Chart: U.S. Egg Prices Hit Record High As Resurgent Bird Flu Dents Production

Source: Bloomberg





Wearable Sensors Styled into T-shirts and Face Masks

Caroline Brogan wrote . . . . . . . . .

Imperial researchers have embedded new low-cost sensors that monitor breathing, heart rate, and ammonia into t-shirts and face masks.

Potential applications range from monitoring exercise, sleep, and stress to diagnosing and monitoring disease through breath and vital signs.

Spun from a new Imperial-developed cotton-based conductive thread called PECOTEX, the sensors cost little to manufacture. Just $0.15 produces a metre of thread to seamlessly integrate more than ten sensors into clothing, and PECOTEX is compatible with industry-standard computerised embroidery machines.

First author of the research Fahad Alshabouna, PhD candidate at Imperial’s Department of Bioengineering, said: “The flexible medium of clothing means our sensors have a wide range of applications. They’re also relatively easy to produce which means we could scale up manufacturing and usher in a new generation of wearables in clothing.”

The researchers embroidered the sensors into a face mask to monitor breathing, a t-shirt to monitor heart activity, and textiles to monitor gases like ammonia, a component of the breath that can be used to detect liver and kidney function. The ammonia sensors were developed to test whether gas sensors could also be manufactured using embroidery.

Fahad added: “We demonstrated applications in monitoring cardiac activity and breathing, and sensing gases. Future potential applications include diagnosing and monitoring disease and treatment, monitoring the body during exercise, sleep, and stress, and use in batteries, heaters, and anti-static clothing.”

The research is published in Materials Today.

Seamless sensors

Wearable sensors, like those on smartwatches, let us continuously monitor our health and wellbeing non-invasively. Until now, however, there has been a lack of suitable conductive threads, which explains why wearable sensors seamlessly integrated into clothing aren’t yet widely available.

Enter PECOTEX. Developed and spun into sensors by Imperial researchers, the material is machine washable, and is less breakable and more electrically conductive than commercially available silver-based conductive threads, meaning more layers can be added to create complex types of sensor.

The researchers tested the sensors against commercially available silver-based conductive threads during and after they were embroidered into clothing.

During embroidery, PECOTEX was more reliable and less likely to break, allowing for more layers to be embroidered on top of each other.

After embroidery, PECOTEX demonstrated lower electrical resistance than the silver-based threads, meaning they performed better at conducting electricity.

Lead author Dr Firat Güder, also of the Department of Bioengineering, said: “PECOTEX is high-performing, strong, and adaptable to different needs. It’s readily scalable, meaning we can produce large volumes inexpensively using both domestic and industrial computerised embroidery machines.

“Our research opens up exciting possibilities for wearable sensors in everyday clothing. By monitoring breathing, heart rate, and gases, they can already be seamlessly integrated, and might even be able to help diagnose and monitor treatments of disease in the future.”

The embroidered sensors retained the intrinsic properties of the fabric such as wearability, breathability and feel-on-the-skin. They are also machine washable at up to 30°C.

Next, the researchers will explore new application areas like energy storage, energy harvesting and biochemical sensing for personalised medicine, as well as finding partners for commercialisation.

Source: Imperial College





How to Get Calcium on a Vegan Diet and 6 Foods to Keep Your Bones Strong

Karen Asp wrote . . . . . . . . .

How many times have you heard that you need to drink milk for strong bones? While your body does need calcium, there are better—and healthier—sources of calcium that come without the harmful effects of dairy. The marketing promoting milk and its “superior” calcium content is severely misleading. The truth is, you can get enough calcium on a vegan diet by eating calcium-rich foods.

How much calcium do I need?

Your calcium needs depend on your age and sex, says Stacie Hassing, RDN, LD, co-founder of The Real Food Dietitians, and co-author of The Real Food Table. The average adult needs roughly 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day.

Yet, for women over the age of 50 and men over 71, that jumps to 1,200 milligrams per day. One point to remember? “Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium to take place in the body, which is why some foods like orange juice, milk, and some breakfast cereals are fortified with calcium and vitamin D,” she says.

Despite the incessant promotion of milk for its vitamin D content, this isn’t natural. All the vitamin D in cow’s milk is fortified, just as it is with many types of plant-based milk.

Calcium health benefits

One of calcium’s best-known benefits is maintaining and building strong bones and teeth, but it’s important for many other functions in your body. “Your heart, muscles, nerves, and circulatory system all require calcium to function properly,” Hassing says.

No doubt, maintaining healthy bone strength is important. Yes, it can help prevent broken and fractured bones when we have an accident, but it’s not just falling that can cause damage to our bones. Osteoporosis and osteopenia (the early onset of osteoporosis) cause the weakening and brittleness of bones.

The disease tends to occur in older adults as humans lose bone mass as they age (starting in their thirties), but those first three decades of your life are opportunities to build a strong foundation to prevent osteoporosis.

Approximately 10 million Americans over the age of 50 suffer from the disease, but another 43 million have been diagnosed with osteopenia or low bone mass. While other lifestyle choices can be preventative (such as regular weight-bearing exercise), getting enough calcium surely helps.

Can you get calcium without milk?

A plethora of whole foods contain calcium, but some are significantly higher than others. It’s true that there is a significant amount of calcium in some animal products including cow’s milk, yogurt, sardines, and canned salmon with bones. However, an abundance of plant-based foods are also high in calcium.

“You can get all of the calcium you need from a vegetarian or vegan diet,” assures Dr. Robert Graham, Chief Health Officer for Performance Kitchen and co-founder of FRESH Med in New York City.

What’s more, the calcium found in many plant-based foods such as dark leafy greens is more bioavailable than the calcium found in milk. The body absorbs approximately 33-percent of the total calcium in dairy, but a whopping 62-percent of the calcium in broccoli is absorbed upon digestion.

Other high calcium plant-based foods include tofu, fortified nut milks, beans, kale, tahini, sweet potatoes, watercress, okra, chia seeds, and almonds, Graham says. You can also find many calcium-fortified orange juices and cereals at the supermarket.

6 vegan sources of calcium

While the list of calcium-containing plant foods is long, Hassing offers some of the best sources for vegans.

Nuts and seeds

When deciding between nut kinds of butter, opt for the almond to get the most calcium. While many nuts and seeds contain modest amounts of calcium, almonds reign supreme at 75 milligrams per 30-gram serving (about 20 almonds).

Hazelnuts come in at a decent 56 milligrams per serving, and while slightly lower at 42 milligrams per serving, tahini is a versatile and delicious way to up the calcium intake of any meal.


Swap out the quinoa with some amaranth from time to time. With 80 grams of calcium per one-quarter cup (dry), this ancient grain adds antioxidants, fiber, and a boost of calcium to any Buddha bowl. We also love to swap out a morning bowl of oats for this berry and almond amaranth porridge.


White beans (navy beans), kidney beans, and chickpeas are the calcium powerhouses of legumes. Navy beans top the charts at 132 milligrams of calcium per one-cup serving, and kidney beans and chickpeas follow with 93 and 99 milligrams, respectively. Use all three in a deliciously hearty combination of vegan chili.

Minimally processed soy

Tofu, tempeh, and edamame are all stellar sources of vegan calcium.

Just one three-ounce serving of tofu clocks in 10-percent of the daily recommended amount of calcium, while tempeh supplies about 6-percent of what you need (78 milligrams per 2.5-ounce serving). One cup of edamame provides about 9-percent of the daily recommended amount.

Soy milk is also a solid option. Not only does it naturally contain calcium, but many are also fortified with up to one-third of the calcium you need per day (that’s the same as cow’s milk).

Blackstrap molasses

We wouldn’t recommend consuming a spoonful of molasses to fulfill your daily calcium needs, but this sticky substance can be incorporated in small amounts into a medley of delicious dishes.

Try whipping up a batch of nutty muhammara dip or baking a batch of this addictive pecan-walnut cinnamon granola. Just one tablespoon of the stuff contains 200 milligrams of calcium—20-percent of what most adults need each day!

Dark leafy greens

There are countless reasons to up your greens intake—calcium just happens to be among them. A humble 120 grams of broccoli (a little over a cup) delivers 112 milligrams of calcium, and the typically underutilized okra contains 77 milligrams for the same amount.

Other dark leafies such as kale, collard greens, and bok choy also contain some calcium, though not quite as much as these two options.

What about vegan calcium supplements?

You may need to supplement if a blood test shows that you’re low in calcium. Yet because the standard American diet is 65-percent processed foods, Graham generally recommends supplementation for most Americans, especially women over the age of 50. “Calcium is absorbed best when you take 500 milligrams or less at one time,” he says, adding that current recommendations call for 1000 milligrams to 2000 milligrams in divided doses, ideally taken with vitamin D.

The only way to tell if you’re chronically low in calcium is through a blood test, Hassing says. Signs that you might be low in calcium include muscle cramping, brittle nails, easy hair breakage, poor circulation that causes tingling and numbness in your fingers and toes, and an irregular heartbeat.

If you’re concerned that your levels are low, talk with your doctor about getting a blood test. For most vegans, Graham recommends eating foods that are high in calcium and/or taking a calcium supplement to get all that you need.

Source: VegNews





Company to Debut New Shrimp, Scallops and Crab Cakes Made with Kelp

Alt seafood brand Mind Blown Plant-Based Seafood and kelp producer Atlantic Sea Farms announce they are partnering to incorporate new kelp ingredients in Mind Blown’s award-winning product line.

Beginning in mid-October, Atlantic’s umami-rich kelp will be added to Mind Blown Dusted Shrimp and Dusted Scallops, followed by Mind Blown Crab Cakes in 2023. The new products will launch at all 300+ Sprouts Farmers Markets across the US.

Grown via Atlantic’s regenerative aquaculture, kelp is a carbon-negative and hyper-efficient crop that requires zero inputs from fertilizer, pesticides, feeds or fresh water. Kelp seaweed is also one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, with high levels of iodine, antioxidants, potassium, iron, and the highest natural concentration of calcium found in any food.

Both Mind Blown and Atlantic Sea Farms are women-led, impact-driven companies on an eco-conscious mission. Mind Blown was founded in 2020 and sells a popular line of plant-based shrimp, scallops and crab cakes. In 2022, the brand attracted celebrity chefs Spike Mendelsohn and Tom Colicchio as investors and launched US nationwide distribution at Sprouts.

Restoring oceans

Based in Biddeford, Maine, Atlantic Sea Farms sells fresh, dried, and fermented kelp products that help to mitigate the effects of climate change by absorbing carbon from the sea. In four harvest seasons, the company and its partner farms reportedly removed 260,000 of carbon from local Maine waters.

“We’re thrilled to work with Monica and her team on these outstanding new products,” said Atlantic Sea Farms Founder Bri Warner. “We are two women-run companies working tirelessly to help diversify coastal incomes, improve our food system and restore our oceans in the face of climate change. In my view, it doesn’t get much more transformative than that.”

“Incredible ingredient”

“With my deep roots in the Chesapeake Bay, and lifelong ties to its fishermen, my mind was blown when I was introduced to Atlantic Sea Farms and was incredibly inspired by the mission of Bri Warner and her team,” said Mind Blown Co-Founder and CEO Monica Talbert. “We’ve always thought ‘anything seafood can do, Mind Blown can do.’ Now that we’re incorporating this incredible ingredient straight from the waters of Maine, it’s more true now than ever.”

Source: Vegconomist





Vegetarian Lunch Set of Soujyu Café & Dining in Yamanashi, Japan

The price is 2,300 yen (plus tax).