Food Safety

Food Safety

Poison apples bad for consumers, Snow White

Environmental Working Group sifts through USDA data to figure out which Dirty Dozen fruits and veggies deliver the most pesticides. This year's winner: apples

The ‘Dirty Dozen': Which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticides?

The Environmental Working Group has released an updated list of the Dirty Dozen, the fruits and vegetables with the worst pesticide levels. Drumroll please: Apples Celery Strawberries Peaches Spinach Nectarines (imported) Grapes (imported) Sweet bell peppers Potatoes Blueberries (domestic) Lettuce Kale/collard greens If you can, it's worth shelling out a little extra for the organic versions of these. You can offset it by pinching your pennies on the Clean Fifteen, the produce with the lowest pesticide levels: Onions Sweet Corn Pineapples Avocado Asparagus Sweet peas Mangoes Eggplant Cantaloupe (domestic) Kiwi Cabbage Watermelon Sweet potatoes Grapefruit Mushrooms

Critical List: Bean sprouts likely E. coli culprit; Exxon’s in on natural gas

There’s a high probability Europe's deadly E. coli did come from bean sprouts. We always knew they were gross. Nuclear Regulator Commission head Gregory Jaczko manipulated his colleagues into killing the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage compound, according to an inspector general report. Also, no one likes him. Lower winds are helping Arizona best that wildfire, but the fire could still burn through electrical transmission lines and cut power to the region. Exxon's buying into shale gas. Here are two more arrows for the “climate change exists” quiver. Snow pack in the West has declined before, but the reductions since the …

Food Safety

FDA admits supermarket chickens test positive for arsenic

Why is Big Ag playing chicken with our health?Back in March, Tom Philpott wrote about the “insane” practice of feeding factory-farmed chickens arsenic: The idea is that it makes them grow faster — fast growth being the supreme goal of factory animal farming — and helps control a common intestinal disease called coccidiosis. The industry emphasizes that the arsenic is applied in organic form, which isn’t immediately toxic. “Organic” in the chemistry sense, that is, not the agricultural sense — i.e., molecules containing carbon atoms as well as arsenic. Trouble is, arsenic shifts from organic to inorganic rather easily. Indeed, …

Food

Contaminated compost? Toxins might be lurking in that bag you’re about to buy

Do you know what’s in your compost?The growing number of municipal and commercial composting operations has been one of the few bright spots in the environmental landscape, from San Francisco’s curbside composting service to this industrial-scale composting facility in Delaware. But Josh Harkinson in Mother Jones has harshed our green-tinged buzz. Thanks to fractured or lax regulations as well as the ubiquitous contamination of our environment by industrial chemicals (particularly heavy metals and pesticides), there’s a distressingly real risk of toxic chemicals making it into commercial and municipal compost. And it’s a particular problem for organic growers: Pesticide-laced compost has …

Deadliest E. coli outbreak ever

The E. coli outbreak in Europe has sickened more than 1,800 people, according the World Health Organization. But that's just cases drawn from hospital records. More people could be sick. And 18 have died, making this the deadliest recorded E. coli outbreak. If that's not unnerving enough, only two antibiotics have a real chance at fighting this new strain of the bacteria. The strain is resistant to 14 others. But the two that it's susceptible to are, basically, the big guns, the drugs of last resort. (Some monster strains of E. coli can defeat those drugs, but there isn't one …

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