International News Desk – At Home: Farm Brew – Around the World: Chocolate Hearts

At Home: Farm Brew

Nothing makes soil rich and productive like a good fertilizer. Nothing revives a tired person like a good strong cup of coffee. Put them together, and what have you got? A concoction that enriches the earth in the short term?while protecting it for future generations.

As the CBC reports, Jim Lester, a Newfoundland farmer, is ?using old coffee grounds to fertilize his fields and reduce his greenhouse gas [emissions].?

Over the past two years, Lester has ?collected 2,000 loads of coffee grounds from Tim [Horton?s] stores.? He then adds straw to the grounds, allowing them to compost into an excellent fertilizer.

The project has saved Lester money, since ?the price of conventional fertilizer is tied to the cost of oil,? and it saves the local Tim’s the costs of disposing of the grounds. Better still, It’s minimizing the carbon footprint both of Lester and of the many coffee lovers whose leftovers fuel his project. Old coffee grounds are ?a [resource] That’s normally wasted,? Lester told reporters, one that ?would have gone to the landfill otherwise.?

Currently, Lester estimates that he’s reduced his fertilizer-caused greenhouse gas emissions ?by about 25 per cent,? and hopes to nearly triple that in the future.

Around the World: Chocolate Hearts

Heart-shaped chocolates are particularly popular on Valentine’s Day, but during the rest of the year chocolate is a panacea for broken hearts, weary hearts, and romantic hopes and fears everywhere. Recent research, though, suggests that It’s not just the emotional core to which chocolate speaks: it may be beneficial to cardiac health.

As the CBC reports, Cambridge University scientists found that ?[eating] more chocolate could reduce . . . the risk of developing heart disease by 37 per cent.? The risk of suffering a stroke could also be 29 per cent lower.

While dark chocolate is frequently touted as healthy, the study examined other forms, including milk chocolate. A common ingredient in many cocoa-based concoctions, flavonol, can potentially ?lower the risk of cardiometabolic disorders.?

More studies are needed to show the quantities required to maximize heart health benefit. In addition, the study authors note that ?moderation is . . . key,? reminding chocophiles that ?eating too much chocolate can still have harmful effects, especially in popular, commercialized products that contain high sugar and fat . . .?

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