Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tainted food in Japan

(Photo taken from LA Times)

In 1962 a woman in America named Rachel Carson wrote a book called "Silent Spring." In this book she warned about various dangers to our environment.  She especially focused on how insecticides or pesticides can get into the soil and "taint" or "contaminate" or pollute food and water.  (If food is tainted, it contains some type of poison.) (A pesticide or insecticide is a chemical that kills bugs/insects.) (Soil is basically the dirt which makes up the ground in which seeds are planted.)

Unfortunately, something terrible happened in Japan and hundreds of people have become ill because they ate tainted food. The poison came from a pesticide. Yet, it looks as if the pesticide did not get into the soil from which the food was grown. It looks as if the pesticide was accidentally added to the food in the food processing factory.

Here is a brief article.  By the way, I apologize for not posting any other articles this year - I have been very very ill and am waiting for my Obamacare insurance card to arrive in the mail so I can go to a doctor. :P

The article: 

http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-japan-malathion-outbreak,0,4238453.story

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

the inside scoop on food - the term 'scoop' (as it is used here) is a journalistic term.  If a writer discovers a story that no other writer knows about, and he/she publishes the story, it is a 'scoop' or an 'inside scoop.'  To scoop can also mean to take a hollow spoon and to dig into something like ice cream to remove a round portion of it.

to cope with - to deal with, to handle, to try to survive or live with s/t

tainted food outbreak - tainted food has poison in it; an outbreak is when something happens and spreads

a subsidiary - a company that is owned by another company

traced to - 'to trace something to' is to find the source or origin or something

a plant - a factory, a place where stuff is made or processed

a consumer - a buyer

to vomit - this is when your body rejects what is in your stomach and it comes back up and out of your mouth.  The 'slang' term for this is "to puke."

diarrhea - this is, frankly, liquid poop.  If you go to the bathroom and your poop is not solid, this is diarrhea and diarrhea usually indicates a pretty serious problem.  It can cause death if it lasts too long because the body literally loses too many fluids.

an odor - a smell

bug infestations - a infestation is when there are lots of bugs where you don't want them to be

unaccounted for - they don't know where these packages are

contaminated - tainted, poisoned

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