Growing vegetables at home has never been so easy was reported by Brian Blum for Israel21c.org, 6 February 2022. Cool new ‘in-the-box’ solution for homegrown veggies. It’s the ultimate farm to table experience – now you can grow your own vegetables at home effortlessly with an all-in-one box.
AgwaFarm combined that awareness with the fear of an unknown pathogen to push its climate-friendly solution: “Don’t go shopping for fresh vegetables. Grow them in your own home.”
Cultivating veggies in the kitchen is not new. “Anyone can buy a hydroponic platform to use at home. They can buy seeds and all the material they need to do home farming,” AgwaFarm’s CEO and cofounder Alon Wallach explains. “But what makes people fail and fail again is a lack of knowledge and a lack of time to tend to the vegetables.” Hydroponic farming – where the vegetables sit in a nutrient solution rather than soil, usually in a greenhouse – is “precision farming,” Wallach adds. “You need to be very accurate.”
AgwaFarm’s flagship product, the AgwaGarden, is an all-in-one box that allows consumers without nary a green thumb to plant, nurture and harvest hydroponic vegetables with almost no effort. The unit is about the size of a small wine refrigerator and sports a clear glass front. In addition to the slots for seed pods, there is an opening for adding water and another for adding fertilizer every six months or so. You don’t need to monitor the plants or the temperature, pH, light and humidity in the box. AgwaFarms’ artificial intelligence software does all that for you, dispensing the right amount of nutrients at the right time.
AgwaFarm is running pilot tests in Israel, aiming to take AgwaGarden to the United States in June 2022 (“Probably to the Bay Area first, where people are considered early adopters,” Wallach says) with commercial sales hoped for by early 2023. The units are currently being built in Israel but, as the company expands its reach, Wallach expects manufacturing will move closer to the target markets. AgwaFarm’s most direct competition is the US startup Gardyn, which has a similar AI- and app-driven product. An Israeli firm, Hydi.io, has also developed an all-in-one home growing unit.
The Top 10 Healthiest Foods as Identified by 10 Nutritionists was written by Schalk Cloete for Medium.com, 11 January 2022.
Well, it has a novel spin: paying ten highly-rated nutritionists and dietitians on Upwork for listing their top 10 healthiest foods. I also asked for good reasons and scientific references to back up their selections. Here goes, the top 10 healthiest foods:
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Fermented foods
- Oats and Seeds
- Fatty fish
- Cruciferous veggies, Avocado and Tomato
- Other veggies
Honorable Mentions, include: Quinoa, Sea veggies, Garlic, Meat, Fruit, Olive oil, Matcha, Whole grains, Dark chocolate, Turmeric.
Vegetarians are 14 percent less likely than meat-eaters to develop any type of cancer was written by Ameya Paleja for InterestingEngineering.com, 25 February 2022.
Vegetarians, namely those who don’t prefer to eat any type of animal meat, have a 14 percent lower risk of developing any type of cancer when compared to people who regularly consume meat, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford has revealed.
The growing tribe of vegetarianism around you might seem like just a fad but chances are, it will not only stay but also grow further. Previous studies have shown that maintaining a vegetarian diet lowers the risk of many health conditions, and even fast food companies are keen to onboard vegetarian options on their menus. And a new study using data from the U.K. Biobank is adding weight to this movement.
At the end of 11 years, the researchers reported different types of cancers in these individuals, ranging from colorectal cancer to prostate cancer as well as postmenopausal breast cancer in women participants. However, the occurrence of cancer was the least in those who were on a vegetarian diet, while meat-eaters were at the most risk.
As the risk of developing any type of cancer was lower in individuals who consumed less meat in their diet, it was even lower for individuals who consumed fish in their diets. According to a press release from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) that financially supported this study, the risk of developing cancer was lowered by 10 percent in individuals who ate fish. Compared to meat-eaters, fish-eaters had 20 percent less likelihood of developing prostate cancer, while vegetarians were 31 percent less likely to develop the same type of cancer.
No-knead Gatorade bread was shared by Dennis Lee for FoodIsStupid.com, 16 February 2022. I’ve not tried this (although I’ve made no-knead bread with beer while I was in college) but I want to try this!
“Dannis,” I said to myself, “It’s about time you learn how to bake bread. It is your Achilles heel, your one true weakness in the kitchen. If the world understood your bread illiteracy, your enemies would slay you with a sharpened baguette.” This entire time, I’d thought I needed a stand mixer or something to make bread, even though I understood no-knead, no-fuss recipes for bread existed. But what I didn’t realize, is exactly how easy it actually is. The New York Times no-knead bread recipe by Jim Lahey is so stupidly easy. There’s only four ingredients, flour, water, salt, and yeast. You mix that in a bowl, let it sit overnight, and just ’ bake it. There. Bread.
For this week’s newsletter, I decided to make my own version of no-knead bread by replacing a key ingredient, water, with a classic electrolyte-replenishing, thirst-quenching beverage: Gatorade. Because it’s finally time for someone to be able to call bread refreshing. One thing you need to know is that the best flavor of Gatorade is Riptide Rush. I do not know what “Riptide Rush” actually means. I’d describe its flavor as “pale purple,” which happens to be its color, because every flavor of Gatorade is just its color. Unfortunately, Riptide Rush is so pale it didn’t seem like it’d affect the dough much, so I picked the darkest drink I could find on the shelf, which happened to be grape.
Read more and BAKE: No-knead Gatorade bread
The world’s tiniest battery could power a new generation of wearable sensors was reported by Chris Young for InterestingEngineering.com, 22 February 2022.
Scientists at the Chemnitz University of Technology developed the world’s smallest battery, a Swiss-roll-inspired self-assembling device that could be used to power small sensors in the human body, according to a new paper published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials. The breakthrough in energy storage technology was created via the so-called Swiss-Roll process, inspired by the famous layered, spongey dessert. In this case, the researchers layered current collectors and electrode strips made of polymeric, metallic, and dielectric materials onto a tensioned water surface.
The micro-battery is roughly the size of a grain of dust — one square millimeter across — and it has a minimum energy density of 100 microwatt hours per square centimeter. According to study lead Professor Oliver Schmidt, that density will improve over time: “There is still a huge optimization potential for this technology, and we can expect much stronger micro-batteries in the future,” Schmidt explained.
While obviously limited by its size, the team behind the new device says it could eventually be used in tiny chips for biosensors in the human body.
Is Comedy a Prerequisite to a Successful Medical Career? was written by Milter Packer, MD for MedPageToday.com, 2 March 2022.
The most important figure in the current conflict in the Ukraine may be Vladimir Putin. But the most fascinating person is Volodymyr Zelenskyy (anglicized Zelensky). A long-standing advocate of Ukrainian-Russia harmony, Zelenskyy was elected in a landslide as the President of the Ukraine in 2019. Although he initially underestimated the extent of Putin’s ambitions, Zelenskyy has become the central symbol for the Ukrainian resistance. Most people expected Zelenskyy would abdicate, fleeing the country to save his own life and the lives of his immediate family. Instead, Zelenskyy has stated unequivocally (and bravely) that he is staying in the Ukraine to lead both his people and their military response. Zelenskyy’s personal response has single-handedly inspired the severity of sanctions from the West and turned the tide of the war.
Zelenskyy has one unique qualification for this Spartacus moment: his first career choice was in comedy. Zelenskyy was a serious actor and comedian, winning comedy competitions and producing highly successful comedy films. In 2015, Zelenskyy was the star of the television series, “Servant of the People,” where he played the role of the president of Ukraine. The series was so successful that the people of Ukraine made fiction into a reality.
As The Economist noted, the boundaries between politics and stand-up comedy have been blurred for a long time. Comedians are running for public office, and our political leaders are making a serious effort to be funny (sometimes). If you think comedy has no role in a discipline devoted to serious affairs, think again. Take the healthcare field as yet another example: there has always been a special relationship between comedy and medicine.
Comedy is not about making people laugh. The core value of comedy is the “comic frame,” as described so well by Kenneth Burke. The comic frame is “neither wholly euphemistic, nor wholly debunking — hence it provides the charitable attitude towards people that is required for purposes of persuasion and cooperation.” The purpose of the comic frame is to satirize a given circumstance so as to provoke thought and promote change. According to George Meredith, the flourishing of comedy is a critically important test of the health of a civilization.
Beyond the health of civilizations, comedy is critically important to the health of individuals. It is claimed that people who laugh more get less sick than those who do not.
In short, comedy is one of the highest forms of empathic communication and one of the most effective mechanisms of promoting healthy change.
The Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago reinforces improv comedy as part of the medical educational experience. The principles of stand-up comedy have been used to promote an understanding of interpersonal biases in medicine. Second City, the famed comedy club in Chicago, has developed modules to promote patient and caregiver agency in healthcare. Watching comedy routines reduces stress and anxiety in patients undergoing surgical oncology procedures. Two randomized trials have reported that watching comedy is an effective approach to improving pain tolerance.
Do you still have doubts? You have heard that laughter is the best medicine. Do you know where that aphorism comes from? It comes from the Bible (Proverbs 17:22): “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”