Posts Tagged ‘fish’

Change the World Wednesday – 3rd April

Running a bit late this morning. Big tropical rainstorm last night lots of rain, lots of lightning and lots of wind. The net went down. for a couple of hours. But that is normal for the Third World, you get used to it.

Stylized waterdrop footprintLast week’s CTWW was about your water footprint.

Boy did I get a surprise.

1848

Initially, I thought it was ho-hum, at least I did until I saw reports of 100+ and 400+.

Then I went, oh dear!

I wasn’t doing so well. My big culprit was food, or more specifically meat.

In Small’s last week’s CTWW gave these figures:

  • Beef 1 kg = 15,500 lt of water
  • Pork = 4,800 lt
  • Chicken = 3,900 lt

Now while that isn’t an end all definitive list, it did show me that the amount of beef that I consume (Oh, I do love a BBQ) was where I unwittingly used most of my ‘hidden’ water.

no-beef4After much gnashing of teeth I thought about what I could do.

The result is that I have imposed on myself two beefless weeks each month. Monday – Sunday, the first full and third weeks  of each month.

I am now in the middle of my first week.

Last night at the supermarket, I bought no beef, only chicken for three days, pork for one day and fish for two days (I already have fish in the fridge for one day). I have bacon to make a bacon & egg pie and ham for snacks.

By doing this I have roughly halved my beef intake.

agreencatEven Lixo P. Cat has joined the the effort.

Not by choice, I might add.

He is having chicken as his meat supplement instead of mincemeat (ground beef for our American cousins), and fish ‘flavoured’ dry cat food that probably doesn’t have any actual fish in it as much as his meat ‘flavoured’ doesn’t not have any actual meat in it.

My Lixo is a ‘green’ cat.

When I unpack from the supermarket, Lixo is a great helper. He carefully inspects each item as it goes into either the cupboard or fridge.

Last night as the last item was hidden from his feline eyes. He looked up at me quizzically and ‘meowed’, and I could just read his mind… “Where’s the beef?”

Onward!

Click for the full post

This week’s CTWW.

This week, apply the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) to CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, etc.

Once again, it’s rather a large challenge to hop across to Reduce Footprints to read the rest, just click on the banner and you’ll be transported from Kansas…

cd2I am already green here. I haven’t bought a CD for music in years, I download from the net. The same with films, although I do have one or two currently. I have in the past given DVDs to neighbours when I am done with them, so they have been recycled.

I wouldn’t use a CD as a coaster, because coasters need to be absorbent or you drip condensation all down your front.

But I can imagine that they could be used decoratively as dangly things in the wind, like chimeless wind chimes.

As for disposal, Brazil is just not up with this type of specialised recycling and if they were added to the ‘plastics’ would no doubt be discarded at the recycling plant. Anyway, in our area we don’t have selective recycling for anything.

You do see this in 'posh' areas, but Zona Oeste (West Zone) is not 'posh' enough

You do see this in ‘posh’ areas, but Zona Oeste (West Zone) is not ‘posh’ enough

Our recycling is more like this…

Catadores roaming the streets looking for stuff to sell on

Catadores roaming the streets looking for stuff to sell on

That’s about it for this week, on with my beefless week… Chicken for lunch!

Deception, once again

This is not so much an eco question, but it is another example of how profits are put before people, how shops, businesses and companies deceive their customers.

Mislabelled fish slip into Europe’s menus

Fish often take a circuitous route before reaching our plate

We are all eating much more fish than we used to – but are we eating the fish we think we are?

Official figures show that global consumption of fish and seafood per person is rising steeply – but research also reveals that much of what gets sold turns out to be not as described on the packet.

Earlier this year Europe’s horsemeat scandal revealed how processed meat can get mislabelled in a complicated supply chain. That appears to be an issue with fish, too.

On a large scale, cheap fish is being substituted for expensive fish without the consumer knowing. Moreover, new varieties, never before consumed, are being detected in fish dishes.

Take a British national dish, for example: fish and chips. It is often thought to be the epitome of Britishness – “as British as fish and chips”, the saying goes.

But scientific testing reveals that the traditional cod or haddock and chips is often something else entirely. Research reveals that 7% of cod and haddock – the deep-fried staples of British fish and chips – actually turn out to be cheaper fish substituted to cut costs.

In the Republic of Ireland, a similar study of samples bought in Dublin restaurants, shops and supermarkets revealed that a quarter of products labelled as cod or haddock were in fact completely different species.

In the United States, a study showed that 25% of the fish served in restaurants in New York were not what they were said to be on the menu.

And in Europe, about a quarter to a third of fish products tested turned out to be not what was described on the packet or menu.

New species

Fish and chips: much-loved, but do you know where the fish came from?

The global industry transports large amounts of frozen fish around the world in containers, with China producing much of it. This means, for example, that one of the biggest points of entry for fish into the European Union is not a port at all – no wharves or boats or even water. It is Frankfurt airport.

Samples here and elsewhere across Europe are tested at the big Eurofins laboratory in Hamburg. Its Director of Scientific Development, Dr Bert Popping, said that tests were turning up types of fish which had never been in the food chain before.

“The authorities at the airport in Frankfurt have found some new species – species which have not been caught previously; fish species which have not previously entered the food chain; which have not previously been commercialised,” he said.

So researchers believe that there is large-scale deception going on when it comes to fish – cheap is being substituted for expensive, so deceiving the consumer and bumping up the profits of the deceiver.

000BBC_logo

Read more

Opinion:

One of the fish mentioned is the Vietnamese Pangasius

Big fish, lots of flesh

Big fish, lots of flesh

Nice pinky flesh, looks good enough to eat

Nice pinky flesh, looks good enough to eat

It's raised in the Mekong River Delta

It’s raised in the Mekong River Delta

The Mekong River is arguably Asia’s biggest cesspool!

The Mekong River comes from China, passes Burma, Laos, Cambodia with the delta in Vietnam collecting sewerage and industrial waste along its entire length.

Has your fish ‘n chips, or your fancy New York restaurant food been raised on Asian faeces?

This fish called, among other things, Panga has taken the world by storm. It’s cheap, it looks good, but is it healthy?

One report labels it ‘the latest abberation of globalisation’, another ‘Government pressured into removing Vietnamese panga from school canteens, and another Don’t Eat this fish: Pangas (Pangasius, Vietnamese River Cobbler, White Catfish, Gray Sole), yet anotherI don’t know how someone came up with this one out but they’ve discovered that if they inject female Pangas with hormones made from the dehydrated urine of pregnant women, the female Pangas grow much quicker and produce eggs faster (one Panga can lay approximately 500,000 eggs at one time).’

The bottom line is making profits!

Update

Through a comment by ECOCRED, I found she had a very pertinent post on the same subject; Seafood: Fraud, Mis-labelling and Laundering

Change the World Wednesday – 27th

Looks a bit grotty

Looks a bit grotty

My treasures, both of them.

In the foreground is Lixo P. Cat examining my recently acquired ‘table top’.

Looks a bit grotty at the moment (the drum top, not the cat) but I have great hopes that it will clean up well; then I have to find ‘legs’ strong enough to support it because it’s heavy.

Now all I have to do is overcome the inertia of procrastination. It has to dry first, that’s not a justification… It has been out in the rain. The white stuff is mould that has appeared as it dries. Updates as the work progresses.

Click for full post

On with this week’s CTWW.

I can’t complain about the difficulty of this one, because it comes about from an article that I pointed Small at some time ago.

“the water we use “behind the scenes” … the water it takes to grow our food, produce our stuff, etc. We’ve done challenges to reduce our direct water use … let’s dig a bit deeper, shall we?” – blurb by Small.

This week, consider your water footprint, particularly your indirect water use.

There’s actually quite a bit more, so click on the CTWW banner above to read the rest.

This is an interesting challenge because it looks at the water we use that we don’t see.

Okay, I have done the Extended Calculator suggested by Small, here’s the result:

waterfootprint

My annual water footprint is 1848 cubic metres per year.

beef-pork-and-poultry-daniel-eskridge

Beef, pork and poultry by Daniel Eskridge

Remember, I am living alone with Lixo P. Cat.

Clearly my biggest enemy is meat; two thirds of my water footprint.

I can change my habits here and eat more pork and chicken which have a smaller water footprint than beef and I can eat more fish.

.

Bloggers turn coffee into great blog posts

Bloggers turn coffee into great blog posts

I am loathe to swap coffee for tea. While I like tea, I need coffee to write quality blog posts, tea just doesn’t cut the mustard there.

.

How does this compare with your calculations? I would be interested to see, leave a comment with a link for me to visit.

Update:

Since I wrote this post I posted on Life is but a Labyrinth and it includes some watery details, that may entertain/surprise/shock you.

Make you Fink on Friday

All of Earth Now a Mercury Hotspot

Nearly a year ago, I interviewed David Evers, the executive director of Maine’s Biodiversity Research Institute, on the revelation that insect-eating inland songbirds can accumulate mercury at dangerous levels every bit as much as fish-eating river and coastal birds. He called the findings a “game-changing paradigm shift” for understanding mercury’s pernicious presence.

The paradigm has shifted anew in a far more dramatic way. The institute and IPEN, the global anti-toxics network, released a first-of-its-kind report Wednesday that found mercury levels in fish and human hair samples from around the world exceed guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The report is titled “Global Mercury Hotspots.” In reality, the whole world is a hotspot.

“It was in more fish and people than I would have projected,” Evers said Monday in an interview. “The more you look into mercury, the more you find.”Global mercury hotspots. (Dastoor, AP; Larocque, Y: “Global circulation of atmospheric mercury: a modelling study”)

The report was released just as final United Nations negotiations are set to begin next week in Geneva on an international treaty to curb the production and spread of mercury. Here in the United States, the Obama administration issued in 2011 the nation’s first guidelines governing emissions of mercury and other toxins from fossil fuel-fired power plants, saying they will save up to 11,000 lives a year with cleaner air.

But mercury emissions continue to be spewed into the air from coal-fired power and plastic production in Asia, chemical plants in Europe, waste incinerators in developing countries, and artisanal small-scale gold mining in Africa, Asia, and South America. In a report this week in the online journal Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health researcher Elsie Sunderland said seawater mercury concentrations could increase 50 percent by 2050 in the major fishing waters of the North Pacific Ocean.

The level of current mercury concentration is already so high that Evers’ team found that 43 percent of Alaskan halibut samples exceeded safety standards, even if there’s only one serving a month. The percentages were 80 percent and above for swordfish from Uruguay, Pacific bluefin tuna from Japan, and albacore tuna from the Mediterranean Sea.

The vast majority of hair samples taken from people in Tanzania, Russia, Mexico, Cameroon, Cook Islands, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand contained mercury concentrations above EPA recommendations. Another hair sample study focusing on Europeans was published this week in Environmental Health. That study suggests that a third of the 5.4 million babies born each year in the European Union come into the world with unhealthy exposures to mercury, which can cause learning disabilities that result in billions of dollars in lost economic benefit.

All these factors suggest a global treaty would be an essential tool to begin lowering the risk of mercury. “We can do all we want in the US, but we’re still downwind from Asia and we still eat tuna from all over the world,” Evers said.

First, the birds tried to warn us how mercury is embedded in the ecosystem, from marsh to forest. Then the fish tried to warn us, from river to sea. Now, our very own hair is telling us how this very old toxin presents very new problems. That thought should create enough urgency to bring about an international solution.

© 2012 The Boston Globe
.
.
Opinion:
.

More evidence that man is his own worst enemy. We are too busy making money and ignoring all the warning signs.

Now it’s too late, we are slowly poisoning ourselves with mercury.

Johmmy Depp as the Mad Hatter

Johmmy Depp as the Mad Hatter

While Johnny Depp’s character and the many cartoon Mad Hatters have been portrayed humourously, mercury poisoning is no laughing matter.

Have you ever wondered at the character’s name, The Mad Hatter?

“The phrase mad as a hatter is likely a reference to mercury poisoning, as mercury-based compounds were once used in the manufacture of felt hats in the 18th and 19th century. (The Mad Hatter character of Alice in Wonderland was, it is presumed, inspired by an eccentric furniture dealer named Theophilus Carter. Carter was not a victim of mad hatter disease although Lewis Carroll would have been familiar with the phenomenon of dementia that occurred among hatters.)” – Wikipedia

More from Wikipedia:

“Toxic effects include damage to the brain, kidney, and lungs. Mercury poisoning can result in several diseases, including acrodynia (pink disease), Hunter-Russell syndrome, and Minamata disease. Symptoms typically include sensory impairment (vision, hearing, speech), disturbed sensation and a lack of coordination.”

 

%d bloggers like this: