Health/Food Posts Tagged as 'Waste'
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Would you give up having children to save the planet? Meet the couples who have
When people ask her if she has children, Münter, who is 44, has a prepared answer: “No, my husband and I are child-free by choice.” Saying child-free, she argues, doesn’t imply you are deprived, as the more standard “childless” might. And by letting them know it isn’t a sad topic to be avoided, she says, “it opens up the door for them to ask: ‘Oh, that’s interesting, why did you choose not to?’” Münter wants to move the awkward topic of overpopulation into the mainstream. “The more we talk about it, the more comfortable people will feel talking about it and then, maybe, things will change.”
For too long, she feels, the issue has been swept under the rug. “We can talk about emissions and climate change, but talking about population gets such an emotional reaction.”
The last thing she wants to do is make parents feel guilty, or to shut them out of the conversation. Procreation, after all, is natural. And if you have two children, you are only replacing their parents, rather than adding extras. But if you’re not yet a parent and can’t suppress your parental instincts, says Münter, “my ask is that you consider adopting one of the 153m orphan children that are already on the planet and need a home. Or, if you are dead set on having your own, my hope would be that you just have one and then if you want more, adopt.” Ultimately, she says, “your kids and your kid’s kids will be the ones who benefit from humans deciding to slow down our rate of growth. It will slow down climate change, ocean acidification, cutting down the wild places.”
More than half of U.S. beaches have fecal bacteria, environmentalists say
While Massachusetts beachgoers may be worried about sharks this summer, environmentalists are warning about a much smaller organism. E. coli, a bacteria present in animal and human waste, could hurt many more people—and it shows up on half of America's beaches, according to new research from Environment America and the Frontier Group.
Half the beaches in the U.S. have at least one day per summer season in which it's not safe to swim because of elevated bacteria levels in the water, according to a report the group released recently. Some states had it much worse. In Louisiana, all of the 24 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day last summer. In Mississippi, all 21 of 21 beach sites sampled were.
There are several ways for bacteria to get into water, but two of the most common ones are overflows from sewage treatment plants or runoff during heavy rain.
Cambodia to send plastic waste back to the US and Canada
Cambodia has become the latest Asian country to reject shipments of waste sent to its shores by Western companies for processing.
Cambodian officials announced Wednesday that they were sending 1,600 tonnes of trash back to their source -- the United States and Canada.
How can city dwellers help with climate change? Buy less stuff.
CITIES CAN PLAY a major role in the global effort to curb climate change, a new report says—and a major step they can take is helping their inhabitants consume a whole lot less stuff by making changes in the way cities are run.
Even the most forward-thinking cities have a long way to go to neutralize their carbon emissions, the report says. That’s partly because for years, cities have been doing carbon math wrong, adding up only the carbon costs that occur within city limits. But much of city dwellers' climate impact actually comes from the things they eat, use, or buy that originate far outside the city—from food to clothes to electronics and more.
To keep emissions in check, the report suggests, cities should aim to trim their carbon emissions by 50 percent in the next 11 years, and then by a total of 80 percent by 2050. And because, as the researchers found, a hefty portion of those emissions can be traced back to consumer goods, food, and energy produced outside city limits, one of the best things cities can do is help their residents pull back on consumption.
Patients’ Needs, Not Personal Beliefs, Come First in Health Care
Since taking office, the Trump administration has launched a systematic attack on laws that exist to protect all of us from discrimination when we seek basic health care. Today, we’re taking them back to court over it.
Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) resurrected a policy that allows health care providers — including hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices — to use their religious beliefs to withhold critical information and obstruct patient’s access to health care. In 2009, the ACLU challenged the original version of the rule. Ten years later, we filed a lawsuit to, once again, preserve access to evidence-based, nonjudgmental health care and ensure that medical standards — not religious belief — guide health care.
The Worst Patients in the World
Rise in homeless numbers prompts outrage and alarm across L.A. County
Most nights, Jeremias Ortiz has to shoo away homeless people who sleep and panhandle outside his restaurant, El Salvadoreño in Duarte.
The men and women living in the parking lot are bad for his business, but as their ranks swell, it has become a fact of life — as has cleaning up broken glass, urine and feces.
“They don’t have a place to put [homeless people] in this area. I think it’s where all the problems start.” Local officials, Ortiz said, “are just ignoring the people’s needs.”
According to the latest point-in-time count released Tuesday, the number of homeless people in the San Gabriel Valley jumped 17% from 4,282 in 2018 to 5,021 this year — the second largest bump in Los Angeles County. The largest was on the Westside, up 19% from 4,401 homeless people in 2018 to 5,223 this year. Both outpaced the overall increase of 12% across the county.
Caterer blasts her boss for banning staff from taking home leftover food after a wedding and insisting it goes in the trash - but Facebook users claim it's a matter of food safety
A woman has sparked a lengthy debate after revealing that the catering company she works for doesn't allow staff to take home leftover food.
The employee, from Quebec, took to Facebook to vent her fury after she was almost fired for trying to sneak off with the remains of a dish served at a wedding.
She claimed that staff often work 10 hour shifts and go home starving at 2am, while uneaten food is thrown in the bin.
The Facebook user received a divided response from contributors, with many arguing that the decision on what to do with leftovers is most likely due to health and safety regulations.
AirPods Are a Tragedy
Future Relics is a column about the objects that our society is currently making, and how they may explain our lives to future generations. In each article, we'll focus on one item that could conceivably be discovered by someone 1,000 years from now, and try to explain where this item came from, where it's going, and what its existence explains about our current moment.
AirPods are a product of the past.
They're plastic, made of some combination of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine, and sulfur. They’re tungsten, tin, tantalum, lithium, and cobalt.
The particles that make up these elements were created 13.8 billion years ago, during the Big Bang. Humans extract these elements from the earth, heat them, refine them. As they work, humans breathe in airborne particles, which deposit in their lungs. The materials are shipped from places like Vietnam, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Peru, Mexico, Indonesia, and India, to factories in China. A literal city of workers creates four tiny computing chips and assembles them into a logic board. Sensors, microphones, grilles, and an antenna are glued together and packaged into a white, strange-looking plastic exoskeleton.
These are AirPods. They’re a collection of atoms born at the dawn of the universe, churned beneath the surface of the earth, and condensed in an anthropogenic parallel to the Big Crunch—a proposed version of the death of the universe where all matter shrinks and condenses together. Workers are paid unlivable wages in more than a dozen countries to make this product possible. Then it’s sold by Apple, the world’s first trillion-dollar company, for $159 USD.
Most people waste more food than they think—here's how to fix it
Food waste, that scourge that sends more than a third of our food supply to rot and is a major contributor to climate change, seems like it should be easy to address.
Waste less food, advocates cry, and you can save money! You can save time! You can save farmland and fuel, and, since agriculture drives habitat loss, you can even help save the tiger.
And yet, here we are in the thick of Earth Month, on a day designated as “Stop Food Waste Day,” and you probably don’t need to look further than your own kitchen or cafeteria to see edible food dumped. In the U.S. more than 80 percent of food waste has been traced to homes and consumer-facing businesses.
So why is this problem so hard to solve? Because, researchers say, we’re only human. We have some irrational tendencies, some aspirations that don’t match reality, and some major blind spots. Not to mention busy schedules that don’t always align with when the avocado on the counter finally ripens. Here in the U.S., food waste is often invisibly baked into how we shop, cook and entertain.
New York City adds 5-cent fee for paper bags after state bans plastic bags
New York City will impose a 5-cent fee for paper bags starting next March, part of an effort to reduce the city's solid waste. The nickle fee will accompany New York state's ban on plastic bags, and is aimed at encouraging shoppers to bring their own reusable bags.
The city's measure was approved following the state's ban on plastic bags, which was approved last month by the state's Democratic-controlled legislature. The ban, which covers most single-use plastic bags provided by supermarkets and other stores, will also go into effect in March 2020. California has also banned plastic bags, while Hawaii's counties ban plastic bags, although it's not a state-mandated ban.
If New Yorkers switch to reusable bags rather than turning to paper bags, it could reduce waste considerably, with the New York City Sanitation Department telling the New York Times that it collects about 30,000 tons of paper bags every year.
The Amount of Poop on San Francisco's Streets Has Hit an All-Time High
For the past decade, San Francisco's streets and sidewalks have been increasingly plagued by piles of human shit—and the poop problem is just getting worse. The city officially put together a so-called "poop patrol" task force back in 2018 to deal with the problem, and some Bay Area tech bro even whipped up an app called "SnapCrap" to help city residents file dookie reports to 311, but it looks like the shit crisis continues.
According to a new report this week from Forbes and non-profit watchdog Open the Books, the city had a whopping 28,084 reports of turds in 2018, up five times from what it was back in 2011. And there are already 6,676 shit sightings on the books in 2019.
The UN reports humanity is failing its climate change goals
Despite the danger, there has been little climate change action since the 2016 Paris Agreement — three years later, the world is still on track to exceed the 2°C of warming target by as early as 2040. So this week, the UN is once again sounding the alarm on the unprecedented environmental damage that has proceeded largely unchecked.
In its 6th Global Environmental Outlook report, released today, scientists explore how human actions are threatening the food, water, and natural systems that we take for granted. The report highlights how air pollution from fossil fuels and chemical production kills 6 to 7 million people every year. It underscores the unprecedented scale of biodiversity loss around the planet, which threatens food supplies for billions of people. And it emphasizes the rapid decline of safe drinking water sources around the world as a result of intensive agriculture and chemical contamination.
Hundreds of US cities are killing or scaling back their recycling programs
Is This the End of Recycling?
After decades of earnest public-information campaigns, Americans are finally recycling. Airports, malls, schools, and office buildings across the country have bins for plastic bottles and aluminum cans and newspapers. In some cities, you can be fined if inspectors discover that you haven’t recycled appropriately.
But now much of that carefully sorted recycling is ending up in the trash.
For decades, we were sending the bulk of our recycling to China—tons and tons of it, sent over on ships to be made into goods such as shoes and bags and new plastic products. But last year, the country restricted imports of certain recyclables, including mixed paper—magazines, office paper, junk mail—and most plastics. Waste-management companies across the country are telling towns, cities, and counties that there is no longer a market for their recycling. These municipalities have two choices: pay much higher rates to get rid of recycling, or throw it all away.
Most are choosing the latter. “We are doing our best to be environmentally responsible, but we can’t afford it,” said Judie Milner, the city manager of Franklin, New Hampshire. Since 2010, Franklin has offered curbside recycling and encouraged residents to put paper, metal, and plastic in their green bins. When the program launched, Franklin could break even on recycling by selling it for $6 a ton. Now, Milner told me, the transfer station is charging the town $125 a ton to recycle, or $68 a ton to incinerate. One-fifth of Franklin’s residents live below the poverty line, and the city government didn’t want to ask them to pay more to recycle, so all those carefully sorted bottles and cans are being burned. Milner hates knowing that Franklin is releasing toxins into the environment, but there’s not much she can do. “Plastic is just not one of the things we have a market for,” she said.
Recalls of hazardous meat, poultry increasing...
Tyson Foods Recalls 18 Tons of Chicken Nuggets After Reports of Contamination
Tyson Foods is recalling more than 36,000 pounds of frozen chicken nuggets after consumers reported finding soft, blue pieces of rubber inside the popular food.
The recall comes in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and applies to the company’s Panko Chicken Nuggets that were sold in five pound plastic bags in grocery stores nationwide.
Consumers are being urged to look for bags with the “best by” date of Nov. 26, 2019, the Case Code 3308SDL03 and a time stamp ranging from 23:00 through 01:59. If you’ve got the product, either discard it or return it to the point of purchase for a refund.