GOOD

Ingenious Lamp Illuminates Rural Communities Using Nothing But Saltwater

Providing sustainable, eco-friendly lighting could be as easy as filling a glass of water and adding a dash of salt.

image via SALt // Facebook

There are over seven thousand islands that make up the whole of the Philippines, each of which is surrounded by gallons upon gallons of salt water. And while that may not seem like much of a natural resource, a new Filipino startup has found a way to harness that simple combination of H2O and NaCl, and transform it into a low-cost source of reliable lighting for a country in which many live disconnected from the national power grid.

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Perfect Salt Cubes Produced by the Dead Sea.

A natural phenomenon creates perfectly shaped cubes.

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Experts Dispute How Much Salt Is Too Much

An intellectual a-salt on federal dietary guidelines.

Image via Flickr user Dubravko Sorić

A modest Chipotle burrito contains around 2,000 milligrams of sodium. But if you live life to the fullest like I do, the sodium content of a Chipotle burrito can easily top 2,700 milligrams—or 117 percent of the daily intake suggested by current federal standards.

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Government Releases New "Dietary Guidelines for Americans"

Summary: Americans just need to eat less. But hidden beneath the scientific language, the government is actually calling for a food revolution.


This morning, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a press conference to release the 2010 "Dietary Guidelines for Americans." The document represents the official federal advice on nutrition—which foods to eat, in what quantity, and which to avoid—and it is updated by law every 5 years. It's a pretty big deal, because its recommendations influence all government food programs, such as school meals, Meals on Wheels, regulatory decisions, and consumer tools, such as the ubiquitous food pyramid.

Overall, the biggest change in the new guidelines is the tone, which has become much more urgent and direct. For example, the 2005 guidelines were content to note that consumers should "follow a diet that does not provide excess calories," while today's version is straightforward about the fact that to be healthy most Americans just need to eat less and move more. The change in focus can even be seen in the "appropriate intake" chapter title: In 2005, the government organized its overall consumption advice under the heading "Adequate Nutrients Within Calorie Needs," while in 2010, the section is titled "Balancing Calories to Manage Weight."

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Salt Crystals, Stevia, and the SunChips Bag: An Interview with PepsiCo's Derek Yach

PepsiCo's Derek Yach discusses how his company is redesigning food at the molecular and the agricultural scale—and why.

As the debate on the pros and cons of public investment in food design R&D draws to a close over at the Glass House Conversation website, I have been continuing to ask experts and eaters from a range of backgrounds to share their opinions about what food design can and should do.

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