Tended by robots, milk cows mooove into life of luxury – Atlanta Journal Constitution

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Understand the benefits processing brings to dairy products – dairyfoods.com


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Ice the Beef expands to Waterbury as it nears 10-year anniversary – Yale Daily News

Courtesy of Ice the Beef

On Dec. 19, Ice the Beef — a New Haven-based nonprofit that aims to curb gun violence — plans to hold a prayer vigil in Waterbury, Connecticut. Ice the Beef is currently expanding its efforts outside of New Haven and into Waterbury.

Darrell Allick, a former drug dealer, founded Ice the Beef in 2011 after his brother was shot and killed earlier that year. The organization began with a focus on supporting the families of victims of gun violence, offering bereavement services such as organizing and covering funeral costs. However, when Chaz Carmon, the current president of Ice the Beef, joined the group in 2013, he pivoted the organization’s mission towards violence prevention and community engagement.

“When I joined, I said you guys are burying people,” Carmon told the News in an interview. “Why are we not stopping them from dying before they get killed?”

Nearly 10 years since its founding, Ice the Beef now organizes rallies around issues such as gun violence, voting rights, domestic violence and poverty. It has also pioneered a number of programs in New Haven aimed at engaging youth — including Education in Stage Arts, Youth in Government and a basketball league.

According to Carmon, gun violence cannot be targeted in isolation. Poverty, drugs, domestic violence and gang culture are all contributing factors.

The array of programs at Ice the Beef aim to offer opportunities for kids to develop their passions productively. Education in Stage Arts, for example, brings professional actors, singers and comedians together with kids interested in pursuing a career in entertainment.

For some, like 15-year old Manuel Camacho, these programs have provided an alternative to involvement in drugs and crime.

Camacho told the News he grew up in a “heavily gang affiliated” environment. He said often, he saw “shootouts and cars exploding right outside [his] front door.”

For a long while, this was the only life Camacho envisioned for himself.

“I was taught, and trained and lived every day growing up to be a gang member,” Camacho explained.

Camacho joined Ice the Beef at the age of 13 and is now the organization’s youth president. He recalled how he was “skeptical” when he first joined, but said the organization has now supported him in honing his interest in public speaking.

More importantly, he said, Ice the Beef helped him to “actually do something with [his] life.”

“If you would have told me, prior to joining Ice the Beef, that one day I would be youth president, or having interviews with reporters about the things I’ve done, or be able to help the community in the ways I’m doing, I would have looked at you like you were the craziest person in the world,” said Camacho in an interview with the News.

Camacho said he now hopes to help others like him resist the pressures “to succumb to their environment.”

Ice the Beef’s plans to expand to Waterbury was born out of a mission to support youths in other cities across Connecticut, according to Carmon. The team responsible for the expansion are all long-time residents of Waterbury.

Ana Faroli, Ice the Beef Waterbury’s director of family services, said she has experienced firsthand the positive effects of Ice the Beef in New Haven. Faroli said she wanted to bring those benefits back to the community she had grown up in and raised her children in.

“I always believe that you should give back to the community which gave to you,” she said. 

Faroli added that an organization like Ice the Beef was much needed in Waterbury, which she stated has seen an “uptick” in gun violence, gangs and opiate addiction in recent years.

Darrell Copeland, Ice the Beef Waterbury’s vice president of operations, attributed this upward trend in crime to a decline in community involvement and youth organizations. He said he believes that Ice the Beef can bring something “unique” to Waterbury — not only by raising awareness of issues surrounding gun violence and drug addiction, but also by implementing arts, mentoring and sports programs for youth.

“We want to offer the same opportunities to those that may not be fortunate enough to grow up in an environment where their dreams and accomplishments are celebrated and encouraged,” Copeland said.

Their first event, a candlelight vigil for victims of gun violence and opiate addiction, is aimed at establishing Ice the Beef’s presence within Waterbury.

“We just want to offer support to those who need support and let them know that we’re here,” said Justin Pesce, Ice the Beef Waterbury’s director of youth services, in an interview with the News.

In the coming months, the team plans to partner with local churches and the Waterbury Police Activity League in order to begin establishing relationships with community leaders and residents.

Ice the Beef Waterbury plans to hold its prayer vigil and memorial service in Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Waterbury on Dec. 19.

Vanika Mahesh | vanika.mahesh@yale.edu 

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Animal Crossing DEFINITELY Has Cannibalism Built In | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Animal Crossing doesn’t require players to ask too many questions about the world. The Game of the Year nominee is simple enough, with various species of anthropomorphic animals to meet and befriend, all whilst maintaining and caring for a town or island. That being said, there are some smaller details in the game that certainly feel out of place.

For example, players can encounter an alien broadcast on televisions every night at 3:33 AM and that some villagers may not even be animals. There’s also the fact that gyroids are based on “haniwas,” which are are ancient clay figures thought to mark gravesites. Oh, and the Animal Crossing series has a disturbingly frequent habit of referencing cannibalism.

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Players celebrate Turkey Day in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Granted, what other fans have called “Cannibal Crossing” is more of a fan theory than an actual secret, much like how some fans speculate over villagers becoming endangered. Recently, fans have been posting images of their avian villagers sitting down to enjoy a nice… Thanksgiving turkey. While not all birds are turkeys and the villagers won’t actually eat the food, there’s still something uncanny about being able to display and even gift cooked birds to bird villagers. The host of Animal Crossing‘s Turkey Day is Franklin, a turkey villager who used to be heavily implied to be the day’s main course.

Cannibalism seems to be more than just a holiday tradition, as there are various furniture items — like cow-skin rugs, or a smoker with what appears to be sausages inside — that raise eyebrows. Villagers have conversations about cooking, but they never talk about where they get their ingredients. Vegetables and fruits are fairly self-explanatory, given the apparent fertility of Animal Crossing lands. The only other obtainable sources of protein in the game have been shown to be fish and bugs.

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Even if the villagers have an exclusive diet of bugs and fish, that doesn’t explain the objects that seem to suggest meat or animal skins, but there is the possibility that villagers are utilizing vegan alternatives that simply look similar to meat. Meat analogue,  commonly seen in the form of Beyond or Impossible burgers, is a meat substitute made completely out of plants. Meat analogues utilize things like rice, mushrooms, plant fibers, beans, certain flours and tofu in order to imitate the look, taste and nutritional value of other proteins.

Animal Crossing Villagers could very well have just have made further advancements in plant-based meats out of necessity. Things like mushrooms and plants are widely available to them, though many of the other needed ingredients don’t seem to appear. To further cast doubt on the vegan theory, it’d be pretty difficult to recreate the shape of a whole turkey, let alone the clearly visible bones sticking out of its legs, as seen in some of the series’ games.

With pig, cow and chicken villagers all hosting barbeques in Pocket Camp, it seems as though the idea of Animal Crossing villagers relying on each other for food is one of the only likely options. Even if that isn’t the case, there’s still the disturbing implication of humanoid animals eating non-humanoid ones. The hierarchy of animal life in these games is suspect at best.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons - 5 Major Mysteries header

One of the major flaws of the Cannibal Crossing theory is that it relies heavily on the information given to players through the main games and discounts the possibilities of there being things like farms or non-humanoid animals in the world. However, with the seemingly infinite amount of islands players are able to visit in New Horizons, it seems like they’d be able to discover these kinds of animals if they existed.

Assuming a lack of non-humanoid animals, the most disturbing part of this Cannibal Crossing theory is that it’d actually be fairly realistic. Bears, chickens, apes and even rabbits have all been observed eating their own kind in the wild for survival. In a situation where no other significant source of protein is obtainable, certain animals have zero issue dining on each other.

RELATED: The Secret Demon’s Souls Door Has Been Opened

The idea of cannibalism in the world of Animal Crossing has been explored by fans before. The infamous “Cannibal Island” has been recreated in New Horizons, but first appeared in New Leaf. Cannibal Island was a user’s island where players could uncover a chilling story of how one villager seemed to be cannibalizing the island’s other residents.

Cannibal Island is by no means official, in-game content. It is completely fan-created and serves to provide dream-visiting villagers with a bit of a nightmare. However, Cannibal Island does serve to showcase just how the bright cheer of the Animal Crossing world could quickly be twisted into dark horror.

Keep Reading: Why System Shock Is SUCH a Big Deal

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An unusual snack for cows, a powerful fix for climate – The Washington Post

One of the most powerful weapons in the fight against climate change is washing up on shorelines around the world, unnoticed by most beachgoers.

It’s seaweed.

Specifically, Asparagopsis taxiformis and Asparagopsis armata — two species of a crimson submarine grass that drifts on waves and tides all around the world’s oceans.

It doesn’t seem like much, but it could practically neutralize one of the most stubborn sources of a powerful greenhouse gas: methane emissions from the digestive processes of some livestock, including the planet’s 1.5 billion cows, which emit methane in their burps.

Reducing methane from livestock, and cows in particular, has long been a goal of scientists and policymakers but is especially tricky: How do you change a fundamental fact of animal biology in an ethical way that doesn’t affect milk or meat?

Meanwhile, growing seaweed used for the feed supplement could also help sequester carbon dioxide, another greenhouse gas, and reduce ocean acidification, because the plant sucks up carbon in the water as food.

Rob Kinley, the scientist who identified asparagopsis as a methane inhibitor, said it might just be the most promising way to eliminate methane emissions from livestock in the next decade.

That’s significant because livestock overall account for about 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with nearly 40 percent of that linked to methane from the digestive process, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. The amount of methane from livestock production alone is about the equivalent of the emissions from about 650 million cars.

In a study published in 2016, Kinley and his co-authors found that asparagopsis virtually eliminated methane emissions in lab trials.

When a cow eats grass or other fibrous plants, microbes inside its rumen, or first stomach, use carbon and hydrogen from the fermentation of those plants to produce methane, which escapes from the cow mainly through burping, although about 5 percent is released through flatulence.

Asparagopsis and other types of seaweed have specialized gland cells that make and store bromoform, an organic compound. When the blurry red seaweed is freeze-dried, powdered and sprinkled as a garnish on a cow’s meal, bromoform blocks carbon and hydrogen atoms from forming methane in the stomach.

In response, the cow makes more propionate, a fatty acid that helps produce glucose in the metabolic process, allowing the animal to more efficiently grow or to produce more milk. That may enable farmers to use less feed and save money.

As it turns out, cows have been eating seaweed for probably as long as there have been cows, since they are, generally speaking, not picky eaters. Some evidence suggests that herders in ancient Greece fed their cows seaweed, as did many in 18th century Iceland.

The most recent effort began when Joe Dorgan, a farmer on Prince Edward Island in Canada, observed that his cows that grazed on seaweed that rolled up on beaches had better pregnancy success, produced more milk and suffered less from mastitis than cows that didn’t eat seaweed.

Before Dorgan could sell the seaweed to other farmers, the Canadian government required proof that it was safe, said Kinley, who was then at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and was hired by Dorgan. Kinley and his colleague Alan Fredeen, published their results in 2014 and now Dorgan is part owner of North Atlantic Organics, which makes seaweed supplements for livestock.

Dorgan’s seaweed reduced methane by about 18 percent, Kinley found in lab trials but suspected he could improve on that. “The light came on for me that there’s probably a seaweed in the world that’s better than that,” said Kinley, who continued the work when he moved to Australia.

With scientists from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and James Cook University, Kinley identified asparagopsis as that seaweed, and determined that even proportionally small amounts of the stuff could produce significant climate benefits.

CSIRO licensed the use of asparagopsis as a feed supplement and founded a company, FutureFeed, to manage its commercial use.

A number of companies have been working to make asparagopsis taxiformis and asparagopsis armata into commercial products that can be added to animal feed.

These companies are in various stages of production, with some using tanks on land to tinker with their seaweed strain before moving to grow in the ocean; others plan to always grow on land in tanks filled with ocean water and still more growing indoors. All are on the path toward commercialization, with one, Sea Forest, doing commercial trials with a wool producer and a dairy cooperative.

While their approaches differ, they share an urgency in getting asparagopsis to farmers, something they recognize is not easy. It’s a challenge to figure out how to grow and process asparagopsis at scale and in a way that will translate into higher earnings for farmers.

“We’ve found something that’s been under our noses the entire time that could have one of the greatest impacts on emission reduction in the next 10 years, which is cool for people to crack but not anyone can do it,” said Sam Elsom, Sea Forest’s chief operating officer. “It’s not a gold rush.”

Blue Ocean Barns, based in Hawaii, is backed by venture capital funds, which Joan Salwen, the company’s CEO, says sets it apart.

“The capital that underpins our company is provided by a consortium of food companies including Starbucks and a number of others that are really interested in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from their supply chains,” she said. “They think that’s imperative, and not an interesting little science thing or a climate thing. Their role as global leaders depends on their stepping up and using their power and influence to make a difference.”

Blue Ocean Barns is growing its asparagopsis in land-based tanks, using deep seawater to provide the right temperature and necessary nutrients. Although the seaweed is native to Hawaii, known as limu kohu, large-scale aquaculture could negatively impact the ocean ecosystem, Salwen said.

CH4 Global, which operates in New Zealand and Australia, takes a different approach. Its seaweed will be grown in the ocean, reducing energy needs, but also providing a benefit: The seaweed can help mitigate the problem of nutrient pollution from agricultural runoff because it eats nitrogen and can clean the water. It can perform the same function for fish farms — the asparagopsis eats excess nutrients resulting from aquaculture, allowing managers to increase density and raise more fish. As a result, CH4 Global is partnering with fish farms.

Steve Meller, one of the founders and CEO said CH4 Global is unique because three of its five founders are Maori and the company is working with Indigenous groups in Australia and New Zealand. It signed an agreement with the Narungga Nation in South Australia to build “the world’s first commercial scale asparagopsis aquaculture and processing facility,” Meller said.

“These are the folks who have lived on the land for 50,000 continuous years in the spot where we want to do some work, so it is natural for us to partner and drive that value and that has always been part of our plan,” he said.

All four CEOs interviewed said they needed buy-in from farmers, not only because they need customers, but because of the urgency of the climate crisis, and what they believe is the power of their solution. They say their supplement could allow farmers to sell their products at a premium, using climate and other environmental benefits as a marketing point.

“We want to put money in farmer’s pockets,” Meller said, adding that his company plans to pay farmers for their methane reduction by buying carbon credits from them. “Dairy farmers and beef farmers are under enormous financial pressures, with some of the highest suicide rates and an enormous number of bankruptcies,” he said. Last year, an estimated 10 percent of Wisconsin’s dairy farmers were expected to file for bankruptcy and the rest continue to struggle against the coronavirus crisis this year.

Another company, Symbrosia, is in the trial stages and hopes to offer carbon offsets to consumers who want to help reduce methane emissions through asparagopsis feed. Through its website, the company is selling carbon offset subscriptions, which will help pay for the implementation of a seaweed program on a cattle or sheep farm, said Alexia Akbay, one of the company’s founders and CEO.

The power of the asparagopsis seaweed as a climate solution appeals to Akbay, who also appreciated that it was tapping into technologies that already exist in nature.

There is an inherent tension in this solution, as with so many others: If the main climate impact of cattle production has been removed, people might eat even more beef and dairy because they feel less guilty. And that might be okay, as long as methane emissions can be brought down, Akbay said.

“Instead of banging my head against the wall and trying to get people to become vegetarian, which I’ve done,” she said, laughing, “we could try to trick the system.”

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Cow pasture pool | TheFencePost.com – Fence Post

The concept of private property baffles some people.

Gentleman and I were out checking the steers when a golf ball whizzed by right in front of Gentleman’s Roman-nose. As we swung around and galloped in the direction from whence the dimpled ball came we were showered with a blast of pebbles and stones. This phenomenon was caused by a golfer trying to get out of a sand trap which just so happened to be in the middle of my cow pasture! I found the steers spectating in the safest place they could possibly be, directly in front of the old duffer.

Gentleman and I just sat and watched for a few moments while one of our urban neighbors addressed the tee and tried to hit a ball in one. I don’t play the game myself but I could tell he wasn’t very good. But he had a big handicap… his playing partner and wife was there telling him every move to make. Ninety percent of the time when he took a mighty swing the ball just stayed on the tee.

“Pretty tough course huh?” I asked sarcastically.

The golfer nearly had a stroke. “Shhh! Can’t you see I’m hitting a bucket of balls.”

“Pardon me, but do you mind if my horse and I play through? This is private property you know? It is not a driving range, a country club or a place to practice your chipping. We were riding just over the hill and you almost hit my nag.”

He handed me a three wood and asked if I wanted to take a shot or two at his. Which prompted his wife to tee off on him and caused him to see birdies.

“I yelled “FOUR”. Didn’t you hear me?” he asked. “That is a warning you are supposed to get out of the way or you might get hit on the head with a golf ball.”

“Well, I’m going to start counting and if you are not out of here by the time I get to FIVE that will be a warning you are about to get roped and drug through three acres of cactus.”

“But I’m not hurting anything,” the golfer protested meekly.

“A calf could eat one of your golf balls,” I replied.

“I appreciate your concern but it’s all right, I’m using old golf balls and don’t care if I lose them.”

“No matter how you slice it,” I replied, “you could hit a steer on the head and kill it. And your wife looks like a real hooker to me. (I meant, of course, that her shots seem to arc to the left.) I know she couldn’t break 100 but she might break a window.”

“How dare you call my wife a hooker? I ought to sue you for defamation of character.”

“That would be par for the course. By the way, you sure look familiar. Aren’t you the one who dumped his trash on my place last year?”

“It wasn’t trash. It was food for your cows.”

“My cows don’t eat mattresses or old tires,” I replied. “Just look what you are doing to my pasture. I want you to clean up those 36 holes you made and head back to your own clubhouse.”

“What do you want me to do with this?” he asked while pointing to a piece of earth that came from a divit big enough to bury a cow in.

“Why don’t you just take it home and practice on it,” I replied. “How would you like it if I came over to your house and played golf on your front lawn?”

“Well, I’d knock your block off, of course.”

“I’d be pretty safe then wouldn’t I? Judging from what I’ve seen here today you’d miss by a mile.”

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Cattle on Feed Report: Higher Inventory, Lower Placements – Farm Bureau News

The latest Cattle on Feed Report shows a decline in placements and an increase in inventory. Micheal Clements shares how the data from the Department of Agriculture impacts livestock markets.

Clements: The November Cattle on Feed report shows the number of animals on feed as of November 1 is higher than it was this time last year. The report provides monthly estimates of the number of cattle being fed for slaughter. Scott Bennett, American Farm Bureau Federation Congressional Relations Director, says the number of cattle on feed has largely followed seasonal patterns, but since August has been running above recent years’ levels. 

Bennett: Most significantly, the report showed a total inventory of 11.97 million head on feed in the United States. With large monthly carryovers to offset a drop in placements, this is the highest November inventory since the series began in 1996.

Clements: Bennett says placements, described as new animals being placed on feed, were lower than expected.

Bennett: Placements were 11 percent under those from a year ago and more significant than the 8.9 percent decrease estimated by analysts. While the placements in October of 2019 were record high, we’ve been running ahead of year ago placements since April and May during the height of the pandemic.

Clements: Bennett says the near-term future will be dictated by how COVID-19 impacts the supply chain.

Bennett: This report would be considered neutral to bullish. Looking into the future, the big question mark is how much a resurgence of COVID-19 effects packing capacity. While we do not anticipate it to be as challenging as it was this spring, the risks of plant closures still lingers in the air.

Clements: Find a complete analysis on the Market Intel page at fb.org. Micheal Clements, Washington.

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Health-promoting ingredients add something extra | 2020-11-23 | Dairy Foods – dairyfoods.com


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