American Apples Banned in Europe

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Our Monday green news brings you the latest on nutrition, good causes and child education:

apple and pesticides, food safety

Photo courtesy of Tom Gill via Flickr

  • Why are American apples banned in Europe: According to a new analysis by Environmental Working Group (EWG), a common chemical widely used on non-organic American apples has been banned in the EU back in 2012 because its producers couldn’t prove it was safe to human health. In the U.S., most conventionally-raised apples are after harvesting soaked in DPA (or diphenylamine) to help maintain fresh appearance and reduce blackening or browning of fruit skin during long months of cold storage. According to results of 2010 testing conducted by scientists from U.S. Department of Agriculture, 80 percent of all tested apples had DPA present. As EWG senior scientist Sonya Lunder explained: “While it is not yet clear that DPA is risky to public health, European Commission officials asked questions that the chemicals’ makers could not answer. The EC officials banned outright any further use of DPA on the apples cultivated in the European Union until they are confident it is safe. Europe’s action should cause American policymakers to take a new look at this chemical.”
  • Cricket chips could be a new nutritional and sustainable hit: Although eating insects is not yet common in the western food palate, bugs are common nutritional food source in the cuisines of other cultures. As food production becomes more and more unsustainable, many scientists and researchers point to insects as “tantalizingly sustainable and environmentally friendly source of protein.” Recently, three Harvard University graduates announced that they’ve found a way to change hearts and minds of many westerners in form of chirps, a snack chip made from ground-up crickets. As Laura D’Asaro, co-founder of the chip company Six Foods explained: “We realized people aren’t going to eat insects as long as they could see what it was. But crickets dried and crushed to a fine powder didn’t look like insects, and could be formed and marketed as a common snack product.”
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