Fruits and veggies make up 39 percent of total food waste: Americans waste nearly 150,000 tons of food per day, amounting to about one pound per person, and fruits and vegetables are mostly what gets tossed, said a study released Wednesday. The amount of land used annually to grow food that ends up in the garbage in the United States is 30 million acres, or 7 percent of total U.S. cropland. Some 4.2 trillion gallons of irrigation water gets wasted, too, said the report in the journal PLOS ONE. Fruits and vegetables made up 39 percent of total food waste, followed by dairy (17 percent), meat (14 percent) and grains (12 percent). READ MORE

WATER SAFETY

Water safety checks may seriously underestimate pathogens: Deadly bacteria lurking in drinking water storage tanks could be missed by standard health and safety tests, scientists have warned in a new report. Cold water storage tanks supplying public drinking water are regularly checked for harmful pathogenic bacteria such as Legionnaires’ disease and E.coli. Microbiological analysis by researchers from Brunel University London, however, found that samples taken as standard from the top of the tank are 40 percent less likely to raise a red flag than samples taken from the opposite end. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

This E. coli is really bad: An E. coli outbreak traced to chopped romaine lettuce has spread to another five states and public health officials are reporting a hospitalization rate of almost 60 percent, which is twice the usual rate. There are 53 confirmed cases spread across 16 states, as of Wednesday’s update from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the 31 victims who have required hospitalization, five have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. READ MORE

CYBER SECURITY

Watch out for ‘trustjacking’: Have you used a friend’s laptop to charge your iPhone and gotten a prompt that says, “Trust This Computer?” Say yes, and the computer will be able to access your phone settings and data while they’re connected. And while it doesn’t feel like your answer really matters—your phone will charge either way—researchers from Symantec warn that this seemingly minor decision has much higher stakes than you’d think. In fact, the Symantec team has found that hacks exploiting that misplaced “Trust” comprise a whole class of iOS attacks they call “trustjacking.” READ MORE

Better two-factor authentication: One of the most important steps you can take to secure your online services is setting up two-factor authentication. But no matter how strong a password is, or what level of code-based authentication a website is using, any system that sends codes in a text message can be compromised from afar by a skilled attacker. The best way to set up two-factor authentication is to use a secure app on your phone to generate those six-digit codes or to carry a piece of hardware that can verify your identity. A device like the YubiKey is just that sort of hardware. READ MORE

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

Iranian earthquake strikes near nuclear plant: An earthquake of at least magnitude 5.5 struck in southern Iran near the country’s sole nuclear power plant on Thursday morning, shaking Bahrain and other areas around the Persian Gulf. There was no immediate report of damage or injuries. Iran sits on major fault lines and is prone to near-daily earthquakes. In 2003, a 6.6-magnitude quake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people. Bam is near the Bushehr nuclear plant, which wasn’t damaged at that time. READ MORE

First responders get radiological attack training: First responders from all over the country have come together in Mercury, Nev., to train for a potential radiological attack on U.S. soil. The site, run by the Department of Energy and once the site of nuclear testing in the 1950s, is able to put a small amount of radiation in the ground to give trainees a real sense of what might happen during an attack. READ MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

Whole Foods shutting down online accounts and more: Whole Foods will shut down its rewards program, digital coupons, and customers’ online accounts on May 2nd and fold everything into Amazon Prime, according to an email to customers this week. The email, as spotted by Marketwatch, says unused rewards will not roll over to Amazon Prime, so customers should try to use their benefits before the program officially sunsets. READ MORE

Proposed tariff could shake up soybean markets: The proposed 25% tariff on U.S. soybean imports to China has the potential to send shockwaves through the domestic and global soybean markets. If the tariff is approved and in place for several years, U.S. farmers could be driven to reduce soybean acres, while South American farmers expand. That’s according to a recent Rabobank article written by Stefan Vogel, head of agri commodity markets and global strategies for grains and oilseeds, Rabobank, and Lief Chiang, analyst, Rabobank. READ MORE

Checkoff wars: A checkoff war has farmers and livestock producers caught in the crossfire. USDA, public records laws, redirection, and decertification are snagged in a Gordian knot, and the tangle may impact the entire agriculture industry. What began as a dispute between the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) and USDA over labeling and the use of checkoff dollars has become the flashpoint for a dumpster fire of heavyweight issues that could significantly affect the foundation of the beef and soybean checkoff system. READ MORE