Strawberries Top ‘Dirty Dozen’ List for Pesticides

And the winner — or maybe we should say, loser — this year is … strawberries. For the first time in five years, the popular berry has ousted apples from the number one spot on the Environmental Working Group’s annual report of the produce with the most pesticide residue — aka “The Dirty Dozen.” The nonprofit group also included a “Clean 15” list of produce lowest in pesticides. After strawberries, apples are number two, followed by nectarines, peaches, celery, grapes, …

6 Foods a Top Food Poisoning Expert Won’t Eat

Think of every major outbreak of foodborne illness in the past 23 years and Seattle attorney Bill Marler was involved, representing victims who were hospitalized or, in several tragic cases, died from eating tainted food. He and his firm, Marler Clark, not only have won more than $600 million for their clients, but Marler has become a de facto expert in the complexities of our food safety system, from the science of tracking an outbreak to dealing with recalcitrant restaurant …

How to Get Food to More People Who Need It

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced this week a proposed program to improve access to groceries for homebound older Americans and people with disabilities who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program. AARP spoke with Vilsack about the pilot program and food insecurity among older adults. How will the program work? And why is it important? This program will fund 20 eligible entities — government or nonprofit organizations — that will allow …

Ready-to-Eat Salads With Meat Recalled for Listeria

Updated Friday Oct. 25: Refrigerated, ready-to-eat salads from two firms have been hit with government recalls because of possible contamination with dangerous listeria, both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration announced. Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter Listeria can cause serious and sometime fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and individuals with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause …

She Conquered Wrinkles … in Cotton Fabric

If you grabbed a cotton dress shirt out of the dryer this morning and put it on without ironing it, you probably should be thanking a chemist named Ruth Benerito. In the mid-1960s, Benerito and two colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture developed and patented a process for chemically cross-linking and reinforcing the chains of cellulose molecules in cotton fibers, which enabled them to stay in place under the stress of washing and wear. The “wrinkle-free” garments that manufacturers produced …

Is That Chicken Nugget Made in China? You’ll Never Know

Everyone from chefs to health experts to the first lady has touted eating locally grown food, praising it for its freshness because it doesn’t have to travel far to get to consumers. Which is why it was stunning to learn this month that chickens raised and slaughtered in the U.S. may soon be sent for cooking and processing to China, then sent back to the U.S. to be sold in fast-food restaurants and supermarkets. Sign up for the AARP Health …