Kiko's Food News, 12.16.11

With the mainstreaming of vegetarianism in recent discourse, it’s interesting to see how many vegetarians there actually are out there; in a phone poll taken last week, 33% of Americans reported that they eat vegetarian meals a significant amount of the time (and that number is in addition to committed vegetarians): (full story)

Ever wonder how far apart a lettuce patch has to be from farm animals to prevent bacterial contamination? The University of Maryland’s Center for Food Safety does, and this week they announced a $9 million research project to provide scientific guidance on the safest ways to grow, pack, transport and store salad fixings: (full story)

My mom raised me to fear 18-wheelers on the highway; now it’s time to brace ourselves for an even more harrowing scenario, as Kraft is pushing for 97,000-lb trucks called “bridge wreckers” to be approved in more states: (full story)

These mammoth trucks and their similarly scaled exhaust are among reasons why the global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide has jumped by a record amount; the world’s efforts at slowing man-made global warming aren’t preventing greenhouse gas emissions from exceeding the UN’s worst-case scenarios: (full story)

And as the resulting climate change accelerates, weather in Maine is becoming less different from that in South Carolina, introducing opportunities for farmers in formerly disparate agricultural regions to start swapping best practices: (full story)

Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland, gave insights into how Europeans waste less food due to how they’re set up for waste disposal and how they structure grocery shopping (our abundance of space for landfills and too-big refridgerators are our downfall!) (full story)

A friend turned me on to a blog called Frugal Dad this week; check out this infographic the dads whipped up, depicting the extent of consolidation in the food industry: (full story)