Integrating Chicken and Vegetable Production in Organic Farming
Chicken and tomatoes are a tasty duo beloved by many in popular dishes like chicken tikka masala and chicken cacciatore. This combination, delightful in the culinary sense, is also the subject of a recent integrated farming experiment. This fall, researchers at UC Davis harvested the first crop of tomatoes from a 1-acre experimental field and successfully processed the second flock of 130 broiler chickens. This acre is part of a tri-state experiment also taking place at University of Kentucky and Iowa State University, where the experiment was originally spearheaded by horticulture professor Ajay Nair. Funded by USDA, this research aims to produce science-based learnings and best practices for organic agricultural systems that integrate rotational production of crop and poultry together on the same land.
Potential of Integrated Production
While the idea of chickens alongside crops evokes an image of “traditional farming”, these systems are relatively rare in North America today. Integrated farms have the potential to help organic farmers create a more resource-efficient “closed-loop” system. For vegetable farmers looking to start an integrated system, chickens require the lowest startup costs as compared with other livestock. This type of diversified production may be especially promising given the growing consumer demand for more sustainably and humanely produced chicken.
However, there are many beliefs that remain unconfirmed and questions that remain unanswered by scientific research when it comes to integrating poultry production into vegetable cropping. For instance, at what extent does manure deposited by poultry on the farm reduce the need for off-farm soil fertility inputs? What benefits can we observe when crop residue is used to supplement the diets of the chickens? What stocking rate is the most advantageous in these systems? What types of crops and breeds of chicken work the best with poultry production in different regions? And is it feasible to squeeze in a successful yield of broiler production into the transition window between different crop seasons? Finally, can all this be done effectively from a food safety perspective and economically from both a farmer and consumer level?
To better understand and evaluate the potential to integrate poultry with crop farming from multiple perspectives, the research objectives focused on evaluating growth yields, quality of agricultural outputs, food safety risks, agroecological impacts on soil and pests, and economic feasibility of such systems.
In this experiment, broilers were raised on pasture starting at around 4 weeks of age to graze on crop residue. In the California iteration of this experiment, we raised two flocks per year in between rotations of vegetable crops in the summer and cover crops in the winter (Figure 1a). Rather than remaining in a fixed location, the pastured broilers are stocked in mobile chicken coops, commonly referred to as “chicken tractors”, which are moved to a fresh plot of land every day for rotational grazing. Four subplots distributed across the field are grazed by chickens before vegetables are planted in the spring (treatment B), and four different subplots are grazed by chickens after vegetable harvest (treatment A).
The impacts of grazing on soil and crop production of the two treatments are compared to a third control treatment of only cover crops and vegetables (treatment C), while the impacts of rotational grazing on meat production are compared to an indoor control flock.
Collaborating researchers in Iowa and Kentucky are also collecting weed and insect diversity data to better understand the impacts on crop pests and better understand how poultry affect the integrated farmland. Additional studies on animal welfare for the chickens as well as conducting cultivar trials on the success of varieties of different vegetables like lettuce, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and spinach tested in combination with poultry are being conducted.
Challenges Identified and Lessons Learned
As the study is still underway, we cannot make any conclusions without testing and re-testing experimental results to confirm their repeatability and statistical significance across more than one growing season. So far, however, we’ve collected a great deal of initial learnings on our integrated systems.
Organic farmers know that soil amendments, such as chicken manure, release nitrogen slowly to crops over time. Factors related to timing of application, precipitation and temperature affect how soil microbes process organic material to ultimately impact the soil quality. In California, although our tomato crop received sufficient subsurface drip irrigation, we suffered low yield and tomato end rot across the treatments. This was due to the fact that our experimental plot was previously conventionally managed and very nutrient depleted, an issue which we attempted to manage by applying organic compost and liquid fertilizer to the entire field to supplement the manure deposited by the chickens. In addition, severe drought during and after the period of manure deposition may have hindered soil microbial activity and, in turn, retarded the decomposition of our cover crop residue and chicken manure into the soil.
Additional data remains to be collected on subsequent flocks and statistical analysis on the findings have yet to be conducted before conclusions can be drawn. Preliminary results from meat quality analysis indicate that the pasture-raised chicken yielded less drumstick meat than the indoor control and breast meat was darker and less yellow in color. They also yielded redder thigh meat and less moist breast meat than the indoor chicken when cooked. So far, broilers in California that grazed on cover crops in the spring reached a higher average market weight relative to indoor control, while broilers grazed on tomato crop residue in the fall reached a lower average market weight relative to the indoor control.
No presence of Salmonella has been detected thus far in the soil nor on the poultry produced in the California experiment. Collaborators in Iowa and Kentucky report that persistence of Salmonella associated with the poultry producing soil has not been observed to persist into the harvest period. While these results are promising, it should be noted that Salmonella are relatively common in poultry. Ideally, best practices can be identified that reduce the risk of Salmonella persisting in the soil environment while crops are grown following chicken grazing.
Many other anecdotal findings have emerged: In Iowa, a farmer collaborating with researchers to conduct their own on-farm iteration of the experiment has noted positive results from the poultry treatment on their spinach crop; our collaborating researchers also report that the chickens may appear to be eating an insect that is beneficial in their agricultural system, a finding which, if validated, may debunk the perception that their presence on the farm is always advantageous to pest control.
In California, we are realizing the impact the design of the chicken tractors has on labor demands. Our 5 x 10 ft-wide wheeled coop was more difficult to move in a tomato production system with raised beds and loose soil as compared to a relatively more even and firm ground in a pasture. It seems apparent that engineering considerations such as wheel type, coop material and coop weight will influence the adaptability of poultry and crop integrations. Careful timing and planning is yet another labor consideration when it comes to transitioning successfully between cropping and poultry husbandry that we encountered. Eagerly, we await to gather more information in the next year until additional conclusions to our research questions can be drawn after the study concludes in 2022.
Nair, A. & Bilenky, M., (2019) “Integrating Vegetable and Poultry Production for Sustainable Organic Cropping Systems”, Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms Progress Reports 2018(1).
Source: Organic Farmer Magazine
The EPA said that it would begin monitoring for DINP, a phthalate that causes birth defects and cancer, more than 20 years ago. It still hasn’t.
Laurie Valeriano first heard about DINP decades ago when she was planning to start a family. An environmental activist, she was working on plastics at the time. “I started to worry about the chemicals that come out of all these plastics,” she said recently. DINP, one of a group of chemicals called phthalates that makes plastic more pliable, was one of them. It was already clear that DINP could cause cancer and interfere with hormonal functioning. But no one knew how much of the chemical was emitted into the environment — or where. So in February 2000, Valeriano and her employer, the Washington Toxics Coalition, asked the Environmental Protection Agency to add DINP to the list of chemicals it monitors through a nationwide program called the Toxics Release Inventory.
Just seven months later, Valeriano, who was by then pregnant with her first child, got what felt at the time like a significant victory: The EPA announced that it planned to grant the group’s request and issued a proposed rule that would add DINP to the toxics inventory. Once the rule was finalized, companies would have to report their DINP emissions to the public database, and communities living nearby would know how much of the chemical was being released into their surroundings. In the federal register, the agency noted the science driving its decision: “The toxicity data clearly indicates that DINP is known to cause or can reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer and other serious or irreversible chronic liver, kidney, and developmental toxicity in humans.”
Yet more than 20 years later, the EPA has yet to make good on its promise to add DINP to the list of chemicals. It never finalized the rule, and in the intervening years, companies have continued to churn out DINP and other chemicals in its class in astounding amounts without disclosing how much individual plants make and emit. Between 2012 and 2015, as much as 500 million pounds of DINP was made or imported each year, according to the most recent numbers available from the EPA. Companies add DINP to hundreds of products in place of another phthalate called DEHP that is being phased out because it causes cancer, birth defects, and reproductive difficulties. Over the last decade, blood levels of chemicals the body forms as it breaks down DINP have climbed in the U.S., while those of DEHP have gone down.
Although it has been promoted as a “green alternative” to DEHP, DINP causes many of the same problems as the chemical it so often replaces. In addition to the cancer and hormone disruption that sparked Valeriano’s claim 21 years ago, we now know more about how DINP affects the sexual development of children. It decreases sperm motility, increases malformations of the testes and other organs, and makes boys with relatively high levels of exposure to the chemical more likely to be infertile later in life. Experiments on lab rats also showed that those that were exposed to DINP in the womb had “reproductive malformations” and developed traits usually seen in females, including female-like nipples. DINP has also been linked to high blood pressure and insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes.
In fact, the entire group of phthalates — an estimated half-billion pounds of which are made and used in the U.S. each year — seem to cause a similar constellation of health problems. Although not every chemical has the same profile, most of the ones that have been studied appear to damage the development of the male reproductive system. Studies of various phthalates have shown them to cause birth defects, fertility problems in people who can become pregnant, miscarriage, testicular cancer, kidney cancer, and liver cancer. Exposure to the chemicals in the womb or early childhood has also been linked to learning, attention, and behavior problems, lower IQ, memory problems, and autism, rates of which have recently reached record highs.
The LawsuitsYet efforts to compel the EPA and the Food and Drug Administration to limit phthalate exposure have been stuck in limbo for years, as the companies that make the chemicals continue to insist that they’re safe. While the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Congress banned the use of eight phthalates in children’s toys, the Food and Drug Administration still allows those same chemicals to be used in food production. Now environmental groups are pushing back, calling on the courts to force both agencies to finally act on their years-old promises to regulate the chemicals.
In September, Earthjustice sued the EPA on behalf of communities living near facilities that import or manufacture large amounts of DINP in an effort to force the agency to finally add the chemical to the Toxics Release Inventory. The legal action comes as the EPA is beginning an assessment of DINP, which cannot be done properly without the emissions information, according to Katherine O’Brien, the Earthjustice attorney handling the case.
“We are very concerned about how EPA is going to identify the fenceline communities and do a lawful and comprehensive risk evaluation without TRI data,” said O’Brien. “The idea that the manufacturers can get in there by requesting a risk evaluation before EPA has the data that really we believe are necessary to support that is very troubling.”
An EPA spokesperson said that the agency was unable to comment on the DINP lawsuit because it is under active litigation.
Meanwhile, on December 7, Earthjustice sued the FDA on behalf of the Center for Food Safety, the Learning Disabilities Association of America, the Environmental Defense Fund, and other environmental groups, demanding that the agency take action on phthalates. This, too, is a repeated request. In 2016, the groups asked the agency to revoke its approval of 28 phthalates used in food packaging and processing materials, such as conveyor belts, tubing used in dairies, and gloves used by workers in food processing facilities and restaurant kitchens. But the FDA has yet to act on the 2016 petition.
The suit notes that “ingestion of food and drinks contaminated by phthalates is the primary way that most people in the United States — including children — are exposed to most phthalates” and asks the court to remedy the FDA’s “years-long unreasonable delay” and make the the agency take action on its 2016 petition within 60 days.
An FDA spokesperson said that the agency does not comment on active litigation.
Source including picture: The Intercept
This article mentions the difference between certified organic food and conventional food. It is important to mention that the organic food mentioned on www.soilandsun.co.uk is a certified organic food. Organic certification involves application of strict standards and an annual audit from an indepedent auditing on the application of these standards. Failing to follow these standards, farmer or grower are not allowed to trade their product as organic in other words they lose their organic certification status which proves that the product made by them is not anymore organic.
A. Organic food are Heathy
Organic foods are free from:
Organic foods have different appearances
This difference mainly apply to fruits and vegetables. As a consumer you will see fruits with smaller size, cracks or blemishes on the surface. They do not look super shiny and do not have perfect shape but they look imperfect and real.
Organic farming is environment friendly and sustainable
Due to absence of these toxic pesticides, heavy metals, GMO, herbicides, the organic farming practically conserves the quality of the soil and water. There are reports mentioning that there is a huge contamination of the rivers in Europe with pesticides and they had been used several years before their detection and remain there. The environmental pollution made by pesticides, heavy metals and GMO is non reversible.
Organic farming practices are sustainable, as the farmers/growers will not push nature with all its elements animals and trees/plants to produce more especially when there is a bad harvest season.
Animal manure or compost are used to feed the soil and weeds are managed by rotating crops.
Natural on the food label does not mean organic
Many processor use various words such as Natural or Sustainable on the food label to make the consumers think that their products are organic. These foods are not certified organic foods and are full of ingredients from conventional farming which uses all these toxic chemicals starting pesticides i.e round -up to GMO and insecticides and heavy metals. We have an obligation to inform all the consumers about the huge benefits of organic foods to our health and our planet air, soil and water.
1. Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture: a comprehensive review
Environmental Health volume 16, Article number: 111 (2017)
2. Livestock antibiotics and rising temperatures disrupt soil microbial communities, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
3. Food Preservatives and their harmful effects, Dr Sanjay Sharma, International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 5, Issue 4, April 2015
4. Effects of Preservatives and Emulsifiers on the Gut Microbiome By: Angel Kaufman Spring 2021 A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a baccalaureate degree in Biology in cursu honorum Reviewed and approved by Dr. Jill Callahan Professor, Biology
5. Pesticides and antibiotics polluting streams across Europe, by Damian Carrington, found on https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/08
It is an relatively old articles but the damage to the environment remains there.
Pesticides and antibiotics are polluting streams across Europe, a study has found. Scientists say the contamination is dangerous for wildlife and may increase the development of drug-resistant microbes.
More than 100 pesticides and 21 drugs were detected in the 29 waterways analysed in 10 European nations, including the UK. A quarter of the chemicals identified are banned, while half of the streams analysed had at least one pesticide above permitted levels.
The researchers said the high number of pesticides and drugs they found meant complex mixtures were present, the impact of which was unknown. Pesticides are acknowledged as one factor in plummeting populations of many insects and the birds that rely on them for food. Insecticides were revealed to be polluting English rivers in 2017.
“The importance of our new work is demonstrating the prevalence of biologically active chemicals in waterways all over Europe,” said Paul Johnston, at the Greenpeace research laboratories at the University of Exeter. “There is the potential for ecosystemic effects.”
The research, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, found herbicides, fungicides and insecticides, as well as antimicrobial drugs used in livestock. The risk to people of antimicrobial drug resistance is well known, but Johnston highlighted resistance to fungicides too. “There are some pretty nasty fungal infections that are taking off in hospitals,” he said.
One of the world’s biggest pesticide makers, Syngenta, announced a “major shift in global strategy” on Monday, to take on board society’s concerns and reduce residues in the environment.
“There is an undeniable demand for a shift in our industry,” said Alexandra Brand, the chief sustainability officer of Syngenta. “We will put our innovation more strongly in the service of helping farms become resilient to changing climates and better able to adapt to consumer requirements, including reducing carbon emissions and reversing soil erosion and biodiversity decline.”
Another major pesticide manufacturer, Bayer, said on Monday it was making public all 107 studies submitted to European regulators on the safety of its controversial herbicide glyphosate.
“Transparency is a catalyst for trust, so more transparency is a good thing for consumers, policymakers and businesses,” said Liam Condon, the president of Bayer Crop Science. In March, a federal jury in the US found that the herbicide, known as Roundup, was a substantial factor in causing the cancer of a California man.
Pesticides and antibiotics polluting rives in Europe
The testing techniques used in the new research meant only a subset of pesticides could be detected. Two very common pesticides – glyphosate and chlorothalonil – were not included in the study, meaning the findings represent a minimum level of contamination. The research focused on streams, as these harbour a large proportion of aquatic wildlife.
The detection of many pesticides that have long been banned was not necessarily due to continued illegal use, the scientists said, but could be the result of leaching of persistent chemicals that linger in soils. The study took place before the most widely used insecticides were banned by the EU for all outdoor uses.
Irish Water said on Monday that EU pesticide levels were being breached in public water supplies across Ireland. In Switzerland, another new study found that soils in 93% of organic farms were contaminated with insecticides, as were 80% of the areas farmers set aside for wildlife.
Research revealed in 2013 that insecticides were devastating dragonflies, snails and other water-based species in the Netherlands. The pollution was so severe in places that the ditchwater itself could have been used as a pesticide. A study in France in 2017 found that virtually all farms could slash their pesticide use while still producing as much food.
Johnston said: “Farmers don’t want to pollute rivers, and water companies don’t want to have to remove all that pollution, so we have to work to reduce reliance on pesticides and veterinary drugs through more sustainable agriculture. This is not a case of us versus farmers or water companies.”
Source: The Guardian
Some statistical elements from organic farming in Europe
The total area under organic farming in the EU continues to increase, and in 2019 covered almost 13.8 million hectares of agricultural land.
Organic area made up 8.5 % of total EU agricultural land in 2019.
In 2019, Sweden had the highest shares of organic cereals (7 %) and fresh vegetables (19 %) in its total production, while Greece had the highest share of organic bovine animals (27 %).
Here in FOS Squared we believe that there is no climate change as this is defined by politicians to serve interests of global funds instead there is serious enviromental pollution and contamination including underground waters, sea, soil, mountains, tree, animals literally everything caused by the interests of corporate companies supported by corrupted politicians across the globe
Combined stressors could impair soils’ ability to cycle nutrients and trap carbon
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Community ecologists investigated the interactive effects of rising temperatures and a common livestock antibiotic on soil microbes. The research team found that heat and antibiotics disrupt soil microbial communities -- degrading soil microbe efficiency, resilience to future stress, and ability to trap carbon. Soils are home to diverse microbial communities that cycle nutrients, support agriculture, and trap carbon -- an important service for climate mitigation. Globally, around 80% of Earth's terrestrial carbon stores are found in soils. Due to climate warming and other human activities that affect soil microorganisms, this important carbon sink is at risk.
A new study led by Jane Lucas, a community ecologist at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, investigated the interactive effects of rising temperatures and a common livestock antibiotic on soil microbes. The research team found that heat and antibiotics disrupt soil microbial communities -- degrading soil microbe efficiency, resilience to future stress, and ability to trap carbon. The work, now available online, will appear in the December issue of Soil Biology and Biochemistry.
Lucas, says, "Most studies of soil health examine only one stressor at a time. Here, we wanted to explore the effects of warming temperatures and antibiotics simultaneously, to get a sense of how two increasing stressors impact soils."
Monensin was selected because it is a common antibiotic whose use is expanding on cattle farms. Monensin is inexpensive, easy to administer, does not require a veterinary feed directive, and is not used in human medications. Like many antibiotics, Monensin is poorly metabolised; much of the antibiotic is still biologically active when it enters the environment through animal waste.
The team collected samples of prairie soil from preserved land in northern Idaho that was free of grazing livestock. Vegetation cover at the collection site, primarily tallgrass prairie, represents typical livestock pasture -- without inputs from cattle waste.
Soil samples were treated with either a high dose, low dose, or no dose of the antibiotic; these were heated at three different temperatures and left to incubate for 21 days. Temperatures tested (15, 20, and 30°C) represented seasonal variation plus a future warming projection. For each treatment, the team monitored soil respiration, acidity, microbial community composition and function, carbon and nitrogen cycling, and interactions among microbes.
They found that with rising heat and antibiotic additions, bacteria collapsed, allowing fungi to dominate and homogenize -- resulting in fewer total microbes and less microbial diversity overall. Antibiotics alone increased bioavailable carbon and reduced microbial efficiency. Rising temperatures alone increased soil respiration and dissolved organic carbon. Increases in these labile carbon pools can lead to a reduction in long-term carbon storage capacity.
Lucas says, "We saw real changes in soil microbe communities in both the low and high-dose additions. Rising temperature exacerbated these antibiotic effects, with distinct microbial communities emerging at each temperature tested. Within these assemblages, we saw reduced diversity and fewer microorganisms overall. These changes could diminish soils' resilience to future stress.
We also found that heat and antibiotics increased microbial respiration, decreasing efficiency. Essentially, microbes have to work harder to survive when they are in a hot, antibiotic laden environment. This is similar to how it is easier to walk a mile when it is 70 degrees than it is to run a mile when it is 95 degrees. Decreased microbial efficiency can cause soils to store less carbon in the long term."
As soil microbes are working harder (and inefficiently) to process carbon, less is converted into a stable organic form, which would become trapped in the soil. Instead, more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere as a gas. This effect could turn an important carbon sink into a carbon source, exacerbating climate change effects.
Senior author Michael Strickland, an Associate Professor at the University of Idaho's Soil and Water Systems Department, says, "Forces of environmental change do not play out in isolation. Our results show that heat alone, antibiotics alone, and heat and antibiotics together all have different effects on soil microbial communities. These findings highlight the importance of testing multiple stressors simultaneously to more fully understand how our soils, and the essential functions they perform, are changing."
Lucas concludes, "This work aligns with the 'One Health' approach. Agriculture, the environment, and public health are inextricably linked. Understanding how multiple stressors shape soil microbes is critical to supporting soil health in the face of global change. If we do not manage for interactive effects, things like soil carbon storage capacity and crop production could be jeopardized. In addition to broader climate mitigation efforts, limiting antibiotic inputs to the environment could help protect soils."
Article Source: Science Daily
Photo Source: Andrea Lightfoot-Unsplash (Code: GX6be6LLIR4)
Yumbrella has completed commercial testing with Domex Superfresh Growers and various national retailers
Startchy has launched an organic coating for apples that it claims to be the first washable coating to be developed for the US produce industry.
Yumbrella is USDA, Canada and EU certified organic and made with common food ingredients.
After several years of research and development, Yumbrella has completed commercial testing over recent months with Domex Superfresh Growers and various national retailers in advance of their market roll out.
It is also being tested on a range of other products, including avocados and citrus.
Andy Tudor of AT Ag Consulting and consultant/director of business development for Yumbrella said: “The produce industry has no shortage of fruit and vegetable coatings, but it has long been lacking an affordable and customisable organic solution.
“Most importantly this product meets the needs of everyone in the supply chain, including the grower, while still offering consumers a product that can easily be washed off with water, unlike wax or other coating chemicals that interfere with taste.”
Yumbrella is described by its developers as “an invention born out of necessity” which solves a high-tech problem with a low-tech solution. It was created as an affordable, easy-to-apply option for producers in the developing world.
It is made from common food ingredients, is inexpensive to license and requires no expensive equipment or application protocols.
Seth Shumate, CEO of Yumbrella commented: “This product has always offered unique market potential because it set out to put the grower first, with benefits outweighing its cost and the fact that it is a drop-in replacement for existing coating infrastructure.
“Coated fruit lasts longer at the packhouse, at retail, and at home which makes for a better eating experience.”
Yumbrella also offers adaptable recipes including a natural finish for organic application, and a high-gloss recipe for conventional apples which are traditionally coated with wax.
Robert Kershaw, CEO of Domex Superfresh Growers, said: “We’ve used and tested a variety of coatings over the years, but none that have started by saying how it helps growers reduce cost and warehouse loss.
“The Yumbrella team’s commitment to the entire supply chain – in addition to its global mission – actually makes this a more sustainable product for everyone involved and we are already seeing the bigger opportunity.”
Many people have been taking up gardening since the start of the pandemic, with some opting for community gardens in their neighbourhood as a great way to learn new skills and meet new people.
Many gardens in London practice organic gardening techniques by avoiding polluting chemical substances, creating healthy soil, and encouraging people to have a more holistic approach to green spaces.
Community gardening has an important role in giving people an opportunity to engage with nature, while also being a space to socialise and share a common purpose with others in the area.
Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses (BPCG), a community garden in the centre of Lambeth which practices organic gardening methods, has regular gardening sessions, and also offers a range of non-horticultural activities, such as lino printing, woodworking, yoga, tai chi and fermentation to draw wider parts of the community in.
It aims to provide a creative environment that people want to spend time in.
Chris Smith, Chair of BPCG said the garden’s mission is: “To be a haven for urban people and wildlife, and to provide a place where everybody can learn, play and grow together.”
An increasing number of people in urban spaces have been taking up community gardening since the start of the pandemic, and throughout the numerous lockdowns across the country, with many saying they have rediscovered nature.
An important and common component of a lot of community gardens is that they try to use organic gardening techniques, and encourage the local community to have a more holistic approach to green spaces.
Community gardening has an important role in giving people an opportunity to engage with nature, while also being a space to socialise and share a common purpose with others in the area.
Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses (BPCG), a community garden in the centre of Lambeth which practices organic gardening methods, has regular gardening sessions, and also offers a range of non-horticultural activities, such as lino printing, woodworking, yoga, tai chi and fermentation to draw wider parts of the community in. It aims to provide a creative environment that people want to spend time in.
Chris Smith, Chair of BPCG said: “An important part of our mission is to reach people who are deprived of green spaces, but also those who are economically and educationally deprived.
“We are also trying to reach more men as 75% of our volunteers are women.”
Joe White, who is a new volunteer at BPCG, said that he enjoys spending time with people of all age groups who he might not encounter in his day-to-day life.
White said: “I learn so much from being surrounded by people in the community, not many other places provide such an opportunity.”
Source: SW Londoner
''The consumption of several artificial preservatives, such as nitrates, benzoates, sulfites, sorbates, parabens, and formaldehyde, can lead to serious health hazards such as hypersensitivity, allergy, asthma, hyperactivity, neurological damage, and cancer. So, the health problems related to chemical food preservatives will drive the demand for organic food preservatives in the coming years.'' 
''Sulfites are common preservatives used in various fruits, may have side effects in form of headaches, palpitations, allergies, andeven cancer.
Nitrates and Nitrites: These additives are used as curing agents in meat products.it gets converted into nitrous acid when consumed and is suspected of causing stomach cancer
Benzoates are used in foods as antimicrobial preservatives, and have been suspected to cause allergies, asthma and skin rashes.
Sorbates/sorbic acid are added to foods as antimicrobial preservatives. Reactions to sorbates are rare, but have included reports of urticaria and contact dermatitis. ''
Chemical preservatives are killing slowly causing all sorts of diseases
1. PR News wire
2. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 5, Issue 4, April 2015
A good thesis to read in your spare time:
3. Effects of Preservatives and Emulsifiers on the Gut Microbiome By: Angel Kaufman Spring 2021 A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a baccalaureate degree in Biology in cursu honorum Reviewed and approved by Dr. Jill Callahan Professor, Biology
The human gut microbiome is more important to health than most people realize. It is filled with trillions of microbes ranging from fungi to bacteria, and viruses. This paper focuses on preservatives and emulsifiers and the effects they have on the gut microbiome. These two food additives affect different types of bacteria differently. Emulsifiers and preservatives increased bacteria that tend to have negative effects on the body while decreasing beneficial bacteria. This can have many different effects on the body from Crohn’s disease to dysbiosis and even increase antimicrobial resistance in bacteria. This review looks to explain why preservatives and emulsifiers have such negative effects, why it is such a relevant and important topic, and alternatives to preservatives or emuslisers or ways to mitigate the effect of these two food additives.
PAN UK exposes massively the UK supermarkets by doing their own research on pesticides residue left in our food. Please, refer to source at the bottom of the article to read the whole article as we present only parts of the article.
UK supermarkets are not doing enough to protect human health, wildlife or the environment from pesticides. Highly toxic pesticides continue to be used within the supply chains of all of the UK’s largest ten supermarkets. The chemicals in question include carcinogens and hormone disruptors, as well as bee-toxins and water contaminants shown to harm aquatic species. Since the launch of our previous ranking in 2019, PAN UK has spent the past two years advising and assisting the supermarket sector on how to reduce pesticide-related harms. In 2021, we have once again surveyed and ranked the UK’s top ten supermarkets on their efforts to tackle pesticides. We found that they could all be doing more to reduce pesticide-related harms linked to their global supply chains.
But we also discovered that some supermarkets are doing much better than others, and that some have made great progress in the past two years.
The ranking in more detail:PAN UK’s ranking is based on an assessment of how each supermarket is doing on eight key topics related to pesticides. Take a look at our Pesticide Scorecard below to see how your supermarket ranked on these specific areas. Note that we didn’t reward supermarkets for following the law – points were only given for measures that go beyond legal compliance.
The Pesticide Scorecard also reveals that the UK supermarkets sector is making much more progress on some topics than others. For example, the majority of supermarkets have become much more transparent with the public about their approach to pesticides over the past two years. In addition, two of the eight supermarkets that stock gardening ranges have now stopped selling high-risk pesticide products (such as weedkillers).
However, in other areas the sector has much work to do. For example, bee-toxic neonicotinoids continue to be used within the global supply chains of all of the top ten UK supermarkets, as do pesticides which pose a risk to the health of farmers and agricultural workers. As a result, the sector scored more poorly in these areas, with no supermarket’s efforts being ranked as ‘Outstanding’.
Why are we running this campaign?Pesticides can drive irreversible harms to both human health and the environment. The evidence linking pesticides to diseases such as cancer and Parkinson’s increases year-on-year. Meanwhile, recent studies have named pesticides as one of the key drivers of biodiversity losses which have placed one million species at risk of extinction.
The evidence clearly shows that we urgently need to reduce our pesticide use and UK supermarkets have a key role to play. With their sprawling supply chains and powerful influence over how food is produced, they are uniquely positioned to drive a wholesale shift away from pesticides and towards non-chemical alternatives, not just in the UK but globally.
PAN UK is keen to continue working directly with UK supermarkets to help them implement the kind of changes we so urgently need to move towards a healthier and more sustainable future.
FOS Squared comments on the article: Once again Lidl, Aldi and Asda the so called cheap supermarkets appear to care for the profit and not the health of their customers. Lidl has been known for the toxic solvent xylene found in the sauce. More on Xylene in sauce in Lidl here
Cheap supermarkets Lidl, Aldi, Iceland, and Asda appear to care for profit rather than food safety and pesticides residues