Plastic-Free Water: Coming to a Grocery Store near You?

The United States boasts the world's largest bottled water consumer market and growing. In 2016, sales amounted to approximately 12.8 billion gallons with two brands generating more than 1 billion in U.S. sales each. Convenience and a healthy zero calorie beverage option lead the reason to its positive trajectory. Last month, the world's first plastic-free supermarket opened in Amsterdam as apilot program. Can America catch up?

Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza in Amsterdam, the Dutch capital, is stocked with over 700 plastic-free products ranging from meats to fresh fruit and vegetables so it's no surprise that it'd go one step further and now offer plastic-free water.

Bluewater , which designs and manufactures water purifiers, is responsible for contributing a unique public hydration station that delivers on-demand pure drinking water free of micro-plastics and other contaminants ranging from lead to pesticides and gender-bending hormones.

"Micro-plastics are today found in over 80 percent of the world's tap water according to new research, while other studies indicate pollution of drinking water by pervasive gender-bending chemicals and hormones is leading to lower fertility rates and hormone disruption in young women and men," says Anders Jacobson, President ofBluewaterand co-founder and CEO of the company's holding company, Blue.

Microplastics are those tiny plastic fibers and fragments that don't break down and pollute our waterways. Not only do they pose an issue for ocean wildlife, they're infesting our world's drinking water, too.

According to Jacobson, Bluewater's patented water purification technologies and delivery solutions effectively remove gender-bending chemicals found in cleaning agents, cosmetics, and contraceptive pills as well as the microplastics found in our tap water around the world.

This isn't the first time I've written about the health impacts of plastics in the world's oceans. Last summer, I wondered how effective restaurants would be with their straw-free business tactic. Chicago's Shedd Aquarium was supporting the effort and is usually the case with these movements, the plastic-free aisle initiative was spurred by international environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet, a grassroots movement geared to turn off the plastic tap.

Ekoplaza plans to roll out plastic-free aisles across its 74 branches in the Netherlands over the coming 12 months, with the next one scheduled for The Hague in June.Bluewaterplans to provide Ekoplaza customers in the Dutch port the opportunity to drink plastic-free water as they shop shelves also devoid of polluting layers of plastic.

I, for one, will drink to that. Now we need to expand the initiative across the pond and get the United States on board, too.

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Can I Drink Warm/hot Tap Water? Closed
This actually depends on how your tap water is warmed.If you have a personal water heater, which is connected to your tap with non-corrodable pipes, then there is essentially no difference. However, if the heating comes from a common source, then it would be very difficult to verify that the heater-tap connection does not contain any corrodable pipes. In this case, it might be better to not use the warm water for direct drinking, especially if the building is old.A 7-year old house should not have lead pipes installed, since the Canadian Plumbing Code has banned lead pipes since 1975. As such, I believe that your warm water is safe to drink. The National Plumbing Code allowed lead as an acceptable material for pipes until 1975 and in solder until 1986. All provinces and territories use the National Plumbing Code as a basis for their own regulations.Closed. This question is off-topic. It is not currently accepting answers. Want to improve this question? Update the question so it's on-topic for Biology Stack Exchange. Closed 5 years ago. Improve this questionI live in Canada and tap water is drinkable, as a matter of fact, the government puts a little bit of flouride in the tap water so it cleans your teeth.My wife and mom always tells me not to drink the tap water when it's warm/hot.Is there something in the water that's bad for the body or is this a myth? (bacterias in warm/hot water vs cold)Added info: The water is heated in the water heater which is in the basement of my house. It is a new water heater, only a year old. My house is built 7 years ago, which for a house it's not old. I don't know about the pipes though·OTHER ANSWER:Closed. This question is off-topic. It is not currently accepting answers. Want to improve this question? Update the question so it's on-topic for Biology Stack Exchange. Closed 5 years ago. Improve this questionI live in Canada and tap water is drinkable, as a matter of fact, the government puts a little bit of flouride in the tap water so it cleans your teeth.My wife and mom always tells me not to drink the tap water when it's warm/hot.Is there something in the water that's bad for the body or is this a myth? (bacterias in warm/hot water vs cold)Added info: The water is heated in the water heater which is in the basement of my house. It is a new water heater, only a year old. My house is built 7 years ago, which for a house it's not old. I don't know about the pipes though
Why Is the Solubility of Oxygen Lower in the Pond Water Rather Than Tap Water?
Who says the solubility of O2 is lower in pond water? There are several reasons why that *might* be the case, but I do not think it is universally true. The factors with the biggest influence on O2 solubility are (1) temperature and (2) dissolved solids concentration. Pond water *might* be warmer than tap water and therefore might have lower O2 solubility. (But in winter, pond water might be much colder.) Pond water *might* have higher dissolved solids concentration than tap water and this might reduce O2 solubility. (But, just as likely, the chlorination of tapwater might increase the dissolved solids content and reduce solubility of oxygen in tapwater.)1. The solubility product constant of calcium sulfate, CaSO4, is 7.10×10−5. Its molar mass is 136.1 g/mol....?Calcium sulfate dissociates in water forming a saturated solution according to the following equation: CaSO4(s) Ca^2(aq) SO4^2-(aq) The equilibrium constant [solubility product] expression is in the form of the following equation: Ksp = [Ca^2][SO4^2-] According to the above equation, one mole of CaSO4 yields one mole of Ca^2 and one mole of SO4^2-. Therefore, the molar concentration of dissolved calcium sulfate is the same as the molar concentration of either calcium ion or sulfate ion. Moreover, the molar concentration of dissolved calcium ion equals the molar concentration of dissolved sulfate ion. Since the value of the solubility product constant of calcium sulfate is given, we can calculate the molar concentration of either calcium ion or sulfate ion, since they are equal to each other: Let x = [Ca^2] = [SO4^2-] Ksp = [Ca^2][SO4^2-] 7.10 10^-5 = [x][x] 7.10 10^-5 = x^2 71.0 10^-6 = x^2 8.4261497 10^-3 M = x = [Ca^2] = [SO4^2-] = [CaSO Now that molar concentration of calcium sulfate in a saturated solution of this salt is known, we can calculate the number of moles of calcium sulfate in 71.0 L of water. Note that the solubility product constant for calcium sulfate is a very small number, therefore its saturated solution in water is virtually mostly water and the change in volume is insignificant. Molarity CaSO4 = (moles CaSO4) / (Liters of solution) or moles CaSO4 = (Molarity CaSO4)(Liters of solution) moles CaSO4 = (8.4261497 10^-3 M)(71.0 L) moles CaSO4 = 598.25662 10^-3 mol = 0.598 mol To find the mass of 0.598 mol of calcium sulfate, we need to multiply the number of moles by the mole mass of calcium sulfate given in the problem: (0.598 mol)(136.1 g/mol) = 81.422723 g or 81.4 g Answer: About 81.4 g of calcium sulfate can be dissolved in 71.0 L of pure water.2. Chemistry: rule for solubility and non-polar molecules?what did you say??????3. Solubility of a molecular compound?Decomposition of the reaction mixture with acid will allow some of the product to go into the acidic solution by the conversion to the pyridinium salt. Instead, use NaOH to dissolve all the aluminum salts as Al(OH)4-. Then add some satd NaCl to salt out any solubles. keeping the mixture alkaline will also keep any unreacted nicotinic acid in the aqueous phase. Make the second washof the aqueous phase with with CH2Cl24. chemistry (saturated solution, unsaturated solution, solubility question)?The solution is satured because it has the maximum amount dissolved, and any left over accumulates at the bottom as a crystal or on the sides5. Which of the following are arranged in increasing order of their solubility in water?I think no 3, because potassium ion is the largest and hence has a smallest attraction and polarizing effect on Co3 2(-)ion compared to Na and Ca 2. Ca 2 has a greater polarising effect because of its charge (2) compared to Na(1) hence calcium hydrogen carbonate should have the lowest solubility ... you can say calcium is strongly attracted to and attracting the carbonate ion hence it wo not easily let go. I hope I could be of help to you6. Solubility of Organic Compound confusionThere are two regions of bond energy to look at here:The bonding between water molecules is strong enough to resist separation by methane molecules because the gain could be no more than the stabilization in methane ($pu0.223 kcal/mol$), but the loss would be as much as $pu1.435 kcal/mol$. The first sentence in the question refers to this region of bond energies, not to the much higher energy region ( $pu100 kcal/mol$) that would be extensively covered in a chapter on bond enthalpy.
Do You Drink Bottled Water Or Tap Water? Answer Y Or No and Tell If Your Male Or Female..?
Female and I drink both. Same dif, it's water.1. Do box turtles like water?I suggest putting the turtle back where you found him/her, but to answer your question, they do like water, however DO NOT have them swim in it., Turtles like to wade in water and that's about it, make sure they can comfortably stick their head and nose out of the water. If your going to make a proper pen, you should have a shallow pool (1/4 of the turtles body), box turtles by nature do not, and cannot swim.2. What if i put my eyeglasses in hot water?You have nothing to worry about! If glasses were not supposed to touch water, then wearing them in the rain would be dangerous. You are completely safe. Like Footprintz said, you could have used dry heat to allow the plastic to become more pliable, but lenses can pop in without heat3. Anyone know how to deal with well water? My hair is turning colors!?You need an iron filter, a good iron filter. Go to a local water treatment company like Kinetico or Culligan and take a sample of your water and have them test it. I pretty much guarantee it's iron in your water although bacteria can help cause the browness in your shower. By testing the water, they can tell you how good of an iron filter you will need. If you go with the small iron filters you will have to change them pretty regularly. They normally sell those at Walmart and most department stores. A reverse osmosis system probably would help, but those systems do tend to waste a lot of water and they tend to cost a descent bit.4. Poll: Bottled Water or Tap Water?If you drink bottled water you are a traitor to the planet.. It takes about 15 gallons to make 1 gallon of water, what a waste or resources and energy.. I drink filtered rainwater.. )o(5. How can I get a faster metabolism?drink water, prune juice, and dont eat fatty foods that are hard for your body to digest6. My wife has high blood pressure, what are some good natural (herbal) remedies that she could take?She should drink Ganoderma Mushroom powder in half glass of water or milk (low fat), it will give her balanced BP, good heart, lever, lungs, kidneys and will help to improve female problems (if she has OR going to have due to age factor). ask me where to find mushroom powder if willing to give good health to your wife!7. repainting my boat...?fiberglass has an outer coating called 'gellcoat' this is basicaly a resin coating to protect the glass layers from water. you can sand off the gellcoat and apply a new coat witch is a fairly dificuct process and should be done by a professional.or you can sand it lightly and do a thin coat of gellcoat but it must be the right type of resin. no primer for gellcoat. or you can simply cut and polish the gellcoat and achieve a new finnish. BUT get all the info you can before you start, go to a marine paint shop and ask ,ask , ask, and read read read. if the polish does not look to good then . ........james f. ..... has explained it well. a simple sand and polish.8. Question about water colour painting ?Tear the page out, because you first submerge the entire paper in water. Use the cream colored tape or painters tape because it does not peel off layers of the paper. Another option is to use a spray bottle of water to wet the surface before you paint. You CAN paint on dry paper, but the effect is different, to get the flow and translucent effect of watercolor at its finest, the paper should be wetted first. Good luck and have fun experimenting!9. Best Water Heaters and Their Costs | Robinson's PlumbingAre you trying to figure out the best type of water heater and how much it costs? It's a question that we get asked all the time. The simple answer, it all depends. Here is a table of contents so you can quickly find more information in the article: Additional Features In The Best Water Heaters Whether you are trying to retrofit your existing water heater to be more energy efficient, or you are prepared for a full system upgrade, options and prices can run the gamut. First, start with an understanding of the types of water heaters available. Tank water heaters are the most common type of hot water heater. These use an insulated tank in which water is heated and stored until needed. There are temperature and pressure relief valves, which open to release heat and air if the temps or pressure becomes too high. Natural-gas water heaters are more expensive, but use less energy and cost less to run than electric water heaters. Instead of storing water in a tank, tankless water heaters use heating coils to heat the water as it flows. Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient but do not provide as much hot water when compared to a storage tank. They are best for people who typically are not using water for more than one activity at a time. Running a shower and dishwasher simultaneously, for instance, will deplete the supply within an hour or so. Tankless models are most compatible with homes that use natural gas to heat the water. These are the best water heaters to capture heat from the air and transfer it to the water. Hybrid models do not work well in very cold spaces because they need to be installed in an area that stays between 40 F to 90 F to work correctly. It also needs around seven feet of clearance from floor to ceiling. 1,000 cubic feet or so of warm space is also required to capture enough heat from the air. While hybrid water heaters are extremely energy efficient, there are some specifications for installation location that must be followed in order for them to work to their fullest potential. A solar cell placed in direct sunlight absorbs the sun's heat and transfers it through a closed-loop system that runs to the water tank. Top of the line models will save you a great deal of money in summer, and they are best suited for warm, sunny regions. On cold and cloudy days a backup system will kick in, but as you can imagine, this negates cost savings. Condensing water heaters are an option if you heat with gas and need a unit with a capacity of more than 55 gallons. These models have a tank like a conventional water heater, but they capture exhaust gas which is blown through a coil at the base of the unit, where incoming cold water can absorb most of the heat. There are devices compatible with residential plumbing systems that enable you to keep a hot water supply ready without upgrading equipment. This also eliminates the need to run water and wait for it to heat. For example, AutoCirc recirculates the water that sits in the line to keep it warm. It prevents you from having to preheat the shower or tap, wasting several gallons of water until the hot water is drawn from the water heater. Here are a few factors to consider and prioritize when making a decision about the best water heater for you. Natural gas is more efficient and affordable than electricity, which means that running a gas water heater tends to cost less than electric. If you do not already have a natural gas connection, gas line installation will be an additional cost, but it could save you money in the long term. Hybrid heat pump water heaters are also available and use an average of 60% less energy than standard electric water heaters! Nobody likes running out of hot water halfway through their shower, so it's important to consider the size of the tank to ensure you have a hot water supply that meets your needs. The best tank water heaters hold at least 40 gallons, but some can store up to 80 gallons. Generally, a two-person household needs a 30-40 gallon heater. The best water heater for a small family would require 40-50 gallons. Homes with five or more people should consider a 50-80 gallon model. If you never want to worry about running out of hot water, a tankless water heater may be the solution. They heat on demand, so the only downside is that you may have to wait a few seconds for desired water temperatures and you probably can not run two showers at once. Surprisingly, and possibly more important than the size of the tank, is the FHR (First Hour Rating). The FHR measures the amount of hot water output in a certain amount of time. If your family has high hot water demands in the morning and your water heater has a big tank, but low FHR, you may find yourself in cold water. Another important factor is the physical size and the amount of room you have available for water heater installation. New energy efficiency regulations have caused the model size to increase by 2-3 inches in both height and width, so if space is limited, you may have to consider a smaller capacity heater. The amount of heat lost each hour from the stored water is called standby loss. This is important because it affects how often your water heater needs to heat the water and can increase your electricity bill. The amount of heat lost when the water circulates through the pipes or tank is called cycling loss. Similar to standby loss, this impacts how often your water needs to be heated, which in turn affects the amount of energy your water heater uses. Additional Features In The Best Water Heaters There are a few additional features you will want to look for to ensure you get an efficient water heater that offers longevity and reliability. Water heater valves come in two types, brass and plastic. Brass valves tend to stand the test of time better than plastic valves. These tanks are designed to reduce corrosion by applying a coating to the inside of the steel tank and heating that coating to create a heavy-duty protective glass-like layer. A warranty will cover your heater for 3 to 12 years. We suggest looking for the longest warranty available on a water heater. Robinson's Plumbing is a direct dealer for these recommended brands: AO Smith - There's nothing like hot water, and one company has been delivering the world's hot water for more than 80 years...A. O. Smith. It's all about water, and A. O. Smith has a singular focus on becoming a global leader in water technology. Rinnai - Get endless on-demand hot water, space savings, eco-efficiency and peace of mind from the world's most reliable tankless gas water heater brand. Whether you need a residential water heater or commercial water heater, Rinnai tankless water heater will meet your needs. Navien - Navien offers the industry's most advanced condensing tankless water heaters strong enough to support hot water for larger homes. Navien's high efficiency and eco-friendly condensing technology can reduce energy consumption by 20% and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Let our plumbing technicians evaluate your needs and budget and make a recommendation that will help with your family's comfort level and energy savings. Learn more about the best water heaters Robinson's Plumbing Service is a full-service plumber and gas fitting service serving Charlottesville, and Richmond, VA.
Which Is Safer to Drink, Tap Water Or Bottled Water?
Which is safer to drink, tap water or bottled water?It depends on the tap. If it is a public tap, or the water is off-colour, go with bottled water. If you are worried about tap water in your own house, go to your chemist and see if they sell a "universal indicator", which will tell you if your water is safe to drink or not— — — — — —What is your favorite bottled water brand?nah they are not SUPPOSED to taste the same or else there would be no competition, they use different methods of filtrations, sources, etc etc... h20 = h20 but human = human, ya dig? and for people who say bottled water is a waste, continue drinking the crappy water utility companies provide for you which has been tested to have so many different chemicals in it from people flushing their pharms down the toilet among many many many many other things... now, in my long experience of drinking bottled water i always thought dasani was kinda awkward tasting, someone mentioned voss is okay, fiji is okay, aquafina meh, smart water actually is good and seems to make me pee quick (which i take to mean it is hydrating me quicker) but the best tasting water i have found honestly... evian...good shiznit. also perrier with lime is fun.— — — — — —Consumer culture - Bottled water?Consumer culture is extremely wastefull. The plastic, bottling and transport, all requires energy. If the water is safe to drink out of a tap, do it.— — — — — —Water Poll: Is drinking bottled water a healthy alternative to tap water?i drink bottled water because my tap water has an awful after-taste— — — — — —what's the deal with bottled water specifically for baby? what makes it different?Nothing. It is filtered water with vitamins and minerals such as flouride (for baby's teeth) added. Unless your water is well water, the faucet pours out the same stuff. I did not buy bottled water for my daughter and would not when my new babe comes either. (waste of money)— — — — — —What happens to bottled water that grocery stores leave outside in the sun?Nothing, really.I suppose that animals, insects and birds could contaminate the outside of the bottles more.But as far as the purity of the water, there should be no problem. Iu2019ve assumed that you are talking days not years. Bottle manufacturers would be more knowledgeable about long term exterior storage of their bottles.What happens to bottled water that grocery stores leave outside in the sun?.— — — — — —Water filtration devices. Do they save money in the long run over bottled water?neither placed tap water in a pitcher jug or bottle interior the refrigerator. drink interior of a few days. the concern about bottled water is that chemical substances interior the plastic get into the water. at the same time as they say such issues as "an perfect factor", I initiate to pressure about who comes to a decision what factor of toxins is optimal for me to drink.— — — — — —Is it okay to give a cat bottled water?Yes - but why go to the expense! My cat is happy with tap water, and also drinks from my little garden pond— — — — — —Do you drink bottled water or tap?bottled water.... most of the time..... and tap water .....rarely— — — — — —Bottled water vs filtered tap water?filtered water is way better. stay away from bottled water my doctor even told me to stay away from it it is not good at all for your health. if you can always drink filtered water idk why water taste so differently i guess its the way the clean the water or what solvents they use— — — — — —Can Bottled Water Go Bad?Yes the plastic can begin to break down— — — — — —is tap water REALLY that bad for you in comparison to bottled water?I drink only tap water, filtered (I have no idea whether the filter does any good or not). I keep bottled water in the refrigerator for visiting family & friends who swear by it. That way everybody's happy. One daughter in law only drinks Perrier. OK Perrier in the refrigerator when I know she is coming— — — — — —New Puppy! Bottled Water??????no it is not weird i give my dog only bottle water— — — — — —Does our increasing demand for bottled water also drive up the cost of oil?Of course it does. And why is there such a demand for bottled water? Talk about bogus marketing
Homemade Tap Water Filter - Nice Way to Purify Drinking Water
A homemade water filter is a nice way of purifying the tap water. One major advantage is that you make it yourself so you know exactly how it works. Its unlike a good looking commercial filter which claims a lot but stops functioning after a certain interval of time.A homemade filter will always work because you know how it works. In case it doesn't you will immediately open it up and set up everything right. You can make one yourself at a fraction of the cost of a commercial one. There are even more advantages. Those electronic filters are in no way better than one you can make yourself if you get the right instructions.The major advantages of using a self-made filter are:You know how it works.No need to spend thousands on a commercial one.Have multiple ones at various places in your home instead of just on in the kitchen.Make it work better than the ones which only look good.Takes very little time to make yourself using a good guide.Lasts for several years so you won't have to build one every year.Filters lots of water unlike the conventional ones.The water supply systems in various US Cities are more than a century old. There is an increasing amount of lead coming into the drinking water resulting from corrosion of water pipes. Even there is greater risk of pathogens, toxic chemicals and other contaminants. You must know how to clean your water yourself and not depend upon the water supply systems. You can't expect them to do 100%.Especially people with weak immune systems, young children, pregnant ladies and elderly people are more prone to diseases and infections due to polluted or contaminated drinking water. Imagine you are able to make a water filter which works better than the ones you buy from the market. Check out Make A Water Filter Guide and find out yourself whether it's the right thing for you or not.
Portable Water Filter - Water Container That Turns Tap Water into Safe Drinking Water
If you are constantly on the go and are very much concern about the quality of the drinking water, there is one good news for you. It takes away the added expense of bottles, on top of that, it give you the best of both worlds: clean, great tasting water. This sport water filter device simply provide you with the inexpensive convenience of high quality, filtered tap source H2O. Just fill the sports bottle with tap water, and it will remove lead, chlorine and other chemical contaminants for healthy water in seconds! Besides able to hold 20 oz filtered water, the bottle is durable, economical and is perfect for the gym, office, school, or anywhere else you are traveling.The mobile water device is just not a drink container as it appears to be. It has one filter that can effectively remove chlorine, led, chemical contaminants, bad tastes and odors, from household water supply. So, you can just replenish your drinking water from any tap source you can find to your convenience. One single filter can purify 40 gallons of household water supply, or will last you 60 days of use. When you purchase, this mobile water device comes with 3 water filters or cartridges and cost less than a dinner. So, that is a 120 gallons of pure, clean and well-taste drinking H2O. In the effort to assure you of the reliabilities of the portable water device, it gives you 100 days warranty from the date of purchase.It is made of Low Density Poly-Ethylene. With the unique replaceable filters, any contaminants in the tap supply which are harmful to your body will be removed. You are assured of pure, clean, odorless and tasty drink prior to consumption. The special design and size make it conveniently for bringing it with you virtually everywhere you go. You can clean it easily by just rinsing it under the tap, or if you are too lazy, you can clean it with dishwasher. So, this provide you with pure and safe drinking water irregardless where you are as long as there is household tap supply.This portable water filter not only remove lead, chlorine and chemical contaminants for every 40 gallons or it will last you 60 days of usage, it also allows you to use any tap source and the end result is great tasting, healthy and pure drink. There are no risk in buying this portable water unit as the company is giving you 100 days warranty from the date of purchase. If you are not entirely happy with the performance of this portable water filter unit, you just inform and return to them, and you get your money back.For those who travel frequently or always on the move, I would recommend you to get a unit of this portable water filter instead of buying bottled drink as drinking bottled drink is not as safe as you might think. Simply spend the cost of a meal, bring it along with you, especially if you are traveling to some countries where you are not sure about their quality of tap supply. Believe me, you will have complete peace of mind irregardless where you are with this portable water filters. It can just turn any source of household tap supply into a clean and pure water which can be safely consumed.
How to Make the Perplexing Raindrop Cake
This year's answer to the cronut is an edible breast implant. Well done, humanity.OK, it's actually called a raindrop cake and it's essentially a half-sphere of colourless, flavourless jelly that's supposed to look-and taste-like a large, freshly fallen raindrop. It's jiggly, smooth and delicate. When bitten, the raindrop yields a soft, melty texture that falls apart rather than giving off a chewy, bouncy, Jell-O-like texture. After 30 minutes or so, the whole thing is supposed to disintegrate. Yum!The dessert has been making the rounds across international media outlets for the past two months, spurred on by New Yorker Darren Wong , who started selling it for $8 a pop at a Williamsburg (of course) food market called Smorgasburg in April. Since I refuse to spend $8 on flavourless jelly, I sought to make my own.But first, a backgrounder. The cake first went viral in 2014 when Japan's Kinseiken Seika Company made a clear version of its shingen mochi, a soft mochi rice cake topped with roasted soybean flour and syrup. Wong, who works at a digital marketing firm, got the idea to bring it to the States. This month, Australian Japanese restaurant Harajuku Gyoza got into the action by making their own sweetened version.By now you can find online recipes on how to recreate the raindrop cake at home but I wanted to get some local help. I asked chef John Placko, a molecular cuisine instructor, for some raindrop cake tips.He says the key is getting the right balance of water and agar, a jellylike substance derived from seaweed, to achieve that delicate effect so that when you tap it with a spoon, the cake collapses rather than bounces (much like a raindrop). "Gelatin gives a more elastic texture whereas agar will provide a more crumbly texture, which I think is the effect it's going for." Too little agar and the drop won't hold its shape, too much and it becomes cloudy and more silicone than raindrop. At his home kitchen in Mississauga, Placko made a version that uses 1/8 tsp agar, and added sugar and rosewater for flavour. He also topped a bunch of the cakes with gold leaf, mango puree, mint leaves and dehydrated avocados and raspberries. "It's a blank canvas. A very blank canvas," he says of the original raindrop cake.Agar can readily be found at Asian grocers (it's a staple in southeast and east Asian desserts) in the form of dried strips or powder. Opt for the powdered stuff as it's easier to measure and dissolve. Kitchen supply stores will also have silicone moulds to achieve the raindrop shape. If you don't want to buy a mould, a small rice bowl with a round bottom works wonderfully (the raindrop slides right out). Use distilled rather than tap water to achieve a perfectly clear cake-I realized this six cloudy cakes in.If you still can't find the necessary components, Placko himself has a retail line of equipment and powders used in molecular cuisine.Keep this recipe in your archives so future generations can wax poetic about grandma's homemade raindrop cake.Raindrop cake 1 cup (250 mL) distilled water 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) agar powder 1/2 tsp (2 mL) superfine sugar, optional 1 or 2 drops clear extract like peppermint, orange blossom or rosewater, optional In a small saucepan over low heat, pour in water and sprinkle in agar. Stir until agar has completely dissolved. Sprinkle in sugar and add extract, if using. Stir. Bring to a gentle simmer, stir and let cook for one minute.Pour mixture into silicone hemisphere moulds or a small round rice bowl. Chill in fridge for one hour, or until mixture has set. Carefully remove from moulds and place on serving plates.Top with desired toppings like sesame seeds, fruit puree or maple syrup. Serve immediately.
California Sets Goal for Limiting Drinking Water Pollutant
The California Environmental Protection Agency has issued the nation's first public health goal for hexavalent chromium, the cancer-causing heavy metal made infamous after activist Erin Brockovich sued in 1993 over contaminated groundwater in the Mojave Desert town of Hinkley, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.At that time, the average hexavalent chromium level in Hinkley's water was 1.19 parts per billion (ppb). The new state goal was set Wednesday at 0.02 ppb, the level of the element that does not pose a significant health risk in drinking water, according to state officials.That means for every million people who drink tap water with that level of hexavalent chromium every day for 70 years, there would likely be one additional case of cancer attributable to exposure to the metal, state officials said.The new goal is not an enforceable standard, but "will be an important tool that the Department of Public Health will use" to develop one, said George Alexeeff, acting director of the department's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.Other state environmental officials offered reassurances that the new goal did not indicate any increased threats from hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium 6.California environmental officials have detected hexavalent chromium in the drinking water of an estimated 13 million people in 52 of the state's 58 counties, including Los Angeles.At least 74 million Americans in 42 states drink chromium-polluted tap water, much of it probably tainted with hexavalent chromium, according to studies by the nonprofit Oakland-based Environmental Working Group. They also found chromium 6 in tap water from 31 of 35 cities tested last year, with some of the highest levels in Riverside (1.69 ppb) and San Jose (1.34 ppb).Chromium 6 occurs naturally in some drinking water, and many people don't even know they are drinking it. More often, it enters the water supply from industrial contamination, leaching from sites such as the former disposal ponds of Pacific Gas & Electric's Topock Compressor Station in Hinkley, near Barstow. It can be removed using expensive reverse osmosis filters.State officials said the new goal reflected recent research suggesting that young children could be more susceptible to health risks from exposure to chromium 6. Mice and rats that drank water containing high levels of the element developed gastrointestinal tumors, according to a 2007 study by the National Toxicology Program.Environmentalists praised the new state goal, saying they hoped it would pressure state and federal officials to set enforceable standards for the metal and other drinking water contaminants. After California regulated another such contaminant, perchlorate, other states followed suit and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reconsidered its standard "It's better to know than not to know," said Dr. Gina Solomon of the San Francisco-based Natural Resources Defense Council of chromium 6 levels in drinking water. "We want to know about it so that water utilities can deal with it and get the levels down." California lawmakers passed legislation in 2001 requiring an enforceable drinking water standard for chromium 6 by 2004. State public health officials are still working on that standard . It will take at least 18 months to propose and 2 1/2 years to approve, according to Mike Sicilia, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Health.California environmental officials cautioned that until the standard is set, the state goal is "not a regulatory level for cleanup of groundwater or surface water contamination" and cannot be used to justify investigations where residents suspect their water is making them sick, such as in Hinkley or the San Joaquin Valley's Kettleman City The national drinking water limit for chromium is 100 ppb, but water system monitors are not required to distinguish what percentage of that is chromium 6 versus other less harmful ions such as chromium 3. But U.S. EPA officials recommended in January that water systems start testing for chromium 6, and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has said the agency will probably revise its standards soon.
"e" Is for Elephant--letter "e" Activities for Kids
We started with tracing both an upper and lowercase "E" on a worksheet that also included small "E" word pictures to color, cut, and paste to our "E." The problem with many of these online worksheets, however, lies in them not teaching the proper phonetic sound. In fact, NONE of the pictures included with this worksheet hit the mark--eel, eagle, earmuffs, easel, and earwig do not have the beginnings sound your children will practice in kindergarten. When learning the letter "E" in school, your child will be taught the "E" sounds like "Ed" or "elephant." Can you hear the difference? Unfortunately, when you're in a time crunch, it's easier to grab whatever free resource is available online, print it, and go! Otherwise, constructing your own worksheets with the proper phonetic sound would be optimum.Next, we transformed an uppercase "E" into an elephant for our on-going alphabet book project. When you're browsing for large bubble letters for this project, steer away from fancy fonts that add a lot of curls and swirls to letters--these do not resemble the letters your child will be learning in school. Expose your learner to letters with the correct formation. Sorry--I free-handed this elephant, so there's no template to share. If I can do it, anyone can!Elephant Facts Here are some facts you can discuss about elephants:Elephants love to swim.Female elephants generally one have one baby at a time, and can keep having babies until they are about 50 years old. If you think nine months seems like forever when it comes to gestation, pity the female elephant who carries her baby for 22 months before delivery!Despite the tough look of an elephant's skin, it's very sensitive and can detect something as small as a fly landing on it.Baby elephants are born blind.Don't tick off an elephant--they have great memories!Elephants have emotions and can even mourn lost loved ones years after their death.Elephants are scare of ants and bees, not mice like in the myth.The trunk of an elephant boasts more than 40,000 muscles.An Egg Is Quiet To reinforce our letter "E" along with its correct phonetic sound, we read the book, An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Aston and Sylvia Long. This is an excellent resource for the science portion of your learning time. This book presents many opportunities for critical thinking and observation. An egg is quiet --why is it quiet? Why would an egg need markings to camouflage it? Why do eggs come in different sizes? Eggs are textured --what does that mean? An egg might be fossilized--what are fossils? How is an egg giving ? When does an egg become noisy?Since our books also explains how eggs are artistic, we designed our own eggs and gave them a unique attribute. See how these learners made both a "pretty" egg and a "brown" egg.To continue our scientific exploration of eggs, we conducted an "eggs"periment that was deemed simply magical, judging by the squeals of delight that filled our kitchen! We made an egg float ! This is a study of density . Density is a measurement of how solid something is. Your kids can learn this concept hands-on.Fill a drinking glass full of water. Let one of your learners gently drop the egg into the glass. It sinks right to the bottom!Fill another glass half full of water and stir in at least six tablespoons of salt. Let your kids do the stirring--they love being involved! (Warning: anticipate minor spillage!) Once the salt is well-mixed, top off the glass with tap water. Let your child drop an egg into the glass. Voila! It floats!In the first glass, the egg was denser than the tap water. In the second glass, the salt water was denser, which is why your egg floated.For the math portion of our day, we focused on recognizing numbers one through five. For our little car lover, we used a fun number freebie . Each number looks like roadway--created for Hot Wheels, Matchbox, or other little cars to drive on. Each number comes with it's own little parking lot, so after driving the car on each number, the car can be "parked" into the corresponding parking lot number. Each number card can be printed on cardstock, cut out, and put into a small photo book for easy flipping during number review time. Our only issue with this freebie is it's a little small. Learners don't really get to experience correct number formation during the "drive." Regardless, it was free, and it was still enjoyed!
Nutrition News: Sparkling Water Safety, Parsing Probiotics, Eating and Reading
Eating and readingYou want your kids to eat healthy for all sorts of reasons. Here's a new one: It may make them better readers. A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Jyvaskyla found that students' reading skills showed greater improvement between first and third grade if they ate a diet composed primarily of vegetables and fruits (especially berries), along with fish, whole grains and unsaturated fats, and ate very few sugary treats and red meats, HealthDay News reports. "The associations of diet quality with reading skills were ... independent of many confounding factors, such as socioeconomic status, physical activity, body adiposity [fat] and physical fitness," study author Eero Haapala said in a study news release. But don't worry too much if your kid is a picky eater - the study showed only a correlation, not cause and effect. It ... sparkles!Sparkling water - the blanket term for all fizzy H2O, whether it's seltzer, club soda or sparkling mineral water - is refreshing and delicious. But are there drawbacks to drinking it? The New York Times' Well blog recently looked into it and concluded, "Studies have not shown ill health effects from drinking seltzer or other plain sparkling waters." It's certainly way healthier than drinking colas and other flavored sodas, juices and sports beverages. As long as there are no additives, sweeteners or sodium in your sparkling water, you should be good. The acidity and carbonation won't erode your teeth enamel, research indicates, though you may want to avoid seltzers flavored with citric acid, which may. And you'll want to keep an eye on the sodium content of club soda. One expert told the Times the biggest issue to drinking sparkling water may be missing out on the fluoride you get from tap water, but if you make your own seltzer using tap water and a device like a SodaStream, that ceases to be an issue. So go forth and make bubbles! Probiotic inequityYour friend or family member swears by probiotics, claiming myriad benefits. So you try them and ... nada. What gives? The Washington Post notes that not all probiotics are equal and that different people respond to them differently. "We cannot predict who is going to respond to a particular probiotic strain," Johns Hopkins Hospital gastroenterologist Linda Lee told the paper. For instance, a research group led by University of Copenhagen medical professor Oluf Pedersen found that probiotics that seemed to work for people coping with irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and travelers' diarrhea, which may have knocked their gut bacteria out of whack, did not work for healthy people. Pedersen says more evidence is needed to prove the efficacy of probiotics. The good news is that the FDA now employs new methods of regulating probiotics to ensure safety. So if you do decide to try them, "they probably won't hurt you," University of Maryland law professor Diane Hoffmann, who has studied the regulation of probiotics, told the Post. "Some people claim they do [make a difference]. But before you buy them, you really don't know. It's a buyer-beware situation."Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer.
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