Around the web this week: Feb. 28

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From heart health to urban farming, here’s a recap of news from around the web this week:

The link between sodium and high blood pressure

Too much sodium in your diet isn’t a good thing.

Iowa State University Extension blogs about “the salty six”: breads and rolls; cold cuts and cured meats; pizza; poultry; soup; and sandwiches. These food items — popular in many of our diets — contain high levels of sodium. According to the American Heart Association, adults should consume 1,500 mcg of sodium or less per day.

Can anyone adopt a horse or two?

The Washington Post reports that the U.S. Army is retiring two caisson horses — Kennedy and Quincy — after serving in The Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Although the horses are free, those wishing to adopt must fill out an application. And, an Army herd manager will scope out prospective new homes for the horses before finalizing the adoptions.

Think about picking up your running shoes

Calling it the “exercise-cancer paradox,” The New York Times Well Blog delves into a discussion of recent study centered on how exercise may help the immune system fend off cancer tumors, although previous research has shown that inflammation from exercise may increase the chance of cancer. Researchers studied lab mice and their reactions to being injected with melanoma skin cancer cells with their level of activity. The findings? Exercise is a good thing.

Good year for the flu vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that this year’s flu vaccine is about 60 percent effective so far, meaning that your chance of getting the flu (if you received the vaccine) is lowered by 60 percent. CNN reports that the 2014-2015 flu vaccine lowered an individual’s chance of getting the flu by only 20 percent. Still haven’t gotten a flu shot? You still can.

Shrinking farmland and fewer farmers

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report that shows there were about 2.07 million farms in the nation last year. This is 18,000 fewer than in 2014. Adding to that, farmland decreased by 1 million acres from 2014 to 2015. Over the next five years, there will be a shortage of university graduates with agriculture and environmental degrees, according to The Hill, while the world’s growing population needs more farmers.

A close look at urban farming

Rooftop and community gardens, backyard chickens and beehives are the new norm these days. Last year, National Geographic took on college photographer Mario Wezel as its photo intern. Wezel was given the task of focusing on one story for his three-month internship, so he traveled around the U.S., photographing various urban farms and even getting some hands-on farming experience.

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