A farmer using rice planting machine conducts rice transplanting in Ryugasaki, Japan. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Tech-Savvy Farmers a New Hope for Japan’s Shrinking Agriculture Sector
A new breed of business- and tech-savvy farmers are transforming Japan's shrinking agriculture sector with cutting edge techniques and marketing strategies, giving new hope to an industry in slow decline. Such changes, while small, come as Prime Minister Abe pushes to reform Japan's hidebound farm industry where small-plot holdings still dominate. The average farmer is aged over 66 and the sector's contribution to the economy has fallen by 25% since its peak in 1984.
Is That Food to Go? It May Not Be in Plastic Much Longer
The global war on plastic may have a new leader: the Tasmanian city of Hobart. The City Council agreed to draft legislation that would phase out single-use plastic containers and cutlery by 2020. Pressure to get rid of various forms of plastic food packaging is growing around the world, though Hobart would go further: Even biodegradable plastic would be off-limits.
Yale Scientists Developing Method to Distill Sea Water
Desalination, or the removal of salt and minerals from water to make it drinkable, or usable for watering crops, typically requires a large amount of energy, according to Menachem Elimelech, a professor of environmental and chemical engineering at Yale University. Now however, with a combination of the sun and nanoparticles, Elimelech knows it doesn’t have to be.
When the Prescription Is a Recipe
The doctor’s office is moving into the kitchen. After years of telling patients to skip junk food and prepare homemade meals, a growing number of doctors are going a step further and teaching them how to cook. Some are building teaching kitchens or creating food pantries right next to their practices. Others are prescribing culinary education programs in hopes of improving their patients’ nutrition and overall health. Some medical schools have even introduced culinary curriculums to train more doctors to talk to patients about food.