The Spoiled Meaning of Expiration Dates

An expiration date. That simple combination of letters and numbers on the side of a jug of milk, box of cereal, egg carton, and pretty much any other food items that come in a package. Consumers rely on the expiration date to inform them of when the product is considered “spoiled” or “ineffective.” Why did we just put little dog ears around spoiled and ineffective? Well, the expiration date doesn’t exactly serve the purpose that consumers believe it does.

In the linear cycle of producing, packaging, buying, selling, and trashing, Americans are prematurely throwing away perfectly good food to eat. Are you thinking that you can’t be one of those people throwing away good food since you throw away the food once it “expires?” Think again. More than 90% of Americans are guilty of tossing food out before the product could actually make you sick if consumed, and about 40% of the U.S. food supply is tossed – unused – every year because of food dating.The main thing you can blame this needless tossing of food is the confusion between the meaning of the “Use-By” and “Sell-By” dates on the packaging of foods.

The “Use-By” date is provided by the manufacturer for the consumer, and is usually found on packaged items on store shelves, such as granola bars and peanut butter.  This number tells you how long (in the manufacturer’s opinion) the product will remain at its best quality if left unopened; it is not there to tell you when the food becomes inedible.  In fact, you can usually consume the product after the use-by date as long as you’ve stored it properly and left it unopened.  The overall quality of the food might be different, but you won’t be eating poison. For example, eggs commonly can be consumed three to five weeks after purchase even though the original use-by date conveyed that those same eggs should’ve turned rotten a couple of weeks ago. Similarly, a macaroni and cheese box stamped with a March 2013 use-by date can actually be consumed until March 2014 without any noticeable changes in quality. However, be sure to smell and examine your food. Always discard foods that develop a questionable odor, flavor or appearance. There is also a database for optimal food storage times, for both unopened and opened items.

“Sell-By” dates are a different story.  Typically found on perishables like meat and milk, this number is for the stores to know how long the particular product should be displayed.  Although you should buy the product before its sell-by date, foods will still remain fresh after this date expires (as long as it’s been stored properly).  For instance, milk that has always been refrigerated remains drinkable for about a week after its sell-by date terminates.  Again, always inspect your food or consult the above database to be sure of the food’s freshness.

So now that you, as a consumer, gained more insight on the difference between “use-by” and “sell-by” dates, you might be wondering, what can I do now to avoid the necessary act of trashing still-edible food? One simple action you can take is to shop more and buy less. Sure, you can get an ENORMOUS amount of something for a great deal at Costco anyday, but what’s the likelihood that you will actually use all of it before you know its spoiled? Not only would you be wasting food, but you would also be throwing away money. Try going to the store on a more frequent basis and squeeze in time to buy perishable foods such as meat, dairy, bread, and produce that you’ll use within the next few days. Soon, you’ll notice that your food tastes fresher, and you’ll be wasting less packaging and food. Best of all, you won’t need to go on those ridiculous scavenger hunts to look for the source of that putrid stench of rotten food.

 

By, Abbey P and Kelsey Y

Keystone controversy

The Keystone pipeline is a hot topic. Sparking a lot of controversy, millions of people talk about this topic on a daily basis due to how important the pipeline is. Multiple news stations talk about the pipeline, forming people’s opinions.

Most Americans care about the pipeline. There multiple points are shown in this subject; such as creating new jobs for at least 4 years building the pipeline. Also the pipeline would sustain many jobs for multiple maintenance people who look for repairs that need to be made. This by itself would help many people with jobs.

Countries rely too much on other countries oil. From building this pipeline America will become more self reliant on oil. This will solve many problems. The crisis in Ukraine is a perfect example of this tradgety. The UK refuses to help Ukraine because the UK gets most of their oil from Russia.  The reliance of oil on other countries is too large. This causes many problems because it now interferes with military actions. If an ally invades another country you will not defend for that country because you need the oil.

Many Americans care about the Keystone Pipeline. The pipeline will supply many jobs for many Americans. Building the pipeline will improve our economy. Also transporting the oil in a pipeline from the Canada tar sands to Cushing, Oklahoma is the safest way to transport oil. Trucks that carry oil have too high of a risk of exploding a creating loads of pollution. The pipeline is the way to go.

 

Natures Orchestra

urlThis year in class, Mr. Meyer, the semi bird specialist, took our class outside to see the bird migration.

As quoted from Xavier Holiday’s blog post:

“Summer is almost here, and that means that some birds are migrating, and some are trying to find a place to crash until it gets cold.”

Birds have been harmed in many ways, and the main reason is deforestation.

Deforestation is the act of cutting down trees to remove land. The reason why birds are being affected by deforestation is because they make their nests in trees.

I really enjoyed going outside and being able to see the woodpeckers and mocking birds. My personal favorite was the Tufted Tit Mouse because of its unique name and look. I don’t want my favorite bird to go extinct because of deforestation.

Next time you have time to go outside just go and look in the trees. You might hear different noises each time you listen. I personally think that birds are a part of nature’s orchestra because of the many sounds and noises they make. Just make sure you have your binoculars with you; birds can be hard to spot. I’ve told you the type of birds I like; now it’s your turn to tell me yours. Leave a comment describing your favorite bird and why I would love to hear about it.

Picture Citation: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/tufted_titmouse/id

Seattle also wants to join in on the fight to go green

Another team that is also trying to go green is the 49ers. San Francisco is trying to on of the first LEED certified team along with Philadelphia. San Francisco is trying to install 3 solar bridges, which will connect the main parking lot to the stadium and also a 27,000 square foot green roof, which will be used to help insulate the building.

LEED is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED certification is based on rating system used by the U.S. Green Building Council to recognize eco-friendly designs. Factors that are considered are the interior design, water conservation, renewable energy, and land use.

The 49er’s stadium has a green roof to reduce water runoff. The stadium has also installed a solar canopy on the roof, which will generate enough energy to offset all of their energy needs at home football games.

 

Many people believe that with the growing trend of going green that more people need to be aware of this global trend According to Microgrid Solar

“With sports teams having such a powerful brand and influence on society, and with so many people paying attention, this seems like a valuable use of resources and an important trend for energy conservation and its promotion.”

So far, 38 out of 126 Stadiums in the United States have transferred to using green energy. Not only is this environmental design good for the environment, but it is also good for the team. The team will save roughly 1.5 million dollars a year through multiple green practices.

I would like for the other 88 stadiums to try to go green also. I feel that sports stadiums have a wide variety of viewers. Since there are a wide variety of viewers, the stadium itself is like its own advertisement. If a person sees that a stadium is saving all this money, they would like to do it also. You might not have the money to create these types of buildings but you can do small things to help your household like using no flush toilets or maybe even recycling more things than you actually throw away.

49ers race to be one of the first

Another team that is also trying to go green is the 49ers. San Francisco is trying to on of the first LEED certified team along with Philadelphia. San Francisco is trying to install 3 solar bridges, which will connect the main parking lot to the stadium and also a 27,000 square foot green roof, which will be used to help insulate the building.

LEED is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED certification is based on rating system used by the U.S. Green Building Council to recognize eco-friendly designs. Factors that are considered are the interior design, water conservation, renewable energy, and land use.

The 49er’s stadium has a green roof to reduce water runoff. The stadium has also installed a solar canopy on the roof, which will generate enough energy to offset all of their energy needs at home football games.

Many people believe that with the growing trend of going green that more people need to be aware of this global trend According to Microgrid Solar

 “With sports teams having such a powerful brand and influence on society, and with so many people paying attention, this seems like a valuable use of resources and an important trend for energy conservation and its promotion.”

 

So far, 38 out of 126 Stadiums in the United States have transferred to using green energy. Not only is this environmental design good for the environment, but it is also good for the team. The team will save roughly 1.5 million dollars a year through multiple green practices.

I would like for the other 88 stadiums to try to go green also. I feel that sports stadiums have a wide variety of viewers. Since there are a wide variety of viewers, the stadium itself is like its own advertisement. If a person sees that a stadium is saving all this money, they would like to do it also. You might not have the money to create these types of buildings but you can do small things to help your household like using no flush toilets or maybe even recycling more things than you actually throw away.

Southface, would they be considered environmental teachers?

Southface is a company that forges market-based solutions for creating green jobs, clean energy solutions and sustainable communities. Southface realizes that buildings produce nearly half of the U.S.’s green house gas emissions. Southface realizes that there are ways of addressing global warming:

 “We believe that sustainability initiatives and advocacy focus on the built environment are key to addressing global climate change.”

Southface offers a wide variety of green building and sustainability programs all based on sound science. An example of one of this is the class called Fundamentals of Building Science. This program is designed to provide people with basic knowledge of basic building science principles. They show people a model of house. The model is used for assessing and improving building performance as well as the basics of heat, air, and moisture flow throughout the building.

Southface has also made their building a large-scale model for other companies to take ideas from. One idea includes the garden on their roof to help control heating. They also use magnifying lens lights powered by the sun so they don’t have to use actual lights that require energy. Everything at Southface is recycled—from the benches to the concrete. They use a special type of porous stone, which allows water to travel trough so that the workers at SouthFace can collect it and reuse it for their low-pressure toilets.

I would like the business building my dad works for to try to insert the ideas Southface tries to imply. I think that if my the building my dad works in reduces the energy the put out by inserting the magnifying lens lights instead of actual lights would cut the amount of energy they use in half. If buildings implemented the ideas Southface tells people to do we would reduce a lot of the Co2 gasses that buildings put out.

Lincoln Financial Field Tries and Tries to make their Stadium Greener Literally!!!

Philadelphia is one of the first football teams to try to “go green.” The eagles contracted with a company like South Face. This is company stationed in Orlando, Florida called SolarBlue. SolarBlue installed 80 20-foot tall wind turbines on the rim of the stadium. They also built 2,500 solar panels, which would generate 7.6 megawatts of energy that is enough energy to power a 3 family home for a year. They’ve also created a sophisticated monitoring and switching technology to operate the system.

Going green in  Philadelphia will be removing Co2 emissions equivalent to 41,000 cars a year.  I feel that if every large stadium team took place in this going green process. We would be able to reduce Co2 emissions equivalent to over 3.5 billion cars.    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter believes the same. Philadelphia has taken it upon themselves to be the Greenest City in America:

“The Philadelphia Eagles have been great corporate citizens for many years, most specifically working with disadvantaged youth throughout the City. But we also know the Eagles to be green; they don’t just wear green, they sincerely believe in the concept of responsible environmental stewardship. We appreciate their commitment to an issue that is at the core of the City’s Greenworks Philadelphia Plan, to become the Greenest City in America. Today’s announcement will help reduce the City’s carbon footprint, create hundreds of much needed green jobs and put our City on the world stage. This type of forward thinking will serve as an excellent example to every organization that wants to play a role in strengthening our local economy while helping the environment.”

I personally wish that every large stadium in the United states took place in this go green movement. I feel that they don’t need to change the look of their stadium but rather what is inside. Instead of having flushable toilets you can have non-flush toilets which don’t require any energy usage. If every building was like Financial field then we could reduce a vast majority of the Co2 we put out in the United States.

Monsanto are they really just a seed seller?

Recently in class we learned about how business are altering seeds to make the seeds more efficient and sturdier. Monsanto is a prime example of a business doing altering these seeds. Monsanto patented many seeds, which means replanting isn’t allowed, so farmers have to rebuy seeds every year. Monsanto is a chemical and biotechnology corporation that sells their seeds to countries around the world.

Monsanto gave their seeds to Haiti after the recent earthquake. Monsanto donated, corn, cabbage, carrot, eggplant, melon, onion, tomato, spinach and watermelon seeds to Haiti. The seeds are hybridized so they aren’t native to the area. Hybridized seeds are made when you take 2 types of seeds that have good characteristics like drought resistance or insect resistance. Although hybridization may seem like a good thing, the seeds can’t be used for the next season. The seeds can’t be used the next season because when you save the hybridized seeds you will get one of the parent seeds. The parent seeds aren’t ideal for growing and will die.

On the other hand, The Court of “Appeals for the Federal Circuit again affirmed that

“while the practice of savings seeds after a harvest to plant the next season is as old as farming itself, you can’t save patented seeds.”

This fact makes Haiti dependent on Monsanto, having to buy new seeds from them every year. It is illegal to save patented seeds. Selling hybridized seeds is one way to take over a country. If the country runs out of seed, and can’t pay for it then what will happen?

Monsanto may appear to help countries like Haiti, but in reality they are slowly building an empire, until all of the seeds in the world depend on Monsanto.  Companies like Monsanto are similar to corporations like Walmart. They are a big moneymaking business that kills all of the small family owned businesses in a community. Money isn’t all bad because it is what allows us to build solar panels or wind turbines. What makes being a big money making business is that you choose money over someone else misery or suffering. A prime example of this is Haiti. Haiti is one of the poorest country’s in the world for a business to charge them this excessive amount of money for seeds which they have to repay every year is just cruel. I feel that we need to go back to the traditional way of farming which would involve us to use real seeds.

Corn Changes Everything

People hurt themselves

by buying corn.

Hamburgers,

Chicken,

Cereal.

The crops grow too large,

enough to fill a barge.

big box companies

just want your money.

they need your money, to buy more corn

yet the corn just ends up back into your food.

*

GMO corn has taken over control

corn is in everything, by everything I mean

Cows,

Pigs,

Chickens.

Help other people by planting real corn

make a homemade garden;

garden food is healthy and even more tasty.

You’re helping other people

by eating healthy.

corn has taken over.

It’s your choice

eat corn for the rest of your life,

or go all natural and know exactly what you’re eating.

It’s your choice.

Do me a favor, and next time that you go shopping at a supermarket such as Publix, look at the label in every processed item you buy and LOOK AT HOW MUCH CORN is there. Trust me, you will be surprised.

corn starch

corn

corn syrup

cellulose

honey

The Scooter: A Super Polluter

Travel to any crowded city and you will be bombarded with noises: the sound of thousand of pedestrians streaming by, massive diesel trucks chugging down the road, even the subway, whooshing underneath. But there is one sound that always seems to stand out, at least to me: the scooter. They’re essentially weed whackers on wheels - weed-whackers that have the power to clog our cities with smog.

To the low-mid income individual, a scooter seems like the perfect option: It’s small, it’s cheap, and best of all it sips gas like a Frenchman and his wine. But, there’s one dark secret of the impeccable scooter: per mile, it releases more particulate in to the air than any other mode of wheeled transportation. In fact, on average, scooters release 90x more hydrocarbons (greenhouse gasses) than any given SUV! And what make it worse is that they’re deceivingly “environmentally friendly” while sporting their 100mpg tag.

In fact, almost all shapes and forms of two-stroke engines (two cylinders) are heavy polluters. Nearly all yard equipment that uses gas  is powered by a two stroke engine. Even worse, the gas is mixed with the oil, which creates an even dirtier exhaust. All of them lack even the simplest of catalytic converters, so their polluting goes unchecked.

Scooters have been around for ages, praised for their excellent gas mileage and fuel efficiency. However, if you are truly looking for the most environmentally friendly vehicle, even a full sized SUV would leave less of a footprint than a scooter.