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Weekly Environmental Updates
The inventor of the K-Cup has expressed regret for creating the popular, but environmentally unfriendly pods. John Sylvan, who sold Keurig to Green Mountain in 1997 for only $50,000 and doesn't even own the coffee maker himself, says he is bothered by the fact that the pods are not currently recyclable. Keurig plans to make the K-Cup recyclable by the year 2020, but users will have to be willing to separate the various components of the pods to comply with recycling services.
More than 40 percent of pollen and honey samples taken from foraging bees in Massachusetts contained at least one neonicotinoid, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides that have been suspected as a possible cause of Colony Collapse Disorder, which causes bees to abandon their hives. They may also pose health risks to humans exposed to contaminated pollen.
The deformed daisies in a widely-circulated photo from Fukushima, Japan are no cause for alarm, say experts. The strange blooms are reportedly caused by a natural phonomon known as fasciation that leads to the over-production of cells. While there is a chance that radiation from the nuclear accident that occurred in Fukushima in 2011 is the cause, it is said to be unlikely.
In other plant news, researchers now say that the photoreceptors in plant leaves that dictate their growth habits were inherited from ancient algae. The light-sensitive proteins in the receptors are reportedly the plant's "eyes" and tell the plants what season it is, when to blossom, and when to sprout. Similar genes exist in tiny bacteria that live in the ocean.
Chilean salmon loaded with antibiotics is being rejected by Costco and other U.S. retailers such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods in favor of antibiotic-free fish. Chile uses antibiotics to combat the deadly fish virus known as SRS. Officials from Chile insist that the salmon they sell is safe and approved by U.S. regulators.
More flavorful vegetables are the goal of a farm in the Netherlands that's experimenting with LED lights to enhance veggie quality and taste. By tailoring the light spectrum, the farm can produce tomatoes with more vitamin C and make greens more flavorful. The farming methods used also reduce the need for pesticides and water.
Roman Hills