem as it could have similar effects in humans.

So what are you left to use? I recommend using glass where ever possible. It is easy to clean, won’t scratch and doesn’t have the potential problems of plastic. I would also keep away recycling numbers 3 and 6 as they also have other chemicals that maybe of concern.

Dream Home from Recycled Materials

With affordable housing being out of reach for the working poor this might be one solution. Building a house from disused building materials makes sense for the wallet, environment and gives people real ownership. This would have been better solution than giving people sub-prime loans that they could never pay off. Make sure you notice what he has done with the picture frames in his ceiling.

Can Organic Farming Feed the World?

What is organic farming? Organic farming can be described as an approach to agriculture where the main aims are to create holistic, nutritional, humane, environmentally and economically sustainable agricultural production systems. Maximum reliance is placed on farm renewable resources and the management of self regulating biological systems and interactions in order to provide exceptional levels of crop, livestock and human nutrition. Protection from pests/diseases, and an acceptable return to the human and other resources employed. Reliance on external inputs whether from chemical or organic is reduced as much as possible. In many European nations, organic agriculture is known as ecological agriculture. This reflects this reliance on ecosystem management rather than external inputs.

The objective of sustainability lies at the heart of organic farming. It is one of the major factors determining the acceptability or otherwise of specific production practices. The term ‘sustainable’ is used in its general sense to encompass not just conservation of non-renewable resources(soil, water, energy, minerals) but also issues of environmental, social and economic sustainability. The term ‘organic’ is best described as referring to the concept of the farm as an whole organism in which all the component parts – the soil minerals, insects, organic matter, microorganisms, plants, animals and man interact to create a workable and stable whole.

The key characteristics of organic farming are:

  • Protecting the long term fertility of soils by increasing organic matter levels, encouraging soil microbe activity.
  • Providing crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble(natural) nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by soil microorganisms.
  • Nitrogen is provided through the use of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation. I is also provided by recycling of organic materials incorporating crop residues and livestock manure.
  • Weed, disease and pest control relying primarily on crop rotations, organic manuring, plant health, natural predators, bio-diversity, resistant varieties(conventional plant breeding) and only natural biological and chemical intervention.
  • The management of livestock involved considering behavioural needs and animal welfare issues with respect to health, nutrition, housing, breeding and rearing.
  • Careful attention to the impact of the farming system on the larger environment and the conservation of native wildlife and natural habitats also need to be considered.