Opinion: Let Flint Strike Sparks to Address Water-Supply Problems in NJ

Flint is a failure of responsibility, ethics, and morality. Can the unacceptable happen to our water-supply systems? Let’s start with the fundamentals about the water-supply debacle in Flint, MI, where water customers have been exposed to completely unacceptable levels of lead, a neurotoxin. Lead can leach out of water-supply lines within and leading to buildings from the municipal system, and from lead used to join pipe sections both in buildings and in the municipal system. Our nation’s water-supply professionals — operators, engineers, chemists, planners, managers, and regulators — are fully aware of methods necessary to protect customers from lead in the water supply… Daniel J. Van Abs is currently Associate Professor of Practice for Water, Society and Environment at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

Read the entire article at NJ Spotlight »

Rutgers Gardens Incorporates Student Farm for Outreach and Learning Opportunities

Raised beds prepared for student farm production at Rutgers Gardens.

Raised beds prepared for student farm production at Rutgers Gardens.

A student run farm that has operated at the Hort Farm since 1993 will re-emerge across the lane at Rutgers Gardens. The Office of Agriculture and Urban Programs will offer a sequence of interdisciplinary courses involving the organic farm. It also will provide the foundation for a broad spectrum of community outreach and programs, student research opportunities and entrepreneurial pursuits. Read more at Rutgers Today.

Cumberland County Extension Service Employees Recognized

Cumberland County employees Cheryl McCormick and Tammy Commander were recognized Dec. 7 with awards for excellence by Rutgers Cooperative Extension. The awards are presented annually to one individual within the state. McCormick, 4-H Program Assistant, received the Award for Excellence for Program Assistant, while Agricultural Secretary Tammy Commander was recognized with the Excellence Award for Administrative Staff… McCormick and Commander were applauded for achievements which have significantly enhanced RCE and for demonstrating outstanding performance and creativity above and beyond their position descriptions. Each received a certificate and congratulations from Rutgers Cooperative Extension Director Larry Katz, as well as a $250 award toward professional development from Rutgers Cooperative Extension… County 4-H Agent Julie Karavan noted in her nomination that that Cheryl McCormick is highly regarded by all the RCE staff as a team player who never hesitates to pitch in and assist in making any program run smoothly.

Read the entire article at www.nj.com »

Cumberland County Hosts South American Food Industry Executives

Cumberland County was host to food industry executives from Brazil last week and again hosted more from other parts of South America, who came to learn more about the area’s food commerce. Rutgers Food Innovation Center (RFIC) in Bridgeton coordinated the event in partnership with the Cumberland County Improvement Authority… "All together we entertained more than a dozen South American company representatives and I can honestly say each one was very impressed with our area, it’s location and abundant resources – both from an agriculture and a transportation standpoint," CCIA Construction and Economic Development Director Jim Watson explained about the groups. "I expect to hear from at least of few of them after they have had a chance to process and distribute the information we were able to convey to them in such a short time span."

Read the entire article at www.nj.com »

When Eating Clean Is Dirty: Chipotle, ‘Fresh’ Offerings and Food Safety

Environment and animal rights groups have praised Chipotle for its sustainable and humane practices, but its recent food poisoning outbreaks illustrate the challenges that can come with living up to this image… E. coli outbreaks linked to food from Chipotle has been reported in nine states, infecting 52 people, though officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention haven’t identified what ingredient is responsible. The chain, well-known for its burritos, uses 64 ingredients from more than 100 suppliers at its 1,900 restaurants… "If you are sourcing foods from one or two suppliers it’s easier to manage than if you have dozens of medium or smaller suppliers," says Don Schaffner, a food science expert and professor at Rutgers University. "They may not have the resources to do food safety."

Read the entire article at www.usnews.com »