Culture

Can a GMO be natural? Of course

Agrobacterium, "nature's genetic engineer", has been used for over 100 years to create plants that can protect themselves naturally. Though thousands of products are on the market that have been genetically modified, it was only when Monsanto created Genetically Modified Organisms that anyone objected.

How much of food waste talk is hype?

Your grandmother told you to eat all your dinner, because people were starving in other countries. She was absolutely correct. Food took up a huge chunk of a family's budget, and some groups preached famine and war if Draconian measures were not taken to cull the population.

Today, we don't have that problem. Science has made it possible for literally any country to be able to feed itself (political beliefs and acceptance of that science are another issue). So now the concern is the environmental strain of producing food, a lot of which goes to waste anyway.

Human health impact and cost estimates attributed to endocrine disrupting chemicals not evidence-based

Economic papers released in 2015 and 2016 estimated the burden of diseases attributable to exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), also known as environmental estrogens, and experts suspected right away that these calculations were flawed.

Nonetheless, regulatory bodies on both sides of the Atlantic are moving forward with two relatively distinct approaches to identifying and regulating EDCs.

Sexting isn't a gateway to sex in teens

Sexting isn't a gateway to sex in teens

A joke in The Onion is the lamentations of young men in college who failed to lure actual naked women with posters of naked women. Their inference that led to the experiment was actually sound, but real-life does not always follow reason.

Brown Cow Whole Milk Yogurt Goes Non-GMO Project

It would seem obvious that milk is not a GMO, nor are cows, and therefore pointless for a yogurt company to be "Non-GMO Project Verified", but the pro-GMO market has shown that they are going to buy goods despite a claim on a label and the anti-GMO market...well, it's unclear. General Mills declared Cheerios non-GMO and cereal sales still went down. ConAgra got rid of BPA in cans and people who bought into the myth of endocrine disuptors didn't suddenly buy Chef Boyardee. They had to lay off over 1,000 people later the same year. Yet companies continue to pay for this certification.

'Bright Flight' - cities are too expensive for smart people outside high-income careers

'Bright Flight' - cities are too expensive for smart people outside high-income careers

If the growth of cities in the 20th century was marked by “white flight”, the 21st century is shaping up to be the era of “bright flight”. The young, highly educated and restless are being priced out of many of the world’s major cities.

Inoculation: Fighting misinformation with misinformation

Inoculation: Fighting misinformation with misinformation

As a psychologist researching misinformation, I focus on reducing its influence. Essentially, my goal is to put myself out of a job.

Recent developments indicate that I haven’t been doing a very good job of it. Misinformation, fake news and “alternative facts” are more prominent than ever. The Oxford Dictionary named “post-truth” as the 2016 word of the year. Science and scientific evidence have been under assault.

Pepsi tackles climate change

PepsiCo has today confirmed that it intends to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its value chain by at least 20 percent by 2030. Between 2006 and 2015, it claims to have achieved an 18 percent improvement in the energy efficiency of its legacy operations. It also extended its use of renewable energy and introduced fuel-efficient vehicles, as well as vending machines and coolers free of hydrofluorocarbons. 

Playground politics: Why do some kids get rejected?

Rejection is part of daily life - and it starts early. Many of us can remember sitting in a classroom feeling like we had been left out by classmates. Yet that may be just a feeling. Many kids regarded as popular believe they were rejected. Some children clearly are, they suffer widespread rejection at school and this can this can have a long-term effect. Or the effect was the cause of the rejection.

Colorectal cancer linked to unhealthy lifestyles

An online survey of more than 27,000 from around the world found that respondents who exercised more, followed a healthy diet and did not smoke were less likely to have a personal history of colorectal cancer or colon polyps.