Food and beverage
1 million jars of peanut butter get dumped in landfill
Nearly a million jars of peanut butter are being dumped at a New Mexico landfill to expedite the sale of a bankrupt peanut-processing plant that was at the heart of a 2012 salmonella outbreak and nationwide recall.
Bankruptcy trustee Clarke Coll said he had no other choice after Costco Wholesale refused to take shipment of the Sunland Inc. product and declined requests to let it be donated to food banks or repackaged or sold to brokers who provide food to institutions like prisons.
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Court filings indicate the product was made with $2.8 million worth of Valencia peanuts owned by Costco and had been sitting in the warehouse since the company shut down and filed for bankruptcy last fall.
After extensive testing, Costco agreed to a court order authorizing the trustee to sell it the peanut butter. But after getting eight loads, Costco rejected it as “not merchantable” because of leaky peanut oil.
Sober app for recovering alcoholics keeps some on wagon
A smartphone app for recovering alcoholics that includes a panic button and sounds an alert when they get too close to taverns helped keep some on the wagon, researchers who developed it found.
The sober app studied joins a host of others that serve as electronic shoulder angels, featuring a variety of options for trying to prevent alcoholics and drug addicts from relapsing.
Adults released from in-patient alcoholism treatment centers who got free sober smartphones reported fewer drinking days and more overall abstinence than those who got the usual follow-up support.
The results were based on patients’ self-reporting on whether they resumed drinking, a potential limitation. Still, addiction experts say the immediacy of smartphone-based help could make them a useful tool in fighting relapse.
Mark Wiitala, 32, took part in the study and says the app helped save his life. He said the most helpful feature allowed him to connect to a network of peers who’d gone through the same recovery program. The app made them immediately accessible for an encouraging text or phone call when he needed an emotional boost.
Wall Street bull set free
New York City’s Wall Street bull has been freed from his corral.
The New York Post reports that police removed the barricades surrounding the Charging Bull sculpture on Tuesday.
The bull had been penned in since September 2011, when police feared the sculpture would be targeted by Occupy Wall Street protesters.
The New York Police Department said security around the bull will be assessed day-to-day..
The bull has long been popular with tourists who like to snap photos with the 31 / 2-ton bronze sculpture. On Wednesday morning, they were doing just that as uniformed officers stood by.
‘The polar bear is us,’ climate scientist says at Japan gathering
If you think of climate change as a hazard for some far-off polar bears years from now, you’re mistaken. That’s the message from top climate scientists gathering in Japan this week to assess the impact of global warming.
In fact, they were poised to say, the dangers of a warming Earth are immediate and very human.
“The polar bear is us,” says Patricia Romero Lankao of the federally financed National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., referring to the first species listed as threatened by global warming due to melting sea ice. She will be among more than 60 scientists in Japan to finish writing a massive report on the impacts of global warming.
The Associated Press contributed.