What Foods Are Anti-Inflammatory?

Inflammation has many different causes across the body. Inflammation is the body’s immune response to infections, injuries, diseases and disorders which generally helps the body heal itself. Sometimes inflammation occurs when its not suppose to, or it may occur in excess, or persist longer than it needs to. In these cases, inflammation can be the source of physiological problems, rather than the solution to them. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and allergies are conditions associated with chronic inflammation. Certain substances, foods and plants contain anti-inflammatory properties, also called antiphlogistics, which can be used to reduce or manage inflammation levels.

What Is Inflammation?

Inflammation is your immune system’s cellular and molecular reaction aimed at healing harmful stimuli that may be prompted by several factors, including pathogens, damaged cells, toxic compounds, or irradiation. The inflammatory response happens when specialized cells recognize detrimental stimuli and activate inflammatory pathways. Once inflammatory markers are released, inflammatory cells are sent to respond to the inciting stimuli.

Berries

Berries are arguable the most essential anti-inflammatory food item. Blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, elderberries, raspberries and strawberries – as well as dozens of other fruits – contain anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are pigments that have an array of health benefits. This miraculous compound is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-obesity, anti-angiogenesis, anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, anti-microbial. Not to mention, most fruits and berries are rich in antioxidants, meaning that they help protect bodily cells against oxidative stress.

Great Value Antioxidant Blend with strawberries, blueberries and rasberries
Great Value Antioxidant Blend with strawberries, blueberries and rasberries

Turmeric

Turmeric is an India-native plant which is readily available in most super markets and local groceries around the world. Turmeric contains curcumin, which has been shown to inhibit NF-κB activation, a protein complex involved in cellular inflammatory responses. Curcumin has also proven useful in improving systemic markers of oxidative stress, which is closely associated with inflammation and chronic disease.

Capsicum Baccatum Peppers

Capsicum baccatum is a South American and South African species of chili pepper that is has a sweetish flavor and a pungent, hot taste. A 2012 study by researchers Aline Rigon Zimmer, Bianca Leonardi, DiogoMiron, Elfrides Schapoval, Jarbas Rodrigues de Oliveira and Grace Gosmann suggests that the butanol and the crude ethanolic extracts of Capsicum baccatum showed anti-inflammatory effects.

Broccoli

Broccoli contains phytonutrients, vitamins (C, A, K and B) and is low in fat. Broccoli can be used to treat oxidation and fight disease. Broccoli suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-1β by blocking NF-κB production in the body.

Cowspiracy Summary: Wildlife Facts

The Cowspiracy film draws a cogent connection between animal agriculture and our climate change crisis. The film uses evidence-based research to support its claims about human activity across sectors, including how much land is being used and how humanity interacts with Earth’s animal populations and plant populations.

Cowspiracy’s references can be found on its official website under the “Facts” section. References for wildlife information include the The United States Bureau of Land Management, Predator Defense and a few individual opinion pieces. Most notably, a paper by author Vaclav Smil (2011), entitled “Harvesting the Biosphere: The Human Impact”. This document posits that human activities, primarily deforestation and ecosystem conversion, have demonstrably changed Earth’s biomass (both in its phytomass and its zoomass). For thousands of years, humans have used agriculture to help produce its resources. And because we’re omnivores, we have manipulated the plants around us as well as the use of certain animals in agriculture settings, such as cows, sheep, pigs, and poultry.

Benchmark Map of Forest Carbon Stocks In Tropical Regions Across Three Continents

The industrialization of agriculture production greatly enhanced the ability to raise livestock and grow specific crops. The conjunction of these activities has contributed to alterations in tropical forests, lakes and coral reefs ecosystems. The planet’s biomass, especially its phytomass, has paid a toll for excessive human use, according to Vaclav Smil.

Smil refers to observational data collected from Benchmark map of forest carbon stocks in tropical regions across three continents, and light detection and ranging, LIDAR, to reveal the vertical structure of forests (NASA 2010) as evidence to suggest that the global index of phytomass has decreased as human energy use has increased. Furthermore, as the populations of humans and domesticated animals have climbed in the most developed nations, zoomass of wild terrestrial animals has fallen. Earth’s total biomass then, is disproportionately made up of humans and domesticated animals relative to population sizes which preceded industrialization.

Bureau of Land Management and Predator Defense

Both the Bureau of Land Management and Predator Defense sources mention on Cowspiracy’s “Facts” page are short reads which share a common thread: the United States has authorized the killing of wild fauna. The Bureau of Land Management states that killing wildlife populations is aimed at reducing “overall herd growth rates”. The Wildlife Services on the other hand kills fauna to protect agriculture crops on both private and public lands. These methods go beyond wildlife management. Unfortunately, techniques that involve forcibly eliminating fauna further narrows the populations of animals that make up Earth’s total biomass, thereupon degrading biodiversity in favor of a limited selection of species.

two tucans in managed environment

IPBES/IPCC: Nature-Based Solutions, Climate Change Mitigation

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggest protecting and enhancing various ecosystems, including forests, peatlands, wetlands, tropical forests, freshwater systems, grasslands, savannas, some polar habitats, and coastal ecosystems as a climate change mitigation strategy. Appropriately managing ecosystems can improve their respective functions and resiliency to climate change.

ipcc and ipbes

The IPCC/ IPBES workshop report stipulates that nature-based solutions only abate climate change and biodiversity loss if they have aggressive targets and are implemented in conjunction with ambitious greenhouse gas reductions. Nature-based solutions, the conservation, and enhancement of natural and managed ecosystems, will be a key driver for climate change mitigation.

What Are Nature-Based Solutions?

Protecting and enhancing ecosystems can help reverse the impacts of climate change by lowering greenhouse concentrations (through carbon sequestration), thereby limiting global average heat temperature rise, decreasing the frequency of extreme weather events, and curbing the effects of ocean acidification. Properly managing ecosystems can also help restore lost biodiversity.

Species with restricted population distributions, those that have tolerance limits and those that have limited abilities to migrate to new habitats are considered to be most susceptible to climate change, according to the IPCC/ IPBES Workshop Report (page 17). Examples include tropical coral reefs, savannas, tropical forests, high latitude and altitude ecosystems, Mediterranean-like ecosystems and coastal ecosystems. They are all already being affected by climate change.

Why Are Nature-Based Solutions Important?

The technology already exists for nature-based solutions, so they are cost effective, can be rapidly employed and make ecosystems more resilient to the effects of climate change. Nature based solutions will likely call for changes in land-use. Monoculture plots will have to converted to diverse ecosystems (as single species plantations increase pathogen risks in some plants), land clearing will have to significantly limited and ecosystem conservation will have to be prioritized on land and in aquatic environments.

Berlin Universities’ Canteens Remove Meat For Climate Change

Beginning this October, 2021, cafeterias at 20 Berlin universities will make their menus 68% vegan, 48% vegetarian, and 4% meat and fish. Mondays will be completely meat exempt, meaning that there will be no meat options available in the canteens on those days. It appears that there’s an emerging demographic of vegan eaters among Germany’s student body. The demand among Berlin students likely prompted the university’s decision to include plant-based options. However, the decision may have also been inspired by the desire to reduce carbon footprints in universities across Berlin.

veganism for everybody

Its thanks to the work of Studierendenwerk, a student affairs non-profit group, Berlin’s university cafeteria menus have been adding plant-based options over the past year or so. Daniela Kummle of Studierendenwerk told the Gaurdian that “we developed a new nutritional concept mainly because students have repeatedly approached us with the request for a more climate-friendly offer at their canteens”. Kummle says that the success of vegan and vegetarian options in canteens are evidence of transitions in student behavior. It may be fair to say that student’s minds are also undergoing a shift in Berlin.

Why Have Berlin University Cafeterias Dropped 96% of Meat

Greenhouse gas emissions from the production livestock goods, especially beef, are relatively high compared to what it takes to produce plant based foods. Livestock accounts for nearly 15% of greenhouse gas emissions globally; 41% of those emissions are borne from making beef foods.

Globally, generous amounts of farm land space are dedicated to the crops needed to feed dense populations of livestock animals, pigs, cows, chicken, sheep and goat. These animals, being animals primarily herbivorous, have diets that consist of wheat, barely, silage, wheat, oats, corn, seeds and fruits. Our World in Data estimates that 80% of global agriculture acreage is taken up by livestock operations, even though livestock operations generate less than 20% of the world’s consumed calories.

Diets that are more plant based can limit the amount of farm acreage that is allotted for livestock and animal crops. Reducing meat consumption will effectively decrease the demand for animals in agriculture. Also, switching to more plant-based foods could help save water. Fruit and vegetable crops require less fresh water than animal-feed crops. Animal products produce less food per ton of product than fruit and vegetable crops, making the water footprint of animal products higher than that of crop products. In order to conserve water and make better use of farm land, we can rethink our relationship with food and the way we practice agriculture.

Indigo Agriculture & Corteva Pay US Farmers In Carbon Credit Program

Indigo Agriculture, a Massachusetts-based agricultural technology corporation has teamed up with Corteva Incorporated, a seed and chemical company, on a production contract project for farmers, “Carbon by Indigo”. Carbon by Indigo is a program which makes registry-issued agriculture carbon credits. Carbon credit registries track how emitters are performing in efforts to offset their carbon dioxide emissions. Industries usually offset their emissions through agriculture production. Crops indirectly reverse the greenhouse the effect by capturing and storing carbon in soils. Carbon credits are a system to estimate how much sequestration

First Carbon Farming Program

The 267 paid growers currently participating in the Carbon by Indigo program are responsible for providing data about their growing progress and crop production. The vegetation grown by the Carbon by Indigo participants soaks up carbon, enabling organizations to buy that absorbed carbon in the form of carbon credits. This program has created a new opportunity for farmers to make money through carbon credit sales. This is the first time farmers have been able to receive direct payments which are proportional to their grow-outcomes.

Indigo agriculture & corteva agriscience incorporated logos

Market In Development

The purchase of carbon credits will surely go on to be implemented by organizations-both private and governmental-to achieve carbon neutrality or reduce their carbon footprint in the coming years. Starting in the crop year 2022, farmers in Michigan, New York, Alabama, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Virginia will be able to farm carbon via Carbon by Indigo. Indigo Agriculture announced that it will expand the qualifications for farmers in 28 more states soon. The company believes that nearly 80% of farm acreage in the United States is viable for high quality carbon farming.

IPBES and IPCC Co-Sponsored Workshop

IPBES and IPCC compare and contrast circles
IPBES and IPCC compare and contrast circles

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) have drawn a connection between climate change and biodiversity loss. According to the IPBES-IPCC Workshop Report, climate destabilization intensifies risks to biodiversity.

What Is A Co-Sponsored Workshop?

This workshop report details just how closely linked the habitat and species loss are to our climate crisis. Though the IPCC is a United Nations collective that provides scientific evidence and predictions about climate change – for economic and political reasons- and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an organization for information and policy pertaining to biodiversity, ecosystem conservation and sustainable development, both organizations have interests improving human well-being through sustainability.

Harvard University Will Divest Its $42B From Fossil Fuels

Harvard University, one of the richest and most prestigious colleges in the United States of America, has just released a statement disclosing that it will end all investments in fossil fuels. According to Harvard’s self published news update, climate change is a “consequential threat”. Harvard goes on to reference the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report. The IPCC’s sixth assessment is its latest report which outlines the physical evidence for climate change and its environmental tolls.

To some extent, its apparent that Harvard recognizes the emerging need to decarbonize on an international scale. Earlier this year (2021), Harvard Management Company (HMC) announced that it had already ceased all direct investments in companies that pursued fossil fuel. Harvard admits that HMC has legacy investments that are still indirectly tied up in “private equity funds with holdings in fossil fuel industries”. According to Harvard, HMC has no interest in renewing these legacy investments once the relevant partnerships end or are liquidated. If Harvard and HMC are in fact serious about being conducive to the transition to the clean energy revolution, then they have a responsibility to set a standard for other institutions and companies. Though, it is fair to say that they have already taken preliminary steps in the right direction.

students holding divest Harvard sign
students holding divest Harvard sign

Beyond HMC’s vow to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions within its own operations by July, 2023, its also collaborating with the Carbon Disclosure Project, Principles for Responsible Investment, and Climate Action 100+. These organizations all, in some way or another, contribute to managing carbon and fossil fuel outputs made by governments and conglomerates. Students, athletes and Harvard’s sports attendees have been floating banners that read “Divest Harvard” on them. Tweets from Al Gore, to Environmental expert, Bill McKibben, highlight just how celebrated Harvard’s news about ending new investments is.

“Unextractable Fossil Fuels In A 1.5 °C World” Review

New research published in the British scientific journal, Nature, finds that limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Celsius at most) relative to preindustrial averages will require ambitious reductions in fossil fuel use. Researchers used a global energy systems model to determine the amount of fossil fuels that must be be left unextracted for a 50 percent chance of capping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the year 2050. A mere 50 percent.

smoggy city skyline

Unextractable Reserves Under a 1.5 °C Target for Paris Agreement-Compliance

By their calculations, close to 60 percent of the globe’s oil and fossil methane gas reserves, and nearly 90 percent of its coal will have to remain unextracted if humanity is to meet the Paris Climate Agreement‘s goal of limiting global temperature rising to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) relative preindustrial estimates. Fossil fuel and gas use must continue to fall by at least 3 percent each ensuing year until the 2050 deadline.

By employing the TIMES Integrated Assessment Model, researchers were able to determine the sources (conversion, transportation and distribution) of fossil fuels across various sectors. This framework was used to approximate future energy demands in the simulated future scenario. The model depicts 16 different regions with oil reserves and trading networks which connect them. If “very high shares” of fossil fuel reserves that would be considered valuable for trade or energy production remain untouched, this can be considered a loss to the economies that could have used or sold them in the future.

Climate Change Impact On Developing Countries

The research team, consisting of Dan Welsby, James Price, Steve Pye & Paul Ekins, state that they’ve underestimated the production changes that are actually required. In other words, the cuts suggested for energy, transportation and agriculture sectors posited in the study is likely not ambitious enough. Earlier this year, International Energy Agency (IEA) published a report outlining how greenhouse gas emissions would have to be halted in order to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide (CO2) by the year 2050. Accomplishing the feat requires more stringent energy and environmental policies. The most developed nations have primary responsibility for cutting oil, gas.

Fossil Fuel Production Decline

If developing nations are going to be allowed to continue to produce CO2 and other fossil fuels (and they should), carbon budgets will have to prioritize them, rather than allowing business as usual for the business and countries that have the largest carbon contributions. Nations which have already built resilient economies, including China, the United States, India, the Russian Federation and Japan are world leaders in terms of heat trapping gas emissions. According to the least developed countries group of UNFCCC, the least developed nations are those countries that have the least capacity to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. Therefore, the onus for reducing nonrenewable fuel use falls squarely on the shoulders of those countries which have the highest emission rates.

Medical Journals Warn That Climate Change Is The Greatest Threat to Public Health

Health professionals from The New England Journal of Medicine, the Medical Journal of Australia, the Chinese Science Bulletin, and the National Medical Journal of India, and more than 230 other medical journals have released a joint statement stating that global warming will play a role in worsening health outcomes abroad. If true, this position will make climate change a public health concern rather than a mere environmental issue. According to medical experts, increases in temperature averages could lead to more heat-related deaths, tropical infections, and pregnancy complications.

hospital patient in blood pressure apparatus

Climate Change and Health

Global warming may make tropical disease spread more common. Heightened temperatures could in theory cause disease carrying insects, such as mosquitos, to migrate from their confined tropical existence into equally suitable regions. The mosquitos of Central and South America, are thought to have migrated further north by cause of heightened temperatures in and around the United States.

Global temperatures have risen by an estimated 0.08 degrees Celsius per decade (since 1880) and some deaths have already been loosely associated with climate change. Wildfires, heat waves, and tropical storms are all regarded as natural disasters that are potentially amplified by climate change.

Emergency Action On Climate Change and Tipping Points

The authors of this joint statement have posited that the effects of climate change may reach irreversible points in the near future. Climatological tipping points may not be far behind. Tipping points refer to thresholds of climate and temperature that, when exceeded, set off chain reactions which brings about different states within a climate system. Tipping points are also known as ‘points of no return’.

Climate change’s reach is already being felt in nutrition, rates of disease, the habitability of certain regions, and mortality rates. To limit the extent to which public wellbeing suffers, policymakers and world leaders will need to prioritize a) drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions: which will limit average global temperature increases b) protecting and enhancing ecosystems, such as forests, peatlands, wetlands, tropical forests, freshwater systems, grasslands, savannas, some polar habitats, and coastal ecosystems. Protecting and enhancing ecosystems improve their resiliency to climate change.

The Caldor Fire Created Wildfires In Lake Tahoe

The Caldor Fire started August 14, 2021, from thus far unknown causes. Sources reveal that the fire has impacted two major counties, El Dorado and Amador, burning more than 200,000 acres (or just over 300 miles) of land over the 21 days that its been active. The spreading fire has reached the Tahoe Basin, prompting officials to call for mandatory evacuations.

forest fire

Lake Tahoe, which lies on California’s border near Nevada, is a freshwater lake which is a renown tourist destination due to its outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, skiing and cruises. 20,000 or more residents of south Lake Tahoe have had to be evacuated as commercial structures and hundreds of homes have succumbed to the growing blaze. Because the communities of California’s and Nevada’s mountain ranges depend heavily on tourism, one has to wander how badly their economy have been afflicted. Firefighters have been using helicopters to pour hundreds of thousands of gallons of water and fire retardant on the flames hoping to salvage mountainous forestry and infrastructure. Firefighters that were already working to manage the still burning Dixie Fire had to be called in to combat the Caldor Fire and stop it from further spreading. Are fire fighters and their equipment being spread too thinly?

Climate Change and Wildfires

For years now, researchers from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have warned that climate change would add to the severity and frequency of wildfires. Though wildfires are naturally occurring, they are worsened by certain preexisting conditions. Digging up and burning fossil fuels adds excess greenhouse gases to the Earth’s atmosphere, increasing the planet’s capacity to retain incoming solar heat. As the Earth’s average surface temperatures warms, the soils of certain regions dry sooner, causing said soil and its vegetation to be more susceptible to drying out. Dried vegetation acts as kindling for flames.

Hot conditions are highly conducive to wildfires because they make plants more flammable by evaporating the moisture within them. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the annual area burned has been increasing since the 1980s. According to the National Geographic for Environmental Information, the 1980s also mark the beginning of a temperature rise of 0.2 Celsius (0.3 degrees Fahrenheit each subsequent decade.

The frequency of Californian fires is happening at an unprecedented rate, leaving me to wonder how prepared the state really is for the effects of climate change.