I can’t believe I haven’t blogged in almost a month. Bad dietetic intern. But I thought I would share with you a few things that have kept me busy over the past few weeks.
I just finished my IT rotation with the Food Safety Information Center and you really ought to check out my nutrition news page I put on Pageflakes. All the RSS feeds I created were made in Yahoo! Pipes. Check it out and stay up to date at: http://www.pageflakes.com/glesako/22482971
On my Pageflakes there is also a real time video feed with the latest nutrition information.
Anyway, on to this week’s blog…
I decided that since I have the day off I’d go into DC and just sort of walk around and pretend I’m a tourist for the morning/afternoon. While on the metro waiting for the Farragut North stop, I was reading the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living (I have grandiose ambitions to have a well put together house, but have come to the realization that only type A personalities, socialites who hire decorators, or homemakers have the time for these projects). Continuing on, I passed by a Haagen-Dazs ad and noticed the eco-friendly ice cream movement of saving the honey bees.
This needed further investigation…
Honey bees don’t just make a great sugary alternative to the white stuff they’re also important to our food chain…they’re quite busy pollinating and making sure have apples, nuts, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash and cucumbers, citrus fruit, peaches, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and other melons. To sum it up it’s close to 90 fabulous flowering crops that may not exist if they’re extinct.
According to the USDA, “about one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination”.
It gets worse…
“Even cattle, which feed on alfalfa, depend on bees. So if the collapse worsens, we could end up being ‘stuck with grains and water,’ said Kevin Hackett, the national program leader for USDA's bee and pollination program.” (from MSNBC.com)
So that 4th of July burger may be on the way out too L
What’s going on?
“While not all scientists foresee a food crisis, noting that large-scale bee die-offs have happened before, this one seems particularly baffling and alarming.
U.S. beekeepers in the past few months have lost one-quarter of their colonies — or about five times the normal winter losses — because of what scientists have dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder. The problem started in November and seems to have spread to 27 states, with similar collapses reported in Brazil, Canada and parts of Europe.
Scientists are struggling to figure out what is killing the honeybees, and early results of a key study this week point to some kind of disease or parasite.
Even before this disorder struck, America's honeybees were in trouble. Their numbers were steadily shrinking, because their genes do not equip them to fight poisons and disease very well, and because their gregarious nature exposes them to ailments that afflict thousands of their close cousins.
‘Quite frankly, the question is whether the bees can weather this perfect storm," Hackett said. "Do they have the resilience to bounce back? We'll know probably by the end of the summer.’
Experts from Brazil and Europe have joined in the detective work at USDA's bee lab in suburban Washington. In recent weeks, Hackett briefed Vice President Cheney's office on the problem. Congress has held hearings on the matter.
‘This crisis threatens to wipe out production of crops dependent on bees for pollination,’ Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said in a statement.
A congressional study said honeybees add about $15 billion a year in value to our food supply.”
Check out the links at the bottom for more information. Currently, if you’d like a great caloric way to save the bees, savor (in moderation please!!) the new frozen treat from Haagen-Dazs, Vanilla Honey Bee Ice Cream.
Read the article:
Declining honeybees a ‘threat’ to food supply:
U.S. dependent on insects to pollinate about one-third of crops
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Research Project: Managing Diseases and Pests of Honey Bees to Improve Queen and Colony Health
Help the Honeybees