Global food waste accounts for more emissions than most countries

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It is a well-known fact that people around the world are malnourished and hungry every day. Simultaneously, food waste around the world has increased drastically.

According to a new United Nations report, this wasted food is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than any country, except the United States and China. Almost a third of the food produced for humans - 1.3 billion tons - is thrown away. This means the massive amount of farmland (much of it cleared wilderness), water, and fossil fuels put into this food are completely wasted. 

These resources, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates, have a carbon footprint of 3.3 billions tons of carbon dioxide every year.

How can we help? Solutions in developed nations include decreasing portion sizes, developing organic waste alternatives like composting, and giving leftover food from restaurants to charities. For the developing world, better storage and distribution techniques are necessary.

Besides being a heavy contributor to greenhouse gases, food waste puts pressure on a system already struggling to feed the world’s population. To be more careful with our food supply today means not only helping the planet, but helping its inhabitants as well.

As meat consumption around the world increases, so do the concerns over the sustainability and efficiency of meat production. Raising livestock is extremely inefficient - think 100 grams of vegetable protein in order to raise 15 grams of meat on average - and uses up valuable agricultural land and water resources while contributing to climate change.
Dutch scientist Mark Post has been working on a new way to grow meat - in a laboratory. He has successfully grown the world’s first “test tube burger" from billions of cow stem cells. While time-consuming and expensive, Post believes the production could eventually be expedited, allowing artificial meat products to become more common.
The test tube burger will be revealed and tasted in the upcoming weeks in London. Could this be the sustainable meat of the future?

As meat consumption around the world increases, so do the concerns over the sustainability and efficiency of meat production. Raising livestock is extremely inefficient - think 100 grams of vegetable protein in order to raise 15 grams of meat on average - and uses up valuable agricultural land and water resources while contributing to climate change.

Dutch scientist Mark Post has been working on a new way to grow meat - in a laboratory. He has successfully grown the world’s first “test tube burger" from billions of cow stem cells. While time-consuming and expensive, Post believes the production could eventually be expedited, allowing artificial meat products to become more common.

The test tube burger will be revealed and tasted in the upcoming weeks in London. Could this be the sustainable meat of the future?

Beyond rooftop gardens: Farmers Market 2.0 @ NYSCI

Learn about the ideas and methods for urban growing and food preparation at this conceptual winter farmers’ market, December 1, 2012; noon – 4 pm. Traditional market stalls will be filled with hands-on activities, artist projects, demonstrations, and of course, food! Free with NYSCI admission.

Staged presentations:

Demos and stalls by:

  • Butter-making with Little Makers
  • Hydroponic farming systems with Boswyck Farms
  • Solar panels with Biomodd’s Tamara Sabler and Zach Smart
  • Spice bundles, seed bombs and seed masks with NYSCI Explainers 

This community-based food event focuses on the cultural and sustainable elements of food and food production that pertain to ecology. The event complements NYSCI’s ReGeneration exhibition.

ReGeneration is now open! Come imagine a future where our communities are vital and sustainable. Now at NYSCI, through January 13.
Click here to see the photoset from the exhibit opening.

ReGeneration is now open! Come imagine a future where our communities are vital and sustainable. Now at NYSCI, through January 13.

Click here to see the photoset from the exhibit opening.

ReGeneration: Biomodd prototype now at NYSCI

Screen shot of Biomodd virtual world

NYSCI is revving up for the next exhibit ReGeneration, with artist Angelo Vermeulen and team building the first part of the window garden for his Biomodd project, right now in NYSCI’s Central Pavilion. 

This week, the virtual world that will run on the Biomodd computer network is being developed (above image), and students at Parsons are creating concepts and prototypes for “caretaking robots” as part of the Biomodd Collaboration Studio.

If you want to learn more about Angelo’s project and his work, and you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, he is giving a lecture and demonstration at UCLA tomorrow.

In the meantime, mark your calendars for the long awaited opening of ReGeneration on October 27, 2012, at NYSCI.

LOOK WHAT’S COMING TO WORLD MAKER FAIRE - The Whittled Down Caravan is an experiment in affordable portable housing. The canvas-topped sheepherder’s wagon is powered by a 100-watt solar panel and includes a kitchen, living area and bed, and can be towed by a 4-cylinder sedan. 
See more of what’s coming to World Maker Faire here.

LOOK WHAT’S COMING TO WORLD MAKER FAIRE - The Whittled Down Caravan is an experiment in affordable portable housing. The canvas-topped sheepherder’s wagon is powered by a 100-watt solar panel and includes a kitchen, living area and bed, and can be towed by a 4-cylinder sedan. 

See more of what’s coming to World Maker Faire here.

106 Days to Maker Faire New York —- Call for Makers NOW OPEN!

We’re looking for a few hundred makers. Are you one of them? Save the Date and start working on your projects (if you haven’t already…) Maker Faire New York is right around the corner and as of this morning, the Call for Makers is open

Step one for participating is to submit an entry so we can learn about you and your project. Here’s just a sampling of what makes for a great Maker Faire exhibit:

  • Student Projects
  • Robotics
  • Music Performance and Participation
  • 3D Printers and CNC Mills
  • Textile Arts and Crafts
  • Home Energy Monitoring
  • Rockets and RC Toys
  • Sustainability
  • Green Tech
  • Radios, Vintage Computers and Game Systems
  • Electronics
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Biology/Biotech and Chemistry Projects
  • Food and Beverage Makers
  • Robotics
  • Puppets
  • Kites
  • Bicycles
  • Shelter (Tents, Domes, etc.)
  • Unusual Tools or Machines
  • How to Fix Things or Take them Apart (Vacuums, Clocks, Washing Machines, etc.

Not planning a project but still can’t wait for Maker Faire New York? Standby. Tickets go on sale soon and we’ll be warming up all summer with community gatherings, Maker Weekends at NYSCI and more.

It is official! Modular//Neuroid and The New York Hall of Science will be collaborating to create a multi-layered experience for middle and high school students in a project titled Collect, Construct, Change().  The project will give students the chance to collect data on environmental pollution in the field, and then offer them a platform in which to experience this data.  This experience will come in the form of an augmented reality cell phone application. The project will culminate in the form of several workshops over the summer at NySci, and a presentation and workshop at the first ever Maker Faire NYC (which is being held at the New York Hall of Science, September 25 and 26, 2010)! The final step of the project is to promote environmental advocacy through the children participating.  This is extremely exciting.  It also means that I am employed through October 2010. Thank goodness.

This has been on the books for some time now, and have waited to announce it on this site as there were several details to work out. Everything is a go, and I have already begun prototyping for this iteration of modular//neuroid.  I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity and intend on making use of it.  My involvement is the result of a collaboration between the New Youth City Learning Network, along with Parsons and NySci.  The team also consists of a Columbia post-doc, as well as the Bank Street College andCity Lore.

More on this soon!