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Supplying the World's Energy Needs with Light and Water
from...MIT Technology Review

Fish Farming in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems
This article is of particular interest to Biosphere Farms ...

The High Price We Pay For Cheap Food
Arthur Potts Dawson discusses the disconnect between healthy food and affordability and explores visions for sustainability

The Biology and Business of Biofuels
A 50 minute video presentation From the University of California San Diego

journal archive



Soil Definitions

Soil and Climate Change

Soil Sustainability


Oil Seed Data Spreadsheet
An Excel spreadsheet for comparing oilseed crop information for making biodiesel. Includes average yield per acre, percentage oil, crop weights, oil and mash weights, seed and oil prices, and information sources.

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Version: 2.0
(October 6, 2006)

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Agriculture Today -- The Facts

According to Louis A. Bloomfield, professor of physics at the University of Virginia, cooking with microwave ovens is neither energy-hungry nor dangerous. In fact, compared to conventional ovens, microwave ovens are about five times more energy efficient, transferring 50 percent of their energy into food compared to the 10 percent energy transfer of conventional ovens.

"A 2005 study by Anthony Leiserowitz, published in Risk Analysis, found that while most Americans are moderately concerned about global warming, the majority -68 percent- believe the greatest threats are to people far away or to nonhuman nature. Only 13 percent perceive any real risk to themselves, their families, or their communities. As Leiserowitz points out, this perception is critical, since Americans constitute only 5 percent of the global population yet produce nearly 25 percent of the global carbon dioxide emissions."

Julia Whitty, "The Thirteenth Tipping Point" Mother Jones pg. 46, Volume 31 Issue 6.

"As of today, 39 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been wiped out or partially deforested. Scientists now predict that
once the forest loss hits a critical threshold of 40 percent, the Amazon will slip into an irreversible, self-perpetuating cycle of deforestation and drought known as "die-back," whereupon the world's largest jungle will convert itself into the likeness of a desert."

Adbusters, January/February 2007, Volume 15 Number 1

According to the Center for Biodiversity and Human Health, of the 250,000 species of higher plants, only 2-5% have actually been studied for medicinal use.

Although 5,000 different species of plants have been used as food by humans, the majority of the world's population is now fed by less than 20 plant species.

US food typically travels 1,500 miles from its distributor to your table.

Agriculture accounts for 80% of water consumed globally. The demand for water is expected to double in the next ten years.


85% of Americans trust smaller scale family farms to produce safe, nutritious food.

91 cents of each dollar spent at traditional food markets goes to suppliers, processors, middlemen, and marketers; only 9 cents of each dollar actually goes to the farmer. On the other hand, farmers markets enable farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.

A 1994 study by the University of Minnesota Extension Service found that farms with a gross income of $100,000 made nearly 95% of their expenditures locally while farms with gross incomes in excess of $900,000 spent less than 20% locally. In other words, if there were nine small independent farms rather than one large corporate farm in a given area, the local community could potentially see 75% more money coming into their economy.

A study by the Harvard School of Public Health reports that "Respondents who were in contact with pesticides in 1992 were 70 percent more likely to develop Parkinson's within the next ten years."

Daily Mail UK

The U.K. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food reports that pesticide applications increased 600% over a ten year study.


One in twenty heads of lettuce in the U.K. exceed maximum nitrate residues. One in three heads of spinach exceed nitrate residues.


Health Canada found that the artificial hormone rBGH, injected into cows to increase milk production, increases the risk of mastitis (an infection that leads to inflammation of the udders) by 25%, and interfers with reproductive function, increases the occurence of lameness by 50%. Furthermore, artificially high milk production strains the immune systems of cows, making them more susceptible to disease and necessitating the amplified use of antibiotics. In turn, bacteria develop immunity to antibiotics, and dairy farmers are forced to use stronger and stronger doses.

The Issues: rBGH

80% of cattle in the USA are injected with rBGH.

Center for Food Safety