Bits and pieces: Promiscuous olive oil, ice cream for dogs and other food news from the web, 7.26.10

  • NPR nails this saucy headline: “Your olive oil may not be the virgin it claims.” According to the article, a study from the University of California-Davis showed that more than two-thirds of random samples of imported so-called extra-virgin olive oil doesn’t make the grade. “To be extra-virgin,” the story says, “olive oil can’t be rancid or doctored with lesser oils. (Chemist Charles) Shoemaker wasn’t all that surprised that many of the 14 major brands failed certain tests.” Learn more about the virgin labels at’s blog.


  • Being overweight can cause as many problems to your bank account as your body, according to a study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology. 

Adults who have been overweight since high school are more likely to be unemployed or on welfare than those who gained weight gradually during their 20s and 30s, according to a piece on the New York Times Well blog about the study. People who have been persistently overweight since high school are also more likely to be single at 40 and have no more than a high school education.


  • Your office desk harbors more germs than your toilet, according to microbiologist Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona. Here’s some scary stats from the “In the office, the “germiest” items are the phone and the desk top followed by the computer keyboard and mouse. The number of bacteria per square centimeter on a desk top is typically 400 times greater than on a toilet seat.” There is also a list at the bottom of the article that names the five germiest workplaces. Who uses the fourth worst workspace? Media workers (my former profession).


  • Dogs in Britain are having a heck of a summer. The K99 is an ice cream truck with treats made especially for dogs, according to the Daily Mail. The truck offers two flavors of ice cream: “Dog Eat Hog World” and “Canine Cookie Crunch.” The truck even plays the Scooby-Doo theme music. But the best part? All proceeds go to a non-profit that provides volunteer search-and-rescue dogs.

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