Fish farm escapees grow fast, die young

Rainbow trout are silver with a pink stripe running from head to tail. Image: Flickr.
Rainbow trout are silver with a pink stripe running from head to tail. Image: Flickr.

When a farmed fish escapes its pen, does the rest of the lake notice?

Farmed rainbow trout in Lake Huron may outcompete their wild relatives when it comes to growth and feeding efficiency, Canadian scientists report. But they are left for dead when it comes to long-term survival.

Continue reading Fish farm escapees grow fast, die young


Malawi, U.S. students innovate food systems frugally


A group of Michigan State University students and faculty working with the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation went to Malawi recently to start two weeks of research and education.

The Frugal Innovations Program, brought the MSU students together with students from LUANAR University in Malawi to study food system problems in that southeastern African country.

The students represent a variety of disciplines, and will be searching for solutions to issues in Malawi that can be implemented frugally.
We caught up with two of the MSU students, Kevin Mills and Jodie Zhu, before they headed out.

Listen to the podcast here.

Photo: Kevin Mills

Photo story: Pictures measure nutrition

By Ali Hussain

Speech is not the only way people engage with their surroundings.  Information hard to express in words may be better communicated with photographs.

Christopher Bielecki used photography to measure people’s access to nutritious food in rural Guatemala when he was a researcher at Texas A&M University.

Continue reading Photo story: Pictures measure nutrition

Energy from animal poop


Taisha5Taisha Venort

They say one person’s trash is another person’s treasure…but what about one farmer’s animal’s…poop! Could we turn that into a renewable energy source? Could we turn something so dirty…and smelly into clean energy used to feed people?

Biogas research and technology does just that. By turning animal manure into clean, renewable energy, researchers working in rural Kenya are helping farmers improve their quality of life.

Taisha Venort is a masters student in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. She is here today to talk about finding energy in unique places.

Listen to the podcast here.

Using bitter melon to treat diabetes


A bitter-tasting plant that looks like a cucumber with warts growing all over it might help treat the symptoms of diabetes. The bitter melon, or bitter gourd, is popularly used to treat diabetes in many countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

According to World Health Organization, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were caused by diabetes in 2012.

The cost of treating diabetes can add up over a lifetime, and fruits and vegetables with medicinal properties could be treatment options in low-and-middle income countries with poor access to health care.

Jose Perez researches the potential of bitter melon to treat diabetes. Jose is currently a doctoral student at the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center in the department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

Listen to the podcast here.