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  1. Thanks to many years of continual advertising and message bombardment, most people believe that bleach kills mould (I will use Aussie spelling here). For the last 5 years (and after studying some microbiology at uni), I have been trying to inform my closest friends and family that this is not the case, but I get nothing but blank stares or a "yeah yeah" in response. Out of frustration, I'm going to post a little snippet here so that more people are aware of this and what to use for mould removal. As you probably know, mould is just another invader that causes havoc within the body when the immune system is run down. It is best to minimise mould contamination within your everyday dwelling; just don't use bleach! AND DON'T BELIEVE THE ADVERTISING! Taken from this site: http://mycologia.com.au/mythsaboutmould/ (I am so grateful for this website). MYTH # 1 BLEACH KILLS MOULD We all know how to get rid of mould in our house, right? Just pour some bleach on it and it goes away, until the next time that you need to pour bleach on it again. Most chemicals have been proven to be ineffective against mould in the long run. The widespread use of chemicals fails to correct the original reason why the mould grew there in the first place. It also introduces additional air pollution into the indoor air. Specifically, bleach has a high pH which makes it ineffective to kill mould. The mould detects the bleach as a chemical attack and defends itself with exo-enzymes and a good defending membrane. (My note: Basically, the mould creates an extra layer of protective 'skin' around itself). The exo-enzymes makes the chlorine compounds in the bleach inert which then the fungi uses it as a food source. So when we put bleach on mould we are actually feeding it. Visually it looks like the mould is disappearing because bleach “bleaches” which means it strips the melanin compounds out of the hyphal membrane (just like the melanin in our skin when we get a sun tan). Three weeks later the fungi hyphae recovers the melanin content and the mould becomes visible again so it was actually never gone. See our new Scientific research into why Bleach should be avoided and why it doesn't kill mould <snip> Mould Cleaning solutions only work in the right dilutions. The most effective cleaning solution that we have against mould so far is our favourite salad dressing - vinegar. This is claimed to be the most effective because it actually kills mould, but doesn't introduce a new chemical pollutant into the indoor air. Vinegar is even used by some European hospitals as one of their main disinfectants. A point of note is that only white fermented vinegar seems to work, as synthetic acetic acid does not appear to be effective. Diluted alcohol or methylated spirits is another effective mould killer, but there are a number of issues concerning its storage, handling, OHS, PPE, duty of care and its effects on some surfaces that make it difficult to recommend as a widespread mould killer. (My note: Once again, we see that natural substances out-win synthetically made. Can we ever beat nature?). <snip> Please visit the website for more good info: http://mycologia.com.au/mythsaboutmould/ and http://mycologia.com.au/dont-use-bleach/
  2. "Devastating" fungus may mean end of days for top banana December 18, 2013 ByAimee Picchi The song "Yes, we have no bananas" may reflect reality in a few years, if a "devastating" banana fungus isn't halted or new varieties aren't developed. The fungus that attacks the popular Cavendish banana variety -- which counts for more than 80 percent of banana exports -- has now spread to Africa and the Middle East, Nature reports. Previously, the fungus had been only detected in Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, China and Australia, the science journal notes. But now the soil fungus, a strain of Fusarium oxysporum, has been found in Jordan and Mozambique, although it's not clear how it arrived in those countries. The fungus is nearly impossible to get out of the soil, Nature notes. The pathogen rots banana plants, turning their tissues into a "putrefying mixture of brown, black, and blood-red" that smells like garbage, according to a 2011 New Yorker article about the emerging blight. snip http://www.cbsnews.com/news/devastating-fungus-may-mean-end-of-days-for-top-banana/ and now this Why potatoes could soon be a luxury few can afford The humble vegetable is under threat from a new and virulent form of potato blight By Steve Jones December 18, 2013 "The festive season is almost upon us, and the nation is unbuckling its belt for its annual gourmet experience. Until now it has been limited to the traditional bird, sprout and roast potato with Christmas cake to follow. Now comes news of the (possibly mythical) product that puts all those ingredients into a tin to save time, and of the (all too real) attempts to combine the sickly essence of the final course with the healthiest item of the main meal. I refer to the chocolate-flavoured potato crisp, now available in all good groceries, and to the exotic delight sold in the US, crisps actually dipped in chocolate to produce a well-balanced treat. It may come as a shock to learn that, a few Christmases from now, such delicacies may be extinct, or at least too expensive for most of us. The problem is not the chocolate but the crisp, for its main ingredient is under threat. We often forget the potato’s powers. It is a better source of starch than wheat, and generates more protein per acre than any other crop apart from soya beans. It also contains plenty of vitamins, with a single large spud providing the daily dose of vitamin C. The potato is, like the turkey, a relative newcomer, for it reached European plates less than 300 years ago. It led to a population boom. Within 70 years of the crop arriving in Ireland, the number of citizens there rose from two to nine million. Many had a diet that consisted only of that single item, plus milk or cheese – which, monotonous though it is, will support life. Everywhere, its adoption led to an increase in childhood survival. Its effects on health are shown by the dramatic increase in height, of up to an inch, that followed every introduction." snip http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/10520738/Why-potatoes-could-soon-be-a-luxury-few-can-afford.html