Kids & Sticky-finger Superbugs on Farms

A study about superbugs on industrial hog farms using antibiotics claims children of workers were more than twice as likely to have their noses stuffed with drug-resistant germs than other kids. That the sticky fingers of booger-mining kids could be important spreaders of drug-resistant germs, something to be aware of. You can read about it on ars:

Fructose is Generated in the Brain

The researchers found cerebral fructose levels rose significantly in response to a glucose infusion, with minimal changes in fructose levels in the blood. They surmised that the high concentration of fructose in the brain was due to a metabolic pathway called the polyol pathway that converts glucose to fructose.

YaleNews | Fructose is generated in the human brain

Cells utilise fructose for garbage collection and suggests to me the glucose could be causing inflammation.

Is Raw Food Alive?

Keep in mind watching this that our stomachs produce gastric acids and other compounds that help digest food along with our fermenting microbial friends. And that heating can change the chemical structure of foods trading one thing for another, for better or worse, and more often than not it’s probably the latter. Cooking also leaches or evaporates a certain amount of nutrients. However like drying food, cooking can also concentrate nutrient in the portions we eat due to reduced water content. Food is complicated.

What the video doesn’t cover however is that raw food surfaces are also covered in living microorganisms that studies have shown don’t completely wash off, even after sterilisation attempts. Endophytes also live inside plants and may contribute to the digestive microbiome. One study mentioned by Christopher Lowry below showed spinach has over 800 endophyte species. Cooking not only kills the plants but also these microorganisms that may be acting as probiotics.

Oxygen during inflammation helps E. coli thrive in an inflamed gut.


The mechanisms driving gut bacterial imbalance.

During episodes of intestinal inflammation – which can occur during IBD and gastrointestinal infections and cancers – the composition of these gut microbial communities is radically disturbed.

“Beneficial bacteria begin to dwindle in numbers as less beneficial, or even harmful, bacteria flourish,” said Ms. Hughes. “This imbalance of microbiota is believed to exacerbate the inflammation.”

A healthy gut is devoid of oxygen. The beneficial bacteria that live there are well-adapted to the low-oxygen environment and break down fiber through fermentation. Unlike these beneficial bacteria, potentially harmful E. coli grow better in high-oxygen environments.

“Inflammation changes the environment so that it is no longer perfect for the commensal anaerobes, but perfect for opportunistic E. coli, which basically wait for an ‘accident’ like inflammation to happen,” Dr. Winter explained.

The increased availability of oxygen during inflammation helps E. coli thrive in an inflamed gut through a metabolic “trick,” Ms. Hughes said.

“Through respiration, the abundant waste products generated by the beneficial microbes can be ‘recycled’ by commensal E. coli – which do not grow well on fiber – and turned into valuable nutrients, thus fueling a potentially harmful bloom of the E. coli population,” she explained.

“If we interfere with the production of waste products by the beneficial commensal bacteria, then we impede their metabolism, which causes them to grow more slowly and throw off the entire ecosystem,” Dr. Winter said. “The most effective strategy may be to inhibit commensal E. coli‘s unique metabolism to avoid the bloom and negative impacts.”

Microbial Respiration and Formate Oxidation as Metabolic Signatures of Inflammation-Associated Dysbiosis: Cell Host & Microbe

Solar Water Purifier uses Carbon-dipped Paper


Academics build ultimate solar-powered water purifier – University at Buffalo

Passive solar vapor generation represents a promising and environmentally benign method of water purification/desalination. However, conventional solar steam generation techniques usually rely on costly and cumbersome optical concentration systems and have relatively low efficiency due to bulk heating of the entire liquid volume. Here, an efficient strategy using extremely low-cost materials, i.e., carbon black (powder), hydrophilic porous paper, and expanded polystyrene foam is reported. Due to the excellent thermal insulation between the surface liquid and the bulk volume of the water and the suppressed radiative and convective losses from the absorber surface to the adjacent heated vapor, a record thermal efficiency of ≈88% is obtained under 1 sun without concentration, corresponding to the evaporation rate of 1.28 kg (m2 h)−1. When scaled up to a 100 cm2 array in a portable solar water still system and placed in an outdoor environment, the freshwater generation rate is 2.4 times of that of a leading commercial product. By simultaneously addressing both the need for high-efficiency operation as well as production cost limitations, this system can provide an approach for individuals to purify water for personal needs, which is particularly suitable for undeveloped regions with limited/no access to electricity.

Paper: Extremely Cost-Effective and Efficient Solar Vapor Generation under Nonconcentrated Illumination Using Thermally Isolated Black Paper – Liu – 2017 – Global Challenges – Wiley Online Library

Permie Fit – Running in Joy.

Traditional fitness programs are all about rainbows, and that made me wonder what might permaculture fitness look like?

The patterns, edges, observations, stacking functions, succession, layers?

In and out of the garden?

Ben Pelton’s Fitness in the Garden is an interesting take.

Also over on Permies the post about Running in Joy by Joseph took my fancy.

“Running in Joy”. What I mean by that, is that I run as long as it is joyful to me. And the second that it stops being joyful, then I stop running and walk for a while. Then, in a little bit, when I feel joyful about running I run for a while again. By adopting the strategy of running in joy, every stride I ever take while running will be done in joy. If running is always a joyful activity for me, I’m likely to continue doing it. By making my runs about the joy of running, I’m paying closer attention to my gait, posture, breathing, etc. The physical motions of running became easier when I got rid of the timer. My workouts end up being more intense, even though I can’t graph the intensity on a chart. So for me, the most ergonomic method of running has ended up being “Running in Joy”.

Controlling Fruit Flies with Netting or Clay [+Rant]

While many of the suggestions in this big ag monocropping series include sprays and traps with inorganic and organic pesticides, inorganic (that word again) row netting or kaolinite clay may be a good option according to their trials. Careful though, as kaolinite can kill all, including the protective microbes on leaf and fruit surfaces that we eat. It’s also known to be effective on superbugs that form biofilms and quorum sense to work together and overpower a larger host. Powerful stuff.

Personally I’m not a fan of any form of aerosolised compounds, as without protection they are easily inhaled. One study I read even highlighted how many dangerous microbes in a grey watering systems became aerosolised when the winds picked up, and these weren’t even sprayed on!

Weather matters when you spray, fertigate, or simply irrigate! Why it’s a good reason to always subsurface irrigate where possible.