Bat Crisis Threatens U.S. Food Supply
SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Crisis in the bat world could mean trouble for the U.S. food supply, according to an article in the April issue of Food Nutrition & Science. A recent report from the U.S Geological Survey (USGS), the University of Pretoria, the University of Tennessee and Boston University details how bats in North America likely provide farmers more than $3.7 billion worth of pest-control services each year but the loss of bat populations from infectious disease and wind turbines could lead to agricultural losses.
"Bats provide free and silent pest-control services as they eat flying insects, such as moths and beetles, which reproduce quickly and prey on our crops," says Phil Lempert, founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com. "Unfortunately, bats are currently facing two very dangerous enemies, a disease called White Nose Syndrome and wind turbines, and we need to figure out how bats can co-exist with the latter so we don't increase pesticide use on our crops."
To date, over one million bats are thought to have died from White Nose Syndrome, a condition that awakes bats early from hibernation before there is enough available food. In addition, scientists have estimated that by 2020, 33,000 to 111,000 bats could be killed annually by wind turbines in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands alone. While wind turbines provide a great source of green energy, they are not kind to certain species of migratory, tree-roosting bats.
Also in the May edition of Food Nutrition & Science, the second of a two-part series that examines the aging farmer population and the challenges young farmers face such as land availability and start-up costs. According to reports, farmers over 55 years old own more than half of the country's farmland.
In addition, an article on recycling highlights The Coca-Cola Company and the introduction of its 100% recyclable merchandise display racks for use in grocery and convenience stores throughout the U.S.
"The partnership between manufacturers, retailers and consumers is paramount to the future of the Earth," says Lempert. "We're seeing statistics that more people and companies are recycling and hopefully this will translate to an improved environment."
According to studies, the recycling rate increased from less than 10 percent of generated solid waste in 1980 to almost 34 percent in 2009. Similarly, the disposal of waste to landfills has decreased from 89 percent of the amount generated in 1980 to about 54 percent in 2009.
The May edition of Food Nutrition & Science, also includes an interview with Harriet Hentges, Ahold USA's vice president of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability. She discusses tackling the challenges of running a sustainable business both domestically and abroad; and an article by Jennifer Shea, Supervalu Corporate Dietitian, on how to make a delicious and interesting salad.
Food Nutrition & Science is a free monthly newsletter with articles relating to retailers, manufacturers, farmers, nutritionists, educators, government agencies and more. It's also a newsletter that services members of the National Grocer Association and offers breaking food news and articles on food safety and industry-wide green initiatives. Food Nutrition & Science is committed to covering topics and trends that interest anyone with a stake in the food industry including supermarket retailers, food manufacturers and consumers. Each issue contains an interview with a farmer.
For more information or to subscribe to Food Nutrition & Science, please visit www.FoodNutritionScience.com.
About Food Nutrition & Science
With more than 26,000 readers, Food Nutrition & Science from The Lempert Report is the only monthly newsletter that provides readers analysis and offers discussions on all issues relating to the food industry. Founded by food industry analyst and CEO of The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com Phil Lempert, Food Nutrition & Science was created so that all industry players could communicate about the safest, most efficient and healthiest way to get food to our plates. For more information or to subscribe to Food Nutrition & Science, please visit www.FoodNutritionScience.com.
SOURCE Food Nutrition & Science