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Friday Finds: Single Serve Stupidity


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11 March 2011, 1:16 PM
Tsunami-sized warnings, bullet train shout-outs, NJ fracking ban
Would you like a bag for that? Del Monte now sells single-serve bananas wrapped in plastic. Photo courtesy of viZZZual.com

Del Monte sells individually wrapped bananas
Last week, processed food giant Del Monte unveiled its latest product invention, a single banana wrapped in plastic, reports the Globe and Mail. The move, not surprisingly, drew ire from many who point out that the banana already has its own, biodegradable wrapping, the peel. Ironically, Del Monte told reporters that the new product is being marketed as a green initiative due to the plastic’s “controlled ripening technology” which will up the banana’s shelf life and reduce landfill waste—albeit not the biodegradable kind. On The Daily Show, Comedian Jon Stewart recently pointed out the absurdity of the idea by hawking his own equally absurb mock invention, the coconut-protected coconut case.
 
New Jersey lawmakers ban hydraulic fracturing
This week, New Jersey lawmakers approved a bill that bans hydraulic fracturing, a widely controversial gas drilling practice that's contaminated water supplies to the point where residents near gas wells are able to set their faucet water on fire, reports NJ Spotlight. Though no drilling is currently happening in the Garden State, the move sends a clear message that state lawmakers have "grave concerns" about the process, said Sen. Robert Gordon (D-Bergen), the bill's sponsor. Currently, Earthjustice is working to keep hydraulic fracturing out of New York where oil and gas companies are hungrily eyeing the geologic formation known as the Marcellus Shale.

Mad Men video highlights the positive aspects of trains
Mad Men actors Vincent Kartheiser and Rich Sommer (who play the characters Pete Campbell and Harry Crane) recently appeared on the comedic site Funny or Die in a satiric video that highlights the many benefits to high speed rail and downfalls to a car-dominated culture that were obvious even back in the 1960s when the show takes place. As Sommer points out to Kartheiser, who is contemplating creating an ad that promotes high speed rail, “Trains make sense. They’re efficient, they’re convenient. They're good for jobs." He adds," I think you can relax about this whole thing. I read a piece that said in 40 years gas is going to cost almost a dollar a gallon." If only it were that cheap!

Scientists warn climate change could cause more tsunamis and earthquakes
As the world's eyes fall on Japan and its recent earthquake and tsunami disaster, a little-noticed warning back in 2009 that climate change is predicted to cause more of these types of events is coming back to light, reports Grist. According to researchers at a conference on the subject, masses of melting ice can change earth's pressure, which in turn could trigger earthquakes and then tsunamis. As politicians continue to spar over the science of climate change, which, by the way, has been irrefutably proven, events like today's illustrate that we are quickly arguing our way into a catastrophic mess.
 
Researchers find eating apples can extend lifespan
A new study has added credence to the sage advice that eating an apple a day can keep the doctor away, reports ScienceDaily. Researchers have found that consuming a health-packed antioxidant found in apples extended the average lifespan of test animals by up to 10 percent. That's because antioxidants can combat free radicals, ornery substances that can lead to shorter lives. The apple's polyphenols also helped preserve the fruit flies' ability to walk, climb and move around.

When I first heard that Del Monte was packaging single-wrapped bananas, I thought that it must have been a prank. Sadly, I was mistaken. I'm disappointed that the brains behind this concept felt it was worthy of production.

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