Wednesday, June 15, 2011

In the news...

Bearded brothers of Williamsburg bring in 20 tons of cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic by sail and unload in Red Hook--avoiding using that expensive fuel. So retro but apparently so expensive--the Mast Brothers predict that their "Black Seal" line of chocolate bars made from these beans will cost 25% more.

FDA issues new rules for labeling of sunscreens. Look for these changes next year.

You might want to get out your Microplane grater and forgo shredded cheese: it is likely to contain wood pulp. The plant fiber prevents the shredded cheese from clumping. Ditto for low fat ice cream--the powdered cellulose yields a creamy mouth feel. You may be comforted to know that "Only powdered cellulose in its least manipulated form can be used in foods labeled "organic" or "made with organic" ingredients by the U.S. Department of Agriculture," as reported by the Wall Street Journal. And the FDA only allows 1% to 4% wood pulp in meat. But hey, it is fiber and it is not synthetic.

Your DVR uses more energy than your refrigerator, according to a study published by the National Defense Research Council. DVRs continue to drain almost as much energy when they are programmed to record as when they are actually being viewed. The Gothamist has a nice graphic.

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