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back to the future: breakthrough process converts sugar directly to renewable diesel fuel

An outdated fermentation process once used to turn starch into explosives can now be used to produce renewable diesel fuel to replace the fossil fuels now used in transportation, University of California, Berkeley, scientists have discovered.

lab workerA team of campus chemists and chemical engineers have produced diesel fuel from the products of a bacterial fermentation process discovered nearly 100 years ago by the first president of Israel, chemist Chaim Weizmann. The retooled process produces a mix of products that contain more energy per gallon than the ethanol used in transportation fuels today. It’s estimated that the fuel process could be commercialized within 5-10 years.

While the cost of the fuel created via this process is still higher than diesel or gasoline made from fossil fuels, the scientists state that the process drastically reduces the greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. (more…)

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

organic pies and pastries: just in time for the holidays

happle's organic pie slices

With the holidays fast upon us and winter drawing near, the appeal of desserts like pies, cakes, pastries, cookies, and brownies will continue to grow. One company that provides a tasty array of healthful desert solutions is Happle’s, a bakery that prides itself on creating American made pies and pastries. The company, headquartered in Williamsburg, Iowa, was founded in 1992, and started going organic in 2004.

vegan kringle danishAll ingredients used to make the delectable treats (with the exception of sea salt) are certified organic. Instead of regular bleached flour, Happle’s uses organic spelt flour, making Happle’s pastries safe to eat for those who have wheat allergies. Since there is no lard (animal fat) and dairy (animal milk) in the pies, it is safe for vegans as well. Pastry lovers can choose from a selection of fruit and berry pies (apple, cherry, cranberry apple, blueberry, peach, and pumpkin) which sell for $24.95 each or $39.95 for two. Kringles (a danish-style pastry) are sold in two packs with a fruit or nut filling (apple, cherry, raspberry, or almond) for $19.95.

Happle’s products can be purchased through their website —

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