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Category Archives: Food and Nutrition

Economist – Asia’s mania for “reclaiming” land from the sea spawns mounting problems

Such quantities of sand – The Economist: “The area of land Singapore has taken from the sea is dwarfed by reclamation elsewhere—in Japan and China, for example. Since the 19th century, Japan has reclaimed 25,000 hectares in Tokyo Bay alone. For a planned new city near Shanghai, Nanhui, more than 13,000 hectares have been reclaimed. In Hong Kong, as Victoria harbour has been filled, the island has moved closer to mainland China geographically if not politically. Singapore is unusual both in being so small that such a large proportion of its territory is man-made, and in being so close to its maritime neighbours, Malaysia and Indonesia. Not only has it faced criticism from environmental groups because of the impact its sand purchases have had in the exporting countries, in 2003 it also faced a legal challenge under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) from Malaysia over land-reclamation projects at either end of the Johor Strait that separates the two countries. Malaysia alleged the work was impinging on its sovereignty, harming the environment and threatening the livelihoods of some of its fishermen.”

GAO Reports – Central America, Disaster Relief, Elections, Food Safety, Indian Affairs, Rural Water, Transportation Safety

Central America: Information on Migration of Unaccompanied Children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, GAO-15-362: Published: Feb 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2015. Disaster Relief: Agencies Need to Improve Policies and Procedures for Estimating Improper Payments, GAO-15-209: Published: Feb 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2015. Elections: Issues Related to State Voter Identification LawsContinue Reading

Environmental Working Group Annual ‘Dirty Dozen’ List

“Nearly two-thirds of the 3,015 produce samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2013 contained pesticide residues – a surprising finding in the face of soaring consumer demand for food without agricultural chemicals. EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce calculates that USDA tests found a total 165 different pesticides on thousands ofContinue Reading

How Different Groups Think about Scientific Issues

Complete Pew Report – “…By a 57%-37% margin, the public believes that genetically-modified foods (GM foods) are generally unsafe to eat. This is a major contrast with scientists Pew Research surveyed. Some 3,748 U.S.-based members of the AAAS were surveyed from September 11 to October 13, 2014 and they said such foods were generally safeContinue Reading

Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

“The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (Committee) submitted the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (Advisory Report) to the Secretaries of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in February 2015. The purpose of the Advisory Report is to inform the Federal governmentContinue Reading

Child Poverty Pervasive in Large American Cities, New Census Data Show

Commentary and statistics from National Center for Children in Poverty: “Years after the end of the Great Recession, child poverty remains widespread in America’s largest cities. Nearly three children in five living in Detroit are poor, according to the most recent Census figures, a rate that has grown by 10 percentage points since the onsetContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Commercial Aviation, Nutrition Assistance

Commercial Aviation: Raising Passenger Facility Charges Would Increase Airport Funding, but Other Effects Less Certain, GAO-15-107: Published: Dec 11, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 12, 2015. Nutrition Assistance: Additional Guidance Could Assist States in Reducing Risk of Online Sale of Infant Formula, GAO-15-94: Published: Dec 11, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 12, 2015.

Data and Research to Improve the U.S. Food Availability System and Estimates of Food Loss

Nancy J. Kirkendall, Rapporteur; Committee on National Statistics; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Research Council “The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Economic Research Service’s (ERS) Food Availability Data System includes three distinct but related data series on food and nutrient availability for consumption. The data serve as popular proxies forContinue Reading

World Statistics Pocketbook, 2014 edition

“The World Statistics Pocketbook, 2014 edition is an annual compilation of key statistical indicators prepared by the United Nations Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Over 50 indicators have been collected from more than 20 international statistical sources and are presented in one-page profiles for 217 countries or areas of theContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Federal Food Service Operations, DOE Improper Payment

Federal Food Service Operations: Implementation of the HHS/GSA Health and Sustainability Guidelines, GAO-15-262R: Published: Dec 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 23, 2014. Improper Payments: DOE’s Risk Assessments Should Be Strengthened, GAO-15-36: Published: Dec 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 23, 2014.

Welfare, Work, and Poverty Status of Female-Headed Families with Children: 1987-2013

CRS – Welfare, Work, and Poverty Status of Female-Headed Families with Children: 1987-2013. Thomas Gabe, Specialist in Social Policy, November 21, 2014 “Eighteen years have passed since repeal of what was the nation’s major cash welfare program assisting low-income families with children, the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, and its replacement with a block grant ofContinue Reading

Google purchases Smart Spoon

Graham Templeton – Geek: “Google’s new spoon is technically called a “tremor-canceling” invention, which means that it reads incoming movement and uses onboard motors to offset that movement and keep the bowl of the spoon as stationary as possible. It has to do more than just mechanical shock-absorbing, as it must dynamically undo the movement caused by random nerveContinue Reading