Grazing the Net
Greg Henderson and Friends
Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining.
New Rule: Don't Attempt Poop Transplant at Home
Apr 25, 2014
In case you need to be reminded, doctors say you shouldn't attempt a fecal transplant at home. Yeah, that was never on our bucket list, but apparently some folks will try anything. The warning comes along with new research in the journal, "Clinical Infectious Diseases," that finds frozen poop can be just as effective as fresh feces for use in fecal transplants doctors are now using to treat difficult infections.
Doctors obtain a stool sample from a healthy person, chop it up in a blender, filter it and dilute it, then give it to a patient through a colonoscopy or a tube that's threaded through the nose, down the esophagus, and into the stomach. The beneficial bacteria from a healthy person's feces outcompetes the harmful bacteria in a patient's intestine. Incredibly, doctors have confirmed some people have tried this on their own.
Al Gore is Not Giving Up
Former vice president Al Gore has a new look, a fat wallet and a consistent message. "I want to catalyze the emergence of a solution to the climate crisis as quickly as possible. Period," he says. Gore is 50 pounds lighter than when he last held office 14 years ago, a benefit, he claims from becoming a vegan. His net worth, however, has ballooned to more than $200 million, thanks to the sale of his Current TV network to Al Jazeera last year. Gore says he's more convinced than ever that climate change can be stopped, predicting a coming "political tipping point."
Walmart's Organic Scheme
When Walmart announced plans to begin selling lower-cost organic foods, a flurry of press – both positive and negative – followed.
Many are concerned with Walmart's growing market power. For instance, in 1998 the Bentonville behemoth accounted for 4 % of grocery sales. Just 16 years later, its market share was more than 25 %.
It plans to open at least 385 new stores in the U.S. over the next year alone. Stacy Mitchell, a senior researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, argues that with Walmart's presence in the food system, "nearly everyone involved in food production and distribution has seen their income take a hit. Farmers are getting a significantly smaller share of the consumer food dollar. Wages for slaughterhouse workers have fallen 9 percent in the last 15 years. Employees at competing grocery stores have lost ground on wages and given up benefits."
Cattle in School
A new project at Hagerstown High School, Hagerstown, Ind., has students raising cattle that will supply beef to the school's cafeteria. Students will learn about agriculture and business while raising the steers, and the school will save $2,000 to $3,000 in food costs.