While I’m finishing up my latest book for review and staying warm through Polar Vortex Round 2, here are some other good reads from around the web.
Our Toxicity Experiment in West Virginia (Wired)
Fascinating look at the chemical spill that recently contaminated the water supply of more than 300,000 people by a very engaging science writer, Deborah Blum. Drives home the idea that our system of “use it until it hurts someone” is a dangerous gamble.
Ex-Trader Joes President to Sell Food Past its Sell-by Date (Consumerist)
Doug Rauch, a former Trader Joes president, is opening a store called the Daily Table, where food past its sell-by date and produce seconds (bruised or blemished fruit and vegetables rejected by regular stores) at a major discount. I think this idea rocks – since we know that sell-by dates have nothing at all to do with whether or not a food is safe to eat.
Social Media as a Megaphone to Pressure the Food Industry (New York Times)
Increasingly, the FDA and USDA don’t respond to the public’s concerns over health and safety in the food supply, so many have turned to social media and the phenomenon of petitions to have their voices heard. And some companies are listening. (Though the phenomenon of petitions probably begs its own blog post.)
Should Farmers Give John Deere and Monsanto their Data? (NPR)
John Deere and Monsanto are (separately) offering programs to farmers where they can submit their data on their farms through the use of GPS-type devices – what they plant, what they are doing, how much is harvested of what crop in what location, etc. In return, the companies would promise to give them feedback about efficiency and the best uses of seed and soil. But at what cost to their privacy?
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @nextgenhouse for links to other interesting articles as I find them. (Also, it helps me validate the fact that I’m a news junkie to the core.)