Plastic found in most table salts, especially ones from Asia | Quartz


There’s microplastic in that table salt.

A study published Tuesday (Oct. 16) in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found microplastics in more than 90% of the packaged food-grade salt—also known as table salt—for sale in stores.

The team, from South Korea’s Incheon National University and Greenpeace East Asia, sampled 39 brands of salt harvested in 21 countries. Only three of the samples had no detectable microplastics.

Microplastics are virtually everywhere.

Source: Plastic found in most table salts, especially ones from Asia — Quartz

Humanity Chopping Down Tree of Life, New Research Warns


Underscoring the urgent need for increased and intensely focused conservation efforts, new research shows that human activity worldwide is wiping out plant and animal life—including our own—so rapidly that evolution can’t keep up.

Paleontologist and lead researcher Matt Davis of Denmark’s Aarhus University warned, “We are starting to cut down the whole tree [of life], including the branch we are sitting on right now.”

“We are doing something that will last millions of years beyond us,” Davis told the Guardian. “It shows the severity of what we are in right now. We’re entering what could be an extinction on the scale of what killed the dinosaurs.”

Source: Humanity Chopping Down Tree of Life, New Research Warns

Climate Change Could Cause Global Beer Shortage


Climate change is coming for our beer.

Rising global temperatures and widespread drought could cause yields of barley, a primary ingredient in beer, to decrease as much as 17 percent by the end of the century, according to a study published Monday in Nature Plants.

Source: Climate Change Could Cause Global Beer Shortage

Farm and food policy innovations for the digital age


Not a week goes by without news of digital disruption in traditional industries and sectors. We’ve already seen long-standing business models from taxis to hotels upended, and we’ve got to wonder where this will take the world’s oldest industry—agriculture.

We urgently need to rethink public policy interventions to help countries navigate opportunities and challenges linked to digital advances in the food economy.

Source: Farm and food policy innovations for the digital age

Changing the Main Course of Climate Change


As the Trump administration’s dangerous deregulatory agenda leads us closer to climate catastrophe, cities, counties and businesses are stepping up to address the crisis.

Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg released their “Fulfilling America’s Pledge” plan, laying out the top climate strategies for subnational governments and businesses, at the Global Climate Action Summit.

Unfortunately, their high-profile report omitted a major solution and a big component of the climate crisis: food consumption.

Agriculture produces an astounding one-third of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: Changing the Main Course of Climate Change

Hurricanes Hit Everyone, But the Poor Have the Hardest Time Recovering | US News


.. when it comes to escaping, surviving and recovering from a natural disaster, it’s the poor who suffer the most, experts say. And with the extreme weather patterns and storms associated with climate change, the economic divide will only accelerate, they predict.

“The rich can survive well, and the poor don’t,” says Columbia University professor John Mutter, author of “The Disaster Profiteers: How Natural Disasters Make the Rich Richer and the Poor Even Poorer.”

“And it continues to separate us.”

Source: Hurricanes Hit Everyone, But the Poor Have the Hardest Time Recovering | The Report | US News

Rice, gnocchi, steak, wings: how cauliflower took over your plate | Vox


“Cauliflower moves to the center of the plate,” declared New York magazine in 2013, crowning it “Vegetable Most Likely to Be Mistaken for a Piece of Meat.”

Then came the cauli grains — riced cauliflower, cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower gnocchi — and eventually cauli memes. “If cauliflower can somehow become pizza…” the website Food52 said inspirationally on Instagram, “you, my friend, can do anything.”

Source: Rice, gnocchi, steak, wings: how cauliflower took over your plate – Vox

“Natural” beauty products are huge now because of a fear of chemicals | Vox


The backlash against traditional beauty companies — and the rise of “clean” ones — might have been inevitable. As scary-sounding reports about ingredients made the rounds over the years, consumers demanded answers.

But cosmetics regulation laws in this country haven’t been meaningfully updated since 1938.

The Food and Drug Administration, contrary to what some people assume, only has minimal oversight of the beauty industry. For the most part, beauty companies regulate themselves.

But now cosmetics industry regulatory legislation that languished for years is closer than ever to becoming law.

Source: “Natural” beauty products are huge now because of a fear of chemicals – Vox

The hunt for better climate science


Rising seas threaten low-lying cities, islands and industries worldwide.

But projections for how high and how soon the rise will come vary wildly in part because scientists lack clarity on how fast warming oceans are melting polar ice sheets. The uncertainty confounds the preparations of governments and businesses and fuels the arguments of climate-change skeptics.

Source: The hunt for better climate science

The US-Canada fight over NAFTA and dairy exposes an inconvenient truth about free markets | Quartz


The Canadian government limits the amount of dairy that farmers produce, sets the prices, and blocks most imports. There’s a big upside to Canada’s cow-based command economy, however: The stable dairy prices keep the industry consistently profitable and allow small farmers to thrive.

America does things differently. Whereas Canada limits supply, the US encourages a bounty of dairy. It’s a land of milky excess: fried butter balls, $0.99 milkshakes, four-cheese pizzas, and iced mocha Frappuccinos.

A place where the people of certain Midwestern states competitively sculpt butter. Though US consumers clearly relish dairy, for farmers and processors, the dairy surplus has its drawbacks.

Source: The US-Canada fight over NAFTA and dairy exposes an inconvenient truth about free markets — Quartz