reading this week

While I’m catching up from a busy weekend, check out these stories I’m reading this week.

The Secret Life of a Food Stamp (Slate)
Incredibly interesting piece on the food stamp recipients that we never talk about – the stores who accept them. Often the store’s own workers are recipients and then go on to purchase food from the store, giving the store an extra profit on top of the benefit of paying them a low wage to begin with. This is something that’s very rarely talked about in the media; they’re often too busy vilifying the recipients for fraud to even consider that the companies who receive the funds might be committing fraud as well.

FDA Found Drugs Used in Food Animals to be High Risk (NPR)
The FDA has known for many years that many drugs given to animals that we eat are a risk to human health – a “high” risk. When will we start to really take antibiotic resistance seriously? And why does it take a Freedom of Information Act request to reveal that our government agencies don’t take public health and safety seriously?

The Crisis of Antibiotic Resistance: the Germs are Winning (WBGH – Boston)
Yet more evidence that antibiotic resistance needs to be taken seriously, and we need to take steps to reduce our intake of unnecessary antibiotics. Keep them out of foods and only take them when you need them for infections.

Transparency: The New Must-Have Ingredient (Huffington Post)
Americans are increasingly expecting more details about how their food was produced, what’s in it and where it came from. More and more companies are adjusting their business practices to meet this demand, since as this article states, no company wants to end up in the news with a headline like “yoga mat bread.”

Skin Deep – Mobile App (Environmental Working Group)
This isn’t so much an article as it is a great app if you’re interested in checking out your beauty and cosmetic products to see what’s in them and what might be hazardous or toxic. They’re working on a database and app for food products too.