Becca Cudmore

Eugene, OR, United States

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Comments & conversations

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Becca Cudmore
Posted about 1 year ago
Buggin' Out: Urban Bug Farming for the Future
I just watched this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekyloW1cpik It gives a nice peak into bug baking! The speaker, "Wheatgrass Allen," claims that insects are a higher-quality protein than beef. And even though insects are incredibly small in size relative to a cow, pig, or chicken (you would have to eat a whole lot of them to equal the 7g of protein per ounce of beef steak), they are still more efficient than raising cattle. According to National Geographic, one hundred pounds of feed produces 10 pounds of beef. The same amount of feed would produce more than four times that amount in crickets. So, I guess the question comes down to: Are we willing to eat A LOT of insects, in a single sitting, to get a sufficient amount of protein? Seems like we would have to condense and sell them through somewhat of a "insect burger" to compete with a serving size of beef.
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Becca Cudmore
Posted about 1 year ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
"The Urban Beehive" is a concept that was put forward by Philips in 2011. Check it out: http://www.design.philips.com/philips/sites/philipsdesign/about/design/designportfolio/design_futures/urban_beehive.page I think it is useful as an educational tool for understanding bee life, if for nothing else. Maybe if Philips could scale the product up so that it was more than just a personal zoo? One of its main selling points is that it looks sexy. While that isn't necessarily a motivator for me to buy it, perhaps the "hip look" of such a product is necessary for bringing in crowds who may not be on board with "messy" outdoor bee keeping.
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Becca Cudmore
Posted about 1 year ago
Can urban beehives increase food production?
Make an awesome video explaining why honey bees are necessary to grow crops that humans depend on. Show this video at any "city council" meeting that is thinking about allowing urban beehives in their community. Most people already know bees are important. And most people are willing to get behind a cause they know is good and helping the world.
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Becca Cudmore
Posted about 1 year 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?
What a great article. The Belo Monte Dam project is an incredible anecdote for describing the energy paradox that is occurring across the globe. If the indigenous groups can overcome the government, this would be a rare and important defeat. The following quote is especially exciting to me: "In February, the Indigenous Council of Roraima, the Socioenvironmental Institute and the Federal University of Maranhão worked together to install three wind turbines in the territory to measure wind speeds over the course of a year, and verify the viability of wind power as an alternative to hydroelectricity." If Brazil can identify wind energy as being just as productive as hydro, then perhaps they may serve as a model for the rest of the world, which currently searches for energy sources.
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Becca Cudmore
Posted about 1 year ago
Cats pose a serious threat to biodiversity: Why do we accept it? What should be done?
Good point about fear. The first thing that comes to mind is that cats are afraid of water... Maybe cat owners should be required to purchase a motion-censored squirt gun/sprinkler that they then place near bird feeders? Or owners could have the option of writing into, say, the Audubon Society, who sends them one free of charge? I have also heard the suggestion that owners can scatter citrus peels (oranges and lemons), or spray a mixture of citrus oil and water. Apparently, cats hate it.
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Becca Cudmore
Posted about 1 year ago
Purell now, Bacteri-ell later?
Going back to a point that was brought up a couple of hours ago--that industrialized countries need more interaction with nature to acquire these microbes-- I totally agree! The hygiene and early immune challenge hypotheses could be joined with a myriad of others acting as metaphors for how far removed much of Western civilization is from the natural world. To me, this is less an issue of discovering, making, and selling a bacterial concoction that humans currently lack. This is not addressing the root issue, and pushing us further away from it if anything. The root issue is that many of us never spend real time in a forest, around animals, wild plants, or most importantly, any of their microbes! Reconnecting with the microbes many of us currently lack could be solved through a reconnection with the natural world, which many of us also lack. This would not only make us healthier individuals in the sense of microbes, but also through the many other ways that nature has been proven to make us happier people.
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Becca Cudmore
Posted over 1 year ago
What form of renewable energy has or will have the lowest impact on biodiversity?
Has anyone heard of the "energy producing bridge" anticipated to be built in the Strait of Juan de Fuca? It's a hybrid bridge that produces energy from wind, waves, and ocean currents. Apparently it could produce an output of 14,000 MW, a large fraction of the region's energy (this is a very conservative estimate). An effective marine mammal protection system would need to be built! But, this is not impossible. Do note that the total mass of this structure is 1000 Tons. So, that is 1000 Tons per MW for tidal generation, compared to 100 Tons per MW for wind generation-- a very significant difference. Here is a video (equip with entertaining tunes!) that can give you an idea of what this thing looks like and how it works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkaPjhYuPtQ&feature=related I don't know much else about the bridge and would be happy to hear if anyone has heard more or has an opinion...