Digest: Smarter vegetarians?, Starbucks screws Ethiopia, Alex Avery “debunks” organic myths

BBC: The British Medical Journal reports that a study of 8,000+ people found that there is a link between high IQ and vegetarianism. Some of the “vegetarians” included people who eat chicken and fish. One dietitian pointed out that intelligent people may simply be more aware of health (and ethical/environmental issues, we add) issues and choose vegetarianism.

Seattle P-I: Oxford Business Professor Douglas B. Holt takes a tough look at Starbucks’s hardball tactics regarding Ethiopia’s desire to trademark certain coffee brands.

American Council on Science & Health: Get your battle gear on, folks — Big Ag flak Alex Avery‘s book “The Truth About Organic Foods” is out, with a blurb by Norman Borlaug, no less, and being lapped up by the pro-GMO crowd. You can bet we’ll be returning to this topic in more detail.

Associated Press: Bye-bye to cheap factory meat? Everybody’s opining about what effect of the immigration busts at meatpacker Swift & Co. will have on meat prices nationwide.

Chicago Tribune: Taco Bell’s sales are off as much as 90% at affected franchises thanks to the E. coli outbreak. Pundits think the decline will likely continue, paralleling the fall-off in sales that occurred when a Wendy’s customer claimed she found a severed finger in her chili.

New York Times: An amusing profile of Dr. Patricia Dillon, Suffolk County’s acting director of public health, who’s in charge of “chasing down bloody diarrhea.”

BBC: Scientists think that planting trees to offset carbon emissions will work only if the plantings occur closer to the equator. Planting trees farther from the equator – for example in the United States and Europe – could be counter-productive.

Salon.com: Plastic beer bottles are on the way, followed by “smart” food packaging that can detect when food is spoiling and nano-sized sensors designed to detect food pathogens. Yet very little research is being done to determine whether the nanoparticles themselves are safe to ingest. An industrial solution to an industrial problem will probably just create more problems.

Guardian (UK): The Guardian offers several tips on how to host a “green” holiday party, including good advice (buy locally) and a list of places from which to buy food and cheer. Man of La Muncha heartily agrees with their recommendation of St. Peter’s beers from Suffolk.

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