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News Roundup

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No Food Abundance on Earth

The World Agricultural Outlook Board just published how much grain farmers produced this farming season around the world. It was 2,476,040,000 metric tons. The Board also estimated how much we would use this year. It will be 2,469,120,000 metric tons. When we do the math, the world’s farmers only produced 2 lbs. of grain more per person than what the world will buy. Now, there are lots of folks who can’t buy enough. If they had money, it is likely that this year folks would eat more than farmers produced.

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Watch Out for Food in Cans

A recent study by Stanford University suggests children may be exposed to unsafe levels of BPA (bisphenol) in school meals. Bisphenol is a chemical commonly found in canned goods and plastic packaging. It can disrupt human hormones and is linked to adverse health effects including cancer. Jennifer Hartle, leading the research said: “During school visits, I was shocked to see that virtually everything in school meals came from a can or plastic package.”

Consumers are Wasteful

The John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future reports that 47 percent of the edible U.S. seafood supply is lost each year. The bulk of that loss comes mainly from consumer waste. When one considers that the U.S. edible seafood supply is 4.7 billion pounds per year, a waste of 2.3 billion of those pounds is frightening. Below is a short video clip on seafood waste.

Cut the Sugar – Who Do You Believe?

The Food and Drug Administration recently released new guidelines regarding how much sugar American should eat. The recommendation is to limit sugar to 10% of daily calories. For someone older than 3, that means eating 12.5 teaspoons of sugar a day – wow is this overdose or what? The World Health Organization suggests limiting sugar intake to only six teaspoons a day. By some estimates, Americans eat as much as 30 teaspoons of sugar a day. Below is a short video on the effects of sugar on the brain and our behavior.

Water is the Bottom Line

Companies from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have purchase thousands of acres of land in the Arizona desert for large-scale farm operations. American folks in rural Arizona feel that these farms may be exploiting Arizona’s groundwater laws. Some of the farms are in alfalfa – a water hungry crop – which will be shipped back to the Middle East. A new term is emerging – water embedded crops. So as global water resources dwindle, crops may be measured for the amount of water embedded before exports are allowed.

Chipotle in Trouble

In August, Chipotle faced a salmonella outbreak in Minnesota. Later that month, the company had another food poisoning incident in Simi Valley, California. Now, after a major E-coli outbreak in its restaurants in Washington and Oregon, the company has closed 43 of its restaurants – which are scheduled to reopen on November 18th. Chipotle has 1,931 restaurant locations that bring in an average of 2.5 million a year – this will hurt profits. On the news of this 3rd food poisoning outbreak in Washington, Chipotle stock dropped 2.5 percent. Following is a short video on the closings:

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