African Slaves Brought First Rice Riches to U.S.?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 28, 2007   View Article

A rice variety that made many a colonial plantation owner rich was brought to the United States from West Africa, according to preliminary genetic research.

The finding suggests that African slaves are responsible for nearly every facet of one of the first rice varieties grown in the U.S., as well as one of the most lucrative crops in early American history.

Cicadas as Food: Summer’s Low-Fat Snack?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 22, 2007   View Article

High-protein, low-carb dieters take note: The billions of cicadas emerging from the ground this month in the midwestern U.S. are a healthy alternative to that bacon double-cheeseburger without the bun.

“They’re high in protein, low in fat, no carbs,” said Gene Kritsky, a biologist and cicada expert at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio, speaking to National Geographic News during the last major cicada outbreak, in 2004.

Americans Cooked With Chili Peppers 6,000 Years Ago, Study Finds

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 15, 2007   View Article

Domesticated chili peppers started to spice up dishes across the Americas at least 6,000 years ago, according to new research tracing the early spread of the crop.

Peppers quickly spread around the world after Christopher Columbus brought them back to Europe at the end of the 15th century, but their ancient history had been poorly known until now.

Warming Oceans Put Kink in Food Chain, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 30, 2007   View Article

The growth of tiny plants at the base of the ocean food chain is tightly linked to changes in the climate, according to a recent study.

The finding shows that as temperatures warm, the growth of single-celled ocean plants called phytoplankton slows at Earth’s mid and low latitudes. The plants’ growth increases when the climate cools.

Seafood May Be Gone by 2048, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 2, 2006   View Article

Unless humans act now, seafood may disappear by 2048, concludes the lead author of a new study that paints a grim picture for ocean and human health.

According to the study, the loss of ocean biodiversity is accelerating, and 29 percent of the seafood species humans consume have already crashed. If the long-term trend continues, in 30 years there will be little or no seafood available for sustainable harvest.

Iceland Breaks Whale-Hunt Ban, Kills Fin Whale

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 23, 2006   View Article

Icelandic whalers killed an endangered fin whale Saturday, breaking a 20-year moratorium on commercial whaling in the Scandinavian country.

Television images Sunday showed a 65-foot-long (20-meter-long) fin whale being towed into an Icelandic harbor. The whale was harpooned in the North Atlantic about 200 miles (320 kilometers) west of the country.

Hurricanes, Politics, Blowing Florida’s Laborers Away?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 15, 2006   View Article

Florida farmers are concerned that millions of pounds of fruit and vegetables may go unpicked next harvest season because U.S. immigration politics are keeping laborers from their fields.

And if hurricanes wallop the Sunshine State like they did the past two years, the problem could become even worse.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach