• Posted: August 28th, 2012 - 5:50am by Doug Powell


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  • Posted: July 19th, 2012 - 9:49pm by Doug Powell

    I hate leaf blowers. Too noisy. Too lazy. And then there’s the poop.

    Steve Annear of BostInno writes residents in Arlington, Mass.—both for and against a recent leaf blower ban—have been spewing hot air and making noise about the new bylaw that keeps people from cleaning up leaves and debris.

    Today, voters will head to the polls to decide on whether or not the recent prohibition of leaf-pushers should be overturned during a special election in the town.

    For local activist Jeremy Marin, it’s not about the loud, disruptive noises that leaf blowers make, it’s about the adverse health effects that can stem from excessive use of the machines.

    Specifically, it’s about people getting poop in their mouths.

    Marin, who has been blogging about the issue for quite some time, claims pollen, debris and most notably, animal feces flying through the air, are just a few reasons why the ban should stay in tact and not be repealed by the people.

    According to Marin’s blog, he tackles “everybody’s favorite topic—poop” :

    Marin said studies show that particles on the surface, in fact, “get airborne with the 150-280 mph winds leaf blowers put out.”

    Those speeds push the feces into the air, leading to people possibly inhaling it.

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  • Posted: June 20th, 2012 - 4:56pm by Doug Powell

     It’s the logical next step for Jamie Lee Curtis and her Activia yogurt that makes people poop.

    Researchers have, according to Mail Online, worked out a way to tell if a person is ill by changing their poop to different colors.

    Swill down a yoghurt-style drink which interacts with the food in your stomach and your excrement turns a variety of hues depending on how sick you are.

    The scientists have so far only suggested it could detect the progress of e.coli - but they hope one day it could diagnose far more conditions.

    Even colorectal cancer, worms or a stomach ulcer could one day be pinpointed by people peering into the toilet until no brown remains.

    The process has been developed by British designers Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg and James King.

    He and Ms Ginsberg have created a special blend of BioBricks, or standardized sequences of DNA, which interact with the E.coli and turn red, yellow, green, blue, brown or violet depending on how advanced the condition is.

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  • Posted: June 6th, 2012 - 3:45pm by Ben Chapman

    Ben Chapman

    In an effort to curb a crying fit as I was leaving to play hockey a few months ago, I told almost-4-year old Jack that he could watch me on TV when I left (a Carolina Hurricanes game was about to start). He believed me and apparently watched 5 minutes before getting bored. He still thinks the guys I play with every Monday night are Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal.

    I'm sure Jack will be crushed when he finds out I tricked him (and play adult beer league hockey, fairly poorly). While the hockey trick won't get me a parent of the year award,  I've never convinced either of my kids (or anyone else's kids) to eat moose poop, or anything else that might contain a bunch of pathogens.

    According to the National Post (that's from Canada) an adult chaperone of a 8th-grade canoe trip is accused of telling two Winnipeg students that dried moose droppings was 'a nutritious mix of wild berries and grass.' 

    The allegations stem from a May 25 trip involving about two dozen students from Walter Whyte School, accompanied by teachers and other adult chaperones.

    Angie Jonski said her nephew was one of the victims.

    “They all laughed — he ran to the river to wash his mouth out,” Jonski said.

    Lord Selkirk superintendent Scott Kwasnitza confirmed he has been conducting an investigation, but would not discuss any details.
    “We’re trying to deal with it internally,” he said.

    Moose are ruminants, and often carry pathogenic E. coli in their poop. Authors of a 2005 Norwegian survey of wild cervid poop found E. coli O103 in over 20 per cent of tested turds.

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  • Posted: April 3rd, 2012 - 12:25am by Doug Powell

    I do not like the actress Julia Roberts.

    Her movies suck, and she wasted a marriage to real talent, Lyle Lovett, back in the 1990s (but it did help Lyle create great art).

    Julia now says it was "torture" being covered in bird poo for her latest role in Mirror Mirror.

    “All that 'beauty' stuff was so disgusting.”

    Was it sterilized bird poop? Otherwise Salmonella and Campylobacter. Don’t follow the cooking or food advice of a celebrity wearing bird poop.

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  • Posted: March 28th, 2012 - 5:44am by Doug Powell

    The Minnesota Health Department says three people have tested positive for cryptosporidium and another six cases are suspected -- all had recently been swimming at the Edgewater in Duluth in March.

    Of those nine possibly affected, seven are kids and two are adults.

    The Edgewater responded to concerns by closing pools and super chlorinating them to kill any parasite, ahead of getting water testing results back.

    "Our pools are the cleanest, you know, that they've been because of the super chlorination, and we do take it very seriously and are very controlled about how often we test the water and what to do with issues," said Leanne Joynes of ZMC Hotels.

    "The people should not be changing diapers at poolside. They should take a shower before and after swimming and that when they're swimming, they should take frequent bathroom breaks," said Trisha Robinson of the Minnesota Department of Health.

    The Minnesota Department of Health is also investigating a pool facility in Brainerd for the same parasite, but did not say which one.

    One person who swam there was confirmed to be infected, while two others are suspected.

    So far, officials believe the cases in Duluth and Brainerd are not related.

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  • Posted: March 10th, 2012 - 3:38pm by Doug Powell

    Don’t eat poop.

    But if you do, make sure it’s cooked.

    Comforting or not, we eat poop in a variety of forms. Dogs seem to enjoy it.

    D.C. Innes of World Magazine reports Japanese scientist Mitsuyuki Ikeda has developed a way to turn human feces into simulated beef. He takes “sewage mud,” which is high in protein on account of its bacteria content, adds soy proteins and food coloring, puts it through his machine, and out comes chuck.

    Now, there is reason to believe that this story might be a hoax, but Douglas Powell, a food safety expert at Kansas State University, views it as technologically plausible. So it’s worth considering the idea.

    Innes asked me if I would eat a burger made out of poop.

    Maybe, but it would have to be safely cooked.

    Innes cites a bunch of philosophy I thought was cool about the same time I thought The Doors were musical and poetic genius -- everyone experiments in college – and concludes that even if “harvesting scat for food would be efficient, there is this problem: It’s beneath human dignity. Dignity is not a “scientific” concept. You can’t isolate dignity in a Petri dish, but empirical science is not our only window onto reality.

    Is what we leave behind after evacuating only so much protein, carbohydrates, lipids, and minerals? Are we? If we are, then God is dead and all is permitted. But no one lives that way. That summary of life does not account for life as we know it. In that respect, it’s bad science. C.S. Lewis argues that seeing man through only this lens means “the abolition of man.”

    Powell, the food safety professor, is fine with this new fare, so long as we cook it thoroughly. We eat plants that grow in soil fertilized with dung, don’t we? But we don’t eat the dung.

    Of course not.

    World magazine: Today’s News, Christian Views.

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  • Posted: January 17th, 2012 - 1:27pm by Doug Powell

     The most effective public health measures to protect consumers from exposure to norovirus in oysters are to produce oysters in areas which are not contaminated or to prevent contamination of mollusc production areas.

    And current methods used to remove norovirus in shellfish are not an effective means of reducing contamination.

    So says the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ Panel) in a new risk assessment.

    The Panel recommends establishing acceptable limits for the presence of virus in oysters that are harvested and placed on the market in the European Union. In addition, an EU-wide baseline survey on norovirus in oysters should be carried out to provide information on overall consumer exposure as well as the public health impact of control measures.

    Norovirus is transmitted through the consumption of food or water contaminated with fecal matter or through person-to-person contact or contact with infected surfaces. Oysters contaminated with norovirus pose a particular risk to human health as they are often consumed raw.

    EFSA’s BIOHAZ Panel concludes that norovirus is highly infectious and that the amount of the virus detected in oysters linked to human cases can vary greatly.

    Scientists highlight that norovirus is frequently detected in oysters in Europe which comply with existing EU control standards for bivalve molluscs.

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  • Posted: December 15th, 2011 - 1:49pm by Doug Powell

    Don’t eat poop. And if you do, cook the poop. Thoroughly.

    Which is why I don’t eat raw oysters. Who knows what poop they’ve filtered through their bivalves.

    In 2009 public health authorities traced the source of two outbreaks, in Auckland and Waikato, back to the Coromandel, according to today's New Zealand Medical Journal.

    Ten people were infected at a catered event in Auckland and three at a Cambridge restaurant. Four more at the Auckland event ate oysters but did not fall ill. Neither venue nor the oyster farm is named in the journal report.

    In Cambridge, two of the unlucky diners ate their oysters raw while the third consumed cooked oyster Kilpatrick but complained the shellfish was undercooked and sent it back for re-cooking.

    The Food Safety Authority closed the growing area where the oysters came from in late July 2009 following the Auckland outbreak but eight days before the Cambridge diners had their contaminated meal.

    The journal report says the leaking sewer was found only by chance. In early August 2009 the Thames Coromandel District Council reported the sewer had been disturbed during maintenance of the wastewater treatment plant near the oyster growing area.

    "The pipe had been leaking partially treated effluent into the stream that flowed into the affected growing area," says the report by public health doctor Richard Wall and colleagues.

    Dr Wall and colleagues say temperatures above 60C deactivate norovirus, although cooking oysters has not been shown to reliably inactivate viruses.

    In 2006 imported Korean oysters were blamed for five outbreaks of the disease. One of these was at Eden Park in which it was estimated more than 300 corporate guests at an All Blacks-Ireland test were poisoned after eating the raw oysters.

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  • Posted: December 8th, 2011 - 5:59am by Doug Powell

    Whole Foods has denied any wrongdoing after firing an employee who complained about poop in the cheese aisle at the Miami Beach store.

    Libba from Whole Foods Market took to the Eater blog to say:

    “Here are the facts regarding the plumbing issue: that area of Miami Beach has problems with pipes backing up during high tide when there's been significant rainfall. The backup in our store equated to about an inch of water that encompassed about a three-foot span over one of the drains. The entire area was closed for complete cleaning as soon as the problem was discovered, and was cleaned and sanitized again the next day by a professional cleaning service.

    “When it happened again the same professional cleaners were back at the store in less than 24 hours and the entire area was sanitized again.

    “At all times, the areas of the store open to customers were clean and safe."

    Whole Foods sucks at food safety, so I look forward to disclosure in the lawsuit filed on behalf of the former employee by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.


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