Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 66 - Flax and France, blog 66

Speaking of Air France, Manuel Noriega was extradited to Paris today.

If you're not sure where Panama is, this old classic shoud set you straight.

In other news, the following article is really exciting for two reasons: we're making huge leaps in Going Green and secondly, I was born on this Patuxant, MD Naval base.

Permalink Security Brief: The Navy's new secret weapon? Going green
It’s the new secret weapon fueling the US military. A hardy plant capable of growing in poor soil, camelina sativa produces a bio-fuel that’s now the focus of the US Navy’s drive for alternative fuels in its planes.

Last week an F/A-18 Super Hornet flew from the Naval Air Station at Patuxent River, Md., powered by a 50/50 mix of aviation fuel and camelina, also known as wild flax. It was the first supersonic fighter to fly on a bio-fuel mix. The event was celebrated by US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on the Navy’s new official blog, also launched last week .

Officials say that during the 45-minute flight the plane’s engines worked as well on the camelina fuel as on normal aviation fuel – at both subsonic and supersonic speeds.
“The fuel works so well, all I needed to do was just fly the plane.” the plane’s pilot, Lt. Cmdr. Tom Weaver said. Mabus describes the program a “significant milestone” toward operational use of bio-fuels by the Navy.
The Navy says it will take a few months before camelina can be certified as an alternative fuel source, but it has already received 40,000 gallons of camelina bio-fuel from a grower in Montana, at a cost of nearly $3 million. The humble weed is now being cultivated because of its high oil content – with farmers across the Pacific Northwest looking at its potential.
Environmentalists give a lukewarm welcome to the programs, but say the military should be focusing on other ways to reduce its ‘footprint.’ “Does it really need all those post-WWII military bases in places like Germany and Japan? Does it need to keep all that cold-war hardware in operation? “ asks Michael Graham Richard at Treehugger.com
To read the full article click here: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/04/26/security-brief-the-navys-new-secret-weapon-going-green/?hpt=C2

Flax is also being used to reduce the emission of methane by cows. Since Texas is high on the list of cow-raising and I've been following the research. .

Read on...

Researchers look to omega-3 fatty acids to reduce methane emissions and make healthier milk.

Dairy cow nutrition was once a matter of feeding for higher milk yield and cow health. But recently, feed management has taken on wider significance, as we learn more about how it affects the environment and human health. A cow’s diet ends up both in the environment and in the milk bottle, one way or another.
 Stonyfield Farm of Londonderry, N.H., long concerned about its environmental impact, has for the last decade sought to reduce the carbon footprint of milk production – its largest contributor of greenhouse gases. The toughest part has been dealing with enteric emissions, or the methane from a cow’s digestion. So when Stonyfield learned how Group Danone, the French company which holds a large share in Stonyfield, uses dairy nutrition to reduce its greenhouse emissions, the U.S. company began a similar pilot program, calling it “The Greener Cow.”

Pasture is the best way to feed that greener cow. A diet rich in natural omega-3 fatty acid sources such as grass, alfalfa and flax rebalances a cow’s rumen, so she gives off less methane, explained Nancy Hirshberg, Stonyfield’s vice president for natural resources. In addition, omega-3 provides many benefits for human health, as anyone who walks down a supermarket aisle knows today.

Preliminary results of Stonyfield’s study found an average 12% reduction in methane emissions on the dairies feeding flax. But it also found that omega-3s in the milk increased by 29%, while the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 was lowered, a ratio considered a key to human health.
However, TradiLin is currently only processed in Europe, by the French company Valorex SAS, so is a costly alternative.
“The big unknown is how to make it work economically for every farm that wants to adopt it,” Hirshberg said.
To get the full article: http://dairywebmall.com/dbcpress/?p=5512

If you don't here, they make you pay for a bag.

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