New & Noteworthy

New & Noteworthy

Females are strong as hell, says science

Okay now ladies: if “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child is your karaoke jam, you’re not just Friday night fierce—you’re absolutely right.

Women generally live longer than men, but it’s been hard to figure out how much of that longevity edge is biological (aka they’re just built to last longer), and how much it’s due to social and environmental factors. A new study has added evidence to the “tough by nature” column.

The study shows that even during the most dangerous conditions throughout history (think famines and epidemics—what researchers call “mortality crises”), women lived longer than men did. Baby girls in particular were better able to survive a hazardous start to their lives. At that early age, there aren’t a lot of social factors in play, and the environment was dicey for both sexes.

“Our results confirm the ubiquity of a female survival advantage even when mortality is extraordinarily high,” wrote the researchers. “Women are the life-expectancy champions.”

Who survive the world? Girls.

Plant-based milks just keep on coming. Good.

The latest nondairy milk to hit store shelves is … peanut milk! It actually tastes like peanuts, so get your organic dark chocolate ready for dipping. Plus, how’s this for heartwarming: It’s being manufactured by a former dairy milk producer that did a 180 and started pumping out plant-based milks instead.

Peanut milk joins the ranks of novel nondairy milks like macadamia, pecan, walnut, quinoa and pea, while almond, soy and coconut still reign as the most popular plant-based milks. You’re probably wondering, “How many more nuts, grains and legumes can we milk?” and “Who has fingers tiny enough to milk them?” But by expanding the types of plant-based milks available, no single crop is relied on too heavily, making nondairy milks even more sustainable. And it looks like we’re going to need all the options we can get. Sales of nondairy milks grew by more than 60 percent from 2012 to 2017 in America, and they’re expected to keep growing rapidly across the world.

Will bikes save the food system?

A bike ride in the sunshine is pure bliss. It’s also the backbone of new ideas to change how we get our food.

A design firm in Beijing, People’s Industrial Design Office, has dreamt up a vertical farm that lives—and moves around—on a couple of bikes. Greens are grown on a ladder-like hydroponic structure that straddles the two bikes, and the farm’s irrigation system uses solar power. This means one day, city dwellers with limited garden space could get the freshest salad supplies delivered … with no carbon footprint.

Meanwhile, Wheelys, a chain of organic cafes on bikes, is basically taking over the world. Anyone can apply to buy a solar- and pedal-powered Wheelys cafe (they start around $5K). It’s a model that’s good for the earth and for self-starters with limited cash. It may be particularly game changing for women (especially American women), for whom self-employment is associated with notably greater happiness.

May is National Bike Month: the perfect time to take the old Raleigh for a ride … or reimagine its possibilities.

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