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    Electric vs. Fuel Cell Cars: Which One Is The Future of Green Motoring?

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    sustainable car fuels

    In 2020, there is no question that making sustainable switches in purchasing can make a positive environmental impact. If you are thinking about this, you’re certainly not in the minority with findings from a recent IBM consumer study in partnership with the National Retail Foundation showing nearly 60% of respondents were willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact.

    This focus on sustainability appeared to be a consistent concern across age groups as regardless of age the respondents spoke of the relative importance of sustainability and health attributes.

    So no matter what age, you’re not alone in thinking about what you can do to make a difference.

    Sustainable Transportation

    Transportation is one of the biggest barriers to making sustainable “green” lifestyle changes. It’s an essential part of our every day life such as work, shopping, and travel.

    Yet, transport has a huge collective sustainability impact with this sector in the UK and the US having more of an environmental effect than any other, producing 28.9% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US in 2017.

    Cars form a core part of nearly everyone’s transportation mode. It’s how you commute to work, move children between activitiess or tour with family. As such, how do you minimize your car’s environmental impact.

    You probably know that there are increasingly more alternative sustainable car fuels in the market with the BBC saying that, “For those continuing to use a car, choosing the most fuel-efficient model available can make a big difference.”

    With this in mind, this infographic from First Aid Wheels is designed to assist you with learning about two sustainable car fuels, and how each can contribute to the future of green motoring. Here’s a look at how electric vs. fuel cell cars stack up. You’ll learn the benefits, and essential sustainability features to consider.

    sustainable car fuels

    The Value of Gardening as a Hobby

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    gardening

    People look forward to gardening every day because it’s a rewarding hobby. You get to raise plants that would remain seeds without you and sometimes enjoy the literal fruits of your labor after a harvest. Depending on the size of your garden, you may spend a couple of hours taking care of it or check on it a few times each day.

    Check out the value of gardening as a hobby and read about these ways people thrive alongside the plants in their garden. Whether you only grow a few flowers or have sprawling rows of vegetables, you already enjoy all these simple ways gardening changes your life. 

     

    Benefits of Gardening as a Hobby

    Plants Clean Your Air

    Most people learned in school that trees filter CO2 out of the air. They absorb CO2 and exchange it for fresh oxygen, cleaning the atmosphere a little bit at a time. Smaller plants do the same thing, even in your backyard.

    Don’t worry about having to grow the traditional spider plants to breathe fresh air in your yard. You can also grow plants like gerbera daisies and peace lilies. Most indoor plants that typically clean indoor air can grow in your outdoor garden without an issue. 

     

    Gardening Relieves Stress

    It’s no mistake that you feel better after you finish taking care of your garden for the day. The routine of tending your plants and working with your hands helps relieve even the worst stress.

    Dutch researchers proved this scientifically with a study focused on stressed-out groups gardening or reading. The gardening group experienced lower cortisol levels, which is the hormone related to stress. Making a positive change in the world banishes stress and improves your stress levels. 

     

    Your Heart Gets Stronger

    Other scientists were curious about how gardening affects your heart, so a team of researchers with the British Journal of Sports Medicine conducted a study. Their results found that gardening counts as a moderate-intensity exercise, which reduces heart attack odds by 30% for people over 60 years old.

    It’s an easy, low-impact exercise for those who can’t jog on the treadmill or access a gym.

     

    You Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

    Gardening as a hobby also helps the planet in more ways than one. If you grow food in your garden, like tomatoes and lettuce, you’re also reducing your carbon footprint.

    When you eat veggies from your backyard, you’re spending less money on pre-packaged and transported products at the grocery store.

    Currently, the food industry is responsible for emitting 26% of global CO2 waste by transporting food from suppliers to grocery stores. Stop funding this ecological waste by growing what you can in your garden for your meals. 

     

    Your Self-Esteem Grows

    Anyone who has raised a successful garden knows how great it feels to see it bloom and harvest your food. That confidence comes from your self-esteem, which quickly grows as you watch your garden flourish.

    The best way to experience this benefit is to incorporate new garden plants into your routine and challenge your skills. This year, grow something you’ve never tried, like a vine plant or fruit tree. As you adapt to new gardening habits, your self-esteem will flourish alongside your plants. 

     

    Growing Plants Helps Your Brain

    Your brain adapts to your gardening habits more than you think. A group of researchers published their findings recently after tracking over 3,000 subjects for 16 years. They found that when these subjects gardened regularly, their risk for dementia dropped by 36-47%, which is a massive difference for those with dementia in your family history. 

    Although much about dementia and Alzheimer’s remains a mystery, gardening requires people to practice critical functions like dexterity, strength and problem-solving. Lifestyle factors could be an essential way to avoid brain diseases or delay their progression.

     

    Gardens Help Local Wildlife

    Native plants encourage bees to pollinate local plants and improve the environment for local wildlife. Gardens also provide shelter for smaller insects who need protection from predators and the summer sun.

    Think about growing more native plants this year in your garden to promote the well-being of your regional environment. 

     

    Experience Gardening as a Hobby for Yourself

    You can experience all of these gardening benefits by getting outside this year. Grow your favorite veggies, local plants and more. You’ll love how you help yourself and the environment with an easy and fun hobby you can start today. 

    The Environmental and Financial Benefits of Recycling Metal

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    aluminum cans

    Scrap metal is a valuable and readily available resource, and over 60% of ferrous metal in appliances is recycled for use in different items. Metal can be melted and reused many times over without its properties being altered, which makes it the perfect material for recycling.

    Currently, however, despite the many benefits that recycling brings, less than a third of all metal is collected and reused. Raising awareness of the advantages of metal recycling helps to encourage households to save sources of non-ferrous metals such as aluminum cans, tin cookware and copper wiring that are commonly found in the home.

    Recycling scrap metal is then made easier through the expansion of curb-side collections and the use of widespread local recycling facilities. Recycling metal waste diverts it from landfills and incinerators, and companies that purchase scrap metal help to discourage the illegal dumping of waste.

    In addition, reusing obsolete metal in manufacturing saves energy, reduces the use of natural resources, and cuts down on emissions of greenhouse gases.

     

    Recycling Metal Brings Financial Rewards

    Recycling and using scrap metal is also financially rewarding as it means that manufacturers can reduce their production costs. Sourcing materials from what is effectively a surface mine of scrap metal instead of having to finance the expensive extraction of fresh metal ore from the ground is much cheaper for them.

    The financial incentive for metal recycling extends beyond saving money using recycled materials in industrial production. Domestic consumers can do their bit for the environment, and be financially rewarded, when they give their household metal waste to specialist recycling companies.

    Aluminum cans are the most recycled metal items in the US, but broken copper piping, old brass fittings or mismatched stainless steel cutlery can all be recycled for money.

     

    The Scrap Metal Industry Provides Jobs

    On a larger scale, the thriving and widely spread scrap metal recycling industry contributes significantly to the economy.

    As well as generating tax and reducing manufacturing costs, the industry provides thousands of green jobs to workers throughout the US. The industry is labor intensive, and a study on the economic impact of recycling undertaken by the Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) found that almost half a million jobs had been created by the scrap metal recycling industry.

    This is partly due to the fact that scrap facilities, processors and brokers are located in every state in both urban and rural communities, providing well-paying jobs throughout the country.

    metal recycling

     

    Scrap Vehicles Supply The Steel Industry

    Many of these jobs lie within the business of scrapping vehicles. Cars are the most recycled product in the world, and in the US, car recycling is the 16th largest industry, contributing $25 billion a year to the national GDP.

    Over 12 million cars are dismantled every year, and 86% of the materials in each car is suitable for recycling or reuse. As cars become more complex and often cheaper to wreck than to repair, more of them are ending up in the scrapyard. Through the use of this abundant supply of recycled steel from scrapped vehicles, car manufacturers can reduce their costs by up to 60% and drastically reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.

    Scrap vehicles are also the primary source of metal for the production of new steel products. The steel industry is highly dependent on scrap metal and has been recycling it for over 150 years, viewing discarded and disused steel obsolete as a vital raw material.

    Metal has a potentially endless life cycle as it can be repeatedly recycled without any change taking place in its fundamental properties. This is one of the features that allows metal recycling to contribute to a highly sustainable and circular economy.

    It also helps scrap metal industries to embrace further the principles of Zero Waste, where all material is reused and waste products are eliminated.

     

    Reusing Resources Saves Energy

    Metal is one of the easiest materials to recycle and yet can result in some of the largest energy savings.

    The most energy intensive metal to produce is aluminum, which requires more electricity than any other metal. However, consumer products such as soda cans can simply be cleaned and melted without the further intensive use of power.

    Using recycled aluminum instead of virgin bauxite to manufacture one ton of new soda cans saves 21,000 kw hours, resulting in an overall reduction of 95% in energy usage.

    Recycling and repurposing metal uses less energy than the extraction and production of metal from virgin ore because scrap metal is already a plentiful and readily available source of metal. When it is recycled efficiently, the use of the energy-intensive industries of traditional mining, global shipping and metal refining is substantially reduced.

     

    Using Scrap Metal Protects the Environment

    Through saving energy, metal recycling also conserves natural resources and protects the environment.

    Emissions from mining and processing metal have a negative effect on climate change, and cause pollution in the air, ground and water. The creation of ore mines can cause the destruction of local habitats through deforestation, explosions and drilling. Without intervention, the physical scars on the earth left by mining can cause geological instability and take hundreds of years to heal.

    Once in operation, mines release large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and they can potentially contaminate the surrounding ground and water supplies with heavy metals and toxic minerals.

    On a local level, encouraging more people to recycle metal can prevent the illegal dumping of scrap metal which is not only dangerous and unsightly, but can also release harmful materials into waste streams.

    One of the major advantages of metal recycling is the fact that it protects the environment from unnecessary further damage. As a commercial enterprise, it provides thousands of jobs, and the processed metal it produces enables many other industries to cut costs in sourcing material and energy production.

    In addition, because the industry is widespread and accessible, it’s easy and profitable for individuals to get involved.

     

    6 Facts about Metal Recycling 

    metal recycling infographic

    Vegan Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad With Crispy Tortilla Strips Recipe

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    cucumber tomato avocado salad

    There’s nothing better than some crunchy tortilla chips served alongside fresh guacamole, except when they are turned into a delicious salad.

    This light and refreshing salad mimics the taste of your favorite Taco Tuesday treat but is hearty enough to eat as a meal.

    avocado salad with tortilla strips

    It’s perfect for a hot summer day when you don’t feel like turning the stove on but are still craving a healthy lunch or dinner. It’s even great for taking to pot lucks as it travels well and doesn’t contain any ingredients that spoil easily.

    Simply leave the tortilla strips for topping later as they’ll get soggy if they sit in the dressing for too long.

    cucumber tomato avocado salad

    We all know avocados are loaded with vitamins and minerals like potassium, B vitamins, and folate. Cucumbers and tomatoes are equally beneficial to your health as they are packed with antioxidants and immune-boosting vitamins like C and K.

    Even if you don’t enjoy guacamole because of the texture, give this salad a try because the flavors are out-of-this-world.

    The contrast of the crispy tortilla strips with the buttery avocado and juicy cucumbers and tomatoes will have you craving it again and again.

     

    cucumber tomato avocado salad
    Yield: 4 Servings

    Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad with Tangy Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette and Crispy Tortilla Strips

    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 25 minutes

    There's nothing better than some crunchy tortilla chips served alongside fresh guacamole, except when they are turned into a delicious salad. This light and refreshing salad mimics the taste of your favorite Taco Tuesday treat but is hearty enough to eat as a meal.

    Ingredients

    Salad

    Vinaigrette

    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/8 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
    • 1 tsp honey
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
    • 1/2 tsp teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
    2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper until it's well combined. Set the dressing aside.
    3. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
    4. Place the sliced tortilla strips onto the baking sheet in a single layer. Spray the tortilla strips with more cooking spray.
    5. Put the tortilla strips into the preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy.
    6. While the tortilla strips bake, place the cucumber, tomato, avocado, and red onion into a large bowl.
    7. Pour the cilantro-lime vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss gently to coat.
    8. If serving immediately, transfer the salad to a serving bowl and top with the crispy tortilla strips.
    9. If saving the salad for later, place the baked tortilla strips into an airtight container and leave at room temperature for up to three days.
    10. Cover the salad and refrigerate for up to three days.
    11. When ready to serve the salad, stir it gently to redistribute the dressing and top it with the crispy tortilla strips.

      cucumber-tomato-avocado-salad-5

    Nutrition Information

    Yield

    4

    Serving Size

    1

    Amount Per Serving Calories 367Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 24gCholesterol 0mgSodium 314mgCarbohydrates 28gNet Carbohydrates 19gFiber 9gSugar 6gProtein 5g

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    How to Practice Social Distancing Without Feeling Isolated

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    social distancing
    Getting outside regularly is crucial for our mental health and well-being, but it has never been as important as it is now.
     
    With much of the country under social distancing and shelter in place orders, it’s not always clear what we should or should not be doing. It’s okay to go to the grocery store once a week, but not to the gym. However, it is perfectly acceptable to get out into nature as long as you practice the rules of social distancing, which include washing your hands regularly or using hand sanitizer and staying at least six feet away from anyone you come in contact with out on the trail.
     
    Getting outside during this trying time can be great for your mental health, and you’ll get a little exercise, too!
     
    Check with your local parks as to which trails, fishing ponds, and kayaking streams may be open right now. Playgrounds and ball courts have been closed in many places, but you can still go for a paddle in the stream or go for a hike on the trails. Bicycling outdoors, whether on appropriate trails or in your neighborhood, can get you back to feeling balanced, too. At the very least you should go for a walk every day and say hello to your neighbors – even the brief social contact will do a lot to lift your spirits.
     
    While we’re all practicing social distancing, it’s important to not slide into social isolation. Make a point to call people and write letters when you can and get outside and say hello to people face-to-face as often as possible while remaining at a safe distance. Learn more about preventing feelings of isolation during social distancing below.
     
    how-to-practice-social-distancing-without-feeling-isolated

    How to Make Your Own DIY Face Mask

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    Slow the spread of Coronavirus with a face mask. Here are simple instructions for how you can make your own homemade DIY face mask using only a t-shirt and a pair of scissors.

    Healthy Eating Under Quarantine – Infographic

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    Just because you are social distancing doesn’t mean you have to eat canned meat product and mushy vegetables. The grocery supply chain still has plenty of food and many restaurants are offering delivery and carryout options, and there are plenty of healthy eating under quarantine options to be had from both.
     
    If you decide to go with restaurant delivery, many restaurants as well as delivery services like GrubHub, Uber Eats, and Postmates have protocols in place to ensure minimal contact between you and the person giving you your food, such as porch drop, cash free, and no signing rules. Likewise, many major grocery store chains have pickup options already established, and you can use them to get your groceries without ever having to go inside a store. 
     
    If you have a pantry full of food, there are plenty of websites that can give you dinner ideas. Search for recipes based on what you have on hand. Trying new recipes and cooking techniques is a great way to stay occupied while you are sheltering in place, as well. 
     
    Just because you can’t eat at your favorite restaurant or try your favorite recipe doesn’t mean you can’t eat well during this global pandemic. Learn more about healthy eating under quarantine from the infographic below.
     
    Healthy-Eating-Under-Quarantine

    Accoya Wood: A Great Sustainable Building Material

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    Accoya wood

    In the ongoing debate about the sustainability of building materials, the use of wood remains a contentious subject: is it more or less sustainable than fabricated materials?

    Other building materials are resource-intensive, require excessive energy in their production, and cannot be disposed of easily without further damage to the environment. Concrete and steel, for example, have larger carbon footprints than wood – and aren’t biodegradable, either.

    sustainable building materials graph
    Comparing the sustainability of building materials

    The inherent sustainability of using wood as a building material means there are fewer concerns for the wellbeing of the ecosystem and climate. When it comes to different types of wood, softwood is even quicker to replenish than hardwood, making it more favorable in terms of sustainability.

    However, wood has a shorter lifecycle than fabricated materials, meaning it needs to be replaced more often than other options.

    So the question remains: is wood the most sustainable building material, or can it be improved upon for even greater environmental benefits?

    In this article, we’re exploring a specific type of wood – Accoya wood – that promises sustainability benefits over traditional wood and fabricated building materials, enabling the constructing of the most environmentally-friendly buildings possible.

    What is Accoya?

    Accoya is a type of wood that’s hitting the building industry with a unique and more eco-friendly approach to traditional wood products. Accoya uses acetylation to make the wood more resistant and durable. The process has been described as ‘pickling,’ soaking the wood in acetic anhydride, an organic compound.

    Acetylation is a non-toxic process, and there are no unsustainable resources involved. The wood remains biodegradable, but also lasts longer, maintains dimensional stability better, and improves the strength of softwood to rival that of hardwood.

    It is still a relatively new trend, but its environmental benefits are catching the attention of environmentalists and builders around the world.

    Accoya wood building
    A sustainable building constructed from Accoya wood.

     

    Accoya vs Softwood: Which is more sustainable?

    Hardwoods are typically stronger, more expensive, and considered less sustainable due to the time it takes for the deciduous trees to regrow. The traditional green approach to wood selection has been to choose timber and other wood products based on a sustainable softwood choice.

    Softwoods include evergreens such as fir, pine, and spruce. These trees are usually softer in texture and density and less expensive than the more highly coveted hardwoods.

    Now, Accoya wood is levelling the playing field, giving softwood an advantage that could lessen the demand for hardwood altogether, ultimately leading to a more sustainable timber industry – and wouldn’t that be a win for Mother Nature!

    Accoya wood offers numerous advantages beyond traditional softwood, not the least of which are its impressive environmental benefits.

    Accoya wood from pine trees
    Accoya wood is made from pine trees, grown in sustainably managed forests

     

    Softwood Doesn’t Last

    Untreated softwoods are less durable than other building materials, which led the building industry to use chemical treatments to make the products more robust. However, such chemical treatments can be detrimental to the environment.

    The acetylation process Accoya uses is non-toxic, leaves no chemical residues in the wood, and strengthens the timber to such an extent it comes with a guarantee. Combined with a certified stamp of approval from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), you can rest assured your Accoya softwood purchase is truly environmentally friendly.

     

    Softwood Loses Dimensional Stability

    Softwoods also lose dimensional stability more easily than other materials, which poses great architectural challenges. Acetylated softwood solves this problem by creating stronger, more resistant wood through organic processes.

    Accoya wood, for example, is more resistant to moisture, rot, and infestation after the fast-growing pinewood undergoes acetylation. Eco-friendly construction of any structure can only benefit from these improvements.

    Accoya wood greenhouse
    An outdoor greenhouse constructed using Accoya wood

     

    Accoya in Practice

    Accoya softwood is excellent for a range of uses, including windows and doors, decks, artistic endeavours, cladding and landscaping, structural pursuits, and timber that comes into contact with water (like pools, spas, and terraces).

     

    Windows and Doors

    Accoya wood windows and doors
    Accoya wood windows and doors; via Accoya.com

    When used in wooden window frames and wooden shutters, Accoya is surprisingly robust and also carbon negative. When it replaces unsightly uPVC options, the choice is even smarter.

    Timber windows and doors have character, and now, last for decades longer than traditional softwood options. Accoya windows and doors can be painted, and won’t fade, crack, leak, or rot. It also lends an appeal to the property that cannot be rivalled by plastic. 

     

    Decking

    Accoya wood deck
    Accoya wood poolside decking; via Accoya.com

    For decking material, patios, and terraces, Accoya is equally desirable. Wood decking has traditionally been a costly affair (and a headache) that’s sometimes not worth the effort or the maintenance.

    Timber decks can be a suitable solution for a short while, however after a few years, the elements take their toll. Composite materials are no better as an alternative for decking. Plastic might last longer than traditional softwoods, but its texture can’t be compared to traditional wood, and ultimately its production is a bane for the environment (as we are finding out more each day in the age of the microplastic debacle in oceans and other waterways).

    Accoya has made outdoor wooden decking more appealing and affordable by offering improved durability of its materials. With Accoya wood, you can expect less maintenance, less deterioration, and decades longer to enjoy the finished product.

    When you do need to dispose of the material, it’s biodegradable and renewable (or even easily upcycled if you have the imagination for it).

    Accoya wood

     

    Accoya: The Greener Ideal

    Wood offers a uniquely natural aesthetic to any construction project. However, some builders still opt for fabricated materials instead due to a perceived greater durability over natural products.

    Accoya wood offers the best of both worlds, as a long-lasting and durable building material that is also sustainable in its production and overall lifecycle. The added peace of mind about its sustainable origins and reduced future impact on the Earth makes it all the more beautiful.

    Is Accoya the greener ideal over other softwood, then? It seems so.

    Tell us what you think in the comments below.

    Cars of the Future: Promising Alternative Energy Sources

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    There are many problems that the automotive industry causes for the environment. Gasoline and diesel release carbon dioxide emissions, cause harmful petroleum leaks and even implement disruptive mining practices.

    Today, many eco-conscious drivers and scientists are looking for ways to power their cars with cleaner and alternative sources of energy. 

    Some of the most popular alternative energy sources include biodiesel and electricity. However, it’s the more uncommon ones that hold the most promise.

    A rise in popularity of electric powered vehicles makes electric and battery-powered cars a front-runner, however there are many power sources still out there to research and test out in the future. From the energy sources that are well-known like electricity and solar, to some that you’ve never even heard of, like tequila and coffee grounds, we put together a list of promising and interesting potential power sources being implemented or researched to power our future on the road.

    Check out our Green Scale to see which sources are the most promising. If you’re thinking of purchasing an alternatively powered car to reduce your carbon footprint while you’re off on your next adventure or road trip, this will allow you to find out what is out there and what will arise in the future in terms of green and alternative car energy. 

    Alternative Energy Sources for Cars 2

    Teff: The Healthy Sustainable Superfood

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    teff grain in a bowl

    Teff chips and snacks are increasingly becoming a popular healthy food option. The reason? The main ingredient, teff, is nutrient-dense and gluten-free.

    The tiny grain, native of Ethiopia, Eritrea, and a few other Eastern Africa countries, is seeing a renaissance of its kind in the west. Given its numerous health benefits, sustainability, and versatility, it’s not difficult to see why.

    However, if you’re like me (and most other people), you may be wondering: What is teff, and how come I’ve never heard about it?

    Well, worry, not. You’re in the right place. We’ll tell you all about teff, and the health and sustainability qualities that make it a superfood.

     

    What is Teff?

    Teff is a small fine grain – about the size of a poppy seed. Its grains come in different colors, such as white, mixed, or red, with white fetching a higher price compared to the red variety.

    teff grains

    The ancient grain from Ethiopia and Eritrea is a staple in those countries, accounting for about two-thirds of the daily protein intake. It’s used in making different kinds of injera (a pancake-like flatbread), porridge, and animal feed.

    While teff predominantly grows in these African countries, it has been introduced in other regions and countries. Idaho in the U.S., for example, produces some of the best quality teff in the world.

    If you’re wondering, teff is used in a similar way to millet and quinoa, other popular super-foods. The growing interest in the grain reflects a trend of consumer desire for ancient grains such as quinoa, amaranth, among others, because they are natural (Non-GMO) and nutrient-dense. Teff’s small size also means that you can cook it rapidly, while using lower energy.

    The grain packs a serious nutritional punch and has a mild nutty flavor.

     

    Teff Sustainability and Health Benefits

    A Small Grain with Immense Health Benefits

    Teff has been called a superfood. It’s densely packed with essential nutrients that promote health and well-being. Here are some of the top health benefits.

    teff chips

     

    Gluten-free and easy to cook & digest

    For people who have Celiac disease, teff is a healthy gluten-free alternative. Even for the gluten-tolerant people, you’ll find it easier on your digestive system.

    Its small size makes it easier to prepare, and it you can enjoy as a snack, chips, porridge, or additive to shakes etc.

     

    Rich in essential vitamins & minerals

    Teff is famous for its dense calcium content. A cooked cup of the grain contains 123mg of calcium, which is equivalent to about a cup of cooked spinach.

    Calcium is an essential nutrient for bone health, and can also help relieve PMS symptoms in women.

    It also has an unusually high iron content. Not surprisingly, it’s usually commonly recommended for patients suffering from anemia that can come from iron deficiency.

    Other essential nutrients in the grain include magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, among others.

     

    Full of healthy fiber

    Fun fact: Teff contains five times as much fiber as regular wheat flour. An ounce of teff flour has about five grams of fiber compared to only a gram in the all-purpose wheat flour.

    Fiber helps improve digestion by easing pressure on the intestines. It also helps clear out accumulated waste and toxins. As such, it promotes digestive regularity and reduces constipation.

     

    Rich in protein

    Uncooked teff contains 13.3g of proteins per every 100grams. As such, teff can deliver substantial growth support to our bodies since they require protein to create and repair cells.

    It also provides a healthier alternative to animal proteins that take more energy to break down, and have been blamed for contributing significantly to carbon and methane emissions.

     

    A Sustainable Grain

    teff plant

    Even before the current rush to grow and consume teff, the U.S National Research Council had flagged it as an excellent grain for sustainable development in the U.S. and abroad by 1996.

    It’s a particularly efficient crop. Just a single pound can sow an entire acre, sprouts in only 36 hours (shortest time-span for any grain), and yields up to a tonne of grain in about twelve weeks.

    Furthermore, it can survive in a range of climatic conditions. Teff is relatively immune to drought, and flooding compared to many other kinds of cereal. Surprisingly, it grows well in both dry and waterlogged soils.

    While it reproduces in plenty, teff flourishes with lower or no pesticides, require less irrigation, and far fewer inputs overall.

    Apart from the grain itself that can be used as food and fodder for animals, the plant’s stalks can be used for basic construction and as fuel.

     

    Final Thoughts

    Teff is undeniably a super food and super grain. It’s not only nutrient-dense and good for your health, but also has a small carbon footprint. It grows pretty fast and produces plenty.

    Now you know. If you haven’t already had a taste, it’s time you considered adding teff and its products – like teff chips – to your diet. You won’t regret it.

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