Keeping our food safe
If you’re worried that our food supply might be the next target of international terrorists, you probably needn’t be, says Barbara Rasco, associate professor of food science and human nutrition. Rasco’s research centers on bioterrorism and the safety of our food and water supply.
“I don’t think the events of September 11 mean there’s any increased risk to our food supply,” she says. Domestic ecoterrorists and bioterrorists are more likely to target our food supply than are foreign entities, she says. “The risk from them hasn’t changed.”
A lawyer as well as a food scientist, Rasco has worked on the prevention of international terrorist incidents. … » More …
If you use compost in your garden, you may be setting yourself up for either a bumper crop or a bummer crop.
Gardeners, greenhouse operators, and organic farmers from Washington to California have experienced crop failures on certain plants after using compost to enrich their soil and help their plants grow.
The problem begins when common composting materials such as grass clippings and leaves collected from grounds that have been treated with an herbicide named clopyralid are sent to commercial or municipal composting facilities.
Clopyralid, made by Dow AgroSciences, is used to control dandelions, thistles, and other noxious broadleaf weeds on lawns, golf courses, and … » More …
Genetically modified foods—What’s in it for you?
Fall is the time to plant bulbs—but maybe not the ones you’d planned on
Bulbs and blooms
An English import invades Puget Sound
A classic case of good intention gone bad, English cordgrass (Spartina anglica) was introduced to Washington around 1962 to stabilize dikes and provide forage for cattle. The U.S. Department of Agriculture imported seeds from England, and a WSU extension agent planted the seeds near Stanwood in the Stillaguamish Estuary.
English cordgrass has since infested large areas around Stanwood, particularly Port Susan Bay, Skagit Bay, Admiralty Inlet, and Saratoga Passage. It has also spread, with disastrous environmental effect, to other parts of Puget Sound, including Camano Island, Whidbey Island, and the San Juan Islands.
Due to its tenacity, its rapid growth rate, and its ability to … » More …