Watch Out: PFAS was reported by Kathleen Hoffman for, 28 July 2019. 

When you buy bottled water, you are buying it for its purity compared to water from the tap. But you may be making a mistake. At least that is the case with bottled water that is on the shelves of many stores in the United States.

Recently, the Environmental Working Group, a non profit based in Washington, DC released a report naming 610 places in 43 states that are contaminated with PFAS. PFAS is the abbreviation for man-made compounds, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, substances which are also known as the “forever chemicals.” These compounds take thousands of years to break down and are found in soil, water and air.


As “forever chemicals,” they build up in our bodies through consumption of water and food. The have been linked to liver problems, cancers and low birth weight, as well as impacting the immune system, thyroid and metabolism. Between 98 and 99 percent of Americans have these substances in their bodies.

Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has only set up a “health advisory level”of 70 nanograms per liter (ng/L) which is not a legally binding limit on the amount of PFAS that can be present in drinking water. States are trying to fill in the gap. In fact, New Hampshire just passed a law to limit the amount of PFAS in their drinking water. They notified Massachusetts that bottled water from a spring at Spring Hill Farm Dairy in Haverhill, Massachusetts tested at 120 ng/L and 137 ng/L. However, the bottled water is still on the shelves with no warnings to consumers.

Read more: Watch Out: PFAS

Could the path to a more nutritious pizza be illuminated by laser beams? was produced by Nsikan Akpan and Jamie Leventhal for, 30 July 2019.  At Columbia University, a lab is crafting ways to improve nutrition by 3-D printing pizza to precise dietary specifications — and cooking it with laser beams. REALLY?!?!?!?

“It’s very easy for a machine to kind of layer in different types of nutritious elements into your food without you even knowing it and without the taste changing too much,” said Jonathan Blutinger, a grad student at Hod Lipson’s Creative Machines Lab.  He continued, “So the printer has an array of food cartridges, where, in each one of these cartridges, you can have a different material, so, dough, sauce and cheese, for example, as three different ingredients.  And then on this cartridge, our machine can pick up one ingredient, extrude it onto a platform, that’s moving around in a 2-D way, and then it can pick up another ingredient and do the same and follow this over and over again. Once the cheese and tomato sauce are spread or, should I say, squeezed onto the dough, everything gets tossed into their mini-oven.”
There, lasers shine at two mirrors, which are angled in certain directions by commands given through custom-built software. This selectively cooks parts of the food with much greater precision. That’s good for printed food because the ingredients are packed close together, and their final pizza is millimeters-thin.
The end result is delizioso.  In truth, it tastes much more like a crunchy pizza bagel. But in many ways, their approach mimics the thinking behind that original pizza oven. more:  Could the path to a more nutritious pizza be illuminated by laser beams?

Study unravels mechanism behind cilantro’s benefits was written by Ana Sandoiu for, 26 July 2019. 

As well as its taste and culinary flavor, cilantro — also known as coriander in the United Kingdom — may have significant health benefits and disease-fighting properties.  Historical records show that the plant has had medicinal uses since the time of Hippocrates, and traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine has hailed the plant’s benefits for digestion.

Modern medicine also supports some of cilantro’s benefits. Studies in mice have found that the plant Coriandrum sativum can reduce pain and inflammation, and cell culture studies found that extracts from the herb can protect the skin against ultraviolet (UV) B radiation.  In addition to its antifungal and antioxidant properties, one study suggested that the spice can stop a potentially carcinogenic substance from forming in meat during high temperature cooking.

Finally, folk medicine has also hailed the anticonvulsive benefits of cilantro, while some studies in rodents confirm its antiseizure effects.

Read more: Study unravels mechanism behind cilantro’s benefits

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