News Superbugs may have found their match in manuka

April 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

By Jeremy Lawrence

Manuka honey, the premium product found on fashionable breakfast tables, could play a role in the battle against antibiotic-resistant superbugs, scientists reported yesterday.

Honey is known to have antiseptic properties but the antibacterial potency of manuka honey, from New Zealand, is 10 to 50 times more powerful. It has been shown to stop the growth of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – the superbug that causes MRSA.

Manuka honey is derived from nectar collected by honey bees foraging on the manuka tree in New Zealand and is included in modern wound-care products such as dressings and ointments available on NHS prescription. However, its antimicrobial properties have not been fully exploited, according to researchers.

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Milk cheaper than water… nearly cheaper than beer?!

January 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Milk has become cheaper than water on Britain’s supermarket shelves reports the Farmers Guardian. Article: China’s ability to feed its people questioned by UN expert

December 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Shrinking arable land making it harder to maintain agricultural output, says Olivier De Schutter, as food prices rise in China

Vegetable sellers wait for customers at their stalls in a street market in Hefei, eastern China. Recent food price surges in the country have underscored the supply challenges it faces. Photograph: Str/AFP/Getty Images


China‘s ability to feed a fifth of the world’s population will become tougher because of land degradation, urbanisation and over-reliance on fossil-fuels and fertiliser, a United Nations envoy warned today as grain and meat prices climbed on global markets.

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Independent Article: Chilli compound helps identify pain genes

December 21, 2010 § 1 Comment

The compound which gives chillies their kick is being used in the fight against chronic pain.

Researchers at Aberdeen University have identified how genes are “turned on” to make humans feel pain.

Capsaicin, the compound in chillies which gives them their kick, can also turn on the switch.

It is believed the study could herald the development of new painkilling drugs.

The team looked at the mechanics of the pain gene known as substance-P which was first associated with chronic inflammatory pain more than 30 years ago.

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No Veg?!…Blaencamel to the rescue

December 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

Deepest winter (and some lenghthy pig action) havs reduced my garden to a patch of earth devoid of life.

The pigs have eaten every last root, earthworm and bug. The place is sterile. Pigs, dirty? they’ve eaten EVERYTHING. Theres nothing left to get dirty.

I had a lovely patch of sprouts (Trafalgar and Falstaff) which I planted in May, calculated so as to crop in time for Christmas, and 10 sprouting broccoli plants (Red Arrow) which were planted in June for a March crop, but my pigs razed the whole lot to the ground, so I’ve started off some lettuce, spinach, pakchoi and parsley under lights as I know I’m not going to have any crops from the garden until at least April/May.

Here are the little darlings:

Thank goodness for my local farmers market (Riverside Farmers Market) where Blaencamel Farm produce incredibly good quality veg all year round. I have lots of respect for these growers- the consistent quality and freshness of their produce is second to none. See for details.

Seeds for Food – A great project which redistributes seeds to developing countries

October 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

Seeds for Food is a project which collects seeds and redistributes them to those who need them. they ask people to collect seeds from essentially kitchen waste: tomatoes, pumpkins, strawberries, etc, clean and dry them and post them to Seeds for Food.

Here is an excerpt from the organisations’ website:

Photo: Fresh food full of vitamins and mineral elements in the Sahara desert (Tindouf area, S.W. Algeria) grown from seeds collected by people in developed countries (UNICEF’s family garden and school garden project).


Let us banish hunger and poverty from the world!In 2005 I was invited by UNICEF ALGERIA to work as an advisor for the project “Family and school gardens in the Saharawi refugee camps of South-East Algeria”.

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6 ways mushrooms can save the world

October 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

A thought provoking lecture from Paul Stamets entitled 6 Ways Mushrooms can Save the World.

Click on the picture below to view the lecture.

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