An ancient African grain could become the new “superfood”

Fonio is a grain cultivated in rural areas of Senegal, Ghana, Mali and other sub-Saharan regions. In the West it has been dubbed “the new quinoa”. In New York, renowned chef Pierre Thiam has included it in his menu to raise its profile and generate much-needed income for West African farmers hit hard by climate change.

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South China Morning Post

Desalination plants produce too much toxic waste

This is the result of a study that analyzed 16,000 plants scattered around the world. According to a first global assessment, desalination plants produce more toxic sludge than fresh water. The research shows that for every liter of fresh water extracted from the sea or brackish waterways, a liter-and-a-half of salty slurry, called brine, is dumped directly back into the ocean or the ground. 

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Washington Post

Pesticide, metal exposure tied to increased risk of heart disease

A US study suggests that workers who are exposed to pesticides or metals on the job may be significantly more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases. The study examined data from four cities: Chicago, San Diego, Miami and New York. Individuals who were exposed to pesticides were more than twice as likely overall to have conditions such as heart disease, heart failure or an irregular rapid heartbeat.

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New Scientists

Luxury effects. Rich people’s gardens attract more pollinating insects

Pollinating insects, such as bees, seem to prefer richer areas. This may be because gardens in wealthier areas typically have a wider range of flowers. A team surveyed the distribution of plants and pollinating insects in four cities in the UK: Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Reading. They found that residential areas, allotments and community gardens supported a greater abundance of pollinators than other types of urban land, such as parks, road verges or industrial areas.

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The Straits Time

Oceans warming at faster pace than previously thought

Ocean temperatures are rising at an accelerating pace threatening marine life and food safety across the planet, US researches said. Findings show that there was no pause in global warming, as previously thought, instead global warming has significantly increased, especially between 2014 and 2017.

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World Economic Forum

Removing sweets from supermarket checkouts could help fight obesity

Research in the UK has found that the simple act of removing sugary snacks from store checkout areas helped people cut down on the number of unhealthy treats they buy. A study of 30,000 people’s shopping habits found that in the period immediately following the removal of snacks from the checkout area sales fell substantially by up to 17%. 

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European Court of Auditors

EU food safety model is overstretched

A report by the European Court of Auditors calls for policy makers to strengthen the food safety model implementation capacity. The new audit concentrated on chemical hazards and revealed that EU laws implementation on chemicals in food, fodder and plants has not reached the levels desired.

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UK Goverment

UK: Restricting promotions of food and drink that is high in fat, sugar and salt

The government is seeking views on its plans to restrict promotions of food and drink products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) by location and by price. Citizens are invited to express their opinion by answering an online questionnaire.

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The Guardian

A guide to portion sizes

Experts at the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) have created a guide on portion sizes to tackle overeating. The guide is designed to complement the government advice on the sorts of foods to eat to stay healthy.

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UN News

The world “is not on track” to guarantee children a better future

According to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, some member states of the UN have not managed to offer a better future to children, who continue to die prematurely or are victims of poverty, human trafficking and slavery.

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International Maize Improvement Consortium for Africa ramps up seed innovations

Maize is the most important staple food crop in sub-Saharan Africa, providing food security and a source of income to more than 200 million households. Nonetheless, maize yields in this region rank among the lowest worldwide. Therefore, the International Maize Improvement Consortium for Africa has announced it is ramping up initiatives to achieve enhanced maize yields.

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