Melissa Wong

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Comments & conversations

186899
Melissa Wong
Posted about 2 years ago
Buggin' Out: Urban Bug Farming for the Future
Yeah, actually, I had an experience kind of like that, where at a market/faire thing I went to when I was little there was a man who was selling different kinds of roasted bugs, and I think I tried curry crickets or something? They were surprisingly good. I do think that kind of thing brought really good attention and raised awareness to the fact that many cultures regularly eat bugs and that it's a normal thing to do. Which I think is pretty cool. Personally, I can't yet see myself eating bugs as a staple of my diet and a main protein source, but I do think it's a good idea in general to start looking at things like eating bugs as an alternative food source, as the current food production methods on this planet are seriously harming the environment. I really agree that introducing kids to bug eating early is going to be key if this is ever going to be a viable option.
186899
Melissa Wong
Posted about 2 years ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
Actually, I've heard a lot about bee honey and pollen in terms of allergy reduction and I think this is definitely something worth exploring as a pro for urban beehives. While there hasn't really been any real research done into the benefits of local honey in treating allergies, I personally have noticed a difference in mine after eating honey bought from a local farmer's market, and there has been a lot of anecdotal evidence. It would make sense that local honey would help with a specific region's allergy symptoms as the pollen in the air is the same used in the local honey. It would be very beneficial, I'm sure, knowing how many people suffer from minor springtime allergies and hay fever. Here's a link to an article about honey and allergies: http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/allergies/allergy-treatments/local-honey-for-allergies2.htm
186899
Melissa Wong
Posted about 2 years ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
That's true, urban beekeeping would take a lot of involvement to make a big difference. I do still think it's something worth being encouraged on a small scale. A lot of big change starts with small actions, and who knows? Maybe just a couple people getting bees and showing their friends and family can start something big.
186899
Melissa Wong
Posted about 2 years ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
I might disagree with you, Kristin. I think that bee keeping is actually a very plausible means of increasing food production, both locally, and on a large scale. While many states to have strict regulations regarding the keeping of bees in urban environments, many are beginning to allow the keeping of bees with permits and certain rules. For instance, in Portland, I know that it is okay to keep bees in urban environments with a permit, and in fact my aunt and my brother both keep bees. They're not that much work to keep, they pollenate the fruit trees in the area, and they produce really great honey. I think in general, keeping bees doesn't take much time or space, and even if the owner of the bees isn't growing food themselves, if the beehive is anywhere near a garden (even a community one) I feel as though it would benefit greatly from the bee activity.
186899
Melissa Wong
Posted about 2 years ago
Will the Belo Monte Dam project on the Amazon River cause more harm to the environment or will it be a good source of energy for Brazil?
I agree with you, that while the building of the dam would create a renewable source of energy, it would also be extremely harmful to the environment. I feel like it would also set a precedent for further dam building along the Amazon off-shoot rivers which would cause even greater damages to the rainforest and greater ecosystems. I think it's also important to note that the building of the dam would endanger countless human lives, as well. That's not to say that human life is more important than ecosystem preservation, but it is certainly something to consider. The Amazon rainforests along these rivers provide many cultural ecosystem services and they're vital to the tribes and other settlers living along the river that the Belo Monte Dam will be stopping up.
186899
Melissa Wong
Posted about 2 years ago
Cats pose a serious threat to biodiversity: Why do we accept it? What should be done?
Honestly, I just don't feel like we'd ever be able to truly phase out cats and pets, and I'm pretty sure that I and many other people don't want to. While I do agree that cats have definitely caused some serious problems for biodiversity with the mass amounts of killings animals they've done, I don't think the answer is to get rid of them as pets. I don't think it's feasible or ethical to euthanize all stray cats and those that escape euthanasia would just continue to reproduce, and I think that if cats are going to be around in significant numbers anyway, it's better that they're domesticated than feral.
186899
Melissa Wong
Posted about 2 years ago
Purell now, Bacteri-ell later?
Yeah, I definitely think that a natural exposure is the way to go. That's how many cultures and how people historically gained exposure to bacteria and it's worked this long, so why change it? While medical advances have been great and something like a bacteria lotion seems convenient, it seems like something along that line could go terribly wrong, as it takes out the necessity for outdoor exposure. I feel as though it would be less effective to be introduced to airborne allergens and microbes through the air, rather than through our skin, as that it not the main way we have exposure to these things in the real world, so our resistance may not be as effective or strong.
186899
Melissa Wong
Posted about 2 years ago
Purell now, Bacteri-ell later?
I almost feel like there's no point in creating a product like "bacteri-ell" to replace purell in our society. It seems like it would be a silly thing that people wouldn't want to use, because since their polar opposites, they serve entirely different functions. People use Purell to keep themselves from coming in contact with other people's illnesses or to get ready to eat or just for general hygiene, and a lot of these things that things that bacteri-ell wouldn't help prevent. I do understand that it makes sense to have a higher level of exposure to microbes that can help with immune response and such things, but I think this should be accomplished in a more natural way, by such things as letting kids play outside and interact with other people at a young age, so they can be naturally exposed to a range of microbes while they're still young enough to combat anything harmful they may come in contact with. I know that as a child I was allowed to do these things and I have a very healthy immune system. I very rarely get sick and I don't have any allergies because I think I was exposed to these things enough in my daily life as a child that they're already incorporated into my body. I don't think a product like bacteri-ell would be necessary, really.
186899
Melissa Wong
Posted about 2 years ago
What form of renewable energy has or will have the lowest impact on biodiversity?
I think it's a good point that, with the point we're at in society, we really just need to have a greater understanding of our impact on the environment with our energy consumption on a societal level. I have a hard time seeing the human race making a global effort to downsize energy consumption, though I agree that that would be an amazing and important step for us to take. It's just that the global industrialization the capitalistic societies of most countries don't really lend themselves to movements like that, as sad as that is. I do like the idea of nuclear power and hydropower as alternatives for larger societies that wouldn't efficiently run off of wind and solar power, however I do think the two do have some serious cons that may be hard to get over. I feel that it would be extremely difficult to figure out a method to harness hydropower without damming rivers, and there is no way to 'minimize' the effects of damming a river that I can think of, but I could be wrong. It may just be a price that we're going to have to pay, though, because really, anything is better than our current situation.
186899
Melissa Wong
Posted about 2 years ago
What form of renewable energy has or will have the lowest impact on biodiversity?
I think with this, though, it is important to take into consideration the major issues that dams have already caused in terms of biodiversity. Especially in the Pacific Northwest of the US with the Bonneville dam, there has been some serious damage to salmon populations, as the dams impede the natural migration patterns of salmon up the Columbia river. While fish ladders do help to minimize this issue, there is no substitute for the fish's natural migration patterns. The drastic changes to the river downstream of the dams also have huge repercussions on wildlife. Lower water levels through off plant growth regions and that can have serious effects on the diversity within an area. Yes, hydro-power causes far less pollution, generally causing some sedimentary disruption within the water supply and causing essentially zero atmospheric contamination, there are some serious drawbacks to damming up rivers.