Category Archives: Food

Canadian Fracking Lacks Credible Groundwater Monitoring: Expert

Between Environmental Officers being let go and Scientists still working afraid to speak out how are we to know what is happening to our groundwater except for individuals like Jessica Ernst standing up for us to speak out on our behalf. She doesn’t need us, we need her. Click here for the source of the article and stand behind and support Jessica Ernst if you can. Thanks.

 

 

The Alberta Energy Regulator has also reported the contamination of a shallow aquifer by fracking fluids in Grand Prairie in 2012.

Industry, government and media “mantras” of fracking as problem-free industry stem from a near total absence of good science and proper groundwater monitoring across North America, Cherry said.

“I found no cases where rigorous groundwater monitoring has been done at any fracking pad. Exactly zero, not a single one. Anywhere, ever,” Cherry said during his recent Toronto talk.

‘International delinquents’

Cherry also said that dismissive comments by Rich Coleman, British Columbia’s minister of Natural Gas Development, about water concerns and fracking weakened the industry’s social licence.

Last year, Coleman called a Vancouver Province editorial on the water impacts of shale gas fracking by geologist David Hughes and journalist Ben Parfitt as “unfounded and inaccurate.”

Cherry called such comments by a politician irresponsible. “As an expert, I know that British Columbia has invested very little money in the type of research and monitoring that it would need to make statements about shale gas being safe.”

An effective groundwater monitoring system, as first set out by Vancouver engineer Frank Patton in 1998, places measuring devices into specifically-designed wells that sample and track the movement of water contaminants over time and at various depths from a variety of locations. Not even the oilsands has set up such a basic system, said Cherry.

Given that industry spends millions of dollars on the fracking of unconventional deposits and often billions in certain regions, it is imperative that government funds basic research to protect groundwater and the atmosphere, he said.

Asked why government was reluctant to monitor a public resource as valuable as groundwater, the hydrologist replied that it costs money to monitor past societal mistakes. “Groundwater pollution develops slowly over years and decades. If there is anything that government can shrug off to the future, it’s groundwater.”  [Tyee]

 

Cyanobacteria: Algae bloom scuttles Free Fishing Weekend Saturday’s event at Lost Creek Lake was canceled by the Oregon Health Authority; Anabaena flos-aquae algae can be toxic

This is the most comprehensive warning I have read regarding what to do during a bloom. I do not agree with their statement regarding some  “Not all blue-green algae strains produce toxins dangerous to people or pets, and not all blooms release toxins.” I don’t feel they know everything about cyanobacteria to make that statement when there are over 1100 different species and huge gaps within their knowledge base according to Cyanobacteria experts in 2004. Click here for the source or read an excerpt below.

 

A blue-green algae bloom at Lost Creek Lake may or may not be toxic to people and pets, but it proved fatal to a Free Fishing Weekend event planned there Saturday.

The Oregon Health Authority on Tuesday afternoon issued an advisory against water contact at the lake — the first advisory issued this year in Oregon — after the discovery of a large bloom of cyanobacteria at Jackson County’s largest water body, which prompted Oregon State Parks officials to cancel the annual fishing event.

Water tests showed more than 3.2 million cells per milliliter of Anabaena flos-aquae, a cyanobacteria that has bloomed regularly in late spring at the Rogue River reservoir 30 miles north of Medford, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the lake.

Anabaena flos-aquae can produce potentially dangerous toxins, particularly when the bloom dies off. But not all blooms are toxic. The threshold for a public-health advisory in Oregon is 100,000 cells per milliliter.

State parks officials canceled the event Wednesday, but the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife still plans to release 5,250 rainbow trout there this week.

During advisories, people and pets are warned to avoid all water contact, but compliance is voluntary. Anglers are encouraged to practice catch-and-release fishing during advisories.

People who eat fish from algae-tainted waters should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking, because toxins can collect there. People should not eat crayfish or freshwater shellfish taken from infested lakes during an advisory.

Boating and fishing are considered safe so long as boat speeds do not create excessive water spray, according to health officials.

Toxins cannot be filtered by standard camp filters or by boiling the water. In-home filtering systems cannot cleanse the water, though public treatment plants can reduce algae toxins through filtration and disinfection.

Exposure to toxins can produce symptoms of numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems, and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen.

Children and pets are at increased risk for exposure because of their size and level of activity.

The public will be advised when the concern no longer exists.

Not all blue-green algae strains produce toxins dangerous to people or pets, and not all blooms release toxins.

No confirmed human illnesses have been tied directly to an algae outbreak in Oregon. However, at least four dogs have died in recent years from toxins in water near the Umpqua River near Elkton.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com.

Health Canada: Enteric Protozoa: Giardia and Cryptosporidium

I find drinking water treatment information very confusing. The authorities make vague statements where if you don’t read the entire paragraph you miss the fact they aren’t testing for everything in your water. They spread the information/facts out over several different websites so you might only get half the picture unless you know where to look for the other half. Then there is the technical aspect where you have to be a rocket scientist/investigator to understand what they mean in their statements because they use these weird words/terms. Click on the picture below and let me know if you understand why that graphic is so important. Click here for the source.

 

Figure 3. Example of a risk assessment for Giardia, under specified conditions

A flow chart outlining the steps in a quantitative microbial risk assessment, including an example calculation under specified conditions, for Giardia in drinking water

Zoonosis: Giardiasis – the facts of infectious disease

I’m trying to find out if birds can spread Giardia (aka Beaver Fever) and after reading multiple websites it does. Most state that birds more likely get the bacteria from humans which is why most state the bacteria is found in pet birds but there are some websites stating it is also found in wild animals. So far this is all I’ve been able to find. So until I find an actual study that provides me with more information I’m going to assume that all birds have the ability to spread this disease. Click here for the full article or read an excerpt below.

 

What is Giardiasis?

Giardiasis is a type of gastroenteritis (gastro) caused by a tiny parasite, Giardia lambia which lives in the bowel.

Giardiasis can affect anyone, however, it is more common in infants, young children and adults aged from 20 to 40 years.

What are the symptoms of Giardiasis?

The most common symptoms of giardiasis are diarrhoea, nausea and stomach cramps. However, in some cases there may be no symptoms at all. After infection, it usually takes between seven and ten days before you become ill. To trace the cause of the illness, it is necessary to know where you were and what you ate and drank in the fortnight before you became ill.

Illness may last from a few days to weeks.

Where are Giardia found?

Giardia lambia parasites are found in humans and in wild, farm and pet animals.

How does Giardiasis spread?

Giardiasis occurs when Giardia parasites are taken in by mouth and the most common way this happens is by person-to-person spread.

People with giardiasis have Giardia lambia parasites in their faeces. If these people do not wash their hands properly after going to the toilet, then contaminated hands can spread the parasites to surfaces and objects which will be touched by other people. Contaminated hands can also spread the parasites to food which may be eaten by other people.

Hands can also become contaminated with parasites when a person changes the nappy of an infant with giardiasis.

People and animals can carry Giardia in the faeces without having any symptoms. These people or animals can still pass the disease on to others.

Pets, farm animals and contaminated drinking water can also spread Giardia parasites.

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I think I may have Giardiasis – what should I do?

If you have symptoms of giardiasis, report them to your doctor immediately. This will ensure that you receive proper treatment and advice and that steps are taken to reduce the spread of the disease.

Can I still work?

Food handlers, child care workers and health care workers with giardiasis must not work until symptoms have stopped.

Children must not attend child care centres, kindergartens or school until symptoms have stopped.

How can I stop spreading it to my family?

In your household the risk of spreading giardiasis can be reduced. It is very important that people with giardiasis or gastroenteritis do not prepare or handle food which will be eaten by other people and that no one shares their towel or face washer.

How can I avoid getting Giardiasis?

By following the guidelines below, everyone can do something to avoid getting giardiasis.

Careful hand washing

Everyone should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and hot running water for at least ten seconds:

  • before preparing food
  • before eating
  • after going to the toilet or changing nappies
  • after smoking
  • after using a tissue or handkerchief
  • after working in the garden
  • after playing with pets

Food handlers should use disposable paper towels or an air dryer to dry their hands. Cloth towels are not recommended as they get dirty quickly and can spread germs from one person to another.

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Safe food storage and handling

  • Thoroughly cook all raw foods.
  • Thoroughly wash raw vegetables before eating.
  • Reheat food until the internal temperature of the food reaches at least 75 degrees C.

Note for microwave oven users

Remember that part of the microwave cooking process, includes standing time. If a microwave oven is used, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and observe these standing times to ensure the food is completely cooked before it is eaten.

Household cleaning

Bathrooms and toilets must be cleaned often to avoid the spread of infections. Pay particular attention to toilet seats and handles, taps and nappy change tables.

Sandpits can become contaminated with animal faeces and urine. Rake the sand frequently and remove any animal faeces. Cover the area when not in use.

Water from untreated sources

Untreated water that comes directly from lakes or rivers may be contaminated with faeces from people or animals. Boil water from these sources before drinking it.

Child care centres

Children are particularly susceptible to giardiasis. Nappy changing and children’s lack of proper hygiene makes the transmission of this disease in child care settings particularly high. It is important that thorough hand washing and cleaning procedures are being followed in the child care centre to control the spread of these parasites.

 

 

Bill Henderson: Climate change denial is widespread in B.C. in 2014

I agree wholeheartedly with this article. Click here to read it in its entirety because it touches on many different aspects of our world and why its so complicated. Please share because with the time most things take to change (usually 20+ years), we cannot wait that long WE MUST ACT NOW. I feel like a hypocrite writing this post; it is my attempt to get others to form a team and work together for change. Thanks.

 

 

How do I clean rust on baking pans?

Click here for the tip from Rachael Ray.

 

Dear Cleaning Lady:

I have had my trusty 9 x 13 brownie pan forever and I am noticing some rust spots. Is this dangerous? Can I clean off the rust or should I toss it?

Thanks!

Brownie Baker

Dear BB:

Don’t toss the pan but definitely get rid of the rust before you bake with it again. Here’s how:

1. Rinse the pan and shake it dry – do not wipe with a towel because you want it to be slightly damp.

2. Dust it lightly with baking soda (it should stick because of the remaining water), making sure you cover the spots that are rusting.

3. Leave the dusted pans for about half an hour.

4. Clean the pan gently with a scourer making sure you get rid of all the rust leaving just the exposed metal underneath.

5. Rinse the pan to get rid of all the baking soda and towel dry it.

6. To make sure your pan doesn’t rust again coat it with cooking oil.

Tips:

  • The pans build up a layer of oil, so don’t panic if there is some residue.
  • Follow the steps above once or twice a year to avoid rust.
  • Skip the dishwasher if you want to avoid rust and just clean the pans lightly after use.

 

A CANADIAN NOBEL WINNER TALKS CLIMATE CHANGE, FLOODPLAINS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO ALL OF US TODAY

This was interesting to listen to. I guess the tropical rainfalls are causing more fertilizer to runoff into the lakes and cause cyanobacteria blooms which kill our lakes and severely impact our drinking water. I can’t imagine where rainfall is going to end up (monsoons?) if the scientists are correct about temperature warming. Click here to hear the entire interview and the full transcription or read an excerpt below.

 

Jim Bruce – Well what we’re finding is that both for water quantities and water quality the changing climate which IPCC says is going to continue and get worse is having pretty serious effects, particularly as the atmosphere warms. We get more water vapour or what engineers like to call precipitable water in the atmosphere by 7% per every degree Celsius of warming and this means not that were getting more rainfall but that whenever the atmosphere gets organized to rain it rains more heavily so it doesn’t just rain, It pours and this means we’re getting more surface runoff events in the summer and in the off snow melt season. 

Bob Brouse – When you talk about the hard precipitation these are what we all see on the lead on the news. These are these fierce storms that we’re speaking of. Is that the case? 

Jim Bruce – Yes indeed and it is resulting in things like the big Toronto flood last year and the big flood in Calgary in June of last year. 

Bob Brouse – And according to you this is because there is more water vapour in the air that wasn’t there before? What was the case before? I don’t even know how to put this. What was the case before? 

Jim Bruce – Well, as I say, as the atmosphere warms it is able to hold more water vapour. It holds more water vapour to the tune of 7% for every 1 degree Celsius of warming. 

Bob Brouse – Wow. So if the atmosphere gets 1 degree warmer globally it could hold 7% more water than it used to. That is what you are saying? 

Jim Bruce – Yes. 

Bob Brouse – That is amazing Jim. So the practical reality of this to cities around the world, I guess, is they have to deal and cope with more extreme weather. Besides that, is this more or less predictable? Like for instance, I know Milwaukee has been doing tremendous rainwater mitigation, trying to trap it and get it off the wastewater systems. Is this what you’re seeing around the world? 

Jim Bruce – We’re not seeing as much good work as we are seeing in Milwaukee and a few other places but there needs to be a great deal of effort. I should say when we get those runoff events with the heavy rains, the runoff picks up lots of phosphorous and other contaminants from agricultural areas and also from cities and urban areas so when we look at the Great Lakes, Lake Erie is seriously back-sliding back in its eutrophic state and that’s because it’s getting more polluted runoff in these heavy rain events and there is apparently more phosphorous on the land and on the urban areas that gets into the runoff and into the lakes and is destroying the improvement that was made in Lake Erie back in the 1990s and early 2000s. 

Huge Antarctic ice sheet collapsing

Is this a sign of the Tipping Point? Click here to read the full article or an excerpt below.

 

“It’s bad news. It’s a game changer,” said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, who wasn’t part of either study. “We thought we had a while to wait and see. We’ve started down a process that we always said was the biggest worry and biggest risk from West Antarctica.”

The Rignot study sees eventually 1.2 meters of sea level rise from the melt. But it could trigger neighboring ice sheet loss that could mean a total of 3 to 3.7 metresof sea level rise, the study in Science said, and Rignot agreed.

The recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change don’t include melt from West Antarctic or Greenland in their projections and this would mean far more sea level rise, said Sridhar Anandakrishnan, professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University. That means sea level rise by the year 2100 is likely to be about three feet, he said.

 

I Went to the Nutritionists’ Annual Confab. It Was Catered by McDonald’s.

I can’t believe this. Is there anyone that you can trust these days? Click here to read the article. I am truly disgusted.

Early warning of climate tipping points

Interesting document with graphics. Click here for the entire article and please share; I`m sure someone could definitely use this information. Thanks.