Archive for julio, 2008

Life-Cycle Studies: Candy Bars

julio 31, 2008

The history of candy bars is a quest for ways to produce a more consistent product at lower cost. In 1958, Mars was able to cut the time spent per bar from 16 hours to 35 minutes. Today, precision machines mix, shape, and package bars at a rate of several hundred a minute.

Most candy bars are remarkably alike, yet each brand is carefully formulated for a unique taste and texture. The most common feature is the chocolate coating, which provides flavor and prevents the filling from spoiling or drying out.

Nearly all chocolate comes from tropical countries, where the cacao beans are picked, fermented, and sun-dried before being shipped to factories worldwide. There, they are roasted and winnowed, and the inner nib is crushed, heated, and ground into a thick “liquor” that consists largely of cocoa butter, a vegetable fat. The cocoa butter is mixed with various ingredients, such as sugar, milk, and vanilla, to form different types of chocolate.

The resulting mixture is kneaded between large steel rollers to make a smooth paste, and then “conched,” or heated, mixed, ground, and stirred, to develop its flavor. An enrober is used to shower the liquid chocolate on lines of fillings, such as nougat, wafers, and caramel, most derived from water- and chemical-intensive commodities like corn, flour, and sugar. The bars then are wrapped and shipped to stores via truck or airplane. Once the candy is eaten, the wrapper is simply tossed, ending up in landfills or the open environment.

Doing It Better

Concerns about the use of child labor have sparked ambitious efforts to regulate chocolate production. The 2001 Harkin-Engel protocol aims to ensure that half the cocoa originating in West Africa, a leading producer, is free of exploitative child labor by July 2008. In general, the trend is toward “gourmet” products, including items that are handmade, made with local and organic ingredients, and fairly traded. The organic chocolate market is growing by more than 50 percent annually, and Mars, Hershey, and other candy makers are developing “artisan” brands.

http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5691#mce_temp_url#

El PE(d)O de la vaca

julio 24, 2008

by Lisa Zyga

Researchers from Argentina were surprised to find that a single 550-kg cow produces between 800 to 1,000 liters of emissions each day. (Reuters)

(PhysOrg.com) — In an attempt to understand the extent of cow flatulence on global warming, scientists in Argentina are strapping plastic bags to the backs of cows to capture their emissions.

Argentina has more than 55 million cows, making it a leading producer of beef. In the study, the scientists were surprised to discover that a standard 550-kg cow produces between 800 to 1,000 liters of emissions, including methane, each day.

Further, methane – which is also released from landfills, coal mines and leaking gas pipes – is 23 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

“When we got the first results, we were surprised,” said Guillermo Berra, a researcher at the National Institute of Agricultural Technology in Argentina. “Thirty percent of Argentina´s (total greenhouse) emissions could be generated by cattle.”

In their study, the researchers attached balloon-like plastic packs to the backs of at least 10 cows. A tube running to the animals´ stomachs collected the gas inside the backpacks, which were then hung from the roof of the corral for analysis.

The Argentine researchers say that the slow digestive system of the cows causes them to produce these large amounts of methane. Now, the scientists are performing trials of new diets designed to improve the cows´ digestion and reduce global warming. By feeding cows clover and alfalfa instead of grain, “you can reduce methane emissions by 25 percent,” according to Silvia Valtorta of the National Council of Scientific and Technical Investigations.

Fuente: PHYSORG

+ sobre el pe(D)o de la vaca

Historia de las Cosas

julio 22, 2008

Versión doblada al español del video de Annie Leonard. Producción del Video: Free Range Studios. Doblaje al castellano: Asociación Civil El Agora, Argentina. El video original en inglés puede ser visto en http://www.storyofstuff.com/

Cortesía de Iván Araque

RIAI Irish Architecture Awards 2008

julio 17, 2008

The Irish Architecture Awards, which travel to approximately 20 venues around Ireland and to London, are intended to communicate the range, variety and quality of the Architects work in any one year. Here is a list of this year’s winning projects:

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Fuente: Bustler

Esperanza Spalding: belleza abrumadora

julio 17, 2008

 

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Limes Hotel, Brisbane, Australia – Alexander Lotersztain

julio 17, 2008

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Fuente: dezeen

Casa Kike in Costa Rica Honored with RIBA’s Prestigious Lubetkin Prize 2008

julio 10, 2008

 

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Fuente: bustler

The Girl Effect

julio 3, 2008

 

Cuando la mujer tiene la oportunidad de participar…

 

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