Login

EarthTalk

How should we dispose of unwanted pharmaceuticals?

EarthTalk
earthtalk@emagazine.com

Dear EarthTalk: Pharmaceuticals were in the news again recently, how they are polluting water and raising a host of health issues because we dispose of them both unused and used through body waste elimination. What can be done?

Lucy Abbot

Macon, Ga.

Does medical waste still wash up on our seashores?

EarthTalk
earthtalk@emagazine.com

Dear EarthTalk: I remember that medical waste, washing up in New Jersey, I believe, was a big issue in the late 1980s. Is it still today?

Walter Maliszewski

Camden, N.J.

Do they use cyanide fishing to capture the fish we eat?

EarthTalk
earthtalk@emagazine.com

Cyanide fishing began in the 1960s in the Philippines as a way to capture live reef fish for sale primarily to aquarium owners, but is today also done to supply specialty restaurants in Hong Kong and other large Asian cities. Pictured: The ocellaris clownfish, a popular aquarium fish often captured after first being stunned by bursts of cyanide-laced seawater squirted from a plastic bottle.

 

Is it possible to tap into the energy of earthquakes?

EarthTalk
earthtalk@emagazine.com

Dear EarthTalk: Can earthquake energy be harnessed for power, particularly in places like Japan? Also, how can Japan, so vulnerable to earthquakes, even have nuclear power?

Sasha M.

Australia

While it is no doubt theoretically possible to generate electricity by harnessing the kinetic energy of shifting tectonic plates below the Earth’s crust, pulling it off from a practical standpoint would be a real logistical challenge — not to mention prohibitively expensive compared to harnessing other forms of energy, renewable or otherwise.

What does KFC have to do with rain forest destruction?

EarthTalk

Dear EarthTalk: I understand that fast-food giant YUM! Brands, owner of KFC, is under fire by Greenpeace and others for rain forest destruction. What’s the story?

Betsy Barnard

Wellesley, Mass.

YUM! Brands, which operates 38,000 fast food restaurants in 110 countries (including not only KFC but also Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, WingStreet, A&W and Long John Silver’s), has come under fire of late from Greenpeace and other rain forest advocacy groups for sourcing palm oil, paper and other goods from suppliers notorious for destroying tropical rain forests in Indonesia and elsewhere.

Why do chemicals in our air and water have to be unsafe?

EarthTalk
earthtalk@emagazine.com

Dear EarthTalk: So many chemicals in everyday products are harmful to our health and the environment. Why aren’t we developing safer alternatives?

Donna Langston

Asheville, N.C.

Sunscreens have several health issues of their own

EarthTalk
earthtalk@emagazine.com

Dear EarthTalk: Isn’t spray sunscreen a health and environmental nightmare when it seems that more of the sunscreen ends up going up my nose than on the kid at the beach next to me?

Lillian Robertson

Methuen, Mass.

Spray cans of sunscreen may no longer contain chlorofluorocarbons (also known as CFCs, which were phased out in the 1990s for causing holes in the stratospheric ozone layer), but many contain other chemicals that are not good for our health or the environment.

Do they use chemicals to grow soy? Is that unhealthy?

EarthTalk

Dear Earth Talk: How healthy is soy? I heard that, despite its healthy image, most soy is grown using chemicals like other crops and is even being genetically modified.
D. Frinka
Syracuse, N.Y.
Food products made with soy have enjoyed great popularity in the United States and elsewhere in recent years. Two decades ago, Americans spent $300 million a year on soy food products; today we spend over $4 billion.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

What kind of timber is so popular that thieves steal it?

EarthTalk

Dear EarthTalk: I heard that timber thefts are increasing across the country. Why would people steal timber and is it a particular kind for a particular use?
Rosie Ng
Stanwood, Wash.
People are stealing timber for the same reasons they steal anything: to profit from someone else’s hard work. What makes timber thefts that much harder to stop is the fact that, most of the time, they occur in remote forested areas and loggers typically don’t have to document their sales as meticulously as other kinds of natural resource extraction.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.

How much nutritional value is in carrots and other produce grown today?

EarthTalk

Dear EarthTalk: What’s the nutritional difference between the carrot I ate in 1970 and one I eat today? I’ve heard that that there’s very little nutrition left. Is that true?
Esther G.
Newark, N.J.
It would be overkill to say that the carrot you eat today has very little nutrition in it — especially compared to some of the other less healthy foods you likely also eat — but it is true that fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.