Which colors should you eat? Here’s a guide

You’ve heard of eating locally or seasonally – but what about eating by color?

Bringing attention to the importance of healthy eating habits, New York City-based artist Tattfoo Tan’s Nature Matching System represents 88 common fruits and vegetables by their colors. A visual mash-up of nutrition and design – did you know, for instance, that okra corresponds to the Pantone Matching System code of 378U? – the system has been displayed as a large-scale public art mural in various New York City locales, including beneath the Manhattan Bridge and at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

NMS—Nature Matching System disposable paper placemat. Photo: Tattfoo.com

Eating a diet that varies in color is a crucial part of eating right, according to the American Dietetic Association, which touted March’s National Nutrition Month with the slogan “Eat Right With Color.” For maximum benefit, eat a diet high in phytonutrients, which give some vegetables their vivid colors as well as nutritional value.

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How much radiation is too much? A handy guide

Japan’s nuclear crisis has understandably induced a panic over leaking radiation and the potential danger it poses to human health. The Japanese government has interrupted food shipments of tainted milk and spinach, and radiation has been found in the seawater near the Fukushima plant. Although health authorities have stressed that much of this radiation poses minimal danger to human health, the idea of any radiation emanating from a nuclear accident is worrying. Some Americans have been requesting potassium iodide pills, and Geiger counters have sold out in Paris.

People safely absorb small levels of radiation every day. Plants, rocks and even human bodies give off radiation. But how much radiation is normal? Randall Munroe, the mind behind the brilliantly nerdy stick figures in the web comic XKCD, has tried to answer that question. He recently drew an extremely helpful graphic comparing the radiation levels of common activities like getting a medical scan or taking a transcontinental flight with large-scale nuclear accidents like those at Three Mile Island or Chernobyl. Although Munroe, a former NASA roboticist, takes care to mention that he is no radiation expert, he provides an open list of his sources, which includes the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and MIT’s Nuclear Science and Engineering department.

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