First the soda fountains at fast food restaurants, and now this–Consumer Reports has just published an investigation revealing that 39% of the packaged salads tested contained “bacteria that are common indicators of poor sanitation and fecal contamination.” And this despite the fact that such bagged salads often display claims of ‘prewashed’ or ‘triple-washed’ and attract customers who consider them cleaner and safer.
Consumer Reports tested 208 different salads from 16 brands, and they note that they didn’t find any seriously dangerous pathogens like salmonella or E. coli–though they do mention in passing that the Dept. of Agriculture typically finds traces of salmonella in 2 out of every 4,000 salads tested.
Instead, CR was looking for “total coliforms and for other bacteria, including enterococcus, that are better indicators of fecal contamination.” The reason for the test was that currently, while there are federal limits on the amount of “indicator” bacteria that can be legally found in water, milk, raw meats, and processed foods, there’s no such standard for produce. And so, CR set out to discover whether there was sh!t in your salad (or at least, bacteria that commonly, though not necessarily, forms in feces). Here’s what they found:
Several industry experts we consulted suggested that for leafy greens, an unacceptable level of total coliforms or enterococcus is 10,000 or more colony forming units per gram (CFU/g) or a comparable estimate. In our tests, 39 percent of samples exceeded that level for total coliforms and 23 percent for enterococcus.
Some samples registered up to 1 million CFU/g. Which is a lot of bacteria per gram of greens.
To clarify, just because a sample contains coliform bacteria, this does not mean there is literally feces in your salad–nor does it mean that this bacteria necessarily grew in crap. But high levels of such indicator bacterias like coliforms and enterococcus mean that there’s a higher chance there was some fecal contamination or poor sanitation practices.
Naomi Starkman over at the Huffpo Green quotes Dr. Michael Hansen, the publisher of CR: “Although these ‘indicator’ bacteria generally do not make healthy people sick, the tests show not enough is being done to assure the safety or cleanliness of leafy greens.”
The last of the bad news is that there’s no one brand that tested particularly highly–all tested pretty much the same in their range levels of coliform bacteria, from high to low.
There is good news to all this, in my mind–it might help dispel the myth that bagged salads are somehow ‘cleaner’ than loose salads. There’s really no reason to be buying salad wrapped in plastic, though I’m sure there are extenuating circumstances I’m not thinking of at the moment. It might be high time to forget about bagged, plastic-wrapped salads.
Let’s talk a bit about these supposedly broke governments that have been reaching insolvency, and in cases like Iceland in 2006 and Argentina in 2001, have declared bankruptcy. It seems to most, as it would to anyone not ideologically retarded, that for all the public “brokeness” going on, there is always enough money for a bailout for some big bosses. Indeed, there’s never a shortage of money (or credit; whatever you want to call it) when it comes to buying up some big boss’ bad debt, or fleecing the public purse to provide him (them) with a fat tax cut so they can “create jobs” (see: off shore, low wage). Continue reading
(ByJoshua Holland)Like many people, Terry Hoskins has had troubles with his bank. But his solution to foreclosure might be unique.
Hoskins said he’s been in a struggle with RiverHills Bank over his Clermont County home for nearly a decade, a struggle that was coming to an end as the bank began foreclosure proceedings on his $350,000 home.
“When I see I owe $160,000 on a home valued at $350,000, and someone decides they want to take it – no, I wasn’t going to stand for that, so I took it down,” Hoskins said.
Hoskins said the Internal Revenue Service placed liens on his carpet store and commercial property on state Route 125 after his brother, a one-time business partner, sued him.
The bank claimed his home as collateral, Hoskins said, and went after both his residential and commercial properties.
Hoskins said he’d gotten a $170,000 offer from someone to pay off the house, but the bank refused, saying they could get more from selling it in foreclosure.
Hoskins told News 5’s Courtis Fuller that he issued the bank an ultimatum. “I’ll tear it down before I let you take it,” Hoskins told them.
And that’s exactly what Hoskins did…
“As far as what the bank is going to get, I plan on giving them back what was on this hill exactly (as) it was,” Hoskins said. “I brought it out of the ground and I plan on putting it back in the ground.”
Hoskins told reporters he was sending a message and wanted to “make banks think twice before they try to take someone’s home.” According to the article, he’s thinking about razing the building housing his business as well.
The city of Cleveland has had a colorful history. The Cuyahoga River, which runs through the city, famously caught fire in 1969 thanks to rampant pollution, and it wasn’t the first time. In 1978 it became the first U.S. city to default on its debts since the Great Depression. Cleveland sports fans have had to endure more anguish than those in any other city. The city has been dubbed with a less than endearing nickname: the Mistake by the Lake.
This year Cleveland takes the top spot in our third annual ranking of America’s Most Miserable Cities. Cleveland secured the position thanks to its high unemployment, high taxes, lousy weather, corruption by public officials and crummy sports teams (Cavaliers of the NBA excepted). Continue reading
(By Marisa Guthrie)A new poll finds PBS among the most trusted institutions in America and the most trusted name in news. According to an annual poll conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media, 40% of Americans trust PBS’ news and public affairs programs a “great deal.” Fox News was second at 29% and CNN was third at 27%.
Additionally, when asked to chose whether news coverage, investigations and discussions of major issues on PBS programs was “liberal,” “mostly fair” or “conservative,” 40% chose “mostly fair.” NBC and ABC were second with 33% each followed by CNN (31%), NPR (29%), Fox News (25%) and MSNBC (24%). Continue reading
The underground or “black” economy is rapidly rising, and the fault is mainly due to government policies.
Here is the evidence. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) released a report last week concluding that 7.7 percent of U.S. households, containing at least 17 million adults, are unbanked (i.e. those who do not have bank accounts), and an “estimated 17.9 percent of U.S. households, roughly 21 million, are underbanked” (i.e., those who rely heavily on nonbank institutions, such as check cashing and money transmitting services). As an economy becomes richer and incomes rise, the normal expectation is that the proportion of the unbanked population falls and does not rise as is now happening in the United States.
Tax revenues are falling far more rapidly at the federal, state and local level than would be expected by the small drop in real gross domestic product (GDP) and changes in tax law that have occurred since the recession began. The currency in circulation outside the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve banks and the vaults of depository institutions – that is, the currency held by individuals and businesses – has grown by 13.3 percent in the last two years, while real nominal (not inflation-adjusted) GDP has not grown at all, and real (inflation-adjusted) GDP incomes have fallen by more than 3 percent. With the growth of electronic means of payment and financial service providers, it would be expected that the currency component of GDP would fall, not rise. Continue reading
A new ruling closes several loopholes that mega-dairies have been using to exploit the organic market with milk from farms that hardly resemble real organic farms.
Proponents of small farms and organic watchdog groups found themselves in unfamiliar waters recently: cheering the USDA for tightening the definitions of organic meat and dairy. On February 12th the agency passed what some are calling the most sweeping rewrite of federal organic standards since their inception in 2002.
The ruling, called Access to Pasture, closes several loopholes that mega-dairies have been using to exploit the organic market with milk from farms that hardly resemble the farms that inspired the now $24.6 billion organic industry.
(By Cory Doctorow)
According to the filings in Blake J Robbins v Lower Merion School District (PA) et al, the laptops issued to high-school students in the well-heeled Philly suburb have webcams that can be covertly activated by the schools’ administrators, who have used this facility to spy on students and even their families. The issue came to light when the Robbins’s child was disciplined for “improper behavior in his home” and the Vice Principal used a photo taken by the webcam as evidence. The suit is a class action, brought on behalf of all students issued with these machines.
If true, these allegations are about as creepy as they come. I don’t know about you, but I often have the laptop in the room while I’m getting dressed, having private discussions with my family, and so on. The idea that a school district would not only spy on its students’ clickstreams and emails (bad enough), but also use these machines as AV bugs is purely horrifying. Continue reading
(By Paul Joseph Watson)A trusted source has told this office that the FBI knew Austin was going to be attacked today and had dispatched officers from its Dallas headquarters yesterday afternoon to be in place for today’s incident.
The source claims that a confidential memo was circulated yesterday detailing that a building in Austin was going to be the target of an attack today. He was told this by an informant who works in the Dallas FBI office.
Four FBI agents hurriedly left the Dallas office yesterday to be ready and on the scene for the aftermath of the incident, according to the informant, who was shaken when he saw events unfolding today and put two and two together. Continue reading
A pilot furious with the Internal Revenue Service crashed his small plane into an Austin, Texas, office building where nearly 200 federal tax employees work on Thursday, ignited a raging fire that sent massive plumes of thick, black smoke rising from the seven-story structure.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the incident was a single act by a sole individual, who appeared to be targeting the federal building. He refused to classify it as terrorism.
“I call it a cowardly, criminal act and there was no excuse for it,” Acevedo said at a news conference.
The FBI identified the pliot as Joseph Stack, a 53-year-old software engineer. Stack was confirmed dead, but his body has not yet been recovered.
At least one person who worked in the building was unaccounted for and two people were hospitalized, thirteen others were treated and released said Austin Fire Department Division Chief Dawn Clopton. Continue reading
The latest CBS News/New York Times Pollfinds Americans cynical about and dissatisfied with government.
At 75 percent, the percentage that disapproves of Congress now matches the highest level recorded in this poll; only in October 2008 and March 1992 was disapproval so high. The two parties themselves have also fallen in public estimation — more than half the public views the Democratic Party and the Republican Party unfavorably.
And while President Obama fares better than Congress in the poll, his job approval rating is now 46 percent, matching his lowest approval rating ever. Continue reading
Google has opened up its charity wallet once again. This time, the search giant has donated $2,000,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation, the organization that runs and maintains Wikipedia.
The donation, in true social media fashion, was announced via tweets from Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales and Wikimedia Foundation advisory board member Mitch Kapor. Neither Google nor the Wikimedia Foundation have made an official announcement yet — it’s supposed to come tomorrow.
The donation’s definitely in line with Google’s generosity to foundations that promote a faster and more open web. However, we think it’s interesting that Google is giving money to the Wikimedia Foundation now, only a year and a half after the search giant launched its own Wikipedia killer, Google Knol.
Back then, we said it was doomed to fail, and so far Knol’s stagnation has proven us right. Is this a sign that Google’s abandoned the project and is embracing Wikipedia as the web’s center for knowledge? Hopefully we’ll get some answers tomorrow.
(By Stephen C Webster)Prolific Mexican politician and intellectual Jorge Castañeda believes that a greater North American community — a “North American Union” — with economies tied together under a European Union-style system, complete with open borders and a unified currency, is the wave of the future.
In a new interview with Web site BigThink.com, Castañeda, Mexico’s foreign minister from 2000-2003 and a global distinguished professor of politics at New York University, said that with nearly 11 percent of Mexicans living in the United States, he has stopped seeing his nation as a Latin American country.
“Well, my sense is that we’re moving closer and closer to forms of economic integration with the United States and Canada and conceivably Central America and Caribbean could become part of that in the coming years,” he said. “I don’t see Mexico as a Latin American country. Too much of trade, investment, tourism, immigration, remittances, absolutely everything is concentrated exclusively with the United States. So, Mexico has to be part of a North American community, a North American union, which at some point probably should include some type of monetary union along European lines with a free flow of labor, with energy being on the table, etc.” Continue reading
(NaturalNews) Ask around and you’ll hear this over and over again: People are concerned about what might be coming. They’re concerned about a global financial collapse, an ecological crisis and potential disruptions in the food supply. The radical weather patterns now being witnessed across the world are further indication that something’s wrong with the world we thought we knew.
But what’s really going to happen between now and 2012? Is there any way to take an educated guess about which challenges are most likely to appear?
That’s what I’ve done here in this collection of thirty-five predictions for 2010 – 2012. Although I can’t actually see the future in some sort of crystal ball, I do have a successful track record of predicting many large-scale events years before they happen. As published here on NaturalNews, my predictions for 2009 clocked in at 79% accuracy (http://www.naturalnews.com/027964_p…). I’m on the record calling the 2007 housing crash a full two years before it took place (http://www.naturalnews.com/News_000…), and those who have been following these writings for several years know that I openly warned people about the dot-com crash two years before it happened as well.
So here’s what I see coming in 2010 – 2012. This is based on “educated guesses” about where current trends may lead us. This is not some sort of psychic prediction exercise; it’s based entirely on observation and forward thinking.
By the way, if these predictions seem too pessimistic, be sure to read the bottom of this article which talks about the upside of what will happen after these next few years. Ultimately, there is good news ahead… Continue reading
(By Brian M. Riedl)Soaring government spending and trillion-dollar budget deficits have brought fiscal responsibility–and reducing government waste–back onto the national agenda. President Obama recently identified 0.004 of 1 percent of the federal budget as wasteful and proposed eliminating this $140 million from his $3.6 trillion fiscal year 2010 budget request. Aiming higher, the President recently proposed partially offsetting a costly new government health entitlement by reducing $622 billion in Medicare and Medicaid “waste and inefficiencies” over the next decade. Taxpayers may wonder why reducing such waste is now merely a bargaining chip for new spending rather than an end in itself. Continue reading
(BY Declan McCullagh)
Two years ago, when the FBI was stymied by a band of armed robbers known as the “Scarecrow Bandits” that had robbed more than 20 Texas banks, it came up with a novel method of locating the thieves.
FBI agents obtained logs from mobile phone companies corresponding to what their cellular towers had recorded at the time of a dozen different bank robberies in the Dallas area. The voluminous records showed that two phones had made calls around the time of all 12 heists, and that those phones belonged to men named Tony Hewitt and Corey Duffey. A jury eventually convicted the duo of multiple bank robbery and weapons charges. Continue reading
(By Erick Wilkenson)The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is launching a petition campaign to convince coffee giant Starbucks to ban guns in its stores across the country.
“We urge Starbucks to respect the rights of the vast majority of its customers, who seek to take their families into its stores without facing the intimidating presence of openly carried guns,” said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign.
Two weeks ago, after gun enthusiasts began targeting California restaurants for meetings, carrying their handguns out in the open, executives with Peet’s Coffee and Tea and California Pizza Kitchen announced they would exercise their private property right to prohibit the “open carry” of guns in retail locations. Continue reading
(By Daniel Tencer))Concerns over privacy have aligned with apocalyptic Biblical prophecy in a proposed Virginia law that limits the use of microchip implants on humans because of a lawmaker’s concern that the chips will prove to be the Antichrist’s “mark of the beast.”
On Wednesday, Virginia’s House of Delegatespassed a bill that forbids companies from forcing their employees to be implanted with tracking devices, a move likely to be applauded by civil libertarians.
But Virginia state Delegate Mark Cole’s reasons for proposing the law have as much to do with the Book of Revelation as they do with concerns over privacy in the digital age. Continue reading
February 2, 2010 While researchers and scientists investigate the cause of our diabetes, obesity, asthma and ADHD epidemics, they should ask why the FDA approved a livestock drug banned in 160 nations and responsible for hyperactivity, muscle breakdown and 10 percent mortality in pigs, according to angry farmers who phoned the manufacturer.
The beta agonist ractopamine, a repartitioning agent that increases protein synthesis, was recruited for livestock use when researchers found the drug, used in asthma, made mice more muscular says Beef magazine. Continue reading
(By Hesh Goldstein NaturalNews) For several years, The Institute for Responsible Technology has predicted that the US would soon experience a tipping point of consumer rejection against genetically modified foods. Now, in a December article in “Supermarket News”, that prediction is supported and the non-GMO consciousness uprising is gaining momentum. Continue reading
Thanks for all the email’s of support lately. I’ve been putting the finishing touches on the new site, a much more clean and professional look. I will still keep this site as a backup,it will be updated everyday. More info on the way! This is a one person operation. And i’m always looking for news tips,story ideas or writers. Thx
(Thomas Dishaw) With over 28 inches of snow covering the Maryland area,Governor Martin O’malley activated the National Guard. Putting Military on the streets of Baltimore. Riding around in Hummers, with shovels, they were ready to help you out in your moment of distress. Military to the rescue! May i say “Posse Comitatus Act”
The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed on June 18, 1878, after the end of Reconstruction, with the intention (in concert with the Insurrection Act of 1807) of substantially limiting the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement. The Act prohibits most members of the federal uniformed services (today the Army, Air Force, and State National Guard forces when such are called into federal service) from exercising nominally state law enforcement, police, or peace officer powers that maintain “law and order” on non-federal property (states and their counties and municipal divisions) within the United States.
The statute generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress. The Coast Guard is exempt from the Act during peacetime.
The Act was a response to, and subsequent prohibition of, the military occupation by U.S. Army troops of the former Confederate States during the ten years of Reconstruction (1867–1877) following the American Civil War (1861–1865). The U.S. withdrew Federal troops from Southern states as a result of a compromise in one of the most disputed national elections in American history, the 1876 U.S. presidential election. Samuel J. Tilden of New York, the Democratic candidate, defeated Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio in the popular vote. Tilden garnered 184 electoral votes to Hayes’ 165; 20 disputed electoral votes remained uncounted. After a bitter fight, Congress struck a deal resolving the dispute and awarding the presidency to Hayes.
In return for Southern acquiescence regarding Hayes, Republicans agreed to support the withdrawal of federal troops from the former Confederate states, ending Reconstruction. Known as the Compromise of 1877, this deal of political expediency removed federal protection for Southern ex-slaves. The U.S. Constitution places primary responsibility for the holding of elections in the hands of the individual states. The maintenance of peace, conduction of orderly elections, and prosecution of unlawful actions are all state responsibilities, pursuant to the states’ primary job of exercising police power and maintaining law and order.
During the local, state, and federal elections of 1874 and 1876 in the former Confederate states, all levels of government chose not to exercise their police powers to maintain law and order. Many acts of violence, and a suppression of the vote of some political and racial groups, resulted in the election of state legislators and U.S. congressmen who halted and reversed political reform in the American South.
When the U.S. Representatives and Senators from the former Confederate states reached Washington, they set as a priority the creation of a statute prohibiting any future President or Congress from directing, by military order or federal legislation, the imposition of federal troops in any U.S. state.
The original Posse Comitatus Act referred essentially to the United States Army. The Air Force was added in 1956 and the Navy and the Marine Corps have been included by a regulation of the Department of Defense. The United States Coast Guard, when acting in its peacetime capacity (originally as part of the Treasury Department, later the Department of Transportation, and now within the Department of Homeland Security), is not included in the Act. However, if, in wartime, a portion of the Coast Guard were subsumed within the Department of the Navy, as it was during World War II, that portion would lose its federal police power authority and responsibility over the federal law enforcement duties of its civilian mission. This law is often relied upon to prevent the Department of Defense from interfering in domestic law enforcement.
Voters are madder than ever at the current policies of the federal government.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 75% of likely voters now say they are at least somewhat angry at the government’s current policies, up four points fromlate November and up nine points since September. The overall figures include 45% who are Very Angry, also a nine-point increase since September.
Just 19% now say they’re not very or not at all angry at the government’s policies, down eight points from the previous survey and down 11 from September. That 19% includes only eight percent (8%) who say they’re not angry at all and 11% who are not very angry. Continue reading
Makers of natural-health products say they are bracing for widespread layoffs and millions of dollars in losses after Canada’s pharmacy regulators issued a surprise directive recently urging druggists to stop selling unlicensed natural remedies.
The order affects thousands of herbal treatments, multi-vitamins and other products, most of them waiting for approval from Health Canada under a backlogged, five-year-old program to regulate natural-health goods. Continue reading
By Michael O’Brien – 02/01/10 12:56 PM ET
The U.S. government must spend its way out of the recession, the Democrats’ third-ranking House leader stressed Monday.
Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the House majority whip, said that trying to find greater savings in the budget, which was released by President Barack Obama this morning, wouldn’t help alleviate the recession. Continue reading
(NaturalNews) A University of Washington research team recently released the results of a study it conducted on contaminant residue in the waters of Puget Sound in Washington State. Various spices, flavorings and other substances are being identified as making their way out of water treatment plants and back into the world’s water supply.
Winter holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas bring extra amounts of cinnamon while chocolate and vanilla are especially popular on the weekends. Likewise, caramel corn residue and waffle-cone pieces are particularly excessive around the Independence Day. The most popular contaminant found in the sound is artificial vanilla flavor which is found at an average of 14 milligrams per liter of water. Continue reading
February 1, 2010/Portland, Maine — It’s always a relief this time of year to find that my local bookstore has emerged from the crucial holiday retail season still standing. Longfellow Books, named after Portland’s famous 19th century poet, is the only bookstore selling new, general-interest titles left in this small city. I can hardly imagine getting through Maine’s long winter months deprived of its weekly author events or the pleasure of an hour spent browsing the latest staff picks. Longfellow Books nourishes Portland’s cultural life and also its economy. The store anchors a key downtown block, has helped many a budding local author, and provides a livelihood for six of my fellow Portlanders.