Friday, 22 May 2015

The Daily: May 22

We scour the news so you don't have to

Written by Eliza Riley-Smith
Rumoured prosecco shortage to hit this summer
Prosecco, the Italian fizz and now British summer staple, is set to face a global shortage this summer. Industry experts fear that a combination of bad harvests and surge in demand for the Glera grape could lead to a summer drought. It seems our increasing demand for the drink, up some 75 per cent last year, could have sowed the seeds of the problem itself. High demand for the variety has forced rapid planting, with many vines failing and the yields down by half in some places. And it seems that the very thing that made prosecco so popular in the first place-its affordability-is at stake too. Lucy Shaw of The Drinks Business explained that the DOC region, which is responsible for the cheaper wines, was far worse off than its neighbouring DOCG area which produces a more refined variety. However, experts have reminded us that it is still too early to gauge the situation-alleviating any prosecco woes for the time being.

Third of holidaying Brits leave their homes powered up for pets
New research has found that a third of us leave our home 'powered up' for pets in our absence. It seems many of us can't bear to leave our furry friends without lights, heating, radio and even television for the duration of our holidays. The pets we're most likely to leave in the lap of luxury are dogs, with cats following closely behind. 10 per cent of those asked would leave our homes on standby for hamsters and guinea pigs, with around 5 per cent doing the same for birds and reptiles. As for the return home, holidaymakers voted that having no milk in the house and piled up post were the worst thing after post holiday blues. A third of people bemoaned the stale smell in their home upon return, perhaps unsurprising given that a significant percentage admitted to not clearing out the fridge or even taking out the rubbish.

France makes it illegal to destroy edible supermarket food
France has legislated new laws which will make the destruction of edible food by supermarkets a criminal offence. The bill was passed into law last night on a unanimous vote in the National Assembly. Supermarkets will now be forced to donate all discarded food to charity, or hand it over to be made into animal feed, compost or energy. All shops larger than 400 square metres are to sign contracts with charities, obliging them to donate edible products. The new laws have been welcomed by environmental groups, charities and food organisations, who have also campaigned for such laws to be introduced worldwide. The controversial practice of pouring bleach into reject bins to dispose of food has also been outlawed across the channel, although supermarkets in Britain are still known to use it. The legislation comes in the wake of the French government's pledge to halve all food waste by 2025.

'Duck lanes' installed on city canals
Special 'duck lanes' are being installed alongside canals in London, Birmingham and Manchester in a bid to make the nation's waterways a more harmonious place to travel. The Canal & River Trust, which manages more than 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales, have launched the initiative as part of their 'share the space, drop your pace' campaign. Towpaths are notoriously crowded, with cyclists, pedestrians and ducks all vying for space. The new lanes, complete with spray painted images of the bird for easy recognition, are a humorous attempt to highlight the congestion and danger the animals face. The trust hopes that the campaign will promote local wildlife and conservation, reminding towpath users of the importance of sharing public spaces effectively. Photos from the new pathways show that some of our beaked friends are having trouble grasping the new concept, with some cheekily straying outside of their painted lines.

Two thirds of women use jeans to gauge weight gain
New research by Slimming World and Cancer Research UK has revealed that 66% of British women use jeans over scales to determine weight gain. Yet only 26 per cent of men use clothing as an indicator, preferring the precision of scales. The research found that a fifth of us rely on how we look in the mirror, with Jack Braniff, nutritionist and personal trainer, summarising 'people don't care about losing weight, they care about looking good.' Braniff also criticised the use of scales as a measure of success as they don't 'paint an accurate picture of how well you're really doing'. Instead, many recommend a 'holistic approach' to losing weight, prioritising feeling strong and confident over watching the scales. The study was conducted to mark the launch of Big Slimming World Clothes Throw which aims to raise £1.2 million for Cancer Research UK.

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