Bar Codes on Veggies

...y of vegetables grown in that prefecture. Ibaraki Prefectural authorities and the JA Ibaraki Prefecture Central Union of Agricultural Cooperative cooperating with other farming and agricultural associations are adding QR code labels right at the point of origin. In the supermarket, consumers use camera equipped cell phones to scan the QR code on the label. The code links to a mobile website detailing origin, soil composition, organic fertilizer c...

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Teflon Coated Light Bulbs Deadly to Chickens

...to airborne toxins. I can’t help but wonder about the effect of these fumes on humans too. Several years ago, Dupont was unsuccessfully sued over the toxicity of Teflon in cookware. Sylvania, apparently, has a warning label on their Teflon coated bulbs, “WARNING: This product contains PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene–”Teflon” is a brand name). When heated, it creates fumes potentially fatal to confined birds.” G...

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New Health Food Trends at the Natural Products Food Expo West

...rise of gluten free products. Gluten intolerance is a problem for many people. One out of 131 people have Celiac diseases and a great many more probably have some sort of wheat allergy. However, someone tell me why we have to label products like tomato sauce and raw chicken as being “gluten free?” Most new gluten free products, everything from pasta to crackers to power bars, use quinoa. The Natural Products Expo’s own trade pub...

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Review: Quaker Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal

...y adding sucralose, the artificial sweetener known as Splenda (and kicking up the sodium significantly). The front of the box says nothing about artificial sweeteners. Diet foods will have a jaunty “With Splenda!” label, but this cereal apparently isn’t being marketed that way. The only indication that you’re dealing with a fake sugar product is in the list of ingredients, which I hadn’t checked. And that was a mista...

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The Original L.A. Urban Homestead

...ucating Angelenos about simple ways to conserve energy and other resources, grow their own food and live a happier, healthier lifestyle, since 1988. The house is a charming bungalow full of warm dark wood. It features a small solar array, a fabulous greywater system and many other features that make this cozy home worth a visit. The most educational part of the Eco-Home, in my humble opinion, is Julia’s actual lifestyle. Sure, technical fea...

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Bubble Wrap Your Windows

Photo by Nick Lowe From the remarkable folks at Build It Solar comes this heating conservation tip – bubble wrap your windows. Simply cut sheets of bubble wrap to fit your windows, apply some water with a spray bottle and before it dries stick the bubble wrap on the glass. While you can buy special bubble wrap designed for greenhouses, according to Build It Solar, regular bubble wrap will probably work just as well. If you number the pie...

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What Preparedness Lessons Did You Learn From Hurricane Sandy?

...of time or keep an emergency food supply. Based on how Tonga have been in NYC, I’d say a week’s worth of food is good. 5) something I’ve wanted for a while, but never had the funds for (or forgot about) is a solar powered generator. That sure would have made my life a lot easier this week! 6) have an evacuation plan. I have no idea how to get out of Staten Island by bus. I always take the ferry because it’s close and conve...

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Saturday Linkages: Fire Plows, Kite Fishing and Roundup-Ready Turfgrass

...: Clever Solution or Future Flop? by Evelyn Hadden http://feedly.com/e/6x1OCfMz  Coming soon – Roundup-Ready Turfgrass | Garden Rant http://gardenrant.com/2014/02/coming-soon-round-up-ready-turfgrass.html … Author Builds Tiny Solar-Powered Off Grid Cabin for Under 2000 http://inhabitat.com/author-builds-tiny-solar-powered-off-grid-cabin-for-under-2000/lamar-alexander-off-grid-cabin-2/ … For these links and more, follow Root Simple on Twitter: Fol...

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Mistakes we have made . . .

...looks great in the picture above. That was before the neighborhood raccoons spent several nights a week treating it like rock stars used to treat hotel rooms, and before scum and slime clogged up the pump. While the pump was solar powered, the profligate use of water was not the best example to set here in draught prone Los Angeles. After a few months we gave up, filled it in with soil and now strawberries grow there happily. We hear that Materi...

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