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Category Archives: Food and Nutrition

10 Times as Much of This Toxic Pesticide Could End Up on Your Tomatoes and Celery Under a New EPA Proposal

ProPublica: “When you bite into a piece of celery, there’s a fair chance that it will be coated with a thin film of a toxic pesticide called acephate. The bug killer — also used on tomatoes, cranberries, Brussels sprouts and other fruits and vegetables — belongs to a class of compounds linked to autism, hyperactivity and reduced scores on intelligence tests in children. But rather than banning the pesticide, as the European Union did more than 20 years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed easing restrictions on acephate. The federal agency’s assessment lays out a plan that would allow 10 times more acephate on food than is acceptable under the current limits. The proposal was based in large part on the results of a new battery of tests that are performed on disembodied cells rather than whole lab animals. After exposing groups of cells to the pesticide, the agency found “little to no evidence” that acephate and a chemical created when it breaks down in the body harm the developing brain, according to an August 2023 EPA document. The EPA is moving ahead with the proposal despite multiple studies linking acephate to developmental problems in children and lab rats, and despite warnings from several scientific groups against using the new tests on cells to relax regulations, interviews and records reviewed by ProPublica show. To create the new tests designed to measure the impact of chemicals on the growing brain, the EPA worked with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which comprises some of the world’s wealthiest democratic countries and conducts research on economic, social and scientific issues. The OECD has warned against using the tests to conclude a chemical does not interfere with the brain’s development…”

Food Waste Index Report 2024

“To catalyse essential action towards reducing food waste and achieving SDG 12.3, it’s imperative to grasp the extent of food waste. Measuring food waste allows countries to comprehend the magnitude of the issue, thereby revealing the size of the opportunity, while establishing a baseline for tracking progress. The Food Waste Index Report 2021 marked a… Continue Reading

Cost of Living by County, 2023

Via Reddit: “Map created by me, an attempt to define cost of living tiers. People often say how they live in a HCOL, MCOL, LCOL area. Source for all data on cost of living dollar amounts by county, with methodology: https://www.epi.org/publication/family-budget-calculator-documentation/ To summarize, this cost of living calculation is for a “modest yet adequate standard… Continue Reading

Global study revealed world’s biggest known plastic polluters

Washington Post: “Every year, companies produce more than 400 million metric tons of plastic. Some of that plastic spills onto waterways or beaches, clogging streams or floating in huge gyres in the ocean. Some of it breaks down into tiny microplastics or nanoplastics that float in the air and enter human lungs, blood and organs.… Continue Reading

10 Times as Much of This Toxic Pesticide Could End Up on Your Tomatoes and Celery

ProPublica – “Against the guidance of scientific advisory panels, the EPA is relying on industry-backed tests to relax regulations on acephate, which has been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders. “It’s exactly what we recommended against,” one panelist said. When you bite into a piece of celery, there’s a fair chance that it will be coated with… Continue Reading

Should you take vitamin D? Here’s the science

PopSci: “Nutritional science is supposed to chart a course to our healthier selves. But contradictory scientific results and interpretations can muddy the waters—and few nutrients have recently demonstrated that more clearly than vitamin D. At one point, it seemed that everyone should be taking vitamin D supplements, and that doing so would protect against a… Continue Reading

America’s produce has a ton of pesticides

Quartz – “Consumer Reports’ latest investigation suggests that 20% of commonly sold fruits and vegetables contain unsafe levels of pesticides. Some of your favorite produce might be dicier to eat than assumed. An analysis from Consumer Reports published Thursday suggests that a substantial portion of commonly sold fruits and vegetables have a significant risk of… Continue Reading

Where our food crops come from

‘Explore the geographic origins of our food crops – where they were initially domesticated and evolved over time – and discover how important these “primary regions of diversity” are to our current diets and agricultural production areas.” Read more about the study → The interactive crop map displays the native origins and primary regions of… Continue Reading

The 12 Companies That Together Own 500+ Consumer Brands

Quartr: “Warren Buffett famously popularized the term “moat,” stating that “a truly great business must have an enduring moat that protects excellent returns on invested capital.” This can take shape in various forms, and according to Buffett, one of them is “possessing a powerful world-wide brand (Coca-Cola, Gillette, American Express).” The consumer goods sector is… Continue Reading