The adhesives used on fruit stickers are regulated by the FDA as "indirect food-contact substances," says Soo Kim, a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service. (The ingredients that may be used are outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations part 175.125.) The same rules apply to adhesives for both organic and nonorganic fruit, says Barbara Haumann, a spokesperson for the Organic Trade Association. READ MORE
The poppy seeds on your bagel come from the plant Papaver somniferum, the same one that produces opiate drugs like morphine and heroin. The notion that eating a poppy-seed bagel might get you branded as a smack addict seems like urban legend. But "it's not a myth at all," explains Cynthia Whiteman, a senior analyst at Norchem, a forensic drug-testing laboratory in Arizona. "Every part of the plant does have morphine. The seeds have a very small amount but still will get positive results [on a drug test]." READ MORE
Dumping used cooking grease down the drain can clog your pipes: It may be liquid when you pour it, but it will cool and harden quickly. "Even if it doesn't mess up your pipes, [everybody's plumbing] dumps into the city pipes and the grease builds up, eventually causing a blockage, which leads to sewer spills," says Donna Souza, the program manager of the Food Establishment Wastewater Discharge Program in San Diego, California. The best way to dispose of grease is to keep it out of the plumbing system entirely by reusing it or recycling it. READ MORE
Fruit flies are the small, gnatlike nuisances that buzz around the fruit bowl. They belong to the family of insects called Drosophilidae. Once they are spotted in your kitchen, a sense of doom may set in. "Unless breeding sites are cleaned or removed, the problem will continue," says Dr. Linda Mason, professor of food pest management at Purdue University. Here is her recommended plan of attack.
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