Chemicals, apples, germs, honey and more from the weekend readings

Plenty of interesting articles and editorials reiterate in a refreshing way issues and concerns regarding natural environment, food, health and other matters worth attention.

On chemicals that are part of our daily life – cosmetics, detergents and alike – New York Time (NYT) article, Think Those Chemicals Have Been Tested?, enlightens us about no requirement for testing of those chemicals before they are supplied to your store. As the article states, “Unlike pharmaceuticals or pesticides, industrial chemicals do not have to be tested before they are put on the market.”

It appears that after all an apple a day may keep the doctor away, and physicians are writing prescriptions for fresh fruit and vegetables. More details in An Apple a Day: Doctors and Organizations Writing a New Nutrition Rx.

A majority of us presumes that most germs in the kitchen are in the sponge, on microwave keypads or around a trash can. But that is not the case. Read Where Germs Hide in Your Kitchen? in NYT to learn about the most contaminated spots in your kitchen. You will be surprised!

It would be terrific if GMOs issues could generate more positive news. No such a thing for the time being. NYT article, Food Politics Crates Rift in Panel on Labeling, writes on a registered dietician, Carole Bartolotto, previously on the panel of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, who has been removed from the committee for “pointing out that two of its members had ties to Monsanto, one of the biggest makers of genetically modified seeds” while working on creating policies on genetically modified foods (GMOs).

On the same subject of GMOs, Non-GMO Project is a great resource.

In Food Politics, Marion Nestle explains Why Regulate? Because it works.

A study out of Australia on childhood brain cancer warns that “PARENTS who have their homes professionally treated for termites are twice as likely to have a child with a brain tumor.

I consider chocolate to be one of the miracle of life. Forlornly, however, its future appears rather bleak. In The Future of Chocolate, Maryam Henein write about chocolate’s history, difficulties of growing it and points out that chocolate became a commodity and not a food in recent times. Hence, sustainable supply of chocolate is on the verge of collapse. Genetically modified chocolate is a very scary prospect although very much entertained by scientists from companies like Mars, Hershey, and Nestlé who diligently are working on developing such a product.

Last but not least, in the February 2013 edition of Wired UK, an article explains that, “A laser tool funded by the European Space Agency to measure carbon on Mars has been re-appropriated to detect fake honey.” The issue of honey laundering is not news. As the reports states, “According to a Food Safety News investigation, more than a third of honey consumed in the US has been smuggled from China and may be tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals. To make matters worse, some honey brokers create counterfeit honey using a small amount of real honey, bulked up with sugar, malt sweeteners, corn or rice syrup, jaggery (a type of unrefined sugar) and other additives — known as honey laundering.”

There it is. Enough for this time around.

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