Dietz & Watson will spend this Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, giving its refrigerated Delanco, N.J., distribution center an eco-friendly upgrade. The facility’s roof will be equipped with more than 7,000 solar power modules. Once installation is complete, the modules will reduce the facility’s energy use by nearly 20 percent.

“In addition to producing fresh, natural products, we value the health of our surroundings and environment,” said Chris Eni, COO of Dietz & Watson. “If we can improve the world in which we live and work, we will. That is why we have taken a step in the right direction and made the decision for our Delanco facility to go solar.”

On Earth Day, crews from electrical contracting company Absolutely Energized Solar will begin the primary phase of lifting solar modules onto the facility’s rooftop. A 300-ton crane will lift more than 7,000 modules, each approximately 5.5’ x 3.25’ in size, that will eventually cover the roof. The addition of the solar energy system will help offset over 1,600 tons of harmful greenhouse gas emissions each year. The system will also help to reduce overall demand on the local electrical distribution network which in turn helps the local utility company to reduce price increases and provide more reliable peak electric supply.

“We are proud to bring our energy and money-saving technology to Dietz & Watson, a great local business, on Earth Day,” said Absolutely Energized Solar President Dan Lichtman. “This solar upgrade will financially and environmentally benefit Dietz & Watson, Delanco and the surrounding community.”

The new solar energy system is the most recent effort made by Dietz & Watson to reduce its ecological footprint. Dietz & Watson’s boxes are now marked with SFI stamps, signifying the boxes are Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified and are produced using the highest environmental standards throughout the entire process, from the growing of the trees to the paper manufacturing. Also, Dietz & Watson’s Baltimore poultry facility just received an upgrade of its own. The facility’s entire lighting system was replaced with T5 technology, the most energy efficient fluorescent lighting available.

“This upgrade isn’t our first and it won’t be our last,” said Eni. “We’re proud to celebrate Earth Day by improving our company’s future and our planet’s future.”

Source: Dietz & Watson

China may cut poultry imports by 55%

China may slash imports of U.S. chicken by 55 percent this year, as the country institutes anti-dumping tariffs on the meat, a unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

Bloomberg reports that imports from the U.S. may slump to 150,000 metric tons from about 335,000 tons last year, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service said today in a report on its Web site. China may import 425,000 tons of chicken from all sources in 2010, up from an estimated 401,000 tons last year.

China was the third-largest buyer of U.S. poultry last year, after Russia and Mexico. The country is instituting anti-dumping duties on U.S. poultry, after a preliminary investigation showed producers selling at below-market prices, according to the report.

Sources: Bloomberg, Business Week

Study shows link between bladder cancer, well-done meats

Frying, grilling and barbecuing until meat is charred can form cancer-causing chemicals, research shows. In a study conducted by University of Texas investigators, people whose diets included well-done meats were over twice as likely to develop bladder cancer than those who preferred meats rare. Fried chicken and fish also raised the odds of cancer.

The research findings, based on over 1,700, people were presented at a US cancer research conference, reports BBC News.

Lead author of the study, Professor Xifeng Wu, told the American Association for Cancer Research: "This research reinforces the relationship between diet and cancer. These results strongly support what we suspected - people who eat a lot of red meat, particularly well-done red meat, such as fried or barbecued, seem to have a higher likelihood of bladder cancer."

Dr. Panagiota Mitrou, of the World Cancer Research Fund, said: "When we looked at all the evidence on meat and cancer, it did not suggest meat increases risk of bladder cancer. There is, though, convincing evidence that red and processed meat increase risk of bowel cancer. This is why we recommend that people aim to limit consumption of red meat to 500g - cooked weight - per week and to avoid eating processed meat."

Source: BBC News

Correction: Marfrig Wins Top Quota to Export Argentine Beef to EU

Marfrig Alimentos SA, the world’s fourth-biggest beef producer, won the largest share of an Argentine quota to export premium beef at a special tariff to the European Union.

Marfrig’s Quickfood SA and three other units will be allowed to ship a combined 3,122 metric tons under the Hilton Quota before June 30, according to the government’s official gazette. JBS SA’s JBS Argentina SA was awarded 3,000 tons, the biggest individual share of the quota divided between about 70 meatpackers.

Source: Bloomberg