Just how concerned should we be about the safety of Chinese food imports? Check out this USDA ERS report (http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/EIB52/EIB52.pdf) titled “Imports From China and and Food Safety Issues.”
From the report:
For example, the Ministry of Agriculture’s testing of vegetables, meats, and fish in domestic markets for pesticide and drug residues reported impressive compliance rates ranging from 91 to 100 percent in 2007. However, few details about the testing are made public, so the results are difficult to evaluate. China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducts extensive surveys of diet and nutrition that can trace intakes of toxic substances to types of food and regions, but these results are also not widely publicized (Ellis and Turner; Wu). Liaoning Province has a database of soil, water, and air pollution test results that identifies areas suitable for organic or “green” crops, but the information can be accessed only through government authorities (Gale, Avendaño, and Merel).
Other Web headlines:
Better than meatfree Mondays
From the story:
The McCartney's gentle approach - suggesting less meat instead of pushing no meat - may also have some sustainable agriculture benefits, supported by some scientific research. Cornell researchers looked at land requirements of the diets of New Yorkers and found that low-fat vegetarian diets took up the least amount of land, less than half an acre per person, while high meat and dairy diets required more than 2 acres. Here's the interesting part, however. If a local, sustainable food production system is what we are aiming for, then a mixed diet may be the most efficient use of the land we've got. Fruits and vegetables need lots of high-quality cropland, while pastureland of lesser quality can be used to support grass-based farming.
Fruit And Vegetable Intake Reduces Respiratory Infections In Pregnant Women
From the story:
Scientists have come up with a new reason to eat your fruits and vegetables - in pregnant woman it can significantly reduce the risk of contracting an upper respiratory iinfection. A new study from the Boston University Medical Center suggests that eating at least seven servings of fruit a day and a moderate amount of vegetables can prevent many infections, like the common cold and sinus infections, in pregnant women. This is important, the researchers said, because upper respiratory infections can lead to lower respiratory illnesses like asthma and pneumonia.