Explosive cheese, lethal beer and poisonous orange juice: when food causes natural disasters

Explosive cheese, lethal beer and poisonous orange juice: when food causes natural disasters

Boston Molasses Disaster: On January 15, 1919 a 50 foot-high, 90 foot-wide cast iron tank with 2.2 million gallons of molasses burst in Boston, causing the Boston Molasses Disaster. The molasses gushed through the North End neighbourhood at 35mph leaving 21 dead, 150 injured and homes and businesses crushed. Photograph: Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

How come Hollywood never makes disaster movies about culinary ingredients? Why don’t you ever see Chris Hemsworth fleeing a tidal wave of spilt lager? Where’s Bruce Willis, battling to prevent catastrophic explosions due to terrifyingly ripe cheeseboards? Whither Vin Diesel fighting to save our oceans from a deadly avalanche of syrup? As a Russian town found out last week after it was flooded by tropical juice, it’s definitely not because food and drink doesn’t lead to environmental crises. Here are a few of the worst culinary disasters ever to befall humanity…


This Climate Tool Shows The Overheated World Our Kids Will Be Living In

When climate change is in the news, it’s usually because of a scary new temperature record or a mass coral die-off, or because an enormous chunk of Greenland disappeared and nobody noticed. But at the end of the day, the thing that most of us really care about is how we’ll be affected. Now, NOAA is making it easier than ever to find out, with a new Climate Explorer app that shows just how screwed (or spared) your little sliver of the country will be.


The first version of Climate Explorer launched in 2014, as part of a package of climate tools for planners interested in identifying vulnerable coastlines and flooding risks. Now, Climate Explorer has undergone…

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