A Chinese biotech seed firm is aiming to launch the country’s first genetically modified corn products overseas on the home turf of the world’s top agricultural companies, as Beijing’s reticence over GMO food keeps the domestic market off limits… The plan by Beijing-based Origin Agritech to test its technology in the United States, which has dominated the sector with GMO giants such as Monsanto, is the latest effort by a Chinese firm to enter the global industry… “The only way they might be able to break into the market is if their technology fees are going to be cheaper than Monsanto,” said Carl Pray, professor at Rutgers University’s agricultural, food and resource economics department… Referring to seed firm Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group’s agreement to test its technology in Argentina, Pray said competition was tougher in the United States. “It’s one thing to do this in Argentina, and another to go into the U.S.”
Cranberry juice is a popular folk remedy for staving off urinary tract infections and the berries contain chemical compounds with potentially powerful antibacterial properties. But clinical trials that have tested cranberry products have yielded mixed results, possibly because studies tested juices and supplements with varying amounts of active ingredients. Many trials also had high dropout rates… Cranberries contain chemical compounds called proanthocyanidins that can prevent E. coli bacteria from sticking to the bladder walls, “preventing the first step in the infection process,” said Amy Howell, an associate research scientist at the Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension at Rutgers University. Dr. Howell explained that if bacteria cannot stick to a cell, they cannot multiply and produce toxins… Most cranberry juices you will find in grocery stores contain added sweeteners or are mixed with sweeter juices. To get enough of the active cranberry ingredients, choose a drink with at least 25 percent pure cranberry juice, Dr. Howell said, and drink eight to 10 ounces a day.
The rapid warming of waters off New England is a key factor in the collapse of the region’s cod fishery, and changes to the species’ management are needed to save one of America’s oldest industries, according to a report published Thursday in Science m…
Major storms that once might have hit the coasts of New York and New Jersey every 500 years could soon happen every 25 years or so… The study by Penn State, Rutgers, Princeton and Tufts universities and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finds…
Up in Maine, lobsters are thriving. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission reported last month that stocks there have reached a record high… Down the coast, however, the story is different. In southern New England, lobster stocks have plummeted to the lowest levels ever recorded, putting many lobstermen out of business… Global warming is going to reshuffle ocean ecosystems on a scale not seen for millions of years. Marine biologists can’t yet say what these new habitats are going to be like… “If you put a bunch of species in a blender, you’re not entirely sure what’s going to come out,” said Malin L. Pinsky, a marine biologist at Rutgers University… Dr. Pinsky, who was not involved in the study, also sees ominous signs for humanity in the research.
As more farms open themselves up to visitors for apple picking, hay rides and some extra income, experts are advising owners to take steps to prevent accidents – be they small or fatal… Farming is one of the more dangerous occupations in the U.S. mostly due to the machinery and equipment, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But a growing interest in local food has led to agritourism becoming a big business, with the number of U.S. farms reporting income from such activities rising 42 percent between 2007 and 2012, according to the latest Census of Agriculture… The first key is assessing the risks, said Brian Schilling of Rutgers’ Cooperative Extension in New Brunswick, New Jersey. “If you’ve grown up on a farm you’re sort of blind to a lot of these things,” he said, advising owners to have an extension agent, emergency official or insurance agent walk the farm to identify hazards… The extension also has a safety checklist that reminds farmers to, among other things, designate areas that are closed to the public, train employees to property operate farm machinery, secure and restrict areas that contain chemicals, provide hand-washing or hand-sanitizing stations and have employees assist with parking.
For nearly three hours a day, Kate Brashares lives in transit. That’s the length of the commute between her home in Montclair, N.J., and Dumbo, Brooklyn, where she runs the nonprofit organization Edible Schoolyard NYC, an offshoot of an Alice Waters initiative to bring gardens and cooking classes to public schools… Her reward, from May through October, is returning home to eat dinner outside, off the grill, in a backyard that sprawls like a court at Wimbledon. Never mind that she can use the grill only half the year; it is her most prized cooking tool and a connection to her childhood, when, she said, “I was outside all the time.”… Although gardening “is part of my cultural heritage,” Ms. Brashares said, she fell in love with it only after joining Edible Schoolyard in 2012. At first, she tried to grow the plants she remembered from her home in London, overestimating the New Jersey climate: “They all died.” She has since enrolled in the Master Gardener Program through the Rutgers University Cooperative Extension, hoping to find illumination on the subjects of soil science and pest control.
Is climate change a serious threat to human health? Simple logic would suggest the answer is yes, a point that the Obama administration is using to build support for the president’s effort to make climate change a centerpiece of his final months in off…
Morris Gbolo spends a lot of time thinking about the home-cooked dinners he and his wife, Ernestine, used to enjoy before they fled their home amid civil war in Liberia 12 years ago. For Mr. Gbolo, 55, memories of mealtime in West Africa, where he was a farmer, have become a source of entrepreneurial inspiration and a way to make friends: As owner and operator of Morris Gbolo’s World Crops Farm, a 13-acre parcel in Buena Vista Township that he bought in January to grow the produce of his homeland (bitter ball, cassava), he hopes to help fellow transplants connect and feel closer to home… Ethnic crops are a thriving business for small farmers in New Jersey, said Brian Schilling, an extension specialist in agricultural policy at Rutgers University’s Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics in New Brunswick. Farmers often focus on “high-value crops” ike peaches and blueberries to remain “economically sustainable,” he explained, but niche markets, like West African produce, are also becoming more viable… Richard VanVranken, a Rutgers agriculture agent in Atlantic County, said that word about the university’s ethnic crop work was spreading, in part from referrals by the state’s Agriculture Department. “I now get on average a call per week from new farmers or established growers exploring new ethnic markets from around the state and way beyond,” he said.
Daily weather patterns have changed in recent decades, making eastern North America, Europe and western Asia more prone to nastier summer heatwaves that go beyond global warming, a new study finds… A team of climate scientists at Stanford University looked at weather patterns since 1979 and found changes in frequency and strength in parts of the world, according to a study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday. These are the types of weather patterns with stationary high and low pressure systems that you see on weather forecasts, which is different than gradual warming from man-made climate change… Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis, for example, hailed the work as thorough and “consistent with expected changes associated with a rapidly warming Arctic.”