TreeHugger

11 Foods You Should Never Refrigerate

Refrigerators are marvelous inventions, but they tend to be overused by many home cooks, who assume that everything will last longer if refrigerated. The fact is, some foods do benefit from chilling, but others do much better if left at room temperature. Learn which foods you should not refrigerate for longer lasting, better tasting produce.

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This Simple Cooking Trick Can Save You 100 Gallons of Water and Make Dinner Taste Better (Video)

Ah, the kitchen. The heart of the home, the happy place, the spot where all the magic happens … and a place of prodigious waste. From unimaginable food losses to the cult of disposability to the needless frittering away of resources, the place that nourishes us is also a place where much is squandered.

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Coffee Workers Are at Risk of Contracting 'Popcorn Lung'

Here's something to think about over your fair-trade, organic brew.

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Guess What Scientists Found in Your Favorite German Beer?

Researchers filtered 24 brands of German beer for contaminants and found some things that really shouldn't be there.

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7 Food Strategies for a Natural Energy Boost

Food is fuel for our bodies, and our bodies reflect what we put into them. By learning how to eat in ways that boost energy and combat fatigue, you can do a lot to optimize your mental and physical performance throughout the day.

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6 Shocking Facts About Seafood Production

Gone are the peaceful afternoons of waiting for a fish to bite the line. The seafood industry is a vicious and brutal one, both for animals and humans. Farmed fish are subjected to terrible lives, wild fish are caught unfairly and mindlessly, and all face inhumane deaths. Even humans are enslaved to put cheap shrimp on your dinner table. Here are just a few reasons why you should think twice about eating fish, or go out and catch it yourself.

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Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Incoming? House Passes Bill Mandating Decision Within 4 Months

The Keystone XL pipeline is unique in that it poses both a supreme environmental threat and is gravely symbolic; a harbinger of a certain fossil fuel-dependent doom, if you will. If constructed, the pipeline would carry tar sands crude all the way from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. In all, the pipeline would span over 1,600 miles. And tar sands crude, being literally the dirtiest fuel source we know of, is nastier stuff than regular oil, and has been found to be more likely to cause leaks and spills. And since we already see plenty of those with the regular pipelines (the Yellowstone pipeline rupture just weeks ago), there's plenty of reason to be concerned.

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What Crucial Environment and Health Programs Were Sacrificed in the Budget?

Late last Friday, with just an hour and a half or so left on the clock, Democrats and the GOP struck a budget compromise that prevented a shutdown of the federal government. The 'debate', if you want to call it that -- though I suppose it was more civil than, say, the 'debate' over health care reform -- focused around two things: How much was to be cut from the federal budget, and which 'riders' would the GOP be allowed to attach to it? The spending cuts were mostly political theater -- the debate over cutting either $40 or $60 billion out of a $3.5 trillion budget isn't exactly a substantive one. No, the fight was really over riders -- which would do things like de-fund Planned Parenthood or roll back our nation's environmental protections, specifically. So now that we have a 6-month budget eked out, what kept and lost its funding?

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New Data Reveals Farmers Are Mining Groundwater at Alarming Rate

California farms represent 8% of the US's agriculture value, and the Central Valley is where most of that growing takes place. However, as the state struggles with ongoing droughts, the groundwater supplies are dwindling at a frightening rate. According to satellite technology used by NASA, over a 6.5 year period the groundwater supplies in Central Valley leaked away by an amount equal to 63% of the capacity of Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir. With that much water disappearing, it is harder to replenish supplies when it finally does rain. Does this water debt mean a future food crisis?

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Why Are California Regulators Turning a Blind Eye to Massive Groundwater Pollution from Dairies?

California's Central Valley is home to some of the state's largest dairies, and we're all quite familiar with how damaging dairy farms can be on the environment. It is responsible for about 4% of man-made GHG emissions, and in the Central Valley of California alone, cows generate the same amount of fecal waste as a city of 21 million people, much of which goes untreated and pollutes waterways. And are regulators doing anything to change this? It looks like a big fat No.

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Can You Trademark Urban Homesteading?

The Dervaes family of Pasadena is well-known for practicing self-sufficiency on their urban lot. They grow over 7000 pounds of food. They use very little power from the grid. They have been an inspiration to many in the urban homesteading movement.

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California Bill Brings Rainwater to Your Toilet

While rainwater collection is a contentious issue in some areas, California is looking to make it a little easier to use your rain barrels as a water source. This week, AB 275, the Rainwater Capture Act of 2011 was introduced into the California State Assembly, a bill that would allow landowners the authority to install rain barrel systems and not only capture water for outdoor use, but for indoor use as well.

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Cleaning Your Tap Water of Toxins Has Toxic Consequences

This recent NPR story headline, "Chlorine Substitutes in Water May Have Risks," is pretty low-key, considering that the message it delivers is fairly alarming. Since the 1970s, water managers have realized that their all-time favorite disinfectant, chlorine (you know, the stuff that comes in those iconic Chlorox jugs) has some serious down sides, mainly in the form of carcinogenic byproducts.

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Obama to Let 13 Oil Companies Drill Offshore With No Environmental Review

If there was anything that Obama impressed upon the American public in the wake of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, it was that if offshore drilling was to continue, it must be safer and better scrutinized. A few months ago, the administration said that it would require every oil company seeking to drill to pass a strict environmental review before getting the go-ahead from the feds. But it appears that this isn't quite the case for every drilling project -- news just broke that 13 companies will be allowed to drill under the same environmental review standards that stood before the BP Gulf spill.

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Global Warming Could Lead to Vast Chocolate Shortage

In a world that takes for granted the availability of delicious and affordable chocolate, it's easy to forget that the popular product actually comes from trees -- not magical elves or free-flowing cocoa rivers, sadly. But, some experts are predicting that in a matter of decades a drop in production due to changing weather and agriculture incentives may make chocolate 'as expensive as gold'. "In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar. It will become so rare and so expensive that the average Joe just won't be able to afford it," says one researcher. And if I know Joe as well as I think I do, this won't go over well.

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New Study Proves Organic Strawberries Have Better Taste and Nutrition Than Conventional

In the tug of war over whether organic farming is really better than conventional chemical-laden farming, a new study in the online peer-reviewed journal PLoS One comes out solidly in support of the benefits of organic. Self-described as the most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers from Washington State University found that commercial organic farms produce more flavorful and nutritious strawberries, while leaving the soil healthier and genetically diverse.

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Dolphin Slaughter Resumes in Japan

Each year in early September, Japan opens season on dolphins, and today marks the start of the season in Taiji, a now notorious place for slaughtering cetaceans thanks to the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove. And of course, activist Ric O'Barry is on the move. He delivered a petition to the US Embassy in Tokyo signed by 1.7 million people from 155 countries demanding an end to the hunt. The embassy wasn't his first destination -- the Japanese fisheries agency was. But death threats from a group known for violence kinda put a damper on that.

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Is BP Burning Endangered Sea Turtles Alive?

Kemp's Ridley is a critically endangered species of sea turtle that can be found in the Gulf of Mexico. According to Mike Ellis (see the video interview below), BP has been keeping rescue teams from getting to the turtles and has even been burning them alive, along with other animals. Because Kemp's Ridleys are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, killing or harming them can bring civil liability and even criminal charges. Is BP trying to "destroy the evidence" by burning it?

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How Drug Manufacturing Facilities Are Threatening Our Drinking Water

A five-year study conducted by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers has found that pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities are a "significant source" of pharmaceuticals that enter the local environment.

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Does the New Climate Bill Provide the Answer to Our Environmental Woes or Just More Handouts for Big Energy?

Well, the Kerry-Lieberman "American Power Act" climate bill has been announced--read the full version or, if you've got less time on your hands, the short summary--and it feels like deja vu.

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Brazil Announces Plan For Sustainable Palm Oil

Palm oil production has long been a contentious issue and a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the oil's renewable source and application as biofuel make it an appealing alternative, but on the other, some of the most devastating deforestation has occurred to cultivate it. But in a policy move designed to both protect its remaining forests and replenish parts already lost, Brazil announced today a plan to expand its palm oil cultivation into previously deforested regions, promising a sustainable alternative to the destructive methods practiced in other parts of the world.

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The Political Impact of the BP Gulf Spill So Far

In the wake of just about any major disaster, there are bound to be a bevy of pronouncements from politicians -- condemning it, exploiting it, explaining it, and so on and so forth. And in a major ongoing disaster, where, say, hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil are pouring into a fragile ecosystem every day, those statements and reactions are even more complicated and harder to pin down. But the germ of genuine policy and action can also be planted during the course of such a disaster -- so in an attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff, let's look at the political impact of the gulf spill so far.

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Jordan River Expected to Run Dry by 2011

Even the most famous and admired places aren't immune to the problems of abuse and pollution - the Jordan River being a prime example as it's expected to run dry by 2011 due to overexploitation, pollution and lack of regional management, according to Friends of the Earth, Middle East. Over 90% of the river's water has been diverted by Israel, Syria and Jordan, and what's left is an unappealing mix of sewage, saline water, and run-off from cropland. And by the end of 2011, there won't even be that left.

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The 7 Stupidest Statements Made About the BP Gulf Oil Spill

The BP oil spill is on par to outpace the Exxon Valdez oil spill in terms of size, impact, and devastation, which is no small feat. The Valdez spill cost billions of dollars to clean up, killed hundreds of thousands of animals, and registered a debilitating effect to the coastal ecosystem. And yet, we see, once again, that there's no shortage of people who seem to forget easily, or are downright ignorant of the catastrophe an oil spill of this magnitude presents. To illustrate, I bring you the 7 stupidest things said about the BP oil spill so far . . .

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US Approves First Offshore Wind Farm

After nine agonizing years of intense debate and political battles, the first offshore wind farm to be built in the United States has finally been approved. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar traveled to Cape Cod, Massachusetts to announce that, despite some fierce opposition (from the likes of the Kennedys and Mitt Romney, no less), the 450 megawatt, 130 turbine, $900 million Cape Wind project is becoming a reality.

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The Five Grossest American Fast Food Ideas

Today is the day. Call it the heart attack heard 'round the world. Yes, today KFC's already-infamous Double Down--the bacon and cheese "sandwich" where the bun is comprised of two chunks of fried chicken--hits fast food chains and mall food courts across the nation. I already tipped my hat/suppressed a gag reflex at KFC's nauseatingly audacious ad campaign to push a product they know is sort of gross. So today, in order to celebrate the Double Down's official inauguration into the fast food hall of fame as sarcastically as possible, I present to you five disgusting ideas the fast food industry sold America--and the often hilarious videos that take them on.

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Obama Expands Offshore Drilling Far Beyond Bush

Well, we knew the announcement was coming, and sure enough, here it is: Obama has unveiled his offshore drilling plans, and to the eyes of the environmentally conscious, it ain't pretty. Most of the provisions were revealed last night in a leak to reporters. But in case you missed it, the new plan opens up vast swaths of American coastline: some on the east coast and some around Alaska for drilling--a more expansive offering to oil companies than even Bush ever authorized.

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Meet the Celebrities Who Climbed Kilimanjaro to Awaken the World to a Water Crisis

How do you draw the world's attention to a deadly global scourge? Call up your friends and climb a mountain (it could help if your friends are mega-celebrities and MTV wants to make a film about it.) This is how Kenna set out to illuminate the global clean water crisis. Calling it Summit on the Summit, the Grammy-nominated recording artist assembled a team of celebs, activists, and experts, including Jessica Biel, Emile Hirsch, Lupe Fiasco, Santogold, Alexandra Cousteau, and plenty more, to scale the punishing peak of Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain.

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Smart Toilets? A Revolution May Be Coming to Your Bathroom

Being green is all about solving problems and grabbing overlooked opportunities. It turns out that there's such a double-win in most bathrooms around the world; if we had "NoMix" toilets that separate urine from solid waste, municipal wastewater plants would have a significantly easier task (and produce more methane to generate electricity), and we could much more easily extract precious nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen for use as fertilizer (instead of using fossil fuels). So what's stopping us from going NoMix?

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Humans Pushing Up Extinction Rates Faster Than Species Can Evolve

You've probably heard the stat that extinction rates are currently somewhere between 100-1000 times historic levels, which is bad enough, but now the Guardian reports the head of the Species Survival Commission for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature says that we've "almost certainly" crossed the threshold where species aren't evolving fast enough to keep up with increasing extinction rates.

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