from the world's big
Declining bee populations could lead to increased food insecurity and economic losses in the billions.
From bee to farm to table<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyOTUzOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NzM3MDkwNH0.coXBXgDBoRvXaZYIgKaH9fH_jhlUKp3O22-h2rY8jMQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="a317b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bd61c660c9d52353ba975145fab59625" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A bar graph showing the percentage of pollination limitation for the seven crops studied.
Ecological and edible incentives<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyOTUzMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNTM4NzQwMX0.vclSktT0d_Mvns_QTZ7ZkFT_pWgIIpyb6ZNP1Tla2Qs/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C215%2C0%2C216&height=700" id="93d5d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b1e5b70e616daf5fcc0a63a041675e7a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="hand holding dead bees" />
A protester shows a handful of bees that died by pesticides. The protest was held during the Bayer AG shareholder meeting in 2019.
(PhooMaja Hitiji/Getty Images)<p>The concern extends beyond these seven. Crops such as coffee, avocados, lemons, limes, and oranges are also highly dependent on pollinators and may prove pollination limited. If declining bee populations are tied to such yields, it could mean barer supermarket shelves and increased prices. While that may only be an annoyance to some, to poor and vulnerable communities who already struggle to secure <a href="https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2011/december/data-feature-mapping-food-deserts-in-the-us/" target="_blank">salubrious, affordable food</a>, such a deficit would present another barrier to the vital micronutrients necessary for a healthy life and diet.</p><p>Unfortunately, <a href="http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/54228/1/Science_1255957_Goulson_RV_revised_CA_edited.pdf" target="_blank">the threats to bees are numerous</a>. Parasites, agrochemicals, monoculture farming, and habitat degradation all play a role, and neither stressor works in isolation. Sublethal exposure to neonicotinoids, an insecticide, can cause <a href="https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/baby-bees-and-pesticides" target="_self">impairments in bees</a>, while monoculture farming serves up a monotonous and unhealthy floral buffet. Both impede bees' immune systems, rendering them vulnerable to parasites such as <a href="http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/varroa_mite.htm" target="_blank"><em>Varroa destructor</em></a>, a mite that can transmit debilitating viruses as it feeds on bees' fat bodies. And all of these stressors will likely be inflamed by climate change in the years to come. </p><p>Some have proffered mechanical solutions, such as Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology where technicians are developing <a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/2120832-robotic-bee-could-help-pollinate-crops-as-real-bees-decline/" target="_blank">robotic bees</a>. These micro-drones are covered in gelled horsehair and have successfully cross-pollinated Japanese lilies. Other experiments include <a href="https://www.capitalpress.com/ag_sectors/orchards_nuts_vines/pollen-spray-could-replace-honeybees/article_f9a1c102-d5b3-519d-9dab-b0c44cfb99c5.html" target="_blank">pollen sprays</a>. However, the large-scale viability of tech-centric solutions seems questionable. After all, wild bees currently perform their ecological services pro bono and are as effective as managed honeybees. Any technological solution implemented in their absence would add to the agricultural costs and likely increase prices anyway.</p><p>Ecological amelioration will be necessary. To combat habitat fragmentation and strengthen biodiversity, many cities are implementing green-way strategies. For example, the Dutch city of Utrecht has decked its bus stop roofs with plants and grasses to <a href="https://bigthink.com/technology-innovation/urban-bees?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1" target="_self">create bee and butterfly shelters</a>, while other cities are looking to foster <a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2020/0731/Can-roadsides-offer-a-beeline-for-pollinators" target="_blank">bee-friend roadsides</a>. And <a href="https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/FactSheets/2015/CRPProgramsandInitiatives/Honey_Bee_Habitat_Initiative.pdf" target="_blank">government initiatives</a> incentivize farmers and landowners to adopt bee-friendly management practices. These solutions aren't only a matter of ecological conservation but also food security and public health.</p>
The study was only conducted with already healthy men, however.
- A new study at the University of Bath found that binge eating on occasion doesn't have major metabolic consequences.
- 14 healthy young men were instructed to eat pizza until full or to keep going until they couldn't eat another bite.
- Their blood sugar levels were similar to having eaten normally and blood lipids levels were only slightly higher than normal.
Marion Nestle: Why Do We Overeat?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8a4fbcf29b074691a19c6b391813e48f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Qn8XjZQa5-0?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Lead researcher Aaron Hengist <a href="https://www.bath.ac.uk/announcements/all-you-can-eat-pizza-study-shows-body-copes-surprisingly-well-with-one-off-calorie-indulgence/" target="_blank">says</a> the results showed the resilience of our body during times of excess.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Our findings show that the body actually copes remarkably well when faced with a massive and sudden calorie excess. Healthy humans can eat twice as much as 'full' and deal effectively with this huge initial energy surplus."</p><p>Of course, these were all young, healthy men, which will skew the outcome. Still, they expected more of a metabolic impact. </p><p>The researchers also focused on mood. Four hours after eating maximally, overeaters had no desire to eat sweet foods. This contradicts previous research that shows the brain's reward centers are food-specific—pizza shouldn't change cravings for sweets. The overeating groups also felt lethargic after their binge, which is to be expected. </p><p>The researchers are not giving a pass for overeating. Caloric intake remains the main driver of obesity. Signaling hormones are altered with continued overeating, making it difficult for the obese to know when to stop. Regular overeating changes body composition, metabolic rates, and mood. </p><p>In the past, humans had to stock up on food when they found it while hunting and foraging. We are equipped to handle the occasional caloric overload. James Betts, who was also involved in the study, says that an occasional binge for healthy people is not necessarily a bad thing. </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"This study shows that if an otherwise healthy person overindulges occasionally, for example eating a large buffet meal or Christmas lunch, then there are no immediate negative consequences in terms of losing metabolic control."</p><p>Acknowledging the study's limitations of age, health, and gender of participants, the researchers are planning on investigating the metabolic and mood effects of operating on women, obese volunteers, and the elderly. </p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
A new wearable patch has been created at the University of California San Diego.
- A team at the University of California San Diego has developed a non-invasive skin patch that measures your vitamin C levels.
- An electrode sensor measures vitamin C in your sweat.
- The researchers hope this leads to the development of multivitamin patches that track nutritional deficiencies.
No, Vitamin C won't cure your cold<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="686c485816ed1e51b96f906837934bcc"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/smQC3CXalVg?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Julian Sempionatto, first author of a <a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acssensors.0c00604" target="_blank">study</a> regarding this sensor, remarks, "This is the first demonstration of using an enzyme-based approach to track changes in the level of a necessary vitamin, and opens a new frontier in the wearable device arena."</p><p>The design is simple: an adhesive patch stimulates sweating. An electrode sensor measures vitamin C levels in your sweat. According to research on four human subjects who had taken vitamin C supplements or drank fruit juices, the sensor is highly sensitive. It detects small changes in vitamin levels over the course of two hours. The same sensor could also detect changes in tears and saliva. </p><p>Sempionatto believes the biomedical wearables industry is just beginning. He envisions a multivitamin patch in the near future. The study was conducted in Joseph Wang's lab at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Wang believes this is an important development in nutrition and health.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I hope that the new epidermal patch will facilitate the use of wearable sensors for non-invasive nutrition status assessments and tracking of nutrient uptake toward detecting and correcting nutritional deficiencies, assessing adherence to vitamin intake, and supporting dietary behavior change."</p><p><span></span>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</p>
What you eat — and when — can make you superhuman.
- The importance of the microbiome has really come to the fore in the last five years. Viome, a company that analyzed the feces of 100,000 people, has discovered 10,000 new types of gut bacteria.
- Additionally, Improved imaging technology led scientists to discover you don't have just one microbiome, you have two. The second one is in your brain, populated by the same bacteria that live in your gut.
- Simple habits can foster healthy gut and brain bacteria, which can help you live longer and age more slowly. Eat mostly vegetables, take fiber and prebiotics, and practice intermittent fasting, says Dave Asprey.
The first list of antidepressant food scores restructures the "standard" American diet.
- Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and oysters top the list of depression-fighting foods.
- Organ meats are also near the top of nutrient-dense food sources that should be included in your diet.
- Researchers focus more on what to eat rather than what to remove from the standard diet.