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June 12th, 2009

A Novice Milk Shopper Turns Pro

Milk Shelves at Whole FoodsI’ve never been much of a milk drinker. Born with extremely picky taste buds, I would only pour it into my cereal or use it in some pancake mix. Taste wasn’t too much of an issue for me, so frankly, the amount of fat was all I considered when purchasing milk. Of course everything is way more complicated than that, and growing up I learned about organic milk, but I’ve found even that discussion has its problems. As a new Food & Water Watch (FWW) intern, I’ve learned that there are a large number of factors to bear in mind when buying milk. It’s not only about personal health but also treatment of cattle and environmental impact. Read the full article…

June 11th, 2009

Food, Inc. Coming to a Theater Near You

“The way we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000.”
Narrates Michael Pollan at the beginning of a new movie entitled Food, Inc., hitting select theaters this Friday.

Joining the ranks of food documentaries, there are so many recently, there should be a new genre of film, foodiementaries anyone? – Food, Inc. goes behind the scenes of our nation‚ supermarkets and behind the machines of agribusiness. Many of the issues they tackle are right up our alley, including the numerous problems that put consumer safety, the livelihood of the American farmers, and the health of our environment at risk. Read the full article…

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The Americas Unite in Support of Human Right to Water

Red Vida Members - Cali, ColombiaWhen facing institutions such as the World Bank and the other development banks, which insist — despite all evidence to the contrary — that the free market is the best mechanism for ensuring efficient use of the world‚ water, it can only help to have a strongly united network of organizations from both the developed and the developing world that can, with complete authority, prove them wrong. Read the full article…

June 5th, 2009

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The Moment for a Clean Water Trust Fund is Now

This week in the Huffington Post, Governors Paterson, Schwarzenegger and Rendell called for more public-private partnerships to help improve our crumbling roads, water systems, schools and other public works projects.

Public-private partnership , What‚ that? Basically, it‚ when the public pays a high price for a corporation to do something that local governments should be doing.

piggy bank - U.S.
For example, if your city needs a new water treatment plant, it could contract with a corporation to design, build and run the plant. Governors Paterson, Schwarzenegger and Rendell want cities and towns to cut more of these deals and make the private partner finance the project. Read the full article…

Hawaiian Bottled Water in Health Food Stores? Skip the Trip!

A Hawaiian water bottle company recently announced it is hitting the mainland at, where else, health food stores. Hawaiian Springs LLC Bottles will be available on the shelves of Whole Foods, Mother‚ Market and other grocery stores frequented by health-conscious consumers.

Hawaii postcard

But just hear these guys.  They tout that their water is both “young” and “naturally healthy”.  As if any water has an age other than “always been here”.  Or maybe, some water is healthy unnaturally?

Good thing they’ve been recognized by Dr. Michael Mascha, a so-called “water sommelier” and author of Fine Waters, A Connoisseur‚ Guide to the World‚ Most Distinctive Bottled Water.  We wonder what does he clear his palate with?
The truth is that luxury water is just another sales gimmick.  Companies like Hawaiian Springs capitalize off healthy lifestyle trends while their product does nothing for your health that water from the tap cant do. Read the full article…

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May 29th, 2009

Deja vu a side effect of irradiation?

The Obama Administration is considering nominating Dr. Michael Doyle, a proponent of food irradiation, for Under Secretary of Food Safety. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the Administration was recently forced to stop the consideration of another irradiation supporter, Michael Osterholm, for the same position after thousands of folks like you spoke up. Read the full article…

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May 19th, 2009

DC, Save the Date for a Water Crisis Debate

Calling all readers and water warriors in the DC area! Come spend an evening with us to learn about the water crisis in the United States and abroad. We’ll be co-sponsoring a debate between F&WW Research Director, Patrick Woodall and author Robert Glennon at Busboys & Poets (5th & K location) on Tuesday, May 26th at 6:30PM.

Mr. Glennon’s new book, Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It , discusses the crisis we face and suggests that water pricing and market forces will play a central role in saving us from running out. Our research suggests that pricing may not be the solution to ensure that all people have access to clean drinking water. Read the full article…

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May 14th, 2009

Bye bye BPA and other water victories

Water in BottlesThis past week marked two major victories in the fight against bottled water , one for the entire state of New York and the other for the city of Chicago. In the case of New York, Governor David Patterson recently signed an executive order banning the purchase of bottled water by state agencies, making it the second state to have done so (the first being Illinois). In addition, New York City is ending purchases for bottled water at city office and city-sponsored events, an example we hope other metropolitan areas follow. Read the full article…

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May 12th, 2009

Water Main Breaks Make the Case for Clean Water Trust Fund

Recent water main breaks all over the country (including one that shut down the train I ride to work) remind us that under our feet are miles and miles of decaying pipes. The main reason?  Lack of funding. Federal funding for drinking water infrastructure has decreased by 50% since 1997; while federal funding accounted for 78% of overall wastewater infrastructure spending in 1978, it accounts for only 3% today.

President Obama has introduced a budget that would begin to restore funding for water infrastructure, but it isn’t enough.  As long as water infrastructure funding is decided year-by-year, it remains at risk of being reduced in the face of other congressional priorities. That‚ why we need a Clean Water Trust Fund. Read the full article…

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