Carrot Straws?

Carrot Straws?

Has a smoothie company found the perfect replacement for plastic straws?

The demise of the plastic straw due to its impact on the environment has brought about the search for its replacement.

The carrot straw promises to eliminate the problems associated with the plastic straw, and comply with bans that have been placed on plastic straws.  The carrot straw can either be eaten or composted when finished.  It will not impact landfills or oceans in the same way that plastic straws are doing.


Video Spotlight: Here’s how little plastic straws are wrecking our oceans


This post is based on the Delish.com article, This Smoothie Store Is Testing Hollowed-Out Carrot Straws Ahead Of Earth Day, by Madison Flager, April 19, 2019; and the YouTube video, Here’s how little plastic straws are wrecking our oceans, by USA Today, May 29, 2018. Image source: McGraw-Hill Edudation

Discussion Questions:

1. Why introduce carrot straws?

Guidance: The carrot straw is part of the search for the replacement for the plastic straw.  Carrot straws offer the advantage of either eating or composting it when done.  Obviously, much more environmentally friendly compared to a plastic straw.

The Continue reading

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Fish Leather Is High Fashion

Fish Leather Is High Fashion

May 20, 2019

Fish skins are being transformed into high-fashion pieces!

Europe’s only fish tannery, Iceland’s Atlantic Leather, produces about one ton, or 10,000 skins, of fish leather each month.

All fish come from sustainable sources, and the tannery uses hydro and geothermal power to run its facility.  All water is reused eight or nine times during the production process.  In addition, natural, non-polluting dyes color the skins, which are then transformed into purses, shoes, belts, and other high-end fashion by some of Europe’s top designers.

Fish leather holds potential as a substitute for leather from endangered species like snakes and alligators.


Video Spotlight:Uneins X Atlantic Leather Iceland


This post is based on the Bloomberg article, Meet the fish leather pioneers, by Beth Timmins, May 1, 2019; and the YouTube video, Uneins X Atlantic Leather Iceland, by ilshll, August 4, 2017. Image source: NorthStar203/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1. How might fish leather help improve the livelihood of fishing communities?

Guidance: While fish leather currently represents only 1% of total leather production, it holds promise as a way to improve the livelihood of fishing communities by creating an industry from a major by-product without cutting into Continue reading

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The Fight Against Superbugs Is All About Money

The Fight Against Superbugs Is All About Money

Low demand and profitability have prompted large pharmaceutical companies to exit the antibiotics market.

As intensive care units around the country struggle to combat increasingly resistant bacteria, companies developing the new generations of antibiotics aimed at killing them are shutting down.

The reason? Low revenues that do not cover the substantial investments in R&D. Doctors and public health experts are taking notice and proposing funding alternatives.


Video Spotlight:We’re losing the war against bacteria, here’s why


This post is based on the Bloomberg article, Antibiotics Aren’t Profitable Enough for Big Pharma to Make More, by R. Langreth, May 3, 2019; and the YouTube video, We’re losing the war against bacteria, here’s why, by The New York Times, April 8, 2019. Image source: CDC/James Gathany

Discussion Questions:

1. Why are profits low in the antibiotics industry?

Guidance: Given the time and resources required to do the research, the R&D costs of developing a new antibiotic are typically high. Yet, the selling price is low compared to that of other drugs (e.g. cancer drugs), and the demand is relatively low. Not only are doctors reluctant to prescribe new antibiotics unless they are absolutely needed, but the demand Continue reading

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