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Category Archives: Food and Nutrition

New food label targets limiting massive amount of food waste

Washington Post – Landfills are overflowing with food. Here’s a gelatin label that could limit the waste: “The next time you start to toss an “expired” carton of milk, consider this: Dates on packages don’t actually have anything to do with food safety or FDA regulations. Instead, the dates are a somewhat arbitrary indication of when a manufacturer thinks food might be freshest, and most food will likely be fine for days or weeks afterward. Misleading labels are one reason that consumers waste nearly 40 percent of the food they buy — and one of the inspirations behind Bump Mark, a new bio-based food label made with gelatin. As the food in a package starts to decay, so does the gelatin; when it finally expires, the gelatin reveals a layer of bumps. If the label is still smooth, a consumer finally knows unequivocally that food is still safe to eat.”

“Because gelatin is a food, the same things affect it as the food inside a package,” explains London-based designer Solveiga Pakstaite, a finalist for the James Dyson Award. “It has an interesting property that when it expires, it turns back into a liquid. I couldn’t just use any natural substance — it had to be one that changes its state.”

New GAO Reports – Changing Crude Oil Markets, Federal Paid Admin Leave, Food Safety

CHANGING CRUDE OIL MARKETS: Allowing Exports Could Reduce Consumer Fuel Prices, and the Size of the Strategic Reserves Should Be Reexamined, GAO-14-807: Published: Sep 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 2014. FEDERAL PAID ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE: Additional Guidance Needed to Improve OPM Data, GAO-15-79: Published: Oct 17, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 2014. FOOD SAFETY: USDA Needs to Strengthen Its Approach toContinue Reading

FISHWATCH – U.S. Seafood Facts

“Today, 91 percent of seafood consumed in the United States is imported, and about half of this is wild-caught. Because of our interests both as a seafood-consuming nation and a fishing nation, it is critical that NOAA take an active role in shaping the conservation and management of international fisheries. For U.S. consumers of importedContinue Reading

Where GMOs hide in your food – Consumer Reports

“More than 70 percent of Americans say they don’t want genetically modified organisms in their food, according to a recent Consumer Reports National Research Center survey of 1,000 adults. The trouble is, it’s hard to avoid them. Consumer Reports’ tests of breakfast cereals, chips, soy infant formulas, and other popular products found that GMOs lurkContinue Reading

On Front Lines of Recycling, Turning Food Waste into Biogas

Rachel Cernansky, Yale environment 360: “An increasing number of sewage treatment plants in the U.S. and Europe are processing food waste in anaerobic biodigesters, keeping more garbage out of landfills, reducing methane emissions, and producing energy to defray their operating costs. In February, trucks from Waste Management, Inc. started working new routes in Los Angeles County, California.Continue Reading

Food Price Crisis Observatory

World Bank: “How do we know if and when a food price spike will become a full-fledged crisis? How do we prepare for such situations? The Food Price Crisis Observatory is an interactive information platform for policymakers, civil society and global organizations, the private sector and anyone else interested in identifying multi-country food crises asContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – DOD Joint Bases, Federal Real Property, Fish Stock Assessments

DOD JOINT BASES: Implementation Challenges Demonstrate Need to Reevaluate the Program, GAO-14-577: Published: Sep 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2014: “Joint base officials reported varying progress in consolidating installation-support functions, and challenges resulting from consolidation efforts that created inefficiencies and inequities. Overall, the joint bases reported partially consolidating 80 percent of their installation-support functions, but the extentContinue Reading

The Rise of Data Poverty in America

Daniel Castro | September 10, 2014 “Data-driven innovations offer enormous opportunities to advance important societal goals. However, to take advantage of these opportunities, individuals must have access to high-quality data about themselves and their communities. If certain groups routinely do not have data collected about them, their problems may be overlooked and their communities heldContinue Reading

Consumer Expenditures – 2013

“Average expenditures per consumer unit (1) in 2013 were $51,100, little changed from 2012 levels, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In 2013 spending decreased 0.7 percent during the same period that the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) increased 1.5 percent. In 2012 spending had increased 3.5 percent, outpacing the increase in prices. In 2013 average income perContinue Reading

CDC report finds sodium consumption high among U.S. children

“About 9 in 10 US children eat more sodium than recommended. Most sodium is in the form of salt, as a part of processed foods. A high sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure. About 1 in 6 children ages 8-17 years has raised blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factorContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Crop Insurance, Defense Infrastructure, DOD Education Benefits, Medicaid, Contractor Controls, DoD Special Operations

CROP INSURANCE: Considerations in Reducing Federal Premium Subsidies, GAO-14-700: Published: Aug 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2014. DEFENSE INFRASTRUCTURE: DOD Needs to Improve Its Efforts to Identify Unutilized and Underutilized Facilities, GAO-14-538: Published: Sep 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2014. DOD EDUCATION BENEFITS: Action Is Needed to Ensure Evaluations of Postsecondary Schools Are Useful, GAO-14-855: Published: Sep 8, 2014. Publicly Released:Continue Reading

Smog in India Damaged Enough Crops to Feed 94 Million, Study Says

Yale e360 digest: “Ground-level ozone, the main component of smog, damaged 6.7 million tons of Indian crops worth an estimated $1.3 billion in a single year, according to a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters. That’s enough wheat, rice and other staple crops to feed 94 million people — roughly one-third of the country’s impoverished population. Arising from aContinue Reading